Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Mexico

This has been a summer full of changes. Most of the summer our internet speed has been so slow we could not upload pictures.  I'm going to use this as an intro to a number of posts.

Part V: New Mexico

Wade is 102.
He is blind and can walk maybe 100ft but looks good for his age and thinks pretty well too. Within his limitations he is competent.

At their place in Silver City everyone is kinda dependent, one on another.   That includes the horse and goat.  George puts them out each day and they stay together.

 The century plant in bloom had a bird that hung around it.

While in the area we went to Dana's (John's companion) house.  We saw a very strange desert sight!  A pond that Dana had made.
Sue is taking the pic, Jan in the orange, Dana, Oran, George Polly.  Lew and Chris are hiding beside me.
We looked over her house including the recently added high porch.  Since Dana made it the ladies decided to line up and show it off.
Dana, Sue, Polly, Jan, Chris (Clifford's wife)

When Sue told us that for various reasons she could no longer be Wade's right hand, we agreed and went off seeking a new companion for him.  We hope it was found with the services of Angelwings.  A caregiver will start arriving daily at Quail Ridge for Wade.  Since we all need others, I'm hopeful that Quail Ridge will continue to be home for all the critters.  Change happens even for someone who is 102, like it or not. Whether it’s on ones’s radar or not.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Traveling to New Mexico

This has been a summer full of changes. Most of the summer our internet speed has been so slow we could not upload pictures.  I'm going to use this as an intro to a number of posts.

Part IV:  Traveling to New Mexico

The road through Salt Lake City was worse.  The changes made to get it ready for the Olympics really caused a huge expansion of the area.  The traffic was very nerve-racking.  But we made it to Provo July 1 and Moab July 2. Moab was wonderful with the rarely changing rock.

You can tell the temperatures of Yellowstone are in the past. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Yellowstone Parties

This has been a summer full of changes. Most of the summer our internet speed has been so slow we could not upload pictures.  I'm going to use this as an intro to a number of posts.

June 28-29

Part III:   Picnics and Gatherings

 Mary Beth Schwatz had planned a party to celebrate the birthday of George Marler, a great naturalist and geologist in Yellowstone's past.  We drove in to the Lower Ham Store.  Of course, the sky looked like rain and many folk were out at Grand.  We decided to have lunch instead and soon friends started to appear. The waiter started with four people, it grew to eight and then as we were talking about missing the Hoppe's and the Goldbergs, who should appear but Roz.  The poor waiter just kept adding the slips to the cook!

 Grand finally went (two bursts!) and it was time for desert and a birthday cheer to George!
It was so great to see our old friends.  We had such a magical time meeting year after year as our kids grew.  Its actually harder now to make arrangements to meet.  Jan and Udo now live in West Yellowstone and Mary Beth has her West Yellowstone place.  The trip for us seems longer and harder each time we make it.  But my, do we like our Yellowstone friends. 

Our gazer friend, Bob Berger died this past winter.  Death does bring changes.  We decided to make a celebration of his life at Yellowstone with a Berger-style picnic. We had announced it to various friends and planned it for the Sunday, the 29th.  While we were certainly missing several people, it was so nice to have a good day to sit and talk and share the past and the present with each other.

The picnic ended with a great eruption of Beehive!

And what do old Geyser Gazer Friends do at the end of a picnic?  Why go look at geysers of course!

Then it was time to go to New Mexico…Bye, bye Yellowstone

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cynthia, Island Park and Yellowstone

This has been a summer full of changes. Most of the summer our internet speed has been so slow we could not upload pictures.  I'm going to use this as an intro to a number of posts.

June 21-June 28

Part II:  Cynthia, Island Park and Yellowstone

June 21 and 22
After my friends went back to PA, we made our way to our friends' house in Livingston.  Mike got a promotion to General Manager of Crater Lake so they are in the process of selling their house and moving to Oregon.  We helped with the landscaping of the front lawn and I provided various forms of entertainment for Alex and Megan.  This included making sugar and snickerdoodle cookies using a wine bottle as a rolling pin and various household items as cutters for the cookies.  We had a great time leaving Cynthia free to work outside on the various weeds.

Of course, the girls and I discussed Minecraft and I showed them mine.

I'm not happy over the change in Mike's status because it means they won't be in Yellowstone for us to visit.
While I had the computer out, Cynthia suggested I check for the Shakespeare in the Park schedule.  Wow...it was As You Like It at Bozeman.  That was a no-brainer and off we went to see it.  Probably our last one together...

June 23 and 24
This was another change.  We sold our land in Island Park. This proceeded via email and phone for the weeks right before we arrived.  We needed to get back to Baker's Hole Campground at West Yellowstone so that we could drive to the closing on the 24th.. My dream wasn't going to happen and it was time to let it go.  Bye to Island Park.
June 25-28
  We did all kinds of Yellowstone stuff during these days.  We biked to Lone Star and to Riverside.  We saw a beautiful Great Fountain.

We also went off to Virginia and Nevada City where other changes had made many of the artifacts no longer available for viewing.  The schoolhouse was still open.

This summer of change hasn't been easy for Lew and I but for me Yellowstone and the geysers will always get a top billing regardless of the changes that geysers do!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Travel Buddies and Changes

This has been a summer full of changes. Most of the summer our internet speed has been so slow we could not upload pictures.  I'm going to use this as an intro to a number of posts.

June 14-20

Part I:  Travel Buddies

June 14th
After hours of flying and driving...Shannon, Dee and Carole arrived at Coulter Bay Village near Jackson.  They had a cabin and we had a campsite.  After an evening meal we thought to look at Coulter Bay and the mountains.
We decided to go for a walk.  Along the way Carole was joking about seeing a bear and being the first to run leaving us to be the meal.  Then she said, “Look, a bear!"  It took a minute to realize she meant it.  It was a bear.  It was the first time in all our years of traveling to this area to see a  bear from a walking trail.
June 15
Today was the Tetons.  We went across Jenny Lake and up to Inspiration Point.  It is a short but strenous hike and really challenged us for the first day. 

June 15 evening
We arrived at Old Faithful where we had three cabins reserved.  I went and found our friend Rocco where he was working in the Inn on the night shift.  I arranged for him to meet with us the next morning at the Lower Ham Store.

June 16th
Rocco met us at the Ham Store after an early morning eruption of Beehive that Carole and I saw.  We decided since the weather was not raining at the moment we should head to 100 Springs Plain.

This is a mineral found in a few areas of Yellowstone.  Its called Realgar.
 This is Sulfur Pool.  
This is Cinder Pool.
       Sulfur Pool and Cinder Pool are unique in the world.  A backcountry hike with a guide (thanks to Rocco)  is the only way to see these fragile and unique features.  Unfortunately we could not stay and have lunch.  Instead we had a race with the cold windy sleet/rain.  We lost.  We got totally soaked regardless of our layers.   Shoes were muddy and rain drenched by the time we reached the car!
      We went back to the campground while Rocco went with the ladies to Old Faithful.  We had supper in the Inn.

June 17
  We started the day waiting for Daisy Geyser.  It was a long wait for it.  The weather proved a challenge the entire time we were at Yellowstone.
A walk to Morning Glory Pool finished the morning. 

June 18-19.
This is kinda all messed up in my head.  We went to the cliff above Grand Prismatic Pool, then to Lake Hotel for Lunch, then on to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  We walked to Artist Paint Pots on that same day. 

We got word that my sister-in-law Kathy died on June 18th.  What a huge change for my brother and his family.  Prayers flew to PA but we decided to stay here with my friends.

We did manage to see Grand in the freezing cold along with Fountain.

June 20.
We went to Mammoth and on to Chico Hot Springs where my friends treated me to a truly lovely meal.

June 21
They flew back to PA and we went on to other adventures.




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Black Hills on Nice Days

June 9 and 10

The rain is gone!  On Monday we called Dakota Taxi Service and got them to ferry us up to Dumont for our favorite bike ride!  2 miles uphill and 15 miles downhill!  It is such a picture perfect ride!

Its the Mickelson trail!  This the where we start at the Dumont station.

 At the beginning its uphill.  What lovely sites.  Pine trees abound and every gulch has a brook.
 The biggest problem for us after four previous rides is remembering where this bike gate is located.  Its five miles from Dumont trail head around a sharp curve.  My 16 mph ride is interrupted at each curve.  I know the gate is somewhere but I'm not sure on which curve so I slow down until we finally hit it.  These gates are nothing like the gates on the PA bike trails.  You could do some serious injury if you couldn't stop to open the gate.
 On Tuesday we decided to go to Custer State Park.  I had my eye on walking this little (only 1.5 miles) walk called the Cathedral Spires Trail.  I thought we would like the rocks and we did. It is listed as strenuous.  It does go up and up over lots of rocks.
 Lew is pointing at Muscovite Mica.  It felt like paper.

At the trail end you can see Harney Peak, the high point of South Dakota.

This is a spectacular walk which became an instant favorite for us.