Monday, September 1, 2014

The Tetons- So Grand

A couple weeks ago, my girlfriend and I decided we wanted to just get the heck outta Dodge.  It was hot and we wanted some relief.  We thought about going south to Bryce Canyon- the Utah Symphony was doing a free concert out on the rim.  Sounded great, but, going south meant it would be hotter.  We decided to go north.  North sounded good. Sounded cooler.  And away we went.  We hadn't been back to Jackson or the Tetons for many years and Brenda had a hankering to walk around Jenny Lake.  The last time we'd been up there with the kids (about 16 years), we didn't get very far as the natives were just too dang restless.

We took off late afternoon Friday and wanted to make is as far as Afton, WY.  Yes, Afton... you don't want to miss it.  As we traveled, we looked online for a place to eat.  We needed to hurry, too, before everything closed down for the evening.  We read some reviews for a seafood restaurant that people just raved about.  Seafood, in Afton, WY?  Riiiigggghhhhht.  Well, we thought we'd give it a shot anyway.  We got to my favorite town, Montpelier, ID (NOT!.... a story for another time), where I needed to make a turn.  That evil town is just out to get me!  The turn was not well marked and a little while later, I noticed a sign that told me there was X number of miles to Pocatello, ID.... what the?  That put us 20 minutes later!  We turned around and found the turn and continued up to Afton, but we didn't think we'd make it in time before the restaurant closed.  The navigator said we wouldn't, so we just pushed the horses a little harder.  And speaking of horses, as we were going through a little canyon, we saw a horse down in a gully, saddled and bridled, but riderless.  We drove on down the road a couple miles but the conscience in the seat next to me thought we should go back and check.  What would we do if we found a body?  I guess if the rider was dead, we could just continue on and make it to dinner in time, but if s/he was still alive, then dang! we'd have to stop and try to save a life and that would just upset me if we missed dinner.  :)  We went back, stopped and yelled, but no one emerged from the woods.  Hope whoever was missing a horse was OK.  Well, back on the road.

Anyway, we just made it in time to the restaurant in Afton.  The place was packed!  And the food was awesome.  We had salmon and halibut baskets (deep-fried fish, fries, slaw), and the chowda was excellent.  Apparently, the owner had lived in Astoria, OR and did commercial fishing or something and they still have connections and have the seafood flown in fresh.  Yeah, Afton, WY.  After dinner, we went to this drive-in really close by... The Red Baron I think, and had probably the best fresh raspberry shake we've ever had.

The motel we stayed in was owned by the brother of Rulon Gardner, of wrestling fame... not so much The Biggest Loser fame.  There were pictures of Rulon all over the place.  Well, not in the room, but in the gas station in which we registered.  It was quite funny.  The motel reminded me of storage units, side by side.  They were very nice inside though, and cheep, just like me.

Anyway, some pix of a little fresh-water geyser up a canyon in Afton. We went up there after we woke up from our motel storage unit.  It was a beautiful hike.  A bit chilly, even in August.

The one below kind of reminded me of that shot in LOTR where the Fellowship is rafting down the river and those giant status are holding out there arms... OK, just use your imagination.

Above is a shot at the top of the geyser, below is about 3/4 up.

Some pix of the Grand Tetons

The falls above Jenny Lake

It was such a beautiful walk/hike around Jenny Lake to the falls. There is a lake-side trail and a more mountain-side trail.  We took the lake-side on the way to the falls, the other on the way back.  Turns out that if we would have reversed those, we would have seen a moose and a bear.  Ah, on second thought, perhaps we did choose wisely.

Here is Brenda's little friend that almost took her finger off, mistaking it for a nut.

Here is our "selfie" just a bit up from the falls at Inspiration Point overlooking Jenny Lake.  With events in our lives that will be explained in another post, I think we were inspired to take this quick trip. 

Some flora and fauna... now, where did I put Merryweather?

The majestic peaks of the Tetons

After we hiked back to the car, we went into Jackson to get a bite before we headed back home.  We went to a wonderful Mexican restaurant and could only eat half of it and brought the rest home.  We could eat it for Sunday Dinner leftovers!  We had a beautiful drive home... into the sunset.  It was a quick weekend away- Friday night to Saturday night.... but so well worth it.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Ancient of Days....

Here he is, in all his glory....The Ancient of Days, the Centurion of West Point.  Actually, his birthday isn't until the end of the month, but we decided to have his celebration in conjunction with the family reunion.  We held the celebration at the church- there were a grundle of people too... unbelievable!  And I thought all his friends were dead  :)  but I think they must have been a lot of his friends children- which he is outliving.  I think he had a grand old time, though.  He was a bit worn out but I think it did recharge the pace-maker battery.

Here's to you Pops... Happy Birthday!and rock on!  Now, you can start looking forward to 101.

It's funny: there is a lady in town that is 99 right now- just 6 months younger than Dad.  I thinks she can't wait to knock him off his perch and take his place.... how rude.... little vulture!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring 2014

Well, I've finally seen a 

...and heard the melodious sound of the 
...I guess it must be

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Man, I Feel Like A Man"

I changed a word in the lyrics, but, Thanks Shania Twain.

This past weekend, I really felt like a man.  Let me tell you why.  No, not because it was Valentine's Day weekend- that's a given.  Got her flowers?  Of course I got her flowers!  (Whew!)  No,  it's because I took care of a few items that needed to be done.

1. The washing machine had been on the blink for a couple of months (I wonder if that's why people don't want to sit by me... "Stench?  Of what speakest thou?  The air is sweet and fragrant..." Sir Ditimus, Labyrinth).  I had been washing the clothes at my dad's).  Anyway, I finally got the part ordered and got it installed- BAM!  No dFL error code is gonna keep me down!  One- done.

2.  Sydney had called earlier that week and said she needed help changing some lights in her car.  So, after I had finished the washing machine, she and I checked out the car and figured out which lights needed to be replaced.  I told her to pick those up after she and her mom attended a party they had been invited to.  Me?  I went on to the next project.

3.  I went over to my Dad's and did the the laundry and cleaning like I usually do on Saturday... that doesn't really make me a man (although more men should more cleaning), but I'm taking this one... BAM!  Two- done.

4.  Sydney and her mom came back and I took those lights and replaced the faulty ones in her car.  I told her to check those lights to make sure they worked- they lit up like the lights on Charley Brown's Christmas tree (not as many as on a regular one).  BAM!  Three- done.

Sydney was so thankful for the help- Dads are the best, aren't they?  They can help their little princesses in distress (sometimes).  I told the ladies how manly I was feeling that day, then Brenda reminded me that I had also run five miles that morning.  Again, running does not make one a man, but again, I'm gonna take this one, too. BAM!  Four- done.

So, there you go, a few of the reasons for my feeling extra manly last weekend.  I would say that I feel like a man's man, but it's a shame you can't use that phrase anymore- well, I guess you could, but it just doesn't seem the same these days.  So, I'll say I feel like a lady's man... there, now that does sounds better.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Circus Vargggggggaaaaaasssssss!

OK, it really wasn't Circus Vargas, but every time I see one of these fly-by-night circuses, that's what it reminds me of (Circus Vargas was a circus we took the kids to when we lived in Washington state, many moons ago).  But, we thought it would be fun to take our grand daughters to the circus.  You know, to see the wild animals up close, ride an elephant, eat some real expensive candy, and especially, see the scary CLOWNS!  Luckily for those who are squeamish around them, I didn't post any pix of them.... you're welcome.

There was a period before the show started that people could ride the elephants, camels, and ponies.  We got them on the elephant as you can see below.  The show finally started at about 7:30, a half hour later than it should have (the carnies were raking in too much money to stop that action early).  There were some cute and fun things, but the girls were getting restless, fussing, couldn't hold still, hungry, crying, etc.  So, at half time, about 8:30, we bugged out.  The carnies were bringing out all the rides and stuff again, so I imagine after that and 2nd half, we wouldn't have gotten out of there until 10:00! The girls wouldn't have lasted that long for sure.

As we carried Isla out, tears streaming, Emery was saying, "But Grandma, we haven't ridden the camel yet!  We haven't gotten a toy yet." etc, etc.  Any Isla was trying to grab at all the stuff on the way out- toys, cotton candy... it was fun though.

We said good bye to Taylor (he came with us... must have missed Circus Vargas), Emery, and her little friend Brogan.  We still had some time to kill with Isla as her parents wouldn't get out of the temple for a while.  So, we took her to McDonald's- why wouldn't we?  So, one Happy Meal later- all was right with the world again.
"I had a dream that I made a magic potion.  After I mixed it up, I drank the potion down...." What a Bad Dream by Mercer Mayer

We Seek Thy Wisdom, Oh Wise One!

About a month ago, we took Carson to get his wisdom teeth out.  Now he is as dumb as we are  :)

Here is a look at the patient at the time.

Good luck on your new quest for wisdom, Son.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Holiday in CA

As I mentioned in the last post, the day after Christmas, B, one of her brothers and his wife, went on holiday.  I was hoping for a little warmer climate, but I wasn't the one that was choosing the site- although, I didn't want to spend 5 grand to go get a sunburn either.  The spot: northern California, in a little place called Irish Beach (around the Mendocino area).

It was beautiful, very relaxing (so relaxing I almost slipped into a coma). I will paste a few shots here.

This a panoramic shot from the deck of the home in which we were staying.  There was quite a steep hill down below, but there was a road not far away that we walked/drove down to the beach.  The waves relentlessly battered the shore day and night- what an awesome sound.  Although, I'm glad we were sleeping on the other side of the house else they would have kept we awake all night.
We arrived late at night, the day we arrived at our coastal getaway.  When I got up the next morning, I spied a couple of very rare visitors at the house across the road.... the illusive dearbird.
The next two shots are views as going down the road to the beach.

 There were ginormous mounds of kelp that would wash up on the shore which scattered the beach in all directions.  We were secretly hoping to find a body tangled up inside, a victim of some spy vs. spy action... sick!

 B's bro and his blushing bride.
 A lot of these shots are so Goonie-esk.  I've got to go watch that now...

 As the waves retreated, they would make some of the most spectacular designs.
 Man against the sea...  let me tell you, I was just a few feet from falling into the sea.  It was a one foot wide cliff.  It gave me the heebee geebees, but dang, what a shot!  This is the spot where we saw sea lions and whales spouting- cool!  It was such an amazing coast line.  So many different rock formations, cliffs, and wildlife.

 We were surprised that there were hummingbirds still hanging around here.  Well, the flowers are still growing, so why wouldn't they?  They are so fun to watch- quick little boogers and so dang cute!
"When the ebbing tide retreats along the rocky shoreline.  It leaves a trail of tidal pools in a short-lived galaxy.  Each microcosmic planet a complete society.  A simple kind mirror to reflect upon our own.  All the busy little creatures chasing out their destinies.  Living in their pools they soon forget about the sea..." Natural Science cpt

 Just had to put her feet in the water... because it was there.  How do you get a brain-freeze when you wade in cold water?   Hmmmmm...
This was a shot of old mill we saw on our drive through the Napa Valley.  We were amazed at the endless miles and miles of grape fields that stretched out through this beautiful country.  There were so many wineries, it was unbelievable.  And they all had taste-testing available- I doubt they had any "unleaded" varieties.
This little flyer caught my eye as I walked back from the beach one day.  It just so happened that we were going to be in town for the big crab fest- sweet!  It was quite pricey, but it was all about the experience, right?  This place we were in, really didn't seem like California, more like Oregon... with Oregonites.  We went to this feed and it was in some little town hall (a grange- Google it- interesting). So we go in to pay and we ask if they take credit cards.  They looked at us like we were growing two heads.  We went to the local grocery store and bought a few things and got cash back.

It was an all-you-can-eat affair... I like that!  All the crab, shrimp scampi, fish chowda and salad that you could stuff down your gullet. I of course skipped right over the rabbit food and went straight for the sea fare.  I pounded down so many crab, I almost walked out sideways!  So good.

As with all good things, they must come to an end- sad.  You know, I don't ever think I could get tired of watching as the "wheel in the sky" sinks slowly into the never-ending barrage of waves of the beautiful Pacific.  The sound is amazing- I don't want to go home to my  high-teens, low-20 deg environment... oh well. Oh, I forgot to mention that several nights, we hopped into the hot tub and soaked in the starlight and drank deeply from the ever-sweet Milky Way.  I enjoyed watching Orion track the ever-evasive Taurus across the expanse of space.  

When I gaze upon Space- that final frontier, I always get pensive... at least, it makes me think a lot  :)  How does God do it?  I don't know, but I want to find out so I can put a few worlds together myself.  I don't know, but it will be hard to rival the beauty that He's made for us.  Sometimes, it's the simple things in life...