The Calm In The Eye Of The Storm…

ISOA Banner  Anyone who has experienced a hurricane knows that in the middle of the storm there is a point of almost complete calm when the eye of the hurricane passes over. Being that our national elections are tomorrow I thought it appropriate to try and write a calming post here today.  To do that I went all the way back to my 1976 mountain hiking in Colorado and my honeymoon in Maui Hawaii in 1986.

Click on any picture above to see a larger slideshow view

The first two are of the time I and a buddy hiked up to a mountain top lake at  14,000 feet in Colorado and spent the night in a tent. It was probably the most peaceful in my life. The night time air was super crisp, the water was near freezing, and the night time sky was beyond imagination.

The rest of the pictures are from Maui Hawaii.  If these don’t calm you down a little then maybe you need a tall glass of Jack Danial’s… maybe both..

Hang on, it will soon be over….

I’m Dreaming about … Mountain Hiking…

Colorado Mtns.jpg

I took the picture above in 1977 when I hiked there with my best buddy. I don’t remember the name of the mountain but it is located in southwestern Colorado.  The mountain top lake shown here was at 12,000 feet so the breathing was hard even for the 31 year-old that I was. You could say the view was literally breathtaking!  This pic remains in the 5 star category in my Lightroom library. We camped there for three days before heading back down.

 

Sand Dunes of America..

I want to close out this years post with another InSearchOfAmerica gallery. This one is of the Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. We visited there in April and I became fascinated with the place. How could such a huge pile of sand end up in the middle of the Rocky Mountains? They say it is because of the specific wind and water flows between several mountains in the area.

Since the park is many miles away from any major city it has an impressive display of stars one clear nights.  Included in the gallery below is a poster about the park.

Click on any picture in the gallery to see a larger version slideshow.

Great Sand Dunes NP

Great Sand Dunes NP.jpg

Just a quick post to give you a shot of the Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. We visited there in the Spring. One of my regrets for that vacation is that we didn’t spend the night there to see the Milky Way.  It is supposed to be fantastic.

Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper signs landmark gun-control bills – U.S. News

 

The state has been scarred by some of the deadliest incidents of mass gun violence in recent U.S. history, including the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School and the Aurora movie theater shooting that killed 12 last July. The state’s gun control bills have gained national attention since they were first proposed, drawing the ire of those who oppose any new restrictions on gun purchases or ownership.

“We’re all in shock here,” state Senator Greg Brophy, a Republican, said on Wednesday. “It turns out this guy who everybody thought was a moderate Democrat is actually a gun-control governor.”

“I think the governor will be replaced by someone who has Colorado values instead of New York City values,” Brophy said. “If Republicans are returned to control we will repeal these bills immediately.”

Source:  Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper signs landmark gun-control bills – U.S. News.

I am heartened to see some common sense legislation from some of the States. Colorado has certainly been hit with more than their share of violence due to too many guns in our society.  Of course no real progress is made without the ranting by those of opposite interests.   I just can’t understand why the country is so split on this issue. Are guns really that embedded in our society?

Oh the Rockies……

Being that I have been on vacation for the last few weeks Photo Saturday took a back seat to my On-The-Road posts. I am starting them up again here. But this one is still from our vacation 🙂   We spent a lot of time on the Colorado roads such as this one. I never tired of seeing the view….

On-The-Road Day 11 — Calling It Quits….

Here we are ending day eleven of our trip heading home. The were a few sites I had picked for visits today but my wife just isn’t feeling up to it. She has really not done well this entire trip.  Maybe the elevation along with all her many usual ailments was too much for her. So we called it quits this morning. Maybe a future trip back to Denver to see some of the sites but that is not likely.

Since all we will be doing from here out is interstate driving I will end our 0n-the-road reports here with a story about our breakfast at Denny’s last Saturday morning. As we were leaving Mesa Verde on our way to Canyonlands Utah we stopped for breakfast at Denny’s in Cortez (there were no local places to try) for breakfast.  While we were there a number of men came in separately who most of the staff evidently knew. They were given a number of hugs and “How you doing honey” (at least that is what I could lipread). All of these about half-dozen men had several things in common.

They all had facial hair, one was like Wild Bill Cody (handle bar mustache and goatee). Others were adorned with more hair. All but one had his beard appropriately trimmed.   The only untrimmed one looked like the mountain man played by Will Geer in the movie Jeremiah Johnsonwho always called the star “pilgrim”.  I have watched that movie so many times I can quote most of the lines.  I think I am getting a little off story here so let me back up.

All of these gentlemen had big metal belt buckles, and I mean big!  I postulated that they wanted to make sure their pants wouldn’t fall down. I don’t know why they must have been worried?  The other thing was that they all had their heads covered with a cowboy hat. They never took their hats off the entire time they were there. I would almost be willing to bet that the hat was the first thing on in the morning and the last thing off at night; that is if they even took it off then! But I can’t see wearing a hat to bed??

I guess these guys are what is known as Colorado cowboys. At least they all tried to look the part. We left before they did so I didn’t see if they rode in on trucks or horses. But I didn’t see any horses so I assume they all had heavy-duty pickups with dust and dents all over them. It would just be so disappointing if they didn’t.  I will always remember our time in Colorado….

Colorado On-The-Road Day 3 Cortez Colorado

Here we are settled in for the night at Cortez Colorado. We check in to the Mesa Verde National Park lodge tomorrow for our five-day R&R and spiritual regeneration. We spent today traversing the Rocky Mountains. It was an interesting trip down mainly two lane roads for over two hundred miles. We crossed the continental divide at Wolf’s Pass. It was 56 degrees there and 87 when we turned off I25 south of Pueblo. That was quite a shock to get out of the car with that temperature change.

One of the things we encountered during this leg of the trip was the junky ranches on the way. The ranch consisted of a small house surrounded by farm equipment both new and abandoned; several old cars; and mounds of baled hay. Here is a picture of one of them. It is hard to find the house in this picture. I wonder what the lady of the house thinks about this. Is she disturbed by all the junk around her home? Does she wished for at least a few flowers?

Tomorrow we settle down in our National park lodge home. Will I survive in such a placid environment? We will see.

On-The-Road Colorado Day 2

We spent the last two days eating up blacktop. Traveled about 1200 miles and we are now in Pueblo Colorado.  We don’t usually like to travel via interstates but since we decided to get here as fast as possible that was the only way to do it.  I mentioned before that I have a new car for the first time in twenty years.  It is an American made Chevy Sonic, which is a new sub-compact for 2012. It proudly gave us very good mileage of around thirty-five miles per gallon for the trip so far.

Since the trip here was almost all driving there isn’t much to report. One thing that totally surprised me was the wind farm we came across just west of Salina Kansas. There must be at least one thousand turbines on the entire farm. I wish other States were as enthusiastic about green technology as Kansas seems to be. During our trip across Kansas, which took pretty much the entire day today we did go across the Republican river. It was totally dry. About the same as the ones in congress 🙂

Tomorrow we head into the Rockies toward Mesa Verde which is our destination. It should take about six hours to get there from here. Since it is above 8200 feet I am hoping it is a little cooler. We will be staying at the nation park lodge for five days of peace.  I am hoping that it at least takes the edge off some of my political nerves.

On The Road Again…..

Mesa Verde National Park

Yes, starting today my wife and I are on the road again. This time we will be traveling by car to the great State of Colorado. The majority of our time will be spent at Mesa Verde National Park so expect many photos in the next few weeks. We will be staying at the park lodge for six days of R&R, casual exploring and photographing nature. Although they don’t, on purpose, provide any television they do have wi-fi in the lodge, but not the rooms, so I can send the daily posts as always.

We will also likely see some first hand forest fire damage which I will try report that. After leaving Mesa Verde we will travel a little further west to Monument Valley and then back to Denver for a day or two. My wife says I won’t last the six days laying back at Mesa Verde but I think otherwise. At least I hope otherwise. We will find that out together I guess.

So, starting tomorrow expect the special on-the-road reports of our experiences….