Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Yard Sale To Eclipse ALL Others!

Well, there's no time like NOW!  We've decided to do a yard sale Saturday and Sunday to Eclipse ALL other yard sales.  We're going to pull out ALL the stops and sell stuff for virtually nothing.  And we're talking camping gear here, people.  Camping gear.  It's a total Camping Gear Guy Yard Sale!  We're going to be GIVING stuff away at this sale.  You have NO idea!

When you finally get fully into the mentality of letting things go, you have NO idea how liberating it is!  LET'S GO!!!!  Let's GIVE IT AWAY!

We cain't wait!

GONE! Selling Stuff continues


Man, Manuel from Rigby showed up and peeled off the cash and bought that tow bar in a Idaho minute!  GONE!

We're selling stuff left and right.  Got a tow bar for cheap and trying to manage two buyers and be fair to both.  Man, talk about a tightrope.  Our sales mottos is "Price it well below market value and wave good bye!"  Once we decide to sell something we want it GONE NOW!  We don't want to hang out and dicker over a price.  We hate that part of selling.  We long ago learned to price it right from the git go and then it will disappear like magic.  And so it has been the last couple of days.

So what we did was guarantee Manuel he could buy the tow bar and we would hold it for him.  Then we told Steve that he would have to wait to see if Manuel bought it...or not.  This is how we sell stuff these days...by managing split screen chats on Facebook!


Right now the item I am MOST trying to shed is this tow bar.  It is the MOST difficult to store and simply will not fit with other stuff.  I will be SO Thankful if Manual from Rigby shows up this evening and BUYS this decrepit piece of junk!

Sell off continues- SOLD


Well it sold in less than an hour.  BOOM, GONE!  So sad to see it go but...such is life.

Yesterday we sold the canoe.  Today we put the hard hull kayak up for sale.  We will not be selling our inflatable kayak.  However, it's hard even listing the hard hull kayak.  I've owned a hard hull kayak continuously now for 37 years.  A part of my adult identity goes "bye-bye" when the kayak floats off to a new owner.  I've priced this one "right" and have no doubt it will go quickly.

We're definitely in the "get rid of stuff" mode right now.  Even thinking of having a massive yard sale to get rid of 90% of our camping stuff.  I go down in the basement and look at all that camping stuff and know perfectly well we're not goiong to use 90% of it ever again in this lifetime.  So why let it sit?  Why not help someone get a good deal on some high quality stuff?

Those two thoughts are heavy on my mind today.  Maybe if we had a camping yard sale on Eclipse weekend we might do pretty good.  Hum...

Pins and Patches


We were goofing off late yesterday afternoon and put up a Facebook profile photo wearing a baseball cap peppered with pins.  We titled the photo "You know yer a geezer when ya gotta hat fulla pins."  Eventually, we changed the title to one word: "Geezer."  As of Wednesday morning, the post has 29 Likes and nearly 30 comments and replies.  So "whazzup" with hat?

Naturally, there's a story (or many stories) behind the hat and also the patches that weren't part of the Facebook post.  First, we've been collecting for many years what were once known as lapel pins and are now simply called pins.  Our pin penchant dates back into the 90's.  We became a little more aggressive  purchasing pins about 15 years ago.  In the last 2 or 3 years, our pin pursuit picked up.  As you might expect, we have plentiful pins.

Meanwhile, let's pause pins for a minutes or two and talk patches.  Our patch penchant parallels pins.
We arguably have more patches than pins.  For the past 2-3 years, we have  been working to convert our patch pile into productive public patch display.  We are constantly on the lookout for appropriate hats and shirts upon which to attach a patch.  So, you see, that's how the hat in the photo wound up with a Grand Teton National Park patch.  We bought the hat at the Idaho Falls LDS Deseret Industries thrift store and took it to our favorite business here--Classy Threads on Yellowstone Avenue.

Patches waiting to be paired with a shirt or a hat.
The wonderful people at Classy Threads did their usual expert job sewing on the patch.  In this manner we wound up with a classy GTNP hat for $10.    If you've ever priced hats in National Parks gift shops, you know they don't get any cheaper than $20 and they can be as pricey as $30.  The usual price point is $22-$25, plus tax of course.  Our $10 price includes the $2 hat, the $5 patch and $3 to sew it on.  Meanwhile, we wind up with  really a outstanding hat that looks, feels and wears much better than an off-the-shelf hat from the typical National Park gift shop.

OK, now we have to rewind onto a different topic--the NPS Centennial Celebration last August at the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, Montana.  Post-Register Publisher Roger Plothow graciously somehow wrangled a press pass for us to attend that epic and historic event.  THANKS, Roger!  Well, we decided we needed a hat with something associated with Yellowstone in it.  Hence, we pulled out our GTNP hat and found our Old Faithful pin and stuck it on the hat.  We got quite a few happy looks and smiles when people glanced at that hat during the event.  (The Old Faithful pin  is on the right side of the GTNP patch.)  When we returned to Idaho Falls, we added the spiral pin seen on the left side of the patch.  It kinda symbolized our circular Road Trip routes round this region.

And that's how the hat sat until yesterday.  Once in awhile, we'd pull the hat out of the closet and wear it.  But it always seemed so Geezer-ish.  I remember back in my 30's looking askance at old guys wearing hats festooned with multiple pins.  I'd think to myself, "Geezus, What a Geezer!"  Baseball caps covered with pins were the penultimate pointers to Geezer-dom.

OK, now let's take this whole process one step farther, shall we?  We were up in Glacier National Park not long ago getting ready to cross the Canadian border to go to Waterton Lakes National Park. Somehow one of the NPS Visitor Center Staff spooked me into thinking the border crossing would be a Big Ordeal.  (See: http://www.livesimplecaremuch.com/2017/08/waterton-c10.html )  And that's when the light bulb went off.  Nothing screams "GEEZER!" like a hat fulla pins.  So, I pulled out the hat and proudly put it on.  It was the very first thing the Canadian Customs guy looked at when we pulled up to the border check station.  The Customs guy didn't bother to look at anything else. He asked us a few perfunctory questions and waved us on.

Well, I figured if it worked going into Canada, it sure would work again coming back to the States.  Sure enough, it was like the hat was a magic wand or something.  POOF, back into the States with ZERO hassle of any kind.  At that point, my admiration for my Geezer Hat grew immensely.

Yesterday afternoon, the light bulb went off yet again.  I reasoned that if two pins made magic, imagine the Magic of Many Pins.  So, that's when and how and why I set out to pack pins onto this particular hat.  Man, with this many pins, I am a triple certified Geezer Guy of the First Order.  Man, I gotta a hat even Geezers will envy!  Now, mind you, I am not at all sure what to do with my brand new triple certified Geezer Guy hat.  We won't be crossing any borders until next year maybe in July.  But we'll think of something to show off this Geezer Guy hat, you can count on that.



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gosh

Gosh, how I miss playing pickleball.  I haven't played since July 27.  It seems like so forever ago.  I sure hope I can play again some day!

Happy-Sad Day

Well, we sold our canoe today.  Got our price--$300.  But it's sure was sad to see it go.  Lots of great memories in that boat.  Lots of great stories.  But it's gone to some new owners in Wyoming.  They were really happy to get it.  Bye, Bye, Baby!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Phone groans


By now, each and every one of us has enough "phone groans" to fill a good size encyclopedia.  Chances are pretty good that each of us could tell Full Grown Phone Groan Stories until the cows come home...or even later.

In the ever epic world of Phone Groan Stories, you're really only as good as your last tale of woe.
We all certainly know how those woes goes.


Well today, believe it or not, we think we finally reached equilibrium with our phone woes.  Truly.
The last few weeks have been really seminal in arriving at this point today about 5:30 PM Idaho Time.

We had a brief love affair with a Moto E 2nd Gen smartphone served by a fly-by-night outfit called Freedompop.  At first the affair was lovely but the deeper we delved into Freedompop's tentacles, the less we loved them.  Finally, our affair went on the rocks during this Glacier-Waterton Road Trip.  We decided Freedompop and their perky little Moto E were getting kicked off the island.  GONE!

Meanwhile, we crossed a techie Rubicon on this Glacier-Waterton Road Trip.  We were able to use our Nikon L840 for photos and our laptop for photo & word processing, We were able to easily transfer files and graphics to Susun's Sweet Smart Phone--her Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime.

All of our blog posts on that Road Trip were posted online via connectivity from Susun's Samsung.
That's when the light bulb went off.  It goes something like this:  "Gee, we travel together.  Gee, Susun's phone always has a signal.  Gee, Susun's phone is easy to use.  Gee, let's use Susun's phone!"

So, we turned off our worthless Moto E and decided we'd sort everything out once we got back home and after we sorted out all the usual post-trip stuff.  And so, all the chickens came home to roost this afternoon and we faced up to our Phone Groans like the Classic Adult In The Room.

We deactivated our Freedompop pants-on-fire phone and reactivated our ancient Tracfone with 450 minutes good until Thanksgiving.  Now we actually have a voice and text phone that's easy to use. It's been proven easy to use for us for years before the smart phone affair.  Now we're locked into a $10 a month service plan that gives us gi-normous voice and text that we will never use.

Now, we can kick the anatomy of the Moto E six ways to Sunday.  And, meanwhile, we can use Susun's phone to post stuff when we're on The Road! We FINALLY solved our Phone Groans.

Life Is Good!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Oh, Oh, this could be trouble


We've decided to start a three-person ukulele band.  Oh, oh!  To make matters worse, this three-person band will be me, Susun and Karen.  Karen is caravanning south with us in her motorhome this October.  So, the plan is to pull into a camp, leap out of our respective rigs and burst into song while playing three ukuleles.  We've already put out an ad seeking a ukulele here in Idaho Falls.  If need be, we will buy them on ebay or Amazon.  We're serious about this plan.  The photo shows a screen clip from a YouTube video of the world famous Jerome Ukulele Orchestra (JUO) performing in the world famous Spirit Room. They are our Role Models.

Here's the link to the JUO video,  Beware, the video starts really slow and continues slowly for 55 agonizing ukulele  minutes.
https://youtu.be/QaaUVa_E7w0

Here's JUO's Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/JeromeUkuleleOrchestra/

Well, anyway, this is sometimes what happens when three Dear Friends get together for Sunday Night Dinner!  For more insanity see: http://www.tommyrocks.com/ukulele-lessons

Below is the rig we are probably going to buy to get started:

See: https://www.amazon.com/ADM-Economic-Soprano-Ukulele-Start/dp/B016EZODT8

We actually ordered the book below Monday morning.

See: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0634078615

A shopping tale

Most of our Dear Friends & LBR's know that shopping is one of our favorite things to do.  It's in our DNA and we love shopping.  To us, shopping isn't just finding something and then buying it.  Nope.  Shopping is a cat and mouse game.  It's all about finding the best price on something we want.  Sometimes, it requires a lot of cat-like patience to wait out that mouse.

And thus begins a two year tale of the Brother 2320D monochrome laser printer.  Two years ago during the Black Friday Madness, we noticed Best Buy put a Brother 2320D on sale for a mere $50.  Well, we knew that was a red-hot smokin' deal so we bought one in Mesa, Arizona, within an hour of seeing the ad.

That little Brother black and white laser printer has been a God Send at our Rimrock home.  It works flawlessly and is the easiest and most fun printer I've ever used.  Toner cartridges are insanely cheap and we just LOVE the little thing.

So, naturally, we decided to wanted an identical printer up here at our Idahome.  The problem was that no one would put the Brother 2320D on sale.  Prices stayed pegged  at $100 (plus or minus) forever.  Once in awhile, the price would come to $80 and then go right back up to $100.  We actually saw some local highway robbers trying to sell the unit for $140!!!

So, that's where the cat and mouse gig comes into play.  No way would I pay a dime more than $50 for that printer.  And thus we have patiently waited in front of the mouse hole for almost two years.

Until today.  Staples put the Brother 2320D on sale for $60 and that got our attention.  Our cat-like ears perked up and we sensed we had the mouse in our grip.  However, as stated above we weren't going to pay a dime more than $50.  Period. Case closed.

And thus began a thorough, time-consuming search of Ye Ol' World Wide Web for some sort of Staples coupon code.  Well, after  much searching high and low, we found a coupon code just for businesses.  Luckily, we happen to have a dormant business (that's still on file with the Idaho SOS) called "Idaho Volunteer".  So, we signed up our business with Staples and got a actual, genuine $25 coupon code.

And the coupon code actually worked!  And so, we get to drive out to our local Staples later today and pick up our long sought after second Brother 2320D for a mere $37.09, including sales tax.

HA!  That's what shopping is ALL about to us.  We have infinite patience for the right deal.  Two years may sounds like a long time to you. But to us it's nothing.  We would have waited longer...NO problem!  Shopping is a game and patience is also a name of the game.  The dollar savings is only part of our reward.  The psychological reward is knowing that we WILL beat them!  The cat WILL get the mouse!  It's just a matter of time, patience and a keen sense of situational shopping awareness.

Life is Good and we are a Happy Shopper!


How to comment on blog psots

Facebook makes it easy to comment on posts.  Google has never made it easy to comment on blog posts.  You'd think Google would take a page from Facebook's script.  But no.

Anyway, if you wish to comment on a post, look below the post and see a teeny, tiny link that either says "No Comments" or lists the number of comments such as "1 Comment" or whatever.  Click on that link.

By default, Google will try to get you to sign in.  Ignore it.  Look for the "Anonymous" button and click on it.  Then you can leave a comment without any further hassle factor.  It may takes awhile for your comment to show up because I have to approve each comment.  Long ago I didn't bother approving comments and, my, oh my, how I got burned by the spammers.

Anyway, that's how you do it.  Thanks for reading!


All clear for eclipse...or not

Above is the Sunday morning 7-day QPF which covers the period ending at 5 AM next Sunday, August 20.  Note there is no precipitation in the forecast for all of Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming--the first three states that are in the Path Of Totality for the eclipse.  It's highly unlikely that precip will somehow spring up on the day of the eclipse.  Possible but unlikely.   So, it looks like it's going to be "all clear" at least as far as rainfall goes.

However, with so many fires burning, it's really impossible at this time to hazard a guess about the "smoke issue".  If you're lucky you might be in a smoke-free zone.  If you're not so lucky, your sky might be totally obscured by fire smoke. It's a roll of the dice...and it's an issue that can change from day to day, sometimes even within a few hours.  The fickle factors of air flow, wind, topography and just plain karma will have a big impact on who sees a pristine, clear air eclipse and who doesn't.

A quick glance at the spreadsheet data for current fires indicates that over 80% of them have estimated containment dates well after August 21.  Some have containment dates as far out as October 30, which is "code" for  "when the snow flies".

Plus, there is the ever-present factor that yet one or more wild fires could ignite in your local neighborhood between now and next Monday's event.  Ya just never know.

As we enter the final week's runup to the eclipse, we fully expect an avalanche of publicity, hoop-la, hype, and people.  Here's a fun article about the role of Flagstaff's Lowell Observatory in eclipse viewing at Ground Zero--Madras, Oregon.  Let's hope they have clear skies!  But with so many Oregon fires burning upwind from Madras, clear skies would be something of a miracle for that location.

http://azdailysun.com/news/local/flagstaff-eclipse-chasers-ready-to-shine-in-oregon/article_407ff3db-13f1-5078-9577-1a5db567c08d.html

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Our All Time Fastest Road Trip

Each of us....YOU and Me and everyone reading this post has a Personal Best Road Trip.  It might involve time or space or distance or even unique weirdness.  But we all DO have those memories.  That's what growing up is all about.  That's what being a parent taking your kids someplace special is ALL about.  That's what being alive in American is all about.  Road Trips are part and parcel of my and your American Experience.  What would we be without Road Trips in this Country?

Talk turned tonight to our own Personal Best Road Trip in September 2002.  I think it was September 12th but I might be off one day left or right on the calendar.

For whatever reason, we had decided to become Volunteers to run a California State Park in Red Bluff.  It's the William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park and it's arguably The LEAST known state park in the California system.  Essentially, that State Park tries to interpret the end of The California Trail and what it  was like to FINALLY wash ashore in California after months of terrible travel.

We were smitten with the place because one of their premier displays was a cribbage board.  YES!  Apparently, all the California Trail Pilgrims threw EVERYTHING off their wagons EXCEPT their cribbage boards.  Part of our job description there was to interpret the Role of Cribbage in Pioneer Life. Oh, yeah, how we could relate to that!

Well, anyway, we met with  the Park People to "seal the deal" but before we sealed the deal, we said we had to do some more "research" in the local library.  We didn't want to be blind sided by local politics so we figured we'd go read back issues of the local newspaper to see if there was some missing piece to the puzzle.

While we were in the library, Susun said she would check her phone voicemail.  She came back and said, "Our Home has been flooded!"

We cut short our meeting with the librarian and rushed back to our tent camp alongside The Sacramento River and we literally threw every thing into the back of the truck and left a little before 6 PM.  We drove like bats outta someplace and arrived nearly 1000 miles later at our place in Rimrock, Arizona, before 9 AM the next morning.  It will forever remain as THE Single MOST Epic Road Trip either of us has ever done.

There have been other Road Trips that have come close, but none have ever topped that one!

Straw Bale House Construction 1994

We're always looking for ways to help Friends see photos of our straw bale house construction  in Rimrock, Arizona, during 1994.  In our previous format here on this blog, we had a link to a photo album that Google has since stopped supporting.  So, we've been grappling with a way to get the photos back up and running in a manner that fits a wide range of "attention spans".

Not everyone wants to sit through a viewing of more than 100 photos!  Luckily, we converted our old photo album from the defunct Picasaweb to Google Photos.  Then we were able to do a series of screen clips from that album and put them together as a Facebook album.  So someone who just wants to get a quick glimpse of the gist of how we built the house can do so in seconds.

Here's the link to the new Facebook album which is a sequential series of photo collages:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1544141862274337.1073741833.100000356141263&type=1&l=bb7058b38b

And, if you have a long attention span and you'd really rather skip the little thumbnail photo collages, you can now go directly to the Google Photo album with this link:

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMtCLn99D3Ce-_VdGaSJ-yJQw0e4O6yahgTQ9US

Please let me know if you are able to view either or both of the albums on your device.  Use this email:  happytrailsforever@gmail.com

Pantry Management

Above and below are a couple of glances at our pantry after restocking was finished 8/12/17.


We love a good pantry.  We actually began shopping for a house in Idaho Falls in October 2005.  We made up a spreadsheet of "must have" items to give to our Realtor.  One of the Top Five items was a pantry.  From our perspective, a house without a pantry isn't truly a home.

Ten years ago in August 2007 we began a serious search for a home here.  We told our new Realtor, "Don't bother showing us any houses without a pantry."  That's just how much we love pantries.  Luckily, our 1939 bungalow has an unmolested, ancestral, LDS-style pantry in the basement  Oh, JOY!  Between 1939 and September 2007 when we closed on the deal, no one has ever changed a thing in the pantry from the very day it was built when the house was brand new.

You have no idea how delighted we were to buy a house with a genuine 1930's era pantry.  For the past ten years, we have enjoyed restocking the pantry each and every year.  We generally restock around Labor Day, plus or minus.  The latest we've restocked was late September.  Today we finished our earliest-ever restocking on August 12.

Back on January 19, 2009, we did a photo album of our pantry.  A screen clip from that album is below.  We have to admit our 2017 restocking isn't as Type A as our 2009 effort.  But it's every bit as good in its own way.

Yes, we do cull our inventory.  In fact, we cull it each spring and fall.  We take all our culled goods to the local Food Bank and they are always happy to get high quality stuff that's not ridiculously beyond code date.  Today we culled out enough to fill a full six gallon milk crate full of stuff.

The grocers generally tend to feature their lowest prices on canned goods this time of year--right around "back to school" and just before the onset of fall.  Three local grocers do case lot sales right after Labor Day.  This year, Albertson's decided to get a jump on their competition and dropped name brand canned vegetables to a price we know to be the lowest of the annual cycle.  So, what the heck?

We decided we might as well restock sooner rather than later.  A few odds and ends remain to be procured but the pantry is once again in good shape.  Most of the inventory is code-dated out well into 2018 and mid-2019.  So, we're good to go once again.

It's such fun that it's kind of a let down when it's done.  We love a good pantry!

Above is a screen clip from the January 2019 photo album of our pantry after it was tidied up.  The link is ridiculously long but it "should" work.  Only those who love pantries should bother looking  at this album.  Otherwise, it could cause terminal boredom!

https://get.google.com/albumarchive/117214000776076564030/album/AF1QipOvoI7kDeMMboQbL-J5b4lXTxtlP6OtNEhnSziA?authKey=CM7LhtLhzob0Lw

If the above link won't work, try this one:

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOvoI7kDeMMboQbL-J5b4lXTxtlP6OtNEhnSziA

Eclipse glasses

By now everyone knows about the August 21st eclipse.  The hype for the event has reached a truly feverish level.  Most of the scams associated with the eclipse are pretty low level stuff.  One of the lowest of the low, however, is people selling bogus eclipse viewing glasses.  Use of these bogus glasses could truly cause someone to go blind, maybe even blind for life.

It always amazes me what some low life people will do to make a buck.  The graphic attached shows how to determine if your eclipse glasses are the real thing.  I know this particular post is useless for the bulk of my readers.  However, if this post helps just ONE person avoid the scam of using fake eclipse glasses then it will have been worth it.  Pass it on to anyone you know who  might be in or near the Path of Totality.

Montana fires


Montana's really been getting hit hard this fire season.  First off, there are some big fires burning on the west side of the state.  Meanwhile, the state is getting hit with smoke from major fires in British Columbia, Oregon and Washington.  Having just returned from that area, we can vouch for just how bad the smoke actually it.  It's really bad.  Meanwhile, Thursday evening lightning sparked several new fires inside Glacier National Park.  We were lucky to get to see Lake McDonald is only semi-smokey conditions the other day.  Now it appears that the picturesque lake is totally smoked in.

NWS Boise published a great short video showing the extent of the smoke now and how it might clear up in the next few days.  Hopefully, they will get some relief, even if only for a short time period.  Numerous people have been complaining on Twitter calling this year "Montana's Summer Without A Sun."  If you click on this link, you might be able to see the NWS Boise Tweet.  You might possibly be able to see the video from which we took the screen clip above.

https://twitter.com/NWSBoise/status/896170799106752512

Friday, August 11, 2017

Eight people

Yes. Eight People.  That's how many people are assigned to wild fire incidents in the Southwest Coordinating area which includes ALL of Arizona, New Mexico and most of West Texas.  EIGHT People!

Meanwhile, there are over 15,000 people assigned to national wild fire incidents.  I don't know what the percentage of 8 is to 15,000 but I think it's it's pretty minimal.  This is what monsoons do for the Southwest United States.   So, the next time the lightning is crashing down on your head and the flash floods are washing away your stuff, reflect on this.  It wasn't too long ago that a couple thousand people were feverishly trying to snuff tough wild fires running hither and yon across the wily coyote landscape of hardscrabble Arizona.  Now?  Not so much.  EIGHT PEOPLE!

Meanwhile, there are well over 9000 people in the Northwest and Northern California and over 5000 between the Northern Rockies and The Great Basin.  Don't they WISH they had a monsoon like Arizona does!

SOURCE: https://www.nifc.gov/nicc/sitreprt.pdf

$100 off

When did Costco go upscale?  How did I miss it?  What kind of paradigm shift happened here?  I thought Costco was just a bunch of savings-crazed shoppers.  I didn't know they might pay $100 for a 12 ounce steak.  What did I miss?  And when?

Look at the photo clip from the most recent Costco so-called '"Members Only Savings" mailer.  Feast your eyes on this one for a few seconds.  Narrative continues below graphic.

OK, so this is one hundred dollars PER twelve ounce steak.  IF you cooked the steak perfectly and IF you were lucky to get eight bites out of your $100 steak, that would be $8 a bite.  That's a mighty pricey bitey!

But what about every thing else?  Surely, if you paid $400 for four freaking steaks you wouldn't dare serve frozen broccoli as a side?   Or boxed wine as a drink. NOOOO!  You'd have to have all the accouterments to make such a meal memorable, meaningful and maddeningly expensive.

Gawd forbid YOU yourself would cook a $100 steak.  NO!  You'd need a top notch Professional so you wouldn't suffer the interminable disgrace of destroying four $100 steaks.  Gawd forbid!

I'm thinking if you served $100 steaks to your spouse and two Dear Friends, you'd need to invest at least another $1000 in the meal and its accompanying ambiance.

We need some of our Dear Friends to weigh in on this culinary equation.  Isadore, where art thou?

Meanwhile, just for your culinary reading edification, here is the Wiki on Japanese Wagyu beef:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagyu

With a name like Wag You, I guess they are wagging You AND your wallet!

B1 bomber in rear view mirror

The B1 @ Hill AFB Museum: http://www.hill.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/397192/b-1b-lancer/
(Editor's Note:  Current events have brought this story back from over 16 years ago.)

We retired the first time back on January 10, 2001. After spending nearly 10 weeks in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico, we returned to Rimrock to set our life in order.  We then set forth on what we expected to be a multi-month trip that would take us to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.  Anyway, we surfed ashore in Kanab, Utah, on April 12.  We were somehow smitten by Kanab and wound up staying there six weeks.  Each day during that time, we'd try to do something unique, new and exciting.  Since Wednesday, April 18 was my late Dad's birthday, we decided to do a really, really long back country Road Trip from Kanab up Johnson Canyon to the Skutumpah Road and then down Cottonwood Canyon back to Highway 89 by the Paria River and from there back to Kanab.  We were traveling in our little 1987 Suzuki Samurai and felt very comfortable being out in the middle of nowhere.  We left very early since we knew it would be a really long day on very slow roads.  Sure enough, the hours wore on and on and we didn't get back to the pavement of Highway 89 until very late in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, between the  Paria River and Kanab lies a very substantial hill.  It's the northern part of the Kaibab Monocline.  For modern high speed vehicles, that hill is virtually nothing.  However, for a 1.3 liter engine in the Samurai, that hill represents a very tall challenge.  Naturally, our speed dropped way down as we ascended the hill.  We were chugging and puffing along as low as 35 miles per hour.  We actually thought doing 45 was really flying.  It seemed like forever to get to the top of the monocline.  I kept a very close watch on the rear view mirror since I didn't want to get rear-ended by someone traveling too fast who might misjudge our speed.  I also continually eyed the road's shoulder for "escape routes" in case we were about to be rear-ended.  That's why I had my eyes more or less glued to the rear view mirror.

Finally, as we were just about to top out on that long, long hill, my eyes dang near popped out of my head.  I will never forget what I saw as long as I live.  I matter-of-factly said to Susun, "There's a B1 bomber in my rear view mirror.  And there truly WAS a B1 bomber in the mirror.  It neatly filled the mirror, wings, tail and all.  The whole thing fit right in there like a picture postcard.  I couldn't even believe it.  And, naturally, the B1 bomber was gaining on us like you read about.  Since I had already been keeping an eye on the shoulder for escape routes, I jammed the steering wheel to the right and bounced into the brush.  We both leaped out of the Samurai just as the B1 bomber went screaming and thundering right over our  heads.  We quickly looked back and saw that a second B1 bomber was fast approaching.  Somehow Susun pulled out her old 35 millimeter SLR camera and managed to get a picture of the second bomber as it flew seemingly mere feet about our heads.  The pilot actually waved at us with one of those classic "thumbs up" poses from the cockpit.

Since we were right at the top of the hill, we watched in speechless amazement as both bombers dropped down low in front of us.  We were actually looking down on them from above.  The experience was one of the biggest adrenalin rushes either of us has ever had.  Our hearts were pounding wildly, our faces flushed and our skin covered with perspiration.  It was so overpowering all we could do was hug each other and gasp for breath. My Dad died in 1998 but my thoughts immediately went to him.  Somehow, I figured he had arranged the whole thing. I looked to the blue sky and said, "Thank You, Dad!"

We were both chattering incessantly about it when we returned to the Crazy Horse RV park in Kanab.  One of the Old Timers there in Kanab told us the twin B1 bombers were a common sight.  The bombers used that corridor for their ground-hugging exercises to practice flying below the radar.  They always reached their lowest point to the ground right at the crest of the monocline.

So, when they were coming up behind us, one of them would definitely be below us and could easily be seen in the rear view mirror.

On Veteran's Day 2016, we both were finally able to stand next to a real B1 bomber at the Hill Air Force Base Museum north of Salt Lake City.  The aircraft is so huge it's mind-boggling.  Photos simply can't capture the scale of the behemoth.  Standing there beside that museum display really brought back April 18, 2001, in Kane County, Utah, on US Highway 89.

And it brings home special and meaningful relevance today as the B1 bombers on Guam stand locked and loaded to Fight Tonight, as the Pacific Command there is wont to say.  The brave flight crews of those bombers are in our thoughts and prayers today.  We wish them Best of Safety and God Speed to return to warm embrace of their Families and Loved Ones.
Another photo from our visit to see a B1 bomber on display at the Hill AFB Museum 11/11/16.

Here's the B1 Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_B-1_Lancer


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Forty Dollars a Night

Looks like our trip cost $250 in gas and $150 in camping fees and covered 1300 miles. That's $400 for 10 nights or forty dollars a night.  Pretty good deal, all things considered.

Two Pow Wow Drum Videos

Great to be back home and on a high speed internet connection. Lots of stuff I can do here that would be impossible on the road. We're using a dormant Facebook account to post videos and then embedding the videos here on the blog. It's a much more efficient way to posting videos than using either YouTube or Vimeo. Both videos are very short.  You ought to be able to see these videos even if you are not a member of Facebook.

These Blackfeet men were the drummers for the International Peace Park Pow Wow we watched August 8 in Waterton, Alberta.
The first video has some of the dancers in the background.
https://www.facebook.com/idaho.volunteer/videos/1542268472461676/?permPage=1
The second video is a few seconds longer with no dancers in the background.

Headin' Home

'Nother Red Sun kinda morning...

Makes me wonder what's gonna happen if all this smoke is still here in 11 days...which it probably will be because that's the way it goes during a Northern Rockies fire season.  Anyway, all those Eclipse Pilgrims supposedly coming from far and wide will be sorely disappointed to see their event shrouded in a pall of particulates.  We've never really succumbed to the Eclipse Excitement. Lotsa folks are going ga-ga over two minute totality.  But all this smoke sure does make me wonder....

This campground is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation.  Being an upstanding federal bureaucracy, BuRec put up a really tall and upstanding flagpole nearby.  And, naturally, BuRec followed the rules and put in a really big light at the base of the pole so Old Glory can fly right and proper all night long.  It's actually one of the best night  lights for a flag I've seen in a really long time.  Most people and outfits skip on their night lighting for their flags.  I got up a couple of times during the night and sat in the darkness watching the Stars & Stripes flutter in the breezy dark air.  As growing turmoil continue to rock America's collective boat, it was a welcome comforting sight to see and reminded me of the timeless, sacred lyrics from our National Anthem.  We are proud of our Country and stand beside her through thick and thin.  We pray and trust that we will make it through these trying times together stronger, better and more united than ever. Those are the kind of thoughts a geezer guy has in the middle of the night while watching a well lit flag strut its stuff at Camp Fortunate.

Seeing the flag fly last night also made me think of the flag flying here at Camp Fortunate in 1805.  Lewis & Clark were really good about flying the flag at each camp.  Heck, I don't even know how many stars and stripes would have been on an 1805 flag.  And speaking of which, I don't think our National Anthem had even been written back then.

(Editor's Note added later: There were actually 17 States in 1805 but the official US Flag has 15 Stars and stripes.  Here's the link for more info: http://www.lewis-clark.org/article/665  And here's the photo of a typical US Flag in 1805.  The Star Spangled Banner National Anthem lyrics were written in 1814.)
Speaking of Camp Fortunate, this is where the Lewis & Clark expedition parted ways with their boats—boats that had paddled, dragged, pulled and portaged all the way from St. Louis.  Here is where they set foot almost due west to climb high onto Lemhi Pass and cross the Continental Divide.  We went to Lemhi Pass back in 2005 during the Bicentennial Hoopla of Lewis & Clark.  It's a steep, steep road up to that pass and danged near burned out the clutch on our little Suzuki Samurai.  But it's a worthy spot for a pilgramage to stand in their footsteps and stare at wave upon wave of mountain ridges disappearing into the far western horizon.  From Lemhi Pass, the expedition would drop down into the Lemhi River watershed and make their way to camp for a few days at what is now Salmon, Idaho. For two Lewis & Clark junkies, it's wonderful being here at Camp Fortunate.

We're happy to be going home today.  We originally thought we'd stay out much longer—possibly even skipping the eclipse.  But we're both glad to be 125 miles from home.  It's been a great trip and now it's time to turn a page and start a new chapter in the book of our 2017 Idaho Season.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

We don't do this

Nope.  We really don't normally do this.  This is an exception.  We left Waterton at 9:30 AM and drove all danged day.  We pulled into Camp Fortunate at 6:30 PM.  If my math is right, that's a 9 hour driving day and danged close to 400 miles.  Nope, We really don't do this.  

But it happened.  Somehow we thought we were going to camp at Eureka Reservoir near Choteau (pronounced “SHOW-dough”). Well, we blew into Show-Dough for lunch.  So we proceeded on, as Meriwether Lewis was once often wont to say.  Then we thought we might camp at Holter Lake (which is actually The Missouri River masquerading as a reservoir between Helena & Great Falls).  Well, we blew right on past Holter and were blowing through Helena on I-15 at 2:30 PM.

And then we dived deep down into the nitty, dirty, gritty of Montana's current dense fire smoke, turning off I-15 at Boulder.  Boulder, Montana, is about as far as you can get from anything resembling Boulder, Colorado.  But maybe they could be Sister Cities...or  something...together.   Boulder, Colorado, would probably consider Boulder,  Montana, the way people do their crazy uncle at Family Reunions.  But we digress.

Anyway, we headed south on The Jefferson River of Lewis & Clark Fame toward Twin Bridges where L&C made a fortunate decision to follow what's now known as The Beaverhead River to what's now known as Matt Dillon, Montana.  No, it's not Matt  Dillon but I couldn't help myself.  Forgive me.

Anyway, we reached the Forks Of The Jefferson where The Big Hole and The Beaverhead come together and give their blessing to the creation of The Jefferson.  That's when I Hit-The-Wall.  I simply couldn't even imagine driving another mile trying to keep our rig  betweeen the fog lines.  We were stopped at a small town-owned rest area right in the middle of Twin Bridges, Montana.  Right across the road, the Madison County Fair began  today and much hub-bub, swirling dust and scurrying children were taking place over there.

We asked The Woman Who Cleans Toilets at the rest area if it was OK to spend the night there and she said, “Sure, I don't think anyone will mind.”  Well, we hung around pondering her statement and after about 20 minutes, we were revived and headed on down to the Bureau of Reclamation Clark Canyon Recreation Area about 20 miles south of Matt Dillon, Montana.  Wait, wait, I meant Dillon.

We got here just after a huge storm cell had hit.  The skies were clearing from the  west and we drove up the hill to one of THE Most Sacred sites of the entire L&C Epic Journey.  Camp Fortunate is Karma personified.   There's simply nothing else like it in the epic annals of that epic trip.  If you had to pick one single spot to visit to begin to appreciate the epicness of their journey, it would be Camp Fortunate.

Well, it sure is Camp Fortunate for us, too, today because I swear I could not have driven ONE MORE MILE.

We don't normally do this.  Honestly, we don't.

And now we're only 125 miles from our Idahome and we'll be there before lunch.  Maybe we should pull in for some fish tacos at Mi Pueblo?  What do you think, Sweetie Susun?

Pow Wow in Waterton








Smoked


It's another Red Sun kinda morning. We sure were hoping we'd have pristine air today after the storm.  Nope.  That sneaky smoke crept in overnight and now it's hazy once again.  Actually, the visibility is better than it has been for quite some time.  However, the jagged lines of the peaks are layered among one another in the typical blue pre-sunrise haze.

We made a deal to return here next July before fire season flames up.  There are two mini-mottos here in Waterton: A) Live Inside The Postcard and B) Life Inside A Postcard.  Well, we really want to take that boat ride inside the postcard.  We want to be inside that postcard badly enough that we're already planning next year's Road Trip here.  We like this place enough that we'rer willing to spend most of our camping time here.  We might eddy out in Saint Mary for a day or two but Waterton will be the destination next year, not Glacier.  This year Waterton was tacked on as a bonus side trip. Glacier was the destination.  Next year it's going to be the other way around.  And next year, we're gonna be inside that postcard looking out.

Waterton is a very sweet spot and obviously we're smitten with Waterton.  No wonder there are so many people.

Even though we didn't get on the boat yesterday was a very fun day.  First, we met with the Townite Manager Robert Elliott.  Naturally, he had never heard about pickleball.  We gave him the canned speech and urged him to co-stripe at least one of the tennis courts.  He was a cheerful, hospitable fellow and seemed somewhat interested.  Nexy year we will see if the seed we planted yesterday pays off.

Then we soaked up the ample ambiance of The Prince of Wales Hotel.  That 1927 edifice is yet another example of the lost art of building epic large lodges. What a place.

We happened to show up in Waterton during the annual Blckfeet Indian Heritage Festival.  It began yesterday and will continue this week.  Although the posters said the dancing and drumming began at 1:30, we learned it actually strarted at 4 PM so we drove out to Crameron Lake.  It's 9 miles outside of Waterton up in yet another signature glacial canyon with a postcard mountain sitting on the far side of the lake.

Parks Canada threw huge gobs of money at the site.  Everything there is sparkling brand new.  New parking lot, three new toilet buildings, new interpretive displays, new snack shed, two new amazing boat ramps, new landscaping, you name it—everything brand new and top notch quality construction.  It had to have cost them at least a million dollars for all the new stuff there.  And, of course, the place was packed with people.  The boat rental outfit was doing a box office business and there was a long line for ice cream in the snack shed.

We learned that Waterton was actually born out of the construction of Western Canada's very first oil drilling rig.  Strange irony, eh? The site of the first oil well is dutifully marked with a hokey little derrrick.  It's cute.

Along about 4 PM, we went to the large grass field beside the Community Center. Scores of Blackfeet Indians were donning their Pow Wow outfits or setting up to watch Family and Friends perform.  Two tipis were being erected.  Excitement was in the air.  We stayed for the better part of two hours and saw some iconic Pow Wow dancing and drumming.  It was an exhilirating experience for sure.

Then we settled down to some serious cribbage and enjoyed a fine dinner in Site C10.

Today, it's off yonder back south.  We know not how far we will travel or where we might camp.  But we trust it will be a fine day's journey with another cozy camp somewhere down the road.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cotton Candy

A nice little rain fell late yesterday afternoon and more water sprinkled down overnight. As a result, the Waterton area is laden with a heavy cloud cover this morning. The ceiling is only a few hundred feet above ground level. Clouds swirl like cotton candy around nearby peaks while the upper valley is totally socked in. The idea of a boat trip today is out of the question. Even though we're planning to pull out of here tomorrow, we could still do the morning boat if the conditions are feng shui. We shall see.

Most of the campers closest to our rig are in tents. And you all know how it goes for tent campers when it rains. We're so glad we're not in a tent any more. I guess you could say we're past tense...wait, wait, I meant past tents. We still do occasionally camp in a tent but it's becoming increasingly less often. The travel trailer is just too cushy, especially when the pitter patter of rain drops are falling.

We're off to the Prince Of Wales Hotel this morning. It's arguably the largest such lodge in this region. No doubt the one at Banff is bigger and swankier but this one's right out there in more ways than one. Sure wish the internet was fast enough to post photos.

We're also going to do some obligatory pickleball agitation. There are FOUR tennis courts sitting unused right smack dab in the middle of this purported village. Tennis is so yesterday, it's highly unlikely anyone uses those forlorn courts. So, we're heading to the Village Administrative Offices to give them some good-natured hassle about co-striping the tennis courts for pickleball. We bet if there were pickleball courts striped onto those four tennis courts, there would be players on them every day of the week and probably all day long, too, since it doesn't really get what you would call “hot” here.
If the Village Administration pleades with us to help them set up pickleball, of course we will oblige them and stay a few more days. We take pity on pickleball-deprived communities.

The Waterton WIFI is horrible. How do I know? Well, I paid my $10 and the WIFI got worse. So I went to the Visitor Center and asked them about WIFI and the guy blurted out, “The Waterton WIFI is horrible.” That's how I know it's horrible—both from personal experience AND from a credible local source. So, we count ourself lucky simply to be able to post this text narrative. Forget about pictures. No can do.

Unless we're recruited to help Waterton get pickleball going, we're heading south tomorrow. As you well know by now, “Plans Are Made To Be Changed.” Yep, that's right. We've changed our plans once again. We won't be going over to do The West Side Story. We're going to stay on the East Side and slide and slither south via a slightly different route than we used for the northbound leg.

All our ideas of playing plentiful pickleball on The West Side are toast. Why? Well, as you recall, I injured my left medial collateral ligament on July 8 at the Senir Games. Then I aggravated it at the Star Valley Tournament. It seems to be getting worse, not better. It's bad enough to make me wonder if I will ever play pickleball again! That's bad.

Anyway, I am majorly favoring the left knee—wearing a brace every day and hoping and praying for the best. We really don't want to “push” the knee by playing pickleball at all the various places we had lined up. It's just not worth the risk to the knee and my pickleball future, such as it is.

The trip south should be as interesting as the trip north. We will get to check out a portion of the Lewis & Clark route that we've never experienced before so we're looking forward to that bonus. It also means we will be arriving back home considerably ahead of our previous schedule. And, furthermore, it means we will be in Idaho Falls for the ridculously over-hyped eclipse August 21.

Well, we will head out and about now and perhaps write another missive later today. Happy Day!


Monday, August 7, 2017

International

Man, if we thought Glacier National Park was a zoo scene, Waterton dwarfs Glacier in the Zoo Scene Department. This place is Ground Zero for mass quantities of people to congregate at the end of a dead end road. It's actually quite fun. Why? Well, Canada has had a welcoming attitude forever. Waterton is filled with Canadians from all over the world—people who immigrated to Canada and are now proud Canadians enjoying their National Park Heritage.

It's awesome to see so many nationalities elbow-to-elbow. All the colors of the whole world are here in Waterson. There are languages being spoken here I've only read about but never heard. African dialects, all the tongues of the Middle East and many shades of Europeans languages, too. It's interesting to us that probably 90 percent or more of the vehicles here have Canadian plates. American license plates (and American faces) are few and faaar between.

I was sitting on a bench down by one of the many fabulous beaches here when an African Family came up eating their freshly-purchased ice cream cones. One of the young African boys, maybe 7 or 8 years old, smiled at me and came right up and sat down beside me as if I was his long lost uncle or something. He was as relaxed as could be and so was I. I sat marveling at all the cultural paradigms being expressed in all directions as Family groups ate Middle Eastern luncheon feasts or strolled beneath the black cottonwood trees chatting in some variant of the Arabic language.

I loved seeing the Muslim women with their distinctive burkas carrying paddles to canoe in the lake or paddling on a stand up board. Waterton is definitely not your homogenous white America location. It's full on international and it's great.

The downtown portion of this so-called village is crammed full of eating places. Restaurants and cafes outnumber all other businesses at least four to one. Ice cream seems to be the most popular food served. It seems everyone is eating ice cream. You can barely take five steps without almost bumping into someone eating a big fat ice cream cone.

The beaches are crawling with people, too. Some beaches are more populated than others but all of the beaches have people. It seems like about half of the RV rigs here are crammed with water toys: kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and, of course, the obligatory bicycles. I'm thinking that I've seen more boats and bikes here at Waterton that any other single location I can remember.

The WIFI here is weird. Susun's phone can only connect to it on a marginal basis. I will probably be able to get this narrative posted but forget about any photos—the slow speed simply won't handle the upload of even a small picture. What's happening here is classic “bait & switch.” Yes, there is free WIFI but it's locked down at 300 KBS speed and only for four hours. 300 kilobits per second reminds me of the ancient days of dial-up internet. It's S-L-O-W!

So the “Switch” part is that they will gladly sell you super high speed internet for only $10 a day. That's actually a pretty good price and we will undoubtedly buy it for at least one day. There are too many photos to post and lots to write about. Plus, since it's the looney Canadian dollar, it's only worth 79% of an American dollar. So that makes it eight bucks a day..such a deal.

The fire smoke rolled in with a sworn mission to obscure all the rich views of the Waterton glacial valley and lake. You can barely make out any of the distant peaks down yonder toward Goat Haunt in Montana. We're hoping a miracle will clear out the smoke. However, we decided not to buy the boat tickets unless and until we know we can actually see stuff from the boat. Otherwise,it would be lilke paying $100 to ride a motorboat through a smoke cloud.

The Canadian Weather Service says there's a 30-percent chance of showers later this afternoon and a 60-percent chance overnight. Maybe that just might be the miracle we're hoping for.

Well, that's about all for now. Happy Day!

Waterton C10

We were parked in Waterton Village Township Campground Site C10 and fully set up by 11 AM Monday.  Today was our most casual travel day.  The road between Saint Mary and the Chief Mountain border crossing was beautiful with almost no traffic. In fact, cows and bulls standing in the roadway easily outnumbered the total number of vehicles we saw this morning.  Spectacular views of iconic Chief Mountain loomed around every curve and rolling hill.

We were all paranoid about the border crossing.  We heard all sorts of scary stories.  In fact, yesterday at the Saint Mary Visitor Center, one of the NPS front liners told us we better chop any green peppers into tiny little pieces and put them in a baggie.  She said, “They won't let you in with whole green peppers. They are really on the lookout for them!”

Well, that comment alone conjured up a small platoon of Canadians eager to roto-root through every little crevice of our rig, including the refrigerator, the side compartments...you name it.  My vivid imagination saw scenes of beady-eyed inspectors combing our travel trailer for the dreaded greeen bell peppers.

So, naturally I decided to be proactive and made a “To Declare” list and put everything single little item I could think of on the list.  I mean I listed everything, including our total cash and the actual value of coins in our possession too ($131.99).  In hindsight, the “To Declare” list is hilarious.  We pulled up to the Canadian check station and some young guy asked for our passports; where we were from; what was our license plate number; did we have any firearms and how long were we going to stay.  I showed him my “To Declare” list and I swear I saw him roll his eyes.  He handed the list and the passports back with a snide comment, “You might want to sign your passports so they will be valid.”  But then he smiled and said, “Enjoy Your Stay” and off we went with nary even a thought of a strip search for the green bell peppers.  Luckily, we were not actually carrying any green bell peppers but who knows, maybe there's an all points bulletin for them or something.  Anyway, the crossing was painless and the pre-check paranoia was totally unwarranted.  

Waterton Village is a Real Big Deal—far bigger than we expected.   It's more like a full fledged small town rather than what the word “village” would make you think.  And the place is packed.  People are swarming everywhere.

We booked this site back on February 6 after spending a few hours scoping out the best remaining sites.  Even back in early February, the Townsite Campground was almost full.  Luckily, we found C10 and got two nights.  This morning Susun immediately declared C10 to be the best campsite in this gigantic campground.  I don't know if it's the best or not but it sure looks better than any campsite I can see from our location.

After Susun  awakes from her obligatory nap, we're off to a nearby playground.  Why?  Well, for some unfathomable reason, the powers that be here decided to make a children's playground a WIFI hotspot.  I guess you could say that adding WIFI to a kiddie playground automatically turns it into an adult playground...or something...

Our big one and only goal today is to get tickets on the “International” for tomorrow's boat ride up to Goat Haunt on the far south end of Waterton  Lake.  Goat Haunt is in Montana so we will have to bring passports to visit there.  And  then show passports to get back into Waterton Village.  Gawd forbid anyone tries to smuggle a green bell pepper back from Goat Haunt!  Chances are pretty good that we will disembark at Goat Haunt and spend most of that day there.  It looks like there are three trails there that appear to be “good for geezers” and they go to an overlook, a waterfall and a lake...a veritable trifecta of scenic delights.  Supposedly, we can catch a later boat back home, presumably as long as we aren't carrying a concealed green bell pepper.

I wasn't originally going to book us into Waterton.  Susun was the one who insisted we go to Waterton.She was really, majorly insistent about it.  So, well, here we are.  I am actually really glad to tiptoe into Canada for three days.  Thanks, Susun!  YA DUN GOOD!

More meandering narrative later.  Happy Day & Many Cheers!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Woman With Feet In River Water



Talk about temperature whiplash!  Each day seems to be 20-30 degrees cooler or hotter than the previous day.  Today was no exception.  Yesterday was right around 63 degrees.  Today made it all the way to 93 degrees.  Who knows what tomorrow's going to do.  We feel pretty safe in thinking it won't get to 123 degrees! After all, this park ain't named “Glacier” for nothing, ya know?

Turns out we spent most of the day messing with Road Trip logistics.  Cleaning the trailer.  Organizing gear.  Getting ready for Canadian Customs tomorrow.  All that little nit-picky stuff takes bits and pieces of time and those bits and pieces add up to hours and hours and time passes and before you know it a whole day's gone by.

We did take time to walk over to the Visitor Center and actually even saw their film.  It was a nice film.  It apparently was made back when Time Lapse was “new & cool”.  The film sure had more danged time lapse than I could wrap my head around.  And it also had lots of High Speed film, too.  High Speed is when you do some trick and speed everything up to Warp Nine.  But it was a nice film.

We did take the time to gently hassle one of the NPS Police.  Technically, they aren't called Police.  They are called Law Enforcement Officers, “LEOs” for short.  We started out by telling her how much we appreciated her service and The Park and so forth.  And then we gently told her about all the speeding vehicles in the campground.  I swear I saw one guy doing 50 MPH in a 10 MPH zone right past our teeny, tiny trailer.

Well, get this.  You know why they can't bust these people?  Because they have the wrong radar guns!  No kidding.  She asked us to  write a letter to park mgmt. to try to get them the right radar guns.  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  And so it was today.  Anyway, we wished her luck and proceeded on.

The Saint Mary River bisects the area between camp and the Mission 66-era Visitor Center.  There's this beautiful arching foot bridge over the swift but shallow river that drains toward Hudson Bay.  Oh, how Sweetie Susun loved that bridge and river.  She immediately declared she had to go put her feet in that river and she sure did. If Susun was a Blackfoot Indian, they probably would have named her “Woman With Feet In River Water”.

The flowers are simply going totally nuts all over the place here in this National Park.  It's a chaotic color riot every where you look.  Up at Logan Pass it was positively psychedelic.  Thank Goodness it was all fogged in or the riotous color might have been too much to handle.

Well, we've finally decided what we're doing in Waterton this week.  Yep, it turns out our sole purpose for going there will be to ride The “International” up to Goat Haunt.  Yep, it's pricey all right.  Gonna cost $100 Canadian for the both of us but we don't care.  It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we can't wait for our Tuesday Gilligan's Island two hour tour.

Each afternoon and evening we play cribbage.  Susun has been on a really long losing streak.  But that's OK.  She's been on really long winning streaks, too.  One summer, she won over 200 games in a row before I won one.  Honest.  Lately, it's been my turn and I don't think she's won but maybe ten games out of the last 150.  But she's turned the corner today and I sense that she's back on one of her outrageous winning streaks.

We play a minimum of six games and a maximum of nine games a night.  Basically, it's “best of a series to 3.”  Each Series is best of three games.  For example, today she won Series #1 two games to one.  We take long breaks between each series.  If she wins Series #2 then she wins for the night.  If I win Series #2, then we go to Series #3.  That's how it works.

And on that scintillating cribbbage note, we will bid you adieu until the next thrilling episode of Miscellaneous Meanderings!