Friday, July 31, 2009

Arco, Idaho

 

And 2,155 miles since Port Aransas.

 

 

Arco, Idaho

Mountain View RV Park and Restaurant. Friendly people. Widely spaced grassy sites. Trees. Birds. Full hookups.
















Free mini-golf. Free horseshoes.
















Baby robins.

















Goats.





















Volcanic National Monument full of hiking trails nearby.





















Onsite restaurant for dinner. Free pancakes and eggs breakfast for RV Park guests. What’s not to like? Mountain View RV Park and Restaurant in Arco, Idaho. This place is a treasure.











Rough weather in Colorado

Living in the motorhome, we’re one level closer to what is going on around us. If it rains or the wind blows, we know it right away. Didn’t see this weather coming one night in Colorado. It was after dark when it hit. Here is a video, not for the picture, but for the sound. This is what the storm sounded like on our roof. Marble size hail.

Trees down. Branches stripped bare. Windows blown out. Flooding. 50,000 people without power. Our roof got pounded hard, but nothing got blown out.



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Springville, Utah

 

Didn’t look very birdy at first.  Still doesn’t.  Final tally:  13 birds.  Got another year-bird, though.  The California Gull.

 

Great blue heron

Swainson’s hawk

Killdeer

Black necked stilt

California gull

Mourning dove

Barn swallow

American robin

European starling

Common grackle

Great tailed grackle

House finch

House sparrow

 

 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Springville, Utah

But now we’ve moved on. West on Interstate 70. Across the Utah Badlands; the San Rafael Swell. 110 miles of no services, but nonstop desolate scenery.






















Highway 50 to Interstate 15 north. We’re at an overnight stop at the East Bay RV Park in Utah. (We can’t see any sign of an East Bay from the RV Park.) We got a pull-through spot. (Not all pull-through spots are created equal. We were instructed to park between the lines. To get between the lines, we had to disconnect the car and push it up against the rear of the motorhome.)



















The sites are so close together if we put our awning out, it hangs over the neighboring site.


















So far, no close neighbors, so everything is working out okay.
1,870 miles into this trip.
Wait! I have a question: If you overeat at dinner, what’s the fastest way back to comfort? Is it better to go for a walk and walk it off, or is it better to go sit on the couch and let your body devote all its energy to digesting?

Rifle Gap State Park

 

Met up with Janis and worked with her a bit.  For all the work Janis has done for us this year, we actually just met her for the first time.  She trained on our software at the Denver office, so some of us had met her, but not Judy and Me.  Janis and her husband Brian are staying here at the state park while she does jobs in the Roaring Fork Valley (Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt, and Aspen.  It was fun getting to know her.  We’ll meet up again in November when we both attend the conference in Orlando.

 

Rifle Gap didn’t look like a very birdy place at first, except for the constant drone of hummingbirds exploring every crevice of the coach until we put out the feeders.  The nectar feeder got overwhelmed with hummingbirds; all Black Chinned with the exception of the magnificent amber Rufous Hummingbird flashing himself at us.  The seed feeders got house finches and pine siskins.  A walk in the sage, rabbitbrush, and juniper got vesper sparrows, blue gray gnatcatcher, and black throated gray warbler.  Bluebirds filled the fields.  A gang of fifty pinyon jays blew through the trees.  The lake and inlet got herons, blackbirds, and swallows.  Judy had a Wild Kingdom Moment.  A golden eagle overhead dove on a great blue heron and took it right out of the air.  He ate it on the ground.  There was an immature golden eagle around too.

 

Altogether we got 36 species:

Canada goose

Mallard

Clark’s grebe

Great blue heron

Turkey vulture

Golden eagle

Mourning dove

Common nighthawk

Black chinned hummingbird

Rufous hummingbird

Northern flicker

Western wood pewee

Say’s phoebe

Western scrub jay

Pinyon jay

Black billed magpie

Common raven

Violet green swallow

Northern rough winged swallow

Cliff swallow

Barn swallow

Blue gray gnatcatcher

Western bluebird

Mountain bluebird

American robin

Black throated gray warbler

Green tailed towhee

Chipping sparrow

Vesper sparrow

Red winged blackbird

Western meadowlark

Brewer’s blackbird

Common grackle

House finch

Pine siskin

American goldfinch

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rifle Gap State Park

Well, apparently sea salt in the works does not negatively affect satellite reception. Now it’s working just fine again and I’m pretty sure the sea salt is still in there.

Better internet tonight. Here is our updated map:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rifle Gap State Park


Cool nights in Glenwood Canyon; in the fifties. Big swing into the eighties, maybe even touching ninety before the afternoon cool-down. Turned the heater on for a few minutes this morning to take the chill off. Haven’t done that in about six months.
West on Interstate 70. Rifle Gap State Park.

That’s the Gap in the middle, across the lake. It’s a gap in a very long ridgeline. No phone. Our internet is supposed to work from anywhere, but it’s borderline too (It may need some work again. We’ve had thunderstorms each night. The horn, the part that receives the signal, is a sealed unit. If the horn gets moisture in it the internet stops working. Once before, a few years ago, the horn got moisture in it and had to be replaced. I went on the roof today and looked at the horn to see if it had any moisture (you can look in through the transparent lens). I couldn’t see any. I did see about a quarter inch of salt lying in the bottom of it though. I’m guessing that the horn is no longer a sealed unit and the salt is the result of our winter life on the beach.)1,490 miles from Port A.

Glenwood Canyon

 

Not so many birds here, final count 23, but some cool ones.  Getting some good year-birds:

 

Canada goose

Mallard

Turkey vulture

Red tailed hawk

Mourning dove

White throated swift

Black chinned hummingbird

Eastern kingbird

Steller’s jay

Black billed magpie

Violet green swallow

Northern rough-winged swallow

Barn swallow

American robin

Cedar waxwing

Yellow warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

Western tanager

Spotted towhee

Bullock’s oriole

Pine grosbeak

House finch

American goldfinch

 

 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Glenwood Canyon


Hot by noon. Cooled by an afternoon shower by 2.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Glenwood Canyon RV Resort

 

Interstate 70 west.  Through the tunnel.  Over Vail pass. 

 

A long roll-out down to Glenwood Springs.  We’re just east of town, just inside the canyon.

 

1,450 miles from Port Aransas.

 

 

St Vrain State Park

 

Final tally:  50 birds

 

Canada goose

Mallard

Blue winged teal

Pied billed grebe

Western grebe

White pelican

Double crested cormorant

Great blue heron

Great egret

Snowy egret

Green heron

Black crowned night heron

Turkey vulture

Osprey

Northern harrier

Swainson’s hawk

Red tailed hawk

American kestrel

Killdeer

Spotted sandpiper

Ring billed gull

Eurasian collared dove

Mourning dove

Great horned owl

Black chinned hummingbird

Belted kingfisher

Northern flicker

Western wood pewee

Western kingbird

Eastern kingbird

Black billed magpie

Horned lark

Northern rough winged swallow

Bank swallow

Cliff swallow

Barn swallow

American robin

European starling

Yellow warbler

Common yellowthroat

Red winged blackbird

Western meadowlark

Yellow headed blackbird

Common grackle

Brown headed cowbird

Orchard oriole

Bullock’s oriole

House finch

American goldfinch

House sparrow

 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Magpies

The magpies discover our camp.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I've been thinking...

 

…about mosquitoes.

 

Wilderness hiking, you come across a swarm of mosquitoes, just waiting for you to stumble along so they can devour you.  Do you ever wonder “If there is no-one else around for a hundred miles, what did all those bloodsuckers eat while they were waiting for me to come along?”

 

 

Sunset at St Vrain.

 

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Austin

 

And Austin too….

Alex

 

Some see a family resemblance between Steve in 1950 and grandson Alex 59 years later.

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pace and Persistence

 

I exercise every day.  Walks.  Rides on the Trikke.  Bicycle.  Every few days I try a little run to see if it works yet.  It doesn’t.

 

Today, I felt energetic, so started my walk off with a slow run.  It felt good.  I kept on.  No pain.  I kept on.  An hour later I was back at the coach.  An hour!

 

The pace was nothing to be proud of, it was barely faster than a walk, but to be able to trundle along for an hour, slowly sucking up the miles, is something I haven’t been able to do for two years; since before the heart thing.  I don’t know if it’s repeatable.  Maybe today was an anomaly; but an hour?  That’s a major milestone!

 

 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Teigan

 

And Teigan caught first, best, and most.

 

 

Annie

 

Annie loves to ride on golf carts.  Today she got to ride with Ranger Rob on his rounds.  I think that makes her St Vrain State Park’s first Junior Ranger.

 

 

Becky's house

 

Matt brought his kids to Becky’s, so we got the entire grandkid crew:

Austin

Tony

Teigan

Alex

Taylor

Conner

 

 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Becky's house

 

We got to visit with Rags the Cat.

 

 

Mystery

 

The final vote is in.  Two votes for gecko.  One vote for green anole.

 

I agree.

 

 

Friday, July 17, 2009

St Vrain State Park

 

A 75 mile day.

 

Two Claritin is all it took to get past the first burst of hay fever.  None since.  We’ve readjusted to the altitude; sleeping just fine.

 

There is a model airplane park for radio controlled airplanes at Chatfield.  Normally, from the campground, we can hear the little pretend planes buzzing around.  This time we didn’t hear them much, so I didn’t spend much time imagining little pretend surface to air missiles.

 

1.260 miles from Port A.

 

We’ll stay here a week and visit with Becky, Brian, and the kids.

 

 

Chatfield

 

Final bird list for Chatfield:

 

33 birds.

 

Canada goose

White pelican

Double crested cormorant

Great blue heron

Turkey vulture

Red tailed hawk

American kestrel

Mourning dove

Common nighthawk

Black chinned hummingbird

Western wood pewee

Say’s phoebe

Western kingbird

Black billed magpie

Common raven

Tree swallow

Cliff swallow

Barn swallow

Black capped chickadee

Rock wren

House wren

Blue gray gnatcatcher

American robin

Spotted towhee

Lark sparrow

Red winged blackbird

Western meadowlark

Common grackle

Brown headed cowbird

Bullocks oriole

House finch

Lesser goldfinch

American goldfinch

 

 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mystery

 

Lots of thoughts about what those eggs might be.  We don’t really think they’re yogurt covered almonds, Rufous Sided Colorado chipmunk eggs, small duck eggs, Cadbury eggs, mouse eggs, hummingbird eggs, robin eggs, Easter eggs, dove eggs, or rock candy, but thanks for your suggestions/guesses.

 

No we didn’t taste them.  The shells are not as hard as bird eggs.  They were not in a nest, just in a quiet dark place.  We don’t think they are bird eggs.  We’re thinking reptile.  That brings us back to turtles, but the eggs were not in a place our turtles can get to.  The turtles dig holes in the ground.  They don’t climb.

 

That leaves lizards and snakes.  We haven’t seen any lizards that big.  A snake could get up there…

 

Just got an email from Chris (Bigfoot).  He says they’re gecko eggs.  He said it with great authority.  He could be right…  He found some in his shed.  This wasn’t in our shed but it was in a semi-dark place…

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mystery

 

When we were cleaning up to leave Gulf Waters, we found these eggs.  (We already had the quarter and dime.)  The eggs were hidden under the barbecue screen shelf and on top of the set of drawers beneath it.  Don’t know what they’re for.  Too high for a turtle.  Didn’t see any hummingbirds hanging around the barbecue.  Clearly eggs though.

 

What do you think?

 

 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We forgot

 

We forgot about the altitude.  We knew it was there, but didn’t anticipate its effect.  The first night at altitude, Cheyenne Mountain, 6,000 feet, we didn’t sleep well.  That’s what used to happen when we went from Denver at 5,000 feet to Leadville at 10,000 feet.  We didn’t sleep well for the first few nights.  Sea level to 6,000 feet.  Same effect.

 

We forgot about hay fever.  Hay fever always happened to me in June.  It’s July now, so that should be past, but it has been a very rainy spring in Colorado.  Plants are still in full growth spurt mode.  My face hurts.  Got to go to the Claritin.

 

We’ll adjust.

 

Life on the road.

 

 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Matt and Austin

 

I think Austin has had his picture taken before with a flash camera.  I didn’t use a flash.  Things did get better.

 

 

Matt and Austin

 

Click.

 

 

Matt and Austin

 

Austin.  You have to keep your eyes open for the picture; like this!  Okay?  Ready?

 

 

Matt and Austin

 

Click.

 

 

Matt and Austin

 

Austin.  Look up and smile.  Grandpa is going to take our picture.”

 

 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

FW: Chatfield State Park

 

 


From: Steve Taylor [mailto:spt@thetaylorcompany.net]
Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2009 10:10 PM
To: Bill Taylor (Bill Taylor); David Taylor (David Taylor); Tom Taylor (Tom Taylor)
Subject: Chatfield State Park

 

 

A short drive north.  All set up south of Denver.  Had to let the velvet buck mule deer get up off our pad so we could park on it.  Robin nest in the tree outside our bedroom window.  An afternoon storm.

 

1,185 miles from Port A.  A birthday party for Alex.  The picture of Alex and Austin; I’d call it Little Matt, and…. Little Matt.

 

Tomorrow…  We stay here a week and visit with Matt and the boys.

 

 

Chatfield State Park

 

A short drive north.  All set up south of Denver.  Had to let the velvet buck mule deer get up off our pad so we could park on it.  Robin nest in the tree outside our bedroom window.  An afternoon storm.

 

1,185 miles from Port A.  A birthday party for Alex.  The picture of Alex and Austin; I’d call it Little Matt, and…. Little Matt.

 

Tomorrow…  We stay here a week and visit with Matt and the boys.

 

 

Cheyenne Mountain

 

Morning bird list:

 

Red tailed hawk

Mourning dove

Broad tailed hummingbird

Say’s phoebe

Black billed magpie

American crow

Mountain chickadee

Blue gray gnatcatcher

Western bluebird

American robin

Spotted towhee

Chipping sparrow

Vesper sparrow

Grasshopper sparrow

Western meadowlark

House finch

Lesser goldfinch

 

Not an impressive number of birds, but different ones than we’ve been seeing.

 

 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

 

A drive west on US Highway 50.  Right turn on Interstate 25 at Pueblo.  Stop at the state park just south of Colorado Springs.

 

A milder weather day.  At the edge of the mountains, afternoon showers cooled it down.  Back to that Colorado sky.

 

1,115 miles from Port A.  Elevation 6,100 feet

 

Tomorrow… North.

 

 

Friday, July 10, 2009

John Martin Reservoir State Park


From: Steve Taylor [mailto:spt@thetaylorcompany.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:03 PM
To: Bill Taylor (Bill Taylor); David Taylor (David Taylor); Tom Taylor (Tom Taylor)
Subject: John Martin Reservoir State Park


Morning bird walk:

Canada goose

Turkey vulture

Mississippi kite

American kestrel

Killdeer

Rock pigeon

Eurasian collared dove

Mourning dove

Common nighthawk

Belted kingfisher

Western kingbird

Eastern kingbird

Horned lark

Northern rough winged swallow

Cliff swallow

American robin

Northern mockingbird

Lark sparrow

Northern cardinal

Red winged blackbird

Western meadowlark

Common grackle

Brown headed dcowbird

Bullock’s oriole

House finch

It was a nice walk.