Friday, August 31, 2012

Terry Bison Ranch Resort and RV Park


A home-made hand-made resort.  It’s a restaurant, guest ranch, RV Park.  There are horses, camels, cattle, bison, ponies, chickens, turkeys, alpacas, and an ostrich.  There is an old western town false front on the office.  Souvenirs and buffalo steaks inside.  All the grounds are open to roaming.  There aren’t any “No trespassing” signs, just hand painted signs advising visitors to take care.  There are hand-built trains, train tracks, playgrounds, and carnival rides.  There is a raised walkway out over the different animal pens for a good view of everything.,-104.904048&spn=0.01106,0.027788


It’s not really a destination resort, but what a place.



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Have you ever really *thought* about oatmeal?


I eat oatmeal every morning, so I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate its merits (and shortcomings).  I try to be positive and supportive, but I’ve been forced to the conclusion that oatmeal is just not very smart.


You would think by now, after all these years, it would know the way from the cup to my mouth without detouring onto my shirt like it does.  It is disappointing to report, but I guess oatmeal is just incapable of learning.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life on the Road


We live in a world of contrasts.  Yesterday afternoon’s view:



This afternoon’s view:



An overnight stop in Casper, halfway through Wyoming.,-106.369629&spn=10.999666,28.45459


The view during the entire drive from Southern Montana to Central Wyoming couldn’t have been more beautiful though.  Wide Wonderful Spectacular Wyoming.


Tomorrow, Wheatland.  A stop to see Bill and Marge.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

General George Armstrong Custer


At the Little Bighorn.  Rolling grassy hills and ridges.  The River flowing through the valley below.


General Custer.  Master of all he surveyed.






We’re at the 7th Ranch RV Camp just south of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.,-109.918213&spn=5.285077,14.227295


It’s hot here.  100 degrees.  The days were mild in West Yellowstone and the nights were cold.  West Yellowstone is an icebox compared to the rest of the country.  We had lows in the 30s every night.  Now we’re back to the reality of August.


Nice spot here.  A lot more room than last night.  Sweeping vistas.




Monday, August 27, 2012

We've moved on


I added places to the map for where we went in Yellowstone.,-111.384888&spn=2.640461,7.113647


A short day to Bozeman, even though we took the long way.  We followed the Madison River on Highway 287 up through Ennis.  Glorious rolling scenery.


The Bozeman KOA.  Very nice for an overnight stop.


Tomorrow, we’re off to conquer Montana.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Yellowstone National Park


A circuit of the lower geyser basin.  An extended walk around the upper geyser basin.  White Dome, Old Faithful, Riverside, Grand.  Steaming pools.  A loop through Hayden Valley.  Bison.  Elk.













This place weaves its magic.  Again.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

I take a trail.


…to the trail.  There are Nordic ski trails near the RV Park.  A short walk out the back gate and I’m there.  Plenty of info at the trailhead.


A map to help me find my way.


Even a gauge to tell me which wax to use.


Beautiful country to walk through.


And every intersection is marked to keep me on track.


Friday, August 24, 2012



West Yellowstone.  This is a grand place to sit and catch-up on work at my computer.  Great view.  The weather is mild.  The doors and windows are open.  I hear the Ravens.  Saw two Golden Eagles soaring overhead at lunch.


A conversation with our daughter reveals that our Grandson Conner was thinking outside-the-box yesterday, when he tied dental floss to his loose tooth, tied the other end to Angel’s collar, then threw the ball.  It didn’t really work out all that well, but he should get some points for creativity and courage, don’t you think?



Thursday, August 23, 2012




Caught first, biggest, best, prettiest, most, and last.


Rainbows and Browns.






Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Land of snow fences and ravens.  North through Eden, Farson, Boulder, and Pinedale.  Golden Eagles and Osprey.  Sandhill Cranes.  Bondurant.  Bald Eagle.  Alpine.  Ririe, Rigby, and Rexburg in Idaho.  Through Ashton, Island Park, and Henry’s Fork.  Over Targhee Pass and into Montana.  We’re at Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone.,-103.007812&spn=23.988861,56.90918


From our camp at St Vrain.


To our camp at Rock Springs.


The good part of Rock Springs.  The foothills to walk in.


And the camp at West Yellowstone.


Tomorrow, float the Madison, flyfishing with Rick.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012



We drove north on Interstate 25, then west across southern Wyoming on Interstate 80.  One Bald Eagle this morning in Colorado.  Two Golden Eagles in Wyoming.  Two bands of wild horses.  Tonight we’re in Rock Springs; an overnight stop.,-103.007812&spn=23.988861,56.90918


Judy update:  no better, no worse.  For the last month, every doctor that looks at her ear infection prescribes antibiotics.  She has been on them nonstop for a month.  We just found out today from the ENT in Denver that her culture came back negative for bacteria.  She’s on four prescriptions for her ear infection, just trying to cover every possibility.  She got to stop the antibiotic today.



Monday, August 20, 2012

Up at 6, gone at 7


Went to the Denver Office for a meeting.  Gave myself plenty of time to get there before 9.  I made it.  It was fun to see everybody I work with.  The office is moving to new space one floor away.  Got to see that in-progress too.


We’re going to leave tomorrow and head north.  Up at 6, gone at 7.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

It was a bonehead move.


…but we’ve seen it so many times before.  We’re in the right lane doing sixty.  The guy in the little compact car has it floored, zooming up from the right, and merges ahead of us just before he runs out of room against the guard rail.  We recognize there is an aversion to merging behind a motorhome on the freeway.  It’s worth almost any price to get in front.  What none of us anticipated was that the hood latch on this little piece of shit sedan would fail at that moment and spontaneously release.  The hood flipped up against his windshield and stayed there.  He braked and swerved.  We were pinned in our lane and couldn’t swerve, so we just hit the brakes and the horn.  We didn’t hit him.  He decided the guard rail wasn’t a terrible option compared to us.  The truck behind us managed not to hit us as we stunk up the brakes.  When it was clear, we all rolled on, except the guy in the little car.  He was done on the shoulder.  I think he was going to have to apply a little more duct tape to get roadworthy again.  He might have had to clean off his seat as well.


We were up at 6, gone at 7.  Glenwood Springs at 8, Vail Pass at 9:15, and Dillon at 9:30.  Took a short break, spotted a mountain chickadee, then headed up toward the Eisenhower Tunnel.  We passed a sign for an Urgent Care facility and *didn’t* stop.  Traffic getting heavier.  At the top by 10.  Idaho Springs at 10:30.  Some stop-and-go, but not bad.  Denver by 11, all the way through town and set up in our favorite spot at St Vrain by noon, in time for a gut-buster burger at Carls Junior for lunch.,-103.007812&spn=23.988861,56.90918



Saturday, August 18, 2012



Saw a few more birds than yesterday.  Mountain bluebirds in our yard.  Vesper Sparrows.  Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, and Rufous Hummingbirds at the various feeders.  Three hummingbirds at our feeder.  We either have all three, each trying to prevent the other from feeding, or we have none.  When we have none, they must all be at some other feeder trying to keep each other from eating.


Four Lewis’s Woodpeckers in Glenwood Springs.


Putting eardrops in Judy’s ear with the busted eardrum; she says it only takes a few minutes before they’re also throat drops.


Chinese food for Dinner with Jim and Elle.


We’re all packed up and hooked up for our drive back to civilization tomorrow.  We mean to leave really early to beat the rush.  Sunday afternoon driving down out of the mountains to Denver can be brutal.  We want to be over Vail Pass, through the tunnel, and heading down to Denver *before* afternoon.  Up at 6, gone at 7; that’s the plan.



Friday, August 17, 2012



Still intermittent internet.


Some places are birdier than others.  Yesterday’s walk produced a bird-count of:

  2 great blue herons

  2 distant ducks – possible gadwalls

  5 distant shorebirds – impossible to identify


Still not much in the way of internet, but we have Janis and Brian.  Janis (from work) and I had a good visit.  Brian fixed something on the tire pressure monitoring system for us.


Drove the Jeep to Glenwood and got a tire replaced.  Dinner with Jon and Deb.  Back to a quiet campground.



Thursday, August 16, 2012



The weather along the Front Range changed.  It was in the 50s this morning.  We turned on the furnace to take the chill off.  That hasn’t happened to us since about last March!  Morning coffee outside involved jackets.  Shorts and barefoot still, but the torsos wanted jackets.  Well, the change in the weather is only going to last for one day, then it will be hot again tomorrow.


Talked to both Becky and Matt this morning.  They got all their kids off to school.  Now every single one of our grandkids are in school.  No more babies or preschoolers.


Colorado is not on fire, but nevertheless, it is enveloped in a cloud of smoke.  All the states to the west of us are on fire.


We had an eventful drive across the Continental Divide, but ultimately we did arrive at Rifle Gap State Park.  It is good to meet up here with Janis and Brian.  We don’t have much in the way of internet, so no pictures.  In fact, I don’t know if this will even go out today.  I’ll just put it out there and see what happens.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our work here is done


A nice long visit with an ENT specialist in Denver (Lone Tree to be exact).  Another ear cleaning.  An eardrum perforation check (It’s still perforated).  A hearing test.  Two different swabs to grow cultures.  Four new drugs.  And  clearance to drive over the divide.  You don’t need functioning Eustachian tubes to equalize ear pressure when you have a hole in your eardrum.


Here is where we’ve been so far on the Great Urgent Care Tour:,-99.580078&spn=23.763779,56.90918


Tomorrow morning we head for Rifle Gap State Park over on the Western Slope.


No more Urgent Care for us though.  The next time Judy needs attention, we’re diverting back to this ENT in Lone Tree.  We think they’re the ones who are going to get us through this.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Great Urgent Care Tour


We decided to stop at every urgent care facility we pass this trip.  Later we can grade them and write a book…


Judy’s ears get better, then worse.  Every doctor prescribes something that helps, but it only helps for a few days, then she needs something different.  It’s quite a roller coaster ride.  Tried a new urgent care in Highlands Ranch today.  They got her an appointment with an ENT specialist tomorrow.


We were scheduled to travel tomorrow morning to Rifle on the western slope, but that involves going from 5,000 feet to 11,000 feet, to 6,000 feet, then back four days later.  We’ll suspend our travels for now and maybe avoid the high-altitude-eardrum-abuse.



Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Matt!


The facility


The setup.


The view.


Lindsay made memorabilia tables by phases.


The spread.


The cake.


The surprise.


Matt and us.


The happy couple.


The chaos.


Some kids.


Happy Birthday Matt!



Sunday, August 12, 2012



We’re not really in Texas; we’re in Colorado.  Lindsay arranged a surprise 40th birthday party for Matt and we want to be part of it, so we came to Colorado early.  We’re not supposed to be here until next month.  In last night’s trip report I may have “suggested” that we’re still in Texas, but I didn’t actually say it.  Matt can track us by our trip reports, so please forgive the misdirection.  (I didn’t put Matt on this report.)


Judy and Lindsay have been talking on the phone about this for weeks.  Lindsay has a neighborhood facility reserved, all the friends and family invited, and the decorations and cake ordered.  Judy provided moral support from far away, and arranged the food.  Lindsay’s mom is right here in the middle of it.  Lindsay’s dad is out distracting Matt this morning.  It’s a great group effort.


Becky and family will be there.  Christie and Andy are here.  Friends of Matt from way back will be there.  And here Judy and I are, camped a few miles away from Matt’s house, counting down to when we can actually just go see him.



Saturday, August 11, 2012

South Llano River State Park


We’re working our way through our favorite State Parks.  Here is South Llano River State Park.  What a great campsite!  One of our favorites.



Friday, August 10, 2012

It was a rough night last night

I had to get up twice during the night to “go”.


I only got up once.


I had it in my head that if I ever have to get up at all, I never have to get up more than once.  I spent the second half of the night fighting the pain of a full bladder, irrationally rationalizing with my sleep fogged reasoning, why I didn’t need to get up again.


The mind can be a terrible thing.





Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Universe from Nothing


I’m reading the book, “A Universe from Nothing”.  It’s written by a physicist (cosmologist) explaining where all the energy and matter come from, and how they can all seemingly spontaneously arise without actually creating any additional energy or matter in the universe (or multiverse if there are more than one).  On page 202 the author sums up everything he has said so far with:  “…the observation that the universe is flat and that the local Newtonian gravitational energy is essentially zero today is strongly suggestive that our universe arose through a process like that of inflation, a process whereby the energy of empty space (nothing) gets converted into the energy of something, during a time when the universe is driven closer and closer to being essentially exactly flat on all observable scales.”


Glad he cleared that up for me; I was starting to lose the thread.



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A new world's record!


The world’s fastest kidney stone.


Sitting outside with Jeff and Carol, it was time to get up for dinner.  I just had time to say “Ouch.  That’s quite a gas bubble” as I stood up, before the waves of searing pain hit my right kidney.  Five minutes later, to my surprise and great delight, the pain shifted to a burning in my bladder.  The stone had already moved that far.  That has to be some kind of record!  It was at least a personal best.


From the first moment I could drink, I pounded fluids nonstop to make sure everything kept moving.  An hour later I was eating dinner.  Some cranberry juice the next day helped soothe the last of the discomfort.


If a person has to have a kidney stone, that is surely the way to do it.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012



We have neighbors next to us in Bandera; Jeff and Carol.


We have neighbors on the other side too; a Black Vulture family.  The babies have fledged and are no longer in the nest, but they don’t fly yet.  They come out in the mornings, hop about on the branches, flap their wings a bit, then return to their shelter at night.





Monday, August 6, 2012

Gulf Waters beach

Of course we’re not there right now, We’ve moved on to the Hill Country, but the summer beach at Port Aransas; it is so much different from the winter beach.


Here is the winter beach.


Here is the summer weekend beach.


It’s a whole different thing.  We enjoy them both.


Who wouldn’t like the solitude of a beach all to themselves?  Yet, there is an energy from the crowded beach that’s special as well.  That’s an awful lot of people all having a good time all at once.