Sunday, July 31, 2005

10:20 AM CST Sunday July 31, 2005

It’s just past 10 AM here in Batesville Indiana and already past 80 degrees. I think it’s going to be a hot one again today. Last night, Ardella, Gloria and I sat outside and enjoyed the balmy, bug free (i.e. mosquitoes) evening as we watched the fireflies blinking on and off around us. The men were down at the lake inside the RV park fishing and Phil hooked into a 4 or 5 pound bass that gave him a good fight. He finally got him to the boat and extracted the hook so the big-boy can live to fight another day. Unfortunately, none of the guys had a camera so Phil was glad he had witnesses. HA!
Yesterday my precious Aunt Beverly who lives in Seattle WA called us on our cell phone. We last visited with her just a few days before we left the northwest, about ten weeks ago. She said even though she reads the web log (aka blog) faithfully, she just wanted to talk to us. I can’t express how loved that made Phil and I feel. She probably has no idea how much her call was appreciated (but I hope she does now). Because we’re traveling with our dearest friends, we never lack for the best kind of company. However, knowing you’re being thought of (enough to take the time to call) by your family is one of those special warm and fuzzy feelings. Her comment that she is living her dream through our travels was especially heartwarming and treasured. That’s what our blog is all about and I hope there are many more of you out there doing the same. Any thoughts, ideas and suggestions about how to make our blog better would be especially welcome. Trust that I will take them all under advisement … I may not act on them but I’ll sure read them all and if you leave your e-mail address, I’ll answer them too. Since many times we receive comments on the blog anonymously so I can’t respond, I’ll take this opportunity to say that your remarks are so much fun to read and very welcome! Keep them coming, we love them all!

10:12 AM

This is a test ... blogger acting up!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

11:00 AM CST Saturday July 30, 2005


Phil and I took a whirlwind, genealogy type vacation back in 1990. We had 17 days to go east as far as Missouri, Iowa and South Dakota, then return to WA. Besides visiting family we found and copied pertinent historical documents in various courthouses along the way and scoured cemeteries including the National Cemetery in Leavenworth, KS where we found the grave of Phil’s Great Grandfather, a Civil War Veteran. Often we were thrilled by the generosity of family willing to share odds and ends of memorabilia as well as photos. We made a quick stop to see Mt. Rushmore and did a “drive-by” at Crazy Horse Monument. As you can see in the pictures below, the monument is easily viewed as you travel west on highway 89/16 but do yourself a favor and go in. In 1990, when we last saw it, there was just a mountain with only a picture on a brochure depicting the vision of the artist, Korczak Ziolkowski and we were amazed and impressed with the progress to date. The face of Crazy Horse was officially unveiled in 1998, 16 years after the self-taught sculptors death and his family (that he trained from the time they could walk) continues the work daily without any government funding whatsoever. The entrance fees and gift shop sales finance the expenses but the weather and total revenue determine the pace of the venture. The film depicting the project from inception to the present, the incredible museum, the expansive gift shop and the comfortable viewing area have evolved and grown over time and there is much to see while waiting for the Laser Light Show (which debuted in May of 2005) to commence at dark. Well worth the wait! The music and the “high-tech storytelling” brought tears of shame as well as tears of joy to these “white eyes.” This is a “do not miss” stop if you travel across South Dakota.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

12:49 PM Wednesday July 27, 2005

For the complete story and much more information, check out the website:
Our "motley crew" enjoying dinner before attending the Crazy Horse Memorial Laser Light Show in South Dakota - July, 2005. L-R: Ardella, Phil, Joy, Gloria, Les and Donald. Posted by Picasa
Our first look at the gate going in.  Posted by Picasa
After 50+ years of work, here is the result in all it's "monumental" glory! Posted by Picasa
Smaller version of the mountain monument when it's finished. Posted by Picasa
Just some of the thousands of items inside Crazy Horse Museum. Posted by Picasa
Joy choosing a turtle necklace at the gift shop.  Posted by Picasa
Dusk at Crazy Horse Monument ... Posted by Picasa
Les and Gloria waiting patiently for the show to begin. Posted by Picasa
And at last, the lazer light show began. Our camera couldn't catch it but it was spectacular. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 24, 2005

5:49 AM Sunday July 24, 2005

Today the temperature in this part of the country is supposed to reach 104 degrees and we're right smack in the middle of it. It seems insignificant when compared to the extreme temperatures they are experiencing in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles but believe me, with the humidity around here, it seems much warmer. Unfortunately, we have reservations at an RV park in Buchanan, MI starting tonight so we must travel today, otherwise we'd sit and wait it out. However, we are leaving early as you can see from the time of this posting. We will try and be on the road by 7:00 AM and as we only have 188 miles to travel we should arrive somewhere around noon. As "Murphy's Law" would have it, our dash air fan started acting up just as we were nearing this park this past Friday and try as he might, Phil couldn't find any loose wires or disconnected grounds. We're hoping it will hang in there until we can get somewhere with a good RV cooling system repair shop. If it doesn't, we'll drink lots of water, open the vents and tough it out ... aaahh ... the life of a full time RVer ;-)!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

8:48 AM Thursday July 22, 2005

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since you last heard from me and an explanation is in order. I have so much to share with you and I hope to find the time to bring the blog up to date ASAP. Our “Internet Anywhere” satellite dish has a couple glitches. Nothing we didn't know about but things we've not had to deal with very often until lately. For one thing, it can’t find the satellite through trees or other obstacles. And, there are few RV parks in this part of the country out in the middle of wide-open spaces like we experienced in Eastern WA, Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas. The people in MN and WI truly LOVE their trees and the shade they provide (absolutely gorgeous country I might add) which is perfectly understandable considering the hot and humid weather they enjoy during the summer. But, it presents a problem for us. Our traveling companions prefer the shade but we need open sky to the south/southeast. In order to please each of us, we sometimes have to park our coach away from the others as it turns out, we are in this particular park. Voila’ … we’re on line again after a ten day “black out.”

Another problem is thunderstorms that invariably include lightning. Phil and I feel like we’re very vulnerable with our big datastorm antenna pointing skyward during one of these light shows so we prudently lower the dish when a storm comes across our path … and that happens a lot in this part of the country. So far, about one a day! As I’m writing this, the rumbling has started (rain and lightning to follow I’m sure) so I’m going to stop for now, post this message and most likely lower the dish. Hopefully, we'll get back online later today. We really don’t want to tempt Mother Nature!
Note: Lots of love and a big congratulatory hug to my niece Tammy and her fiance' Steve on their recent engagement!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

10:49 PM Tuesday July 12, 2005

Here is a sampling of the 20 life-size bison (aka "buffalo" to local citizens) that are displayed in Custer, South Dakota for their first ever, "Custer Stampede". The one-of-a-kind works of art by 20 different artisans will be rounded up and auctioned to the public October 1, 2005 prior to the 12th annual Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park October 3.
Honoring firefighters ... Posted by Picasa
A vision in blue ... Posted by Picasa
Porcupine genes? Posted by Picasa
Corn and ? blanket ... Posted by Picasa
Patriotic ... Posted by Picasa
Donald looks especially pleased as we cross into South Dakota. Posted by Picasa
July 5, 2005 ~ The "Three Musketeers" taking a lunch break and rest stop at the South Dakota line as we travel South on highway 85 to Rapid City, SD. Posted by Picasa
July 1st hailstorm at our campground in Dickinson, ND. Later that night, although they managed to get them rolled up with Les's help, both Don and Phil received damage to their big awnings from a sudden thunder, lightning, and very intense (albeit short lived) wind storm.  Posted by Picasa
After three weeks of fishing, visiting friends, spending time with family and exploring Montana, we head east on highway 2 and cross into North Dakota on June 27, 2005. Posted by Picasa
Gloria contemplating meeting this guy in a dark alley as we explored the excellent Phillips County Museum in Malta, Montana. Posted by Picasa
Gloria and Lester leading the way as this spectacular vista opens up on highway 191 driving north from White Sulphur Springs toward our next stop in Malta, Montana. In the middle left, off in the distance you can see the road as it continues on and on ... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 10, 2005

10:10 AM Sunday July 10, 2005

Gateway to the North entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Livingston is a small town with a lot of history. Traveling East or West on I-90, at Livingston, turn South on Route 89 for about 57 miles to the park.
Magnificent old barn on it's knees, taking a last breath before giving in to the ravages of time.  Posted by Picasa
Abandoned grain elevator along scenic route 89 south from White Sulphur Springs to Livingston Montana.  Posted by Picasa
Lovely city park in Livingston Montana Posted by Picasa
Main street of Livingston Montana Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 09, 2005

9:52 AM Saturday July 9, 2005

For lots more pictures of our travels, here is a link to Gloria and Lester's picture site:

9:17 AM Saturday July 9, 2005


Wonderful example of snow fences along highway 12 in Montana. Here is a fine explanation by:

Paul Noel
Harvest, Al USA
March 1997

"Snow fences are intended for several purposes. All of these rely on the fact that snow fences cause snow to drift down wind of them thus either collecting water in a place it is wanted or preventing snow from piling where it is not wanted. They are used in many places and interestingly they are also used on the sea shore to cause dunes to form where they are wanted or to control the progress of sand into areas where it is not wanted. So when you go to the seacoast you will see the same thing.
How they work is quite simple. Whenever the wind goes over a fence or wall it forms an eddy current behind the wall. This is a rolling wind current that flows downward and back to the back side of the fence. Thus it causes fast and slow places to develop in the wind. It makes a drift form in front of the fence on the windward side

This empties the air of snow before it crosses the road. It also causes fast air to form, as it is drawn downward, a little farther away so that it blows the snow away from that area. All of these devices rely on the fact that the wind that deposits the material you want to control is nearly always coming from the same direction. In the Colorado area the winter snows blow mostly from one direction. On the beach the prevailing winds are mostly from one direction too. So the builder of the fence can plan their effects by merely placing the fence. Wind erosion

So actually they don’t stop the snow from blowing across the road, they pile it along side and like a leaf blower they blow any snow off the road. Hopefully this helps you understand the function of a snow fence. This is quite similar to the building of groins or jetties along the sea coast to control the deposition of sand on beaches and harbors."
One of several ... Posted by Picasa