Tag Archives: Ellen

Skywatch Friday – Hike to Trout Lake at Yellowstone Park

Trout Lake Reflections-Edit

During my trip to Yellowstone Park earlier in August to see my sister, we took a hike up to Trout Lake. It was a hike that kicked my butt but was only 200 feet in elevation change. But it was worth the climb. The lake is absolutely gorgeous as are the the views from the lake.

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There were a couple guys fishing from  floats for cutthroat trout. One of them told us that he had caught (and released) eleven and they were gorgeous with deep rich colors. He was a little older guy and mentioned that the hard part was hauling all the gear up the trail from  the road. I had a feeling that he lived not far from the Park. I am wondering if he stashes his gear nearby.

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My fellow bloggers over the years have taught me the beauty of imperfection and change in plants. So I took lots of pics of plants in the midst of transition. Nature is beautiful in all its cycles.

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Here is my sister Ellen, the Park Ranger. I felt guilty as we were out from 8 am to about 9 pm every day. She loves showing off Yellowstone Park. Check out her blog. She saw wolves today on a hike.

Here is my Garmin connect view of our outing. It doesn’t lie, like I might. It says 200 feet of elevation change, I’d of sworn 2000 feet. And 1. 4 miles long. Why, it was easily six miles, if not longer.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday today. Come join us! You don’t have a blog? You can link an Instagram photo!

I’m a little late with my post. I was going to write it Wednesday night along with setting up the Skywatch Friday meme and my brand spanking new Dell laptop with super duper quad core processor and solid state hard drive decided to not work, at all!!! As I thought about it though I remembered that Staples, where I bought it from, had given me a thumb drive which they said to keep track of because it was a recovery drive. So a few hours ago, I stuck it into my Dell and fired it up and it came up normally and asked if I wanted to restore my settings to factory, and I said yes and everything now works fine. What’s up? Can anybody tell me?

Our World Tuesday – Yellowstone Park’s Grand Prismatic Spring

My last few posts have been about my recent trip to Yellowstone National Park to see my sister Ellen, the Park Ranger (so proud of her, our father was a Forest Ranger so it is great to see her carrying on the tradition). I only spent a few days with her as we went around the Park and the adjoining Grand Teton National Park, but I saw so much.

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So one day we went to see the Grand Prismatic Spring at Midway Geyser Basin. I’ve seen lots of photos of it the last few years and maybe, or maybe not, I saw it as a kid during our whirlwind 1960’s style vacations that we took as kids.

This trip I was wondering what the first people who saw the thermal features in the park thought. Steam and boiling hot water coming out of the ground. What a wonderland or what a nightmare. Plus the ground could give way any time sending somebody to their doom or at the very least severe burns.  Something that happens to the dummies today who think the rules do not apply to them.

Yellowstone is a wonderland in many senses of the term. Its natural beauty is astounding and its supernatural features such as the geysers and hot springs are bewildering. 

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When you leave the parking lot of the Grand Prismatic Spring you come upon this scene of boiling hot water entering the aptly named Firehole River. The chemical engineer in me was doing mixing calculations trying to figure out how much the temperature of the hot water raised the river temperature plus wondering how much bad stuff from deep down in the earth is now dissolved in that how water, and how  much precipitates out of solution when it mixes with the cold water, and how the remaining dissolved minerals and higher temperature affected the trout fishing. My sister just said she sees lots of fishermen (fisherwomen too!) on the River and so I decided I would worry about something else, especially since I didn’t bring my calculator with me.

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But it was like entering a different world with all the steam all around us. I learned that autofocus cameras don’t like swirling clouds of steam so I would focus a on a rock and then pan away. Just in case you are wondering why the steam is out of focus and the rocks are not.

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The closer you get to the Spring, the more steam you see, especially on a chilly morning.

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They have benches but they are mainly for people getting a better angle on the water.

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At first, I could see why you got up on the benches. So much steam swirling around obscuring the view.

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I liked this view. You can’t really see the spring, but you can see the colors of the spring reflecting off the steam.

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Ah here you go, things kind of cleared up a bit. The different colors are from some of the bacteria that live in the spring that thrive at high temperatures. I find that concept fascinating. How can anything live close to boiling point with all sorts of strange chemicals involved. 

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The strangeness just extends away from the spring.

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There is an overlook trail that Ellen took us to where you can get a better look of the Grand Prismatic Spring. You have some elevation and perspective that you don’t get at a lower level and it is easier to see. It is more than just a little walk but it is worth it if you are up to it. I think the spring is gorgeous. And I love the name Grand Prismatic Spring. I think it lives up to its name.

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One thing about Yellowstone that I learned very quickly is that not just Americans love Yellowstone. The world loves Yellowstone Park. A huge percentage of visitors are from outside the USA. Somehow I feel that increases the responsibility of us to take care and preserve the park. The international visitors bring their culture with them and selfie sticks but somehow it all works and everybody gets along. I think that is great.

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This is a view at ground level below the overlook. We are pretty far away but one can still see the colors of the spring in the spring.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday, come check it out.

Happy Father’s Day Dad

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Another Father’s Day and I am blessed to still have my Father. He lives a thousand miles away but I think about him all the time. He is my personal hero. Dad is getting better at the group selfie thing.

Mazatzal Mountains - Arizona - Early 1960's

He grew up in the plains of South Dakota but somehow became a Forest Ranger with the US Forest Service.

Easter - Coyote, New Mexico

We lived in some really out of the way places. This was Coyote, New Mexico. In case you are wondering, I am the good looking kid. It has been years since my brother and I have held hands like that. It may be a few years before it happens again.

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He fought forest fires for a living.

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And suffered from the same photography frustrations as I do now. Left to right I think that is me, sister Ellen, and brother Bob.

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Dad was always student of history. We took a journey to Fort Sill, Oklahoma several years ago and found Geronimo’s grave in a very out of the way place on a very cold day in November.

#tbt Smokey Bear dot com posted this photo today on their Facebook site today. It shows me and my father in 1957 at the Pecos Ranger Station in New Mexico. My dad was the district ranger at the time. #ForestService #1950's #NewMexico

Here is a publicity still by the Forest Service with him and me and my Smokey Bear on the Santa Fe National Forest. I am still waiting for the royalty check.

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Here is Mom and Dad in Ireland back in the 80’s. They had lots of fun together.

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This is Dad with my sister Ellen, brother Bob, and me at a church reunion in Payson, Arizona.

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Dad even tried a little geocaching, here with me and sister Ellen. Mainly trying to be a good sport more than a love for the sport. He was always a good sport.

He has slowed down a little bit but is still sharp as a tack and is still living life.

Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you.

Dad Gets a New Home

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I have been flying lately up to and back from Idaho Falls, Idaho where my Dad lives.

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I’ve been going through the Denver Airport, which is huge and has limitless opportunity for people watching.

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It also has the best airport pub in the country, The New Belgium Hub. It was pretty empty last time I was there.

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The Idaho Falls Airport is kind of small by comparison. 

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My dad called my sister and said that he was ready to change his living arrangements. We all went up in early July and looked around and found him a place.  My sister and her husband took over from there and got him moved and his house ready to sell. So he has moved from his house of over thirty three years with the beautiful shady back yard to a very nice place in the same town where people are checking on him and life is quite a bit easier. 

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And he is doing very well. And still has a shady place to sit.

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Thanks to my sister Ellen and world’s greatest brother-in-law, Irv. (Shown here with their grandson Mr. Beans)

Happy Father’s Day

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Dad likes nothing better than sitting in the shade talking.

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Dad, Mom, and my aunt Lois somewhere in Ireland I’m guessing.

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Here we are in Coyote, New Mexico. I had to label everything because when I said that I was the good looking kid people were still confused.

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With son Logan at Dad’s church in Idaho.

#tbt Smokey Bear dot com posted this photo today on their Facebook site today. It shows me and my father in 1957 at the Pecos Ranger Station in New Mexico. My dad was the district ranger at the time. #ForestService #1950's #NewMexico

Forest Service publicity still in 1957. I am still waiting for my royalty checks.

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Dad at his beloved Flandreau, South Dakota with my cousin Bob on his right, and Dad’s brother Glenn on his left.

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Dad with one of us kids. I am not sure which kid. Not a very good son am I.

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Here we are, my sister Ellen and brother Bob in Payson, Arizona.

Happy Father’s Day to all you Fathers out there!!

Logan’s Graduation

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Well the rapidly rushing river headed towards Niagra Falls of Logan’s senior year finally came to the end and I guess we all survived. Wow, a lot happened this year, and wow, it all accelerated and got very fast at the end and then the end came and I guess we were all right.

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It was all very emotional for me as my little baby boy that we brought home from the hospital 18 years ago is now a big strapping young man.

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He is still our baby boy though except he is going to register to vote next week. 

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We were fortunate to have my Sister Ellen (far right) her dashing husband Irv (far left), and my brother Bob (betwsen Logan and Ellen) travel a long distance to share the event with us.

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The High School principal, Dr. Burrows, a very nice man came by and congratulated Logan. He told Heather a few weeks ago that they took a risk admitting Logan and he was very glad that he did. We are glad that he they gave Logan a chance also.

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And here is me. No we didn’t plan on being so color coordinated.

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And one of Logan’s classmates, Matt. Matt went out of his way to make Logan feel welcome when he first attended.

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And this is Logan’s Kindergarten teacher from a long time ago. She had her hands full with an oversize class and Logan took a lot of attention but she hung with him. She was the first of a series of teachers from several schools who had a heart of kids and went the extra mile to give kids like Logan the attention he needed.

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And this is the Kindergarten teacher’s daughter who went to school with Logan way back when and also graduated from the same school with Logan. She spent a lot of time helping Logan back then and they reconnected when Logan enrolled at the new school. 

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Another look at Irv and Ellen. They make a very handsome couple don’t they. They are very nice. Our dogs fell in love with them though and have been down in the dumps since Irv and Ellen left to go back to Colorado.

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Afterwards Nana hosted a party for Logan at her house the next day.  Many of Heather’s relatives attended the party as wells as Ellen and Irvin. 

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The party was a combined graduation and birthday party and had a drama theme since Logan’s first love is acting and performing. Notice the cake with the marquee.

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And the little chalk board like they use for movies. Or used to use anyway.

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Several of Logan’s friends showed up and all had a good time. This is where I admit that I am a bad son in law and did not get a picture of Logan and his grandmother together. Don’t you worry though because I will get a picture and add it to this post. One nice thing about blogging is that you can rewrite history any time you want!

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And then we sang Happy Birthday!!

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I did get a picture of the boy and his mom. They have a special bond that brings tears to eyes when I think about it.

So anyways, maybe I’ll be a better blog friend now. We have been busy lately!!

Christmas 2015 – In the Books

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Christmas happened this year. Hear you go a rare shot of me in my snuggie. 

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The kid with his Nana. The kid is getting taller and taller. Is there something we can spray him with to slow him down a little bit.

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Heather and Nana, quite a team.

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I got a candid shot of Heather. She said she hated it but then she made it her profile pic on facebook. Should I hit her up about royalties?

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I captured Nana also.

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Before the Christmas meal. We decided to have it more informally this year in the kitchen. Lots less work that way.

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My sister Ellen posted this on facebook today. She’s the cute one in the middle. I’m the good looking guy on the right and brother Bob is on the left. I’m guessing mid 1960’s in Price, Utah. We always had a great Christmas. Often we would load up afterward and head up to southern Idaho to see our relatives there. That was fun, or we would head down to Phoenix and see people down there. That was fun also. Bob and Ellen, with her husband Irvin, spent Christmas in Idaho with my dad this year.

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She also posted this picture of her three girls. I’m guessing in the 1980’s.  Dana is on the left. She and her husband Adam are in Australia visiting his family with their little girl who was born this year. Adam is an Australian citizen you see and their little girl has dual citizenship which I think is totally cool.  Jillian in the middle is also visiting my dad, her Grandfather for Christmas in Idaho. Her husband Brian is in the Army serving his country overseas this season. Mary on the right spent Christmas in Colorado Springs with her son this year.

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This isn’t a Christmas picture but it is Ellen and her Husband Irvin with Logan back at the turn of the century. 

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This is also not a Christmas pic but it shows my dad in between Logan and brother Bob.

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And this is brother Bob and me with our mother a long time ago in Coyote, New Mexico.  She is never far from our thoughts.

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Hey you know, when we celebrate Christmas we celebrate it with the critters also. This is abby our sweet but not very smart mutt.

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And Rascal, he is sweet and smart. You can see that he has been reading the paper.

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And our sweet but perpetually cold mutt Ginger. My niece Dana pictured above lives in the Phoenix area and I think Ginger would like us to move there also.

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And Nana’s dog Fiona. She always enjoys visiting us, but is ready to go home when that times comes also.

That was our Christmas this year or at least part of it. I’m big into Christmas not running into a huge stop on Christmas Day so I’m going to go ahead and everybody a Merry Christmas.

2014 US National Arabian and Half Arabian Championship Horse Show

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My sister Ellen and niece Jillian were in Tulsa this weekend to attend to the U.S. National Arabian Horse Show held this weekend. I don’t know a thing about horses but I sure do love to attend the show. It is quite an event.

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There is lots of money involved in Arabian horses. Jut look at this horse trailer.

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The various horse farms that participate decorate up the their stalls very nicely. Televisions, bars, comfy furniture. It is really quite remarkable.

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But the real attraction are the horses. They are incredibly beautiful and graceful and they have attitude. The best of them have the air that they are not quite under control.

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The final event Saturday night is quite elegant. Green sawdust and the judges are all dressed up.

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You can tell that the horses and their handlers have spent a lot of time training together.

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I’ll repeat myself, the horses are incredibly beautiful. I tried to get good photographs of them during the riding events but they are all very blurry.

I did take a 12 second video that is not too bad. The horses are incredibly graceful.

I’ll keep going to this event as long as they have it in Tulsa is what I think. And you know something. The event is free for spectators. You just walk in and sit down in the general seating area like you owned the joint.

Have you ever been to a horse show? Tell us about it.

Linking with Camera Critters

Skywatch Friday – Denver Airport Storm Spinning Up

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Well, I have been not blogging for a week. Things have been unsettled. I had two thing going on last week. I had a customer event to attend in Denver at Coors Field. I was going to fly into Denver on Thursday morning. Watch a baseball game and then fly back to Tulsa. And then Friday I was going to fly to South Dakota to attend a family reunion over the weekend.

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Well the first part worked out great! I flew to Denver and attended the Rockies game and rubbed elbows with customers and met some new people (well some of them were not that new, they were older than me, but they were new to me, but I think you know that is what I meant) and visit the the folks I already knew and drink a Fat Tire beer and eat something. Nice, right!? Yeah, well it beats a sharp stick in the eye is what I say.

#coloradorockies #baseball #denver #daytrip #coorsfield #heaven

So it was great!! Being paid to drink beer and watch baseball? Sign me up! Oops, I’m already signed up I guess.

Well anyway I took a cab back to the airport and found out that, despite there not being a cloud in the sky, United Airlines cancelled the flight back to Tulsa because of weather. The only thing that I can figure is that the weather was too nice to fly in. Better to kick back with some cold ones the crew said.  Well, okay, I can get into that even though the flight that was cancelled was the last one to Tulsa that night! Oh well.

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So I got me a hotel room that night and then used Uber to get me a ride to the nearest Walmart and got me some clothes and a duffle bag. Cuz you see, after talking to Heather I decided to just fly to South Dakota from Denver but I didn’t have any clothes. I have to tell you shopping at Wally World is a little different. The colors are strange, the styles are strange, it’s all strange. Don’t get me wrong I don’t buy fancy clothes, I’m into Kohl’s myself but Walmart was just disorienting. The prices are right though!

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So I finally got through with Wally World and went outside and called up another Uber car. I felt really techno and with it. Uber is this car ride service where you get an app on your phone and can get rides from private individuals. It is wonderful. I’m never using a dirty old greasy cab again. In total, I had two regular cab rides this trip in Denver and two Uber rides. The cab rides were both very expensive the drivers refused to turn the air conditioning on. The cabs were filthy and the drivers borderline rude. The Uber cars were brand new and spotless and the drivers very courteous. I’ll be using Uber again.

So I gathered up my stuff and flew to Sioux Falls and met up with my Sister, Brother in Law and my Father so we could go to the Family Reunion not far away. However on our way to our destination my brother in law, Irv got a message that his father, who had been seriously ill, passed.

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So, that kind of through me off my feed. Irv is a really nice guy and so was his father. His father was one of those guys was so full of life and very engaging with everyone he meets that it is hard to imagine life without him. Nobody can really know what other people are going through but I know that Irv loved his father and the loss is devastating.

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So if you could keep Ellen, and Irv in your thoughts I’d appreciate it. This has been a hard week for them.

Skywatch Friday