Sunday, April 18, 2010


We have been 'camped' in our daughter Heathers' driveway for just over a week. Been great being around the grandkids! Helping with projects, Heather has 2 in school and a 2 year old, can you imagine trying to set up and paint a room under those conditions? Well she has accomplished a lot, but still much to be done. I get to be Super Daddy!

Went offroad cycling with an old friend on Saturday, wow, I have lost my edge. I am sure I can get some of it back, but my seat coming off the rails was my clue to keep it a short day.

This week, have some painting to do, a little electrical work. Our oldest has a field trip tomorrow! Quite excited, she is heading to Jamestown, VA, the site of the first permanent colony in North America. She told us all about how we came to this nation, filtered through the new teachings. Interesting. Not that we didn't get a slanted view when my generation was in school, but the current stuff, well made me feel old I guess.

Guess that is it for now, good night...

Monday, April 12, 2010

A lot of time has passed

Lost the password for awhile, and google doesn't make it easy to get it back. Finally allowed proper amount of time to get back on. Sure, not an excuse for the lack of posting since August, but I am sticking with it.

Here we are, mid-trip, heading back to Yellowstone.

Fall... headed back to Florida, went back as a seasonal Chrysler Dodge, Jeep dealer. Had fun and can go back in Fall. Fall plans are not completely gelled yet though.

Winter, what a cold winter. For Florida! Never really got warm until we left. So here we sit, in Portsmouth, VA, in the driceway of our daughter and son-in-law home. Helping out getting things done, Mark deployed soon after moving in, so Heather has been on her own for about 6 months. Previous owner left lots of junk, got it cleaned out. Fixing things, storing stuff. (see George Carlin for stuff definition)

Here is Mia, our youngest g-child and Koda our trust travelling pup. They all want Papa lap-time.

So, Our summer is shaping up in planning. I was asked back as an Assistant District Manager for the Southern District in the park. What this means is that I will help manage the four southern stores in the park. Looking forward to the challenge! Jolene will be working at our Old Faithful store.

This summer our big thing is opening the new Visitor Center at Old Faithful. When we left back in October they had it all closed in for the weather, this would allow some work to be done over the winter. Still, the open date is 3rd week of August.

Planning on getting in lots of fishing this year, should have a much earlier start. Have new camera gear now as well, so, more photos.

Guess that is all for me for now. I will try.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Looks like it is a monthly blog

Greetings, take me to your leader. (fly fishing humor) OK, I know I promised to post more often, but sometimes it just doesn't strike me. I notice the last post was June 19, today is July 19, I apparently have the monthly muse.

The past month has been fun, hardly seems like a month has passed! I mentioned previously that we found a great Vet for Koda. He seems to think so too, brought him in and he walked right up to the door! Then in, sniffed around and sat to wait his turn. We may have to move here for this Vet.
Finally found some potted basil for Jolene at the local florist. Very nice lady, she pulled the last three basil plants out of 3 herb pots (containing a garden of herbs) and re-potted for me. We may have to move here for service like this.
As you can see by my picture the fly fishing bug has hit me, why else would I be dressed so goofy. The typical wind pants and shirt are really comfortable! The waders are fun to be able to walk that deep into a river without getting wet. The fish catching is a bonus.

This past week I rode my motorcycle up to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch for four days of fly fishing instruction. What a great time. You know the old small world thing, well, one of the guys in the class was raised in the next town over from us back in RI. He and I graduated the same year from high school. We were probably at the same football game on opposite sides of the field. (our schools were in same division) We both left RI about the same time for the military, (different branches), and neither live in RI any longer. Had some fun talking about things there. Del's, Newport Creamery, chowder the right way etc...

During the fly fishing course, we learned all sorts of new things. How to read the stream, looking at the edges, or changes in the appearance of the water. Indicators of current, eddys etc. Places where a fish would wait for prey. Prey being a floating caddis or a swimming nymph. How to cast to get your fly just upstream, letting it float down to the fish. How to attempt to outsmart a fish with a brain the size of a pea. I think hey may use all of their brain, we only use a small percentage of ours.

After 2 days of practice casting we were finally deemed ready for water and hooks. Off to the Soda Butte, and casting, wading, casting, finding edges, cut banks, casting, drifting. Just no fish. After talking with others on the stream we found that they had no luck either, the fish just weren't rising. Oh well, that's fishing.

Later we headed to the Lamar River, for the 'Magic Hour'. Couple of the other guys an I headed to here we were sent. Quite a walk, but magical place. Still no fish, but just being there, looking around, working on getting the cast to where we wanted it. Didn't work on the fish, but it was Magic nonetheless.

Last day of the class we went out to the Slough Creek. (pronounce it Slue Crick) We finally got things to crick, I mean click! Up and down the creek fish on! I caught a nice cutthroat trout. Others in the class caught their share as well, a cutbow, a rainbow, a brook. Nice way to graduate!

After returning to the Ranch Rhea presented us with our certificates and a talisman for our fly gear. Rhea has fished all over the world and when in these exotic locations she collects a small remembrance in the form of stones, and rocks. I received a beautiful piece of obsidian collected on a river in California near the Oregon line. Appropriately it looks wet. (wet stone, get it?)

Well, my class was done, and time to get back to Old Faithful. Repack the bike for the journey and ride the 70+ miles. (all IN the park).
One last little bit. As I have mentioned, the wildlife is wild here. On the way I found a small gang of elk ladies relaxing comfortably in a meadow, just watching the traffic go by.

That's all for now. I PROMISE I'll try to make it less than a month.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Long Time, No Blog

June 19, wow, been about 3+ weeks. Lots going on, and I guess the muse did not strike.

OK, in the intervening period since my last post we have been having a pretty nice time. Lots of rain, just about the whole time we have had rain. Daily. Ugh, reminds me of New England weather. However, a rainy day in Yellowstone can be a lot more interesting than a sunny day someplace else.

We have done a bit of in and out of park travel. Bozeman, MT one day, joined Costco. Found a cool little thrift shop for Jolene to browse and a sporting goods pawn shop next door. Found my water boots for fly fishing there. Great deal, they were still new and about 20% of what I had seen them online for. Costco had the waders I needed. Just about done setting up my fly fishing kit. In July I will go to a 4 day novice course lead by Rhea Topping, a recognized expert in fly fishing.

The following week we just hit the little town of West Yellowstone, found a great vet for Koda. He was sure excited.

This week we explored Jackson Hole. What a cool town, good shopping, closer than Bozeman, and a real neat drive. About 95 miles. Good grocery store, Sports Authority, and Orvis shop. Gotta stay away from that place, the $ signs have $ signs on them! Ultimate fishing store though.

In Park travels. Lamar Valley, this is where we will be taking courses, me the Fly Fishing, and Jolene to be determined. LV is THE place for wildlife viewing.. This is where the first rangers kept the bison herd to increase it. It is now used as a learning institute by the Yellowstone Association. Many small log cabins and a big one. Big one has the kitchen and classrooms. While in the area we saw many bison, elk, a black bear, a big horn sheep. Unfortunately the bear was only recognizable thru binoculars, and the zoom on my little digi camera was enough. Getting camera envy out here. Not far from here we saw the females with the babies on a cliff side.

On our drive back from Jackson Hole, a big grizzly (probably 800 lb) crossed the road about 8 cars ahead of us. I was ready for a good picture, but he went off into the brush. Never had a decent shot.

With us being in such a central location, hundreds of visitors a day passing before us, we meet many people. State of origin comes up a lot. I look for clues, like a Gators jersey, pretty sure they are from FL. Red Sox hat, pretty much New England. One Red Sox hat was on a family , (not the whole family), who happened to be from our old hometown in RI and of course we had acquaintance's in common. Always a kick to have this happen.

All for now. Hope you don't give up on reading, I'll try to post a little more often.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Week

This is Memorial Day Weekend, a tribute to our Vetereans who have served and those that made the ultimate sacrifice. If you are reading this in English, thank a veteran. Thank them anyway, the vets are those that took time from their life to serve our country. Put off college to serve, put off starting a career to serve. Thank you, and welcome home.

End of our first week here at Yellowstone. Monday we drove up to Gardiner, MT for training, first day was getting acquainted, some paperwork out of the way, (completely painless), and meet our fellow worker/campers. Finished the day off with a nice barberque up on the rim of Gardiner, a rental place called 'Above The Rest'. This is the view we had for eating hamburgers. Life is goood...
Our second day we joined the Park Rangers for their training, touching upon many items, including the Wolf Project, where the wolves had been reintroduced to the park. Learned about how they are managed, where they go etc. Very interesting.
Last day we learned about the retail side of our jobs, the register, products, how thy are selected for the stores. We also learned more about the membership, the value to the members, what the membeship does for the Park. If you visit me at the Visitors Center, be prepared.
Back to Old Faithful, a day off when we visited West Yellowstone, and visited this display. The town's Chamber of Commerce commissioned these buffalo and invited artists to paint in various themes. They have been on display for a while, and now they are being presented for auction in August. This one is one of my favorites.
Our first day was fun, met many people, sold many books and a couple memberships. The diversity of our visitors is amazing, so many countries in just the first 2 days. Second day, (don't worry, this won't be a day by day diary), we were a little more relaxed. Worked our whole shift including doing the open by ourselves. Getting out at 1:30 leaves a pretty good sized afternoon, so after lunch we drove over to see Grant Village and West Thumb. Even with a good sized afternoon we didn't see as much as we would have liked, so saving this place for another day off.
Have a wonderful weekend, 3 day for most of you. Our weekend arrives on Weds.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

We Have Arrived

I just noticed that the last post was on 4/29. We were having fun, and not always good internet speeds.

We left Phoenix on April 30th with the destination Buckskin SP just north of Parker. Beautiful campground, could have stayed a week, but we had a schedule.

From Buckskin to Bullhead City, AZ. Davis CG in Bullhead is another state park, on the Colorado River, short hop over to Laughlin, NV. We headed over to NV and checked out a couple casino's. Not much luck at the machines, but pretty much stayed even. Bullhead City also has a big Sam's club, we decided to get new tires. The techs checked out or set and we decided to replace all the rear tires, the front tires were in good shape.

Laughlin to La Vegas. We stayed at the campground at Circus Circus. Vegas has a pretty nice transit system, you can buy a pass that i good for all day. Runs you anywhere in the city, and with the traffic it s a little faster than walking. We got to see all the casino's from the bus. In the evening we headed to Fremont St. Still on the bus. Now behind the immigration rights march which ended at Government Center. Woohoo. We finally got to Fremont St in time to be blocked by the Gay Pride parade. (not there is anything wrong with that) Aside from the blockades to our progress, Fremont St was great. Jolene won some at the Golden Nugget, enough to cover our dinner OR our camp fees.

I was a little concerned about what the noise level might be at night on the Strip, but it was fine. Actually much quieter than our stay in Phoenix.
We left Vegas for, get this, Virgin Utah. Yeah, ironic, we know. Virgin is the town on the edge of Zion NP. We joined up with our RV Forum 'Framily' for the first leg of their Hop, Skip and Jump rally. Because of our schedule we could only Hop. Zion is beautiful, and we will come back to it again.

The picture here is of the formation named 'The Prophet'. Most of the rock formation in Zion are biblical references.

We left Virgin, UT on May 4th, headed to Ogden, UT. Jolene grew up in Ogden and this is where we met and were married. Our plan was to stay the firs night at Antelope Island, really cool place in the Salt Lake, however the ranger warned us that the biting gnats were out in full force. We decided to skip that stop, we instead headed straight to Willard Bay. The bugs were there as well, just not biters. Back when we were married in 1972, our first purchase was a camper. Willard Bay campground was the site of our first overnight. We didn't remember the bugs. Two nights there in the buggy site and we decided to head to a campground found on a motorcycle ride. This one was up at the top of Ogden Canyon, Anderson Cove, another state park. This campgound overlooks the Pineview Reservoir, and it overlooks the point.Point is a weekend destination for swimming etc. This is the place that Jolene and I met, back in 1971.

Ogden stop was wonderful, we caught up with Jolene's family, spent some quality time with her Dad.

All too soon it was time to leave, but it was time for the last legs of our trip.

Last night on the road we stayed at Red Rock RV, just outside Island Park, ID. Friends of ours are workamping there this summer. Nice park situated on Henry's Lake. This lake has quite a reputation for trout fishing. Lake is still frozen, so fishing was out, but there was enough clear water for the eagles to find a meal.

Still lots of snow on the ground here in this part of the world. Doesn't show in this picture but looking the other way? Hoo Boy. We had an enjoyable evenng with Dan and Carol and headed out in the morning. It started snowing as we were getting ready to leave.

The drive from Island Park to Yellowstone was not even an hour, only 24 miles. The distance from the entrance of the park to Old Faithful is 30 miles! This is a huge place. I know this, but the reality of it is somewhat overwhelming.

Saw a roadsign I had never seen in my life. "Caution Buffalo may be in Road". Son of a gun, they were right.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On The Road

April 29th. (Happy Birthday John) We hit the road this morning. Accomplished quite a bit Monday & Tuesday, installed the slider shelf and freezer, got the trailer reorganized, everything packed, and ready to go. Freezer is an awesome addition, it will help greatly for extended times between shopping. Already, I was able to buy 3 1/2 gallons of ice cream! In the little freezer in our fridge there is only room for that much ice cream, so all that ice cream plus all the meat, etc is a bonus.

Our first night out, we are at Buckskin State Park. Situated on the Colorado River, a little south of the Parker Dam. The river is clear, and not as cold as I would have expected. We took Koda for a walk down to the boat ramp after dark, he was quite intrigued by the water. He is NOT a water dog, he doesn't care to jump in like other dogs, so having him near never concerns us. Well it must have looked different in the dark, cuz in he jumped. Out he climbed! It might have been dark, but he still doesn't like it.

Great dark skies tonight, stars very bright. Nothing like being away from a city to see stars. Big dipper, Orion's Belt, OK, that is it for my ID-ing. Need to study this a bit more.

So quiet here. After the time in Phoenix, just off a main street, with traffic, fire trucks etc, this is heaven. A lot to be said for the stillness of a night by a river.

Good night, I am going to sit and watch and listen.


Colorado River, Earp, CA

Colorado River, Earp, CA
Looking north

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