Handful of Change

This is what's left of the driver's window of my 4Runner.
This is what’s left of the driver’s window of my 4Runner.

Last Friday I had a service appointment for the 4Runner. When Older Son and I left the apartment together, he to walk me to the rig and head for work and me to head for the appointment, we discovered that someone had knocked out the driver’s side window with a rock. Older Son called the Denver police and I called my insurance company.

As I made arrangements to have the window replaced, I looked through the rig to determine what might be missing. A $600 radar detector was still in its mount. Nothing was taken from the center console. The back seemed to be intact. The best I can tell, the thieves took only a handful of pennies, nickels, and dimes from the bin in the center console. There were no quarters in that bin because I hold them for laundry.

Of course, I could not get the window replaced until this week (tomorrow, precisely). Therefore, I needed a secure place to stow my rig until the glass could be replaced. After clearing the glass from the seats, I headed for the Toyota House to have the service completed.

When I got there, Matt took my key to check my vehicle in. “I’ll tell you about what else I need when you get done.”

“You mean, like this busted window?”

“Yeah…”

So, Matt checked on availability of a glass from Toyota. There was not a replacement in the country. But, when I asked, he agreed to hold my vehicle for me until I can get the window replaced. So, although I do not have a vehicle, at least it’s secure. The window will be replaced tomorrow. Soon I’ll head out. I’m ready to be out of the city for awhile.

South Side Food and Drink, Limon, Colorado

While spending the night in Limon, Colorado, the hotel proprietor recommended South Side Food and Drink. It's a local watering hole.
While spending the night in Limon, Colorado, the hotel proprietor recommended South Side Food and Drink. It’s a local watering hole.

After checking into the Limon Motel, I asked the proprietor about food. He recommended South Side Food and Drink, which was a short walk from the hotel.

The Girl and I settled in, then walked down Main Street a few blocks in the cold wind for a bite. They had no issue with my service dog. A group of locals was playing cards at a table. Another group was seated at the bar, watching TV and chatting. The vibe was good, so we decided to stay.

The server came over and took my drink right away. She knew what they had on tap and the characteristics of those beers I did not know. I selected one and perused the menu while waiting.

The daily special was tacos. I chose the special and asked for chicken. They were decent, if not great, and a little salsa made them tasty enough that I enjoyed my supper. The Girl begged chicken from me, but I refused given she was working.

I love local watering holes, particularly those with a good vibe. This one had it.

Construction Worker

When I took the Girl out this morning, I noticed the construction workers working on the adjacent property. The light was a little interesting, so…
When I took the Girl out this morning, I noticed the construction workers working on the adjacent property. The light was a little interesting, so…

The Girl needed to go out first things this morning. So, I stuck my Panasonic in the pocket of my hoodie and stepped outside. The morning light was just filtering through some thin clouds, but was still interesting. They men working were not paying any attention to me. So, I captured a few nice shots.

Wife’s Memorial

On our way out of town, the Girl and I stopped to visit the place where we dispersed Wife's ashes. Her family keeps a cross and flowers posted here to remember her. It's a beautiful field and I love to stop here and remember her at her best, not at the end.
On our way out of town, the Girl and I stopped to visit the place where we dispersed Wife’s ashes. Her family keeps a cross and flowers posted here to remember her. It’s a beautiful field and I love to stop here and remember her at her best, not at the end.

I love to visit this place, where we dispersed Wife’s ashes. It is across the county road from my old place, where I moved when I was 15-years old, finished high school, helped dad with the farm, and where Wife, I, and our two older children lived while I was working on my master’s degree.

I still believe this is a happy place for Wife’s ashes. It is a place that is meaningful to her, her family, and to me. That makes it right, at least to my mind.

Middle of Nowhere, Kansas

The Girl and I needed a break from the drive… and  the wind. I found a place where we could pull off the highway and get out of the rig for a few minutes. The sky was quite beautiful this afternoon.
The Girl and I needed a break from the drive… and the wind. I found a place where we could pull off the highway and get out of the rig for a few minutes. The sky was quite beautiful this afternoon.

It was a long day. I started about 0600 with a two-mile run. The Girl and I both needed the exercise. Mom and Dad had breakfast cooking when we returned, so after a quick shower I ate my breakfast and the Girl ate hers. Then we loaded up what little we had unpacked, said our goodbyes, and headed out.

I stopped at the family farm to pay my respects to the place we dispersed Wife’s ashes. Her family keeps a small cross posted there and they renew the flowers now and again. I will post an image of that site in the morning.

Then we had a look at my old home place. The house is looking a little sad. It needs attention. But, it’s no longer my gig and so that responsibility will fall to someone else.

We drove through St. James and I had a look at the place where I went to high school. There’s not much there for me anymore, but it remains a part of my history and so I acknowledge it. Then we headed north on State Highway 68.

I made a wrong turn in Jefferson City and found myself northbound on U.S. 54. So, we took some of the State Roads over to U.S. 63 and got back on track.

I stopped a few times along the way. Mostly I wanted to stretch and keep my blood moving. But the Girl also needs a break from the rig. Sometimes there was something to photograph; sometimes not. But the landscape above captured my attention, so we spent a few minutes walking around looking for the right angle to capture the light.

Then we were back on the road.

Waffle House, Hagerstown, Maryland

Driving south on I-81, I stopped for fuel near Hagerstown, Maryland and saw this Waffle House.
Driving south on I-81, I stopped for fuel near Hagerstown, Maryland and saw this Waffle House.

Happy Friday… ¬°Feliz viernes y la fin de semana! Yesterday, while driving south on I-81, I stopped for fuel near Hagerstown, Maryland. I really wanted some coffee and a break from the bleak, gray driving. So, seeing this Waffle House across the street from the fuel depot, I decided to take a little longer break.

The Girl and I pulled into the parking area, walked through the rain, and found a booth inside. The Girl was cold and shaking, so I threw my sweatshirt (works for both of us) over her, ordered coffee, a waffle, and a couple of eggs.

“May I pet your dog?” the server asked.

“Please don’t; she’s working.”

“I thought I’d better ask. I love dogs but I know she’s a working dog.”

“Thank you. Only about half of people who want to approach ask, even when she’s in-vest.”

I’m continually surprised that people think they can walk up to any dog, with or without its handler, and pet it. That’s true whether the animal is a service dog or a pet. I generally just shake my head. I’m also a lot less reluctant to put my hand between the person and my dog (gently if the person is a child) and say “stop!”

While enjoying my coffee, I looked through my road atlas at potential routes through West Virginia to Missouri. There are not many options east-to-west. So, I decided to stay with the Interstate Highways for the next bit.

I enjoyed my eggs and waffle (probably a little too much) and the interaction with the server, who brought a piece of bacon for the Girl. What a wonderful, thoughtful gift.

After I paid my bill, I took the bacon with me to the rig. I got Ki’s food from the back, broke up the bit of bacon, and prepared her a treat. She usually doesn’t eat as well when we’re traveling, especially at first, but with the addition of a little special sauce she got after it.

The afternoon drive was wet, nasty, and difficult. The heavy spray from the trucks made visibility a challenge. I stopped in Elkview, WV for the night, at a La Quinta, and after off-loading my necessaries for the evening I realized just how tired I was. Nonetheless, the Girl and I took off for a nice walk, even in the rain.

On our second spin around the large parking lot, we stopped at La Carreta, a local Mexican restaurant. I then realized it was Cinco de Mayo, which must have been the source of my craving for enchiladas. The well margaritas were a buck apiece, and were good enough, if less than excellent. The Enchiladas de Marias were really quite good. I’m pleased I decided to celebrate Cinco.

The sun is up this morning and I can see daylight on the woods. This will be a better day, even with travel on the Interstate Highway System.

The Plaza, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Protest, the plaza, Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Protest, the plaza, Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

While in Bolivia, I heard it said “Bolivia is the most democratic country in the world.” The meaning was there is always somebody protesting something.

Our first day in Santa Cruz we walked the plaza, wandering through the booths and crowds. It was a fascinating experience, to be among all that liveliness. I made a number of captures that afternoon, some just snapshots; others more like street photography. My intent was to capture my impression of my first few hours in a new country.

Farmacias, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

I shot this my first day in Bolivia, in Santa Cruz, walking from Los Tajibos to the Farmacias.
I shot this my first day in Bolivia, in Santa Cruz, walking from Los Tajibos to the Farmacias.

Not long after I arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, we walked from Los Tajibos a block or two to the Farmacias to buy bottled water and any other necessaries. I learned quickly to watch traffic because traffic rules in Bolivia are only suggestions. There is no telling what might happen in traffic.

This capture came from a group I thought I lost. It was made with my Panasonic compact camera. The images were staged on my MacBook Pro in (or course) a place where I would not lose them. The problem was, I lost them. But I found them Friday while cleaning up some files on my notebook computer and sorting images on my external drives.

This is good because some of my street captures were made with the Panasonic, which is a better camera than my iPhone 6S (although the latter is very good for what it is). Now I can share some street photography on my weblog.