The Girl and I wake early nearly every morning, even when traveling. Here in Portland, I found a walking path along the Columbia River not far from my hotel. We’ve been out and about just after sunrise almost every day this week. On some mornings, there is even sunshine.
On Monday, the Girl and I rose early, moved around a bit, and I fed us. I handled a conference call that might (hopefully) lead to some new work. I could use a couple of new projects on the books. Then we loaded out the rig and headed west to intercept the Crater Lake Highway.
As we approached the area, the nature of the geology (volcanic) was striking. I could go back here and spend several days exploring the area. Another visit to Crater Lake (so I could capture images at dawn and dusk) is also appropriate.
I pulled up to the entry gate, showed my “old man’s pass,” and drove on with a map and newsprint in hand. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center to look around. But, I could tell that the park was getting busier as the morning aged. So, we drove off to catch East Rim Drive and take in the park.
I was astounded when we pulled off at the first access point. It was a short hike to the edge of the pit. The Native Americans are right — Crater Lake is a holy place. I could imagine the battle between Skell and Llao that they must have witnessed so long ago. That struggle would have been truly heroic.
We spent a couple of hours wandering along the east rim. Then we drove on towards Portland, where my conference is being held this week.
A few days ago, the Girl and I hiked up Little Wildhorse Canyon. We didn’t go quite all the way, but far enough to get the geocache up there and to get a taste of hiking slot canyons. Both are addictive, I think.
There were a couple of spots where the Girl needed a hand. Mostly she’s independent, but this was a five foot jump and I don’t think she can do that without hurting herself. So, I lifted her up until she got purchase and she was off and running, literally.
On the way down we had a navigate the spot again, but this time I found a way she could do herself. Just like a two-year old, “she’d rather do it herself.”
By the time we got back to the car, she was done. It’s not often she’s trailing behind me. This time I ran away from her.
The Girl and I started early Tuesday morning with a long walk about the circuit I chose that takes us along the railroad tracks, the golf course, and back down Main Street to the hotel. We were up and walking before most folks were out and about. It isn’t that there are that many folks here out and about. Green River is pretty quiet.
We bought a bite of breakfast and then stopped at the park for a few minutes for me to spend some time in my journal and think about the day. Then we drove out to see the new diversion dam that was recently updated to keep the irrigation canals operational. As part of the upgrades, fish and boat passages were added to the structure. However, the river is high enough that there wasn’t very much to see.
We visited the Powell Museum and watched the movie of Powell’s exploration of the Green River and Colorado River. The movie was excellent and worth the price of entry into the museum. The Girl didn’t like the thunderstorm sequences much, but settled back down when the thunder ceased.
After a bite of lunch, we drove over to public library where there I could get a desk and Internet connection. It’s a nice little library and seemed to be busy enough. I chose a few geocaches and loaded my GPSr for an afternoon run.
After waffling a little about the heat, the Girl and I headed west to the San Rafael Uplift area. I’ve driven through it a dozen times or more, but never gotten off the road to explore. The geocaches on my list took us to some fine sights and I’m glad I made that trip.
The afternoon brought some thundershowers and some cooler air. I’m fine at 90F outdoors so long as I have water. The breeze and break in the bright sun made the afternoon excursion much more fun.
I came away with a few captures that I really like. One of them is attached.
The Girl and I got out early for morning Walkies. It’s hot — damned hot — here in central Utah right now. On the way here yesterday, I spent a lot of time hunting geocaches in 100F weather. The Girl mostly elected to stay in the rig. She was hot.
So, this morning we got out early before the heat. It was a wonderful, if uneventful walk. I made a few captures around town on the way. This is one of them.
After several weeks in Denver, I finally finished my report and my visit. I left Friday morning, headed west. My destination is eventually Carson City, Nevada. But when I get there is not yet determined.
I want a few days to spend centering myself and spending outdoors. I thought about stopping in Grand Junction (and might yet), but was tired when I hit Rifle, Colorado. So, I pulled in here, found a place to stay, and unloaded for the evening.
I’ll have an image and maybe a story about Shooters Grill. I might have more stories and certainly have lots and lots of captures (already). But I love this bit of video that I captured up at Rifle Falls this morning.
A lady I met in the liquor store parking lot told me to go visit the falls. The Girl and I got out not too early this morning and headed north. I had a few geocaches on my list to try for as well. I’m out in the country again, happy, loving to hunt for geocaches in the rural environment, and just loving being outdoors.
We found a couple of them on the way north, then pulled into the lot, paid our access fee, and chatted with the ranger manning the station for a few minutes. Then we found a parking spot and started walking.
The air from the falls is quite cool and it was in sharp contrast to the warm summer air nearby. The sound was wonderful and I stood there for a few minutes, making a few captures and simply enjoying the moment. I began collecting the data I needed to log the earthcache at the falls. Then we started the hike up to the top of the falls.
I could not find the standard geocache at the top of the falls. There was too much traffic to really focus and I just didn’t feel like tramping around in the brush. So, we abandoned that one and went back to the falls. On the way down the trail, there were a couple of nice overwatch areas. We paused to look and listen. I grabbed the Girl’s ass now and again, just to keep her engaged.
She jumps when I surprise her and that’s fun. She’ll spin around, grinning at me, laughing “play?” Sometimes we just get after it then, running around like crazy. But we were more sedate at the park, not wanting to scare anyone… because, you know, pit bulls are killers!!!.
I finally decided I needed food. So we started back down the trail to the parking lot. There we came across a couple of Ranger and Sheriff rigs. They had a man in the back seat of one of the rigs. He did not look happy.
My rig was blocked in the lot, so I got a protein bar and some water out. We wandered back to within earshot, but out of the way. I never did figure out what the guy did. He was shouting some at his friend/family nearby. But what a way to ruin a family outing…
I was finally able to get my rig out and head back to town. We picked up a bite, returned to our room, and after I showered had a big nap. I was quite tired. I suppose I’m shedding some of that stuck city energy I picked up over the last few weeks. I know I’m much happier here in Rifle than I was in Denver.
I’m not sure what’s up for tomorrow. I have some chores I need to do. But I think I want to go back up to the state lands again. Maybe we’ll drive up a little farther in the canyon this time. Or maybe we’ll just find a nice park in town and hang out there for some fun. I could take some toys and give the Girl a good run.
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.
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.
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.