Monday, August 19, 2013

Photo Journey of a Teen

I asked Emma if she could take some pictures along the road, so when we got home she let me download them into the computer so I could post them and, eventually, make a Shutterfly album of our trip.  Of course, we have WAAAAY too many pictures to fit into one album, so I have been trying to edit out the ones we don't need, most of which have been landscape pictures.

Here are a few of the pictures she took--my favorite snapshots.

Leaving the Seattle area, heading towards the foothills...

Eastern Washington, near the Columbia River (near Vantage, I think).

Dead dragonfly body we found.

Montana, near Deer Lodge & Butte.

Bug on her window.

Lucy the brown bear!

Awesome trees.  I have no idea where she saw these.

Cows.  North Dakota, probably.

North Dakota's painted hills.  Just gorgeous!

Ben, having a bad hair day.  The on-board entertainment system was a lifesaver for this long journey. They didn't watch TV the *whole* time (although, admittedly, it was quite a lot), but it kept them happy.

Bird nests all over the hotel in St. Cloud, MN.  Just remarkable!

Bird she saw at the park in Wisconsin, on the St. Croix river that separates WI and MN.  We stopped for a picnic there.

This is a feather she found at the same park.

Beautiful churches...this is Holy Hill, from the parking lot.

They had lots of amazing statues...

I love this shot...

View from on high!  Holy Hill is located on the highest hill in the Kettle Moraine area.

Inside the church.  Services, as I said before, were going on, so we stayed on the other side of the doorway.

Lots of lovely carving and stonework.

And the Stations of the Cross (which tell the story of Jesus's trial and crucifixion) lined a 1/2 mile trail down the hill.  These are all pretty old and were restored in recent years.

The Kluever girls painted Emma's nails.  I was trying to figure out if those were snake tongues or???

And Bingo was his name-o.  Seriously, his name is Bingo.  Sweet dog.  Loved chasing cars.

Bill the Amish horse.

Goats & sheep.

A trip to Culver's for burgers, fries and frozen custard.

Devil's Tower.

Mount Rushmore.

The big wigs, up close.

A crazy endeavor.

A path!

A rush.

A cone. (Or maybe a petrified Christmas tree?  Just's the cone of an ancient geyser at Mammoth Hot Springs)

Odd name for a hot spring.

One picture of me.  Terrible photo--it was windy and hot.  I look a mess.

Ol' Faithful.

Rainbow colors running off a hot spring.

Flowers growing amongst the springs.

A river flows through it...several of the hot springs feed into the river.

This geyser was burbling happily for some time while we watched.

Landscape at the Fountain Paint Pots

Evil clouds.

Bird chasing all of us at the Fountain Paint pots.  Probably begging for food.

Kelly's elk...Emma was in the car and took the photos from quite a ways out.

There's your quick tour.  I gotta get to another early day tomorrow!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

More Pictures from the Eastward Journey

This was our neighbors' house in Cold Spring, who have the sign that used to be posted at the front of the neighborhood.  If memory serves, this sign was made by my father many, many years ago.

We stopped by the local drive in for a burger in Oconomowoc, WI with Jean's parents.  The fries were as good as I remember and Cammie enjoyed a strawberry shake...mmmm!

While we were there, we were buzzed by a caped crusader and his faithful sidekick.  I know I posted it before, but I didn't mention where we were--at the Kiltie!

Later, we swung by our old house on Lac La Belle, but you can't get too close to the house to take pictures, so I took a picture of the neighbor's stonework instead.  This is part of the original house that stood on the lot, but burned down about 100 years ago.  They built a couple smaller houses on the lot, one of which my parents bought and later tore down to build a better one.  

Our visit to the Basilica at Holy Hill was great--this was a stained glass piece in the entryway of the church...

...and this was a shot of the services going on inside, which we didn't want to interrupt (we weren't dressed appropriately, anyway) but the gal singing here had a beautiful voice!  Cammie got a piece of the song on video.

Janane and family took us to the tractor show in Beaver Dam, which was interesting.  I love seeing all the stuff that the farmers invent to use on their farms.  Best engineers in the world are uneducated farmers!  The kids all took turns playing with the water pumps.

 Ben's was almost bigger than he was!

That night, we went to the reunion, but I didn't include these pictures...Dave P and his buddy Tom H. goofing around....

 And Kelly happily watching the Sounders win the game!  It had just started as the party was winding down, and was at the half when we finally started back toward the hotel.

At Great America, I took a few shots of me and the kids.  Not sure why none of them ended up in the last post.  This is me and Ben on the Carousel.

Ben on the Carousel.

Emma, borrowing my sunglasses.

Ben, after eating an entire Smurf...OK, it was blue cotton candy, which we all shared.  We had also just gone on a water ride, so he was soaked.  He and I both had wet shoes and socks the rest of the day. charming...we were in line for a wooden roller coaster that was running backwards!  Unfortunately, the seats were too narrow for me, so it was uncomfortable sitting in it.

Ben, back on the carousel!  He liked that one.  He didn't care for the larger roller coasters. 

Sitting in front of the Carousel after a very long day.  

Wall, South Dakota...downtown.  We got there just before sunset and didn't get to see much before everything shut down for the night.

Sidewalk and posts at Wall.

Ordering dinner in the cafe at Wall.  Nice marble table tops and they had food that required a fork and knife!  Refreshing!

My lovely girls!


Some fun wild-west stuff to pose on around Wall.

Ben and Cammie heading West!

Trapped in the car for days...Cammie was our Keeper of Beverages.  We place our order with her and she passes it forward.

A group shot looking in the sun.  Mount Rushmore is smaller than you think.

See?  Tiny.

Actually, Mount Rushmore is tiny compared to this one.  The entire carving of Mt. Rushmore could fit into the head of Crazy Horse.  They finished his face in 1998, which looks like this:
(This picture is unashamedly stolen off the internet--I did not get this close to the monument)

A couple of Crazy Horses crazy descendants were there performing for the masses--they actually had visitors dancing with them, which looked like a blast!  They were done and taking photos by the time I got out there.  They were very friendly and accommodating to the tourists.

This is what the monument will look like when it's finished.  He's pointing towards his lands, the place where his people are buried.

The video they showed at the theatre there interviewed carver Korczak Ziolkowski who talked about using his ancient generator (which was ancient even in those days), and was located at the bottom of the hill.  He didn't have access roads up there yet, just a series of steps up ladders that he built.  He'd start it up, grab his tools and start climbing stairs.  Hundreds of stairs.  He'd get a couple hundred feet up, and hear the engine die...putta-da-putta-da-putt.  He'd set his tools down, climb back down the ladders and start it up again.  He'd get a little bit higher....and putta-da-putta-da-putt.  Back down the ladders...  Then one day, it died and wouldn't start up again.  It was kaput.  

This must be some kind of boring machine.  I dunno.  Kelly probably does.

Video here:  A 60 minutes video that was on a couple years ago.  And some more links to videos on the man, the mountain, and the trained use of explosives.

We thought the coolest thing would be to visit Deadwood, the original Wild West town in South Dakota, home to Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane.  Unfortunately, we ran into modern-day outlaws with thousands of bikers in town, making all kinds of racket and zooming up and down the roads.  It was crazy.  We visited the cemetery with Wild Bill and Calamity Jane's tombstones, and as we were leaving, I sought out a Geocache.  Right after I put it back, I was approached by a British couple who said, "I think we've been following you."  I didn't know what they meant, but they clarified that they have been out Geocaching, too.  They were the husband and wife team, KBABB, who had been finding my name on the last few Geocaches that I had tracked.  

There were other notable outlaws buried in the same area.  I can't remember who they all were.  They had to fence off these ones so that people would stop defacing them.  Buncha criminals.

Calamity Jane died some 20 years after Wild Bill and had requested, as her dying wish, to be buried next to her sweetheart.  There was some speculation as to whether or not her claim of being his girl was accurate--apparently she was not much of a looker--but they granted her wish anyway.  

Downtown Deadwood looked a little more interesting than this--this is the view of the back of the buildings.  I didn't get any pictures of downtown.  Right after we left the cemetery, my phone battery died and I needed to charge it up, so I only got this shot from the car as we were leaving.

Woo.  Devil's Tower!  This was yet another monument that the US Government is charging admission for, and we were not willing to pay yet another fee to go see nature's beauty, when we could see it from the gas station at the entrance.  

After the second night in Cody, and almost every day before our next leg of the trip, Kelly would unpack and re-pack the car to make it comfortable for everyone, get new ice for the cooler, and stock up on drinks & food.  The water slick is the drainage from the cooler before adding the new bags.

This is the "amazing" view from our hotel.  I know some people find this kind of landscape to be attractive, but I'm thinking...brown.  Too much brown.

Shortly after entering Yellowstone, we stopped at a lookout near the lake and got the kids to pose on the rock.  It looks like there was a forest fire in this area in the last few years--heck, maybe this is part of the fire from 1988, but I think it's more recent than that.  I was trying to Google it, and I came across a news report that there's a huge fire there now, somewhere near the lake.  I can't tell if where it is, exactly.

When we first arrived, we stopped for a picnic lunch and found several trees scratched up from bears.  Lots of trees.  Funny, we never actually saw any bears the whole time we were there.  

Mmmmm...snacks.  We ended up having lots of picnic lunches to save money (and time).  There aren't a lot of restaurants in Yellowstone, so the two days we were there, it was easier just to pull out and make some sammies.  Local blue jays and chipmunks helped clean up the crumbs after we left.

We stopped at a lookout of the Lower Yellowstone falls, which was beautiful.  It's a reaaaaaaaallly long drop behind that rock.

Wow...those legs sure are white.

Kelly posing with Emma.  She usually smiled for the camera.

Getting a family photo coordinated can be tricky.  There's the unrehearsed snapshot...

Followed by threats, bribes, and finally smiles.

Apparently there were really cool Yellowstone tour buses!  This is like the Model T version of the Magic Schoolbus.

We also found some Asian dress-alikes.  They even had matching scarves.  We found some other groups where the kids all wore matching t-shirts...very smart if you have to wrangle several kids through a crowd.

This is the rare North American Tree Monkeys, at play in the Craters of the Moon park.  This was our picnic spot before we drove up the hill and our car overheated.

This qualifies for the "Inappropriate Family Photo" award.  This was another one taken at Arco, ID where we were getting the engine looked at after it overheated.  Amazing how a $2 fuse can cause thousands of dollars in damage in an engine.  Luckily we didn't have that happen!  It did cost us about $70 in diagnostics and repair, but could have been SOOOOOOOO much worse!

While we were waiting, Ben explored the Nuclear History Museum...such as it was.  It was a shed full of nuclear science memorabilia from nuke subs.

We were going to pull over and get the photos taken by the sign, but there was a line waiting to get photos I opted to take a quick photo out the window.  Meh.  Whatevs.

 Again, so glad to be home, and now I have to get back to work, scheduling classes for the Ithra in October.  I need to have the catalogs done VERY SOON and I just realized that I'm against the deadline and that my deputy hasn't done anything.  Pfft.