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Sun, Sep 29th - 10:29PM

September 18: A Day in the Foothills

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
119.5 miles
sunny, mild

146 recordings of 33 types. 28% clear.

William Bailey

Not sure where I'm going with this; but, thought I'd throw some thoughts out there for consideration.

Foreign Policies: Like it or not, the Middle East has been on the cusp/threat of anarchy and regional wars for decades. Because of this fact, there are valid reasons the US has supported what could be assessed as "Authoritative" or "Dictatorial" regimes over the years.
Due to internal threats from "extremist" Islamist and Marxist elements, it has been a long-standing strategy to fund and support those "Authoritarian" regimes in order to maintain "peace" and the "rule of law"......with the aim at protecting the national interests and security of the US, European and Middle East Allies in the Middle East/Asia and South America.
Now (within just a couple of years), this US Administration has undone decades of hard work by our DOD and State Department, causing complete social-political upheavals and the deaths of hundreds of thousands innocent civilians; and, the direct threat of Islamist groups has expanded throughout the Middle East/Asia.....while Marxist regimes have taken-over several South American nations (with the support of NeoCommunist Russia and China).
In "fairness", perhaps the decades of attempts at providing "safety and security" in those regions was no more than delaying the inevitable ....where extremist ideologies naturally fester until they "explode"? "Democracy" only succeeds when the majority of the people are like-minded, with a shared objective....the internal ideological social/religious/political culture determines whether a "democracy" can succeed or is even a valid option (hence the continued failures of "democracies" in the ME/Asia and South America). Some of our Founders opined that (if our "Grand Experiment" of a Representative Republic failed) the alternative might be a "Benevolent Dictator"....even offering George Washington "King for Life" prior to the formulation of our Constitution.


 Why has it taken over 4 years for the Left-wing, Unions, Businesses, Wall Street, the Media and others, who supported Obama for President, finally realize the "Community Organizer" Jr. Senator (and his advisers) are inept and might be one of the worst Presidents in history? Now, even European leaders, our "enemies" and the "world citizens" are "laughing" at America. As Bill Clinton remarked, when he discovered Obama was running for President, "Are you kidding me?" Sorry, was no "joke"!
BTW, Biden commented to the crowd (at the first inauguration), "You all will wonder what in the hell we're doing as we move forward. Don't worry, we know what we're doing." I thought that a very strange remark at the time............I'm still waiting.

Craven Cowards! Absent further information about this mass retreat, it appears that the Democrats, having presided over these men’s deaths, do not have the decency to look their survivors in the face, if only to apologize.

Today was really fun.  Ron came by and picked me up early and off we went to the foothills.  The weather was fantastic. When we got to Georgetown, we looked for, and didn't find, one cache and then went on up Wentworth Springs Road toward the geocache I really wanted.  This is the final of the challenge to find more caches each month this year than that month in the previous year.  I made it harder than it had to be by going into the woods (how, I don't know, and I wondered how I was going to get out) thinking about ticks and poison oak.  But once I got out to the perimeter again I finally located the cache.  Ron had to come by and see it. 

We found 4 other caches and had one other no-find along the road, and then went on to Stumpy Meadows Lake.  Ron has happy memories of fishing here.  Then back to Georgetown where we found a very nice Mexican restaurant.  My treat.  And so home.  Very fun day!

He made me feel better about the fence, and was pleased I offered some lumber, which he doesn't need. He also asked if this was an outing or a date.  An outing, said I.

My dishwasher door latch is broken. So far I'm able to pull it open one way or another.  I also finished the spice cabinet cleaning.

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Sat, Sep 28th - 10:02PM

September 17: 50 Years

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
119.3 miles

146 recordings of 33 types. 28% clear.

Unpredictable Calamities Upend Second Term

Jim Treacher: Predictable calamity: Obamacare.

James Wittenbach Gee, I guess all those other presidents were just lucky that nothing calamitous happened on their watches. Maybe it's racism.

Jim Treacher History began on January 20, 2009.

Maggie Benghazi Poinski The MSM always act so surprised and confused when the shit-hits-the-fan...

Michael Modes Poor, poor pitiful I.

Ric Manhard Unexpectedly! Unprecedented! Unpresidented.

Christian W. Peck But aren't all these calamities Bush's fault?

Maggie Benghazi Poinski You know, I really don't care if "it's too soon", I just have to add this.
Listening to the TV coverage of the ongoing scene at the Navy Yard yesterday the term "active shooter" was being used repeatedly. Naturally what came to mind for me was Big Sis and the DHS suggestion(s) for dealing with 'workplace' "active shooters", since everything is a 'gun free zone' anymore. Big Bad Jan advised getting the "active shooter" with scissors. I'm just curious if anyone at the Navy Yard was able to make such an attempt on the killer at the Navy yard yesterday? .....


Gregg Pruitt Well you have to have priorities, AND, with a record like his, blame casting has to be pretty high.

50 years ago I met Rich.  I was a greeter at the Newman Center and he came in with a younger guy named Mike.  I liked him, but wasn't really interested for all of 3 weeks.  It was the Paul Bunyan party when we went out to cut wood when I realized this guy was the one for me.  Part of it was the fact that he would sing at the campfire. Joe, my previous boyfriend, would never have done that.

I had the Ladies' breakfast, then took my change bucket to SAFE and ran it through the OH-SO-SLOW coin machine. I tried again for the nearby geocache but had two sets of batteries burn out.  That's right, I forgot to charge the other set after I went to Davis.  Well, tomorrow I'm going out to the foothills, and I'm sure glad this happened today!

I've completely oversoaded the flowers and the new grass in the backyard.

I get so TIRED.  I decided not to go to the Crocker (I have to renew my membership.) I did take a bag of books to the library and went to the store for potatoes and shipping tape. (Red zigzaggy. I like the non-boring tapes of today!) I wrapped Eric's present but I am not sure when I'll have a chance to mail it. 

Ron called twice, once to set up tomorrow's trip, and second to tell me to watch channel 3 news. A lady at his pool group turned 100 and they did a nice piece on her and on the widowed person's group.

I cooked roast pork and potatoes. Yum.  And I cleaned out the spice cabinet.  I threw out a lot of old spices, and it's a lot better. I also moved all the trimmings and food dyes to a box in the back room.  (The blue dye all over the shelf made me think maybe I didn't want that to happen again.)

I also got all excited about cleaning out stuff and deleted all my waypoints off the GPSr.  Argh.

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Fri, Sep 27th - 9:55PM

September 16: "Helping" Ron

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
119.3 miles

147 recordings of 34 types. 28% clear.

So I helped Ron... run right into his fence & destroy it.  ARGH!

The cleaners were done at 2:30, but they're a whole different crew from my old team. I guess I'm stuck.

There was a mass shooting at the Navy Yard.

So, after going crazy last week over my Renaissance nametag & ordering a new one, which has arrived, I found the old one.  Grumble.

At Adoration I was all over the place.  Then there was the Newcomer's Dinner with only one newcomer -- I talked and talked to Gene about iPads and I'm worried Jim felt ignored.

My new neighbor invited me over to look at her fairy lights.  And meet her chow-chow Bear.  Beautiful.

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Fri, Sep 27th - 9:00PM

September 15: Socializing Sunday

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
119.3 miles

142 recordings of 30 types. 30% clear.

Victoria Knox:

"Mr. Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins. He looks like he’s way over his head. Now he’s let himself get rolled by the biggest bully on the block. In the immortal words of Mr. Kerry, he looks “unbelievably small.” And that’s not good."

After the Zero was elected, I wasn't happy but I told myself that the US survived a Civil War, a Great Depression, two world wars, and a cold war, so it could survive an incompetent affirmative action president. Now, I'm starting to have doubts.

Barack Obama, the 98 Pound Weakling
if there’s one thing worse than being a blundering giant, it’s being a 98-pound weakling....
Mr. Bush’s problem was that once he made decisions, he never second-guessed himself. Mr. Obama’s problem is that he overthinks. He changes his mind and paints himself into a corner. At first, he said Mr. al-Assad had to go. Then he said regime change wasn’t in the cards. He said there was a red line Mr. al-Assad mustn’t cross. Then, when Mr. al-Assad crossed it, he said it wasn’t his red line, it was the world’s – even as it became excruciatingly clear that the world wasn’t about to do a thing about it.

He said Syria poses no threat to America, but also that attacking it would be in the national interest. On his own, he decided to seek Congressional approval – then trapped himself when it turned out Americans had no taste for another foreign (mis)adventure of the kind he had promised to extricate them from.

I saw lots of friends at Church, which was nice. Then, at home, I got a small ice chest from the neighbors.  They'd put it out on the street and I called to ask why, they say the handle is broken but I don't see it.  Yay, because my two big ones are a) too big and b) at least one of them is broken. 

I saw Ron at Sunday Support and he wants me to give him a ride tomorrow. 

Then at dinner I sat next to a slightly dotty woman, who would hear something and comment.  Someone across the table said something about her husband fell out of bed.  My neighbor asked me who: "her husband" "I hope he's OK."  Well, no, he's dead, this IS a widowed persons' group.

(Shame on me for being so snide, even in my head.)

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Fri, Sep 27th - 7:34AM

September 14: Recovery Day

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
119.3 miles

143 recordings of 31 types. 29% clear.

Liberals retreat.

Media silence.

Despite how tired I was, I woke at 2:40 and never really got back to sleep.  Got up at 6:30 and picked up the backyard, and did the laundry, and played Coin Dozer. (to level 125) Tired tired tired. I hammered the aluminum flashing down again. I'll replace it when the house gets painted. I figured out the finances and even with the trips, I've managed to stay ahead.

I'm way overweight after that great trip.  Too much good food.

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Wed, Sep 25th - 11:56PM

September 13: Salinas

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
119.3 miles

I had another good breakfast at the resort. This time I tried the corned beef that Tony recommended.  Yummy.  Then, sadly, it was time to leave.  It's a short drive to Salinas, another thing I remember from 2 years ago, though all Rich and I did there was a little bit of geocaching in the outskirts.  (I think I also remember a park with three Claes Oldenburg hats in it, from years ago*, but didn't see them today.)

*February 2006.  I keep looking for Curious George.

Hat in Three Stages of Landing, Claes Oldenberg

We did go to the Steinbeck House, where he was born, which has now been turned into a restaurant.  The food was amazing!  They gave us a little verbal tour of the house as we waited for our veggie lasagna,  (Judy later bought the cookbook. I was tempted, but realized that I would never cook from it.)  The dessert was creme brulee.  Yesterday, Judy told me it was her favorite, so when she was gone to the bathroom I was comfortable ordering it for her.  Her expression was priceless.

DSC03326     DSC03333

And then, because we had both gone to the bathroom (the only bathroom) when the meal was going on, so we didn't have to stand in line for 20 minutes, we dashed across the street and got a geocache!

And onward to Vision Quest Ranch, which I had hoped to go to with Rich two years ago. He told me no, he was too tired.  Now I hope to take Genevieve here next year for her birthday (which is in November, but nobody has time now.) We had a tour of the animals, and then later got to feed the elephants.

DSC03362     DSC03361

And so home.  Quite a bit of Friday traffic, but I got home just before dark.  With Bernadette's help, I had left the animals at home.  Pharaoh was thrilled to see me.

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Wed, Sep 25th - 10:02PM

September 12: Monterey

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
118.5 miles
windy, cool

Breakfast was on our own at the resort. I was up early, while Judy, who slept all night without moving, was slower.  I started on my own but was soon joined by Linda, a new widow, younger than the rest of us. (Her husband died of an accident.) I had eggs Benedict, quite good, and asked for an orange juice which they gave me free (thinking I was with Team America, yeah, right.) I did point it out, but they settled for what the bill said.

Out in the bay, dolphins playing.  And then we loaded onto the bus and went to the Wharf, where we got onto this tiny boat to go whale watching.  It started as a gray gray day, but later the sun came out.  There were tons (ha!) of humpback whales.  At least 50, and likely more. I never once got a whale tail picture.  I think the boat needed to stay a certain distance away from them, because we never got really close.  Still, I always am astounded at how BIG they are.

DSC03243     DSC03246

After following the pod quite a way, we went 4 miles out to sea to look at some

Risso's dolphins, and those we did get close to. I've never seen these before. 

And back to the Wharf.  I had a cache marked, but I'd put it into the machine wrong. It didn't matter... Judy and I ate lunch then sauntered back toward the bus.  She's an impulse shopper and bought some jewelry and a scarf while I just enjoyed window shopping.

At the Aquarium, we were split into 4 groups of 14, and Judy and I were touring the backstage VIP tour with a real enthusiast.  She was so funny: she'd start to tell us something and then would see something in one of the tanks and interrupted herself "Oh, look, there's the sea bass! Isn't he gorgeous?  He's my favorite." a number of times. (not always the sea bass, but you get the idea.) I don't think she ever actually finished a sentence, but I really enjoyed her tour.

DSC03308     Jellies

Sadly, the sea horses are gone, 10 days ago. In the gift shop (with a 20% discount!) there were other leafy sea dragon glass figures, but I like mine best. When Rich and I went, it was the only one (they're handblown, so each is unique.)

Then Judy found a cache.  Then we went on to another one, and saw a woman looking around... I know what she's doing!  So we met more geocachers and found a cache.

Dinner was at Bubba Gumps. I bought a beer and it got me a free glass. Yay. The food was pretty good.  They apparently didn't get Sharon's check, so she ended up charging it. Wow.

Back at the resort, I was the only one to go drink wine with Tony.  He and I talked quite awhile.

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Tue, Sep 24th - 9:22PM

September 11: to Monterey

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
117.5 miles

I woke up at 3, worried that I would oversleep.  So I was tired by the time, 6:30, that I got to the WPAC office.  We got off by 7:05, which is fairly amazing.  I said to Judy that I might take advantage of the free time this afternoon by geocaching.  "Geocaching??" she said, "I *love* geocaching!"  I was amazed she'd even heard of it, but then we got talking about that. 

There was a potty-coffee break at Cordelia, and Judy and I left the crowd at the fast food joint and went to the gas station, where we were first to the bathroom. I bought a coffee and we were back on the bus in plenty of time. 

When Kathy (the same driver as last Saturday) got to Santa Cruz, she started going around blocks and retracing her steps and things.  Apparently her GPSr was completely messed up. Eventually, she got to the Wharf and we were on our own for lunch.  Judy and I went out looking for the calamari booth, but it's apparently seasonal, so we went back to a restaurant and had calamari there.  Yum.  Then we went to the Civic Auditorium and saw the Senior Follies.  Oh, my, were they good!  I kept forgetting that we were doing this, but it was definitely worth the trip all by itself.


Back on the bus and onward to Monterey.  The Monterey Beach Resort is, whaddaya know, on the beach, and all our rooms face the ocean.  Judy and I are on the ground floor. 

We went out caching.  Twice: we had to go back to the room after failing on the first try.  Then we managed to find both the ones I had marked before dinner.

Dinner was OK. I'd ordered the chicken and it was fairly mediocre... the people who had fish or steak raved about it. However, the scalloped potatoes were fantastic!

Tony had brought some wine, but Gary was sick, so he and Darlene didn't come, and Judy quit early, but still, it was nice company.

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Sun, Sep 22nd - 9:37PM

September 10: At Last

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
116.5 miles

138 recordings of 26 types. 31% clear.

Putin is playing chess, and we're playing Go Fish.  (Andrea Tanteros)

Jim Treacher: Obama's Syria speech must look like Mad Libs. Tonight they'll fill in the blanks on the teleprompter with furiously scribbled cue cards.

Michael Scaljon: In russia, their president wrestles bears. in the united states, our president hangs out with joe biden.

Jim Treacher: If the President of the United States tries to start a war and the President of Russia stops him, where do they hold the handoff ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize?

Eric E. Frisch: Judging from this exhibition of foreign policy, improv night at a comedy club would do. Kerry can warm the crowd up with his "reporting for duty" routine.

Peggy Noonan
"It is that Syria was not a self-made mess, an example of historic incompetence. It was Obama’s Cuban Missile Crisis—high-stakes, eyeball-to-eyeball, with weapons of mass destruction and an implacable foe. The steady waiting it out, the inner anguish, the idea that crosses the Telex that seems to soften the situation. A cool, calibrated, chancy decision to go with the idea, to make a measured diplomatic concession. In the end it got us through the crisis.

"Really, they’re going to say this. And only in part because this White House is full of people who know nothing—really nothing—about history. They’ve only seen movies."

Kate Berry: After watching this debacle of foreign policy, my Venomous thought is:
See, THIS is why Affirmative Action policies are misguided. Experience and knowledge *should* matter more than breaking racial barriers.

Stuart Creque Kerry is having his Munich Moment, all right: "This Mr. Assad is a man we can do business with."

From Churchill to Chamberlain in one day.

I couldn't get into my usual parking place at the Ladies' Breakfast because a bus was there. There were two buses loaded with Nevada firefighters.  My heroes!  I called the manager aside and said I would pay for their breakfasts.  However, my offer was refused because they are federal employees and not allowed to accept gifts. (Somebody tell the Congresscritters!!)  I get credit for a good thought without having to pay the price!

I dropped off a huge pile of newspapers at the Wildlife Care, then went to the commissary.  And, indeed, Ron called again.  This time he asked me to call back. (aha!  He's back in town!!) So I did, and missed him, of course.

I had to go babysit for a couple of hours.  Then I came home and finally talked to Ron.  He had tried to call but hadn't been able to get through.  OK then.

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Sun, Sep 22nd - 1:56PM

September 9, Davis Disappointment

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
116.5 miles

141 recordings of 28 types. 30% clear.

I wanted to get some challenge caches in Davis, so headed over there this morning.  It was a disappointing trip. The very first cache I wanted to look for, a guy was parked overlooking the search site and it didn't look at all like he was ever going to move. So I drove on into town and went to the cemetery.  Behind it, there's a cache called "Old Geocachers Never Die, they get Archived" and I wanted to get it. I put out one of the qualifying caches, "Codger's Walk", and also have found another.  It was a bit of a walk past a jackrabbit village (I thought about "Watership Down") and also a huge flock of turkeys. The cache itself was pretty easy to find.

So THAT wasn't disappointing, but the next cache was especially disheartening. It's the "3 states in a day" challenge. We had three of these before the cache went up, and those days don't qualify.  Last year, coming home from Laramie, I was so eager to get there I didn't stop for anything in Utah.  But this last trip, I planned my 3 state days, two of them.  I have Nevada-Utah-Wyoming (exactly one cache in the last two states) on one day, and Idaho-Oregon-Nevada with only one cache in each on another day.  So I really wanted to find this.  And I looked and I looked, even changed the batteries on the GPSr, and nothing. I had been gone 2.5 hours at this time and was so unhappy I just came home.

And while I was gone, Ron called. Argh.

Adoration went better today.

Jim Treacher: If you think "There are known unknowns and unknown unknowns" was dumb, but "He can still eat Cheerios" is smart, #YouMightBeALiberal.

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Sat, Sep 21st - 5:39PM

September 8: Recuperation

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
115.5 miles

150 recordings of 34 types. 26% left.

I just needed to sleep today. So I missed Mass, got up about 10:30, and then missed Sunday Support (no good partying if you don't go to church.)  I finally began to feel human about 5 or 6.

  Victoria Knox
Let's do the math:

1: Obama blamed the Benghazi attack on a "reprehensible video" when there was evidence the night of 9/11/12 that the terrorists involved had never even heard of the video at the time they executed their well-planned operation.


1: Obama is now blaming a sarin gas attack on a "reprehensible dictator" when there is evidence that the same groups that carried out the Benghazi attack have flooded into Syria and are equally likely to use chemical weapons when they can get their hands on them.


2: Obama wants to divert the nation's attention from commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Benghazi attack -- and asking inconvenient questions -- by launching a war on Syria.

But Obama now has 0 credibility so everything he does is multiplied by 0, which makes him a big, fat 0.


Kate Berry: A word for would-be future Presidents: NEVER look for a lot of support for your idea of declaring a war to cover your ass after shooting off your mouth about some "red line". And if you do need that support, better not have a track record of putting the country's military on furlough, cutting Veterans' benefits, reducing insurance coverage and upping deductibles for military members and retires, and then calling them "my military" while you take more vacation days than many of them have spent at home on the past four years.

Victoria Knox
Photos of sarin gas victims and evidence of its use do not indicate whether Assad or the Islamic rebels and insurgents fighting against his government are the guilty party. And yet, Obama wants to wage war on Assad to help yet another Islamic, anti-American, Christian-killing group take over what was a secular Muslim nation.

This has become a very disturbing pattern, and as an American and as a Christian I cannot stay silent -- Obama has repeatedly used our tax dollars and our (overwhelmingly) Christian troops to undermine our nation's geopolitical/national security interests and to accelerate the pace of Islamic supremacy in the region.

I have had enough of Obama, and useful idiots like McCain and Graham who can't or won't see what he's really been up to in the Middle East. It's left to Putin, of all people, to save the lives of Christians in the Middle East and to save Americans from the consequences of Obama's single-minded efforts to advance Muslim dreams of re-establishing the Caliphate.

Obama knows best.

Victoria Knox
Wesley Pruden starts his op-ed with two sentences that, with minor revision, also sum up the fecklessness of the Nobel Prize committee.

Pruden: "A war nobody believes in, led by a man nobody trusts. If Barack Obama is still looking for a legacy, here it is."

The Stiletto's version: "A war nobody believes in, led by a Nobel Peace Prize winner nobody trusts. If the Nobel Committee is still looking for a legacy, here it is."


Coase, a University of Chicago law professor, was not only a Nobel Laureate in economics, but his 1960 law review article “The Problem of Social Cost” is the most-cited of all time. IOW, he was everything Obama isn't and never will be, even though he taught at the same law school, was president of the Harvard Law Review and was given a Nobel Prize. On paper the two men seem equal, but in real life Coase earned his success and accolades whereas Obama got them through affirmative action.

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Sat, Sep 21st - 11:34AM

September 7: Cowboy Campout

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
115.5 miles

148 recordings of 29 types. 27% clear.

This sums up nicely why we're still talking about going to war against Syria: "They are outraged by the fact that what may happen is an act of war and a willingness to risk American lives to make up for a slip of the tongue about “red lines.” These acts would be for retribution and to restore the reputation of a president."

Jim Treacher Barack Obama wouldn't throw a rope to a drowning man until he figured out who to blame if his aim was off.

Ed Asner Explains Hollywood Silence on Obama, Syria: They 'Don't Want to Feel Anti-Black'

Jim Treacher: Christopher Stevens could not be reached for comment. (about "I was elected to end wars, not start them.")

The Cowboy Libertarian fits in real well with my big event today, which was the Cowboy Cookout and Campfire in Fiddletown. The last time I was in Fiddletown, it was with Rich, exploring.  I was looking forward to it, though I was a little concerned about riding with Jim on the bus. In the long run, it turned out not to be an issue, as Jim didn't come.

They had said the bus could make it and there was room for it.  They mis-spoke.  Poor Kathy, our driver, went down these narrow twisty mountain roads, scraping against tree branches again and again, and finally, at the ranch, couldn't get turned around.  She went a little farther then had to back up, hitting more trees.  Finally we got in place at the bottom of the hill.  Someone with a car had come along and she ferried the people who had trouble walking up the hill.

The ranch has this event on summer weekends, and has been doing it for quite awhile. I'd never heard about it.  The format was the same as the luau, a buffet, long tables, and then entertainment. Instead of hula dancers we had cowboy music (really good, too) and a Mark Twain impersonator.  "Fame is Miley Cyrus, Greatness is Helen Keller."  I enjoyed this. Our host was having his 82nd birthday, and he and his wife have been married 60 years. (LUCKY!) 

I sat near Judy P., who will be my roommate next week.  She knew a number of people from other groups. 

Then we trekked back down to the bus, and as someone got in she put her hand on the plastic shield between the driver and the passengers, and broke it.  I started to laugh.  The bus company will think we're worse than frat boys!  Then back down the twisty mountain roads only this time we were in the dark... Kathy almost stopped the bus to kiss the pavement when we got to a real road.  It had been scary enough that we passed the hat for her, which isn't our usual thing as generally the tip is worked into our fee. 

I got home about midnight.  So Tired.

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Wed, Sep 18th - 7:32PM

September 6: Renaissance!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
115.0 miles

153 recordings of 31 types. 25% clear.

Today was the first day of Renaissance.  My first thing was a very interesting video about spies: The Rosenbergs and Burgess and MacClean. Then I had lunch, and then went to find my class about Chaucer. 

Oh, my.  This is going to be so much fun.  He came up with so much information and I was writing like a fiend.  Then at home I got onto and see that he puts all this stuff online, so I could have relaxed.  Anyway, we learned a lot about Chaucer's life and there are a number of books he recommended, all of which I bought. (Most on the iPad.) And two of my friends from WPAC are in the class!  I would have loved to tell Ron this, but no call from him tonight, either.

The Credibility Crisis Can't be Solved with Tomahawk Missiles
As for our credibility issues, those will be with us as long as President Obama remains in office.  The 22nd Amendment already provides the resolution to that problem, and voters will have to take responsibility for restoring American credibility and foreign-policy wisdom in November 2016.

IndieDogg on September 5, 2013 at 4:22 PM

But the reality is, the damage is already done. Firing missiles into the desert is not going to undo the damage to Obama’s credibility. It might rally his base around him here at home (yay!! look how tough and commander in chiefy O! is!!”). But Russia, China, Syria, Iran, and every other nation is going to still consider him a weak idiot.

Monkeytoe on September 5, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Pretty freaking pathetic, huh?

I don’t think his ego is going to survive this. He might just feign illness and step down – it’s the only thing he can do now to save face. He’s like the Anthony Weiner of the Universe.

So sad.

Key West Reader on September 5, 2013 at 4:54 PM

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Wed, Sep 18th - 6:45PM

September 5: More Babysitting

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
114.0 miles

150 recordings of 30 types. 26% clear.

And again. I didn't get a geocache I went after.

Then I went down to Elk Grove to babysit. I walked over and picked Gareth up at school and again held his hand coming home.  I showed him River Rocks and Lava Rocks (Nana gets going on geology!) and then we drove here to my house and they had lunch and played here till Bernadette called, at which time I drove them down to McKinley Park where B. met me.

That stupid stupid coin game!

Then I went to a birthday party at Leatherby's.  The honoree is 83 and polished off a large banana split. I got to sit with many of my friends. A nice day!

Jim Treacher
I'm almost ashamed at my pleasure in the discomfort of the Iraq peaceniks who have nothing to say about Syria.


Kestutis Paul Boyev The problem is it comes at the price of the destruction of Pax Americana. It took generations of blood and treasure to build. And one monstrously incompetent grandiose ignoramus to tear it down.

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Tue, Sep 17th - 9:38AM

September 4: Babysitting

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
113.0 miles

154 recordings of 32 types. 24% clear.

Today Rob had a blood test so I went to babysit.  It was really nice when I walked over to get Gareth at Kindergarten and we walked back with him holding my hand. He said he wants to come here tomorrow.

Then I went to get the medicine I'd ordered over the weekend and the clerk couldn't find it. So I suggested she look under "W" and sure enough, there it was.  WHY can't people spell a simple 6-letter name?  I say "Y-A-R-N-O-T" slooooooowly, and still... there it is under "W".  I posted this complaint on Facebook and the Yarnots practically came out of the woodwork to contribute their own stories.

And Vince made his Wednesday call, which as usual I enjoyed.

I thought 0bama's legacy would be World War III and the Second Great Depression, and he seems to be right on track.  I have a lot of trouble listening to that chickenshit traitor John Kerry as a warmonger. It's always all about politics, and he wants to be President.

Tony Lacy:
The Red Line starts here. I mean a year ago, but here right now. Well, not right now, but in a few weeks after I get Congress to carry the water for me so I can blame them for the mess we're about to create but after my golf and their vacation and after I draw another Red Line. This is serious folks.
Right now.- Barack Obama

Susan Barrett Hyde If it ends well, he'll take credit. If it ends poorly, he'll blame Congress. I don't remember any other president in my lifetime who uses the pronoun "I" more in his speeches... except, of course, when he's throwing someone else under the bus.

Tom Short The only vital interests that I have been able to come up are aren't really vital to anyone except Barry. At this time, I believe there are too many unanswered questions on Benghazi, fast and furious, the IRS, and every other thing he has anything to do with. Until he comes up with some answers and starts showing some respect for the office he holds and the American people I think he should be stoned walled everywhere he turns. We should take the keys to Air force ! and his golf clubs away from him, lock him in the oval office, tell him to keep his grubby stinkin feet off the furniture, his arrogant ass off the phone, and as soon as we get the answers to our questions we will talk about the other stuff. Bet that'll happen!

William Bailey
 We, as a nation and "the world's Superpower" haven't fought a war where we were willing to go to the tenth round and throw the final knock-out punch since WWII. Standing in a ring throwing jabs has left us with black-eyes and bloody noses, while our opponents bob and weave until the final bell....with the judges of time calling the bout a "draw", accomplishing nothing; or worse, we wind up throwing in the towel and shouting "No Mas!". Don't step in the ring unless you plan on going all the way and knocking your opponent out with every talent and asset you have available. Basic military strategy: Pick your battles wisely....and when you do commit, you fight to win with your enemy unable and unwilling to fight you again. You might even become friends afterward, based on respect and a little underlying fear of getting in the ring with you again.

Scott Ott
The Decider?

How could a president who took weeks
to decide Benghazi was a terrorist attack
when we had CIA and other assets in Benghazi,
and real-time video feeds from drones, and
he decided not to intervene during the attack, and
he never decided to retaliate afterward,
and he is allegedly still deciding what happened that night;

How could that president take just a couple of days
to decide that Bashar al-Assad launched
the chemical weapons attack
and decide conclusively that
we must launch cruise missiles now?

Suspend the President
The White House propaganda corps like to show an Obama that is relaxed and laid back. They want the American people to think he is one cool customer. With everything that is going on right now (Syria, NSA spying, IRS scandal) it might be a better idea showing the President as a serious guy that can take care of business. I know it’s a stretch.

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Mon, Sep 16th - 11:11PM

September 3: Busy Day

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.9 miles

156 recordings of 33 types. 23% clear.

I got up unconscionably early to take the car in to the garage for its post-trip checkup and oil change.  I had them replace the brakes and the windshield wipers.  It got in early and I was in the shuttle about the time I had thought I would be starting.

So he dropped me off at the Ladies' Breakfast. I was the first person for at least 15 minutes.  Astonishing. 

After that I walked home and finished straightening the place for the cleaners.  They were very late.  It's a new crew, too, and didn't leave a receipt and had to ask if I was giving them a check.  No.

So then I called the shuttle driver and he came by, talking all the way back to the garage about his ruby glass collection. Hmmm.

The longest part of this deal was waiting for the guys to bring me my car. (So clean it felt like there was no windshield at all.)

And I downloaded a truly terrible addictive game called Coin Dozer. It's hard to put down.

Now Obama -- having boxed himself in with his off-the-cuff "red line" remarks from last year -- has changed tack and decided that he, too, will consult Congress after all.

Perhaps he's hoping to lose that vote, as well, so that at least he can blame Congress for whatever happens next. But the real question is how we got in this situation to begin with. And the answer is, through a series of unfortunate decisions ranging from Obama's 2009 Cairo speech, which ignited the Arab Spring uprisings, through the mishandling of Libya and Benghazi, to his unscripted, and unthought-out, "red line" remarks.

Say what you will about George W. Bush's diplomacy, but he nurtured relationships with our most important allies -- like Britain -- and managed to put together a huge multinational coalition for his own foray against an Arab dictator suspected of having chemical weapons. Obama's diplomatic efforts -- championed by Hillary Clinton and, now, John Kerry -- are looking more and more inept by comparison: So far, our only ally in the proposed Syria venture is France, maybe.

But that's what happens when your diplomacy is a failure. Our friends are avoiding us, our foes aren't afraid of us, and it's looking more and more like nobody in charge knows what they're doing. It's enough to make you look back fondly on the smooth, capable diplomacy of the Jimmy Carter era.

Barack Obama's Staggering Incompetence.

Get it? The president of the United States is preparing in advance to shift the blame if his strike on Syria proves to be unpopular and ineffective. He’s furious about the box he’s placed himself in, he hates the ridicule he’s (rightly) incurring, but he doesn’t see any way out.

What he does see is a political (and geopolitical) disaster in the making. And so what is emerging is what comes most naturally to Mr. Obama: Blame shifting and blame sharing. Remember: the president doesn’t believe he needs congressional authorization to act. He’s ignored it before. He wants it now. For reasons of political survival. To put it another way: He wants the fingerprints of others on the failure in Syria.

Rarely has an American president joined so much cynicism with so much ineptitude.

Don Surber's Scoreboard

Conan: Syrian's Assad has called President Obama “weak.” Obama was so angry he plans to ask Congress for permission to think up a good comeback.

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Mon, Sep 16th - 10:26PM

September 2: Labor Day

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.4 miles

156 recordings of 33 types. 23% clear.

I paid bills, reconciled the checkbooks. 

No call from Ron. Sulk.

I went to Adoration.  Another woman was there the whole time so I didn't turn the lights on. I was terribly distracted. Am out of the habit.  Maybe next week.

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Sat, Sep 14th - 8:09PM

September 1: Sleepy Sunday

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.4 miles

160 recordings of 34 types. 21% clear.

Obama Hits Golf Course After Announcing National Emergency

Jenny Stiles Gee, I seem to remember the Dem's BLASTING George W. Bush for going to Camp David weeks after 9/11. I would love it if Congress got up the courage to tell him "It's your red line, you go over there and do the fighting"

Ed Fickey NOTHING Obama does isn't planned. His bluster about a red line a year ago was a bad plan that blew up on him and he had to come up with a new plan. He almost let his ego get ahead of his keepers planning and when they reigned him in he realized the options of letting his friends in Russia and Iran gain a better foothold by allowing Congress to vote his option down. He and his handlers still get what they want and he is absolved.

Ed Koch Yes, well it the holiday weekend and all. He labors so hard and barely has time for vacation. Long live the King.

Mark Kortum Mark, It is almost as if he is flipping America off with his frequent and seemingly nonchalant golf outings. It is as if he is saying: "See, I can do what I want, when I want, and there is not a thing you "folks" can do about it!"

Sarah Lewis Why wouldn't he thumb his nose in everyone's face? He knows Boehner's a coward, Reid will support him, the Supreme Court is in his hip pocket and the press will never criticize him. Of course he's going to do whatever he wants whenever he wants.

Gavin Thomas Not even his heros Mao, Stalin, Lenin, or Castro would even think of golfing during such a serious international crisis. This proves he really doesn't want the job anymore, I say lets grant his wish and make him the latest ball retrieval boy on the PGA tour.

Now, I’ve said a lot of nasty things about our last three presidents. A lot of nasty things. But I don’t think I’ve ever been tempted to personally address any of them as “asshole.” Not until today. Not until witnessing the most embarrassing and embarrassingly public performance by a world leader on the world stage. Monica Lewinsky could have been giving Bill Clinton a blowjob right there at the podium during the State of the Union address, in front of all the cameras, and it still wouldn’t have been as air-suckingly horrific as the low-rent Vaudeville act we’ve watched Obama and Kerry put on these last few days. Because in the Clinton-Lewinsky scenario I just described, at least the President is the one getting serviced, instead of dropping trou, bending over, and giving the whole world an invitation to do whatever — because, “You know, whatever. It’s only foreign policy. It’s not like it’s something important, like giving public money away to some buddies of mine who just swear they can build a magic car battery.”

I finished Sister Mary's silly semi-porn book. 

Nobody in this benighted town knows what Devil's Tower is. I burble "I saw Devil's Tower!" and I'm met with blank looks.

Ron didn't call yet again. Sulk.

Tomorrow I have to clean up the mess I made when I came home. I sort of exploded all over the house and now it's time for the cleaners.

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Wed, Sep 11th - 6:13AM

August 31: Memorial

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.4 miles

163 recordings of 34 types. 20% clear.

Tom Short: Kinda hard to figure Barry out. He acts upset as hell over Syria, but he sure doesn't seem to even want to talk about Benghazi. Wonder why that is?

I slept badly for 10 hours and spent the day dragging. I picked up figs and trimmed some non-fig shoots and you'd think I'd run a marathon. I thought the shortness of breath was due to altitude.

When 0bama was re-elected I thought his legacy would be the second Great Depression and World War III.  Looks like he's right on track.

The memorial for Pete was at one of Claire's friends' houses, a barbeque.  I saw his two sons and families, of course, and some of the aunts and uncles. If I'd realized I would get freebies by buying See's, I might have done it more often. In the end, they never used them, so I hope Claire enjoys.

When I got home Uncle Jim had called, but not Ron.  He (Jim) was on the phone for about an hour, but I finally got through to tell him all was well.

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Wed, Sep 11th - 6:10AM

August 30: Babysitting

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.4 miles

164 recovery of 34 types. 19% clear.

Anthony Lenaghan Obama is sh1t. This nonsense is entirely his fault. According to his imbecilic beliefs, 10,000 children killed by bombs - that's OK. 1,000 children killed by gas. Bombs away! I'm a loyal right wing Tory, but I'm glad my party leader (the prime minister) lost the Syria vote yesterday, and that my country will not be part of the face-saving exercise for this most left-wing of presidents and a Secretary of State who cavorted with Hanoi Jane back in the day.

I was reluctant to get up, even as much as I love the grandchildren.  However, babysitting was fine. Grandma brought them a lovely new dollhouse.  She also succeeded in potty training Joanna.  (Who still is in bribe mode, wanting her "Yummy Bears.") I picked Gareth up at his kindergarten.

I finally finished the murder mystery I was reading and started the soft porn book Sister Mary recommended.  (It's a romance about a prostitute and there's quite a bit of "thrusting himself into her" going on. I can't believe a nun gave this to me.)

I talked to my neighbors' widow about the memorial tomorrow. She'd like me to bring See's candy. I can do that. She says when the doctor told Pete he wouldn't operate, P. just gave up.

The phone rang at 7. I hoped it was Ron but it was a hangup. [Later he told me he couldn't get through... maybe that was his cell phone and my answering machine.]

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Tue, Sep 10th - 9:37PM

August 29: Home!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.4 miles

The toilet backed up. Oh, joy. It had been slow all night but of course when I really needed it is when it didn't flush at all. Nice little announcement while I was checking out.

I went to visit Gerhard's dad, who is now in an independent living establishment.  Nice place, and it was good to see him.  And then, homeward!  I stopped at the bank to take care of Alicia, and got home about 12:30.  Hooray!  Apparently Spooky displayed his anger that I left and was misbehaving by the front door.  (Possibly also a reaction to the cat I was feeding, as well.) Otherwise, things were fine.  Nick and Deena had their daughter while I was driving. 

There are 167 recordings of 36 types. 18% clear. I was working it while I was gone, erasing things when I saw them, and that helped.

And I'm very very glad to be home! 5272 miles, 28.24 miles per gallon, 12 states, 23.5 days, 3 state capitols, 4 Merci boxcars, and 64 geocaches.

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Tue, Sep 10th - 9:27PM

August 28: TIRED!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.4 miles

I went out just at dawn to pick up the cache, and darned if there weren't people right there. So instead I went to a great breakfast, then tried again as I was getting my coffee cup and water glass.  Very nice geocache!  And off I went. Today was to be a very long day driving with few breaks, though I did find a little store with a potty near the Oregon Nevada border. (2 miles away from a rest area, it turned out.)  At noon, I finally arrived in Winnemucca and lunch, where a lady had a t-shirt that says that "T-Rex hates high 5s and handstands!" I had a Golden Gate sandwich and a broccoli-raisin salad. 

I went for gas. Plodded in to give them money. Plodded back to fill the car. Plodded in to get my change.  Plodded back to the car. You know, I'm tired. But no way could I do the 316 miles on to Sacramento.

I didn't find the cache at Thunder Mountain. And I'd said on the way out that I wanted to see the round courthouse in Lovelock, which I did, as well as the love locks. And, while walking around, I went into the library for a potty break.

And on and on and on into Reno.  I followed the directions but accidently turned when I wasn't supposed to and had to U-turn on S. Virginia street.  The motel is run by Indians, no surprise there, but the older gentleman really had no idea what he was doing.  Fortunately, the younger one took over and gave me my room.  It was 4:30. I was really beat and worried that I wouldn't get my Nevada geocache, but it turned out there was a lightpost cache in the shopping area behind the motel.  Whew!

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Tue, Sep 10th - 9:10PM

August 27: Jan's Excellent Merci Adventure

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.0 miles

Driving across Idaho was boring. I remember it as being a lot more beautiful and interesting. Of course, that was before the Interstate. I made it to Boise about 12:30  and headed toward the museum where the Idaho boxcar was.  It's the Old Idaho State Penitentiary Museum.  Blech.  Anyway, I found a parking place, but not where the still-operational penal setup was (turns out it's a halfway house for women trustees, but who knew?) I walked to the gate and paid my $4 and got an introduction to all the wonderful sights, where the riots were, where the gallows was and the last execution in the state, where solitary was.  "Where's the boxcar?" "Oh, you can't see that."

ACK!! It was outside exposed to the elements, so the Idaho Museum moved it into the penitentiary (which looks like a castle) with a crane, and put it into a warehouse storage room, which they eventually locked up because there was nobody to guard it).  I told the lady at the desk about my trip, about the three other cars I'd seen on it, and how I'd started this quest.  She took pity on me and called the museum director, who agreed to take me to see it once the docent-led tour was over.  So I joined the tour, and saw all the grim places.  But then, yes, I did get to see the car and take pictures. That makes 16 total.


Then I found a geocache, and then went down to see the Capitol. And then headed west toward where I thought the motel would be. I found a Wendy's right at the intersection I would need (thanks to the sketch maps) and was able to get in about 4:40. And I had no intention to leave. I had managed to get a little sunburnt when I was at the penitentiary museum.  There's a geocache in the parking lot but the next day I planned a 3 state day, so I didn't want to find it today.

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Mon, Sep 9th - 11:07PM

August 26: Into Idaho

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
111.0 miles

I hated to leave Casper, but eventually I have to get home. Dan leaves Cathleen little mushy love notes. I think it's sweet. Today's adventure was to parts of Wyoming I've never been in. The first trick was to get out of town, because, guess what, there was roadwork and detours.  Again I was able to use the GPS to give me a vague idea where I was, and where I wanted to go. I ended up on Poison Spider Road and eventually got to the highway I wanted.

It's pretty sparse there. I did have a few geocaches marked but I ignored them (and they weren't at the rest areas where I stopped.)  I went through Riverton and continued on and on and on and on to Dubois.  What a nice little town! There's a public restroom in the public parking lot.  I went to the Cowboy Cafe and had "the Other Grilled Cheese." Bacon, tomato, havarti, horseradish on rye. I had sweet potato fries with it and she brought me cinnamon chipotle dip for it. OMG. After lunch I wandered through the antique mall.  A lot of interesting stuff but nothing I absolutely had to have.

DSC03029     DSC03037

On the outskirts of town is the Bighorn Sheep interpretive museum. Another place I would have loved to spend more time in. Oh, well.

Finally I left, onward to Grand Teton National Park. Driving through the mountains, I glanced to the right and saw a moose in a pond near the road! It would sure be nice to be with someone to point this out to. I climbed up to a memorial and looked down at a gorgeous herd of horses.

DSC03049     DSC03069

I stopped at all the viewpoints in the park.  A nice young man took my picture for one geocache and it's currently my Facebook picture.

Then Jackson, the National Elk Reserve (but that's in winter) and a long drive to Idaho Falls where I spent the night.  Ron called and told me some of the highlights of his stay at Eagle Lake.

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Mon, Sep 9th - 3:41PM

August 25: Sunday in Casper

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
110.8 miles
hot, partly cloudy

I took a walk to a nearby park first thing this morning to get a geocache.  This is the only one I found while in Casper.  Too busy talking!

Chris brought breakfast pizza again but I limited myself since Dan said he would make me breakfast. And he did, too, sausage and eggs. It's amazing I didn't gain more weight than I actually did on this trip!

Christine and I picked up Uncle Jim for church and went to St. Anthony's. This is where Rich and I renewed our vows (with Chris and Jim watching) in 2005. Yes, I cried a little.  Then we went to lunch at Perkins.  Cathy emailed me that she'd like me to take a couple of other things and I said no.

And so back to Cathleen's, where we, you guessed it, talked. In the evening, she showed a
video about Uncle Jim's aunt Neal, whom I believe I met once, long ago. Uncle Jim is on the video, and I think I'd like to buy it.  And maybe next time, I should go to the park.

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Sun, Sep 8th - 7:20PM

August 24: A Family Outing

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
110.0 miles
hot, partly cloudy

Christine came over first thing with breakfast pizza. Then, later, we picked up my uncle Jim so he could have a haircut.  At Walmart he was all distressed that the barber no longer took checks.  I paid for his cut, and then after we did the grocery shopping, he paid me back.  Grocery shopping was fun. I pushed the wheelchair cart and Cathleen pushed another cart and had his walker, and Chris went looking for the things that he wanted that weren't where we were.  Jim knew what he wanted and could reach most of the things for himself. It made for a nice family outing.

Then we went back to his apartment and put the stuff away. He was really tired out and dozed off.  Cathy, his daughter, came over and talked.  A couple of things, she's convinced Harry Potter is the work of the devil, and she "knows" that vaccines cause autism.  She's also a happy (ab)user of the mediCal system. Then we took her home.  She has three sheds stuffed to the gills behind her trailer, (she's a hoarder and cat hoarder) and wanted me to take some stuff to her sister (who lives in Benicia.) We loaded one big box into Cathleen's car, but I wouldn't take any more.

And so back to Cathleen's where we loaded the box into my car and then went to talk some more.  Cathleen's husband grilled some great steaks. And we talked till late. 

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Sat, Sep 7th - 12:13AM

August 23: Devil's Tower!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
109.5 miles
hot, humid

First thing this morning I went looking for a geocache called "The Wall" and it turned out to be a piece of the Berlin Wall.  Then I used a sketch map to figure out how to get to Dinosaur Park, though in the long run I didn't need it as there were signs. I saw the brontosaur on the horizon! 

DSC02930     DSC02933

When I was 15, there wasn't a gift shop.  And I wonder how my mother made it up to the top... maybe the road went up then.  Actually, I don't remember all the walkways and stairs between the dinosaurs that are there now. Mom took a picture of me hugging the brontosaur (which wasn't an apatosaur then) but I didn't have any luck retaking that... I was alone up there and when other people came I was already halfway down. I spent a nice long time there with my guys.  It's just as wonderful as it was in 1959.

DSC02944     DSC02942

And onward, through the Black Hills, avoiding all the towns, to Wyoming! Then I went to look at the Aladdin Tipple. This is a construction in which they collected coal from the mine at the mine level and then, when a railroad car was under it, would let the coal gravity feed into the car.  There's a geocache there, which I discovered just as some other people came up, so I had to wait till they'd oohed and ahed before I could dig the ammo can out and put the travel bug minion (I want a minion!) into it.


And then...Devil's Tower!  At last. All those years I lived in Wyoming, I never got to see it. I've discovered since I got back to Sacramento that most of these Philistines don't know what DT is, and they get this blank expression on their faces when I burble about how happy I was to see it. I walked around the base and got three geocaches, watched some more prairie dogs, used the Golden Age card again, and in general had a marvelous time.
DSC02967     DSC02971 DSC02976     DSC02983 DSC02990     DSC02991

I reluctantly left, but I was hungry, and the cafe at the gate is closed for the season. (? Labor Day hadn't happened yet.)  It was a long way to Gillette.  When I was a teen, Mom and I stopped in Gillette (maybe coming home from the Black Hills) and had a terrible waitress.  We left her a 2 cent tip. Not a problem 50 years later, though, I stopped in McDonald's and called Cathleen, as it was apparent I would be later than the promised 6.

Once lunch was over, it was a lot of miles (but pronghorns, which I didn't have on the southern trip through Wyoming) till I got to Casper. I'd checked out a map, and found the house right away.  Danny was leaving for family stuff, but Cathleen and I, and later Chris, had a nice long talk and talk and talk.

Finally, Cathleen's.

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Fri, Sep 6th - 10:14AM

August 22: South Dakota

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
107.7 miles
hot, humid

This would turn out to be one of my favorite days of the trip. It started by going to deSmet and looking at Laura Ingalls' Wilder's house. (There was a geocache there that I forgot to check on, darn it.) And on to Huron, which has, no lie, the World's Largest Pheasant. But I didn't go to see that, I was after the South Dakota Merci Boxcar. I had coordinates, but no information.  After a couple of wrong turns, it became apparent that the boxcar was on the state fairgrounds. Oops.  And, fortunately, the fair wasn't going yet.  But the place was fenced off. I spied the boxcar a block away and thought, well, at least I can get a picture through the fence with the zoom.  But then, oh joy, I spied an open gate. There were people setting up the state fair. Well, I walked through the gate, stepped carefully over the wires, went to the boxcar and took my pictures, stepped over the wires on the way back out the gate and to my car. Just like I belonged there.

DSC02760     DSC02763

Then I stopped at the county courthouse for a potty break and got out of town, heading west. I passed a giant dart on the way to my destination. The next stop was Pierre for the State Capitol. I called Cathleen from there, and found a geocache, and made a quick tour of the building. Then I stopped at a McDonald's for lunch and a FB break. Halfway through the day, at 1 o'clock.


I crossed the Missouri and went into Mountain time, and then drove and drove. I was aware that there was a road that went from US14, where I was, to I-90 and past, to the Badlands, but the road I saw was unlabeled. I took it anyway, as did another car... and drove south, straight as a string but where the heck am I?  As it turned out, this was exactly the right road. I crossed over I-90 and turned into the Prairie Homestead state park.

DSC02808     DSC02825

There's a sod house there and the outbuildings. I wish I could have spent more time, but I did get a kick out of the cute white prairie dogs.  And on to Badlands National Park!

I used the Golden Age pass that Rich got for me back in 2006 or so, at Whiskeytown Reservoir. His idea for each of us to have one was so we could get someone else's car into Yosemite or some such place. And then, oh the beauty!  The majesty! I was here in 1959 when my Mom took me, and it was a National Monument. Now it's a National Park.  Magnificent scenery.

DSC02834     DSC02839 DSC02839     DSC02882

I was on the loop heading on the way out and saw a lot of people stopped and looking south... it was a couple of Bighorn Sheep! I tried to get a picture using the still setting on my movie camera, but apparantly completely forgot how. Darn it.

Then when I left the park, I went to Wall Drug, another memory from when I was 15. I spent a little time there, but it should take a day just itself.  I looked up the big dinosaur.  Didn't have time to look for the geocache. I had to get on the highway and get to Rapid City, before it got too dark or I fell asleep. 

DSC02893     DSC02911

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Tue, Sep 3rd - 10:40PM

August 21: Minnesota

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 172
106.5 miles
hot, humid

The first order of business today was to find my way north of Minneapolis to Little Falls, and then 9 miles north of that to Camp Ripley to see the Minnesota Merci Boxcar. Of course, there was road work and detours, so that was a bit more complicated than I'd hoped, but I managed it.  Camp Ripley looks like a fort and there were C-130s doing touch and goes.  I flashed my military ID but still didn't get a salute, too bad. (Army national guard, not Air Force.) I looked at a couple of the set pieces and saw the boxcar.  This one you can walk into.  For some reason, though, being on a base, however much it wasn't an AF Base, really hit me hard and I cried. I miss Rich so much.

DSC02710     DSC02726

On the way there, I'd spied a really pretty church, so I took its picture on the way back to Little Falls.  Apparently there was to be a funeral there later, as I saw someone preparing the church.  Then I drove back into town. The only restaurant I could find was a Chinese buffet.  Adequate food, but this was the second place I thought maybe I was being cheated (or someone made an honest mistake.)  My change should have been $13 and the guy gave me a 5 and 3 1s, one of which I gave him back as a tip.  He'd distracted me with talk about my iPad case as he was handing me the change. I didn't realize I'd been shorted till later.  (About the time I was looking at the Fishing Museum, in fact.)

It would have been interesting to go to the Lindbergh museum, but it would take at least an hour, probably longer. So I've put it onto a "maybe someday" list. (Along with retracing Lewis and Clark, or the Oregon Trail, or the fossil trail in Nebraska. Or, the next day, the Laura Ingalls Wilder stuff.)  I already, today, skipped Mankato (Betsy-Tacy) so I am definitely planning to return to the area one day.

I did stop in Sauk City (Main Street) at the Sinclair Lewis exhibit.  Since I haven't read that book in the last 50 years, I thought maybe I should so downloaded it (and 7 others of Lewis' in one book) to the iPad, as if I don't have enough to read. They're very proud of Lewis, and say his books were the most influential of the 20th century, changing literature. I dunno, what about JD Salinger or Jack Kerouak?  And I think the Great American Novel is the Wizard of Oz.

DSC02744     DSC02747

And on to Brookings, South Dakota.

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Mon, Sep 2nd - 1:05PM

August Summary

In August I walked 17.3 miles, rode 0 bike miles, 4.8 pounds up (travel is broadening), 3 pages read.

I read 3 books, went to 0 movies and 0 plays, and 6 Masses.

I found 67 caches last month, and I'm at 8313. I'm at 363rd in the world, and am 23rd (darn, dropped another place!) locally. I have to get 10 caches this month, at least, to get that challenge I've been working on all year.

In proofing, I'm in 1183rd (out of 43178 proofers) place in the first proofing round, with 873 pages proofed, 21st (out of 5334) in P2 with 23523 pages, 619th (of 997) in P3 with 469 pages and formatting 812th place (4146) with 1323 pages. I really really really have to get back to this.

In Flickr I have 48347 pictures, with 846,748 views, and 266 sets to work on.

On Netflix, Deadwood season 1, disk 4. I carried 5 with me on the trip but only watched half of it.

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