Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shoshone Falls comparison

In the previous post there was a picture of the Shoshone Falls in Idaho.  Carl sent me this picture from April 2009 so I could see the difference from how low it is now.  I thought it looked great as I saw it, but have to admit that when it's running full would be spectacular.

I picked up the background material yesterday for my vacation quilt.  It's from Hobby Lobby, and has the feel of a topographical map, which I thought was appropriate since I saw a wide variance in topography between the Moab Arches and the Grand Canyon.  I had used a small piece in John and Bonnie's quilt to represent the San Andreas Fault in California, (just above and to her right of her knee in the picture, diagonal from Edwards AFB) and when I saw the bolt knew I had to have it for this project.  I may come back and edit this to show a picture, but that will be after daylight comes.   I also got some of the fusible interfacing for the t-shirts that will be on it.  The design will be the shadows, very similar to Ashley's quilt from a year and half ago.

I made a start on a cq challenge using a tea cup panel.  We were provided with the panel, about 5-6" square, 2 pieces of fabric to incorporate into it, two pieces of embroidery floss, a bit of lace, and 2 charms.  Can't show a picture yet because it will be voted on anonymously, but hopefully it will do okay.  I haven't yet finished piecing it, though I've made progress.  I'd like to take it with me when I go with Robert's family to the beach in a couple of weeks, maybe I can get a few stitches in on the drive down there.

That's it for now.  Time to get some breakfast and start the day...or maybe go back to bed because it's so stinkin' early.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Elsie's great adventure...still

We had a nice stop-over in Boise, and Carl was able to get some of his honey-do list done.  He mowed the lawn, got his hair cut, helped me find a couple of caches so I could drop off Nolene's travel bug Sabrina.  I got the oil changed in the car, and picked up a few t-shirts for my vacation quilt that's in the works.  Oh, and we helped Billie put together a jigsaw puzzle of Mt. Rushmore.  (She did the biggest part, but I'll still take a bit of credit!)

As we started back out on the great adventure, we included a swing by the Shoshone Falls, just a few hours from Boise.  Carl said the water was low, but it was still impressive.  No doubt about it, anywhere you go in this great country you'll find lots of natural beauty.

From there we headed on down the road to the Moab Arches National Park.  Well, we did stop for a cache but that was a nice surprise...because of it we entered Moab through a scenic route.  All along the way there were turnouts on the road so we could take pictures...many every bit as impressive as those in the park.  Makes sense, doesn't it?  I mean, it's not like boundaries are drawn for the park and it's all-inclusive of the grandeur.  These next pictures were inside the park.

Oh, and I picked up a Moab bandana for my vacation quilt at Moab.  Starting to get a nice collection.  I may have to do some scouting around for Mt. Rushmore since the quilt idea hadn't gelled when we visited there.
From Moab we headed to the Grand Canyon.    On the drive to the East entrance, we pulled into a scenic overlook that was actually run by an Indian tribe...I think the Navajo.  They had vendors selling jewelry and pottery, and you walked through them to get to the view.   And what a view!  The rails were stable enough, but I made sure to watch my step and not slip on the loose rock.  It was a simple railing and the underside was open.  When you look over the side, its an immediate drop off.  My first taste of the magnitude of what I'd be seeing.

I'm sorry to say, before very long the height or depth started to get to me.  I found I couldn't look for a great length of time.  And seeing how some people would step out on the rocks a bit, on the other side of the railing...well, suffice it to say they were far braver than I. It was definitely a worthy destination, but I think I liked the Moab Arches better.  And yes, I got a Grand Canyon bandana too.

We've moved on to Gallup, New Mexico, our stop for the night.  We went in to town for supper, and stopped at a local restaurant, Earl's, located on the historic Route 66.  We figured all the cars and pickup trucks in the parking lot were a good indication of the quality of food, and it was.  The place was packed, it had a wide variety of food, and tasted really good.  In fact, I'd say it could easily be a feature on Guy Fieti's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. 

That's it for now.  Almost able to slide into home base, and the great adventure is winding down.

Monday, June 14, 2010

On through Yellowstone

From Devil's Tower, we headed across Wyoming to Cody.  I was particularly impressed with all the wildlife on the open range.  Lots of deer and antelope. There were lots of snowbreaks too.  I'm sure they need them.

The best and worst part of the trip was going over the range of mountains.  We got up to about 8800 feet elevation, doing the hairpin turns all the way up.  The views were beautiful, but I'll have to admit to some trepidation near the top until we got down the other side. 

Cody is a nice size town, close to 9000 population.   They had another nice KOA, though not a match for the scenic appeal of Devils Tower.

We made it to Yellowstone National Park bright and early, while the crowds were light.  I fell in love with the place.  Everything was so natural, and plenty of turn outs for observation.  Turn your head to the right, there's water streaming through the crevices off the mountain.  Turn to the left and there's apt to be a bison, or deer.  My very favorite thing was an early morning treasure of seeing a momma moose with her little one trailing behind her, getting a drink at a stream.  My thoughts are that the little one couldn't have been more than 2 or 3 weeks old.   That was the only moose-sighting, but pretty special.  Sorry to say, didn't see any bears.  There were lots of bison.  We'd see anywhere from one or two at a time, to 20 or 30 grazing together.  Plenty of room to pull over and take pictures, though getting out of the car is discouraged.  

As we rounded one curve, it was fun to see a bison walking down the opposite lane of the road...with a bus and about 6 or 7 cars trailing behind. 

We saw the upper and lower falls, and Artists Point, and the mud volcanoes.  I didn't realize, having never really read up on Yellowstone, but it pretty much sits on top of a huge volcano.  All kinds of geological activity has occurred there over the years...and we're talking lots of years.  They estimate in the millions of years on about all of the formations. 

The other impressive thing...it's so clean.  Everyone is very respectful of the site, and you don't see a speck of litter.

Of course, you don't go to Yellowstone without seeing Old Faithful.  We had to wait a bit, as it had just let off steam, so we had a seat at the visitor's center.  There are benches all around the area in front of the geyser, but we figured we could see just as well where we were, and it was more comfortable.  During the interval, there's a constant small release of steam from it, as well as several other smaller geysers.   We had to chuckle when Old Faithful blew, and all the steam drifted in the breeze right across the crowd at the far end and they all took off running...they should have had a clue from the steam that was already spewing!

Feel free to click on any of the pics to enlarge.  The geyser is a bit blurred, but you'll get the idea.

We've taken a break in Boise for a bit so Carl can mow the yard and take care of a few chores, but I'll be back.  That's it for now!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On down the road

I think my last posting was Nebraska.  I enjoyed Nebraska, but sorry to say it has the memory that caused the most hurt.  As we were packing up to leave the KOA site in Grand Island, I drained the ice chest.  In the process, I ducked around to the side of the porch to make sure it was positioned right, and I raised my head up and hit the corner flashing.  Came pretty close to saying some not so pretty words, let me tell you.  I didn't have the presence of mind to reach for the camera, or I would show you a picture of one of my hairs blowing in the breeze while attached to that flashing.  Anyway, I've got one little souvenier of Nebraska that if I ever shave or lose my hair will be visible forever, I'm sure.

Going across Nebraska, I thought of my friend Keith and had to text him that we were passing through Keith County.  One of the roadside signs mentioned Boot Hill at the next exit, so we took off to see it.  This is in Ogallala.   The commemorative marker said mostly they were the "bad guys".

The next day was a long one driving, so no geocaches.  We made it into South Dakota, and got to see Mt. Rushmore.  Seeing it up close and in person really makes one appreciate the efforts that went into the finished sculpture.  And I didn't realize that it came about because a politician on the state level wanted to have an attraction to bring people to the state, along with their money.  When you think about the dangers these workers faced, without all the safety regulations and modern machinery in place today, it's a wonder.

We also took a walk around Keystone while waiting on the 1880's train.  A tourist town for sure, but in a pretty setting.

The 1880's train was a really nice scenic ride.  And the price couldn't be beat at $22 for the 3 hour excursion.  I think the grandkids would get a kick out of it, but don't know how well they'd handle the drive to get up here.  Maybe in a couple of years.   I thought it interesting that the attendants on the train also worked the snack stand at the half-way point.  No idle time for them!

While in a train station gift shop, I picked up a bandana with the name of the train ride.  I've decided to make a vacation quilt with squares representing different spots along the way.  Unfortunately, I didn't get anything with Mt. Rushmore on it.  It's doubtful I'll see anything now, since I'm on down the road, but I may find something on-line that will work.

From South Dakota we headed up to the Devil's Tower in Wyoming.  I'd never really heard about it, but I'm so glad we went.  The countryside is beautiful, and a sight to see.  Well worth the drive.  I have to wonder how people live up here in the winter, but I'm sure they're suited for it.

The KOA we stayed in for the Devil's Tower was an older one, but one of the most picturesque.  The cabins were spaced well apart, and we had a small stream running just a short distance away.  On the other side the deer would be grazing.  When I made my nightly jaunt to the restroom (2:30 in the morning), I knew I wanted to drive the short distance.  We were definitely in a natural setting, and who knew what might be out and about.   Sure enough, as I turned on the car to return to the cabin, and the lights flashed into the open area, there were 2 deer just a stone's throw away.  Fantastic.

Guess that's it for now.  We'll say this is "to be continued"!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

it's the journey...

I recently embarked on a journey with my brother Carl.  Thought I'd share a few things about the trip.  This is a stop and see whatever we want to see on the way to our destination type trip.  And we have done some stopping!

We stopped in Addington, OK, where there were some really neat wood carvings on display outside an antique store.  It's a good thing they were too big for the car...they were priced from $1800-2400.

We're incorporating some geocaching into the trip, and found a couple of caches in Hennessey, OK.  I couldn't find my handheld GPS early in the day, but it showed up in time for the hunt.  There were a couple we couldn't find, one because I had sandals on and didn't want to step off the beaten path, and one because of muggles.  I've mentioned this before, I'm sure, but as a refresher, muggles are people who could be watching you find the geocache not knowing what the sport entails.   We don't want them messing with the caches.

We're staying in KOA's along the way.  I was really impressed with Wellington, KS.  We had bath and shower in the cabin!   Most of the KOAs cabins are situated close to bath and shower facilities, so it's not bad, but in-house was nice.  The weather came through while we were sleeping, and it romped and stomped.  Thought I heard hail, but didn't see damage on my car. We left early in the morning, and only left the food in the refrigerator and a lamp we took along.  They were nice to call about it, but we were too far along to go back so told them to do with it as they will.

Those Kansas wheat fields are spectacular...and so many of them.  Sure makes you aware of "the amber waves of grain"  in God Bless America.

As we drove along, we noticed some of the big wind turbines in the distance.  When we got closer, we took off down the nice dirt road about a mile or so, and got a closer look.  So peaceful...a horse grazing in a pasture, and nothing but the breeze in the wheat. 

Once nice thing about geocaching is that it gives you a reason to get off the beaten path and see some small little towns with a lot of charm.  Belvedere, NE is one of them.   We picked up a cache outside the 49er Museum, one in a nice little park, and the last in a local cemetery.  As I commented when I logged the cemetery find, I would imagine that Rosa Schulte had no idea she'd get so many visitors over a hundred years later.
That's it for now.  I'll add more later.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

possible "arrrrgh" should be okay

You know how it is.  Frustration comes along occasionally.

Sometime back I started a reupholstery project.  I found a nice little glider rocker with fabric from about the 60's at a garage sale a couple of years ago.  Then after I moved here, I finally put it on a table and got started on it.  I stripped it down to the frame, then things got busy and it was put in the garage.

Recently I decided to have a go at it again, and it's back up on a table in the garage.
I've put some foam on the bottom seat section.  Couldn't find upholstery batting, so I went with cotton quilt batting. Then I thought it could use another coat of stain.  Since I had the color that was probably originally used, I put it on, not considering that it's a stain and polyurethane all in one. It looks good, but now I wonder if I should have used the polyurethane.  I'm sure I'll go ahead and finish it as is, but I wish I had just stained.  That's where the "possible arrrgh" comes in.  Ah well. David and Nolene each think it will do fine, and I think so  too.

I've picked up a book to refresh my memory on what to do.  (I have only reupholstered 2 or 3 chairs over that last 15 years.)  And this weekend I got the fabric.  Since I'm going on vacation shortly, I'm sure it will wait till afterwards, but I'm excited to see how it comes out.  Wish me luck!  (oops!  Just re-read the earlier post, and see that I've already bought fabric for it!  That's what I get for waiting so long, now to find the first fabric and see which I prefer.  This is why I shouldn't take so long to finish my projects!)

Vacation, you say?   Yep, brother Carl has flown in, and in a few days we'll pull out on our journey.  Up to Mt. Rushmore, over to Yellowstone (I keep wanting to say Jellystone), into Boise to rest up a few days, then down thru the Grand Canyon, and a National Park or two.  I think Nolene and John are making bets about how long I'll be gone.  We'll see who wins.  :)

Here's a picture of my chaste tree in the front yard.  I'm glad it's bloomed before vacation so I can enjoy the blooms.  Pretty isn't it?

That's it for now.  :)