Thursday, August 31, 2017

Audio books

I have mentioned before that we got a Yuma library card so we could access Overdrive audio books ( I have been enjoying listening to many books over the months since we got the library card.

This week, I started listening to the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. I have long enjoyed reading these books, but had never listened to them before. I am so enjoying the various voices provided by the readers. Each book has a different person reading them (actually, some of them may be read by the same person, but I know there have been at least 3 different readers, the last one I listened to was read by Lynn Redgrave), they all sound British, and each does the neatest voices for the different characters - from the high piping voice of Reepicheep (the mouse) to the low growly voice of the bear, to the solemn, beautiful voice of Aslan (the lion). Listening to the books is almost like a radio-drama of the book as the reader sometimes adds in sounds (for example, if the text says, "with a yawn" - the reader audibly yawns).

The books also have the order indicated 1-7 -- "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is #2 in the series, even though it is usually read as #1 - so I'm trying to listen to them in order (though I listened to "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" first). This means that (even as in my printed copy) "The Last Battle" will be last... which is my second favorite of the series. I'm holding off listening to it, knowing that pleasure delayed will be that much sweeter!

I also have his Space Trilogy checked out to my account and am looking forward to listening to those books - what fun this is enjoying old favorite books via audio!
Part of my "Loans" page on the Yuma Library site.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Crocheting while spending a quiet day at the campground

It seems as if we have been on the go for a while... so it has been nice to have a quiet day at the campground.
At Quartzsite this year, Donna Sue taught us how to make "chemo caps" - hats for ladies who have lost their hair due to chemo treatments. I got a few done and delivered to her before we left Arizona... but got busy with other things and have just now gotten back with making the caps. The 3 in plastic bags are completed, the two blue ones are finished with the hat crocheting, and awaiting flowers and sewing in the ends.

I took the hats out of the ziplock bags to show the flowers, and the upper green one has a band too. I also include a tag with a scripture verse and information about the yarn content.
When I first got yarn, I just got colors that I liked from Walmart (the first yarn I got is one that I used to make the flowers on the two bottom caps - I have now used it all up). While at the Bluebirds nest in Quartzsite, I got help from Pat (a master handiworker, like my sweet sister-by-love, Regina!) - and she recommended that I use cotton yarn as it may be less abrasive to ladies whose head might be tender - so my later caps have been made with cotton yarn.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

After a brief stop in Idaho, we've landed in Washington

We woke up to very hazy smokey conditions in Butte, MT this morning.

A little later in the day - still hazy, but not quite so bad as it was first thing in the morning.

There were some places - like the area coming up on the right side of the road, that appeared to have gone through a fire, but not recently.

This was the area to the right side of the road - there is regrowth under the trees, but the trunks show fire damage from some time within the last year or so we think.

We got into some very curvy up and down hill sections on the interstate.
We stopped in Missoula, Montana with the plan to fuel up, but the station was quite small and we figured that we would block both of the entrance/exits if we went in there... I started looking further down the road and found a Pilot near Superior, Montana so we decided to stop there. It was an odd layout to the station - probably because of the narrowness of the valley and needing to fit into the space available:
There were 3 diesel pumps at "1", but we weren't sure we could make the turn to U-back onto Diamond Road... so we went down to "2" where there was a gravel lot and made a U-turn, and then came back and were able to easily get into the furthest left lane in the second set of pumps (I think 4 pumps there). The lady in the shop was surprised when I told her which pump we were at - she said no one fills there... it appeared that there was no DEF there (which we don't need), and from watching how the trucks came in (making a U-turn off of Diamond Road into the pumps), I think they would have had a hard time getting into that pump.

Another view if you want to look at the site:,+Superior,+MT+59872/@47.188611,-114.8889668,1026m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x535e1cc7fe66fe47:0x2ae06f13232b0180!8m2!3d47.1886074!4d-114.8845841

In that area, I think they were staging firefighters - there were signs directing to different fire numbers or staging areas.

We had planned to overnight in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and stopped at the Costco to shop (though the parking lot was PACKED and we had to park at a nearby Safeway)... but it was 106F! Staying without hookups, even when the temperature overnight would eventually get down into the 60s, is really not optimal as we would have to run the generator to run the air conditioners and try to get the bus to cool down while sitting on a heat-radiating asphalt surface. We decided to see if the campground we were to check into tomorrow in Newport, WA could take us a day early, and they could. It is still in the mid 90s here at the campground, but with 50A hookups we can run the air conditioners and be comfortable.

We are booked to be in this campground through the Labor Day weekend, so it is good to have gotten in early and have been able to get a 50A site in one of the less dusty areas of the campground.

Dwayne noticed something hanging under the back of the bus when I was backing into the spot - he discovered that some tape that had been used to bind up the wiring to the house batteries was hanging down and so he decided to replace it with a heavy wire tie (see his legs outside the battery compartment).

A fellow stopped to chat with us as we were unhooking the Jeep and preparing to go looking for a spot. He pointed to this spot and the one next to it as the best choices of what was available. Evidently the majority of the campground has a gravel road, but the part in front of this site is asphalt and therefore less dusty. This site also has 50A hookups which allows us to run multiple air conditioners!
Dwayne and I both were surprised at how hot and dry it is here... I guess it is only the coastal areas of the state that are rainy and cloudy and relatively cool. We will eventually be getting to that part of the state (in a week or so). From one of the folks that we met in Casper we learned that Oregon is dealing with one of the driest summers they have every had (I think it was 70+ days without rain at that point and I have not heard that they have had rain since then - though I honestly haven't been paying a lot of attention) - so maybe the weather here is a bit out of the ordinary. I guess we will be finding out!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Movin' on into Montana

We headed out today on our way to Montana. We were in search of a town that had a CVS (there are none in Wyoming) in order to get prescription refills. We had planned to go to Bozeman, but determined that we could route just a wee bit differently and drive just a little longer and make it a bit further west. Miss Doozie's states visited map got updated this evening with the addition of Montana.

The RV Garmin did not want to take us through Yellowstone (I guess it isn't a designated truck route), but we ignored it and went in through Grand Teton National Park and out through West Yellowstone.
Today was the last day to get the National Park Senior Pass for $10... I don't know if that is what the motorcyclists were paying for or not... but they sure had a long transaction!

The route we took out of West Yellowstone took us up US 287 and through the Earthquake Lake Geologic Area.
We stopped at an information board as we were entering the area.

  And then we stopped at the Visitor Center on the west end of Earthquake Lake.
Earthquake Lake from the Visitor Center

There were many stories from survivors of the earthquake in the Visitor Center.
The route we took was very beautiful. We took US287 to route 2 to I-90. As we got to I-90, we could see smoke coming from fires up on the mountains. After we got onto I-90, there was quite a steep climb and then a downhill into Butte. There is quite a bit of smoke in Butte...
Website with information about smoke in Montana:
Today's information includes:
So... Butte is only "Unhealthy for sensitive groups"...
 We plan to head through Missoula and into Idaho tomorrow...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A beautiful day with "Cuzzins"!

We spent a beautiful day today with cousin Cyndi (actually first cousin once removed as I am first cousin with her dad, but we're not going there!) and her sweet hubby, Bill. They are workkamping at the campground where we're staying and prior to working here had worked with a group that did tours out of West Yellowstone, so were WONDERFUL tour guides (highly recommended!!!).

Since we had spent the last two days in Yellowstone National Park, we decided we would like to see Jackson Lake and Grand Teton National Park today. First stop was right near the Jackson Lake Dam and a view of Mount Moran across the lake.
Bill took us up Summit Mountain - this was the view toward the east - beautiful!

Cyndi, Bill, and Patti on top of Summit Mountain

View to the west from top of Summit Mountain - also beautiful!
A view of Mount Moran from the pull-off for the Cathedral group

The Cathedral Group
Signboard for the Cathedral Group - Teewinot Mountain is on the left, Grand Teton in the middle, and Mount Owen on the right.

A quote from Fritiof Fryxell:
"These peaks have been called the Cathedral Group... more evident here than in many of the great cathedrals of men is the gothic note. It is seen in the profiles of the countless firs and spruces congregated like worshippers on the lower slopes; it reappears higher in the converging lines of spire rising beyond spire; it attains supreme expression in the figures of the peaks themselves that, towering above all else, with pointed summits direct one's vision and thoughts yet higher."

At Jenny Lake - the base of the mountains come right down to the lake - gorgeous!
There was a tree there that seemed to be a butterfly magnet - I bet there were 20 butterflies on or around it... I put arrows pointing to three that I can see in this picture!
Bill was really hoping to see a moose - they have been in this area since the spring and they have not seen a moose... we stopped at this small lake as there was an information board about moose - do you see a moose???? Yeah, well, we didn't see any moose either... we decided it was false advertising!
Note to Bill - in the post I did in Newfoundland there is a moose picture:
I know you'll say that I photoshopped the moose into the picture... ;-)

We stopped for late lunch / early supper at the Mangy Moose in Teton Village where Dwayne remembered there being moose heads on the walls above the tables (with Christmas colored light bulbs for the eyes) -- we did not see any moose heads (continuing to contribute to Bill's belief that all moose have disappeared from the earth), but we did enjoy the meal!
Cyndi and Bill plan to overwinter here at the RV park - but in a condo. They will be workkamping helping in the store and renting out snowmobiles. We're looking forward to hearing about their experiences in the cold and snow. It was great to get to spend much of the day with them - maybe we will be able to hook up again with them at some point in the future!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Memories of Geysers from 1990

I was remembering today about the time that David and I watched Grand Geyser erupt in the rain and hail - I looked up the pictures:

August 4, 1990
In looking for those pictures, I found that we had also seen Beehive Geyser erupt that day - again from a distance...
On that day, though, Beehive erupted first, and then Grand - I don't think there are any specific relationships between the two geysers.

A day of geysers

We drove back into Yellowstone National Park today, with the intention of seeing the geyser basin around Old Faithful.
The sky to the west was a little clearer this morning so we could see the Grand Teton as we headed west.
One of the places I noticed as we were leaving the park last night was a small lake right at a Continental Divide sign... I wanted to stop to get more information about that - just a small lake with lily pads on it!

Right at the Continental Divide.

 Backbone of a Continent
The Continental Divide is marked by simple roadside signs merely hinting at the enormity of the boundary they represent. This imaginary line winds its way through the mountains from Alaska to Mexico, separating the waters that flow into the Pacific Ocean from those that flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
Today we look forward to the meandering drive and ultimate arrival at the summit of the divide. But what about the continent's early travelers? This tangled, beautiful stretch of mountains rose up before them, posing an immense challenge that required days or even weeks of travel.
 As we had seen at South Pass, emigrants needed to find a wide less difficult pass to ease their trip west across the Continental Divide.

In Yellowstone, the Continental Divide makes quite a few interesting bends and turns - look at the map in Figure 3 on this site:

Big Deal for a Little Lake
Other than the brief summer months spent carpeted by beautiful yellow pond lilies, this sliver of water seems rather insignificant. Looks can be deceiving!
As spring runoff empties into Isa lake, the water swells and overflows its tiny borders. When this happens, the lake does something extraordinary. Not only does it empty into two oceans, but it does so backwards. The east drainage flows into the Pacific, while the west drainage makes the long trek to the Gulf of Mexico.
After learning about Isa Lake, we headed on to the Old Faithful area of the park.
We stopped at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center
We stopped to get the next eruption times for some of the predictable geysers, including Old Faithful.

We joined quite a number of other park visitors to watch Old Faithful erupt.

Old Faithful is not the biggest, or the longest, but it is one of the, if not the most, predictable of the geysers.

We then decided to walk through the Upper Geyser Basin - we ended up walking down to Morning Glory pool, and then back up to see Grand and Beehive geysers erupt.

Morning Glory pool - an information plaque indicated that its blue color is diminishing because park guests seem unable to stop themselves from throwing things into the pool...

We stopped by to see Giant Geyser, but considering the last eruptions were listed as January 28, 2010, September 28, 2015, and July 7, 2017, we didn't think it was likely to erupt while we were there.

Giant Geyser
We headed over to wait for Grand Geyser to go off - and it was Grand!
 I remember when we were in the park in 1990, David and I wanted to see Grand erupt... Dwayne and my Dad weren't as interested - so they headed off in the van (and got to see some moose), while David and I headed to watch for Grand to erupt. There was a storm threatening, and just as Grand was starting to erupt, as I recall, it was hailing and pouring! Thankfully, that was not the case today!

Grand Geyser

Grand Geyser
 As Grand was finishing, there was a park ranger along the path encouraging everyone to head over to Beehive. While Beehive Geyser is not "predictable" by "it last erupted at 'this' date/time for 'this' long, so the next eruption will be around 'y'"... it does have signs that it is about to erupt, and those signs had been in evidence while Grand was showing off. So... we headed off to Beehive...
We didn't quite get there before it started erupting - you can see that there were a LOT of people on the boardwalk watching, so we were probably in a better spot anyway.

The ranger had said something to the effect of "if Old Faithful could be compared to a garden hose, Beehive is like a firehose".

Beehive was quite impressive, even from the distance away from which we were watching it.

From there, we headed back through the Geyser Basin - we could see Old Faithful Inn off in the distance across the basin.

Another of the beautiful pools in the basin - this one is named "Heart Spring"
 We had thought that we might make it to a hike to see the "mud pots" - bubbling pools of mud - but we decided we had enjoyed enough by the time we made it back to the Old Faithful area and headed back to the rig (about 2 hours away).

When we got back, we got to sit and chat with fellow Bluebirders Scott and Brenda - we had been parked near them at Casper, but got to talk with them more tonight. They are from the southwestern part of Virginia, and he had had raised beef cattle, so we had many things to talk about!

Some stats from the 3 geysers we saw erupt today: Old Faithful erupted for about 2.5 minutes, Grand for 11.5 minutes, and Beehive for 4.5 minutes (based on when our pictures started and when they ended).