My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Wyoming– 7/16/11

104For more pictures, click HERE

Another day in Cody paradise!! Marci and her Boxer, Benny, picked us up around 10:30 and headed on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway to the Top of the World (on the road to Red Lodge). There were tons of motorcycles but there were plenty of places to pull over and get great photos. There were magnificent views that are impossible to describe. After that we headed to Cooke City for lunch but it was too crowded to find a spot. So, we went on to Silver Gate and had lunch at the Log Cabin Café. After lunch we drove to Yellowstone Park to Lamar Valley. On the way we saw two black bear cubs and tons of buffalo. Two buffalo walked the middle of the road on the yellow line and headed right to our car! But they went around us without any harm to them or us. Then we went to Marci’s cabin on the river and it was beautiful. There also was a sweathouse that looked wonderful to use and was right on the river. We headed back to Cody and dropped Benny off at home with Mitch (and his brother and nephews) before heading to the Silver Dollar Bar for dinner and drinks. It truly was a wonderful day!

What I Learned Today:

· Snow with pink on top is caused by lichens.

· There are lots of buffalo in Yellowstone.

· Marci’s sweathouse is a sauna right on the river.

· Buffalo like to scratch against cars.

· There is still snow in the Beartooth Mountains.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Snow by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Wyoming– 7/15/11

003For more pictures, click HERE

We had a glorious day in Cody, WY! We went to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center which consists of 5 different museums (admission $18 per person). It was a wonderful place and well worth the money. We went to a Bird of Prey presentation first and learned about birds of prey. Then we went through the Museum of Natural History. There was also a Firearms Museum with the best collection of firearms I have ever seen. There were about 2000 firearms displayed upstairs and another 1200 downstairs. When I asked one of the docents when the collection started, he said in 1916 and only half of them were displayed. We left to eat lunch and then returned to see the rest of the museum. We saw another presentation about Annie Oakly.

After the museum we went to the Sierra Outfitters Outlet store and Walmart. By then it was time to eat dinner and see the shootout at the Irma that happens nightly. After the shootout, we went to the nightly rodeo and had a wonderful time!

What I Learned Today:

· Golden Eagles can see a rabbit move from 2 miles away.

· Some vultures are not birds of prey.

· Birds of Prey have beaks that serve as their fork, knife, and spoon.

· Owls have feathers made in a way that makes their flight silent.

· Birds of Prey catch the food with their feet.

· Bulls can jump fences. (That was exciting to see!)

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Steam by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Wyoming– 7/14/11

006For more pictures, click HERE

We left Thermopolis this morning and drove to Cody, WY which took about 2 hours. We checked with the Irma Hotel to see if they had a room for us because we were a day early and they did. But tomorrow we will need to move to the room we will have for the next 2 days. Then we walked around town and ended up at La Comida for lunch. After that we went back to the Irma to check in because they don’t allow check ins before 3pm. Then we went to the Silver Dollar Bar which is historic and we met a nice couple originally from Canada but were fulltime RVers now. At 6pm, Marci picked us up for dinner and took us to Cassie’s where her husband Mitch met us after work. The prime rib practically melted in our mouths! After dinner we drove around the town and saw how beautiful the area was. We saw deer and rabbits along the roads right into town. On Saturday we will spend the day at their cabin in the Beartooth Mountains.

What I Learned Today:

· Cody is a bigger town than Thermopolis.

· The Irma Hotel is on the national register of historic places and every evening the have a “gunfight” show in the street.

· Buffalo Bill built the Irma Hotel.

· Cassie’s was originally a house of ill repute in the days of Buffalo Bill.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Steam by Pat Hensley

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Wyoming– 7/13/11

035For more pictures, click HERE

We had another lazy day today in Thermopolis. We went to Hot Springs State Park and walked to the swinging bridge and some of the springs. Then we went back to the hot mineral pools at the Fountain of Youth RV Park and spent most of the morning there. Don spent most of the time in the water while I dipped in and out. We met a family who was originally from Paris and now living in Ohio but were on vacation. They are heading to Yellowstone too so we might cross paths again. After lunch at Butch’s in Kirby, we decided to go find a Laundromat and do some laundry. Then we drove around some more until we were tired. We tried to visit Lucy’s Sheep Camp so I could check out the fiber but it was closed.

What I Learned Today:

· I still remember some of my high school and college French when I practiced it on this French family.

· All mustards are not created equal. The one my hubby uses has no calories and the one at lunch had 45 calories.

· I am so thankful that I have my own washer and dryer at home.

· It is more fun to do laundry when you have company.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Steam by Pat Hensley

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Wyoming– 7/12/11

021For more pictures, click HERE

We had a lazy day today in Thermopolis. First we went to Hot Springs State Park and went into the hot mineral pool for 20 minutes (We were only allowed 20 minutes). Then we went to the pool at the RV Park which is owned by our hotel (Fountain of Youth). I wondered if we would come out looking younger like in the movie Cocoon. We spent the rest of the morning there and met a nice couple to talk to which was interesting. After lunch at McDonalds we drove through Wind River Canyon which was absolutely beautiful and ended up in Shoshoni, WY. Then we turned around and came back to Thermopolis.

What I Learned Today:

· People believe in the healing properties of the mineral springs.

· The sulfur in the water made it smell stinky even if it felt good.

· The actual spring water can be up to 130F.

· Canyons are beautiful to drive through.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Photo: Fountain of Youth by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Wyoming– 7/11/11

024For more pictures, click HERE

Don had terrible leg cramps all night long and I was up at 5am so we didn’t get much sleep last night. When I got out of the tent, I was surprised to see so many photographers with tripods taking pictures of the Devils Tower. The clouds were heavy over us and it rained a little during the night but they moved on and the sky got clearer by the time Don woke up. We packed up the tent and headed toward Thermopolis. We stopped at Donna’s Diner in Gilette for breakfast and a couple in a van next to us asked us about our Prius. The server was so friendly and we enjoyed talking to her! Then local people came up to Don and asked him about our Prius! The drive over the mountains was beautiful and we saw mountains with snow on them again. We arrived at some road construction and had to sit there for about 15 minutes so we talked to the man holding the stop sign about things to do in Thermopolis and places to eat. When we arrived in Thermopolis we ate lunch at the A&W diner/bowling alley where you called in your order on a phone located at the table. When your food is ready, they bring it out to you and you pay just like the old car hops did.

Then we drove around and explored. We went to Hot Springs State Park where the hot mineral springs are. We also drove to the buffalo pasture and saw the buffalo. It was very scenic. After dinner at our hotel, we called it an early night since we didn’t get much sleep last night.

What I Learned Today:

· Road construction workers are like tourist info centers and usually enjoy giving advice about a local area.

· Mom and Pop hotels can be cheaper and have better service than some of the chain hotels (the water pressure is great here! We also have a microwave, refrigerator, HDTV, and free wifi, with our king size bed for only $60.

· We have some awesome scenery in the USA!

· The mineral springs in Thermopolis is supposed to have some healing powers. (We shall see…)

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Hot Springs State Park by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Wyoming– 7/10/11

084For more pictures, click HERE.

We drove about 6 hours today to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. The movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed here. It was amazing how big this huge geologic feature was! First we set up our tent at our campsite and then we hiked around the base of the tower. It was interesting how different it looked from different sides. While we hiked, we looked up and saw about 8 people rock climbing up the tower. I don’t think I have the strength, or the desire to do something like that.

After hiking, we went into Hulett for dinner at the Ponderosa and the meal was quite good. On the way back to the tower, we stopped and had an ice cream cone and bought some souvenirs. Then we returned to the tower to take lots more pictures! We saw the prairie dogs and it reminded me of the Whack-a-Mole game! Two were rubbing noses and I started singing Muskrat Love and got the giggles. At 9pm there was a ranger talk about porcupines which was interesting too.

What I Learned Today:

· The Devil’s Tower is more impressive in person than it is in pictures.

· The trees dropping all these white cottony stuff is cottonwood trees.

· There are rattlesnakes around Devil’s Tower (we saw one!)

· Watching prairie dogs is like watching the Whack-a-Mole game.

· Porcupines live in trees and their babies are born with quills which don’t get hard until they encounter air for a few days.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Devils Tower by Pat Hensley

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Colorado– 7/8/11

063For more pictures, click HERE.

This morning we went to Rocky Mountain National Park through Estes Park on the east side. We started off the day by hiking with the ranger at the Moraine Visitor Center. Then we tried to find some place to sell me a diet pepsi but nowhere around had any so we went back out of the park to McDonalds where I had lots of diet coke to wake me up.

Then we headed back into the park to the Alluvial Fan. It is as beautiful as I remember it! The water gushing down the fan was magnificent. This alluvial fan was caused by a flood in 1982.

After we left there we went to Sheep Lakes where it is known that sheep cross the road there. When we arrived, a sheep had just crossed the road and we were able to see it and take pictures of it! There are even volunteers who stop traffic and allow the sheep to cross the street safely. It was pretty exciting.

After that we drove around the park looking for more wildlife but eventually headed back to Fort Collins. We got back in time before the heavy rain. For dinner we stopped at the Hibachi Grill which is just like the one we have at home.

What I Learned Today:

· Ponderosa pine bark smells like vanilla.

· Alluvial Fans are caused by flooding.

· Sheep are nervous animals.

· Abert squirrels eat ponderosa pine parts.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Friends by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Colorado– 7/7/11

053For more pictures, click HERE.

We started the day off with a self guided tour at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) in Boulder, CO. It was a nice tour but it involved too much reading displays. I had a little trouble focusing on the details but the displays were colorful I got a lot of web page links that I will have to check out and see if there is anything good to share.

Our next stop was at the Celestial Seasonings factory in Boulder for a tour. On the way there, Don spotted a yarn store for me and I’m so glad we stopped there. I found the little tool that I had lost and the people there were very friendly! It was a huge store with lots of varieties of yarn and fiber plus a huge classroom for classes in knitting, crocheting, spinning, and weaving. After the tour at Celestial Seasonings, we sampled a few of the teas that I wanted to try. For lunch we ate at Pasta Jays in downtown Boulder which was excellent food for reasonable prices.

We tried to go to Coors in Golden for a tour but the line was over an hour long in the hot sun so we skipped there and went to REI in Denver. This was the flagship store and I enjoyed seeing the huge rock climbing wall in the middle of the store. After that we were going to go to Hammonds Candy for a tour but we never made it.

Since there was a lot of traffic, I drove all day which wasn’t a problem. On the way to the candy store though, I got on the interstate and we saw a sign stating that a $2 toll was coming up. Then I saw the HOV lane (2+) was toll free so I sped across 5 lanes and got in the HOV lane. As we traveled north, I noticed that we were passing the exit that I needed to get off at for the candy tour so we just kept going. Poor Don spent the day holding onto his door and “helping” me drive.

We arrived in Lafayette and shopped at a thrift store where I bought some glass sticks that would look nice with some shawls and also a metal bank. Then we parked downtown and walked through the Farmer’s market before it began to rain. At 6pm, we met Craig and Lisa for dinner at Efraim’s which was very good Mexican food. The chili relleno with rice and beans was only $6 and margaritas were $4. It has been seven years since we have seen them and we had a great time catching up on news.

What I Learned Today:

· White tea has more antioxidants than green tea but is milder tasting.

· White, green, and black teas all come from the leaves of the same plant. White tea leaves are the baby leaves during the first week of harvest.

· Healthy pine trees pitch out the pine beetles in their sap causing yellow popcorn shapes on the bark of the tree. If there is a drought and the tree doesn’t have enough water and sap, the beetles will attack the tree and kill it within a year.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Photo: Friends by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Colorado– 7/6/11

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         For more pictures, click HERE

Today we left Granby and headed to Fort Collins. I knew the day was going to be good when the first thing we saw was this beautiful hot air balloon.

Before we left Granby, I called the Lonesome Stone Fiber Mill to see if we could come for a visit. I learned about fiber fresh off the alpacas and llamas and saw where the fiber is processed into yarn. While we were there we saw superwash being put through the carder and being made into top. I also saw this huge spinning machine where the fiber is spun into singles. Then we saw the machine where the singles are plied together. I was amazed at this huge niddy noddy where the yarn is made into skeins. Outside the store was some yarn drying that had been hand painted. I also learned that I could buy my own alpaca and almost talked my hubby into buying one for me. But first I want to check with my friend Caron to see if this is a good deal or not. I could buy a male alpaca for $200 and then pay $1 per day to board it. The only extra cost would be vet bills if necessary. They would shear the alpaca and then process the fiber for me if I want. I think that would be pretty cool but we shall see. I did end up buying some fiber from her before I left.

Instead of going through the middle of the national park, we went north through Rand and Gould. We had beautiful views through the Poudre Canyon area. On the trip we saw some mule deer and some hawks.

Since we took our time enjoying the trip, we didn’t arrive in Fort Collins until 4pm. After a week away from a big city, the traffic was overwhelming again! After dinner at Five Guys Burger and Fries, we settled into our room at the Hampton Inn which is pretty nice.

What I Learned Today:

· It is good to stop at US Forestry offices to see what is available in the area.

· They use guardian dogs to protect sheep herds. According to the advisory sign, “try to outrun the dogs!” (And this is not a joke!)

· It is useful to ask locals where their favorite place to eat is rather than where they recommend for you to go.

· Usually waterfalls are beautiful sights no matter how much water is falling!

· Wifi on smartphones and Ipads are great until you can’t get a signal in the mountains. That is when it is good to have a GPS system in the car!

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Hot Air Balloon by Pat Hensley

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Colorado– 7/5/11

021For more pictures, click HERE.

This morning we decided to head towards Hot Sulphur Springs and Steamboat Springs for the day. The drive over the mountains and through the passes was beautiful! Of course I kept having Don stop so I could take pictures. When we arrived we stopped at the Colorado Department of Wildlife office and were told about a beautiful waterfall in the area. We parked downtown Steamboat Springs and shopped at the F. M. Light store which reminded me a lot of our Mast General Store at home. There were signs along the highway coming into town that reminded me of the old Burma Shave signs (the ones I’ve heard about because you know I’m much too young to have seen the actual signs!). After shopping we had a wonderful lunch at the Creekside Café. I had a combo meal which was an Apple spinach salad with Green chili and ham stew. The salad was very tasty and the soup had a lot of heat to it but it was good too.

After lunch we went to Fish Creek Falls and hiked a few miles. The waterfall was an awesome sight! I guess because the snow is melting and there is a lot of water but that was something to see! I’m not sure the pictures do it justice but it was great to see in person. I’m really glad we took the time to see it and glad our annual national park pass covered the $5 fee.

On the way back to Granby, we decided to take a scenic route and went back a different way through Oak Creek to make a loop drive. We found out that Oak Creek was a small mining town.

By the time we got back to Granby, it was dinner time and relaxation time. Tomorrow we will head to Fort Collins, CO and working on a scenic route there. I think we won’t take the Hwy 34 through the park but may go north to Walden and through Gould. I’m not sure what we are getting into but it will be an adventure!

What I Learned Today:

· It is good to stop at US Forestry offices to see what is available in the area.

· They use guardian dogs to protect sheep herds. According to the advisory sign, “try to outrun the dogs!” (And this is not a joke!)

· It is useful to ask locals where their favorite place to eat is rather than where they recommend for you to go.

· Usually waterfalls are beautiful sights no matter how much water is falling!

· Wifi on smartphones and Ipads are great until you can’t get a signal in the mountains. That is when it is good to have a GPS system in the car!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Fish Creek Falls by Pat Hensley

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Colorado– 7/4/11

060For more pictures, click HERE.

It was another day in Paradise! After breakfast we went back into the park and did some hiking. Eventually we headed to hike to the highest point in the park. At the top, we had to scramble over some rocks and it was a little scary. There was a metal marker that told you what you were seeing in the 360 degree view around you. While we were there we even saw a marmot!

On the way back down we met three older gentlemen who were in the park for a reunion. They came from Michigan, Alaska, and New Mexico. It was really interesting to talk to them and I couldn’t resist showing them my close focus binoculars. We enjoyed talking to them so much we spent a long time on the side of the trail having a wonderful conversation! While we were talking, a huge herd of elk passed by right in front of us! The herd was full of males, females, and babies.

When we left there we went to the visitor center and had a nice picnic at the back of our car. We pulled out our lawn chairs and ate sandwiches and chips. Then we did some shopping before heading back down the mountain.

On the way down the mountain we stopped at a few trailheads and did some hiking. We walked through some snow to Lake Irene and the view was beautiful. On the way back we came across a bunch of pikas (little rabbit like animals).

Eventually we made it back to town and grabbed a couple of subway sandwiches to eat in our new motel room at Littletree Inn in Granby, CO. It is a nice room with a king bed, fridge, microwave, TV, and wifi for only $59.

This will probably be posted on Thursday so the next update of our trip will continue on Monday. Please come back if you are interested in reading more!

What I Learned Today:

· There are no poisonous snakes, or poison ivy, or poison oak, or poison sumac in the park.

· Moose can be aggressive.

· Sun reflectors in the windows of our car while parked really help keep the car much cooler.

· Picnic lunches are fun!

· It is fun to meet new friends on the trail!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Lake Irene by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Colorado– 7/3/11

030For more pictures, click HERE.

We had an awesome day filled with Ranger led activities! I would highly recommend you doing them in any national park that you go to.

First we met at the East Inlet and hiked with Ranger Kathleen on the Glimpse of Paradise Hike. It lasted until noon and we hiked past Adams Falls which was gushing with water. Along the way, we saw lots of beautiful wildflowers like arnica, paintbrush, penstemon, and wild rose. We also saw a moose along the trail which was exciting for everyone.

Then we went to the Visitor Center where we had a picnic lunch and then watched the movie about the park until our afternoon hike.

This time we hiked with Ranger Mandy and learned about the many blooming wildflowers. In fact, July is a great month to observe wildflowers. When you go to my flickr page of pictures, you will see many of the flowers that we saw.

After that hike we drove up the road and saw some more moose and elk. We saw 6 moose in all today! We also stopped at the Baker Bowen Trailhead and was disappointed to find out it was underwater. There at the picnic table were two US Forest Service guys with two llamas and one guy told me I could pet them but I declined. I told him that I was a knitter and maybe the llama knew it and would be offended. He immediately smiled and told me that he was a knitter too and then told me of a fiber mill called Lonesome Stone right in the town where we are staying. Their alpacas stay at this farm during the winter months. I was so excited! On the way back to the hotel we drove past the farm/mill to see the alpacas and llamas and I looked them up on the internet. I will try to give them a call to find out when their yarn store is open.

What I Learned Today:

· The wildflower Paintbrush is parasitic and eats the nutrients from the surrounding plants.

· Certain pine cones need fire to release their seeds and this might take 80 years.

· Fir has flat, friendly needles.

· Spruce has square, spiky needles.

· The Colorado columbine’s flowers and seeds are poisonous.

· The pink lines in the wild geranium are nectar guides for the pollinators.

· Arnica is found in pine forests.

· Fairy slipper or Calypso orchid is a rare orchid.

· Paintbrush is only pollinated by hummingbirds.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: Mt. Baldy by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Colorado– 7/2/11

(For more pictures, click HERE. )

I’m still not used to the two hour time change so I was awake by 3am (my body thought it was 5am so it wanted to get up and do something!). I finally got out of bed by 4am and played on the computer until Don got up around 5:30 (local time). We ate a good breakfast at the Chuckwagon Café before heading out for a day of hiking.

Our first stop was the Coyote Valley Nature Trail but could only hike for a little while before we came to a “trail closed” sign because the trail was under water. The river seemed angry and overflowing so we headed back to try another hike.

023Next we went on a Tundra Nature Walk led by Ranger Jan and I enjoyed seeing the wildflowers in the tundra. The views were awesome!

After we left there we had lunch at the Hidden Valley Picnic Area and then did the nature trail after lunch. By this time, it was getting pretty hot outside.

089We left there and headed to Bear Lake and hiked around the lake. The last time we were there two years ago, we hiked in the snow and the snow was above the railings on the bridge. It was nice to enjoy the beautiful scenery!

Animals we saw today include moose, yellow bellied marmots, elk, squirrel, duck, and a stellar jay.

By the time we returned to our hotel after dinner, we were pretty tired! Tomorrow we have two ranger led activities in store for us.

What I Learned Today:

· Krumholz means crooked wood

· The fir on the tundra grows 1 inch each 100 years. The fir we saw were about 300 years old (the trunk was 3 inches in diameter).

· Use a copper penny (not shiny) beside wildflowers when taking a photo so that size can be recognized.

· Be careful hiking on ice and snow because it is slippery (I watched hubby do a fancy dance and couldn’t help laughing!)

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photos: Slippery by Pat Hensley; View by Pat Hensley

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Colorado– 7/1/11

Happy 4th of July to all my USA friends!!

(For more pictures of our Great Adventure 2011, click HERE. )

We left Colby, Kansas and headed west. It really wasn’t too bad in the morning. We passed Goodland which boasts a huge Van Gogh painting that we saw two years ago when we were there. It was nice to see rolling hills in the distance as we traveled down the highway. We couldn’t believe all the traffic that we hit when we got to Denver and it wasn’t even rush hour!

Our first stop was Idaho Springs where we ate lunch. It was a cute little town! Then we headed up Hwy 40 to Granby which was a very curvy mountainous road.

025We arrived in Granby a day early and The Trail Riders Motel (215 E. Agate Ave.) had our room ready for us and let us check in a day early. It was an adorable motel and I hate that we could only get 3 nights there (they were booked after that). The couple running the motel was extremely welcoming! Our cute room had a double bed, eating area, small fridge, microwave, desk and private bathroom plus free wifi. There was a little porch with white plastic chairs in front of our room that overlooked the main road and we enjoyed sitting out there watching the sun set. I would highly recommend this motel to people coming to the area! Not only was the motel clean and cute, but the prices were very reasonable!

060After we checked in, we headed to the Rocky Mountain National Park and drove the Trail Ridge Road up to the highest point. Along the way we saw a moose and her two babies and lots of elk. The mountains still had snow on them and there were places that the snow was over our head! The views were breathtaking and hard to describe. After getting in and out of the car, we realized that the high altitude was going to give us some problems hiking if we rushed onto a trail, so we stayed close to the car and enjoyed the views. Tomorrow we will do some lower elevation hikes and continue to get acclimated to the altitude.

We had dinner at the Maverick Grille which was only two blocks from the motel and the food was great! Don had a beef chimichanga which he says was outstanding and I had the smothered chicken (smother in mushrooms, bacon, and pepper jack cheese) that I enjoyed also.

I look forward to doing some hiking in the park tomorrow!

What I Learned Today:

· It can be super hot at one location and a few hours later, I could be standing on a snow covered mountain.

· Seeing a mother moose with her two babies is really exciting.

· The views from the Rockies were amazing and hard to describe. Pictures just don’t do them justice.

· It is fun to stay at small “mom and pop” motels where guests can feel welcomed and appreciated.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo Rockies by Pat Hensley

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 (Kansas)– 6/30/11

032For more pictures, click HERE. This morning we woke up very early and decided to hit the road before they even started serving breakfast. Of course that means we hit the Kansas City rush hour and construction on I-70. I had even forgotten that it becomes a toll road for a little while and cost us $2.50. Along the road we saw signs about a Cavalry Museum and decided to check it out. It was free and located on the Fort Riley army base. It was pretty interesting and had lots of interesting artifacts. The day got hotter and hotter the longer we drove west through Kansas. Eventually we stopped for the night in Colby Kansas and stayed at a Hampton Inn. While driving around to see the town, we saw a sign that said it was 111F. After dinner at the City Limits steakhouse, the sign said it was 115F!

What I Learned Today:

· Don’t be afraid to stop and check out museums along the way (especially if they are free).

· Don’t leave my pocketbook behind at McDonalds! (nothing was stolen, thank goodness)

· You need to drink more water when it is extremely hot outside.

· Gasbuddy.com is my friend when we are traveling! We saved a lot of money by checking this first.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo Temperature by Pat Hensley