Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Peace . . .

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life
 and patience for the small ones;  
and when you have laboriously 
accomplished your daily task, 
go to sleep in peace.  
God is awake."
- Victor Hugo

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Safe and Mostly Sound

"There's nothing half so pleasant 
as coming home again."
-M E Sangster

We arrived Tuesday night and first thing Wednesday morning I lifted the blinds in my office at 7:14 a.m. to see the school bus (water taxi) heading up Navy Channel to pick up the kids from Saturna...life goes on even when I am far away!

Wishing you all a lovely evening and above all, be well.

Monday, April 22, 2013

KISS . . . Keep It Simple, Sweetie!

"One day I will find the right words, 
and they will be simple."  
- Jack Kerouac

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Grateful for Grace . . .

"Your worst days
are never so bad
that you are beyond the
reach of God's grace.

And your best days
are never so good
that you are beyond
the need of God's grace."
- J. Bridges

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pleasant Pause . . .

Even I am getting bored with my travel postings...I am home in Canada and that is a good thing.

We travelled through only a wee bit of snowy/rainy/slippery roads south of Butte but now we are in Kelowna, BC and have had clear/dry/bare roads over 99.95% of our journey, for which we are most thankful!!

We saw beautiful skies and grand buildings...

We drove past my teenage hometown...

...and you all know how I love red barns.

We had a short but sweet visit with siblings in Calgary and hurried on 36 hours later through the mountains...

So before heading home we are perched here in Kelowna a few days to visit Mother and rest a bit before heading home where our cabin renter says the bleeding hearts, bulbs and budding rhodies are waiting for my touch.  (I think that means weeds)

In the meantime I am enjoying catching up on my paperwork and reading and writing.

This morning I read our daughter Sherilee's blog...I know, you think I am truly prejudiced when it comes to all my children...but you would love her blog too.

In this month of April she has been blogging about letters of the alphabet A-Z and today was Q.  To see Sherilee's blog click here.

She asks for favourite quotes...well, I can give you a different favourite every day...not memorized but read.  Today I smiled at the following:

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars and so on -- whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time.  But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man -- for precisely the same reasons." 
-- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

You all have a lovely ending to your week and above all, be well.

p.s.  Sherilee, did you notice the 'whilst'?  Big Smile.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boys On Bikes . . .

After a busy Sabbath morning exploring Marble Canyon it was time for a little lunch, right? The main road, Hwy 89A, was our only way out of the Canyon so we headed down the road looking for some nourishment.

These folks had no internet so we did not stay there Friday night but it was such a cool place I wanted to go back and try their food.

We pulled up and saw 4 Harley's sitting there...hmmmm...

You open the door to be greeted by beverage choices...

This watercolour drew me in...

Loved the breaks between the booths...a lot of fishing happens up here on the Colorado...

The Harley owners?  Here they are.  We sat down at our table, listened to the waitress flirting with the bikers and quickly picked up that these fellows were from Saskatchewan.  The waitress was trying to say the word, fumbling all over the first two syllables and I piped up and said, "Do you mean Saskatchewan?"

We asked the men about their trip, what brought them so far from the land of ice and snow, and exchanged stories.  Of course I asked permission before I started snapping photos.  They were really nice guys, a little shy maybe but good sports.

As they got ready to leave I asked if I could take their photos on their bikes, leaving...sure, they said.

I could have looked at their bike license before going in and would have known right off where they were from.

They played the part so well I was sure they had done the Hollywood thing some time in their careers but they had assured us they were Saskatchewan farmers.

Well, they were off, and we finished our lunch and wandered on down the road, past the Vermillion Cliffs, the Grand Staircase photo op and up into Utah.  As we drove along we once in a while talked of that chance meeting with the boys from Saskatchewan.

Our next decision was Bryce Canyon or Zion National Park...which should we choose?

We chose Zion and stopped at a service station at Mount Carmel Junction.  We drove up and saw the bikes first and sure enough, there were the boys from the cafe...taking a break.

We all laughed when we saw each other again...they accused us of following them but we had not for a minute thought we would ever see them again.  It was a good laugh.

Look at the fellow on the far left...see the green fabric sticking out under his jacket?  That is a John Deere hoodie...so of course we knew they were great guys!

Having said good-bye again, we all hit the road.  They were headed to St. George, Utah where they would stash their bikes in their trailer and truck for the trip home and we were just trying to get as far up the road as possible after a brief view of the south end of Zion National Park.

After our truly glorious visit to Zion I voted for an early stop but Sherwin had his heart set on making it to the Best Western in Fillmore where we have stayed every time we have travelled I-15.

By 9:30 we pulled up to the Best Western and there was a line-up of vehicles in front of us.  I looked, blinked my eyes again to make sure , and laughed out loud.  There in front of us was a white trailer with Saskatchewan plates and standing to the left was a biker...one of the boys!!!

What were the odds of this happening?  Three chance meetings in one day?

As we all headed to our rooms one fellow said, "See you at breakfast!"

You know, I never did introduce myself to them or get their names...but don't underestimate chance encounters.   At the very least they can give you a big smile and great photos (with permission).

Good wishes to you all in your chance encounters...and be well.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Good Sabbath . . .

Early Sabbath morning we were off looking about for an adventure of some sort.  The sky was not absolutely blue...there was some grey hanging around that we wanted to see disappear but that did not stop us from picking up our cameras and casting about for some 'snaps'.

We started at the bridge where we had ended Friday, crossed the bridge on foot and looked up the Colorado River...

Isn't that just so beautiful?

We picked up more information at the Visitor's Centre and headed north.

Our route for the morning took us through Marble Canyon.  Some of the famous shots you see in coffee table books on Arizona are on this road.

Red rock is everywhere...

If you look closely at the photo below you will see layers of different kinds of rock, all stacked on top of each other.  The very top layer is made up of these huge boulders that tend to pop off and roll down the cliff, coming to rest on the gravelly sand below.

This photo is for real...Sherwin who is 6'2" looks like a miniature beside that massive rock.

We have had a lot of fun taking each other's picture on this trip.  Notice the dusty knees here from crawling about trying to get the right 'snap'.

This balancing rock is a good example of a boulder composed of hard rock sitting on a type of dirt that is not the same composition. The softer dirt/sand has blown out or been washed away with rain.  There are a number of these balancing rocks in this canyon.  Again this is real!  We were amazed at the size of these balancing rocks.

As we continued up the canyon we found a small road where we could drive down to the Colorado.

Look very closely and you will see at the left top of the river some tiny little lines of yellow...see them?

Within a short time those yellow lines showed up as yellow rafts wending their way down the river.  Immediately I thought of Seth, our grandson, who had the opportunity to float/ride down the Colorado a couple summers ago.

When we saw these rafts Sherwin asked me if I would do that with him sometime.  After serious consultation with my grandson I will give him his answer.  We did meet a couple our age the evening before at dinner who were there to do the rafting trip.

And it does look like a thrill!

We learned that all rafting trips start at Lee's Ferry, named that for a man by the name of Lee who used to run a ferry back and forth across the river before the bridges were installed.

These were the houses originally used by early settlers in the early 1900's.

The colour of the stone house blends right into the red walls of rock behind...

Lee's Ferry is as far as the car could go and since we were realizing that we were running out of play time we decided to leave the hike for another time and head on back down Marble Canyon and on our way.  What a wonderful start to our Sabbath...

Monday, April 15, 2013

North to Wutapki . . . Friday, Day 3

Because of a lack of internet connections when we stop at the end of each day, we have fallen behind in recording our road trip.

Tonight Sherwin and I decided to divide up our next day, morning-afternoon.

We have truly been on a home inspection tour, I believe.  We have seen every monument available on this route.  The homes dating back to the mid 1100's are admirably ingenious.

We arrived at Wupatki by lunchtime after having toured the volcanoes and another set of 'ruins' in the morning.  For the morning activity see Sherwin's blog; click here.

Wupatki is a community built in the mid 1100's in one of the driest spots on the Colorado plateau.  This 100 room pueblo, a community room and a ceremonial ball court was home to 85-100 residents.  This was the largest pueblo for at least 50 miles and several thousand early dwellers lived in the surrounding area.

I took this shot from the approach off the Visitor's Centre...

Behind the pueblo to the left was the spring that gave them the water they needed to live.

...and here is the same shot in colour.

How many of our homes will still be standing 800-900 years after we are gone?

In the 1930's early settlers came to excavate and start the preservation processes that we enjoy today. These men lived in the original pueblo.

The ceremonial ball court looks similar in size to the pickle ball courts Sherwin plays on every morning.

...and again in colour.

The community room has a bench around the entire circumference of the building.

...another view of the bench.  We have a serious appreciation for well-done rock work.

I am working on building a black and white portfolio so will be doing a lot of experimenting to find the right photos for my file.  I would love any feed-back on any of the photos.

Playing with our cameras, shooting from every angle, kept us there for at least an hour.  Anyone who has done any building will feel a strong connection to this site.

You can see that some patching has been done by recent amateurs if you look on the right side half-way up the wall...

Close-up:  If you look closely it appears that someone wanted to close up a window size hole and just did it in a very haphazard way.  They wanted to close out the weather or prying eyes and they just did it...the people who had came before were not so careless in their workmanship.

You can see how they integrated their building around the existing large rocks.

We reluctantly packed up our gear and headed off over the hills to find our next adventure...

For more information about Wupatki click here.  And if you have the opportunity to travel to the southwest put this site on your itinerary.

Stay tuned and above all, be well.