Bryce and Grand Canyons 1983

Bryce Canyon

The continuing saga of “Travels With Dan.”  This was my first trip to Bryce, the first week of April 1983.  Why this time of year?  We had just come from, or were going to (who remembers such things?), one of the great sporting events of all-time – North Carolina State upset Houston for the 1983 NCAA basketball championship at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Wolfpack coach, Jim Valvano, went running around the court looking for somebody to hug!

[Gorgeous weather with still lots of snow at one of nature’s world wonders!]

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[Did I mention lots of snow?]

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[Dan leads through the labyrinth.  Perfectly comfortable in windbreakers.]

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[Yes, we hiked down here.]

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[A photographer]


[A tree]

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[Another tree]


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[Hmmm, looks like my backyard in Woodbury.]

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[Did I lose you?]

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[It’s all just grand (oh wait, that’s the next canyon)!]

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[Despite the warning on the sign above, we decided to try snowshoeing.]

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[Oy, am I that close to a cliff?]

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[I’m getting the hang of it!  Say, did you hear Scaramucci was fired?]

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Grand Canyon

[For some reason (OK, I know the reason) I can’t remember if this was my first visit here.  I remember my first ever glimpse of the canyon while driving down the road just takes your breath away.]

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[Yeah, something like this.]

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[Dan decided to hike down Bright Angel Trail – very hot, so he covered his head with his jacket.]

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[A not insignificant view from the trail.]

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[The trail was a mix of snow, ice, and water . . . ]

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[And for the first time in my life, I discovered that walking down hill for long distances really starts to drive ice picks into my knees.  I turned around and returned to the surface.]

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[Dan soldiered on and allegedly made it to the bottom – a many hour trip down and back.  He looked like death warmed over when he made it back, and then gave me a one-finger salute.]

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[I just enjoyed the views from the surface trails.]

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[Grand really descibes it.]

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In fact, just about all the major natural attractions you find in the West- the Grand Canyon, the Badlands, the Goodlands, the Mediocrelands, the Rocky Mountains and Robert Redford- were caused by erosion.  ~  Dave Barry

Up Next:  Camp . . .

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Because Inquiring Minds Want to Know . . .

OK, this is a little bit of inside baseball, but it’s the best way I have to disseminate the information.  Alice and Dave Anderson celebrated their 50th anniversary yesterday at Gathered Oaks before a cast of thousands.  The entertainment was a 4-piece jazz combo of obviously high school age kids, who were very good.  The guitar player attracted our attention because he looked familiar – the Super and I agreed  he looked like Adam Astrup. He was.  Adam was an original Alex wunderkind whose family moved to Cold Spring . . . well, we’d forgotten how many years ago.  So, I looked it up – and now we know the rest of the story.

[Adam with other wunderkinds – we always said Sami Steidl was our original.  This January 15, 2012.]

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[Adam standing with Spencer Christensen, another wunderkind, July 5, 2012.]


[With Paul Meland on sax, Sixth Avenue Wine & Ale, October 17, 2012.]


[With Paul and Kirby Karpan at SAWA, October 25, 2013.]




[With Paul, Kirby, and others with the Alexandria Jazz Combo    ]

Which leads us to . . .  yesterday, July 23, 2017

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[Mr. Astrup, four years later . . . ]

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[Deb Trumm photos . . . she and Paul have a niece and nephew, who in some order are one year younger and one year older than Adam, who go to Rocori High School and are Facebook friends with him.]

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[Wish he could have stayed in Alex longer . . . ]

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Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.  ~  Frank Zappa

Up Next:  Whatever was in line  . . .

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Two Days With BAT and Brenda

July 19


[Amazingly, with thunderstorms forecast almost daily, BAT was able to give us two outdoor performances this visit.  As a reminder, he will be back for Grape Stomp.]

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[The Super takes her “Missing u at” photo.  The deck was packed, fortunately we were able to fit in with Bonnie Schnell’s table of 20.]

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[The weather patterns have been giving us some interesting cloud formations.]

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[Yup, going up to “put bread in his jar” during Piano Man.]

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[The drive home that evening . . .]

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July 21

Carlos Creek Winery

[Again, happy to be outside.  A little on the sticky side, but bearable.  There are five videos here for your dining and dancing pleasure – don’t be afraid to look at them, hardly takes 15 minutes.]

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[I think I’m getting the finger?]

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[Trina Wolfe, the director of retail for the winery, comes out to check on things.  Linda and Rick were table mates.]

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[Even Brenda videos BAT!]

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[Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.]

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[Brenda finds safe haven behind the winery pickup.]

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[Barb and Jewett Benson, local Renaissance people and dance instructors on the side, show us how it’s done.]

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[And here we all are!]

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[8 amongst a cast of thousands.]

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[The man works hard.]

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[Brenda notes the Cub Reporter would like to hear Pancho and Lefty.]

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[I didn’t realize the Benson group behind us was also taking their group photo.  Doh!]

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[The wedding party comes through – at least it gave BAT a half hour break.]

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[Things really get cranked up the last hour . . . ]

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[Somehow BAT finds even more energy . . . ]

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[And the patrons, now stoked with an afternoon of venue product, are ready to cut loose!]

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[Let’s booooooogie!!!]

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[Bon voyage, BAT and Brenda!]

All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.  ~  Frank Zappa

Up Next:  Workin’ on it . . .

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Oregon 1985 (Part 2)

Hi!  We’re still in Oregon!

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[Crater Lake National Park is located in southern Oregon.  Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the fifth-oldest national park in the U.S. and the only national park in Oregon.  The park encompasses the caldera of Crater Lake, a remnant of a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama, and the surrounding hills and forests.  The lake is 1,949 feet (594 m) deep at its deepest point, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, the second-deepest in North America and the ninth-deepest in the world.  (Editor’s comment:  That’s five ‘deep’ or ‘deepest’ in one sentence) When comparing its average depth of 1,148 feet (350 m) to the average depth of other deep lakes, Crater Lake becomes the deepest in the Western Hemisphere and the third-deepest in the world. The impressive average depth of this volcanic lake is due to the nearly symmetrical 4,000-foot-deep (1,200 m) caldera formed 7,700 years ago during the violent climactic eruptions and subsequent collapse of Mount Mazama and the relatively moist climate that is typical of the crest of the Cascade Range.  The caldera rim ranges in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 m). The United States Geological Survey benchmarked elevation of the lake surface itself is 6,178 feet (1,883 m).  This National Park encompasses 183,224 acres (74,148 ha; 286.29 sq mi).  Crater Lake has no streams flowing into or out of it.  All water that enters the lake is eventually lost from evaporation or subsurface seepage. The lake’s water commonly has a striking blue hue, and the lake is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain.  (Wikipedia)]

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[Gnarly tree . . . ]

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[And this is my framed photo from Crater Lake.]

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[Now that’s blue . . . and deep!]

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[I’m thinking this is the Rogue River because . . . ]

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[The Rogue River begins at Boundary Springs on the border between Klamath and Douglas counties near the northern edge of Crater Lake National Park.  Although it changes direction many times, it flows generally west for 215 miles (346 km) from the Cascade Range to the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach.  Arising at 5,320 feet (1,622 m) above sea level, the river loses more than 1 mile (1.6 km) in elevation by the time it reaches the Pacific.  It was one of the original eight rivers named in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, which included 84 miles (135 km) of the Rogue, from 7 miles (11.3 km) west of Grants Pass to 11 miles (18 km) east of the mouth at Gold Beach.  In 1988, an additional 40 miles (64 km) of the Rogue between Crater Lake National Park and the community of Prospect was named Wild and Scenic.  Of the river’s total length, 124 miles (200 km), about 58 percent is Wild and Scenic.  The Rogue is one of only three rivers that start in or east of the Cascade Range in Oregon and reach the Pacific Ocean.  (Wikipedia)]

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[The Rogue has long been noted as a rafting river, with various stretches of different degrees of rapids.  Dan & I decided to raft the rapids . . . OK, not the biggies.  So, we were in a two-person raft and as soon as we hit the first rapids, over he went, on his back, on the bottom of the raft, leaving me to negotiate the rapids all be myself!  I’ll never let him live that down.  😉  ]

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[And now on to the coast . . . ]

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[I do not know what this is?]

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[But that will be the case for a while now.  The drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francico is gorgeous.  It’s just that even after a long time on the Google machine, I could not identify most of these following pictures . . . ]

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[These may be Cresecent City, California?]

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[But you can get a photo like this about every two minutes . . . ]

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[Well, it’s artsy.]

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[I couldn’t even find this lighthouse?  Looks like it should be one that’s pretty well known?]

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[Hmmm, guessing dunes?]

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[This may be the Smith River as we are entering the . . . ]

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[The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) are old-growth temperate rainforests located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park (established 1968) and three state parks (dating from the 1920s), the combined RNSP contain 139,000 acres (560 km2). Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests, totaling at least 38,982 acres (157.75 km2). These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth.  In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of the California coast.  (Wikipedia)]

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[Just being in the presence of, and in the aroma of, these trees is indescribable.]

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[Avenue of the Giants, how perfectly apt.]

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[We now may be in Muir Woods.  More Redwoods just a drive and a 3-wood up the coast from San Francisco.]

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[And now the city by the bay . . . ]

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[Sausalito . . . ]

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[On the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.]

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[San Francisco from Sausalito]

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[And these are, indeed, in Muir Woods.]

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[The remaining need no further description . . . ]

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I was set to go to Oregon to play college baseball and football.  ~  Harmon Killebrew

Up Next:  Something local?

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Oregon 1985 (Part 1)

Continuing our series of “Travels With Dan,” a retrospective of the life and times of two not-so-swinging bachelors with disposable income and time on their hands.  This time, as the title suggests, to Oregon in September 1985 before the state became REALLY hip.

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[Above an indication of the trip’s success – two framed photos from the state have adorned the walls of my abode for 32 years, and the other a photo from the previously published Outer Banks posting.  Below, we have arrived in Portland, the state’s largest city.]

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[Somewhere in the city along the banks of the Wlliamette River . . . ]

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[As well.  The Willamette is a major tributary of the Columbia River.]

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[Basketball Dan surveys the lands to be conquered.]

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[And back to where we began – they turned the water on.]

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[Can you see Mt. Hood?  Me neither.  It’s a real hit or miss thing, most of the time a miss as I understand it.  This view is from Portland’s famous Rose Garden, and why it’s called the Rose City.]

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[If one can’t see the mountain, might as well take photos of the roses.]

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[This haze is what generally preempts any views of Mt. Hood.]

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[So, let’s go to the not too far away Columbia River valley.  The Super and I many years later traveled the gorge by train – highly recommended.]

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[There are many waterfalls in the gorge, but unfortunately I do not remember all of them.]

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[We hiked up for the panoramic veiws . . . ]

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[And then we came to the biggie, which I do remember. Multnomah Falls is 620 feet high so it’s quite memorable.]

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[And there’s a nice bridge vantage point.]

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[Dan crosses safely under this falls.]

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[‘Twas all quite lovely as we stopped for a cross river view of the State of Washington.]

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[Wow, we were really high!]

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[After climbing up to and down from great heights, a time to spend the evening here.]

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[Up and on the road the next morning, heading west and our first sighting of Mt. Hood.]

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[Mount Hood, called Wy’east by the Multnomah tribe, is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcani Arc of northern Oregon.  It is located about 50 miles (80 km) east-southeast of Portland, on the border between Clackamas and Hood River counties. In addition to being Oregon’s highest mountain, it is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence.  The height assigned to Mount Hood’s snow-covered peak has varied over its history. Modern sources point to three different heights: 11,249 feet (3,429 m), a 1991 adjustment of a 1986 measurement by the U.S. National Geodetic Survey (NGS), 11,240 feet (3,426 m) based on a 1993 scientific expedition, and 11,239 feet (3,426 m) of slightly older origin. The peak is home to 12 named glaciers and snowfields. It is the fourth highest in the Cascade Range.  (Wikipedia)]

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[At the time, Mt. Hood was the only place in the continental 48 states with year-round skiing.  I do not know if that’s still the case.]

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[A view from our lodging there . . .  ]

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[And our lodging was –  Timberline Lodge.  I don’t know how far in advance one would need to make reservations in this day and age?]

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[Then Dan and I went out the back door to climb the mountain.  Well, we scruffled up along the scree to get to the ski slopes, and then disaster struck!  My wonderful, now 15-year old, Honey Pentax SLR camera that I bought in Okinawa when I was in the army, had a major shutter failure – as in, completely tore off from its moorings.  No more photos from the hard, sweaty scramble up the mountain!  The trip was just beginning, I had to replace the camera – I bought another Pentax, but I have no memory of where I purchased it?]

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[Obviously the next day, I believe we were still headquartered out of Timberline Lodge, and I now armed with a new camera.  Time for some hiking in the area . . . ]

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[We hiked around Lost Lake, and photos of Mt. Hood over the lake are not surprisingly rated among the top photo ops in the country . . . ]

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[Dan leads the way on the trail around the lake . . . ]

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[And this is the photo I framed for permanent display in the family household.]

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[Isolated mountain tops are cool in that they can create their own micro-weather . . . ]

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[Until I started this post, I forgot I had these shots of the cloud tending to the mountain top.  As I said, a cloud created by the mountain top.]

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[We stopped along here so Dan could get a shot of the first Nike store . . . or maybe it was a moose, or a beaver, I don’t recall.]

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[When we crossed over the Cascades to eastern Oregon, we hit a totally different climate and topography – we were now in the arid West.]

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[It was like a moonscape.]

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[And then the sign for Willamette National Forest . . . where I guess trees were optional?]

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[McKenzie Pass (elev. 5335 ft/1623 m) is a mountain pass in the Cascade Range of central Oregon.  It is located at the border of Linn and Deschutes counties, approximately 20 mi (32 km) northwest of Bend , between the Three Sisters to the south and Mt. Washington to the north.  At the summit of the pass, Oregon Route 242 crosses a 65-square-mile (170 km2) lava flow just west of Sisters. Surrounded by lava, the Dee right Observatory was constructed in 1935 by Civilian Conservation Coprs workers and named after their foreman. Visitors climb to the observatory to view the Cascade peaks visible from McKenzie Pass. Also near the summit is Clear Lake, a renowned location for fresh-water diving.  (Wikipedia)]

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[This was a place we stayed – obviously.  Unfortunately, it was so long ago and I can’t remember its name or location – obviously.]

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[I do remember the place – it was a beautiful setting.]

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[The Three Sisters are a complex volcano of three peaks of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range.  Each exceeding 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in elevation, they are the third-, fourth-, and fifth-highest peaks in the state of Oregon, and are located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, about 10 miles (16 km) south of the nearest town of Sisters.  Diverse species of flora and fauna inhabit the area on and around the mountains, which is subject to frequent snowfall, occasional rain, and extreme temperature differences between seasons. The mountains, particularly South Sister, are popular for climbing and and scrambling.  (Wikipedia)]

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[Pretty much the center of the state.]

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[I have every reason to suspect this is Mt. Washington over Big Lake, in the vicinity of the Three Sisters . . . ]

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Eugene is located in western Oregon, approximately 278 billion miles from anything.  ~ Dave Barry

Up Next:  Part 2?

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Outer Banks 80’s & 90’s


A retrospective:  As a longtime resident of the Washington, D.C. area, I would join “the boys” for twice-a-year treks to that wisp of land in the Altantic Ocean. We would make the 6-hour trip every spring and fall always in hopes of hitting the bluefish run. In our later years, we succumbed to bringing along our missuses, or other significant others, in what would become more like eating and shopping expeditions. But always, we just enjoyed being there – and this gives me an opportunity to display some of the photos taken through the years.  (This set-up is a re-post from 2011)

October 1982

[A favorite – how could it not be?]

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[Early morning at the beach – the smell, the feel . . . ]

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[Weapons standing tall in their bumper rack as Jim’s 4-wheel drive Jeep Cherokee (in later years, a Ford Bronco) heads to the beach for fishing.]

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[And here we are.  It was always fun to see the size and types of vehicles that would make it onto the beach.]

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[Has fisherman written all over him.]

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[And looking stylish in his white tennis shorts!]

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[Man does not live by fishing alone . . . ]

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[As I recall, this was Sea Scape golf course with a nice view of the . . . Sea.]

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[And this is the sea.]

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[It must be early in the engagement because the boys are still standing, holding their rods.]

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November 1983

[Outer Banks Motor Lodge, Kill Devil Hills, a surf rod cast from Miller’s Seafood & Steakhouse and the Buoy 9 – the eating hangouts!  We returned as regularly as the swallows to Capistrano.]

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[To next level, from standing with the rod, to standing with the rod in a sand spike. That’s Oregon Inlet Bridge in the background, once destroyed by a hurricane when we were there.]

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[There once was a time when the wind mussed his hair . . . ]

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[Now we’re getting there – rod in the sand spike, chairs up against the truck as a wind break, and soaking up the sun.]

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[The boys head into action!]

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[Surf rods were from 9 to 13 feet long, with several hundred yards of 50-pound test line on a reel, with 2 to 6 oz. of lead weight on the end, and cast out, as best you can, past the breakers, letting the bait bounce along the bottom, and hope nothing bites while you sit back in your lawn chair for a nap.]

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[Still early in the day, the guys are still in a vertical position.]

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[The trail in – you let a bunch of air out of your tires before you venture onto the beach so you don’t get stuck.]

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[One of my all time favorite photos.  I printed it in blow up and framed it, and it hangs on our bedroom wall to this day.  That’s John Smith . . . yes, John Smith.]

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Fall 1989

[Now we’re talking – never let fishing interrupt a nice nap!]

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[Double napping!]

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[Ooops, better wake up and see if there’s any bait left on the hook.]

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[We timed it right this year!  A 10-pound blue out of the surf is quite the tussle!]

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[They have teeth like piranhas, so don’t get your hand too close . . . ]

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[Protect the rod before unhooking the fish.]

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April 1992

[We’re here – let the good times roll!]

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[Say, bluefish!]

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[Alex once hooked something that just took his line straight out, he couldn’t stop it or slow it down, until finally all the line was gone.  We figured it was either a big shark or . . . a submarine?]

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[Is a fish causing the pole to wiggle?]

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[The crowds have rolled in.]

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[Cape Hatteras lighthouse in the background.]

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[Where the coozie was invented?]

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[A different perspective – above the tide line?]

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October 1993

[Ready for action . . . ]

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[What’s not to like?]

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[The fish haven’t bothered us so far.]

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[Terry launches a high, hard one.]

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[Jim just hangin’.]

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[The brothers Brown]

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Fall 1999

[In later years, we opted for comfort – renting a big house and having the ladies join us!]

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In general, there are obviously many more pictures, but I never got around to digitizing them.  That could take years.  And I would love to do the Outer Banks again sometime, but I just don’t think it’s likely unless some “old guy” pushes big time for a reunion.  Surf fishing did ruin freshwater fishing for me – I have never been able to get back into it.  🙂

[Here’s looking at you, kid!]

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How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean.  ~  Arthur C. Clarke

Up Next:  Whatever . . .

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Chicago 1973


Editor’s note:  I have some time on my hands, meaning I’m all caught up on blogging current events (well, except for the music stuff).  So, I thought, why not some retrospectives?  The blog didn’t start until January 2011, certainly I must have done some interesting stuff prior to then?  The blog has served a useful purpose as a diary as well as a trip resource venue.  For example, if you type “Budapest” in the search block, you can find out all sorts of useful stuff  about that city – because we’ve there twice!  😉  But if you (or I) type in Muir Woods, you won’t find anything.  But in my photo files I believe I have some good stuff on Muir Woods – why not put it in here?  It’d be easier to find! 

[First up, I believe my first road adventure after returning to the ‘U’ on the GI Bill.  The world-renowned Basketball Dan would lead me on the first of our many adventures together (and later with the Super included) – a trip leader well before that Johnny-come-lately, Rick Steves.  Here he is in his Pontiac or Olds (I’ve forgotten) driving us to Chicago for a college basketball doubleheader.]

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[Through Wisconsin . . . ]

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[Approaching the Windy City . . . ]

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[Apparently a ball park of some repute.]

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[And here we are in Chicago Stadium, Indiana v. Notre Dame . . . ]

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[But we really came to see Bill Walton (jumping center) and UCLA v. Purdue (?).]

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[It was February – where’s the snow?]

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[But the mood lighting was great for photography!  This was way before digital, so these were shot with that marvelous Kodachrome 25 (They give us those nice bright colors).]

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[At the base of the John Hancock Building – more on the building in the second half of this post.]

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[And now the views from Hancock’s observation deck.]

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[Before Hef moved the operation to La-La Land.]

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[Our coterie of Dick Haas, Dan, and me (the photographer)]

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[The Sears Tower was still under construction.]

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[Likely Michigan Avenue . . . ]

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[Well, we wanted to join . . . ]

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[And this is near (or where?) we stayed . . . ]

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[Stock photo, unbelievably the place is still in operation!  In subsequent discussions (though I don’t know why?), we just referred to it as The Heart.

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[This was a field trip – an urban geography field trip from the University of Minnesota to Chicago.  The longest field trip in my extinguished student career.  It was led by the estimable John Borchert, an internationally-renowned urban geographer.  At least two other current Alexandrians also took classes from Professor Borchert.  He was going to show us what real urbanity [sic] was all about. For the DePauw alum in Camp Ballentine on the other side of beautiful Lake Darling, Professor Borchert was a 1941 DePauw graduate.]

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[Construction is now almost completed on the Sears Tower.]


[Give me an ‘L’!!]

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[The city needed big shoulders for the train yards.]

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[If you’ve been to the city, you know this sight.]

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[The John Hancock Center is a 100-story, 1,128-foot (343.7 m) supertall skyscraper at 875 North Michigan Avenue.  When the building topped out on May 6, 1968, it was the second tallest building in the world and the tallest outside of New York City. It is currently the fourth-tallest building in Chicago and the eighth-tallest in the United States.  When measured to the top of its antenna masts, it stands at 1,500 feet (457 m).  The building is home to offices and restaurants, as well as about 700 condominiums, and contains the third highest residence in the world.  (Wikipedia)]

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[Museum of Science and Industry]

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[It was an urban geography class – you don’t just see the pretty stuff . . . ]

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[Maryum Mosque]

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[On the south side of Chicago . . . is where the industry is!]

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[Our tour bus – remember this was 44 years ago.]

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[Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana . . . where Knowledge is Good (wait, this was a while before Animal House).

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[Indiana Dunes National Seashore with the class . . . ]

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[The steel mills south Chicago and northern Indiana where metalurgical engineer Jami Gaither would ultimately be employed – but she was only a couple years old at this time.]

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[And we’re back at the dunes – this was likely after spending a night in the dorms at Valparaiso University.]

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[I do not know, nor do I remember, any of my classmates from the time.  They likely all went on to great fame and fortune.]

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I warn you, Jedediah, you’re not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in off the lake and gosh only knows if they ever heard of lobster Newburg.  ~  Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)

Up Next:  Local music?

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