Category Archives: Breakfast and brunch

Skyline Drive (1)

Skyline Drive (1)

Friday
Entry One

Flew out of work, the fleet flight of Friday before a holiday weekend. Everyone cracks a smile upon stepping out of the concrete and glass coffin of the corporate work week. The motorcycle is quickly gassed and loaded, I leave Washington DC at three-thirty, vowing not to check the time for the rest of the adventure. Adventure, the American adventure of the open road is what I seek. The road, my cameras, and escape.

Right turn off of 15th St. NW and I’m motoring past the Washington Monument and the White House. Harleys and clones are already lining the Mall for the annual Memorial remembrance that is Rolling Thunder. I’m soon over the bridge and on I-66 west. I plan on avoiding major highways when at all possible. Preferring scenic byways to drab highways. 66 is a necessary evil to flee the DC metro area as quickly as possible. At the start, 66 is a good quick run, for awhile anyway. Loads of Rolling Thunder riders are heading in 66 eastbound.

I keep the ubiquitous two fingers down to the side salute to fellow bikers out for extended stretches of time. In my experience, HD guys return the acknowledgement about 30-40% of the time. No big deal, some animosity exist though between different bike cultures. Motor-ism two-wheel stereotypes. However with the Rolling Thunder guys there is a noticeable increase in response, perhaps due to no longer just one biker acknowledging another, but a patriotic sharing of support and remembrance for those left behind, POW-MIA.

Traffic worsens further out 66 and I come up on a full HD dresser. Screaming Eagle back patch worked in with POW-MIA covers his vest and is topped by a “Run for the Wall” patch. I keep back a pace and we adopt the natural offset positioning of multiple riders.

After some 66 backup, stop-and-go, we strike up a staccato conversation in the pauses of the traffic flow. Where you been, where you going, see the rain coming? I tell him I’m headed out to the mountains, Skyline Drive and West Virginia. He says he’s just in from there recently, was in DC for Rolling Thunder for the day and will be coming back in on Sunday again. His license plate is obscured by luggage, so I’m unsure of his port of origin.

Later on we part ways and my thoughts turn. Of my parents friends only my step-dad was drafted for Vietnam. Luckily, for us, he only went as far as Ft. Hood, TX, and came back with some good stories about army life and venturing into Mexico (at least the ones he’s shared with me). I think about all the life he’s lived since then, all his experiences and joys. Thinking about what all those who didn’t return gave up, lost, when they didn’t come home. The loss felt by those who loved them, families that have a name on the Wall.

Rain is sprinkling before Manassas. Enough to cool you off but not enough to get you worried yet, at least for a bit. Whooooo. Then come the big drops. I head off the ramp to gear up with the rain paraphernalia under the gas station pavilion. Finally get it all on and get strapped back up and out pops the sun and the rain stops. Too funny. Now I have wet clothes on under the raingear. Rain gear now keeping the wind out that would dry me. I motor on as more rain is promised on the horizon.

This brings up a point about rain. People always ask, “What do you do when it rains and your on the motorcycle”. I reply simply, “I get wet”. Duh. Rain riding has never bothered me. On the straight highways it’s no big deal. Just give more cushion to the cars in front of you. Drive like grandma on the exit ramps.

My turning point is finally reached. Off of 66 west and onto 647, Crest Hill Rd. at The Plains, VA. Crest Hill Road is my first slice of motorcycle heaven to be had this weekend. I’m delighted to find that the squiggly line I traced out on the map when planning this trip has translated so well in reality. The road is still wet from the passing rain clouds, and I give a small rabbit and then a chipmunk a near death experience. My first of many animal crossings this weekend. The road is fantastic. A mixture of hilltop road and tree lined canopies that create forest tunnels. Speed limit is 45mph, 55-60 feels comfortable on most parts. Keeping an eye out for a hilltop barn to photograph that I’ve seen in my minds eye, lit by the sun breaking through the clouds and backed by the mountain vista. No luck on any of the barns actual placement to fit the mental picture I have framed.

Crest Hill Road and Fodderstack Rd is a long stretch. I take shots of a church and other buildings along Zachary Taylor Highway. Fodderstack gives more of the same as Crest Hill, just a narrower road. The asphalt is of my favorite variety, freshly laid. Washington, VA is a tiny town of historic bed and breakfasts. Local wineries appear to be an attraction here too. Right after Washington the rain returns while I’m in route to Sperryville. Then it really starts to come down, a full on summer thunderstorm. Visibility is down. Road and parking lots soon resemble rivers. Rain drops of the monster variety explode on the pavement, and you know it hurts when they hit you.

I quick soaking circuit of Sperryville confirms there are no local hotels. I duck into a barn shaped restaurant to wait it out. My drenched gear takes on bar stool and I occupy another. There’s a few flying pigs about. The bartender get me a hefeweizen, and recommends the angus burger. Locally raised and grass fed, we exchange jokes about my passing the burgers relatives on the way in.

Don’t freak about the beer. I have a one only rule when riding. It was followed by a meal (best burger of the weekend!), several coffees, and this bar top journal entry.

Somewhere along Crest Hill road I decided to keep the cell off for the weekend. In addition no tv, newspapers, internet, or e-mail sound like a good idea. Of course I now am studiously avoid eye contact with the two beautiful plasma’s above the bar.

Entry Two

Hazel River Inn, Culpepper, VA, has the coolest street side seating in town.

The downpour let up at the Shady Farms bar in Sperryville and due to the deficiency in local lodging I quiz the bartender for options. Over the other side of the mountain, the opposite side of Skyline Dr via 211 is Luray with lots of motels, but I want to save the mountain for the morning. The waitress suggest Culpepper, there being a Holiday Inn etc.

Stepping outside the sun has broke through the clouds again. Enough for some shots of Shady Farms Restaurant and a bridge. Heading down 522, the Sperryville Pike, I keep an eye out for photo ops to catch the next morning as I’ll be rerouting back through. Following the mantra of Dale Borgeson about tour riding in the US, I aim to avoid large chain establishments, whether they are restaurants or hotels, and explore the mom-and-pop local variety businesses. I have a dive-ish roadside motel in mind, Culpepper comes through with the Sleepy Hollow Hotel.

Before check in I ride through downtown historic Culpepper. It’s a cool place. The Shady Farm bartender had recommended the Culpepper Thai restaurant. I see it but don’t visit, still full from the meal earlier. Cameron Street Coffee looks like a great place, located in an old warehouse. Unfortunately their closed for the night.

Shower and changed, room 102 at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel. I hop back on the bike, refreshed and dry and ride through the warm night air back downtown. The coffee at the Hazel River Inn comes with a sweet fudge confection on the side. The peach and blackberry cobbler with vanilla sauce is divine.

The reconfigured plan for this getaway is to shed. Shed worries about the job, career, housing, and relationships. My motorcycle is therapeutic. It’s 600cc’s of Zoloft on two wheels. The road lifts my spirits. This wasn’t supposed to be a solo run, and there are stretches of road where I feel the emptiness behind me.

The cobbler is finished and I can hear the sound of a band doing their sound check. The banging of the drum requires investigation.

Entry Three

I found Brown Bag Special in the cellar pub of the same restaurant I was in. On my way to the door the noise of the sound check floated up the stairs and directed my feet downward. Brown Bag Special opened the set, appropriately enough, with “I drink alone”. The ol’ man, Big Money, would have loved it. Drink alone started off a Big Money Blues trifecta to include “The Breeze” and “Mustang Sally”. Then they made the mistake a lot of bands make that have a great lead guitar player. They let him sing. The lead guitarist karaoke sucked his way through a Tom Petty hit. He was so off key in his singing it made you appreciate the guitar solo’s all the more for the relief they provided. Thankfully the regular singer soon resumed his duties and the night went on. More good stuff from the band.

Freebird
Folsom Prison Blues
Cheap Sun Glasses

“can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman, what she’s done to me”

Off to bed now at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel with the ghost and shades of dead hookers and overdoses past.

150 miles today.

Saturday

Entry Four

Morning breaks on the Sleepy Hollow Hotel, a hot shower and I’m back on the bike. A quick stop downtown to shoot the Hazel Inn, then it’s back on the Sperryville Pike. More stops to capture some sights seen yesterday. Mr. & Mrs. Pump. The open mouth caricatures are an accurate representation of the current gas cost and the pumps eating your wallet.

I keep telling my daughter that her first car, college car, will be a hybrid. She thinks they are ugly. The bike isn’t so bad, averaging around 40mpg. At about 180 miles on the tripometer I start to look for a refill, although I’ve pushed it to 211 miles before.

A quick left in Sperryville on 211 and up into the mountain, Blue Ridge Mountains and Skyline Drive. Heading up the mountain I get the first bite of the twisties I’ve been craving. The $10 fee at the gate to Skyline Drive is well worth the price. Great scenery and fantastic views. The only drawback is the 35mph speed limit that is well enforced by the park rangers.

I shoot some self-portraits at Pollock Knob overlook. They’re funny in that with all the scrambling and hurrying to be the camera timer, then trying to effect a relaxed pose. I’ve also broke out my old friend this trip, the Lubitel 166, a medium format, 120mm film, twin lens camera. I’m like Jay-Z with this camera, I have to get it in one take. There is no digital review after the click for instant gratification. As a fellow photographer it’s “Point, Push, and Pray”. I’ll be interested to see the results. Not that I’ve left digital behind. Carrying both cameras, I’m an analog/digital double threat.

After the self-portraits and some dead tree shots I’m about to pack back on the bike and leave when I meet the preacher and his wife. He offers to shoot me with my camera and I return the favor with theirs. Conversation flows and in a ‘small world’ moment it turns out that he works for same Hazel family that owns the restaurant I was at last night for his Monday thru Friday job. I get a friendly “God bless” and I’m heading south on Skyline Drive. I make several more stops and break out the cameras again at Big Meadow.

There is a gnarly dead tree in the middle of the meadow. It has burn damage at the base, either the result of some wild fire or perhaps a controlled burn done to maintain the field. I spot and shoot a few deer, they probably won’t turn out as they’re to far away for my lens on the D100. I shoot a bunch of shots of the tree with the D100 and then totally switch processes with the Lubitel. The picture setup with the Lubitel takes about a minute-and-a-half. Manual zoom, i.e., walking back and forth to get the framing I want. Light meter reading. Then dealing with the reversed optics of the look-down box camera. It is fun though, to switch it up, change the pace and the dynamics. Just one click though, hope I caught it.

It’s a long but enjoyable ride to the south end of Skyline Drive. Unless you really like slow cruising I would suggest picking which third of Skyline Drive you’d like include in your trip and leave the rest. I drop off the mountain and into Waynesboro. Finding Mad Anthony’s coffee shop for a late breakfast. I overhear that it’s around noon. The Italian Roast coffee is good, in fact, it would prove to be the best coffee of the trip.

One of the pleasures of traveling by motorcycle is that it’s an easy conversation starter. People ask you where your coming from, where you’re heading, ask about your bike, tell you’re about their bike or the one they wish they had. One of the peculiarities of these conversations is that if the person even remotely knows of anyone that has died on a motorcycle, they will be sure to share this fact along with details. These stories usually involve a deer, a car pulling out, or someone taking a corner to fast. The conversation goes something like this:

Stranger“nice bike”
You“thanks”
Stranger“my cousin Bob had a friend that hit a deer and died on his bike”

Short silence.

You“yeah, deer are dangerous, got to be careful”

I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve held variations on this conversation many times. Luckily this isn’t the conversation I have with the owner of Mad Anthony’s. He’s a former sailboat instructor who now finds the same release and head clearing on his motorcycle that he used to get from his sailboat.

This brings to mind the same wave – don’t way dynamic that occurs between sail boaters and power boaters, very similar to the sportbike & HD crowd.

The proprietor is a coffee guru, we discuss roasting (my Italian roast was just roasted Wednesday this week). We talk about the good and the evil of Starbucks. We’re both in agreement that they over roast their regular coffee, but I think their foo foo drinks are tasty. He has in his shop both the Bodum press and the Bodum vacuum coffee pot that I got my mom for x-mas. A shameless plug here, the Bodum vacuum coffee pot makes the best home coffee ever. It’s also an entertaining crowd pleaser, no joke.

Leaving Waynesboro the plan was 340 northward to 33, then into Harrisonburg, VA (home of the Valley Mall and JMU). 340 proved to be boring so I jumped on 256, Port Republic Road, for a better ride to Harrisonburg. I don’t know if the coffee wore off or if I was just worn out. I pull over at Westover Park, pick out a spot of grass, and take a good nap in the sun.

I had my motorcycle bug handed down to me by my step-dad. My kindergarten year of school we moved right at the end of the school year. Rather than switch schools at this inopportune time my Dad stuck me on the back of his Honda and rode me to school and back again for the last month or two. Even earlier than that I have a great photo of me in 1973-4 sitting on his chopper with him. Me in a diaper and him with his long hippy hair. The wild side of the Reverend indeed.

Refreshed from my nap it’s back on 33 westbound. Heading out of the Shenandoah Valley and Rockingham County is more glorious twisty roads and the George Washington National Forest. GW is a beautiful tree canopy lined road with a river off to one side. Franklin, WV is the destination, a return to the Star Hotel.

I stayed at the Star a few years prior when they first re-opened the historic Star Hotel. The owner, Steve Miller, is a great guy, friendly and conversational. I told him I’d be back again, but it’s been a few more years than I thought. Late lunch at the Star is pesto grilled chicken on ciabatta bread with roasted red peppers. Not the type of fare one might associate with West Virginia, but people have misperceptions about everywhere. Steve promises a prime rib later at dinner tonight to die for.

So that there is no misunderstanding, in as much as the Sleepy Hollow Hotel was a dive, the Star Hotel is a dream.

Dump the gear in the room back on the bike for some roaming around. I head back to explore a river road I passed on the way in, Rock Gap. It’s a gravel affair and I follow it back a little ways. Photo some river shots. Down further there is a large cliff face with some college aged kids de-gearing after a day of climbing. I’ll try to stop back in tomorrow and shoot some climbing action, as well as some fly fishing.

I pick up a bottle of Barefoot Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, and drop it off with Steve at the Star to keep for later. I’ll enjoy that bottle later tonight from the 3rd floor front porch. South out of town I head, into some very secondary roads. I shoot an old decrepit cabin that would be right up Bobby Sargent’s alley. I put it in the metal folder for a possible future model shoot location, along with the river spots I’ve seen.

There are a couple more stops on this little ride. Once for what appears to be a feral chicken, and then for middle of the road stare down with a young doe. She’s camera shy though and is off before I can get a shot. Sportbike probably isn’t the best conveyance for nature photography. The pavement stops and gravel begins, I motor on. Rick & I once spent a full day just about on gravel roads, crisscrossing the back country around Cumberland, MD. So I’m comfortable with the less than ideal riding surface. A few miles on the road dead ends at a pair of chicken houses (source of the feral chicken’s ancestors perhaps?) and I turn around and survey the valley I’ve just ridden through. I have to stop the bike and soak in the scene. A picturesque farm is nestled in the corner of the valley, up against the hills. I meet some inquisitive cows, along with the farmer and his wife.

It seems that when you are in WV and you pass a sign that says “snow removal ends here” that the already suspect road conditions are going to quickly deteriorate and will soon resemble somewhat more of a logging road. I motor on through some back country, no houses, no farms, just mountains, steep roadside cliffs, and wicked gravel switchback curves. The part that gives you the willies are the downhill corners where the road grade is slanted to the outside of the curve and to the drop below. Yikes!

I creep along where a four wheeler would be much more functional. Although I still hit it a bit in the straights. Pavement arrives again and I’m unsure of my exact location. I follow the chicken farmers directions and soon discover myself back in Brandywine, intersecting the same stretch of 33 I rode on my way into Franklin.

Back at the Star Hotel it’s a shower and fresh clothes before heading down for dinner. Downstairs I find the prime rib to be as good as promised.

Entry Five

How beautifully staged is this. Barefoot on the 3rd floor patio, wine to ease the back and the ache in the knee.

205 miles today, the last 30 after check in, just to explore.

Sunday

Entry Six

Out early in the morning. I find no climbers at Rock Gap, unsure of the hours they keep. Out of Franklin on 33 west, looking for another squiggly line I had seen on a map. Bland Hill Road name is a misnomer. A single lane country road winding through German Valley. I got a few shots of German Valley from the 33 overlook before turning on Bland Hill. Now I find myself in the same location I had shot from above.

The road cuts through some open pasture land and I meet some cows standing in the road after rounding one bend. They’re pleasant enough, if in no particular hurry to cross, and don’t mind posing for a shot or two before meandering on. People talk about the danger of hitting a deer, a cow would really ruin your day! Off of Bland Hill and on down into the valley. I come up on the rock formation I had seen from the overlook previously. It’s not Seneca Rocks, but a formation of the same ilk. I get some more photos, then onto German Valley Road. I’m still staying at the Star, there is no real destination today. It’s relaxing to stop as much as I like.

German Valley Road puts me back on 33 west and not long after I’m ordering breakfast at the Valley View Restaurant. Dale Borgeson warns of places that advertise home cooking, but that’s about all you see in these parts. There are a fair number of cars here and that’s usually a good since the food will be alright. Hell, even the Army could make a good breakfast. It all works out and it’s a hell of a deal, $4 for toast, two eggs, hash browns, bacon, and coffee.

From 33 I hit 28 and turn off on Smoke Hole Road, just because it’s there and looks interesting. Boy, what a find it is. Combining the curvy one lane country road with nice wide smooth pavement (gravel free in the corners). It’s great. Smoke Hole Road turns out to run from 28 across the Seneca Rocks National Forest to 220 on the other side. Going west-to-east it starts out all curves and hills, then ends by winding along the south branch of the Potomac. There are lots of fly fishermen here enjoying the catch-and-release section of the river.

Up 220 to Petersburg, I run into some Ducati guys at the gas station. We swap riding info and I’m soon on 42 north towards Mayville. Hanging a left when I see a sign for Dolly Sods. I’m back on secondary roads and I soon pass another prophetic ‘no snow removal’ signs. It’s gravel the rest of the way up the mountain til it breaks out on top at Dolly Sod.

I’m real happy with today’s roads, as both Smoke Hole Road and Dolly Sods were unplanned ‘discovered adventures’. I do some rock scrabbling at Dolly Sod and enjoy the cliff top views. A fellow tourist snaps a shot for me an I hike out well past the distance that the casual tourist and families go. Shot some more shots of the rock formations with both the digital and film camera. Do some more self-portraits. I then sit down to relax in the sun with the cliff side breeze steadily blowing and update this journal.

Entry Seven

Well, fellow traveler, if you’ve made it this far I am duly impressed. I thank you for your perseverance. The rest of the day was spent riding without incident. Just more fantastic roads. You don’t have to be an explore on par with Lewis & Clark to find great rides in West Virginia. Just be curious in nature and unafraid to leave the beaten path. Drop off the numbered roads and take the route less traveled. Soon you’ll be in your own undiscovered country. Blah blah blah.

Out of Dolly Sod and I find myself on 32. Rough calculations put the dirt road travel around 25 miles for the day. While we are on stats, here’s today’s animal road count:

1 rooster
1 dead fox
2 cows
8 chipmunks
7 alive
1 dead
3 dead possums
1 squirrel
1 dead blob (undistinguishable)
No fearsome deer
1 dog

I guided myself today by a rather non-descript map put out by mountainhighlands.com

Leaving Dolly Sod on 32 puts me in Dry Fork and back on familiar 33 west to Elkins. I cruise around Elkins on the off chance I’ll run into a guy I know named Dallas. Now all you need to know about Dallas is the following:

I don’t know his last name
I once gave him a hair cut with dog grooming clippers
I know he works at a bike shop making choppers

You figure the odds of me finding him, near zero.

If your curious it wasn’t the first time I cut hair, albeit the first time using dog shears. In Korea I cut in the latrine for $2 a cut or for a 6 pack. Everything was barter in the Army. We had a cook that would make you a great custom birthday cake for a case of beer or feed you food out of the back of the chow hall at 3am when you staggered in drunk from the ville for the promise of a future round to be bought. Korea stories could fill another journal.

Anyway, out of Elkins and south to Beverly. Scott, if your reading this you were on my mind as I went through town, never forgive, never forget.

So far I’ve only tried to write about the positive food experiences of the trip without throwing anyplace under the bus. C&J in Beverly however, served only barely functional burgers and the vanilla shake was of the worst chemical prefab variety. There are some things that I am stuck on, good vanilla ice cream is one. The others that I’m picky about are beer, whiskey, steak, cheese-steak, and coffee. It’s just so disappointing when something you usually enjoy turns out to be sub par.

After C&J it’s 250 east to 28, which heads back towards Seneca Rocks and Franklin. It’s a good haul through the Monongahela National Forest. A road of the scenic variety, with good twisties up the mountain and through the scenery. These type road have become quite a common occurrence here in WV. Back in Seneca Rocks and 33 east into Franklin. I never shoot Seneca Rocks, the light is never right, number one can tell you how I get about my light.

The Star’s restaurant is closed on Sunday, dagger, so I shower and head into Franklin by foot. About Franklin, WV. It’s a nice little town, quiet and sleepy. No bars other than the VFW that I could see. Everybody I’ve met and spoken too has be pleasant, friendly and conversational, both here in Franklin and elsewhere in WV. I’m sure there are a variety of characters much as anywhere, this is just my observation from the tourist level.

Following last night precedent I grab another vino from the Shell station. The Star being closed is a dilemma; I’m in need of a cork screw (having borrowed the restaurants the night before). I wander back down to the hotel, wine in hand, and past the hotel just a bit til I meet an old man sitting out front. I explain my situation, wine without access, and he says he’ll sell me a corkscrew. He goes in the house, shortly to return with the necessary implement in hand. I figure I have it for $3-4 or maybe rent it for a one time use for $1. That proves unnecessary however, he says just to take it, and keep it for any future need.

The sole booking for the hotel tonight, I’m like a wraith as I glide through the halls. On the front porch with my bottle of vino in hand. I have some cheap cigars I also picked up and there’s nothing to do but kick back and watch the sunset.

It’s been a great trip. Somewhat lonesome at times. The lack of someone to talk to surely let to the length of this journal. It was a trip to getaway, to reflect. There was no great revelation or anything, just time to get to know yourself. The road gives you time to think. I know who I am and I like being me. I know what’s missing.

I’m resolved to take more bike trips in the future. It’s definitely my preferred way to travel and vacation. Motorcycling is the way to go.

Tomorrow I have my route generally planned out, more scenic byways for a winding route home.

Miles today, 240.

Monday

Entry Seven

Just a short postscript. 20 miles east of Washington DC, on 66, the chain popped off the bike. It’s never easy.

Posted by D.Clow – Maryland on 2008-03-18 21:50:49

Tagged: , road trip , motorcycle touring , sport touring , travel , travel log , motorcycle , Memorial Day , West , Virginia , Virginia d80 , travelogue , off the interstate , D.Clow , photo

Yellow Flowers at Dras (Kargil area), India

Yellow Flowers at Dras (Kargil area), India

© All Rights Reserved : Capt Suresh Sharma

While we were travelling from Kargil to Dras, we stopped at a police station to have our breakfast (courtesy Mr Koshy and SSP of Kargil). Soon after breakfast break at Dras, I had a brief photo session with these yellow flowers (name?), while Mr Koshy and his son George had a birding session.

Can anyone tell me what is the name of this flower?

Posted by Captain Suresh Sharma on 2006-09-12 17:03:22

Tagged: , India , flowers , garden , yellow , black , bunch , branches , sunshine , bright , travel , flower , buds , images by capt suresh sharma , images of indian flowers , pictures of indian flowers , photos of indian flowers , photography by capt suresh sharma , how to achieve flower photos on black background in the field , flowers of laddakh , flowers of j&k , flowers of jammu and kashmir , yellow flowers of india , bunch of flowers , stock images of indian flowers , stock photos of indian flowers , stock pictures of indian flowers , indian stock of flowers , words in praise of indian flowers

,, Hooligans, Roof ,,

,, Hooligans, Roof ,,

.
Abandoned Abused Street Dogs.

Photo No# 2 of 2.

Back Story …………………………………..

5:20AM when I pulled into The Dog Palace driveway.

Rocky and Mama were quick to greet me at the gate.
Both received breakfast and a special treat ……………..

Today all dogs under my care start their monthly meds.
Heart worm, mange, tics, fleas and intestinal parasites.
This happens every month just like clock work and every
dog/med is recorded in a journal. Dog Supplies: medicated shampoo, toenail clippers, hair brushes and kibble were left
with the nuns.

As you can see in this photo Mama is being chased by a
bunch of Hooligans.
She’s very clever at getting everybody to participate in her
game of catch me if you can. And they do, then it all starts
again. Notice how many dogs now play on the roof ? … ;-)~

Tomorrow more dogs at The Tri-Pod Temple will receive the
same meds and generous portions of quality food ………………
.

Thank You.
Jon&Crew.
.
Please help with your donations here.
www.facebook.com/LoveThaiDogs?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
www.gofundme.com/saving-thai-temple-dogs.
.

.

Posted by Jon in Thailand on 2016-03-28 11:03:38

Tagged: , Mama , Tinker Bell , Legs , Pumpkin , DJ , Rocky , Roof , Running , Chasing , Crashing , Ears , Tails , Dog , Dogs , Fun , K9 , Jungle , The Dog Palace , Nikon , D300 , Nikkor , 17-55 2.8 , Big Fun , Abandoned Abused Street Dogs , Hooligans , little dog laughed stories

,, Moody Monkey ,,

,, Moody Monkey ,,

.
Wildlife Photography, Jungle.
Nikon D300 DX Camera.
Nikkor 17-55 2.8 Lens.

.
Back Story…………………

I’m standing right next to Leroy protecting
him from a bunch of crazed monkeys trying
to steal his breakfast.
Same monkey tried to ambush me from behind.
Didn’t happen and Leroy finished his meal.

Everything’s ready for tomorrows run ………..;-)

.

Posted by Jon in Thailand on 2014-06-19 10:34:32

Tagged: , Wildlife Photography , Jungle , Wildlife , D300 , Nikon , Nikkor , Monkey , Fangs , Good Morning , Red , yellow , Eyes , Moody , 17-55 2.8 , Primate

Razor Wire…chapter four The Firehydrant

Razor Wire...chapter four The Firehydrant

And special it was. Corporal Knapp was the leader of this rag tag bunch of labourers. Our gang was about one hundred and fifty strong. We were the first to leave the inner courtyard after all meals, it was important to the Corporal that we marched at a quick military like pace to the quarry and lowlands located at the rear of the couple of hundred acre property. Knapp was a character right out of a Peter O’Toole film, a real Lawrence of Arabia type, he wore britches some of the time, carried a mahogany cane with a brass head, had a dashing blondish moustache and spoke in a strong forceful voice, shouting was more like it as he had to be heard by a lot of people. His sidekick was a lieutenant, a quiet shorter gentlemen also in his fifties, for deputies the two of them appointed various characters of muscular ability to control the crowds, for rewards the deputies were given extra tea, biscuits and lots of lounging time. The gang marched out to the ‘Hill’ and would split up into groups. One group would grab a shovel and another group would grab wheelbarrows. In the low lying area those with shovels would load the barrow pushers with fresh cut loam and soil that would then be pushed up this fifty foot tall hill that had been constructed from nothing by the S.W.P.. One day I asked the Corporal why we were building this ‘Hill’, he responded humourously, “Gregory, it’s my job to know why we are doing this, it’s your job to do it, understand!”

There was a mid-morning tea break where we’d all sit down, on the ground somewhat exhausted as we kept a good pace, sit in the tall grass, watch the clouds roll by, re-energize, this was therapy have a cup of tea. Around this time I came up with the expression, “Cone flakes somethin Paddie?” I’d say this to some of my buddies, this guy who’s name was Shick, I’d call him Gilette, and another Garth Hudson lookalike, another junkie from Stratford, Ontario, that expression is still around, “Cone flakes something Paddie?”

Mike Everest was the gang leader, the head deputy, his buddy Jingles was the assistant leader, they were both motorcycle gang members, I’m not sure, either Choice or Vags, they were fair, kept you motivated so that Knapp and the Lieutenant could take it easy. Knapp was always shouting out orders, loved to be heard, I don’t know how many times he started the morning rant with his recollections of surviving the uprising at the prison in 1952, he’d say in his loud voice, “I survived one uprising and no one fucked me up the ass that time if I have to survive another one you turkeys won’t know what hit you.” Oh he was a larger than life character.

We’d all march in at lunchtime, have a hot meal, of soup, a sandwich, tea, loads of white bread, then take a long break out in the courtyard again, smoking as many smokes as one could afford to smoke, yakking with other friends on other gangs, getting some rays. Everyone pretty much stayed out of each others hair. Then we would line up again, get counted again, march back for more lugging, shoveling and wheel barrowing until about 4 O’clock then line up and, get counted again then march back to the courtyard. The constant coming and going became a clock. Though the work shifts could be brutal we knew they would not last long, they would be interrupted by a meal, a tea break, a march back to the courtyard.

When we arrived back at the courtyard everyone lined up again in their work groups, to be counted again, for the umpteenth time that day, they counted every prisoner about ten or more times a day, making sure there were no escapees. The odd time someone was missing or the count was off, life came to a standstill until the missing individual was accounted for. There was an hour or so of down time in the dorm before dinner was served, during this period you could pretty much take a nap if you liked, or play cards or checkers, or write letters, or read. The prison library was a well equipped space where calm bright types spent their time stocking the shelves and delivering books in mobile carts to inmates confined to the hospital, solitary confinement and other areas.

Showering would have been a pleasure but this was not allowed until later in the evening after ‘yardup’ regardless of your stench. As a genuine hunger set in I would anticipate the evening meals which were for the most part satisfactory, except the nights they served meatloaf, I never ate this or macaroni and cheese so I missed two meals a week. When those meals were served I’d eat some bread or a bag of chips from my locker. When roast beef was served each inmate was give a single approximately four inch square piece of beef sliced very thin, I recall watching some inmates asking if I was going to eat the grizzle I had cut off and left on my plate, they asked for it. For breakfast the prison served a thick sliced ‘farmers’ style bacon, a real artery clogging style of bacon, other guys didn’t like it as much so I’d ask them to get it for me, often I’d be eating ten slices with a pile of eggs or pancakes and toast and this thin red spread they called jam. On Sundays there was always a quarter chicken dinner served at lunch time, again some of the guys didn’t like their wings and I got a big pile of them on my plate, one time we counted twenty six wings, I’d pay a TM for each wing, since I was rich, a jailhouse millionaire, paying for things was easy. Those same Sundays they’d give us one of those vanilla ice creams, the ones that came in a thin paper wrapper, it was served in a bowl with a cookie, just like moms’ home cookin.

Saturdays and Sundays were days off for most of the population, days to rest up, to relax and there were differing ways of doing this. After breakfast on weekends there was ‘free time’ when the inmate could read, play cards, go down to the gym or sports fields where hundreds of other bored individuals were playing baseball, throwing footballs around, lifting weights, or just hanging around in groups. Some were walking around the fenced in perimeter of the five acre or so fields hoping to find a stash of drugs that might have been thrown over the wire chain link fences the night before and missed by the guards ‘sweeping’ the area prior to the inmates coming out. The razor wire at the top of the perimeter fence was a deterrent to any escape ideas. Remember, this was not a federal penitentiary, there were no gun towers. I did not once see any presence of arms, though I am sure there was a room full of weapons in case they were required.

Playing Rummy 500 was how I became a millionaire. Many guys wanted to beat me at this game. They never figured out my old move of laying a ‘live’ card down into the pile, then pick the pile up later and lay down a run of three of a kind or three in a row, then I would lay down another ‘live’ card which enabled me to pick up again a few turns later. A ‘live’ card was one that was in my hand and that was part of a set of three. The number of players in each game varied, two or three sometimes even four, I’d easily defeat them all. We gambled for canteen paybacks. Each inmate is given a sum for the work they do according to their classification. By serving more time combined with good behaviour you graduated to a different classification, I think we started out getting about $1.60 a week which was risen after three months of good behaviour to $2.00 and was capped at the highest classification at about $3.50, the motivational factor, some money for good behaviour and attendance seemed to work well.

With the funds each inmate was allowed to go to the canteen on a specified night where your account was on file, you gave the inmate attendant your inmate number, mine was #113625. The canteen had a variety of goods for sale, at non taxed rates, I think a pack of smokes cost between fifty cents and a dollar, there were a half dozen of the most popular brands to chose from, both filtered and non filtered, I was right into the Rothmans king size filters at the time. Besides tobacco they sold, gum, toiletries, chocolate bars, stamps, envelopes and small bags of potato chips for a dime a bag, these chips were my dinners on the nights mac and cheese or meatloaf was served. Pipes and pipe tobacco as well as Drum rolling tobacco was also available and by rolling your own you avoided the moochers who would hone in on your tailor mades if you weren’t careful. Some guys ended up owing me ten and twenty dollars for the rummy matches and I had about fifteen challengers who I put on the easy payment plan, setting up an account for each of them, easy payments of a dollar or two a week for fifteen weeks by ten or more people, I’d order pipes, rolling tobacco, bags of chips, candies, stamps, loads of tailor mades. I was still pretty new to the jail one had to fit in, learn their place so to speak.

The ring on my right hand had to go. A guard spotted it one day early in my sentence while I was going to the cafeteria. It wasn’t long before a friendly lieutenant stopped me in a hallway and took a look at the jewelry. He made an appointment for me to attend an office in the ‘trades wing’ of the prison. It didn’t take long for another inmate to gently saw the underside of the piece and it slid off. The ring was then placed in my possessions bag along with the rest of my things. On release I gave the ring to my brother Shane who treasured it.

There wasn’t anything left at my place in Toronto. I found this out when Boomer came to visit with Jack B. not very long into the sentence. “That brother of yours, Alex, he came and cleared out all your stuff, there was nothing there when we went over to the room on Walmer Road. That beautiful wooden statue you had paid a hundred dollars for, he gave it to one of the Vags up in the Junction for some speed.” Boomer slipped me a chunk of hash, good stuff, I remember putting it into my mouth as the visit ended, I was nervous about bringing it in and Boomer was nervous about laying it on me as the person who passed on such things was in serious trouble if there was a problem. There was however thankfully no problem. Jack to his credit left an interesting book titled ‘I Jan Kramer’ about this Dutch dude who liked to party smoke the gange and chase women.

The few visits I had from outsiders, they were difficult. I think in the future if I was doing a ‘bit’ I might pull the old Monk routine and ask folk to stay away. After each visit an immense feeling of loneliness and helplessness set in from nowhere. It knocked me over this emotion, this sadness at not being able to walk out those doors with your friends. Yet society imposes on folk the need for them to visit prisoners, as if you are in a hospital ward. Everyone is different and some inmates lived for those visits. Writing was a good tool for communication, you could control the pitch and slant of your words, convey what needed saying without to much mush, you could through words more easily turn off or perhaps better said, control the emotional buttons.

That chunk of hash was a popular item in there. In life I never needed much smoke to get off so after the long layoff the high was very intense for me, it was like starting over. The piece was a quarter ounce of nice Afghani black I had lots to share as I had resolved not to smoke much, it just wasn’t the same anymore. Robbie Cinnor my buddy from reception would invite me up to the school where he was one of the secretaries and we’d do a few tokes and put some tunes on the old eight track machine, I recall Bowie’s tune Space Oddity leaving a lasting impression on me, the song that went, ‘ground control to major Tom’ then we’d head out to the playing fields, somewhat mellower and watch the jocks kill themselves.

One night I was in a rare athletic mood and they were having a ‘Sports Challenge’, you had to watch who you were challenging cause some types of inmates were very proud of their abilities and didn’t take kindly to defeat. I picked an easy activity to participate in, the softball throw. Up to this point I hadn’t really let it out of the bag that I had been a pretty good athlete just a few years back, participating in the big three, hockey, football and baseball. When everyone else had finished their throws I went up to the area where the balls were, where the judges were, there were other aggressive inmates. I signed on, something like the draft beer challenge at U of W a few years earlier, I got a hold of a ball and I threw it further than anyone else, yards and yards further. Just walked away, sort of smiled at the biker jocks and rejoined Robbie for another blast of hash. You could discreetly toke in the fields, you didn’t want to be too obvious or the whole yard would be hanging around, naturally, bugging you for a puff or a small chunk. Besides everyone knew you had a visit and the chances were they laid something on you, there were no secrets in there. Hash was like gold in the joint, a smart trader could get anything for a half a gram, smokes, food from the kitchen, sex, if that was your thing, anything.

Robbie had an interesting life up to that unfortunate experience, being in there that is. He was the leader of a rock and roll band, of some significance. His group had cut a few records, and ended up playing on the U.S club circuit. They must have had something half decent going, coming from his home town of Sarnia which was just across a little bridge to somewhere in Michigan it was easy to see how the States was just another neighborhood to him, the way Hamilton and Barrie are to Torontonians. His band caught on well in Tucson Arizona right close to the Mexican border, and you know what the Mexicans are famous for, that’s right you guessed it…Marijuana. To supplement their musical income Robbie and his partner a nice fellow named Mike (who was also in the O.R. at the same time) started smuggling large quantities of pot over the porous border into America. Apparently it was quite simple, grease a few palms at the customs entry point and you sailed right in with truck loads of gange.

They got real big in Tucson what started out as ten pound runs turned into hundred pound loads. They bought a nightclub, brought in big rock bands to play, it was all a front for their smuggling business. In order to stay in business they had to pay off Joe Bananas the local mob boss or he was going to help them disappear. I loved Robbie’s fast lane stories, he was just a turned twenty something kid who had made it big, lived like a king and enjoyed telling me about it. His story improved, he got busted down there at a border crossing near Tucson bringing in a load of pot. Him and Mike they got thrown in the slammer, made bail just like on TV by using a bondsman to get out, had to give the guy an arm and a leg to arrange it because they were Canadians. Come court time they had a meeting before the trial, with the judge, in the judges quarters, lawyers present, Robbie, his partner Mike, the judge, the lawyers, it was agreed to give the judge ten large, that’s ten grand for you people not up on street jargon, and the charges were dismissed, on a technicality.

Robbie kept at the game, he figured he could substantially increase his profits if he brought the dope into Canada where it sold for quite a bit more. After getting popped in Arizona they folded that shop and moved home where they began working from Ann Arbour just a hundred miles or so across the border in Michigan. Ann Arbour was a big player in those days as many hip folk liked living and operating near this American dream town where the students ruled and the lax laws on pot consumption made for a friendly environment. John Sinclair a famous American Pot Martyr was constantly in the world news spreading the word attracting celebs like Ono and Lennon to his mary jane causes, ‘Free John Sinclair” was a popular phrase of the day, almost as popular as ‘No More War’ which turned on students were using as a mantra all over the States in opposition to American involvement in Vietnam and the random slaughter of Vietnamese people.

Robbie fit in well with this enclave of student unrest and he had no problem organizing truck loads of pot to cross the bridge at Sarnia supposedly loaded with his bands musical equipment. It worked for quite some time. I suppose the fact Robbies dad had something to do with Customs Canada helped. His dad couldn’t help him that day in the speed boat though when Robbie and his partner got caught on the Detroit River unloading a few hundred pounds of pot on to the Canadian side. They both got small time, two years less a day. They paid lawyers many thousands of dollars to get the light sentences, the family names were left in shambles. His dad had nothing to do with the game, Robbie he was some guy.

After a healthy month or so on the S.W.P. I got the notion to teach some kids basic reading and writing skills, one kid in particular Danny attached himself to me much like a younger brother, he was of Italian decent. I don’t know where his home town was, maybe London or Kitchener. You met these guys on your floor as they were in the same dorm, poor kid, could hardly write or read, he was very likable, his background was an endless rap on juvenile delinquency homes, a fatherless home life to which I was empathetic. I talked my way into the school principals office for an interview. Mr. Ewing was the principals name. If he had a first name I never knew it, as a creature Mr. Ewing reminded me of a Great Horned Owl as his demeanor was similar, we got along right from the start. He called my plan a terrific idea, sort of an ‘experimental school’. All I had to do to get it going was to find a couple of more pupils from the inmate population. This wasn’t that difficult as there were some other kids on the S.W.P. who needed some upgrading. I approached this pale faced dark haired French Canadian kid called Roger a pea souper from the Ottawa area and his cousin Albert a pimply faced 16 year old also from Ottawa. They were both smallish but made up for their lack of size by carrying themselves in the mould of the classic bad guy, like mini-French accented Jimmy Cagneys. The fix was now in, the two French kids went for interviews at the school and Mr. Ewing sent out slips the following week for the four of us to attend the school at 1PM on a Thursday afternoon, a great day.

The lieutenant of the SWP crew took me aside, shook my hand, told me not to fuck up in so many words and told me about the new work situation being approved by himself and Knapp. In the future I would teach these rascals in the afternoons and go to the S.W.P. in the mornings.

Mr. Dresser was the actual teacher in the school which had three classrooms, only one of which was ever used during my tenure. Mr. Dresser wore a blue checked sports jacket that contrasted well with his thin build and short cropped blonde hair. His body language told me he thought Ewing was making a mistake in giving me this opportunity. When I went to his class to borrow an unused globe and mock up of the planets and some notebooks and writing materials Dresser was uneasy, I could tell uneasiness in a person. My charges appeared on time, were for the first week or so eager to learn. I had them write and print the alphabet to get an understanding of their abilities and also had each pupil do some reading for me. Their abilities to read were quite poor, their writing skills very weak, I was surprised at the students lack of these basic skills, skills I thought everyone had, this was distressing and it made teaching difficult.

When the kids started to mess up in class, to show lack of interest, it didn’t surprise me, I didn’t have any authority over them and was not comfortable pretending that this was working, the one lad from London was still interested but Roger and his cousin kept skipping classes and this was the demise of the experiment after less than a month. Like I always say though, “good comes from bad” and this was no exception as the two fellows who worked at the school as secretaries, Steve Jeorger and Robbie Cinnors were being transferred to the Brampton facility for upgrading classes. Mr Ewing suggested I put in for one of the positions with the Work Program, I did and I guess Ewing had the fix in as I was working the desk at the school within days, being trained by Jeorger and Cinnors for the simple duties they held.

This was considered a plum position within the prison population, secretary of the school. There were many reasons for this. One excellent benefit was that you had a set of keys to get into the second floor school area at almost anytime up until last count. The school had audio equipment in the form of an eight track player as well as a TV set connected to the exterior antenna and a radio that received both AM and FM frequencies. It was a great place to escape to in the evenings, to have a toke if you were so fortunate and to chill out, get away from the madness of the dorm and the inherent repetitiveness that went with the dorm life. I never once saw a guard up in the school area. Besides having daytime classes the schools various rooms were also used in the evenings for meetings by organizations in place to assist those who wanted help with anger or drugs counseling as well as counsel for those who drank excessively and some with problems with relationships who had been ordered by a judge to receive help while incarcerated.

Folk would come in from the street and work with inmates, my job was to see that the inmate got to the classroom and this was done simply by issuing them a pass slip for that event by typing it up during the day. The slip was delivered to the inmates dorm or cell, they received the pass when they came in from whichever work detail they were on, it was an efficient system although breakdowns did occur. The laymen and women who came in to the prison established close relationships with the inmates. After some time it wasn’t unusual for them to be asked to bring in items for prisoners, things like pills to weed. Private mail was sent out this way as all other mail supposedly was read by the staff before being sent to the addressee. I still haven’t forgotten the rules concerning mail, it remains a very poignant memory. At that time inmates were allowed a letter a week which had to be written on prison issue paper. This paper came in the form of a standard size white page lined in almost half inch increments, the letter had to written in pencil. From time to time I have received letters from prisoners and the instant I see the pencil written pages I am reminded of my own incarceration.

I caught on quick to the typing assignment which was the main function of the secretary as well as answering the telephone for Mr Ewing who’s office was situated next door, the door between his office and my area was open so he could easily ask for some assistance. When Mr. Ewing requested a task he did so in the most polite fashion instilling in his aides a feeling of worth and usefulness. He was an old codger Ewing was, had an owl like energy and look, quiet but efficient, and his style of management was quite effective considering the misfits he encountered. After only a few months in this jail I had made a huge jump in my status and there was a degree of confidence that came with this accomplishment, it mattered not to me that I was in jail and climbing the ladder, it was a ladder, like the praise the dead junkie in Windsor had given me for the Gypsy Caravan writing.

Posted by selrahcyrogerg on 2013-12-04 13:13:16

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Brockholes Nature Reserve near Preston, Lancashire, England – June 2014

Brockholes Nature Reserve near Preston, Lancashire, England - June 2014

www.brockholes.org/

Brockholes is a new kind of nature reserve, an unreserved reserve owned and managed by The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside.

There’s lots to see and do at Brockholes, you can hunt out our floating Visitor Village with a restaurant, shops and Welcome Centre or explore our family-friendly hides, walking trails and play area.

www.brockholes.org/visit

At Brockholes you can explore our beautiful reserve, see the wildlife that call it ‘home’ or hunt out our Visitor Village with restaurant and shops, all of which float (yes really!) on one of our lakes.

Our floating Visitor Village features a gift shop and a restaurant providing stunning views across the lake. You can also discover our interactive Welcome Centre and learn all about the wildlife that you could see on-site. Be sure to call in to pick up a welcome leaflet that will help you plan your day. You can view the reserve map in our Welcome Leaflet here to help you plan your first visit.

2013/14 Opening Times:

4th November 2013 to 31 March 2014 10am-4pm
1st April 2014 to 31st October 2014 10am-5pm

Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day only

Car Park Charges

We don’t charge for entry and any profits made here go back into looking after the reserve. So every time you pay for parking, treat yourself in the shop or enjoy some lunch, you are helping look after the reserve and the wildlife that visits us!

Sorry no dogs allowed!

There is a good reason! Dogs can disturb wildlife, especially nesting birds. If your dog was to get too close to a nesting bird it would cause the mother to leave the nest. So to avoid any accidents we ask that you don’t bring your dog. (Assistance dogs are welcome.)

Explore the reserve

Brockholes is one of the best sites in the UK for many species of bird and has one of the largest strips of ancient woodland in the county. You can take a stroll by the River Ribble, explore our woods or enjoy the lakes on site, which have all been specially designed to attract all kinds of wildlife for you to see!

Walks around Brockholes

What can I see at Brockholes?
Read about the happy habitats we’ve been working hard to create at Brockholes.
Watch out!

The Visitor Village floats on water and there are lots of areas of open water on the reserve. Take care in these areas and keep an eye on any children with you. The following activities are not allowed on the reserve:

Barbecues and fires
Fishing
Swimming

Please do not feed the birds

Big gulls know it’s much easier to find food when we leave it lying around rather than finding their own lunch. Here at Brockholes we have lots of species breeding with us, little ringed and ringed plover, lapwing, oystercatcher and redshank. Unfortunately the big gulls will eat the chicks of these special birds so if we feed the gulls and encourage them to stay there is a big chance that they will eat our important chicks, so please do not feed the birds and take your leftover picnic away with you.

www.brockholes.org/our-journey

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been working on developing Brockholes for nearly 20 years, here is an overview of our journey.

1992 Lancashire Wildlife Trust first contests the quarrying of Brockholes.

27 November 2006 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has four weeks to raise £50,000 to buy the Brockholes site, near Preston, and protect it from development. Brockholes sits next to J31 of the M6 and is the size of 120 football pitches.

15 January 2007 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust makes the biggest land purchase in its history – thanks to donations from Wildlife Trust members, and an investment of £800,000 from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) under the Newlands scheme. The project to buy and develop Brockholes is also supported by The Tubney Charitable Trust.

3 May 2007 Ian Selby is appointed as Brockholes project manager. Ian has 20 years’ experience of managing the North West’s canal network for British Waterways, followed by environmental regeneration work. Sophie Leadsom, Brockholes’ new reserve manager, has worked in conservation for 14 years.

July 2007 The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the launch of a new open competition to design new visitor facilities.

5 October 2007 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust announced the shortlist for the new multi-million pound visitor centre. 61 architects from all over Europe submitted designs. The five were Adam Khan Architects, Arca, Architecture 2B, AY Architects, McDowell + Benedetti.

25 February 2008 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) and partners announce the winner of its competition to design a visitor facility. Adam Khan Architects was selected for its inspirational design concept: "A Floating World". Designed as a cluster of buildings constructed largely of wood and other sustainable materials, it resembles an ancient marshland village.

April 2008 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust announced the completion of its first phase of preparatory work, including the restoration of the wetlands, creation of ponds, seeding of meadows, planting new hedgerows and trees, making access paths and building proper bird watching hides.

March 2009 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust secured £8million of funding from the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA). The investment was made under ‘Newlands’, a NWDA and Forestry Commission programme that is regenerating brownfield land across the Northwest into economically viable community woodland.

Summer 2009 Volunteers gave us 134 hours of their time to help propagate our own reed seedlings on-site. We ended up with 20,000 new redd seedlings ready to plant out around our new visitor centre, creating two hecatres of brand new reedbed.

August 2009 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust were granted detailed planning permission for the site.

December 2009 Contractors first day of work as they begin to construct the iconic floating visitors centre. Press conference being held with a ‘cutting of the first sod’

November 2010 A herd of longhorn cattle move into Brockholes to graze the reserve.

December 2010 BBC Countryfile fronted by Julia Bradbury visit Brockholes to film a feature that airs in January 2011.

March 2011 Brockholes makes history as the Visitor Village is floated for the first time.

Easter Sunday 2011 Brockholes opens its doors to the public for the first time!

www.brockholes.org/happy-habitats-brockholes

Happy habitats at Brockholes

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust are using their expertise to create habitats that will encourage lots of different species to visit the site, read more about the work we are doing on the reserve…

Number 1 Pit

Uniform and steep, the edges around the original gravel pit used to look very different. The island looked different too – an egg-shaped piece of land sticking out of the water by three metres. These land profiles weren’t great for the bird species and aquatic invertebrates we wanted to attract. So, with bulldozer and digger we pushed earth into the lake to create shallow, underwater ledges and peninsulas where birds can roost and feed, safe from predators. Diving ducks, such as Great Crested Grebe, now hunt for fish in the deep water.

Nook Pool

The edge of this pool has been planted with reed to create places for small fish and aquatic invertebrates like dragonfly larvae to hide and grow, away from predator fish. The shelter provided by the vegetation provides an ideal hunting ground for lots of species of dragonfly including the impressive Brown Hawker and Emperor Dragonfly.

Meadow Lake

This shallow lake is great for bird watching: when the water level is down, wading birds feed on small invertebrates in the exposed mud. This lake has some of the richest water plant life in and around it, including White Water Lily and Cuckooflower. The reed fringes are becoming well established and hold some of the largest populations of birds on site. The islands provide safe roosting and breeding areas, we keep the vegetation short so the birds can watch out for predators.

Boilton Marsh

This area is part of our newly created wet grassland habitat. We remodelled 17,000 cubic metres of quarry spoil to create 10 hectares of wet grassland with nearly 2km of channels and five pools. This is the ideal habitat for breeding wading birds such as Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe. We now graze traditional breeds of cattle and sheep that thrive on the coarse grasses and rushes and provide the low grassland sward that encourages wading birds to nest.

The channels and pools are kept topped up by using a high-level reservoir, filled from Number One Pit by way of a solar pump.

Woodland

Brockholes is fringed by the ancient woodland of Boilton, Red Scar and Tunbrook Woods. Woodland has grown here for thousands of years and developed a very rich variety of wildlife. Looking after our trees and paths will help the woodland to thrive and enable you to see the wildlife safely.

Reedbeds

Reedbeds are home to Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings and Water Rail. We protect the new reed from grazing birds like Coot, Mute Swan and Canada Goose, by erecting chicken wire fences and baling string barriers. It will take several years before our lak fringes start to look like reedbeds. You might notice that the Visitor Village has been nestled in reedbed. This helps it to blend into the reserve and allows you to hear the song and chatter of the birds that nest there.

www.brockholes.org/brockholes-partners-and-funders

Brockholes partners and funders

For the past ten years, The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside have been working to secure this site of national environmental importance, and restore habitats to their full potential.

The £8.6 million of regeneration funding was provided for the Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Reserve project has been granted under ‘Newlands’ – a £59 million, Northwest Regional Development Agency and Forestry Commission programme to transform brownfield land into durable community woodland, which act as catalysts for economic, social and environmental gain.

The Lancashire Environmental Fund awarded £446,000 for the development of the education facilities, hides and infrastructure on the site. Tubney Charitable Trust granted £350,000 for Biodiversity and Natural England DEFRA’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund awarded circa. £300,000. The Environment Agency granted £50,000 for the continued development of Brockholes.

The support of these funders helped make Brockholes a reality, as did the amazing support from our public appeal, which raised an amazing £63,000 – the most successful public appeal the Lancashire Wildlife Trust has ever run!

www.brockholes.org/volunteer

Volunteering at Brockholes

Around 200 volunteers have now been recruited, inducted and trained to begin volunteering at Brockholes, so we offer an enormous thank you to all who are helping it make such a big impact on our visitors… Volunteers truly are the face of Brockholes.

There are currently some exciting opportunities to be had volunteering here at Brockholes. Please have a look below at roles (you can click on the titles to download a full role description) which might suit you and click here to register, mentioning Brockholes and the role on the form.

Seasonal Activities Volunteer

Our seasonal activities program is the ideal opportunity for young people aged 16-23 to get involved here at Brockholes.

Running throughout all school holiday periods, you are expected to volunteer for 7 hours per week (normally one full day).

The Seasonal Activities Volunteer role is ideal for friendly, outgoing people who want to utilise their creative skills and help visitors – in particular children – enjoy the reserve. You will work alongside other volunteers to plan and deliver a variety of activities including pond dipping, guided walks, bird watching. The role will also include assisting with larger events such as our Extreme Adventure Weekend and Craft Fayres. Support will be given to you by the Events & Communications Manager.

This placement is perfect for those undertaking various award schemes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh award, as over the course of the summer you have the opportunity to gain upto 50 volunteering hours.

For full details on the role and what it entails, click here.

Seasonal Retail & Visitor Services

Our seasonal activities program is the ideal opportunity for young people aged 16-23 to get involved here at Brockholes.

As a volunteer for Retail & Visitor Services you will provide a warm welcome for visitors, helping to ensure that their Brockholes experience is a positive one. You will help visitors by providing them with information about products on sale in our gift stores and help them plan their visit by telling them about the various events and activities we have on offer.

The role suits a friendly, outgoing person who has an interest in wildlife and conservation.

Running throughout the school holiday periods, you are expected to volunteer for 7 hours per week (normally one full day).

This placement is perfect for those undertaking various award schemes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh award, as over the course of the summer you have the opportunity to gain upto 50 volunteering hours.

Each volunteer will be required to undergo a minimum of 1 and a half days training before they start. If you’d like to find out more or ask questions about any of these roles do not hesitate to get in touch with Catherine Haddon, Volunteering Support Officer on 01772 324 129 or email volunteer@lancswt.org.uk

www.brockholes.org/awards

Awards

Brockholes has scooped many high profile awards since opening in April 2011:

2013 Lancashire Tourism Award for Best Conference/Meeting venue

VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) ‘Excellent’

Green Tourism Gold Award

Customer at the Heart Award

Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’

National Wood Award

BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ for the interim design stage

Chartered Institute of Building Services – Building of the Year 2011

Civic Trust Award

Civic Trust Special Award for Sustainability

Highly Commended in portfolio of Newlands sites in Landscape Awards

CIWEM Living Wetlands award

Greenbuilds award

Green Apple Awards for the Visitor Centre

Sustainable Project of the year – 2012 Building Awards

RICS North West – Overall award

RICS North West – Tourism and Leisure

RICS NW – Design & Innovation

RIBA North West Building of the Year

RIBA North West Sustainability Award

RIBA Award for top 50 new buildings in the UK

www.brockholes.org/business-0

Brockholes is an award winning-venue, which floats on one of our lakes – the only one of its kind in the UK.

Combine this unique design with access straight off the M6, a beautiful nature reserve, ample parking and on site catering, and you have found yourself the perfect venue for your next event. View our Conference Brochure here.

We think Brockholes is the natural place to do business, our dedicated centre can cater for 50 to 130 delegates.

We have a choice of two conference rooms and a reception/break-out area.

www.brockholes.org/conference-packages

At Brockholes we want you to be in control of your event as much as possible. This is why we have created these basic packages, enabling you to tweak each element to build an individual event.

Alternatively, we can cater to your specific requests if you require half day, early morning or evening hire.

Here is an overview of our conference packages, please contact us for a quote.

Our Conference brochure can be viewed in digi-book format here.

Day Delegate Package

Private room hire from 9am – 5pm
Tea and coffee served on arrival with bacon rolls
Mineral water for each guest
Tea and coffee served mid-morning
Buffet lunch served with tea, coffee and fresh fruit platter
Tea, coffee and biscuits served mid-afternoon
Use of a flip chart, screen and projector
Recycled pen and notepad for each delegate
Dedicated co-ordinator to assist you throughout the planning to delivery of your meeting
24 Hour Delegate Package

All of the above plus;

Three course dinner
Full breakfast
Accommodation in a standard bedroom at our recommended accommodation supplier

Accommodation

Preferential rates are available on request from a local hotel when booking through the Brockholes Sales Team.

We can tailor our packages to suit your needs. Make the UK’s first floating venue your next choice

Please contact us for more information or to arrange a meeting or showround with our Conference Sales Co-ordinator

Call us on 01772 872005 or enter your details below and we will contact you to discuss your requirements.

www.brockholes.org/sponsorship-opportunities

Sponsorship Opportunities

Brockholes is an award winning nature reserve owned and manages by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which was opened in 2011. The 250 acre reserve is already attracting record numbers of breeding birds and around 170,000 visitors each year. Brockholes runs a wide range of events throughout the year and has a particularly strong offer for families. Events include wild families, school holiday clubs, school and community group visits, self led trails and larger festivals during the summer holidays.

The key marketing campaigns run targeting families include Christmas, Summer and Easter. Each campaign targets a series of family focused publications across the North West, with a monthly average reach online of over 40,000 people through the website and social media. Advertising and direct marketing campaigns have an average reach of 70% of the total North West population.

Sponsorship and Partnership Opportunities

Summer at Brockholes sees a host of family events each year, from school holiday clubs to open air theatre, guided walks to family fun. Over the Summer period, Brockholes expects to welcome over 60,000 visitors. The marketing campaign is multi channel and will reach a wide audience of families across the North West. Brockholes has also been featured in the National Press for some of the unique events run. We have some new opportunities for sponsorship and partnership, which will allow your business to raise brand awareness and fulfill part of your Corporate Social Responsibility by supporting Brockholes and The Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

Summer at Brockholes Headline Sponsorship £4500

Expose your brand to thousands of families across the North West.
– Logo on all Summer promotional material
– Inclusion in all four of the Summer e-news and Lancashire Wildlife Trust e-news
– Sponsor Feature on Brockholes.org
– On site promotion
– Promotion through social media channels
– Inclusion in all PR activity
– Temporary use of Brockholes logo on promotional material directly related to the partnership

Wild Families Sponsorship £4000 per year

Our Wild Families events are always fully booked. With themes ranging from scarecrow hunts to nature detectives, each event provides quality family time for family members of all ages. Events are run throughout school holidays.
-Logo on marketing materials for Wild Families
-Inclusion in PR for trail launch
-Inclusion in social media activity
-Inclusion in Brockholes e-news

Seasonal Trail Sponsorship £500 per trail
Each visitor to Brockholes can collect their free seasonal trail on arrival. The trail helps visitors to explore the reserve, learn more about what to see and how the reserve changes with the season and challenges them to spot things.
-Logo on sponsorship trail
-Inclusion in PR for trail launch
-Inclusion in social media activity around the trail

Half term at Brockholes £1500
-Logo on all marketing materials
-Inclusion in launch PR
-Social media promotion

Annual Headline Sponsorship £10,000
– Logo inclusion on all Promotional Material
– Dedicated web page on Brockholes.org
– On site promotion
– Dedicated stand area on key event days
– Promotion through Brockholes and LWT e-news, member magazine
– Promotion through social media channels
– Inclusion in all PR activity
-Discounted delegate rate on our conference facilities

Children’s Corner £500

Would you like to help brighten up the children’s corner in our restuarant for our younger visitors?

-Inclusion in PR activity

-Recognition in the children’s area

-Inclusion in activity to our database promoting the new area

To talk to us more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Ruth Gaskell rgaskell@lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129.

www.brockholes.org/commercial-opportunities

Commercial Opportunities

Make Brockholes your business

Businesses are being offered an opportunity to become partners in a North West tourism and wildlife success story.

Brockholes nature reserve is entering the second phase of development which will provide commercial opportunities for other businesses and boost local employment.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust attraction attracted 185,000 people to its nature reserve and the first ever floating visitor village in the UK, last year. It is looking to top that visitor figure this year.

Just off the M6 at Preston and easily accessible from anywhere in the UK, Brockholes has received more than 30 regional and national awards despite only opening in 2011. Visitors continue to pour in despite the reserve being surrounded by the attractions of Manchester, Blackpool and Liverpool.

The business has shown year-on-year growth and, as a result, is seeking commercial partners for the next phase of development.

Anne Selby, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust said “Brockholes has performed incredibly well despite being launched in a recession. We have steered the business through the stormy weather and achieved fantastic results.

“We are now looking to move into the next phase of development. As a conservation charity, we want to ensure our focus remains on the nature conservation of the reserve, whilst ensuring the commercial income supports this work. We are looking for expressions of interest at this stage and asking businesses to be creative with their proposals.”

The Visitor Village has a restaurant, shops, conference centre, welcome centre and education centre. Major companies have made use of the conference centre including RBS and Aldi. The surrounding nature reserve is continuing to grow, with an increasing population of resident creatures and rare visitors like red kite, bittern and otter.

Anne continued: “Brockholes received funding for the initial start up and development phases but it was always designed to be a self-sustaining model. By making the most of the commercial opportunities and keeping these balanced carefully with the needs of nature, we believe we can continue to success of Brockholes into the future and achieve even more fantastic results for wildlife, our wide range of visitors and the tourism economy”.

Opportunities include retail, water sports (non-motorised), indoor play provision, events partners and mobile food concessions. However, the Trust is open to hear if any investors would wish to develop sympathetic commercial facilities on the site.

An opportunity information pack is available by request from:
Karen Williams Karen.Williams@brockholes.org

Expressions of interest should initially be made to
Lindsey Poole, Commercial Development Manager lpoole@lancswt.org.uk

www.brockholes.org/groups

Group Visits

Whether it’s a full day out or just a quick stop off on the way to your destination, Brockholes is the ideal place for groups to visit.

There’s so much for all ages to see and learn about at Brockholes. Everyone from toddlers to seniors will find something to fascinate them, whether through our exciting range of organised events, or by just wandering around the site.

We are passionately committed to lifelong learning for all – our belief is that everyone should leave knowing something they didn’t when they arrived! The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has over a decade of experience in delivering environmental education, so you can relax, enjoy the surroundings and be sure to come away both enchanted and enlightened…

We have several options for various groups, each with a variety of benefits. For more information click on the relevant link below…

Coach Groups
School Groups
Community Groups

To enquire about group visits please call 01772 872000 or email info@brockholes.org. Or leave your details on the form below and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Coach Groups

Situated next to Junction 31 on the M6, we are the ideal stop for coach trips, whether it is for a short stop, as a green motorway services, or as part of a full day visit.

​Free entry for coaches and convenient coach drop-off point

We have a variety of walking trails for your group to explore, ranging from half an hour to 2 hours in length.

We have our floating visitor village that features a stunning waterside restaurant, 2 unique gift shops and a welcome centre with exhibits, which are ideal should your guests decide for something less active (or if the weather lets you down)!

All our buildings are fully accessible, while the vast majority of our paths are well surfaced, level and suitable for wheelchairs.

We now have a more convenient drop-off point exclusively for coaches and in addition have a number of benefits for coach groups:

• Free entry to the reserve and visitor centre
• Free coach parking
• Refreshment voucher for the coach driver
• Free familiarisation visit for group organisers
• Free meet and greet at the coach (on request)
• Free Brockholes welcome leaflet and trail guide
• Free events and activities throughout the year (visit our events calendar for details)
• Free play area
• Pre-booked guided tours (available at an extra charge)
• Adapted toilets available at the visitor centre

Please note that there is a 4 metre high bridge on the entrance to Brockholes. We also advise all coaches to let us know of their visit in advance by calling us on 01772 872000.

For any further information please just call 01772 872000, email info@brockholes.org

School Groups

Our 250 acre nature reserve and Visitor Village is a great place for school groups to visit. Children can learn about the geological history and how the quarrying has shaped the land today. And because we are a new nature reserve, you can watch it grow! It is also home to the UK’s first floating Visitor Village.

Most importantly of all, the children will be able to see that Brockholes is home to a host of wildlife, with many different species of bird popping by throughout the year, along with brown hare, dragonfly and deer to name a few!

Facilities

Your school will have use of the education centre on our floating visitor village and you will have at least one Education Officer dedicated to your group throughout the day.

Plus… NEW FOR 2014!

Next year your school will be able to get even closer to nature at Brockholes by booking an education session in our new purpose-built bird hide classroom, right on the edge of the lake!

The hide will overlook No 1 Pit Lake which is home to many different species of birds and you’ll also be able to look across to the new sand martin wall, which will provide valuable breeding habitat when they arrive in spring.

Why not your details below if you’d like us to keep to informed of these exciting new developments!

Programmes

We offer a wide range of programmes including:

Big Adventure in a Miniature World
Life Cycles
Migration and Hibernation
Environmental Art
Geography and Geology
​Forest School

You can read more about the education programmes available at Brockholes here. ​

Education Team

Our Education Team are based at Brockholes and have a huge amount of experience in inspiring young people about the natural world. They are a lively bunch and pride themselves on creating an exciting and memorable experience for your school. You can read about how great our team is here: Meet the Education Team.

Outreach

Can’t get to us? Then we can come to you! Our outreach education programme is very popular and offers a wide range of programmes for those who are unable to reach Brockholes.You can view our Outreach Programmes here.

For any information just call us on 01772 872000 for more information, email eduadmin@lancswt.org.uk

Community Groups

Brockholes is a great place to bring your community group, whether it’s the Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies or Beavers or a rambling or photography group, there is something for everyone!

As well as exploring our stunning nature reserve you can enjoy an activity such as a guided walk, a mini-beast hunt or an environmental art session.

You can visit Brockholes during the day or we have special community group evenings when the reserve is open beyond our usual opening hours. Group activities usually take place between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

Forest Schools

Forest Schools is a unique outdoor learning experience that improves children’s self-esteem, confidence and abilities.

Brockholes provides an inspirational setting for Forest Schools sessions and training, and is conveniently located just off junction 31 of the M6 at Preston.

Our Forest School sessions are designed and delivered by our experienced and fully qualified Education Team including our Level 3 Trained Forest Schools Practioner.

Our next Forest Schools adult training session will be running in October. To find out more about Forest School sessions at Brockholes please call 01772 872017 or email kphillips@lancswt.org.uk

www.brockholes.org/shop

Shop til you flock

Why not drop into our two on-site shops, The Nest and Village Store, which are packed with all sorts of goodies. We’ve a variety of products from local beverages and food, to cards and books and crafts and jewellery. They are the perfect place to pick up a unique gift… and there’s plenty of treats for the little ones too!

The Nest

The Nest is home to an inspiring collection of gifts, jewellery, books, toys, arts & crafts. Discover what’s inside The Nest here.

The Village Store

The Village Store stocks a wide range of products, from locally sourced food and drink treats to bird food, garden accessories and wildlife books. Come and look inside here.

Membership of the Wildlife Trust

Brockholes is a Lancashire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. You can become a member today or talk to our friendly staff members and volunteers on your next visit to Brockholes. Gift membership is available in The Nest or you can buy it online here.

www.brockholes.org/eat

Our restaurant is the perfect place to stop and watch the world go by with panoramic views of our lake. Scrumptious homemade dishes and a taste bud tingling selection of Lancashire’s finest local produce are all here to tempt you, along with fair trade tea and coffee.

Our restaurant is open from 10am to 5pm.

www.brockholes.org/very-special-occasions

Brockholes is a fantastic place for your very special occasions.

Our floating venue is one of the newest and most unique in Lancashire and promises you and your guests an unforgetable event whatever the occasion.

We have a dedicated function centre that can accomodate weddings, christenings and all sort of functions.

The clean, contemporary finish of our venue means that you have the perfect opportunity to put your own stamp on your event, with a flexible range of catering available from our on-site restaurant.

We have a dedicated Conference and Events Co-ordinator that will be available to help you plan your special occasion.

Very Special Weddings

We had our first wedding celebration September 2011 and since then it’s been all go with Wedding Fayres and lots more bookings for this year and next. Find out more about weddings at Brockholes here.

Very Special Christenings

Brockholes is a real family friendly venue for a Christening celebration that you will remember for years to come. Find out more here.

For general enquiries about holding a function at Brockholes please call 01772 872005 or email philip.dunn@brockholes.org.

Posted by SaffyH on 2014-08-12 21:24:25

Tagged:

Heartbreak

Heartbreak

10/52
———————-
january 23rd, 4:13 am
i woke up with the pain of a knife wedged in my chest
again
the cold light of the world shined through the bedside portal
it embraced me as a lover does
its lips pressed gingerly against my flawed and flecked skin
it watched me diligently with dark, wine red eyes
it rubbed against me with auburn hair
messy from the love
of another light
greater than mine
could ever be
the tear stains on my bed
and car keys
and breakfast
and lunch
and dinner
will never make me feel
any less empty
than you do

————————

Please view on black! PRESS DAT L!!!
This is my picture for David Talley’s concept collaboration! The theme was heartbreak. Although most people might associate heartbreak with the aftermath of a relationship, after it has ended, I have seen heartbreak happen while it is still happening, while the couple is still together. So I tried to convey that.

The poem above is something that I wrote a while ago, before this concept even came to my mind, but it was (somewhat) relevant and I’ve really been wanting to share my writing as well as my photography.

Huge shoutouts to Emily for coaxing me into posting the poem and Gabriella for pressing the shutter and helping out with a bunch of other things with the shoot.

Posted by Phillip Roeth on 2013-02-18 14:17:00

Tagged: , boy , girl , model , nature , sky , dark , heartbreak , sad , david talley , tears , morose , somber

Granite arch with morning light

Granite arch with morning light

I got up before dawn; grabbed a camera; and left our tent to get some photographs of morning arriving at our City of Rock campsite. The morning light and unusual clouds in the sky made for a great way to greet a brand new day.

When I returned to the tent my wife was just emerging from the tent and we both smiled at each other as we began day two of our 12 day road trip.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Idaho’s City of Rocks between Almo and Oakley, Idaho is a fantastic place to drive through, hike, camp, and if you like high quality rock climbing…climb.

The hard granite surfaces attract rock climbers from all over the world and the local climbers refer to the area as "The City". We saw plenty of climbers on this visit.

The first time I heard about "The City" of Rocks was in a book titled: Crossing Zion by Keith Mark Johnson. I liked the book but didn’t care much for the author.

The rock forms are spectacular to view and stands of pinon pine; lodgepole pine; aspen; and Douglas-fir add scenic scale and pattern to the landscapes.

The best place to camp? Try # 37 or # 38. We camped at # 37 on this trip.

The California Trail of the 1840s and 1850s traveled through the City of Rocks and many names and dates can still be seen on Camp Rock and Register Rock (axle grease and charcoal mixed together makes for long lasting messages).

Many famous mountain men, explorers and wagon trains traveled through this area, including one of my hero mountain men: Joseph R. Walker.

Lots of wildlife. Lots of cool clear high desert air and plenty of room to roam.

Here is a photo set from a 2008 visit I made to The City:
www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/sets/72157609328205405/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Keet Seel Road Trip June 2012
Wednesday 30 May 2012 – Sunday 10 June 2012
Mr. & Mrs. "oldmantravels"

ROAD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS: * City of Rocks, Oakley to Almo, Idaho / * Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado portion: hike Harper’s Corner; camp Echo Park; hike Green River and Yampa River confluence; Steamboat Rock/ * Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Colorado/ Funky and hip – Telluride, Colorado / * Lowry Pueblo ruins / * Devil’s Canyon campground: Montezuma Canyon loop drive; Muley Point overlook; Abajo Mountains drive / * Blanding, Utah small town fun: Lickety Split Bakery serendipity and the "cast of characters" / Navajo elder turquoise – Homestead Steak House / Daisy Cowboy at the laundromat / * Navajo National Monument: backpacking trip to Keet Seel cliff dwellings; Hopi National Park Ranger – Patrick Joshevama & his atlatl/ * Return to the Solaas Bed and Breakfast, Baker, Idaho / * Snow on Lost Trail Pass and private plane crash / * Lochsa River rain and rafters / * Clearwater River; the Palouse; and home.

THE STORIES – DAY BY DAY:

DAY ONE [30 May 2012]

Our ten year old Toyota RAV4 was all packed, gassed up and ready to go on Tuesday night. Our alarm clock was set for 4 am. We were ready and anxious to go, so we were both up and getting ready to go, before the alarm sounded early Wednesday morning.

We drove the Interstates from our home in Eastern Washington to exit 208 off I-84, just north of Burley, Idaho. Our destination for the first night was the City of Rocks, Idaho. We had both visited this remarkable area several times but had never come into it from the West (the Oakley, Idaho approach). We were determined to see something new by entering the City of Rocks through Oakley and then exiting through Almo, Elba, and Malta.

We saw lots of activity with big semi trucks hauling out huge loads of "slab rocks" on flat bed trailers in the area around the old town of Oakley, Idaho. As soon as we returned home I got on the internet to read about these busy rock quarries.

The rock they were hauling out is called "Oakley Stone" and has been quarried in the area since 1948. It is a muscovite mica described as "thin splitting micaceous quartzite". It is unique and much sought after. It slabs out to 8 foot sections just 1/2 inch thick and is used as facing and paving stone in the U.S. and overseas. Seems you always run into something new and interesting on road trip back roads.

I knew the City of Rocks was very popular in the summer with international and local rock climbers, so to we made reservations for our tent camping site. We chose site #37, which I had picked out on my first visit to the City of Rocks, as the place I would one day like to tent camp with my wife. We did.

The weather was excellent for our visit to the City of Rocks and we took short hikes and drives to enjoy the area. We used our old four seasons The North Face Mountain 24 backpacking tent to sleep in with comfy REI camp rest sleeping pads. The winds blew strong and gusting that night so we were happy to have the wind protection and stability of the four season tent. We slept well this first night of our 12 day road trip.

DAY TWO [31 MAY 2012]

We survived the strong winds that blew most of the night. Our camp chairs blew over and got hung up in a juniper tree, but no other problems. The sun came out and the seemingly always present "interesting cloud" formations above the City of Rocks made for great views as we took some more short hikes and drive before heading on to our next destination.

We caught the interstate east of Malta and made our way to Dinosaur, Colorado, where we stopped at the visitor center for Dinosaur National Monument. A ranger, named Randy, was helpful when we asked about the road down to the Echo Park campground and what are chances of finding an open campsite.

My wife and I had visited the dinosaur dig and the Utah portion of Dinosaur National Monument, several times before but neither of us had visited the Colorado section. On a couple of previous trips we had this portion of the monument on the "to visit" list, but weather and/or bad road conditions caused us to skip it.

We saw a lots of wildflowers and sweet smelling clover with yellow blossoms, edged the road to Harper’s Corner. We saw two bull elk in velvet in the sage country where it looked more like pronghorn or mule deer territory. We drove to the trailhead at Harper’s Corner and took the short, but scenic, hike out to the point where you can look down on the Green River as it makes a big hairpin turn around Steamboat Rock. We could spot the road down through Echo Canyon and the pull off to Whispering Cave, all the way from the ridge line trail.

After the hike we left the paved road and thoroughly enjoyed the gravel road drive down to the Echo Park campground. As Randy had told us, there were few people camping, just three other vehicles other than ours. All were tent camping like us.

We set up our The North Face mountain 24 tent under some juniper and cooked dinner on our small JetBoil backpacking stove. I took off with a camera to hike up closer to Steamboat Rock, while my wife relaxed and organized our camp. I followed the Green River upstream and was pleased to find the trail went all the way to where the Yampa River joins the Green River. I hiked a short distance up the Yampa River, enjoying the scenery and wildlife.

Canada Geese were thick along the rivers and their constant honking, whether flying or floating, echoed off the massive walls of Steamboat Rock and the Yampa river canyon. A beaver slapped his tail hard and dove along the banks of the Green River. When he resurfaced and saw I was still there, he repeated his performance with an loud echoing second tail slap and swam down stream.

We sat around a small fire until the stars and bright moon came out, then slept soundly in our tent.

DAY THREE [01 JUNE 2012]

The sun came out and the day started warming up quickly as the day’s first light started working its way down the canyon walls to the rivers. My wife and I repeated the hike up the Green River and Yampa River together so I could photograph with the warm morning light now lighting up the landscape. Echo Park was a big favorite of ours, and we hope to return one day.

We next headed through Grand Junction, Colorado and on to Montrose, Colorado where we got a motel room. There was still plenty of daylight left so we drove up to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River from the south rim drive. We hadn’t visited the canyon before so it was another "first" for us on this road trip.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River was difficult to photograph for me, but a spectacular sight, well worth the visit. We returned to Montrose for a good night’s sleep in a motel room.

DAY FOUR [02 JUNE 2012]

From Montrose, Colorado we headed for Telluride, Colorado (one story has it that the name is actually a form of "to hell you ride"… from its lively western history days. Once again, this was a place we had never visited. Ironically, I had purchased a used book titled: "Telluride – from pick to powder by Richard L. and Suzanne Fetter" back in February and had enjoyed reading of the interesting history of Telluride.

I was especially captivated by the story of the story of L.L.Nunn, a short, most eccentric, genius – – who set Telluride up with the first A/C (alternating current generator) in the world in the late 1890s. Like other Colorado gold mining towns Tulluride had its shares of labor unrest, floods, fires, and unique characters.

The town itself was a hoot, just what you might expect of a mining town turned jet set to down and outs digs…a bit of everything for everybody. We drove up to the end of town to see one of the waterfalls electric generating sites; then up above town to see the million dollar "ranch houses" and the unique high altitude runway where our youngest son has flown into before when he was with a charter jet company out of Arizona.

But for pure enjoyment, you couldn’t beat walking up and down the main street of old town Telluride and people watching: Harley Davidson’s; horse drawn tourist wagons; home made cars; bicycles; a bunch of bins with "everything is for free" sign on it; the clock with "Telluride Time" on it; BMW cars and motorcycles; dogs carrying Frisbees and wearing colorful bandanas; and of course the many "Western want to be" tourists that looked more like tourists than cowboys and cowgirls.

Nice friendly, funky, quirky, soup to nuts, town to visit. We even bought my wife a red fuzzy baseball hat with Telluride, Colorado printed on the front. Had to do our thing for tourism you know.

After leaving Telluride we headed down to Dolores, Colorado (ate a great pizza here) and made our way toward Monticello, Utah. Somewhere around Dove Creek, Colorado, we made a short side trip to check out the Lowry Ruins, once again, a place we had not visited before. In the past we had always cut through to visit Hovenweep.

At Monticello we turned south and set up our North Face tent at spot # 29 in Devil’s Canyon Campground. We reserved the spot for two nights to use it as a "base camp" for a few of the drives we wanted to take in the area. We were concerned with a couple wild fires we could see on the southern flanks of the Abajo Mountains, but there were no high winds during our visit and the fires diminished while we were there.

Carrying our senior citizen passes with us, camping continued to be a real bargain for us. We paid $4 to camp at Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument and just $5 a night for a well maintained campsite at Devil’s Canyon. We walked the short nature loop trail and then all around the campground area as we settled in for our first night at this camp.

DAY FIVE [03 JUNE 2012]

Montezuma’s Canyon was on our list to drive for this trip, so that is where we headed the first thing Sunday morning. We drove it north to south. It was about a 50 mile loop when entered near Monticello and exited near Blanding, Utah.

We found the first 20 miles of the drive beautiful, interesting and enjoyable. Slow paced, with ancient and modern cliff dwellings, a few rock art panels and picturesque Southwest canyon country scenery. The second half of the drive was a bit more "pedestrian" and not so scenic.

When we rejoined the highway south of Blanding we headed south to Bluff, for a quick look at the Sand Island rock art panel; Navajo stew and fry bread at the San Juan River bridge near Mexican Hat (where I had eaten several times before). Then we drove up the Moki Dugway route to Cedar Mesa and took another short side trip. This one was to Muley Point, where we enjoyed the slick rock rim and tremendous landscape views.

We returned to our Devil’s canyon camp for a rest and camp meal, then drove up into the scenic high country of the Abajo Mountains just west of Monticello. Everything was green and some of the fragrant purple wild iris were in bloom among the tall large aspen groves in this area. Old Wrangler and I had tried this route for the other direction in March of 2011 and were turned back by deep snow on the road. This drive was snow free and scenic. We watched an old time reel in a foot long rainbow trout in one of the small ponds of the area.

Toward the end of the day we returned to camp; read our books; and got a good night’s sleep with a strong almost full moon, lighting up the interior of our tent with a soft evening’s glow.

DAY SIX [04 JUNE 2012]

We woke early, broke camp, took a short hike through the ponderosa in the area, then headed for Blanding where we checked into a motel room for a couple of nights. We used this day to rest, do our road trip laundry, shop for a few supplies for our upcoming Keet Seel backpacking trip and mainly relax. This was the only day that I didn’t take at least one photograph.

One of our first stops was the local bakery in Blanding. My wife and I ended up talking to the owners (Arlen and Elaine Borgen) and then ordering four cherry scones to be picked up the following morning. I planned to take a couple on our backpacking trip but do to their fine flavor and taste, only one survived for the Keet Seel hike.

As it turned out, the conversations we had with folks at this small town bakery turned out to be one of the highlights of our road trip. Serendipity squared.

When we did our laundry at Blanding, the only other person using the washers and dryers was an older Navajo lady. Several times she offered advice about which machines to use or how to get a stubborn machine working properly (or how tourists, like us, could profit by reading the directions….hmmm).

As she did her laundry and we did ours we gradually visited more and more. Her name was "Daisy Cowboy" and she had some interesting stories to tell. It was one of those chance small town encounters that make a road trip so much fun.

DAY SEVEN [05 JUNE 2012]

My wife went into the bakery and Blanding and there was Elaine with her bright red jaunty baker’s hat on with a friendly smile and a "good morning". "By chance would you have four cherry scones hot out of the oven this morning?". "Sure do" she replied. Once I bought the scones then my wife talked with Elaine, while I started a conversation with Arlen, who was seated having a cup of coffee.

The conversations joined and parted among the four of us and the two young Navajo girls working with Elaine, who also had the red baker’s hats. At times all four of us talked together about the history of the bakery:

From memory: Started about 7 years ago. Young Navajo kids one day asked to borrow money to go to the local movie house in Blanding. Arlen & Elaine instead let them "earn" the movie money by learning to be "partners" in the bakery. The rest is a success story. The young Navajo came up with ideas for chocolate and candy products with a Native American theme. The Borgens taught the Navajo business principles and the responsibilities that come with them.

The state of Utah caught the story and a delegation of the Blanding Bakery entrepreneurs visited the capitol in Salt Lake City. Word spread further and the founding members were invited to the White House to meet President Bush, where they were honored for their dedication to entrepreneurial start up businesses. Quite a trip for these hard working innovative bakers and candy makers from Blanding, Utah. That is the main story as I heard it. There are photos on the wall; the young smiling Navajo workers/owners; and friendly manner of Elaine and Arlen to fill in the rest.

Arlen and I drifted into Native American discussions and were having a focused discussion on books, findings, theories, and ruins…when a fellow walked through the door by the name of Jon Moris (Professor "emeritus" Jon Moris ) walked into the bakery and was greeted as a regular. Professor Moris is the anthropology teacher at the local Utah State University – College of Eastern Utah – San Juan campus (I hope I have most of that right).

Arlen introduced me to Professor Moris and away we went, talking about anything and everything about North American Native Americans. What a stroke of luck for me. Jon Moris, was a most interesting man to talk to. We took a break while my wife and I returned to our nearby motel room with the bakery goods and I returned with a camera and a strong wish to continue our previous conversations.

So there we were: Professor Jon Moris; Arlen Borgen; and I, sitting around a coffee table playing badminton with topics of interest. Elaine and the two cute Navajo girls (Elysia and Aaliyah sp?) took care of the flow of bakery customers coming into the store. Was I ever having fun.

Jon Moris was born and raised in East Africa. He did work with the Maasai there and earned his PhD at Northwestern. He told me of a website where photographers could go to have "books" made of their photograph: blurb.com. He said his son Nathan (living in Switzerland) had used the site. When I returned home I went to the "blurb.com" site and checked out one of the photo books Nathan had created of Central Switzerland (which he dedicated to his dad).

Next the bakery door opened and in walked a casually attired Mark Noirot, a chemistry instructor at the college. With a quick wit and inquisitive mind, he soon added to our ad hoc bakery based discussion group. During all this action I asked for a few photo ops, which everybody there graciously agreed to and participated in. The two young Navajo girls took some of the photographs for us.

After Jon and Mark escaped the round table discussion a family entered the bakery. They wanted to buy some bakery products but spoke no English. Turned out they were Italian and with my limited Spanish, we were able to work together and communicate enough to help them buy what they were after. They also followed my lead when I told them I was purchasing two candy feathers from the young Navajos, which came with a printed story.

Call it luck, serendipity or chance – – this short session around a small coffee table in a bakery in Blanding, Utah, was one of my treasured moments of this road trip. I truly hope that any of you traveling through Blanding some morning, will stop in and hear the story of the bakery first hand and treat yourself to some baked products and some of the chocolate and candy products of the Lickity Split Chocolate entrepreneurs. You will go away with a smile.

Once back in our motel room with my wife, we started organizing our backpacks, based on the latest weather forecast (we used Shonto, Arizona for Keet Seel purposes) and latest food purchases. We packed our backpacks and most of our car camping and traveling gear in our vehicle and set the alarm for 4 am (once again). We planned to leave by 5 am Wednesday morning to make certain we arrived at Betatakin (Navajo National Monument) in time for our required orientation, scheduled at 8:15 am on 6.6.12.

DAY EIGHT [06 JUNE 2012]

Up at 4 am; on the road by 4:45 am; breakfast at McDonald’s in Kayenta then on to the visitor center at Betatakin. There were lots of campers at Sunrise View campgrounds near Betatakin, and lots of folks showed up at the visitor center when it opened at 8 am. We tried to discern the "day hikers" from the "backpackers", who might be going to Keet Seel.

Note: Only 20 people a day are allowed to hike to Keet Seel and then only five at a time can tour the Keet Seel ruins in the company of an on-site National Park ranger. The route, 1,000 feet down into Tsegi Canyon then up Keet Seel Canyon to the Keet Seel camping area and Keet Seel cliff dwellings is 8.5 miles. It requires quite a bit of soft sand hiking and many crossing of a shallow stream, which flows down Keet Seel Canyon. The route is on Navajo land so you aren’t allowed to stray from the main route.

Well to make this short and sweet – – the weather Wednesday morning was beautiful AND it turns out that each and every "hiker" we saw that morning at the visitor center was heading out on the guided Betatakin ruins hike. We were told we were the only two people with a permit for Keet Seel this day. What luck! We would have the entire campground to ourselves and not have another hiker or backpacker in the canyon with us on this particular Wednesday. We were told to check in at the "ranger’s camp" at Keet Seel when we arrived, show our permit, and that ranger Patrick would lead us on a tour of the Keet Seel site.

It took us exactly five hours to hike from where we left our vehicle and the Keet Seel parking area to Keet Seel. We took one 30 minute break on the way in and cached beverages in two places along the way: We cached 88 fl. oz at the foot of the 1,000 drop into Tsegi Canyon and 88 fl oz about five miles from Keet Seel. The rest we drank along the way and took with us (we started with 336 fl. oz in total). A little under three gallons, which for us worked out just perfectly with plenty left over.

We took 16 bottles of diet Mt. Dew (orange juice based with lots of caffeine); 4 bottles of citrus green tea (20 oz bottles); 4 bottles of water (10 oz with Mio pomegranate flavor to add); AND two treats – – 2 cans of cold diet Pepsi in OR insulated beverage carriers. The two caches met I didn’t have to carry the 20 lbs of liquids all that far.

We encountered two small groups of Navajo horses and one solo horse on the hike. Each and every horse was intently curious of our presence and watched us with interest as we passed by. The foals were cute as a button.

You can’t drink the water in the canyon as the area is range for Navajo cattle and horses, and the National Park four wheel drive trucks drive quite a ways up Keet Seel Canyon from time to time as well. Still the scenery and waterfalls make for a very enjoyable backpack. We kept our backpack loads extremely light (no stakes, footprint, or rain fly for the REI quarter dome T2 plus tent – – zero chance of rain predicted for 7 days). Everything else we kept to a minimum as well. I did take a light REI flashpack 18 liter day pack to carry cameras, fluids and first aid kit etc. for my wife and myself, when we left our tent camp and hiked the short distance to the Keet Seel ranger’s quarters and then on to the cliff dwellings themselves, with Patrick.

My wife and I met ranger Patrick at his octagonal ranger’s quarter, a short distance from the Keet Seel Ruins. It struck me as a bit ironic. Max (A Navajo) had given us our orientation and permit to visit Keet Seel. The Anasazi (Ancient Puebloans) are now thought to be related to the Hopi and Zuni – – modern day pueblo dwellers in some cases. Patrick is a Hopi, from a small reservation perched primarily atop three mesas on a reservation completely surrounded by the massive Navajo reservation.

Patrick was soft spoken, extremely knowledgeable, patient, modest, and instantly likeable.
An antler tool, a home made large arrow, and what looked like a "prayer stick" sat on a bench where we sat all drinking ice tea. When I asked about the prayer stick, Patrick quietly told me it was an atlatl. Though he didn’t say so, it was obvious that Patrick had carefully and skillfully made both the arrow and the atlatl.

He showed me how it was held then stood up and launched an arrow at high speed out toward the "Keet Seel" sign in front of the ranger’s station. My wife and I were really impressed. He went in the hogan and brought out three more finally feathered arrows and asked me if I would like to try the atlatl. I was intrigued, honored and a little nervous (I didn’t want to destroy one of his hand made arrows with a clumsy effort.

With Robert’s instruction I got the feel of how to hold the atlatl and the arrow, then the moment came for me to launch an arrow. I did. It flew fast straight and far and I can’t possibly tell you how proud I was and how happy it made me that Patrick trusted me to give it a try.

As at the Blanding bakery, Patrick and I explored many topics and talked books, studies, and former expeditions. I was most interested in Patrick’s stories of the Hopi clans, beliefs, and oral history. It was another road trip highlight and just the visit with Patrick and the chance to actually give an atlatl a try. Moments to remember.

After a long porch conversation we were ready to head up to the Keet Seel ruins. I had shown my wife a photo of the access ladder used to reach the ruins themselves, so she knew what to expect, still I could tell she was a bit apprehensive, but up the ladder she went, right after Patrick and I had gone up first. She did well.

It is simple to find lots of information on the Keet Seel cliff dwellings, so I won’t go into too much detail: Tree ring dating indicates that what we see today of the well preserved ruins were made and inhabited before year 950. Around 1272 population, pottery diversification, and use of Keet Seel was at a high. Over 100 people called this cliff dwelling "home" at this time. Then like other dwellings all over the Southwest, the people left. They stored belongings like they intended to come back one day BUT they also burned many of their rooms, for what reason, nobody knows for certain.

Few, if any, remained living at Keet Seel by 1300. Many building styles and techniques (jacal and masonry) can be observed at Keet Seel. It is the ‘beyond obvious function" high ladder ends reaching up high inside the alcove and the HUGE log mounted across the main central entrance to the ruins, that most impressed me.

When we finished the tour we checked out the midden down below the cliff dwellings where every color and style of pottery pieces you can imagine, could be found and observed. There is evidence that much trading took place at sites like Keet Seel (Macaw feather were found here) and that pottery had been traded and sometimes destroyed intentionally during certain ceremonies. In all a fascinating place to visit, reflect upon, and connect with a people that made the most of their environment for a time in the past.

We left Patrick and returned to our camp across the canyon floor. An almost full moon lit the night, and the wind blew softly through the canopy of oak limbs and leaves over our tent. This was the first time we had used our new Big Agnes Q Core air mattresses and I can’t tell you how much we both enjoyed these excellent sleeping pad air mattresses. They weigh about the same as our thin, narrow, long self-inflators but pack up into very small stuff sacks.

NOTE: I have read of some having difficulty BUT first squash all the air out; fold lengthwise into thirds; force the rest of the air out as you roll it up and it will easily fit in the strong small stuff sack provided. I promise.

We talked into the night, gazing at the stars above and discussing our good fortune on this road trip and with life in general. We both fell asleep with smiles.

DAY NINE [07 JUNE 2012]

I woke up early after a good night’s rest. I wanted to get going early so we could hike the canyon in the shaded cool of morning and attack the 1,000 climb up out of Tsegi Canyon before the full heat of the afternoon.

We got a good start and took exactly five hours to hike from our Keet Seel camp to our vehicle (with its ice chest full of ice cold diet Pepsi). I had found (by accident) some quick sand in the shade of a canyon wall on the way into Keet Seel, so we made a point of stopping at the same place for an oldmantravels photo op on the way out. It was a weird experience to have the sand that seemed dry, below your feet turn suddenly to Jell-O, then start to crack and sink.

Hiking out Keet Seel we passed at least 8 other backpackers, heading into Keet Seel. We also passed a National Park pickup truck driving up the stream bed, presumably to rotate another ranger in to take Patrick’s place and/or take in some supplies.

We had intended that our backpacking experience to Keet Seel would be the highlight of our road trip …. and……it was. We both had a wonderful time (and got some good exercise in the process).

We drove back through Mexican Hat, Blanding, and then to Moab (where like after our April Chesler park backpacking trip) we had a HUGE meal and a mango/peach smoothie and Denny’s). We drove on to Green River, Utah where we took long hot showers, changed into fresh road trip clothes, and enjoyed a night’s sleep at a motel there.

DAY TEN [08 JUNE 2012]

We slept in at Green River, Utah then headed up through Price, Ogden, Pocatello, and then on a less traveled road to Tendoy, Idaho and then to the Solaas Bed and Breakfast in Baker, Idaho. It is located under huge cottonwoods near the Lemhi River.

Just south of Tendoy a white tail doe ran without warning from the willows along the road. I was doing 65 mph and everything happened fast. At first I started to break but then sped up and swerved to the right hoping if I hit her at all it would be better to side swipe her than hit her head on. She lost her footing and fell, narrowly missing the rear quarter fender of our car. Through the rear view mirror I saw her regain her feet on the shoulder and bound into the woods. We were very relieved that things hadn’t ended badly for both the deer and for us. A close call, and fortunately the only one of this road trip.

In 2006 I took a road trip with a good high school friend (John). We visited Lemhi Pass and hiked a section of trail that Lewis and Clark had taken. Lemhi Pass is where they had crossed the continental divide heading west and where Sacagawea fortuitously recognized her brother as the leader of the band of Shoshone, who intercepted the Lewis and Clark company near this place. John and I had "found" a B & B (Solaas Bed and Breakfast) on that trip and I really liked the owners (Roger and Sharon Solaas):
www.salmonidaho.com/solaas

William Least Heat Moon, the author of Blue Highways had stayed with Roger and Sharon and his stay is mentioned in that book.

When John and I left Roger and Sharon in June of 2006, I told them I would return one day and I would have my wife with me. So, six years later, almost to the day, a promise kept. Roger and Sharon had a pushy, smart, clever, conniving cat, who tried his best to ingratiate himself to us. Actually I think he wanted us to: 1) let him in the old double story farm house for the night and 2) take him home with us.

Sharon allowed that number one wasn’t allowed BUT we were welcome to take the spoiled, troublesome feline home with us if we wanted. We declined. In reality I think the cat is grudgingly loved, admired and appreciated by both Roger and Sharon, but at least Sharon won’t own up to that.

We had an upstairs room with some of Sharon’s beloved hand made quilts on the beds and a great view of the Lemhi Mountains to the east of us. Another good night’s sleep.

DAY ELEVEN [09 JUNE 2012]

My wife had been a great sport on this entire road trip; car camping in a backpacking tent; taking short hikes; and especially for taking the 17 mile round backpacking trip into Keet Seel and back. Cliff dwelling are after all, of more interest to me than her…so…I wanted to surprise her.

I told her we would travel through Salmon; over Lost Trail Pass; then over Lolo Pass and down to the Clearwater River casino and hotel near Lewiston, Idaho. There we would spend the last night of our road trip in a nice room and she could play her beloved, penny slot machines. She was elated. So off we went.

As we left Salmon and started out climb up Lost Trail Pass I noticed it getting much cooler, and pretty soon there was fresh snow beside the highway. It seems so incongruous having just traveled many miles with the A/C on the car switched on. As we topped Lost Trail Pass and started down the other side, I had to blink twice as I saw a vehicle in the ditch, on the right hand side of the road. Only it was a vehicle. It was a private airplane.

It was damaged but not badly. I pulled over to take a photograph just as a state patrolman pulled up to the scene and started walking up the highway. Behind him was another official car with a man in an FAA jacket.

I read when I got home that it had only the pilot aboard and he wasn’t injured. His story about a "down draft" and forced landing sounded a bit unusual to me. I’m guessing that the snow and low cloud visibility caused a "can’t turn around problem" when flying VFR in suddenly IFR conditions. The internet article said that the "incident" was being investigated.

After passing the scene we saw a U.S. Forest Service vehicle heading to the same scene, so all interested parties will be able to compare notes.

We had off and on rain all the way over Lolo Pass and enjoyed watching the rafters, kayakers, and catarafts float by on the Lochsa River. The water was high and fast moving, and they all seemed to be enjoying the experience even though it was raining.

I had a buffalo burger and split some curly fries with my wife at a road side Farmer’s market. We felt sorry for the vendors, who had set up there, as they were closing up early. Too much rain for many visitors.

We got our room for the night at the Clearwater River Casino and my wife got her time attending the "investment" opportunities as the penny slot machines. I bought a carry out pizza and cinnamon sticks to bring back to our room, and I enjoyed reading and watching the Mariners on high definition TV. A good time was had by all.

DAY TWELVE [10 JUNE 2012]

Drove home through the lovely Palouse country of Eastern Washington.

I hope you enjoy some of the photographs that go with this road trip photo set. I hope they bring good memories to those of you who have visited the places we did and that perhaps somebody out there in flickrland is motivated to visit a place they haven’t been as a result of the photos. Thanks for stopping by. OMT 11 June 2012.

Posted by oldmantravels on 2012-06-12 16:30:58

Tagged: , dawn , City of Rocks , morning light , clouds , granit arch , almo idaho , oakley idaho , The City of Rocks Idaho , granite window arch , twin sisters formation , bath rock , register rock , tent camping , hike idaho , bread loaves formation , rock climbing , granite rock forms , Southeastern Idaho , car camping , road trip , high desert , elephant rock

A Warm Peace sign

A Warm Peace sign

A young fellow on a cold January morning in Asheville, NC as he was waiting for a free breakfast. He had the brightest sweater of the bunch.

He was planning to go back to school soon, and several of the other folks in the area also encouraged him to do so in an effort to get off the streets.

Posted by radargeek on 2017-03-10 03:17:48

Tagged: , Asheville , NC , North Carolina , downtown , breakfast , charity , homeless , peace , sign , stocking cap

,, Leroy ,,

,, Leroy ,,

.
Abandoned Abused Street Dogs.
Nikon D300 DX Camera.
Nikkor 17-55 2.8 Lens.

January 25th 2015.

Back Story …………

First lets talk about Piper and her drain pipe puppies.
No# 1 and I ran into a man in our village last night. He came right up all happy and started talking a million miles an hour.
Told No#1 he had heard about us taking care of Piper and his sister lives close to where this all takes place.
He went on to say his sister will start leaving some food in the morning on the way to work. Furthermore he too will start leaving some food on the way to see his sister.
This is way cool ! ………… 😉

We will continue making sure she gets proper medications on schedule.Might be an altered schedule but we’ll do what we can do.
Plus 2 or 3 times a week we will get some food to her as well.

The Browns were waiting by the old rusty gate when I pulled in . Bunch of excitement took place then we went into The Dog Palace and breakfast was served.
Lots of monkeys in The DMZ but while passing through not a single one tried any monkey business .

Met up with Leroy and his Crew next to the big drum, their breakfast was served too. All went well.

In the next few days I plan to get back out to see Python Polly as her scheduled meds are over due.

Here’s a little sad news but can’t be helped.
All food rations are being scaled back a bit in order to stay within the budget we have. Same will be happening with the meds in the near future.

For those that have been supporting us we are humbly grateful ..;-)
For those that would like to help out there’s a couple links below .

Thanks for taking the time to follow our adventures and a big thanks for leaving a comment.

Jon&Crew, still here doing what we can..;-)

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www.facebook.com/LoveThaiDogs?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
www.gofundme.com/saving-thai-temple-dogs
.

Posted by Jon in Thailand on 2015-01-25 02:17:50

Tagged: , Abandoned Abused Street Dogs , Jungle , Nikon , D300 , Nikkor , 17-55 2.8 , the little dog laughed stories