Monday, October 31, 2011


I can't believe I've been home a week already!  I came home to lovely days in the 70's and chilly nights.  I had to put the flannel sheets on the bed AND another blanket!  I also came home to a dying cell phone, a dead Kindle and a sick dryer!  So I now have an Iphone (4s the newest and somewhat smarter than I am! But I'm learning), The new Kindle will be here in two days.  The dryer is waiting on a part-please let that come soon!  I'm off to the laundromat if it doesn't come soon as clothes are not drying well outside--too cool-- and I haven't a place inside to dry them, urgh.  Please, please, please let it come soon!

Another thing that isn't drying too well is paint!  It is taking two days between coats.  Not that I've been all that interested in painting but those last two doors. . . .  Tomorrow, if I get the kitchen cleaned up again I will take the photos and do the final post, even though it won't be finished--those two pesky doors, new drawer glides and missing parts from IKEA--it's close enough for you to see it but it's a disaster from the weekend.

About the weekend.  When Beth moved into her new house it became harder for me to get the boys for their weekly night at Granna's.  I can get Kolby as he is still at the same day care, but Brayden is in school now--the real killer is that they now live 30 minutes away.  For a while I picked Brayden up and we tried out some new parks, had dinner out and I took him home but it will soon be dark too early (and too cold) for that so Beth and I hit on sleepovers.  This past weekend was the first!  Beth brought Brayden up (and all their stuff!) and after she left, he and I went to get Kolby.  After dinner of Brayden's favorite food, fettucini alfredo, we carved pumpkins.  Brayden did a lot of the work on his himself, even though he had to get the step stool so he could reach inside it, Kolby told me he wanted "round eyes, a smiley face and teeth" so that's what I gave him!  Saturday, Rob and Tanya took them to the pumpkin patch and then to Independence's Halloween parade.  I stayed home and did stuff, like sew on 20 patches-5 on each of their blankets and 10 on mine.  After a dinner of brats and mac n cheese-how lushous- we had movie night.  Sunday, we "raked" leaves.  They did lots of running and jumping in them and were covered up many times.  The pile moved halfway across the back yard!  Brayden said, "I'm never going to forget this day, it's so much fun."  At 5 he might forget but I never will--it was so much fun.

Last of all, on Sunday evening we had Rob's birthday dinner.  He chose  French dip, cheesy potatoes and jello mixed with cool whip for the meal and cheesecake (Jello Instant with canned cherry pie filling-not the cherries just the goop!).  Had a full house, which I love.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm Home

On Thursday, I drove over the mountains and into Denver.  First, I did some shopping at a quilt shop in Grand Junction (bought a couple of new books on sale-like I need more quilt books!), as well as a yarn shop and an antique shop.  I wasn't in any hurry as it is only a 4-5 hour drive over the pass and both my brother and sister-in-law had to work- wasn't much point in getting there too early.  Timed it just right, my brother got home 10 minutes before I got there!  We had a nice dinner out with friends of theirs in from Taos, a very enjoyable evening.

I got up early on Friday and hit the highway home.  600 miles from Denver to Independence-took a long time.  Mostly because after two weeks of driving the southwest every joint in my body hurt!  So, I had to stop every little bit, if I made it 100 miles I was very lucky!  Pulled into my driveway a little before 8pm, unloaded only what I HAD to, took a shower and crashed! It's amazing how great a shower in your own bath-the one with great hot water and great water pressure-can feel.

Slept until 9 Saturday and felt dull-witted all day!  Rob unloaded all the IKEA stuff and I finished up with the rest of the truck, then opened boxes until I found the instructions.  Decided real quick that I wasn't up to assembly and left it lie.

Slept until 8:30 this morning but am feeling up to thinking today!  So I plan to assemble, later.  First, there's a soccer game and I need to go visit my Dad.  Also going to look at new cell phone plans as my phone has all but died.  And I need to call Amazon as my Kindle met with demise, again.  I'll be busy for a couple of days then I'll post the entire Kitchen redo for the last time, I promise.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kayenta,AZ to Grand Junction, CO--Or, I have no idea what number day this is for this trip and it's too much trouble to figure it out!

Set the alarm again, only the second time I've done that but I intended to drive a long way!  The day began with Monument Valley;

Very beautiful in the morning light.  Then I drove on through bluffs, mesas, and other interesting rock formations in red mostly (iron in the ground) and through a second world nation.  All the US's First nations homes are places of grinding poverty (compared to the rest of us) the people are caught between two cultures.  The traditional culture has been fading over the years (partly because of the intense effort of the government in earlier times to integrate them into white society and partly because of higher and higher levels of influence from the outside) yet they don't quite fit into the mainstream.  In more modern times Tribal leaders have been trying to bring at least a sense of who and what they are.  It is difficult to tell if they will be able to mesh the two for they can never truly go back to traditional life.  (No one wants to live without heat, electricity and no indoor plumbing!)

I took a highway just outside of Mexican Hat, UT, which on the map looks perfectly fine, Utah State  Highway 261. Known as the Mokee Dugway  I knew I was in trouble when there were huge warning signs-No RVS, No towed vehicles, etc, etc.  Three miles of narrow, dirt, hairpin switchbacks!  The view was stupendous, again one of those a camera cannot capture!  Besides I didn't dare stop as it was two- way and few places to get out of the way!  Thankfully, I only met one car and that was close to a small (read tiny) pull over spot.  I am so glad I was going up!

Next stop, Natural Bridges National Monument.  Small and rather remote it was a treasure chest of canyons and unusual rock formations (saying that, Lucas would LOVE it!)  Here are the three natural rock bridges inside the monument:
Oh, and one of the many curious rock formations.

Leaving there I headed towards Blanding, UT.  Happily, I could see snow capped mountains to the east-meaning I was nearing Colorado! I passed by both Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, both were on my original list of places to see but,  I had driven for two days along side, buttes, bluffs, ridges, mesas, rock formations etc, etc, etc and I couldn't get up the enthusiasm for more!  Missed my turn in Moab, don't know how (guess I should have enabled Samatha, you know the GPS) and so missed a valley that is really neat.  I didn't care enough to go back.  Driving due north, knowing that I soon would intersect with I-70 (the one that goes only a mile north of my house!) about 5-10 miles away I saw the buttes that I know from past trips run along the side of the highway, excitement!  When I saw the semis headed west on it I actually cheered!  A few miles after getting on I-70 I entered Colorado!  Really cheered--am only two states away from home!  Can you tell I'm anxious to be there?  Anyway, spent the night in Grand Junction, had a dinner at Outback and feel like I've returned to civilization!  Next up, over the pass, through the tunnel to Denver and my brothers house!  (Then it's only one long day until I'm home.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kingman, AZ to Kayenta, AZ

For the first fifty miles or so I was traveling on I-40, just me and the semis.  Not even any radio stations coming in, boring!  Thank goodness Rob called.  At Williams I headed north for the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.  Nice road, nice views, driving in trees etc.  I arrived at Grand Canyon in good time, parked and began the search for the canyon!  Sounds odd but you can't actually see it from the parking or the Visitor's center, you have to take a walk  over to it and when you finally come up to this:

For the first moment, it literally takes the breath out of you!  This photo and the ones to follow don't really do it justice.  The scope is just immense and the colors so subtle and so similar from point to point that it is hard to see the edges of things.  I took photos for you, bought a book of professional photos and some post cards for me.

On my way out of the Park I saw a road sign that was totally new to me:
Watch for Cougars on highway.  I've seen signs for deer, elk, cattle, horses, and even bears but this is the first time for cougars!  I did not see one though, darn it.

Heading east and west through the desert of the Navajo Nation,  I stopped at Kayenta, AZ for the night.  Only place with hotel rooms for many, many miles.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Catching up!

I've been bad.  Actually, I've been too tired at night to post anything.  I'm going to try and catch up now.

Saturday, Steve and I took Nora to the Zoo.  It was crazy!  Kids get in free in October and folks were really taking advantage of it!  Added to that Steve's foot began to really hurt so we rode the bus around and just walked around the Koalas (who were actually somewhat awake, shocker), and the Rhinos, (who were begging for food-I kid you not), and the Giraffes.
Isn't she a doll?

On Daddy's very tall shoulders puts her up there with the giraffes!

Oh no, not another Jayhawk fan!

After the zoo we headed off to Candice's parents' house for a yummy dinner of Tacos, present opening and Cake!
She really knows what to do with a package and blew out her own candles!

On Sunday, we drove up to Julian, Ca for pie!  Yummo!  A really pretty drive up and another, different one on the way back.  Even had a nice little walk at a very windy scenic overlook!

This morning I met Steve for breakfast before heading north and east.  Well, I decided to run up to Cabrillo National Monument (one of my favorite places in San Diego).  Unfortunately, while it was a lovely sunny day in San Diego proper it was VERY foggy up at Cabrillo.  I heard the fighter jets fly over, couldn't see them, heard the helicopter-again couldn't see them.  Couldn't see the ocean or the bay so on I went.  I wanted to go back to the Fat Quarters Quilt shop north off I-5.  I really thought I could find it again, but I had to resort to Samatha (the GPS) which was apparently set to stay away from freeways and that took forever.  Once I found it-I didn't buy a thing :(  Anyway, Samatha (the GPS) and I duked it out and got to the I-15.  Stayed on that one until I got to Barstow where I picked up I-40.  I don't think I've ever been on this particular stretch of I-40, I have to say I didn't miss much.  The mountains in the distance are pretty but it's barren out there.  You can see a really long way though and I saw many very long freight trains.  They always remind me of the "push me-pull me" from Doctor Doolittle with engines at both ends.  Anyway, I stopped at Kingman, AZ for the night.  I plan to crash very soon!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A rest day in San Diego

Yesterday, as Steve had to work, I did some shopping.  IKEA!  Man, how I wish we had one in Kansas City!  Bought what I needed for the kitchen and some things for playing with (toys) at home.  (It all fit in the back of the truck!  Yeah, I was worried I wouldn't be able to close the cover.  No problems though, plenty of space for other stuff still back there.) Hit the bookstore for Nora's Birthday gift-hitting another one today! Then I had an adventure in finding my way back to the hotel-sigh, I can find my way to places but I can't always get back to the hotel.  San Diego is a confusing city, good thing I have GPS or I might have ended up in LA!  Then I did the most exciting thing---laundry.  Steve came by after work and we did a little shopping together then met Candice and Nora for dinner--fun time all around!

Today, after Steve takes his Ham radio operators test and I hit the Hallmark Store we are taking Nora to the Zoo.  San Diego's Zoo is world famous and I love to go there (and to the wild animal park).  We will be riding more than usual but Steve's foot is still causing him quite a bit of pain and we don't want to over do it!

Sometime in there, I'll read/record Nora's new book and she will open her presents.  She was two yesterday, seems impossible.  I'll take the camera along today and try for some photos.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Days Six and Seven

I was so tired last night I didn't even get the laptop out of my backpack! I'll try to catch up.

When I loaded up the truck in Flagstaff yesterday there was frost on the cover and the windshield!  I was chilly enough with short sleeves and a fleece jacket that I considered a sweatshirt as well as gloves-decided I'd be warm enough as soon as I was in the truck with the heater going.  After breakfast I headed south to Turzigoot National Monument, a later period than the ones I've seen before, I've started to be able to pick out the differences in construction (a history nerd here).  There is a whole line of these hilltop ruins, I think he said a mile and a tenth apart  you could see one from the top, built on hills to preserve valuable bottom land for crops and to keep above the worst of the mosquitoes.  Just a couple of photos-you'll notice that there are no doorways here, all rooms were accessed through a hole in the roof and a wooden ladder. No windows either, but they lived most of their lives outside.  All these sites were occupied for 200-300 years.

After that I traveled on to Montezuma's Castle National Monument.  Steve has often talked about this one and it is stunning.
 It's really high up the cliff and you can't get close to it.  Those who have studied it believe the inhabitants used this method of getting to it.
By this time I had long ago shed the jacket and have worked up a sweat-the air conditioning goes on in the truck!

I intended to visit one last set of ruins-Casa Grande National Monument but somewhere between Phoenix and Casa Grande I had had enough.  (Sure wish that had happened a bit sooner so I could have taken some cut offs.) I headed west on Interstate 8 through the desert-it was hot.  After a boring 3 hours-not even radio out there-I arrived in Yuma, AZ for the night.  

I crashed, and crashed hard didn't get up until 8 am this morning!  I really didn't care though as I had only a three hour drive into San Diego.  Yuma is very close to the California border and the border with Mexico so I had three checkpoints to pass.  First, going into California they stop you and ask if you have fruit, vegetables, pets etc  as they are trying to prevent hitch-hiking bugs etc from threatening their farm industry.  Then there were two Border patrol checkpoints-many illegal immigrants try that border so there is a huge border patrol presence.  Arrive in San Diego in time for lunch with Steve, Candice and Nora, tired.  I know for sure that I will not drive this again, there is just so much space between things!  I really do not like the desert so Arizona has joined Texas and Oklahoma as a "fly over" state.  (If you just love those places, sorry.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day Six --oops?

So I began the day by traveling into New Mexico to Aztec Ruins National Monument.  I really liked this site.  Very accessible and they gave us an interpretative booklet (on loan) to read.  The booklet included oral history which goes along with the site.  Maybe the best part for me, I love oral histories.  This was once at places three stories high, used mostly for ceremonies.  There is a grand Kiva there that has been reconstructed, so cool.  Photos next, when you see the doorways, I had to stoop down (sometimes a lot) and I am 5'3" and some were very narrow--reminded me of Scott's telling me about the Irish Castle they went to.
Saw a little wildlife---
That rabbit had the longest ears!  (I've seen other wildlife on this trip--mule deer, antelope, birds etc).

Headed on down the road west, had planned to do the South rim of the Grand Canyon as well as a couple of other places but somewhere around Shiprock, New Mexico I jigged when I should have jagged (or something) and by the time I figured out where I was I was 18 miles north of Gallup!  Almost due south of where I started!  Oh well, I needed an Interstate break anyway!  To far to go back so I'm flexible, I went to Painted Desert National Park and Petrified Forest National Park, which are one and the same in two parts.  The Painted desert was very pretty, look and see

The Petrified forest was really cool!  These were huge, some very long, some long but broken, some you can count the rings on, some you can see the bark-all different but all amazing!
It's greener here than I remember from the other times I've driven through, maybe they've had more rain than before?  Some people love the southwest, find it breathtakingly beautiful-I am not one of those people.  What can I say-I like the plains and the mountains but to each his own.

I'm in Flagstaff tonight.  It's kind of a mixed bag of emotions as the last time I was here Larry was with me.  I drove past the hotel we stayed in and the Chili's where we ate.  It was weird and kind of lonely, oh well.

Day Five, Can it be?

I spent the morning today driving inside a picture postcard!  Take a look.

I also went over the Dallas Divide at 8970 ft and Lizard Head pass (great name huh?) at 10,282 ft.  Just at lunch I stopped at Anasazi Heritage Center which is part of the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.  There are several ancient settlement sites throughout the area and I walked up to the Escalante Ruins site-photos
Up on a high hill (well you can see the view) they could have seen anyone coming--early warning system?

After this I "did" Mesa Verde National Park.  I can now say I've "been there, done that" I think it might be over rated and I know the road in and out is an eyebrow!  The View is fantastic though in all directions.  I did walk down to the Spruce Tree House which was very interesting and I enjoyed it very much.  I did not do any of other other sites as all involve climbing and descending a number of ladders-that vertigo thing again.

I don't think I'll go back there but who knows.  I once heard these kind of dwellings as defensible by a small boy with a pointed stick, Humm.

On the way to Durango, Colorado I saw a really funny thing (well I thought it was funny but I was exhausted) a closed ski area, lifts and all with cows grazing under it!  Spent the evening trying to figure out where to go next!

PS:  I started this yesterday and was too tired to finish, oops

Monday, October 10, 2011

Trip update-Day 4

So, The day dawned clear!  Snow totals where I was 6-8inches-and there was about that much on my truck.  I headed west again on US 24.  First stop, not far down the road at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.  It was chilly enough that my long-sleeved shirt and fleece jacket were not warm enough!  You would never know that once this was the home of a giant redwood forest!  The fossils look like this:
Apparently there is a whole field of these stumps but the snow made them impossible for me to see and the National Parks Service is unhappy when you wander off their paths!  Also on the site is the Hornbeck Homestead.  Everyone knows that I love the places people used to live!
Heading west again I cross Wilkerson Pass (9502ft) heading down the west side I run into heavy fog.  The grass and trees are all iced by the fog and visibility is low so I'm careful-this kind of weather sends the wildlife to lower elevations and I know first hand what hitting a deer does to your car!  Soon I see whole herds of antelope, not on the road though.   Hit the second pass of the day, Trout Creek at 9487 ft. then I turn south looking for US highway 50 at Salida.  There I head west through the third (and highest) mountain pass of the day, Monarch at 1131 ft.  The snow comes and goes depending on my elevation but it's obvious they didn't get as much as further east.  On the west side of Monarch you travel through South Park.  It's a huge valley, where it gets really cold in the winter.  My brother, Jim, went to college in Gunnison and it is often the coldest place in the lower forty-eight. The great thing about driving through open country is watching the play of shadow and light from the clouds on the ground.  The bad thing is you can get really bored!

Next up : Curecanti National Recreation area there is a very big lake, Blue Mesa all along the side of the road.  Not too many people out there fishing, a few boats out, some campers, it is late in the season though.
Some pics from along the way.

From the dam here you go down, a lot- you really get the feeling of having been on a hanging valley.  My last stop of the day was Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park  (saw a fox on the way up).  This is not a place for a person (me) with vertigo!  Beautiful though

Making my way on down the road to Montrose a tired girl checked into a hotel for the night.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Last night I heard that we were to be under a winter storm advisory, up to 7 inches of the white, fluffy stuff.  I hoped they were wrong but. . .
The view here last night was of a valley with homes across the way!  Today's visibility is nil.

Good thing I brought a snow broom and scraper with me!
I have decided to remain here another day.  I am not truly prepared for this weather despite the snow broom, as I did not bring my heaviest coat or snow boots!  (I did bring gloves.)   My truck has rear wheel drive and is horrid in deep snow (Rob, Tanya and I have vivid memories of driving sideways up the hill this past winter!)  I came this route because I had never been this way, so I would like to see what's here not a curtain of white (beautiful but...) and finally my life is worth more than the cost of this hotel room.  Tomorrow should be sunny and warmer and I can continue on.  

Luckily, I packed several projects, books and have free WI-FI!  I have everything in here (remember I had to bring all the food because of the bear-who is probably holed up somewhere sleeping) except the shoes that would be best for the snow, perhaps I'll dig out after it stops snowing but until then I'm making a pot of coffee and settling in!  There will surely be college football and major league baseball on the telly if I can't find a movie-it is after all Saturday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm in the Mountains Now!

Yesterday packed a real punch weather-wise!  After I finished my post on the wind I was watching the telly (after Big Bang before Person of Interest) when I noticed a severe thunderstorm warning on the bottom of the screen.  Not knowing the counties of western Kansas (or even the one I was located in) I hauled out the atlas and looked.  Not my county but counties to the south and west, since most of the weather on the plains comes from the southwest in the summer/fall, I continue checking updates.  Next up is a tornado warning for several counties including the one I am in!  Tornados are serious business and I have all my stuff in a motel room!  Where would I go if it was coming to me?  Solution:  the bathroom-lots of walls close together.  I moved all my stuff in there and continued to watch the weather.  Turned out the possible tornado storm passed just to the west of me, whew!  All this time the wind continues to blow against the window and door of my room (dirt blows in around the door until I stuff a towel under it) and about 10:30pm it began to rain.  As my Granna would have said "It came a gully-washer!"

This morning, on the other hand, dawned clear and nearly windless!

First up today I went here!
The Prairie Museum of Art and History

I've driven past this place so often and wanted to stop but there was always something (it was freezing cold out-frying hot out etc).  They have several buildings on the grounds that date from earlier times and I enjoyed walking through them.

First up was the 1930's farmstead.  Depression years so they talked about dust storms and this:

I thought of you, Ann, and Australia's "rabbit problem".  Behind the house was a small barn where some 4-H kids had their black-faced sheep (black-face sheep always make me think of Jenna).  The sheep were pretty curious about the lady with the camera!

There was a herb garden complete with an unusual windmill-called an umbrella.
Weird, huh?

A lovely white Church or Sunday School as they were originally called, built in 1915.  Love the "fish scale" shakes, although "clam shell" would be a better name as any quilter would tell you!

There was a sod house, very common on the plains as there were very few trees (there are more now because folks planted them-we primates like our trees!)  I have seen lots of photos of them but I've never been near or inside one.  I was especially  taken by the thickness of the walls.  This one had a wooden floor, windows and wood covering the sod by the windows-I think I've read that those thing were later additions.

Cactus growing on the roof!  In many photos the roof is covered with sod and sometimes there are wild flowers blooming!

These walls must be two feet thick!
There is a one-room school house and what is billed as the "largest barn in Kansas".
Isn't that sky a wonder?

The main building houses 21,500 square feet of art and artifacts! Wonderful collections of glass, buttons, coins, military uniforms from WWI to the present, bridal gowns, china, toys and dolls (my favorite).

I enjoyed this stop tremendously, and I bought stuff in their gift shop!  See!
Another glass ball to hang in the Kitchen-only 6 empty hooks now! Where am I going to put that cookbook? And another history book  (I am most intrigued by 19th century women and children-in spite of my current research into the Town of Kansas this is what I love.) I really hope I don't own this book-I might!

So, after that I was off on Interstate 70 again, soon leaving Kansas behind for Colorado.  It seems greener in Colorado-the trees are only hinting at fall color, strange.  I leave the Interstate at Limon for Colorado Springs via US 24.  I have never driven this road and it is odd to always have Pike's Peak in view, as it usually disappears as the northern peaks come into view.  I arrive in Colorado Springs at 1:30 pm MDST and decide to just keep on.  Ended up at Mountain View.  There is new snow on Pike's Peak and the aspen are turning!  I was told at the hotel to take all food in out of the truck as there is a bear about!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wind, Wind, Wind

The day began well, a clean truck, donuts for breakfast and off down the road I went.  I picked up a 20 mile and hour wind out of the southwest just west of Topeka (about 60 miles from home).  The wind just got stronger as I went.  My lunch, usually eaten at a rest area picnic table, was moved to inside the truck at the rest area.  At Hays I don't know how high the wind was but it nearly blew my bluetooth headset out of my ear!  Just before I reached Oakley I heard that the interstate was CLOSED at Goodland due to sustained winds of 40 miles an hour and gusts of up to 60 miles per hour.  By the time I reached Colby, my destination of the day, the interstate was closed here.  Kansas is always windy and the highway is often closed for high winds out here where there is nothing to stop it.  I've never driven in any winds this high and I guess my pick up is a rather "high-profile" vehicle because it took two hands on the wheel to stay on the road at times.  Visibility was low in places from all the dust being blown about as well.  Between the dust and fighting to stay on the highway I didn't get to observe all the small details I like to report.  You can see my report of geography etc here.  It is fall this time so things are shades of yellow, rust and brown.  I had hoped to see fields of sunflowers, I did put unfortunately I'm too late to see the blooms just the seed heads drying on the stalk.

I did make a couple of stops, here:

Where I bought some yummy apple butter!  I also stopped at a quilt shop for a driving break but I didn't buy anything :(

After unloading at the hotel (my small suitcase blew off the cart twice! Thank goodness for the lovely housekeeping ladies who helped me with the door) I went to Montana Mike's steakhouse for dinner-my waiter's name was Colby.  Colby in Colby, pour guy!

As I'm sitting here in the Motel 6 the wind continues to blow, it whistles around the door and rattles the exhaust fan in the bath.  The forecast says it will stop later and that tomorrow it will be windy but not nearly as bad we shall see.  If I can't go any further tomorrow I'll enjoy Colby and think of another trip when a car broke down outside Russell and we discovered Hays!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The bags are packed and so is the truck!

In the morning I'm headed west again!  Destination is still San Diego, where Steve and his family live.  I'm going out for Nora's birthday-I can't believe she will be two!  Time is just evaporating!  I am taking some large things to him and bringing home some larger things for me, more later.  I am taking a slower path than I have in the past and will try to see some more of our national parks and monuments.  In all I'll be on the road for a bit over two weeks.  It is a very long drive out and back so this may be the last trip in the truck-I think I'll just start flying out now and again.  If it weren't for those big things going and coming I would likely have done that this time.

I'll try to keep a travel log as I did last year but internet may be spotty!

It's been a lovely fall, cool nights and warm days, still dry (we could use a good rain but it's just so pleasant!)  I'm hoping the weather is pleasant all the way!