Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas From Jan and Chuck

(Jan) Merry Christmas from both of us; where ever you are, home or traveling, with family or friends or out enjoying this beautiful country of ours, we wish you the very best.

Weather report…. -12 degrees and beautifully sunny. Sat. it snowed again and then the wind howled until Sunday night. It reminded me of the dust storms in Arizona; just change the dust to snow and make it life threateningly cold. When you live in the Midwest many conversations begin and end with what is going on with the weather. Lives, work, school and family celebrations all get planned or cancelled by ‘what’s the weather like today’?

Life inside the house is going right along. Christmas cards and e-mails are being sent, end-of year bookwork is being done. As we are here for a short time, meal preparation has been interesting as we try to eat nutritiously but not buy too many groceries that we will have to cart back to AZ or give away before we go. We’ve been seeing my parents in neighboring Halbur quite a bit. We will join them at my brother’s house for a Christmas Day celebration. On Saturday we will be at our son Brent’s house in Ames with our immediate family of 18! Eric and family will be coming in from Chicagoland, Josh and family are flying in from Seattle, We’re praying for decent weather and safe travel for them and for all who are traveling to be with family and friends. Can’t wait to see and hug everybody!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let it Snow!

(Jan) It looks like it's going to be a white Christmas here in Iowa! We've had about three inches of snow so far today with an ice/snow storm predicted for Thursday. Oh! And it's about 5 degrees right now!
We left Yuma last Thursday morning after storing our rig and having a cup of coffee and some wonderful cinnamon raisin bread with Joanne. It was about 70 degrees and sunny. As we drove east and then north it got progressively cooler. We stayed over night in Alamogordo, New Mexico and then the next day headed up Hwy 54 through Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Next we headed north on I135 and Hwy 81 to I80 in York, Nebraska where we stopped for the night. It was 31 degrees! It warmed as we drove east to the farm and the weather was fairly nice at 57 degrees for a December day in the Midwest.
But wait! Since then it has been colder than 'billy hell'!! Sunday morning it was 5 degrees with a 35-40 mph wind blowing and by that night it was -10. So what are we doing here? Visiting family and friends!
Saturday afternoon I got to spend the afternoon with my mom and dad. We brought the Christmas tree up from downstairs and decorated the house. They are both slow but doing well. On Sunday Chuck and I took them to church, had a nice visit and then ran some errands for them. It's so cold here, I'm glad their house is toasty warm.
Last night some of my local girlfriends and I went to a friend's house in Carroll for a Birthday/Christmas party. We had a wonderful time chatting and catching up on each other's lives. Good wine, good food, great company. It was good to see 'the girls' again!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Arizona Friends

(Jan) Before we left Mittry Lake, we met our neighbors who had moved their rig in near ours by the Gila Canal. Tom and Virginia are from Texas and invited us to join them for lunch the next day. Virginia made us a wonderful roast beef and mashed potatoes meal and Tom showed us some of the great renovations to their RV space including a wonderful foldable table and I’m hoping Chuck will make one like it for us!!

We met Gary and Nancy last summer in Colorado and have gone to visit a couple of times at their RV Park. We played Mexican Train and Pegs and Jokers with them and then got to pop over to their swimming pool and hot tub for a leisurely hour. Very nice!

We met Dan and Jenny briefly last January and then again this fall at a Boomer friend’s party. Carl and Joey were in Colorado and we got to see them again at Mittry. A couple of weeks ago Carl and Joey invited Gary and Nancy, Dan and Jenny and Chuck and I over to play golf and barbeque burgers. What a fun time!

The following week we gathered again at Dan and Jenny’s casita in the Foothills. We played Nickels that evening, had great hors’ douvers and laughed a lot! Pictured at right are Chuck, Nancy, Carl, Jan, Dan, Joey, Gary and Jenny. Thanks for sharing the pics, Jenny!

And last but not least, we spent many days with one of our favorites, Chuck’s mom! Lunches, playing cards, doing laundry, cooking together, etc., etc. It will be fun seeing everyone again in January!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Gila Main Canal

(Chuck) The Colorado River is the lifeblood of this area. Without the river there would be no agriculture, and probably no Yuma , Arizona. There have been several dams built on the river to facilitate water distribution for agriculture. Before the dams were built, early in the twentieth century, river steamers would travel up the river during periods of high water all the way to Nevada. Things have changed since then; most of the water is siphoned from the river for humans and agriculture leaving only a shadow of what it once was. One of the minor canals is the Gila Main Canal and it is the east boundry of where the Boomers gather near Lake Mittry. The Gila Main Canal is engineered so that it goes through a series of “mountains” by a system of tunnels. Jan and I set out to find where the canal entered the mountain above the Boomer area. It was a 3.1 mile hike with a 703 foot elevation gain and it took us through some rugged country. We found the tunnel entrance, where is out flows by the Boomer area and also where it again goes through the mountain as it flows south.

On another hike we checked Ken and Sue Paces Geocach. That is a serious hike, with real bushwacking, that stopped several men the week before. I am proud to report that Jan made the trip with me.

This photo is for our good friends Dean and Judy Scheeley. They were some of the first to go on cross country hikes with us in Arizona . Dean told me of the names of several plants that are native to Arizona . One plant that always makes me think of him is the “Wait A Minute Bush”. I don’t think it is an official name, but it is the name that a person uses. When you are hiking through the brush and your shirt gets hung up on this bush that has big thorns on it, you tell your partner “Wait A Minute”. Then you unhook yourself and continue on your journey. Thanks Dean, we always smile when it happens to us.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


(Jan) The agricultural valley immediately north of Yuma is like being in an amazingly large vegetable garden. There are thousands of acres of broccoli, cabbage, different varieties of lettuce and other vegetables. Each time we drove into town from Mittry Lake we would see fields in varying degrees of production; lettuce being harvested, vegetables just planted, crop residue being disked up or some with planting beds just being prepared. 80% of the winter lettuce and 90% of the country’s winter vegetable crops are grown here in Yuma.
We watched lettuce being harvested recently. It is done mostly by hand. As a farm worker cuts the lettuce head at ground level, he discards the outer leaves, bags it and then lays it on the ground. Another worker comes and collects the bagged lettuce and puts it in a box on the bottom tier of a two tiered platform; the empty boxes are on the top tier. As the boxes are filled it goes up a short conveyor belt where the boxes are stacked. As you can see from the picture it’s powered by a tractor that backs up slowly as the workers harvest the lettuce. The crops are brought to a packing shed which cools the produce and immediately loads it on a truck which is delivered to your grocery store. Two of the labels from this area you may recognize are Foxy and Dole.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Float Planes at Mittry Lake

(Chuck) There is a small fisherman pier and boat access about a mile down the road from our site at Mittry Lake. Each Tuesday morning a group of avid model airplane enthusiasts gather at the waters edge and project their skills by wireless remote control. They are members of the Yuma Aeromodelers. I have not seen model float planes before and it was another unusual sight that we seem to stumble upon once in a while. Most of the planes are powered with .61 cubic inch engines. They seem to run a methanol and 15% nitro blend for fuel. There are 85 active members of the organization. These boys fly everyday at a land based runway at another part of town. One member has a model jet which I want to see. On another day of the week they go to another pond in town and they sail model sailboats. No powerplants, only controls for the sail and rudder.
This is Don Lawrence with his Four Star 60. I don’t know much about it but it is a beautiful model. Don was a very good pilot. Apparently the pontoons require extra skill. The plane wants to hug the water when the surface is smooth. Sometimes they need to circle the plane through their own wake on the water to assist the plane to become airborne. All of this was new to us and we enjoyed the morning. I had to think of my friend Ron Odendahl who is in Iowa. He has flown models for many years and I wish he could have had a chance to bring his plane here. We could have duct taped pontoons on one of his planes.

We were watching the action this morning a plane rose off the water about six feet, then it seemed to cartwheel into the drink with a thud and a splash. We all shuddered at the sight. Jan asked one of the members who was standing next to us “What was the problem?” He answered with the wit of an old pilot, “The water.”

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mittry Lake for Thanksgiving

(Chuck) We are at Mittry Lake which is about 12 miles North of Yuma, Arizona. It is a place where the Boomers have held the holiday gatherings over the years. This year we have been able to join in on the Thanksgiving Rang. We arrived here on Monday and I think we were the first on site. Soon other rigs drove in and I think we had a total of eight or nine rigs and several drive ins from town. I have to report that we did eat a considerable amount of food. If Thanksgiving is for “giving thanks” and consuming food, then we did a good job.

Today several of us went on a maintenance trip for a geocache that Ken and Sue Pace had placed a year ago. It was a fairly difficult three quarters of a mile hike to find the Cache. We did not locate the cache box and we concluded that it had been either vandalized or improperly re-hidden. At any rate Ken brought along a new container and log and it is once again available for any who may venture out on a daring hike. Ken rated the terrain as a 4 out of 5, and all I know is that is should be listed as “difficult.”

Tuesday and Wednesday the Yuma area had one of the larger rain storms that has been seen in years. A total of two and one half inches of rain was recorded at Patsy Cooks place in the Foothills. It must be official if Patsy recorded it! Streets were flooded and many places were under water for a short period of time. Our rigs were safe and sound here on the overlook at Mittry Lake. The power was off in Yuma for a while, however at Mittry we can report that we did not suffer any loss of electricity. We had a heavy fog this morning that lasted late into the morning. Now in the late afternoon the sky is that wonderful desert blue and the plants in our view are bright green. I wonder how long it will be until the desert flowers come out and give us a great show. A rain like the one we just had is just the right thing for the desert flowers. We can’t wait for the show. (Jan) Several of us girls have been doing a morning stretch routine and then going for a walk along the lake. We also have enjoyed played Golf, the card game. This morning at 11:00 it was time for brunch for the six couples left at Mittry Boomerville. We used our Thanksgiving left-overs to make turkey and ham soup + we shared lots of other goodies such as sweet potato pie and cheese cake with cranberry topping. We've been having the daily 4:00 Happy Hour and many nights we sit and visit around the camp fire in the evening. Life is good!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Balloons in Yuma, Arizona

One of the great things about this lifestyle is the unexpected experiences that, as you turn around, just seem to jump up in front of you. This happened to us in Silverton, Colorado in August when we noticed billboards announcing the Great Western Rocky Mountain Brass Band Festival. It turned out to be the highlight of the summer. Once again this happened in Yuma, Arizona. Today we stumbled upon the Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival. It is not as large and famous as the Albuquerque Fiesta, but it was a great treat. We were able to wander in and around the balloons as they were unloaded and launched. It was a thrill and everybody from nine to ninety had a camera and a very large smile on their face. Saturday night is what was called the “AEA Federal Credit Union Desert Balloon Glow.” It is advertised as “A selection of hot air balloons are tethered, inflated and illuminated to music.” It was held in the Desert Sun Stadium and it was a great nighttime experience.The four of us attended Friday morning, Saturday morning and the Saturday night events. My mother Joanne, my sister Jackie and Jan and I felt it was a great event.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The 3 J's

Who says that too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the stew? Along with the serious stuff this past month, we have had a wonderful family time. One of the things we, Joanne, Jackie and Jan have been enjoying is cooking meals together. Chuck is out numbered being around his wife, mother and sister but he is well fed!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Life Goes On

(Chuck) It is now Sunday and our lives will go on. We would like to give a special thank you to all of you who have sent e-mails and notes to our family. Your thoughts and prayers will be rewarded many times over.
The weather in Yuma is once again going through a warm spell. It is over 90 degrees this afternoon and the beautiful blue sky is once again blanketing the desert. To the East of us are the Gila Mountains which provide a great backdrop for the Foothills area of Yuma. Two evenings ago we were treated to another of those beautiful desert sunsets. It just doesn’t get much better than the Southwest in the winter. This photo is looking East in front of our rig. In my log it is recorded as (Yuma, AZ 13660 53rd Street, Foothills (N 32 37.971 W114 23.871) 420’ elevation).

We are planning to go to Mittry Lake for Thanksgiving. We have not been to the annual Thanksgiving Rang yet, but I have heard about it from others. It will be a Boomer group and we will have a great time together. It will be 4:00 gatherings and watching sunsets with friends in the desert. I imagine several turkeys will have paid the price to help us with our enjoyment. Jan and I will take our rig to Mittry Lake for the Boomerang. I suspect there will be twenty to thirty rigs total. It will be a good time to meet new people, and re-acquaint with old friends. It is only about 10 miles North of Yuma. I am not sure how long we will be there, at least a week, maybe two. Any more definite plans than that would cause a bald spot on my hard drive.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Charles Gale Moore

(Chuck) Monday, November 10 at 4:45 in the afternoon, my father died. We had been with him and Mom for several weeks here in Yuma, Arizona. He has suffered from multiple very serious ailments for the last years, months and days. My mother has been a constant companion in the most difficult times and the happy times. Her strength has been a beacon for her children. In the months before Jan and I and my sister Jackie arrived, she was faced with a number of difficult decisions. In the last months Gale has been hospitalized in several Yuma facilities. His last stay was the Life Care Center on 19th Avenue in Yuma. The staff and administrators who provided him with care were excellent. We went back to them today and thanked them for their efforts. They are a professional group who seem to always have the care of their patients in mind. We sincerely feel that they provided the best care possible.

I was fortunate to be able to be with my father when he gave his last. It was a time that I shall never forget. It was a privilege to be with him in his death. My life would seem to be unfulfilled if I had not been with him. My father and I did not always seem to get along. It was not a bad relationship, but it was not as other fathers and sons seemed to be. We both knew of this and neither seemed to be able to solve it. It makes me smile to know that in his last time of his life that we did breach this gap and we no longer will harbor any uncertainty about our relationship. I am a better man for it and I think he is also.

He will be cremated here in Yuma and he will be buried in the family plot in the Manning City Cemetery in Manning, Iowa. His burial will take possibly take place next summer. Jan and I will stay in the Yuma area close to my mother for most of the winter. This is his obituary which I wrote.

Charles Gale Moore age 85
“Gale” Moore, son of Wilfred Dales Moore and Elsie (Vandeman) Moore was born December 31, 1922 at the home farm near Botna, IA. He attended rural schools and graduated from Manning High School in 1940.
On December 28, 1945 Gale was united in marriage with Joanne Grundmeier at Harlan, IA. Four children were born to this union, Jacquelynn, Charles, Gregory and Christi.
Through many years Gale and Joanne farmed the home farm near Botna, and owned a fertilizer business in Manning, IA. In the 1970s and 1980s they wintered in South Texas and Arizona. In 1991 they established their home in Yuma, AZ. Gale enjoyed selling cars in the Yuma area.
Gale has been in failing health for several months and has resided the last three weeks in the Life Care Center in Yuma, AZ, where he died November 10, 2008, aged 85 years.
A cremation and memorial gathering will be held in Yuma, AZ. A memorial service and burial in the Manning City Cemetery, Manning, IA, will be held on a future date.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by two children, Gregory and Christi.
Survivors include his wife Joanne of Yuma, AZ; his sister Beatrice Joy Doyle of Westside, IA; two children, Jacquelynn and her husband LaVern (Butch) Spieker of Renton, WA and Charles Moore, and his wife Janice of Manning, IA; five grandsons and fifteen great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oct/Nov miscellaneous

The weather in Yuma October 16th when we arrived was up to 100 degrees during the day and high 70’s at night; definitely air-conditioner weather. The weather now is ‘just right’, 70’s and 80’s during the day and 50’s at night. More winter visitors arrive each day and the traffic here is getting much busier. We had been noticing a Microtel motel sign in October that advertised for $56/night. We had speculated on it rising for tourist season. Sure enough, as of November 1, the rate is now $76.

As many RVers know, many campgrounds and overnight spots seem to be very near railroads. We may have had our closest encounter to date. On our way down to Yuma we stopped at about 10:30 one night when we were too tired to drive any farther in Corona, New Mexico just off of the highway on the main street through town. Well, you guessed it…. We had just settled in for the night when the train came rumbling through. We knew the tracks were close but we couldn’t have been more than 8-10 feet from them. We felt the rig sway especially when the heavily loaded cars came by!

Ever buy a pair of shoes and get home with 2 different shoes? Yup, I did! On our way home from Chicagoland we stopped at an outlet mall because they have an Addidas store.
Got my shoes and then Chuck’s mom’s call came in so we were off to Yuma, AZ. I didn’t discover the error until we got down here! I called back to the outlet mall in Iowa and they asked if I could stop by to exchange them. Well, no……but since they had a sale for buy one-get the second one at half price and since they threw in a coupon and because they were just good people, they sent me the matching shoes for just $17.99 with no charge for shipping. I’m a happy customer!

At the beginning of September we bought diesel fuel in Colorado for $4.99 per gallon. Yesterday we filled up the truck for $2.69; much easier on the fuel budget.

We’ve continued walking. We have some friends who walk an hour a day, other friends who do 10,000 or 20,000 steps a day….very inspirational! Some days we get in 2 miles, sometimes 4 but usually do at least 30 minutes which for us is a mile and a half. Walking on the paved streets here in the Foothills is wonderful.

Last Tuesday we went to a Boomer gathering over at Patsy Cook’s house in the Foothills. Saw a few people we had met previously and found more new Boomer friends. Beautiful night, great food and good entertainment, too, as Patsy and her friend sang and performed for us. Yesterday we went over Arizona West to have coffee with Nancy and Gary Asplund; we had met them in Colorado this summer at Mosquitoville. So good to see them again and we had a wonderful visit.Our days continue to be spent with his mom visiting Gale at Life Care Center or at her house cooking the evening meal. It has been a privilege being here with them at this time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

End of October

The weather in Yuma in October is HOT! It’s been reaching between 92 – 100 degrees each afternoon and air-conditioning is very welcomed if not a MUST. We parked at the Scheckert YMCA RV lot for the first 2 weeks and yesterday moved to a lot in the foothills. We’re on 53rd Street near Ironwood on a lot we stayed on several times last year. We’ll be here until Thanksgiving and will have some of the same neighbors as last year.

Chuck’s sister Jackie was here for a couple of weeks and we developed a regular routine of breakfast on Chuck’s mom’s patio, visiting Chuck’s dad at the Life Care center in Yuma and then supper back at Joanne’s (Chuck’s mom) house. On one of those evenings we helped Joanne celebrate her birthday! Chuck’s dad Gale is in a very nice facility and is receiving good care. We’ve been blessed to have this family time together.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We're in Yuma

On our way home from Chicago, Chuck’s mom called and said that his dad was having medical difficulties so we drove through Halbur to see my folks for a short time, stopped at the farm for a few things and then headed for Yuma, AZ. We arrived here Thursday evening and are staying at the Scheckert YMCA RV Park in the Foothills. Chuck’s sister is here also and we have had some good visits with his parents. His dad is at a care facility in Yuma.


(Jan) From an early age, my mom taught me how to sew using the sewing machine and we worked on projects together such as making doll clothes and piecing together a crazy quilt. So, it was with great delight that I got to do a sewing project with my granddaughter Jessica last week. Jess is borrowing the dress I made for our town’s centennial for a school project and on Monday she and I made a little bag for her to match with the dress. What a fun time we had!
We had a wonderful visit with Eric and his family. Got to see Ryan play his guitar, celebrate Cheri’s birthday, see their newly finished basement and just have a really good visit. We stayed at a very nice Kane County Park near Elgin for three days before heading back to Iowa.

Friday, October 10, 2008

John Bernard Riesselmann

(Jan) My great great grandfather moved his family; wife Kathrina and sons Henry and Bernard,to the Guttenberg, Iowa area around 1855. They had 2 more children here, Joseph and Anna. John B., or Bernard as he was mostly known, died in 1860. Until this week we knew these ‘facts’ from family oral histories. On Tuesday Chuck and I found the probate records filed after his death at the Clayton County courthouse. He died at home December 18, 1860 leaving his young wife and 4 young children, the youngest 9 months old. It listed his property and we were able to get the land descriptions and find the land they owned in 1860. A Plat Map dated 1886 listed Kathrina still as being the owner of part of the original property plus additional attached acres. It also showed the approximate location of a dwelling on the property. We were able to find the land, a mile or two from the Mississippi river north of Guttenberg, plus where the homestead might have been. Exciting stuff!

This absolutely beautiful country! The hills are painted vividly with fall color and we spent many happy hours roaming the hills and walking along the Mississippi river on the levee from our campground to downtown Guttenberg.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Josh's visit

Last week-end our son Josh came to Iowa to visit and to attend a friend’s wedding. It was terrific having him here and catching up on all of his news. We had discussions about politics, economics and religion as well as the Great Father and Son Croc debate! On Sunday we went to Ames to visit Brent and Donna and family. Uncle Josh got to meet Madeleine who is now a healthy 9 pound 3 week old. Mom and baby are doing well and it was great to see everyone. After lunch, Josh challenged his nephews to a video game tournament and as usual, talk turned to technology and economics among the adults as it often does. Time moved much too fast and before long it was time to head back to Manning and then very shortly after for Josh to go on to Omaha to catch his flight back to Seattle. The house was quieter and just a tad lonely after he left.


Last fall before we planned on going south, we called a tree service to trim the three large maple trees that surround our farm house. They were extremely busy and didn’t get to us until this past week. There were two trees to the side of the house and one in the back that shaded the swing set where the boys and more recently the grandchildren spent many hours playing. Because the trees were so close to the house and showed signs of decay we decided this year that they needed to come down instead of being trimmed. Wow! What a difference! We now have one remaining maple tree about 35 feet northeast of the house and in good shapeWe will miss the beautiful trees and the shade they provided but unfortunately it was time for them to come down.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Autumn in Iowa

(Jan) Iowa in the fall is a very pretty place! We spent a couple of days at Ledges State Park, a couple of days at the farm and now are at Yellowsmoke County Park near Denison N 42 01.696 W095 19.129 - 1285’ elevation We come here often when we are in the area and with it’s autumn finery displayed and mirrored by the lake it is indeed picturesque. The sites are large and shaded and there's great paved walking trails around the lake and into Denison. Our friends Jim and Jeri, Lynn and Mary and daughter Christine have been here also this week so there been plenty of camaraderie, good food and campfire conversation. This morning Jim and Jeri & Chuck and I make brunch over a wood fire. Delicious!

Yesterday we had to make a trip to Des Moines to the Iowa Retina Specialists. My dad has had loss of vision in his ‘good’ eye and got a drug injection right in the eye to stabilize his eyesight. There is a 33% chance he will see improvement in his vision. It is the only option currently available for ‘wet’ macular degeneration and we are hoping for the best. Chuck’s dad is still struggling with health issues, also. Leg circulation continues to be a problem and at this point he is at a rehab/nursing facility in Yuma.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

She's here!

(Jan)This little bundle of joy is our new granddaughter Madeleine Marie. Our son and wife, Brent and Donna, welcomed her into the world last evening. Madeleine joins brothers and sisters, Stephen, Katherine, Michael, Anne and Elizabeth. We went to see her at the hospital today and everything is going fine for our new little miss and her mom. When the other kids got out of school, we went to their house to see them again. Tomorrow mom and baby come home and tomorrow night Grampa and I are in charge of dinner.
We made it back to Iowa last night an hour or so before Brent called with the good news so this morning we packed the few things we had taken out of the rig and headed over to Ames. We did stop to see my parents on the way and they are doing well. Tonight we are in beautiful Ledges State Park near Boone, Iowa N 41 59.820 W 093 52.446 - 1120 feet elevation. We walked the CG tonight, tomorrow morning we will hike some of the trails of the canyon

Monday, September 15, 2008

Colorado - Kansas

(Jan) We ended our stay in Colorado with stops in Salida, Woodland Park and Trinidad. At Salida we boondocked along the Arkansas River on BLM ground N38 30.481 W105 57.652 – 7,010 feet elevation, a great place for walking along the river, doing laundry and grocery shopping in town. At Woodland Park we were at Pike NF South Meadows CG N39 03.889 W105 05.675 – 7,835 ft. elevation, a place we had camped with the boys back in the ‘80’s. We visited the fabulous Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, walked the loop around the tall rock features in the center of the park and also stopped at the famous balanced rock. We browsed the gift shop and enjoyed ice cream out on the deck under the trees. It was very rainy when we got back to the CG so didn’t get to take the cog train up Pikes Peak the next day. In fact the next morning there was snow on the mountains!

In Trinidad we stayed at Budget Host CG N37 08.372 W104 31.092 – 6,370 ft. elevation and had full hook-ups. This morning we headed across eastern Colorado which has some interesting buttes in the wide open country; you could really imagine wagon trains rolling along through the valleys between the buttes on the Santa Fe Trail. The dust and sun must have seemed overwhelming at times. We spent a couple of hours at the Bent’s Old Fort National Historical Site thoroughly enjoying our tour guide, in period dress, explaining day to day living at the fort. The fort is a carefully reconstruction of the actual non-military fort that was built in 1834 at this site. At that time it was on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Primarily a trading post with the Indians for buffalo hides, it was the only white settlement between Missouri and Santa Fe. As we were driving along, after leaving the fort, we saw something on the highway that we hadn’t seen since our days at Ft Sill in 1974; big, hairy tarantula spiders sunning themselves on the warm pavement!

In the afternoon we stopped for ice cream (two days in a row!) in Lamar. CO., and then headed over through the Kansas plains to our overnight stop in Pawnee Rock, KS. The elevation there was 1,920 feet; probably the lowest elevation we have been at since July.

Today we drove to the eastern side of Kansas to visit my sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Richard. Good to see them again; wonderful visit, delicious dinner and great apple crisp fresh off the tree! Must be an old family recipe....right , Linda? Tonight we are at Cabela's, 10 miles from their house, right off of I435 in K.C., KS. N 39 07,300 W 094 49.061 - 975 feet elevation. Tomorrow it's north to Iowa.
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