Thursday, October 12, 2017

So long Donald Trump

A couple weeks ago I quit googling "Donald Trump Today" several times a day and listening to the Evening news.  The last straw was a reporter asking Trump about something.  Donald answered with a smirk on his face "I'll let you know in a couple days".  I don't want to know in a couple days or ever what new damage Donald Trump has done or is going to do to the country or the world.  The rich are going to get richer, the poor are going to get poorer and the middle class are going to get screwed.  I have a lot more time to read books and nap in peace without worrying about what Donald Trump is saying or doing.  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Santa Fe and Taos, September 11 - 17, 2017

Monday, Sept. 11 - I caught a cab from Vancouver Cab Company at 5:30am to Portland International Airport.  I was pleased to be leaving the hot, smoky weather behind.  I boarded Alaska Airlines for a 8:00-11:45am flight to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I changed my watch during the flight to Mountain time.  I collected my suitcase and walked to the Scandia Shuttle desk.  I didn't have long to wait.  However it seemed like we walked forever to board the shuttle! 

I arrived at the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza Hotel, 100 Sandoval Street about 2:15pm.  I was given two bottles of water at check-in as I am a Hilton Honors member.  I waited about an hour in the lounge area to check into my room but it was worth it.  Great location on the top (3rd) floor overlooking the pool.  Spacious and beautifully decorated.  I purchased a sandwich and bottle of apple juice from the hotel shop for late lunch in my room.  My television did not work so I told the front desk the times I would not be in my hotel room the next day so they could fix it.  I was given a complimentary coupon for two glasses of wine and a cheese, fruit and crackers plate for the inconvenience which I used later in the week.

I checked in with the Road Scholar Group leader, Elizabeth Schroder, and received my folder with the updated schedule.  We had orientation and introductions in the meeting room from 5:00-6:00.  Buffet dinner in the meeting room at 6:30.  Interesting group.  I was not doing well at 7,200 ft. above sea level.  I went to bed early and slept soundly until time to wake up at 6:30am.

Tuesday, Sept. 12 - We had a breakfast buffet at 7:30am at the hotel.  The instructor, Elizabeth Schroder, gave a lecture at 8:30 on the History of New Mexico from its earliest Paleo-Indian inhabitants to the Spanish settlers and American merchants who followed.  We also heard about Santa Fe which is the oldest state capital in the country.  At 10:15 we departed for a guided walking exploration of the Santa Fe Plaza area including the St. Francis Cathedral/Basilica, Loretto Chapel (Chapel of Our Lady of Light) with its amazing spiral choir loft staircase, and a few other sites.  Santa Fe has three main styles of architecture: Pueblo, Territorial and Northern New Mexico.

We had lunch at Blue Corn Cafe, a local favorite.  I got a large wrap with slaw.  I saved half of the wrap and the slaw in my room refrigerator for a light dinner.  We departed via coach from the hotel for the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research.  We were allowed to see the Pottery collection: Acoma, Laguna, Santa Ana, Zia, Santa Domingo, Cochiti, Dine and apache, Taos and Picuris, Tesuque, Santa Clara, Ohkay Owingeh, San Ildefonso, Mojave, Zuni, and Hopi.  My favorite is the Black pottery from the San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblos.

I went for a walk in downtown Santa Fe to find a couple geocaches: Santa Fe River Park and SFGT: La Fonda Hotel.  I ate the half wrap and cole slaw left over from lunch and the rest of the apple juice from the day before for a light dinner.  I went to bed early.  I fell asleep watching a television show "America's Got Talent". 

Wednesday, Sept. 13 - We had a breakfast buffet at 7:30am at the hotel.  Jerry Rightman, instructor, gave a talk and showed slides on Georgia O'Keeffe.  We walked a few blocks north through Burro Alley to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum which holds the largest collection of O'Keeffe works in the world.

After the instructor led a short tour through the museum I left to have lunch at nearby cafe, Sweet Lily.  I discovered that the owner had done some geocaching.  I had Quiche Lorraine with a green salad.  I sat at a table on the front porch.  It was quite lovely.  I visited the O'Keeffe Museum for a couple more hours.  My favorites were Bella Donna, 1939 and Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur, 1930.  I own three large Georgia O'Keeffe prints.

I walked the few blocks back to the Hilton.  We departed from the hotel at 4:30 for Red Mesa Cuisine in Eldorado.  We had a presentation on Southwest Cuisine led by Chef Dr. Lois Ellen Frank, author of "Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations" and Chef Walter Whitewater of Diné (Navajo) Nation,  followed by a four-course dinner.  The dessert was Organic Mixed Berry Crisp with whipped cream, and Chocolate Pinon Torte with Fresh Berries.

Thursday, Sept. 14 - We had an early breakfast buffet at 7:00am at the hotel.   I requested that they unlock the doors to our breakfast room.  The Coach departed for Taos at 8:00am.  We visited Taos Pueblo for an hour and half.  Taos Pueblo has a certain mystic from afar that it does not have up close. 

We had lunch at Gutiz restaurant in Taos.  I had a Bacon, lettuce & tomato on a fresh baguette with a side of homemade mayonnaise. Served with a side of Gutiz potatoes.  Very disappointing. 

We visited the Millicent Rogers Museum.  In 1956, the youngest son Paul Peralta - Ramos founded the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos. The museum houses a large collection of Native American, Hispanic, and Euro-American art, with a specific emphasis on northern New Mexico and Taos pieces. It first opened in a temporary location in the mid-1950s, later moving to its permanent location in the late 1960s, a home built by Claude J. K. and Elizabeth Anderson, close friends of Millicent Rogers. Fascinating place.  Rogers initials are carved into the door frame of the original entrance, which is located in Gallery 11.

Afterwards we had independent exploration of the historic district near Taos Plaza.  I got a cup of ice cream and sat on the bench in front of the store talking to two men.  I walked quite a ways to the Kit Carson Memorial Cemetery where I found a geocache: The New Mexico Challenge - Taos Country.  I photographed Kit Carson's headstone.    
  
About 4:00 we departed for Santa Fe, stopping for a brief photo opportunity at San Francisco de Asis Mission Church on the way. This Spanish Colonial adobe building is one of the best known and most photographed churches in New Mexico. We had dinner at Santa Fe Bar and Grill in Santa Fe.  I had the Vegetarian Baked Lasagna (I prefer ground beef) and Mexican Flan for dessert.  Dinner was followed by a return to the hotel.
Friday,  Sept. 15 - We had a breakfast buffet at 7:30am at the hotel.  We had presentation by Ronald Roybal of flute music.  I was disappointed that he did not play the Spanish Classical guitar.  We departed for the Meow Wolf Arts Complex at 10:00.  The place is a real hoot! 

We boarded the bus at 11:30 to depart for lunch destination at Maria's New Mexican Kitchen.  The service and meal was a disaster. The only thing I loved was the complimentary sopapilla which was incredible. Thick but billowy, sprinkled inside with honey it made my lunch enjoyable after all.

After lunch we departed for Museum Hill for a visit to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.  We departed for the hotel about 4:00.   I went for a long walk to find some geocaches: Guadalupe Shrine, Zandi 5 (a Virtual) and Veterans' Services Memorial.  I photographed San Miguel Mission.  Back at the Hilton I used my complimentary coupon for cheese, crackers and fruit with Chardonnay wine for dinner. 

Saturday, Sept. 16 - We had a breakfast buffet at 7:30am at the hotel.  We took a field trip to parts of the High Road to Taos.  We visited Chimayo. The Chimayó valley is a verdant oasis extending from the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the expanse of the Rio Grande valley. The name Chimayó itself is from the Tewá Indian language meaning superior red flaking stone. 

We visited El Santuario de Chimayo, a Roman Catholic church.  We visited Centinela Traditional Arts weaving gallery.  Years ago I had purchased a stunning rug but ended up backing out of the deal.  We had lunch at Rancho de Chimayo, a charming restaurant housed in an old hacienda.  After lunch we traveled to Pojoaque where we visited the Poeh Cultural Center.  I saw a plethora of pots!  I purchased a small clay cat (Musa).  Afterwards we departed for the hotel.  Buffet dinner and closing comments.  I am just getting over Altitude problems and now it is about time to head home.

Sunday, Sept. 17 - We had a breakfast buffet at 7:30am at the hotel.  This was the last meal included in the Road Scholar program.  I was picked up at 8:00 by Al and Nola Funk (ACFunk).  I hosted an Event at Tribes Coffee House, 3470 Zafarano Drive.  Great turnout!  Afterwards the Funks took me to a Virtual and then back to the Hilton.  I stopped at the Lensic Performing Arts Center to get Symphony tickets for the afternoon concert.  I walked to the Plaza where I had lunch at the Plaza Cafe.  There was a Santa Fe Vintage Car Club Rally on the Plaza.  I attended the pre-concert talk at 3:00 at the Lensic Auditorium. 

The Santa Fe Symphony's 34th season kicked off with Van Cliburn gold medalist, Yekwon Sunwoo, performing with the full orchestra. Sunwoo, who has shared stages with Perlman and Marin Alsop, came to Santa Fe fresh from his Van Cliburn competition victory to perform Brahms’s four-movement epic, the Piano Concerto No. 2. The afternoon’s performance concluded with Elgar’s intimate and complex Enigma Variations, a Romanticist tribute to the composer’s friends and family.

I had an Almond Croissant and Earl Grey tea at 6:00 at Starbucks near Santa Fe Plaza.  I sat at the front window watching street life.

Monday, Sept 18 - I was given a complimentary full breakfast at the hotel.  I wandered over to the Plaza where I looked at Native jewelry under the portal at the Palace of Governors.  Back at the hotel I checked out of my room.  I contacted a Lyft driver.  He took me to the Capital Station.  I rode the Rail Runner to Albuquerque.  I took the bus shuttle to the airport.  I had a light meal of Granola and Yogurt with a Brownie for dessert at Black Mesa Coffee Co. cafe before going through security.  My flight arrived in Portland about 8:00.  I took MAX light rail and C-Tran home.  Long day.  Even though it was cold and rainy it was so good to get home! 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cachly App

I dumped the "new" Groundspeak App a couple months ago. I attended a Cachly Event/Presentation where I got the Cachly App. It is based on Groundspeaks former Classic App. I was deeply disappointed to lose Groundspeak's Classic App but the Cachly App is the next best thing. Now if I could just get around to switching from AT&T to Verizon!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Backroads of Upper Washington State DeLorme Atlas and upper Idaho DeLorme Atlas

Friday, August 18 - My son, Christopher, and I left Vancouver, Washington about 9:00am.  We stopped at Fred Meyer for gas for the car and batteries for GPS.  We headed north to Snoqualmie.  We stopped for breakfast at McDonalds in Kelso at 10:30.  The weather was hot but a lot cooler than last year.  We had lunch at Denny's in Spanaway at 2:30pm.   We found a cache behind the restaurant.  Employee (smoker) muggle told my son he couldn't go back there.  Ha.  We found the cache anyway as he had finished his smoke break.  We wandered for miles and miles on the backroads of farm/dairy country.  We had a great view of 14,411 ft high Mount Rainier in the Cascade Range.  We encountered a lot of traffic in Snoqualmie and North Bend.  We stopped at Double R Diner.  I had Cherry pie with vanilla ice cream.  A few days ago I created a "Twin Peaks" Bookmark.  We checked into the Summit Inn for two nights.  We were in a handicap room 107-A.  We attended the Meet and Greet "going APE" from 8:30-9:00 outside the lobby of the Summit Inn.  We walked next door to the Lee Summit Deli for late dinner to take back to our room 107-A.

Saturday, Aug 19 - We had breakfast at The Summit Pancake House.  We went to the Event location.  Christopher went through the spooky 100-year-old, 2.3-mile-long Snoqualmie Tunnel. He found Iron Horse Cache, KE BS Troop 570 Iron Horse Cache, The Iron Horse Express Cache, and The Rocket Cache along the Iron Horse Trail.  I signed the Logboard for us at the "Going Ape 2017" Event and purchased APE event geocoins.  I purchased a cup of very weak lemonade.  I drove to the Annette Lake Trailhead.  Exit 47 was closed for construction so I drove quite a distance to the next exit and backtracked.  I picked up Christopher.  The entire hike was 5.5 miles.  We found ?What a Wonderful World cache across the freeway before heading back to Snoqualmie Pass.  We had dinner at The Commonwealth Cafe.  We spent the night again at the Summit Inn in Room 107-A. 

Sunday, Aug 20 - I purchased a large muffin at The Summit Pancake House for light breakfast.  I attended the "Gone APE 2017" Event outside the lobby of the Summit Inn.  I took a Travel Bug that I will drop off later.  We had breakfast at Riverbend Cafe in North Bend.  Watched the golfers out the cafe window.  I do not understood golfers.  You golf for the exercise however you ride golf carts rather than walk!  I parked at the Parking Lot. Walked the Pipeline Trail at Sammamish to sign the Log for ?Washington DeLorme Challenge (GCQQ9B) Final.  We still have specific requirements that must be completed before logging this cache as Found.  We found Three Lakes Geo-Library at North Snohomish, found TNT bOoK CaChe at Marysville (we had lunch at McDonalds at 2:30) and found Cache a Nap at a Rest Stop on the way to Bellingham.  Couldn't find Up the Creek cache.  We had dinner at Round Table Pizza in Bellingham.  We stayed the night at the Econo Lodge & Suites in Room 307.  I prefer sleeping on the top floor.  We covered Page 32.

Monday, Aug 21 - We had a continental breakfast.  Christopher found two caches that I had already found: Pickett House in Bellingham (#15) and Roadkill Turtle (#32) in Sedro-Woolley.  Eclipse of the Sun hysteria.  We went too far east on Hwy 20.  However we did get to use the facilities at the North Cascades National Park Visitor Center.  We had to backtrack 10+ miles to travel south across the long, narrow silver bridge on the Cascade River Road to find the cache "Bridge over ...".  Back to the silver bridge at Hwy 20 and then east again.  The North Cascades Highway was completed in September 1972, connecting the Skagit River Valley with the Methow Valley.  The highway is closed in the winter due to snow accumulations and avalanches.  The highway crosses Washington Pass at 5,477 ft. (quite spectacular as is the Early Winter Spires) and Rainy Pass at 4,860 ft.  We got into Okanogan really late.  We checked into the Quality Inn Rooms 301 and 303.  We went to Burger King and McDonalds to pick up our dinners to take back to our rooms.  We found nine caches and did not find three caches.  We covered Pages 15, 16, 32, 33, 17, 34, 18, 19, and 35.

Tuesday, Aug 22 - We had breakfast at the Quality Inn.  We drove south to pick up Page 36.  We replaced a missing cache for A Handy Cache and found another cache downtown at Surveyors Park in Brewster.  We headed north and then east to find 14 more caches.  We stayed the night at Benny's Colville Inn in Room 243.  We got some food items at nearby Whittys South Town 7 for dinner to take back to our room.  We covered Pages 36, 20, 21, 38 and 22.

Wednesday, Aug 23 - We had a light breakfast.  We found 13 caches and did not find two caches.  Finding the Cully cache was particularly exciting!  The road was primitive and it was not clear whether it circled around (it did).  We had croissant sandwiches and a coconut macaroon (for me) for lunch at the Uphaus (German) Bakery in Kettle Falls.  We covered Pages 23, 39, 24, 40, 25, and 41.  We stayed the night at the Quality Inn Valley Suites in Room 416 in Spokane.  We sat at a booth at Denny's waiting to order dinner for way too long so I insisted that we walk out.  We ate at Applebee's.  Much better ambiance!

Thursday, Aug 24 - We had the Quality Inn breakfast.   We found two caches and an Earthcache in Washington State and then eight caches in Idaho.  We had dinner at Three Mile Corner Cafe in Bonners Ferry.  Many construction delays both in Idaho and Washington State.  I really should have booked TWO nights in Spokane or Thursday night stay someplace in Idaho.  It was too much to drive from Spokane through upper Idaho and then all the way to Pasco via Spokane.  Argh!  We stayed the night at Sleep Inn in Pasco in Room 212.

Friday, Aug 25 - I was exhausted.  Time to head home via Hwy 395 and I 84.  I played music previously downloaded on my I Phone via Bluetooth until we reached The Dalles.  Too much traffic.  Music would be distracting.  When we neared I 84 and I 205 junction traffic had come to a complete standstill.  I drove through downtown Portland to Interstate Avenue.  I stopped for gas at Killingsworth Gas Station.  I stopped at the Caples Post Office in Vancouver to get the mail.  I got the car washed at Andreson Road car wash.  We drove about 1818 miles on this trip.  If I did it correctly I have completed the Washington State DeLorme Challenge. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Jacksonville Trip, August 8-10, 2017

The 50+ Travel Group from Vancouver, Washington met at Luepke Center (Marshall Center) about 7:30am.   We checked in and bags were loaded.  We departed by 8:00.  We had lunch at the Wild Duck (on our own) in Eugene.  I had berry pie with vanilla ice cream.  We went to the Wild Life Safari for an Elephant Encounter (money maker for WLS).  Our next stop was the Vortex House of Mystery at Sardine Creek at 5:00pm.  I was hot and miserable.  We checked into our hotel, Riverside Inn, and settled in our rooms.   I had upgraded my room to the top floor with a great view of the rainbow arch Caveman Bridge and the Rogue River.  We had dinner at nearby Tap Rock.  I had Ivars Clam Chowder and Caesar Salad.  I watched the last hour of "America's Got Talent".  
I was up early at 6:00am.  I had breakfast at the hotel.  I found a Benchmark on the Caveman Bridge and a geocache a bit farther along.  We departed for Jacksonville by 9:30am.  We took a Trolley ride.  I stood on back trolley platform so I could get some photos of benchmarks i.e. church steeples.  We had a narrated tour of this historical town.  "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid" was filmed here in 1972.  They removed modern traffic signs, the city streets were covered in dirt, wooden sidewalks added, and hitching posts added.  They constructed a new building filling in an open lot. We had lunch at the Jacksonville Inn.  I had warm crusty bread with butter, two small bowls of gazpacho soup and a crispy salad.  I had a scoop of vanilla ice cream at The Scoop Shoppe.
We returned to the Riverside Inn in time for the jetboat ride.  We were told to be at the loading area at 3:15 but the boats were not loaded until 4:30!   Dozens and dozens of people showed up to ride the boats.  I was hot and miserable so I left.  I got a great photo of the jetboat roaring down the Rogue River from my room balcony.  I had a lovely dinner at a window table with a view of the Caveman Bridge at the Tap Rock of BLT with avocado on focaccia bread, and house chips.  I took 1/2 of the sandwich and some chips back to my room to eat while watching "Master Chef".   I do not regret opting out of the jetboat trip.  I heard stories the next day of getting soaked and having to hang clothes over the hotel patio railing to dry, having to deal with wasps/bees during the family style dinner at the OK Corral and being berated by one of the group leaders on the return trip.
I rose at 6:00am.  Breakfast at the hotel by 7:00.  Both leaders walked up as I was checking out/paying for my upgraded room at the Front Desk.  They were absolutely livid!  Especially the short, plump one.  Evidently the charge also showed up on the City of Vancouver bill.  It wasn't so much that the City of Vancouver got charged but it was a Control issue.  I heard later that she was rude to some of the people on her van. 
I enjoyed sitting on the deck of my room.  I was reluctant to leave but it was soon time to head back to Vancouver.  Our first stop was the Butterfly Pavilion at Elkton.  I found the geocache.  I met some geocachers who knew me.  I got a ride with the fort interpreter on a cart down to the reproduction of Hudson's Bay Fort Umpqua along the Umpqua River.  The others had walked or ridden the van.  The fort was not built on the original location.  We rode to the small downtown where I had pizza and beer at a restaurant.  I found a geocache.  I got an ice cream bar.
We traveled to Eugene.  Most of the group took a tour of the Ninkasi brewery.  I sat in the shade at the patio and charged my IPhone.  We stopped at Euphoria Chocolates for samples and to purchase chocolates.  I wonder if the group leaders got a kickback?  We had dinner at Sam Bonds Garage.  A dreadful, hot place.  I got a large chocolate chip cookie as I was not that hungry.  We headed north with a rest stop at Pilot truck stop on the way.  I had planned to take the city bus however Carol Z. gave me a lift home.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Survival


"The nature of survival is that stuff doesn't always go as planned. Survival is about making decisions, keeping going, keeping cheerful and coming up with a new plan when something doesn't work." Edward Michael Grylls, nicknamed Bear, (b. 1974), British adventurer, writer and television presenter.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rose Red, Geocaching name

My Geocaching name is Rose Red from the Brothers Grimm's story "Snow White and Rose Red".  Snow White was quiet and passive.  I'm not.

I grew up admiring strong girls and women: Jo from "Little Women", Jane Eyre, Mary Lennox of "Secret Garden", Caddie Woodlawn, and, of course, the original Nancy Drew.  In later years I admired Katherine Hepburn, Katherine Graham of The Washington Post, Princess Diana, Hillary Clinton (for being one classy lady and for being a thorn in Donald's side), and Senators Lisa Murkowski (R) and Susan Collins (R) for standing up for what is right.

While we are on the subject of girls and women that I have admired over the years, who are the boys and men both fictional and real that I have admired?  Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck of "To Kill a Mockingbird"), Frank Towns (James Stewart in "The Flight of the Phoenix"), and Charles Brubaker (James Brolin in "Capricorn One").   I also admire President Jimmy Carter, President Barack Obama, Senator Al Franken (smart, funny, honest), John Dean (Watergate), Frank Lloyd Wright (as Architect not his private life), Tom Hanks (American actor, "Sully" etc.), Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).