Thursday, September 26, 2013


I'm Sorry, no pictures today.  Just me spouting off so if you wish to skip this posting that is OK with me and remember it is just my opinion, I am not trying to offend anyone, just make people think a bit.

While we were on vacation I picked up a USA Today and was really interested in an article.  I cut that article out and would like to summarize some of the points that most struck me as thought provoking.  I don't know the exact date of the newspaper since I just took the one article out but it was some time in the first 2 weeks of September.  Diane Medved titled her article #!$%#@*^$% MODERATES!  In politics, as in family life, working through disagreements is essential.

It is a long article but the essence can be the question "How did extremes hijack the middle?  How did the strident voices out-shout the voice of reason"  She does have examples of both parties and their extreme attitudes by saying in the media today "You don't go viral suggesting respectful cooperation." The problem is evident between parties and within parties, each group claiming that they are the "true conservatives or defenders of the people"  " Repairing the increasingly bitter divisions requires coming together in the middle, rather than stubbornly clinging to the extremes.  Moderate is a compliment.  Moderation is measured and Prudent.  It needn't neglect principles.  Principles undergird proposals but moderation puts them into action.  Efforts to incorporate principles into real-life action won't get very far if you have to bully everyone else into accepting them.  Autocrats and dictators impose their views, elected officials work with their colleagues so the solutions crafted include as many underlying values as possible."
She goes on to point out "Ask any parent: Do you want your child to be reasonable, considerate  and tolerant of his sibling? (I would add do you want them to be that way with the people around them too?)  Or do you respect more the tantrum-prone child who demands things his own way?"
Another great example is "What kind of marriage is more likely to succeed?  One where a spouse unyieldingly rules the domicile or one where the mates offer selfless gestures to smooth and improve their relationship?  When one partner chooses to indulge the other's preference, or both compromise, are they abandoning principles?"

She ends with:  "When it comes to governing, visions of perfection and lofty principles inspire, but moderation lets us function in the real world."

I am hoping for some moderation in our world the next few weeks and maybe even it will come back in fashion.  Wouldn't that be nice.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

3rd and final installment of our wonderful vacation

I am sorry if you are getting tired of our vacation slide show but this is this is the last installment.  It was a pretty great vacation.   

 We managed to find an occasional ice cream shop and LOTS of coffee shops for me.  I think this one was along the Beartooth Pass area in Yellowstone.  We stopped at many cute little towns and I was thankful for the coffee shops to feed my latte addiction and Bud managed to have an occasional ice cream.  I did indulge a couple of times too.
 We saw wildlife along the road.  Thanks to telephoto lenses it looks like we are close up but aren't really that close.
 This petrified tree was a site off the main road.  We were a sucker for signs to tell us of different sites we needed to check out.
 The Bison roamed freely.
 The elk have the large park to wander.
 We spent two nights in the northwest area just outside the park because we were unable to get a room inside the park at one of the lodges.  We didn't anticipate the number of people that thought this would be a good time to visit too.  These are some hot springs that we could walk out among.

 NO, that isn't snow behind Bud.  It is the minerals left behind by the hotsprings.
 It was a big area to walk around and check out the springs.
 We had heard of a waterfalls that was rather spectacular but couldn't remember the name so one day we did a little walk out to this falls and realized it probably wasn't the one we were looking for but we did get a little exercise and get off the beaten path a bit.

 THEN, we did find the real falls and it was very spectacular.

 There is something about rushing water and the mountains that is very beautiful.
 We did find someone to take our picture.

 We saw this animal just off the road.  Bud thought it was a coyote
 This is the same falls but lower down.
 The mountains and the lakes look beautiful   This is Yellowstone Lake, on the north end of the lake
 The town of Gardner has some VERY tame elk that just wander the streets.  There are signs all over to remind people to watch out for them.  One evening when we were coming back from dinner and Bud was driving into the sun, he almost ran into one just standing in the road.
 We walked around areas where there were hot springs and geysers all around the path.

 The Painted Pots area has a lot of beautiful hot spring pots of water.  The color was wonderful

 Old Faithful and the area around it is full of geysers.  This one above is called Castle Geyser.  It wasn't going off at the time we were there and doesn't go off as frequently as Old Faithful but it was interesting to see the formation made by the minerals.  This takes a LONG time for those minerals to build up around the geyser.
 And of course the most famous of geysers.  We did have to wait a while for it to display its beauty but it gave us time to look at some of the other geysers and have lunch.
 The performance was spectacular.  I didn't include the many pictures I took, just the best one.
 After our last of 3 days in Yellowstone we headed north to Big Sky where our friends Kathy and Mike were spending a week on a river fly fishing and enjoying a family reunion.  They invited us to spend the night with their family at this beautiful cabin along the river.  Most of Mike's brothers and sisters were there for the week, spending time much like out houseboat trip except fly fishing for entertainment.  We had a wonderful dinner with them.
 This is the view from the cabin. A nice place to relax and enjoy their family.
 We had a little car trouble and needed to get on the way home so we were up early and headed into Bozman Montana to have the car checked out before heading as far east as possible.  I can't remember exactly where we spent that night but we realized that it is a LONG way across Montana, South Dakota and into Iowa.  The cruise control wasn't working on the car so that made the driving a bit more tiring.  I wonder how those pioneers managed to get all that way out west without highways and cruise control on their oxen.
We wanted to stop in and see Uncle Eldon in Humboldt, Iowa.  He is in a nursing home there and since we were in the 'area' we wanted to visit him.  He is doing as well as you can expect for a 93 year old man.  WOW, I sure have longevity in my family.  I'm not sure that is always a good thing but just something I will have to accept or maybe the family will just have to accept it of me.  All those years of being nice to my nieces and nephews will have to count for something, I am hoping.  

WELL,  thhhat'sssss all folks.  You have finally made it through the trip pictures.  I hope enjoyed some of it and are able to visit some of our national parks yourself some day.
Thanks for viewing my long blog entries.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vacation installment number 2

We left N. Dakota and headed into Montana kind of following the trail of Lewis and Clark.  Not our ancestors but it sounds great.  

 We arrived in Glacier National park after a day and a half of driving.  We arrived too early to check into our room at the park so we went exploring at a nearby lake.  These waterfalls were beautiful to look at.  There were some young kids jumping off the cliffs and enjoying their 'youth'.  Bud and I just watched and enjoyed the beauty of the water and the youthful joy of their jumps.

 We were in 'mountain country'.
 And of course along with the mountains you get a few mountain goats.
 We stayed at one of the old lodges inside the park.  This was one of the views from our balcony.  This was a place to slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature.  Our room was small but nice but no TV or internet and very limited cell phone service.  Maybe sometimes all you need is a great view and a book to read.  We enjoyed both.
 We had heard that the best way to see the park was to go on a tour.  These old 'Red Bus' tours are the traditional way to see the park.  It was a bit rainy when we started out so the top was covered up but as the day progressed the weather improved and they were able to roll back the cover and let the sunshine in.  We were not allowed to stand and look as we were underway but the bus stopped frequently and we had a great driver that gave us all the 'local stories' so it was a good tour.
 We stopped at a number of the old lodges that were built soon after the park was established.  They are very quaint.

 The interior was similar in most of the lodges.  Kind of a rustic look to go along with the landscape.
 Of course the scenery was beautiful  It is hard to capture in a picture but it was stunning.

 The look of mountains and lakes is always an attractive scene.

 This is the interior of the lodge where we spent two nights.  The tall trees were brought from California many years ago.  It was a spectacular place.
Huckleberry grow wild here so we did abandon our diet one morning on our way out of the park and stop for Huckleberry stuffed French toast.  It was a great treat and worth the calories.

After two days in the park we headed out stopping in this little town for lunch.  I even found a couple of quilt shops in Kilespell, just outside the park and around Flathead Lake area.  Bud was very tolerant and waited for me as I explored those shops and managed, of course, to find some treats.  Nothing to unique but I always like to explore quilt shops in different locations.  I did find a nice pattern that fits into my new passion of Art Quilts.  For those of you that are quilters, check out this website  I liked her work and was inspired by her ideas.

So there you have it, the segment of our trip that included Glacier National Park.  Only a few more installments to go.  I hope you enjoy traveling with us.