Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rocky Mountain High, Colorado
Oct. 18th – by Bill

Just entering the Colorado Rockies!!  Beautiful!

“Somebody” dragged in a bunch of these little seeds, which found their way to our bare feet.  Sheila slept on one all night so you’ll have to ask her for her version of the “Princess and the Pea” story.

I woke up several times during the night with something bugging me.  I kept thinking of that song "You can eat crackers in my bed.." but to my knowledge no one had been eating anything in bed.  Then I thought of the story of the "Princess and the Pea" which was about a princess that was so pampered that she couldn't sleep because there was a pea in her bed.  Well in the middle of the night I found whatever it was and threw it on the floor.  Next morning after I told Bill the story he found this thing.  No wonder I couldn't sleep with it.  I know life is good and Bill takes very good care of me but seriously I don't see myself as a Princess.  LOL.

We traveled to Rocky Mountain National Park for some breath-taking scenery.  For all the times I’ve been to RMNP, I’ve never seen it in the fall.  Spectacular!  And we’re here late – missed the reds – just “on fire” yellows!

If you click on a picture it will get bigger.  You have to see some of these blown up!

The trees looked like they were on fire when the sun hit them from the back.

Pity the poor folks, who have to look at this scene every day!

Winter had arrived in the peaks, but not at our elevation yet.

Big Thompson River

So tame I'll bet you could pet them.

This big guy was wandering just a few feet away from the road.

Lily Lake -- See the very center, way in the back??  That is where Bill romantically got down on one knee and asked me to officially marry him and placed the beautiful ring he had chosen on my finger!  Okay I know we had already set the date, booked the church and preacher and invited everyone as a way of announcing it but.... this is a special place for us!

Bill stopped a guy and asked him to take our picture....afterwards there
was much discussion about our camera and if we were happy with it!!

We also went to Lily Lake, which is the place where Sheila and I “officially” became engaged three years ago when I gave her a ring.  

The guys have jackets, the girls had to be incredibly cold!

Another couple was there getting married.  Looked to be a pretty casual affair, but I admired the determination of the ladies who stood there shivering in the cold while their coats stayed piled up in the distance!  It was very cold and windy up there!


This tree looked like it was budding with white flowers.  Beautiful and unexpected
at this time of year.  As we came up on it we realized it was just the wind blowing
the leaves up and this white color was the "underneath" part of the leaf.  Really
pretty.  Just the direction of the wind and God changes the look!  Amazing!

This is Sheila just not being able to resist adding a few more pictures.  I cannot keep things as simple as Bill does, even though he does a great job and is very discerning.  I just need to share more and more of the beautiful, gorgeous, amazing scenery that we have been blessed to see on this trip.  

We left the Denver area late morning on Friday --- I won't tell you anything else about that trip at this point but the next posting is going to be very difficult because we only drove about 250 miles and I had to change the battery in the camera twice and I think I am so far up to like over 1,000 pictures so far.  If today is anything like yesterday I have no idea how we (meaning me, Bill says I use that pronoun, "we" a little to generously) are going to narrow down the pictures for the posting.  

Heading out shortly to continue our journey to the Grand Canyon.  I can only imagine the magnanimous glory of God we are yet to see.  How blessed are we??  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Great Tumbleweed Capture
Oct. 17th, 2012
By Bill

Bill thought the scenery was so boring that the power lines were the only thing of
interest.  I think it has it's own beauty.  Wide open spaces.

It is hard to imagine a more desolate part of the country.  Nothing but flat, treeless expanses of scrub brush.  The road is so boring, the only entertainment is watching the tumbleweed blow across the road.  Sheila had never seen tumbleweed before so she grabbed the camera to photograph it (how bored are we?) and I bet her she’d never catch one.  They move too fast and it takes a second for the camera to come on.  Of course, as you can see here, I was proved WRONG.  She got a pretty nice picture of one!  Later at a rest stop, we saw a truck which had also “caught” one!

Bill under-estimates my determination (ok, maybe stubbornness) but when
he said I wouldn't be able to get a picture of it, there was no way I was
going to NOT get a picture.  I thought it was cool!

Then, when we stopped for a break and lunch, Bill saw this 18 wheeler with
a tumbleweed stuck to the grill.  Had to have a picture of that.  LOL.
The wind was horrible all day which made driving the motorhome about unbearable.  I was down shifting to keep it above 45 on a road where the marked speed limit is 75!  Soon my arms ached from trying to keep the rig on the road.  Sheila kept trying to cheer me up by telling me that the wind would die down tonight.  We won’t be on the road tonight!

I am always in awe of the way the terrain changes.  We went from groves of
beautiful colored trees along the road to nothing but empty fields!

Then there would be a little more vegetation, although not what we
would see in Michigan/Ohio.  The diversity of GOD!

The clouds were pretty amazing today, sun was bright, if it hadn't been
for Bill's struggle with the wind, it would have been a great drive!

We eventually saw the Rocky Mountains in the distance.  What a great sight!  Tomorrow we hope to take the tow car up into the mountains and visit some places that are pretty special to us.

Met David for dinner!  Sorry, no pictures yet.  

We thought this was cool!  All the cows gathered around the windmill!
And then God surprises us with the mountains in the distance.  It is amazing how
He changes things curve after curve!!

The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument
Oct. 16th, 2012
By Bill

This is the archway Bill has driven under many times.  The exhibits and displays are in the archway.
I don’t know how many times I’ve passed under the Archway Monument, but after watching “What about Schmidt” I resolved I would not miss the next chance to see it.  After all, I’d stopped to see the “Five Legged Cow”, why wouldn’t I want to see a monument to the westward expansion?

This is the sign telling us it was at the Next Exit --- we got off the highway really fast!
I was trying to finish watching my Beth Moore downloaded video.  Perfect timing!
The entrance

Well, we stopped, enjoyed!

An escalator takes you to the archway with all the displays.  Bill stayed behind to take a picture of me on it but by the time he had the camera focused I was at the top.  LOL

One of the scenes depicting a regular occurrence of the pioneers burying
 someonethey lost along the way.  That had to be so hard.
An example of the things they had to leave behind along the way to lighten their load!

I highly recommend it to any of you who are heading west.  You can’t miss it. It is OVER the road if you’re on I-80.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I forgot to mention that last night when we arrived at the KOA it was really dark.  Bill had called ahead and the lady said she would leave the site information in a box on the side of the building.  We were really having trouble seeing (they keep it dark in these campgrounds you know) so we weren’t sure where the pull thru campsite was.  Bill finally just stops the vehicle and says I think this is it.  I really feel like he just stopped in the middle of the road but he got out and looked around and assured me he was pretty sure we were ok.  I should know better than to second-guess him on this stuff because he is like an expert but I kept thinking all night that someone was going to rap on the door and tell us to “Get OUT of the road”.  Well, as I said I should know better and I apologize to my husband for doubting him for even a minute.  We did have a quiet night, no rain, no one at the door and good sleep.  Thank you God!

As soon as I was up and functioning we got ready to leave for the zoo.  We were both looking forward to the day, the weather was turning out perfect.  So even before the crack of noon (our normal “start the day” time) we arrived at the Henry Doorly Zoo.  Since I talked about “Ruby” the little red scooter that Bill bought off Craig’s list, got repaired and spruced up, thought I would have him take a picture of it and post it.  I mean the guy went to a lot of work and invested a lot of time in it so I want to show it off.  Seriously without this blessing we would not be on this trip and not going to the zoo today!

Zoos have always been a big thing in my family.  It is one of the few places I remember my parents taking us to when we were children.  The Toledo Zoo is a really nice zoo and that is the one we became members of year after year.  When my children were young the zoos started doing this “Reciprocal” thing and you could get in free (or half price) at other zoos that participated when you were a member of one.  So every year we went to the Toledo Zoo and at least one other one.  Every vacation we took included a zoo.  I mean really they were inexpensive and they have them everywhere.  And who doesn’t love the zoo?  God has such an incredible imagination and sense of humor.  And the variety!!  I love to see the animals and watch their antics and know that God did this for us.  Awesome isn’t it??   

Jason got so tired of zoos when he was in his teens we practically had to drag him there (it was a family outing and he was going).  Now, it is so entertaining to see him take his girls to the zoo every other week or so.  It takes on a new feeling when you watch it through the eyes of little children.  Bill and I take the opportunities we can to tag along with our kids and our grandkids whether it is in Detroit, Toledo, or Nashville.  It’s always fun.

I think Bill has been to the zoo more since he met me than in all of his life before, maybe not.  So when Suzanne, who we met at the Winterset Festival of Covered Bridges, told us about the Henry Doorly Zoo, we immediately thought we’d have to do that.  We need to send her an e-mail and tell her how much we appreciate the advice.  It is a great zoo, one of the top ten in the country.  We really missed having our grandchildren there but enjoyed watching the little ones that were there.  (We are making plans to kidnap a few of our grandkids in the near future for an RV trip – it’s ok Moms and Dads, we will only keep them a couple weeks and we WILL return them!)

This gorilla was right up by the glass where we were!
This zoo has a wonderful Gorilla exhibit!  We must have spent about an hour just watching the gorillas.  They certainly have an attitude.  There was one that was 9 yrs old and really playful.  He kept running up to the window and rolling around and then he would hit his palm on the window.  There was a little girl about 4 who was laughing hysterically, enjoying his playing with her.  He even would repeat taps on the glass (which I know you are not supposed to do, it wasn’t me!).  They are very entertaining.  That was probably my favorite.

This one definitely had an attitude!
This one walked quite a distance away and sat down to enjoy some grass, later he jut layed down and put his hand over his face!  I think he was the grand daddy!
Bill thoroughly enjoyed the Lied Jungle 

The Macaws of the Lied Jungle

The Lied Jungle was really like walking through a jungle with the vegetation, vines, waterfalls, humidity, and animals.  They really did a great job on designing this attraction.

These were real vines that the kids could hang on or swing on!  Cool!

The Aquarium had live sharks and upside down jellyfish for the highlights.  This was another favorite of Bill's. The touch zone was closed (What do they think this is, fall?) which would have been disappointing for the little ones but there was a wide variety of exhibits and aquatic beings.  The neatest thing, there was an area that looked like it was a pond of fish and sea life but was really just a light show on the floor.  The neat thing was that if you walked or jumped on it the fish would swim away and the water would ripple.  Something like the “Fluid” app for iPhone.  It was pretty cool.

This is the "Fluid" pond.  It really is cool!


The zoo had a geodesic dome called the Desert Dome that encased a, yes, desert! It was like walking through a desert, sand dunes, cacti, animals, birds, snakes, lizards, etc.  It was done very well but the smell and the heat had us going through it fairly quickly.

All in all I would say all of their exhibits were done very well, it is a nice size (we didn’t quite cover everything) and has many, many animals and things to see.  I believe the children’s area was one of the nicest I have ever seen but we just glanced through that at the end of the day.

The Butterfly Exhibit Entrance

Aren't these benches adorable, they are placed all around the Butterfly Exhibit.

We took a ride on the “Skyfari” which was really a lot of fun.  All in all it was a great day.  We recommend it to anyone who is passing this way or just wants a fun destination.  Vacations can be just about the zoo you know? You can see them on the right.  They covered quite a bit of the zoo from the air.  Good views!

Not sure if you can see this monkey was walking the rope with a baby on his back to a little island in the middle of the pond --- there were other monkeys hanging out there.


Can you see this polar bear has his paws over his face??

This is a large globe floating on a cushion of water.  There was a continual line of kids that enjoyed moving it around.  It was really intriguing.  Different. 

Heading out tomorrow, still going west on I-80.  Not sure what we will find for our next adventure on the way, but I know something cool will come up.  There is always something unexpected around the next corner.  Blessings to all our family and friends.
Miss you but having fun!