Thursday, June 20, 2013


After leaving California we headed back across Nevada, again driving the "Loneliest Road in America" (Hwy. 50). Not only is it desolate but very hot in mid-June. One night we stayed at the Hickison Petroglyphs. When we arrived, the campground was alive with loud buzzing sounds until it cooled down.  At dusk we took a walk and all was silent except for a clicking noise in the pinion pines. I finally stopped to try and find out what was making this noise. It was the cicadas. I did a little research and apparently it's the males that do the singing (buzzing) and the females flick their wings to make the clicking noise.

Lehman Cave with it's amazing formations. This is the best cave I've ever been in.
A rock glacier nestled in 13,000 ft. Wheeler Peak. Wow - a glacier in Nevada?

We traveled across the great basin, a desert of sagebrush to the Great Basin National Park on the Nevada/Utah border. The higher elevation of this park was comfortable. This park is a well-kept secret. We were pleasantly surprised with the variety of wonders it has to offer.
So many birds! We couldn't sleep past 5:30 a.m. because of all the singing.

One of our favorite spottings - a Poor Will. 

Beautiful wildflowers everywhere. This is the arrowroot blossom.
Bristlecone Pine Forests with pines up to 5,000 years old!

We traveled from there into Colorado to Mesa Verde National Park for a couple days and toured some Puebloan cliff dwellings.

Exiting the Cliff Palace

From Mesa Verde on to Durango where I would set up base camp while Dick went on a 200 mile backpacking trip.  CLICK HERE TO READ DICK'S BLOG ABOUT HIS ADVENTURE. Of course I do have some concerns about him hiking alone in the wilderness. Especially since I'd been hearing about the Colorado fires. One night at midnight there was a knock at my door. I didn't answer hoping whoever it was would move on to the next campsite. Then a second knock and "this is the sheriff". My first thought was he was here to tell me something happened to Dick. I still didn't answer and peeked out the curtain to see if he was in uniform and get a look at his vehicle. I asked what he wanted and he said that someone had reported several gunshots up near the campground and wondered if I'd heard them. It took me awhile to get back to sleep but thankful it wasn't bad news about Dick.

I drove Dick to Cumbres Pass near Chama, NM to begin his 10-12 hike
The Campground hosts were so much fun.  We would visit them everyday during "HAPPY HOUR".

We had an enjoyable evening with Amy and Dave Long, kids of friends from home.
My parents drove up from Arizona to camp with us for three days.  From here they planned to head for Arkansas to visit family and we would begin our journey north to Wyoming and Montana. The day before we parted my mom thought it would be more fun to go with us. So the caravan continues....

Monday, June 17, 2013


While at Washoe Lake in Nevada, my brother drove over from California and camped with us a few days.  He's the best cook!!  Together we visited the Carson City Mint, Virginia City and then Joel drove us to the top of Mt. Rose to an amazing view of Lake Tahoe.

Then we headed for California for my niece's, June 1st wedding.
When we arrived in California we parked in my sister's backyard. What a beautiful campground!
We arrived a week before the wedding and were given lots of jobs in preparation for the big day.  One of my jobs was painting signs.
Oops! Made a mess - dropped the can of paint!

Even though we were busy getting things ready for the wedding, there was always time for fun, food and relaxation with family and friends.

Maggie and her cousin Balinda flew out for the wedding.
Our nephew, Matt, with his fiance, Chelsey.

My sister, Kathy, and husband, Pat, with Julia (the bride).

Dick and Pat were invited to fly to Half Moon Bay for lunch - what a treat.
A spectacular view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge on their return flight.
Joel and his family visited from nearby Newcastle.
Dick and Patrick (the groom) playing a few tunes together.
Dick and Pat never ran out of things to talk about.
More conversation and Joel trying to get a word in edgewise!
Maggie and Balinda with one of their favorite uncles...
...and another of their favorite uncles.

Maggie cooked a meal for all of us to give her Aunt Kathy a rest.
Kathy, finally relaxing a bit.
Good friends from home, Therese and Jerry Allore, just happened to be visiting their daughter and son-in-law in Grass Valley only a few miles from my sister.

Had a wonderful time visiting friends in Benicia for a day.

THE WEDDING - click here

The wedding was wonderful and then we stayed the week following before saying goodbye to family and heading on to Colorado.  To be continued....