Archive for Retirement

Camping Day Five - Casper, WY

Casper, WY

We had a pretty good drive today heading from Colorado up to Wyoming. There was traffic, as one might expect when multitudes are flocking to see a rare event, but we were mostly able to drive the posted speed limits. Driving fatigue was minimal.

We pulled into camp at about 2:45 PM MDT. The place was already quite full, with only a couple of spaces that (obviously) would be filled later. Our spot is located at the end of a row closest to the road in front of the park. The next two spots do not have RVs in them but are occupied by a large group of people with canopies and tents. We drew the party animal neighbors - oh well.

We have the cameras and aux equipment to try and capture tomorrow’s event. Our friends are going to try and join us here in the campground and they have some more sophisticated cameras and equipment, so we will ask them to share.

We’ve been counting down to this for over five years. Here’s hoping and praying that it will be clear and beautiful for the totality in Casper.

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Camping Day Four - Craig, CO

Craig, CO

Today’s journey took us further north into Western Colorado. We’re camping at the Craig KOA which is a pretty nice place. Last night, in Montrose, the campground was OK, but the spaces were too close together and we weren’t able to get the satellite TV to connect due to trees. TV is working just fine tonight.

Tomorrow is the last leg to where we will observe the eclipse in Casper. Our route takes us through Rawlins, WY and then on into Casper. We may be meeting with some friends who also plan on watching the event from Casper. We will be in either telephone or Ham Radio contact, still to be decided.

We are looking forward to our stay in Casper, not only because of the eclipse, but that we will be camping there for two consecutive nights which will give us a chance to relax and calm ourselves after a semi-hectic run up to witness the event. We will get out the grill and cook up a good dinner after the eclipse is done, and depart for the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore on Tuesday.

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Camping Day Three - Montrose, CO

Montrose, CO

Today’s drive from New Mexico north into Colorado was quite the event. We started up US 550, the “Million Dollar Highway” to see the majestic western Rocky Mountains via the towns Durango, Silverton and Ouray along the route.

It was indeed a beautiful scenic ride, but Both Damsel and I resolved that we would not travel this way again even if someone were to give us a million dollars to do so. The winding road in places was very narrow with a serious drop off on one side or the other. Some of the switchback curves were posted as low as 10 miles per hour. We were both nervous wrecks taking the 36 foot big RV through there.

Once past Ouray, the road straightened out on in to Montrose where we are camped. We are having some adult beverages to help us relax and get back to normal.

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Camping Day Two - Kirtland, NM


We entered New Mexico this afternoon and are presently camped in Kirtland, NM, about forty miles east southeast of Four Corners. Our campground is adequate, with a reasonable price, but not a five star resort. But, that doesn’t matter since we have our own luxury accommodations with us. We’re comfortable.

After leaving Holbrook this morning, we stopped briefly at the Petrified Forest National Park. Damsel got some souvenirs in the gift shop and we went into the park only as far as the Painted Desert Overlook, just a mile into the park. We turned around just after that and headed back to I-40 to continue along the route.

We went east along the interstate to Gallup, where we refueled and then headed north to our present position between Shiprock and Farmington, NM. The ride was good today with some minimal slowing for road work and the usual small town speed traps.

Tomorrow, we will be heading into Colorado along US 550, the “Million Dollar Highway.” This leg of the trip, although a difficult drive along a winding and steep road, has been on our bucket list as one of the most scenic drives in America. Damsel will have her camera clicking away as usual.


Camping Day One - Holbrook, AZ

Camping Day One

Well, we’re on our way toward the rendezvous with the Great American Eclipse. Tonight finds us camped in Holbrook, AZ, along I-40 in northern Arizona.

We had a pretty good and uneventful (thank God) trip today, with mostly light traffic and minimal delays due to roadwork and no problems with weather. The forecast along our route for the next couple of days looks good too.

The forecast for Casper, WY, where we will be waiting to watch the big event is for some cloudiness, which we hope will change to mostly sunny on eclipse day next Monday morning. We will keep an eye on conditions as our trip progresses.

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Genealogy Research Nets a Treasured Photo

Prairie Schooner

Having made the decision to locate and visit the graves of some of our ancestors before and after the eclipse, we have been doing some research using several genealogy websites. We have plans to visit two different cemeteries in Colorado during our excursion; one in Montrose, Colorado and another in Pueblo, Colorado. Thus far, we have located a dozen family graves to visit. Five of those family are direct ancestors.

Someone unknown to me uploaded a similar image to the one above to one of the research sites I visited. The uploaded image was crooked and cropped such that I couldn’t read the entire message below it, so I did some additional digging and found a photocopy of the original magazine in which the image appeared and was able to render the improved image seen above.

The image itself appeared in a company magazine of the Pacific Electric Railway in 1945. My grandfather, the kid on the right, was an engineer on the line back then. The couple with the wagon, mules and kids were my great grandparents, Eugene and Emma. The other kids in the photo are my great uncle Clark and great aunts Melissa, Bernice and Myrtle. I remember visiting a farm in Western Colorado as a kid and meeting Great Aunt Myrtle. I knew my great grandmother Emma and in fact attended her funeral in Montrose in 1960.

I have to say that it was a very pleasant surprise to discover this ancient photo in my research. Click on the image to enlarge (use the scroll bars to view the complete photo).

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Safe Arrival - Wickenburg, Arizona

RV Drive Entrance

Damsel took this shot of the entrance to the RV drive at home just as we were about to slowly and carefully pull the Palazzo into it’s home parking space. That is where we pop out the slides and start the process of unloading some things that will be needed in the house.

The trip home was good; we stopped at Seligman, AZ, along Old Historic Route 66 for souvenirs and made another stop in Wickieup, AZ, to stretch and walk the dogs. The weather started out with a bit of drizzle along I-40 for a while then cleared to partly cloudy with plenty of sunshine when we made the connection to US 93 east of Kingman on down to Wickenburg.

We enjoyed the visits with family in Commiefornia and the extended return trip through some great scenery and stops at interesting places. It’s good to be home.

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