Monday, October 16, 2017

The Arcade Fire

Last night at the Key Arena with Cheryl, the intense level of musical talent on display was almost too much to process. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't THIS. When my friend Ed invited me to come to the park at the end of his summer guiding contract, the prospect of visiting Yellowstone with an expert guide was too good to pass up, so I hopped the short flight to Bozeman last Thursday and made the 2.5-hour drive southeast to West Yellowstone and went into the park from there. This was Ed's third time guiding in the park, and having access to little-known places, plus Ed's intense knowledge of the history, flora, fauna, geology, topography, anecdotes, viewpoints, and his passion for this place, which he has been visiting since he was a young boy in Indiana, was an invaluable addition to the experience, for which I am supremely grateful.

Day 1: Entering the park and Old Faithful Village
traffic on the way in

The Gallatin River
Old Faithful

Geyser Hill

Day 2: Morning Waterfall Hike with Ed, Morning Glory Pool, and Firehole Basin Tour
Little Firehole River

silicified trees

Mystic Falls

Jewel Geyser

Morning Glory Pool

tour transportation, 1937 stretch touring car

Fountain Flats Drive - where the bison roam

Firehole Falls in Firehole Canyon

Day 3: South Loop Drive
Yellowstone Lake

Lower Falls in the 'Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River'

Artists' Paint Pots

Day 4: A Few Detours on the Way Out
Extremophiles (microorganisms that live in conditions of extreme temperature, acidity, alkalinity or chemical concentration) in Norris Geyser Basin

Porcelain Basin

Duck Rock

Chocolate Pot

Can't thank you enough!

Monday, September 18, 2017


The entertainment Friday night at the ranch was karaoke, and the less said about that the better but here's the short version: Robert did a rendition of "Just a Gigolo" which I described as "deeply unpleasant," Emily and I (despite my intense aversion to karaoke) sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" ("I can fly higher than a... beagle..."), Emily, Kim, and I sang "I Will Survive," Kim and I sang "Brandy" (you're a fine girl...") and I tried to sing "Call Me Maybe" -- Robert would have been well within his rights to describe that as "deeply unpleasant," but he was too nice.

Emily and I left the ranch on Saturday morning, saying goodbye to our new friend Kim, and getting dropped off at the General Palmer Hotel in downtown (such as it is) Durango. We did a bit of shopping, had a stiff drink at the distillery, and went to a movie. On Sunday, we got up early and boarded a train on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for the 3.5-hour ride to the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado. We were in a train car with a guide who played the part of Marshall Robert Dwyer, a real historical figure (1847-1920) who was the first Marshall of Durango, and who gave a running commentary on the construction of the rail line and the history of both towns. It was a pleasant if long journey (we took the bus back: ninety minutes) and the aspen trees were beginning to glow.

All in all, Colorado, a state I'd never explored past the Denver airport, was a lot of fun and really beautiful.