Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello from Natoma Kansas

Hello from Natoma Kansas

Draft started Saturday morning,  July 26, 2014   (First post of this travelogue)
Completed and published Monday July 28

This has been a bit of a crazy whirlwind trip.  More about that in a minute.

I need to add a note or two about our  trip to Salt Lake.

As we noted, we diverted from a direct route back home from Salt Lake so that we could visit our two grandsons who attend college in Gunnison Colorado. 

We drove from Salt Lake to Grand Junction and stayed the night at a Holiday Inn Express.  Monday we drove to Gunnison and again stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  We were able to have lunch with Austin and then Dinner with Thomas and Klara.  It is so fun to see that these young men have matured so much and are doing well in College (both will be seniors this year).

We arrived home Tuesday.

On Wednesday (7/23) I drove the bus to Natoma, Kansas to stay at a friend’s house.  Natoma is north of Russell and Hays on Kansas highway 18.  Since this was mostly a boy’s trip, Pat stayed home.

The reason for this trip was to attend the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, KS.  The KKOA website is here.  I have been a member since the early ‘80s and have attended this event many times.  Indeed, I completed the ’56 Chevy in ’87 and the whole family drove to Springfield IL for that event.  Pat made poodle skirts and sweaters for her and the girls (see photo).

For many years they held the event in various cities in the mid-west (including three different Springfields – IL, OH, and MO – Pat and I attended them all in the ’56).  I have not driven the ’56 in several years – maybe next year.  They have now settled on holding the event in Salina, KS because it is just about in the center of the country.

The car count dwindled over the years, as have many major car events.  However, the count has picked up in the past couple of years and it appears that there were over 1,000 registrations this year!

The show was great!  Wish I could say the same about the weather.  It was 106 degrees in Salina on Friday when my friend and I attended the show!!  Can you say brutal? 

I had a good time visiting with my friend John.  He has 20 acres with a fairly large percentage filled with out building with all kinds of good stuff in them .  He also has a large number of buses and 50’s era trucks on the property. We visited a one of his friends whose family used to own a GM dealership in a close-by town.  The person has a huge collection of neat old cars, many of which were very low mile trade-ins that the family kept.

I returned to Evergreen on Saturday.  The bus did fine and it was fun not to have a toad behind me.

That is all of now.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hello from Salt Lake City, UT

Hello from Salt Lake City, UT

Saturday afternoon,  July 19, 2014   (First post of this travelogue)

We are in Salt Lake for Pat’s Stampin’ Up! convention.   We were able to get reservations at the Marriott (Downtown) again this year.  This hotel is right across the street from the convention center.  We got a corner room, conveniently overlooking construction of a new building {grin}.

We left Evergreen Tuesday (7/15) and stayed in Green River, UT (our normal stop).  Wednesday we arrived in Salt Lake in the early afternoon and Pat started her meetings that night.

There are about 4,000 SU demonstrators here this year.  In years past there were as many as 7,000 demonstrators and they had to have two sessions of the convention.

I have been holed up in the room quite a bit working on a computer project for our Eagles club.  I have spent lots of time learning database management, software program code modification and all those fun things.  It is a fun challenge, but I have spent way too much time of the project (probably 300 hours over the past several weeks). 

Today was the last day of the convention.  Pat has been going almost non-stop.  The last meeting just got out and there is a huge line waiting for the elevator.  As I draft this, I am stuck in the lobby until the crowd clears.  I had to come down here when they cleaned the room – I knew the timing was terrible.

Yesterday, I drove up to Hooper, UT (about 35 miles north) to visit with a good friend.  It is always good to see Kent and talk about buses and cars.

Tonight we have tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance.  This will be the third time that we have seen them and it has been an amazing performance in the past.

Tomorrow we will start home.  We are changing our route so that we can stop in Gunnison to visit our two grandsons who go to college there.

That is all of now.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July from Dillon, CO -- Part two

Happy Fourth of July from Dillon, CO -- Part two

Friday afternoon,  July 4, 2014   (second post of this travelogue)

One day we took a guided tour of the reservoir on a pontoon boat.  The guide was a volunteer of the Summit Historical Society (left in photo).  The boat “captain” is left of Pat in the photo.  The tour focused on the history of  the dam.  The captain took us around an island that had nesting Bald Eagles.  An amazing tour.


We spent the better part of a day in Keystone.  It is a really neat little town that looks a bit like a European mountain village.  The best activity was riding the ski lift up to the top of the main ski area.

The first photo is going up and the second is going down.  It was a beautiful day for the trip.

This is the view of Dillon Reservoir (link to website) from the top of the ski area.  The elevation at the top was 11,640 feet.  The Dillon Dam crest is 9035 feet.  The maximum designed level of the water is 9025 (opening of what is called the “Glory Hole” that controls the maximum leve)l.  When we first got here the lake was a few feet below the Glory Hole.  The water is now fairly close to the rim.  A few additional Dillon Reservoir facts:  The surface area is a bit over 3200 acres (when full) and the height of the dam is 231 feet.  It is owned by the Denver Water Board and was built in the ‘60s.  The water is diverted from this western slope location to the east slope via the Roberts tunnel which is over 23 miles long and 10 feet in diameter.  Both the dam and the tunnel recently celebrated their 50 year anniversary. 

While at the top of the Keystone ski area, Damon and Molly made a tube run on this hill.  The picture is deceiving.  Right after I took this picture, they disappeared over the hill and dropped a few hundred feet!  Nothing like snow tubing in July!!  Damon also went snow skiing at Arapahoe Basin on the last day it was open (6/22 – second day of summer)!!

That is all for now.