Entries in travels (10)


Palo Duro Canyon

It has been awhile since I got to go camping at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Part of that is that it is a ten hour drive from Houston.  It requires a long weekend to get there.

It is desert so it can be hot.  The day we arrived it was forecasted to be about 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the canyon itself.  It is nice that it cools off during the night.

We did go for one of the longer marked hikes in the canyon.

The rock formation called the Lighthouse was the destination.  Most of the hike is very easy.  The last quarter mile had my bad hip not happy with me.  I had to rest more then I would have liked to wish to let pain stop.  I was at the extremes of movement for my right hip.  But I made it.

I even made it with a crochet project in my pack.  Fruit, water, and crochet. I could not ask for more.  Though one ball of yarn did decide to go over an edge.  At least it was not too far so I was able to have help getting it retrieved.  

I usually do not get to hang out much when I am camping.  Especially when there is someone else with me.

My family likes to go.

This time, with the heat and the drive and what life has thrown at us recently, there was a lot of sitting.  A lot of walking too because we always walk.

Hanging the hammock and having books helped.

It was really hard for me on Monday to say, yes back to Houston.  A large part of me wanted to go west.  Five hours to Taos.  A diner I like.  Mountains.  A yarn store I like.  Maybe soon.


North Cascades gallivanting

Part of the traveling last week was head to Washington.  We wished to spend some time on the mountain and see my parents.  Washington had one of the coldest and wettest winters on record last year and one of the driest summers on record.  So what does it do when we are there, it rains.

I did get to walk with my Mom when it was fairly dry.  This is where this sunrise comes from.  Fog of the Snohomish river.  But the mountain was a bit damp and chilly.  There is currently not a heat source but there is a dry loft.  It has no walls.  

We went driving through the North Cascades.

I did not realize that it was known as the American Alps.  Or at least that is what the sign on Highway 20 to Winthrop said.  On the eastern side, we even so snow falling but the ground was too warm to stick.

It was one of those pretty why nots.  Winthrop is a little town.  Orientated a bit to tourism and being outside.  We had a picnic lunch overlooking the river and I bought my Interagcencies pass.  It was a good day even though we drove more.  I just enjoyed the view.  Next time, I might request more of a hike though!


Lots of maintenance

The rest of our trip did not go as planned.  We were planning to go up to the mountain.  Do maintenance.  Hang out.  See our neighbors.  

My parents had a tree down.  Since my Dad had two knee replacements last year, the idea of him trying to take the tree out with a bow saw was not very appealing.  We ran up to our property and picked up a chain saw.  The next day we got to doing cleanup.

The tree was bigger then was thought.  Can I say the right size chain saw always seems to be on the wrong coast.

I got to clearing out paths.  Something else that did not happen while my Dad was recovering.  I found another downed tree.  It was much smaller.  I also felt like I was going a bit clipper happy but I got bit by too many salmon berries.  Anything could bite me, especially in the head, was gone!

Five hours later, my parents back yard was cleaned up.  It is actually a designated wild space so eagle and deer can have a bit of a habitat as houses go up in the area.  I do not use that movement every day so I was a bit tired at the end of it.

The next day, we went back to the mountain and did the same thing there.  Except in the rain.  I have whacked back so many salmon berries!  I also trimmed trees so vehicles could go up and down our road easier.  I have been threatening for two years to get another pair of muck boots and I did in Minnesota.  Can I say, best decision ever!  No sales tax and a breathable lining.  After ten hours in two days, I was very happy for both.

In Bellingham, I hit up the non-profit thrift store I like.  They thrift fabric.  Between them and the coupons I had at the quilt store in Snohomish, I came back with a lot of fabric for my quilts.  I did not go to the quilt store I like in Bellingham but that was probably a very good thing.

Back on the road happened.  It was much too soon for my liking.  We had to take the long way back because Koda Bear was coming back with us.  He is only here for a short time this time which always makes me a bit sad.

I will say after this trip, Houston home does not feel very right.  I even feel a bit displaced inside my workspaces.  It will get better.


North Dakota

The last week and a half have been interesting.  We went to Gilby, North Dakota to intern my Uncle's ashes.  Our family is such that it has taken two years so it was more like a reunion.  Not the best reason for a reunion but a reason.  

Because of that, we did spend a lot of time in cemetaries.  The Prespytarian church was kind enough to open their doors for us.  The family brought a lot of pictures to share and my Dad brought his candies.  He was told it felt like Christmas by cousins.  

We drove by the house where my Grandmother and Grandfather lived.  One of the sets of stairs I fell down when I was very small.  I may have traumatized cousins since I have heard the stories from both.

A cousin lives in the house my Great Grandfather built and was kind enough to let us all tramp through.  They did a wonderful job of renovation after my two bachelor great Uncles lived in it for years.  I do not like large homes and this is a large home but it is the first large home that has appealed to me.  The spaces are just cozy.  My Great Grandfather's family was a family of twelve.  But you can tell we are all related.  The house was built in 1917 and the bedrooms have closets.  It seems to be a genetic trait to think about storage.

I would have to say that I took more pictures of the peonies in the cemetaries then family.  I love peonies and they do not grow where I live in Texas.  They do grow in Gilby.  I had a cousin who wished to stay the whole summer there.  I do not blame him at all!

I do have to say that it was a beautiful area.  We actually camped in East Grand Forks which is in Minnesota.  We right on the river and took walks.  It was just a lovely time with family.

We drove my Dad home.  He asked to stop in Fargo, North Dakota because my Great Great Uncle Guv's drugstore has been moved there.  The sign is still up on Main Street in Gilby but this is his drugstore Bonanzaville Pioneer Village.  Those benches in back?  I have had ice cream sundaes at.  My favorite was his black and white.  One scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and one scoop of chocolate ice cream with marshmallow sauce.  So good.  I used to buy candy for the right side of the shop and that register was used.  It is so strange to have childhood memories sitting in a museum setting.  Because to me this is life, not history.  Not pioneer!

The drive back to my parent's was uneventful.  We did stop and look over the Badlands.  We stopped and saw friends.  It is interesting to drive with my Dad because he has been back and forth over this region a lot.  There were many stories.  And there was much laughter with friends.  It was a good trip but it was just a portion of the trip.  Being back seems very strange!


and where am I sleeping this weekend?

I admit to never having a summer like this before in my life.  I have not been home for a weekend except once since the first of May.  This last weekend was New Orleans.  Another home.  It rained.  I walked.  It was lovely.

I had gotten a text on my way back from Estes Park asking when New Orleans could happen.  Business needed to be done.  Knives shown.  Rolled into New Orleans Friday when it was hot.  Business finished and beverages and food were needed.  Just a bit of rest and shade.

A few more miles, and a tent was set up.  Across the lake cooled down at night so that was lovely.  There was rain which also cooled things down a bit.

How do I do New Orleans?  I find a place to park, usually in the Marigny.  Then, I walk.  I sometimes use the street car or a bus but it is really about how far you can walk, what you wish to eat, and how much can you drink.  Going to grad school in a geology department in New Orleans has that tendency.

I did a lot of window shopping and got ideas for Christmas.  I bought a few pictures and a silver tea ball.  I have been looking at antique tea things online and I know where to go to find a brick and mortar (truly) store in the Quarter that carry such things.  Makes tea even more lovely.  I will haunt them next for crystal glasses.  They need to be just right.

I tell people who come to New Orleans with me it is:  how far can you walk and how much you can drink.  Elevenish miles later, windows looked in, food eaten, a new bar tried that I really liked, and my day was close to being finished.  The Pride parade did stop forward momentum for awhile but it just gave me another chance to eat.  I need to do elevenish mile type mile days more often.  My joints liked me for it.

New Orleans will happen again in autumn if not before.  I need to do some stocking shopping.