A Day At Mt. Rainier National Park

When in Washington state last year there wasn’t time to visit Mt. Rainier National Park. However, after finishing up a visit to Montana in September 2017, a quick flight from Kalispell to Seattle had me in Rainier’s backyard! Mt. Rainier is approximately 50 miles (as the crow flies) from Seattle. Standing at 14,410 feet, this snow-capped mountain provides a spectacular…

Glacier National Park

In the years following the Korean War, to prevent a surprise communist attack, the US established a network of radar stations to protect our airspace. These stations were built in some of the most isolated places in the country. In the early part of my Air Force career, I was a radar operator. Generally, this meant assignments to those remote,…

Where’s The Brisket?

In our 45 years together, I don’t recall Joanna ever serving brisket – maybe she did, I just don’t remember it. Fast forward several years… Rob is living in Dallas. On one of my visits, he remarked how Texans are in love with their brisket. On another visit, the girls’ school had a fundraiser at one of the many BBQ restaurants. I had…

Close Cover Before Striking!

Several years ago, I started saving matchbooks and matchboxes. Up until the early 1990’s they were ubiquitous – restaurants, hotels, bars, gas stations, convenience stores, etc. offered them. As the country woke up to the dangers of smoking, these give-away matches are almost non-existent today – gone the way of public telephones, LP records, cassette tapes and VHS recordings. After breaking my nasty…

Way More Than Sand Castles!

An article in the paper caught my eye: …the annual Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival, a ten day celebration, starts today at Pier 60. The festival pays tribute to two of the Tampa Bay’s most valuable assets: sand and sunsets. Eleven sculptors are creating elaborate works for this year’s theme, ‘Sugar Sand FantaSea, a Magical Adventure Above and Below the…

Cutting the Cord on Cable TV

The cable bill seemed to growing faster than my grandchildren – and those young folks grow up fast! I moved to a new apartment this fall and as part of my monthly lease was a $30 charge for data/internet access in my unit. If I wanted TV service, I’d have to buy it from the apartment’s sole provider: Directv. I’d been thinking about…

A Pacific Northwest Adventure

Looking for a new experience, this description of a six-day getaway sounded appealing: “Paddle the tidal marshes, boreal forests and pristine estuaries of the lower Columbia River with experts as you improve your kayak technique and learn the story of this ancient region.” I’d never sat in a kayak, so I had no technique to improve! Upon further reading about…

Yosemite!

John Muir, one of the earliest advocates of the national park idea and its most eloquent spokesman, said of Yosemite: “It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature I was ever permitted to enter.” I found James Kaiser’s Yosemite, The Complete Guide very helpful in learning about this National Park. In the months leading up to my trip, I…

A Succession of Moments

I left Massachusetts to “seek my fortune” before my twentieth birthday. Over the next fifty years I returned for short visits – to be married; to have the kids baptized; to attend funerals; to visit family – never staying more than a week or so. My last visit was to put Joanna to rest beside her Mom and Dad in…

Death Valley: The (Not So) Barren Beauty

Several years ago, we lived for a time in Arizona. Going there we thought it was going to be this arid, unforgiving place. But, we found it to be alive and vibrant – especially when in bloom! Recently, when I told people I was going on a hiking trip to Death Valley National Park they looked at me as if I was…