05.27.19 Memorial Day Tribute to the fallen Heroes of the 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry of the Mississippi National Guard

The soldiers who serve in our United States Military are the bravest, most giving, honorable, strong, and best men and women I know. Not that we need any other reason to honor those who’ve sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom, but Congress has given us one anyway. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill created the National Moment of Remembrance to be observed every Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time. It’s one minute we should all take to pay tribute to those who have given their lives to protect and defend our nation.

I’d like to specifically honor today the young men who gave their lives in the Iraq war in 2005 at FOB Iskandariyah with the 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment, 155th. The information below comes from the Mississippi Rifles web page. Our oldest son served with these men and I can still remember the grief we felt when he told us about each of them when they died.

Freedom Is Not Free

…in memory of our fallen comrades

Sergeant Robert Shane Pugh Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Robert McNail Bravo Company, 150th Engineers

Sergeant Timothy Osbey Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Joseph Rahaim Alpha Company, 1-155th Infantry

Staff Sergeant Saburant Parker Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Daniel R. Varnado Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Bryan E. Barron Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Corporal Audrey D. Lunsford Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Major Gregory Fester Bravo Company, 490th Civil Affairs

Captain Lowell Thomas Miller II Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

1st Lieutenant Robert C. Oneto-Sikorski Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

One of the displays after two of these soldiers were killed in Iraq.

08.21.17 Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota

Monday, August 21, 2017 – Last Friday, Roy and I went to see the famous Mount Rushmore, in Keystone, South Dakota.

My poor husband has so much to put up with, being married to me. My thoughts of how it would be like to see Mount Rushmore in person did nothing to prepare me for seeing it from a couple of miles away while we were on our way there. When I saw it I screamed (in the car) and poor Roy almost had a heart attack while he was driving! I started clicking pictures and after taking more than 100 photos of Mount Rushmore from every angle I finally calmed down!!!

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a massive sculpture carved into Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Completed in 1941 under the direction of Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln, the sculpture’s roughly 60-ft.-high granite faces depict U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

The first thing you see is the Avenue of Flags The 56 flags represent the 50 states, one district, three territories, and two commonwealths of the United States of America. We found our Louisiana flag as we were leaving.

Even though I did some research before we went, I imagined Mount Rushmore to be a place you went to sit or stand in one place and just look at. Yes it was that but it is so much more than that. Presidential Trail is the walkway that brings you to areas closer to the monument where you see it from different angles. This was a nice shaded trail around Mt Rushmore and they have plenty of benches to sit down and rest. It was not an easy hike for me since there are 422 stairs going up and down included in the .6 mile walk. I loved every step we took however, because of what we saw. When we were finished we treated ourselves to ice cream cones and sat outside watching baby squirrels play.

Here’s some photos in the order in which they were taken. Come along with us as we walk and climb around Mount Rushmore. It is free to see Mount Rushmore but you pay for parking. It’s normally $5 a person but since we are old it was only $5 for both of us! Over 3 million tourist visit Mount Rushmore each year!

We enjoyed getting to show Mount Rushmore to Chip and Madisyn on Facebook Messenger.  We love getting to share with our family when we see something cool! This one is a panoramic photo of the area you can stand or sit all day and look at Mount Rushmore! This is where the President’s Trail begins. Its a combination of cement walkways and wooden stairs drawing you closer and closer to the monuments.

I called this the looking up their nostrils angle! Inside a building, at the end of the trail, was a mini replica of Mount Rushmore. It can be seen at the same time as looking through the window at the real Mount Rushmore!

The place we rested and enjoyed some ice cream at the end of the trail!

Here’s some information about Mount Rushmore that I obtained from the internet.

•90% of the heads were carved with dynamite.
•There were nearly 400 workers who helped create this memorial.
•Total cost of memorial was $989, 992.32.
•No one died during the carving of the memorial.
•Rate of erosion of heads: 1 inch every 10,000 years.
•Mount Rushmore is 5,725 feet tall.
•Mount Rushmore was named in 1885 for New York lawyer Charles E. Rushmore.

I truly didn’t think we’d ever come back to South Dakota. Since we are here now, I have to say I really like a lot of what we’ve seen in this our official state of residency. If you don’t know about an RVers state of residency, I’ll explain.

When you live in a motor home you actually live all over the country so you can choose whatever state you want as your state of residency. We chose South Dakota almost five years ago mostly because auto insurance in South Dakota is half of what it was in Louisiana. When we are buying coverage for our truck and a large motor home, that is a significant savings.

When we became residents of South Dakota we stayed one night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota which is at the opposite end of the state, around 350 miles east of Mount Rushmore. When we originally became South Dakota residents we were on our way to Minnesota to live for several months so we only got to see South Dakota for one day that time! We set up an account with a mail forwarding service,MyDakotaAddress.com in Madison, SD where all our mail now goes to. When we want our mail we call them and give them the address of the RV park we are staying in and a few days later it shows up. Our drivers license, voting, mail and auto insurance are all South Dakota. There is also no state income tax in South Dakota!!! We voted during the Presidential election via mail with South Dakota. All of this makes living on the road a little bit easier to coordinate.

Saturday we went to Sturgis, SD, the city that around 500,000 motorcycle riders call home for over a week each year. This year the annual event was a week before we got here. Sunday we went to Wall, SD to see the famous Wall Drug. This was another place I had not thought in any way would be like it is!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

08.19.17 Rocky Mountain National Park in Northern Colorado

Saturday, August 19, 2017 – We had not planned to go to the Rocky Mountains until our friend Teddy Forrest mentioned what a great drive the Old Fall River Road was.  That started me trying to find a place around Rocky Mountain National Park for us to stay for a few days.  That search went no where, so we decided that when we left Colorado Heights RV Resort on Tuesday, the 15th, we’d find the nearest Walmart to the Rocky Mountain.  We found one in Longmont, Colorado, went there,  unhitched our truck, went to see the Rockies and spent the night at Walmart.  That worked so perfectly.  The temperature at night was in the 50s and we both slept very well after a day of exploring the Rockies.  I’d never heard of Old Fall River Road so I looked up some information and here is a little bit of it before we go to showing photos!!

Opened in 1920, Old Fall River Road earned the distinction of being the first auto route in Rocky Mountain National Park offering access to the park’s high country.

Primarily gravel, one-way uphill and punctuated by switchbacks, slower-paced, 11-mile-long. The posted speed limit is 15 miles per hour, a clear indication that a journey up Old Fall River Road is not for the impatient. There are no guard rails along this road. Old Fall River Road is ideal for visitors seeking to become intimate with nature.

The graphic on the left shows some of the aspects of this road that make it very unique, definitely not for someone like our Dora to try to climb.  Boots had some rough times but the Explorers (that’s us, Roy and Rosalyn) enjoyed every unusual moment of the drive!!  In case you’re new to our blog, Dora is our motor home and Boots is our truck we tow behind Dora.

This is where the dirt road of Old Falls River Road began.

We got really intimate with nature at our first stop.  We heard water falling as we were driving up and so we stopped.  We climbed all around along the creek where the water was falling, it sounded so pretty.  I don’t climb or even walk very well which Roy thinks is funny so he takes pictures of me like this one! 

These next photos are of the beauty we got to see going up the Old Falls River Road. 

Yes it does feel like you’re going to drive out into the clouds!

When you reach the top, you are at 11,796 feet above sea level.  The Alpine Visitor Center and the Trail Ridge Gift Sshop await you at the top.  We enjoyed coffee and hot chocolate with whipped cream while enjoying the warmth of being indoors! From there you go down on Trail Ridge Road which is a paved road, much less “natural” than Old Fall River Road.

Panoramic shot of the views from the top.

This is the ride down on Trail Ridge Road in the rain.  We were in and above the clouds as the drive went on!

Crazy people that we are, we went grocery shopping after spending a day going up and down the Rocky Mountains.  We were quite a sight being deliriously tired, trying to stay standing up and awake while deciding what we needed to buy.  Mostly junk food came home with us! When we went to check out we realized that we mostly bought junk food, cookies, chips, etc. Being in Colorado (where marijuana is legal) I thought they must think we’re doing a marijuana hunger shopping.  It was the biggest Walmart I’ve ever been in and am sorry we couldn’t stand up any longer than in the grocery section to check the rest of it out. I barely got the groceries mostly put away before climbing in bed at 6:30 and woke up this morning at 10:30 am.

Thank you very much Teddy Forrest for sharing this little tidbit of your time in the Rockies with us.  It is such a totally different experience than going up Pike’s Peak was and I’m so thankful we got to do both of them this time!

When we left there we went to the coolest RV Park for just a one night stay.  Terry Bison RV Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming would be a great place to stay for a week or more but we only had one night there.  Exhaustion from Tuesday’s Rocky Mountain trip carried over to the one night in Wyoming so we did none of the things they have there. They have a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. Another one that serves breakfast, a child’s play land that is bigger and better than any we’ve seen. A wonderful gift shop, train rides to see the bison, horseback riding and so much more. And they have a bunch of camels!!! They accept Passport America so the nightly charge is very reasonable. We will definitely stay here again and longer next time!

I am writing this on Friday, the day we went to experience Mount Rushmore.  Believe me I do realize how blessed we are are that we can see the Rocky Mountains and Mount Rushmore in the same week.  What a week this was!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

 

 

 

 

08.14.17 Magic Town in Old Colorado City, Colorado

Monday, August 14, 2017 – Saturday, Roy and I went to check out Magic Town in Old Colorado City  We didn’t know about it so I looked into it and was quite intrigued and am so happy we got to experience it!

Magic Town is located in the Old Colorado City historic district in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  It is a 3,000 square/foot, 1/6 scale miniature city, complete with dozens of different buildings, hundreds of characters, and interesting elements – like holograms, rooms that transform right before your eyes, and much more. It took him over a million dollars and parts of four decades to pull it from his mind and get the thing built.

When we walked in, it seemed like it was just a gallery where you could purchase any of dozens of three-dimensional sculptures of the people who shape America.  Michael Garman’s work is exceptional but his work is well out of our spending limit.  We learned that what we were seeing in this big gallery was not the thing we came for.

Magic Town is accessed through a door from the gallery.  We paid the $3 admission and were asked if we’d like to do a savenger hunt and have a bag of popcorn.  We said yes!   When we walked into the Magic Town we were instantly transported into miniature downtown streets, businesses and alleys.

We spent about 1 hour looking at all the amazing details in each building and each window and we could have stayed longer. The various scenes throughout the town, the different people, the holograms, the back alley shenanigans….. It’s a lot to take in with only a short visit. If you ever visit Magic Town, take the time to look at everything…. It’s worth it! If they don’t ask you if you want to do the scavenger hunt, ask them if you can do it. You will feel even more connected with the town and you may feel like you’re actually walking through the town. It’s that much fun!!!!

I took so many photos but I picked out a few that represent the magical town that Michael Garman created!

We were given a piece of paper with four things to look for on it as part of the scavenger hunt.  Here is Roy looking into one of the windows to find an answer! 

This four minute video from their website shows more than any of my photos could.

Here’s their information:  The Michael Garman Museum & Gallery, 2418 W. Colorado Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80904, (719) 471-9391

Sunday evening we were able to spend some time with a friend of mine from our days at JFK Senior High School in New Orleans.  Imagine that, we’re both in the same park in Colorado at the same time!  We enjoyed the time we got to visit with Sue and Lou!  When we came home another couple we met last year at Gettysburg RV Park, that are in Colorado Heights RV Resort with us now, came over for Roy to work on their computer.  They have the most beautiful colored motor home so they will be very easy for us to spot when we arrive at a Resort.  This picture doesn’t even start to show how beautiful it is! I’m hoping we’ll see Sue, Lou, Bob and Diana again in the future!

Today, Monday is our last day in this part of Colorado.  We leave Tuesday morning to explore Rocky Mountain National Park and spend the night in one of our favorite places, WalMart!!  From there we head north to take in everything we can around Mount Rushmore in South Dakota!

08.13.17 Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Manitou, Colorado

Sunday, August 13, 2017 – On Friday we headed out to see the Manitou Cliff Dwellings and then to go to Magic Town in Old Colorado City.  Someone had the bright idea of having a bike riding contest right in the middle of Old Colorado City.  We couldn’t even get close to Magic Town in Old Colorado City so after seeing the Manitou Cliff Dwellings we headed home.

The history behind how this all came together is very interesting.  The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are comprised of Anasazi ruins that date back 800 to 1000 years.

The 40 room site was originally located in McElmo Canyon, which is in the southwest corner of Colorado. The process of relocating these cliff dwellings began in 1904 and was completed in 1907.  The ruins from McElmo Canyon were collected, packaged, and moved by oxen to Dolores, Colorado. There, they were loaded and shipped by railroad to Colorado Springs, and finally brought to Cliff Canyon by horse and wagon. The workmen then faithfully reassembled the dwellings in dimension and appearance to those in the four corners region.  They used a concrete mortar in 1907 as opposed to the adobe mud/clay mortar the Anasazi used. This allows individuals to walk inside and tour through the dwellings.

Besides the Cliff Dwellings, Pueblo Museum, Cave Museum and Gift Shop, there is a Snack Bar and Picnic Patio.

The entrance to Manitou Cliff Dwellings

 

You can see some of the buildings after going through the entrance.  It’s all so well done that it looks and feels like it has all always been right here.

We found a parking spot very close to the Cliff Dwellings

Look at the beautiful mountains as seen from the Cliff Dwellings

A few of the photos we took while inside the dwellings.  

Looking down from the second level of the dwellings

This is one of the entrances to the Museums

This is the Pueblo Museum

The bread baking oven used long ago

 

One of those cute little characters that tells us goodby and reminds us to buckle up!

We really enjoyed the exploring the Cliff Dwellings, the Museums and especially the Gift Shop!  Saturday we went to Old Colorado Springs to see Magic Town which turned out to be a REALLY fun place to visit!

I’m writing this on Sunday.  I got up early to work and Roy got up early to go flying his remote control plane at Pike’s Peak R/C Flying. He’s going to write about the fun he had there in a separate blog post.

When it came near time for Trinity to broadcast the sermon I got my computer set up to watch and listen.  When it never came on I finally realized we are in Mountain Time so our 10:30 is their 11:30 and church was over……………….. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

We hid several painted rocks at Manitou Cliff Dwellings and one was found and posted on Facebook!

I’ll share our visit to Magic Town next!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

 

08.11.17 Santa’s Village at the North Pole in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Friday, August 11, 2017 – On our way back down the mountain from seeing Pike’s Peak on Tuesday we saw that the North Pole was open and the sun was starting to come out.  We only had about an hour there before they closed but we went in and rode the rides we could while they were open.

These are the beautiful mountains that surround this special place.

More wacky mirrors  Looking down from the gondola

While our time was limited we walked way to the back of the park and climbed up what felt like a mountain to get to where the Santa Clause Zip Line ride was.  That was my favorite ride last time and this time.  You are carried in his sleigh backwards really high and then shot back down the zipline to the beginning.  The ride acts like it’s not going to stop but it goes past the stop point and does stop!!!

I found a YouTube video that shows most of this amazing park from the air.  Near the end they show the Santa Clause Zip Line in action.

This is really a wonderful place for children and adults like us.  Here is a link to our last visit here in 2015 if you’d like to see more about it.  That particular blog also shows the Cog Railway we rode to get to the top of Pike’s Peak.  Having gone up there both ways last time we knew we liked driving it better.

Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

08.10.17 Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Thursday, August 10, 2017 – At 14,110 feet elevation, Pike’s Peak is America’s Mountain.  It is a 19 mile highway up to the clouds where we explored Colorado’s most famous peak on Tuesday. Two years ago we were here and at the top there was deep snow all around.  This time there was very little snow anywhere on the mountain.  It did start hailing while we were at the top. The cost was $30 for the two of us to go up the mountain.

Neither one of us were affected by altitude sickness but I could tell there was a change in my breathing up there. I think some of  us not being sick is because our RV park is at 8,000 feet so going up to 14,000 from 8,000 feet wasn’t as big of an adjustment as going from 0 feet to 14,000 feet would have been.

These are a few pictures of our travels up the mountain.  It’s wonderfully cold at the top and after eating a couple of their World Famous Donuts the last time we visited we planned to have some this time also! This is the only place in the world where you can get donuts (and hot chocolate) at this altitude.

Some of the views from the top of the mountain.  There were too many clouds to get very good pictures this time.

Before we left it started hailing, pretty heavily so we headed down in pretty heavy clouds and hail.  This was the only accumulated snow we saw this time.

Most of the way down the clouds were gone and it was sunshiny again!

There were many more photos taken and shared the last time we were here so I thought I’d include a link to those two blog posts in case you want to see more and see what it looks like with snow everywhere!  There’s also a photo of me laying face down in the snow so if you’d like to see me looking foolish, check it out!!

Pike’s Peak visit in 2015 Part 1 

Pike’s Peak visit in 2015 Part 2

We still have more to do while we’re here so, ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

 

 

08.08.16 The Colorado Springs Flea Market in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Tuesday, August 8, 2017  We are enjoying a good bit of down time here.  The last time we were here we went out every day to see one or two things.  This time our list of things to see is much smaller and that’s okay!

Saturday we went to the Colorado Springs Flea Market.  This was the biggest, well run flea markets I’ve ever seen.   They even have carts driven around to sell you food and beverages so you don’t have to stop shopping and find the food building!  

There is a fee just to enter the flea market of $2 per person which is a first for us.  You can also rent a grocery cart for $2. There was lots of children activities which meant that for only $2 you could bring your child there to play even if you weren’t going to shop.

Live Music and a shaded area to enjoy some of the food you could buy there.

This was one of the places you could get food and drinks.  There was also an ATM which got heavy use, even us!

We walked all around the grounds and bought a small fan/heater for $3, a couple of hair clips for my hair, a New Orleans Saints watch for Roy, a bag of fresh plums and the freaky looking fruit below.

 

This is the freaky looking fruit.  I’ve seen them at Walmart and always thought who would eat that?  I bought 3 just to try them.  You peel off the prickly covering and there is a grape like fruit inside.  Turned out to be very good!

It’s been raining a lot here in Colorado and the high was only 53 degrees.     We are planning to go to Santa’s Village on Tuesday since the shower possibility is fairly low.   We went there two years ago and us two old folks had lots of fun in what is suppose to be a kiddie land!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

08.07.17 Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Monday, August 7, 2017 – Last Thursday we planned to go to two places.  One of them worked out and it was really cool!

Ghost Town Museum was created in 1954 from a desire to preserve Colorado’s Wild West era for generations to come. This ghost “town” is an indoor collection of the very structures that were left to decay around the Pikes Peak region, all looking much as they would have 100 years ago. An impressive array of everyday artifacts is displayed in each building.

Ghost Town Museum serves as a permanent example of Colorado’s Wild West towns. There are many hands-on activities for the young and old: Crank a butter churn. Operate an old-time arcade or nickelodeon. See a short film on the gold mining era. Pan for real gold in the seasonal panning areas!

Your thoughts when you read that this was an indoor museum were probably like Roy’s and mine.  How could this possibly be great or in anyway realistic, yet it was!  As soon as we walked into the huge room that is the ghost town you feel like you are outside and way back in the Wild West!

There are over 50 photos I chose out of around 200 that we took.  There was just so much cool stuff that I couldn’t bear to leave out many!

 

General Store

Washing Machine

Butter Churn Blacksmith

Newspaper Office

Look at this cute guy I found in one of the buggies!

The Jailhouse

 

Old time telephone

Apothecary (Pharmacy)

Barber Shop

Rooms for Rent

Wells Fargo Co.     

 

Pike’s Peak Saloon 

Oops, I got caught in the Saloon!!!

 

Old time arcades

Fire Department

Roy was trying to hitch a ride on this stage coach!

1903 Cadillac One Cylinder

They had two of these funny mirrors like we use to see at Pontchartrain Beach in New Orleans when we were growing up.   This one made my legs look so short in the mirror.  The other shows what Roy and I would look like if we were really thin! 


An Old West Home

A portion of the town seen from above

The gift shop was great!!

I was a happy lady getting to see all that!

When we arrived I hid two rocks. They were both still there when we came out but later someone found the chick/egg one and posted the find on Facebook!

The other thing we planned to see was the Pioneer Museum in the Old Courthouse in Old Colorado City.  We parked near where we thought it was and walked around for a long time trying to find it.  Roy finally figured we had something wrong and that the museum was two miles away.  Even thought we didn’t see what we planned to we enjoyed strolling through Old Colorado City and I of course left some rocks there.  One was found and they posted it on Facebook.  

Since we had not killed ourselves with exhaustion yet we went to Walmart to get groceries and left a few rocks outside the store.  Three rocks were found by this cute girl below! Her mom gave me the okay to post her photo.

This rock was left in Russell, Kansas while we were there last week and was just posted as found on Facebook!

It was hidden again and this young girl found it!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

 

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly