Genesis 1:31
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (New International Version-NIV)

Truly Gods vast creation, landscape, wildlife and man is beautiful beyond description.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

I started out early with a pretty heavy workout at Fit Work at about 7 AM. I wanted to finish my outside things and get into the air conditioning. Today has sure been a mix of  very different  weather systems. Yes, it started out as another 100 degree day with high humidity with vitrually no hope for cooling off or any rain in sight. The weather people did say there was a system developing toward Chicago with virtually no hope of it helping us here in southwest Ohio. By mid afternoon weather alerts started airing and warnings of very severe weather with extremely high straight line winds. The system was moving in our direction at a speed of 65 miles per hour.  Boy did the weather change. The system came through and behind it the temperatures dropped to below 70 degree. Lots of rain. Several of my potted ferns and tomatoes were blown off their tables/stands. Lost a lot of green tomatoes about 2 inch in diameter. Right now the sun is starting to come out again so I suspect the temp will start to rise along with the humidity. TV is reporting power outage for over 100,000 people. They are showing a lot of downed trees and power lines. Trees down on cars, houses and power lines. Nothing serious around my neighborhood that I have seen.

The air conditioning people came to do their regular tune up of the system. Earlier in the week they had been here to replace a valve on the unit inside the house. You know that crew could not do the tune up they only install parts.  This new crew was doing a tune up. Basically the system was working pretty well but there were a few things that needed fixing. Of course with any fixes there is a cost but fortunately since I have the maintenance contract I get the parts at half price. That helps a little I think.

I guess I forgot to update you on my visit to the cardiologist earlier in the week. Every thing is fine except my HDL ( good choleosterol ) is not high enough so he doubled my dosage of Niaspan. This is the medicine with one side effect that it often makes your face flush and your skin crawl or itch if you don't take it with a good snack or meal. I have pretty well learned how to take it without a lot of trouble. He also told me to discontinue Plavix. Good one less pill to take.

Well no posting would be complete without reporting on my favorite deer. Sure enough she was in the yard again at 5:30 this morning. As usual I went out to check her out and she was not concerned with what I was doing. I did not bother her until she walked over and started munching on a flowering shrub. I started walking a little faster toward her and she would look to see where I was and grab another mouth full of shrub. It looked like she was grabing as much as she could before she had to jump the fence. I know it is not logical to assign human behavior to animal actions but after watching her for several weeks these are the preceptions I get. She finally decided I was getting to close so over the fence she jumped. I came back inside and immediately looked out and she was back munching on the shrub I had just stoped her from eating. This time I stayed out there a while longer and she did not return. My next door neighbor said he has noticed places down in the gully behind his house that look like the deer has been sleeping there. Why not. Near by to good food and water source and occasioal fruit for dessert. Well I can look at the bright side of this saga and that is that some handsome buck will come by and sweep her off her feet and she will come back next year with twin fawns. That has happened in the past. That will make for a lot of new photographs.

Well I guess that is all for today. Remember I love you all and pray for you every day. Grandpa Bill.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good morning on a new hot West Chester day. Foercast to be 101 degrees but low humidity. Will have to wait and see. I am waiting for the air conditioning guys to come and do their regular check on the AC system The new part that was installed the other day seems to be working fine and the house is cool. Thermostat is set at 76 degree. With a few fans running that is comfortable. Have to go buy a few more fitings to complete the work on the sprinkler system but that can wait until a little cooler weather. My deer friend is becoming a regular in the yard it seems. She is here at least every other day between 5 and 6 AM. I don't bother her until she starets munching on the fruit trees and that is a no no. I sat here in my easy chair this morning and watched her make her way up the street taking her good old easy time. She would cross the street from one yard to the opposite one. I guess she would hear a dog bark or an door open so she would cross the street. In each yard she appeared to be munching on shrubs and flowers. By the time she got to my yard she was pretty skidish. I went out to see where she was and she ran away. That is the first time she has run from me. I came back in the house and looked out a few minutes later and she had circled around and entered the yard from a different direction. I watched her for several minutes while I was out in the yard. She helped herself to bird seed on the ground and then went and ate a few  pears that were on the ground. That was not enough so she reached up and took one from the tree. Remember that is a no no so I walked toward he and she jumped over the fence. Have not seen her again. The day before yesterday I turned on one of the sprinkler heads where she was standing. When she heard the water start coming into the sprinkler head she jumped away but walked back until the head poped up and got her wet and she did not seem to appreciate that so she jumped the fence. I have sprinkler heads near all the fruit trees so I
can us that weapon against her.  Of course if she comes at night I have no defense unless she come when the sprinkler system is running.

Morning Visitor

I keep trying to get a photo of her so the sun will make her eye lashes show up. They appear to be several inches long. Will just keep trying. Anyway deer you can have the pears and apples that are on the ground but not on the trees.

Mike and I both got hair cuts yesterday afternoon and then went to a newer resturant here in West Chester I have been wanting to try out. It is the Sultans, Mediterranen Cuisine. Food was pretty good, expensive but good. Will have to try it again. Love all of you very much. Grandpa Bill.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jan, June 21, 2012

I wanted to write this on Jan's birthday but I could not hold back the tears to put words on paper. So I'll try again. Actually I have been writing a little for several days. On June 16, 1933, God gave Tolbert and Anna Counts a great blessing, a baby girl who they named Janive. At the same time God gave me a most precious blessing my wife to be. In reality Jan and I knew and liked each other in grade school and dated throughout high school and college until we got married. This past week I celebrated her birthday in both joy and sorrow. Joy for the 58 years of married life to an angel here on earth and sorrow in my loss of her love and companionship here on earth. Joy in knowing that she is in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Joy in knowing that she is in her heavenly body without pain of any kind and beauty beyond description that my mind can't begin to comprehend. Joy in knowing that someday I will join her in heaven and what a joyous reunion that will be. While I still grieve over living without her the promise and assurance of that future joy makes it bearable.

My life now is filled with memories and the simple everyday things that remind me of her and these strike cords of joy and sorrow. Everything in our house, yard, music I hear, songs I hear on the radio bring these memories. On my recent trip of nearly 7,000 miles driving also brought back such thoughts. Jan and I and our four girls made the coast to coast round trip twice as we  went and came from assignment in Japan. On these trips we hurried through many of the National Parks I recently visited. As I was driving I would remember that we ate at a particular restaurant or stayed at a particular motel. We hurried through the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forrest, The Grand Canyon  and I would think how she would appreciated a certain thing especially colors. At the National Parks that we never got to see together my thoughts turned to her and thoughts such as " Jan you would have loved to see this." She truly would have because she loved and appreciated the beauty and majesty of God's creation flawed as it is by sin. To this day, over a year since her passing I still have people tell me  what a blessing Jan was to them through her words or notes. This happened this weekend at church. Our daughter Joyce from New York came to visit me as a surprise Father's Day present.  Joyce sat next to a lady who told Joyce " your mother was such a blessing and encouragement to me ". Jan did these things without notice by others, often times without my knowledge. That was Jan, a most loving and caring person who quietly and without fanfare did what Jesus would do. Often times when I was scheduled to have a meeting at church which promised to be rough she would write a note and place it in my bible or notes where I would find it and tell me she loved me and was praying for me during the meeting. She did this regularly.

She never let a day go by without telling me how much she loved me.She totally dedicated her every waking moment to taking care of me and the girls. I told her I loved her and appreciated her care of me and the girls but in looking back no matter how much I told her it now seems to have never been enough. Today every time I pass by one of her photographs on one pops up on the computer screen saver I tell her how much I love her and miss her.

Besides her love and care , I never realized how much I relied upon her for advice and council. I made the decisions but never without running my hair brained ideas by her. When she hesitated about doing a particular thing it usually meant to be safe, don't do it. When I ignored these warning signs it turned out to be a disaster. I soon learned to to listen to her. Jan had the spiritual gift of giving and discernment. She was most helpful on matters at church. I am completely lost without her to bounce ideas off of on matters around the house and I can't seem to pull the trigger and get things done. Yes, I know and I can do call on the Lord to help direct me and He does. God gave men wives to be help mates and I miss her help.

So, belatedly these are a few of my feeble attempt to pay tribute to the love of my life, Jan, in memory of her and her birthday.

June 25, 2012, More Yard Work

It is beautiful weather here in West Chester today and promises to be so for the next several days.  Dry and getting warmer with the foercast for the low 90s toward the end of the week. That means Grandpa Bill will be out in the yard early in the morming and inside the house the rest of the day. I spent most of last week repairing broken sprinkler heads and broken water line in the sprinkler system. It is tortureous process of repainring a place, turn the system on and see if it works. If not try to find the leak. What fun but you know how I like to dig in the dirt. I think I have it down to two more places that need repair and I am anxiously awaiting that time. Got the lawn mowed and it looks reasonably good. Most of the flowers seem to be bouncing back and looking like they might live. They are getting some good color back into their leaves. Today the air condiotioning folks are here to make the finish fix to  some work they did last year.  Should make the system work like it is suppose to. It has been resonable cool but just not working as effiecently as it should. We will see how it works out. Our neighbor Mike and Kathy are in Desten, Florida for a week and it looks like they are having a rainy and stormy vacation with the big weather system that is moving in down there.

We had a very inspirational Sunday at church yesterday. Our speaker for two services in the morning and the evening service was Rick Green with the Wallbuilders organization. Their website relates how they derive their name from Nehemiah of the Old Testament as follows:

" WallBuilders is an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes,
with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built –
 a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined. In accord with
what was so accurately stated by George Washington, we believe that "the propitious [favorable]
 smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation which disregards the eternal rules of order and
right which heaven itself has ordained."
" Why the name "WallBuilders"? "
In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, the nation of Israel rallied together in a grassroots movement
to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and thus restore stability, safety, and a promising future to that
 great city. We have chosen this historical concept of "rebuilding the walls" to represent allegorically
the call for citizen involvement in rebuilding our nation's foundations. As Psalm 11:3 reminds us,
 "If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?"
" Our Goal
WallBuilders' goal is to exert a direct and positive influence in government, education, and the family
 by (1) educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country; (2) providing information
 to federal, state, and local officials as they develop public policies which reflect Biblical values; and
 (3) encouraging Christians to be involved in the civic arena. ".

" This site belongs to WallBuilders, LLC, a Texas Limited Liability Corporation | PO Box 397
| Aledo, Texas | 76008 |".

For the last few generations we have not taught or studied the Declaration of Independence or the
Constitution and we have allowed a very small minority to foster all sort of lies about the founders 
and writers of these precious documents and worse than  that we have allowed this minority to tell us
 what these brave men meant or intended to mean when they wrote these documents. As a result we
 have and continue to loose more and more of our precious and God given rights, priviledges and
freedoms. The encouraging fact is that their is a grassroots movement that is begining to turn this
situation around. It did not get this bad overnight and it will not be corrected overnight. I encourage
each of  you to take a look at and start educating yourself on these  important issues.

Have to get back outside before it gets to hot. I love each of you. Grandpa Bill.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all you fathers. As some of you know daughter Joyce from Long Island New York dropped in unsuspectingly by me as a surprise Fathers Day present. I appreciated this more than words can express. We all appreciate our dad even though many of us no longer have them with us.

Joyce and I spent much of the day pulling weeds and fixing broken or leaking lawn sprinkler fixtures. Later daughter  Patricia from here in town and granddaughter Lisa came over. We went shopping for flowers to make new decorations to place on Jan's grave. The girls did a marvelous job and made 3 beautiful arrangements which Joyce & I later in the day placed on the headstone..

I was pleased to have Joyce accompany me to Bible Study and church this morning. I got up at my normal early hours, made coffee, read the paper and happen to look out the window and there was momma deer having breakfast at one of my bird feeders. I quickly grabbed the camer and took a few photos after a while she walked over to one of my apple trees and started helping herself so I stepped out side to stop her. Bird seed OK fruit trees NO. She stood and looked at me for a while and decided I was not going to leave so she jumped over the fence in to a neighbors yard. I watched for awhile because I have seen her ( them ) wait until I come back inside and back over the fence they come to finish their meal on a fruit tree.

I Think I Hear Something

Deer Having Breakfast on Bird Seed

All I Wanted Was a Bite of Apple Leaves

Floral Arrangements Made By Joyce, Lisa and Pat


Floral Arrangements on Jan's Gravestone

Joyce has been busy cooking since we got home from church. Don't want to make you hungry but
Lasagna, garlic bread, salad, watermelon, cantaloupe and chocolate pie. It pays to have a daughter that married into an old fashioned Italian family. One meal won't ruin my healthy heart eating plan will it? Oh well, I always say it is easier to ask forgiveness that permission.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Good morning where ever you are. This is the first Blog entry for today and it is really yesterday entry that just did not get typed for reasons I will explain later. Yesterday was a great day. First a day of deception and surprises and overwhelming joy. It started out as a normal day in Grandpa Bill life with early rising, breakfast and enjoying the coolness of the morning and listening to the birds sing. And Oh by the way looking at his to do list seemingly grow overnight. I think I mentioned I fertilized all my plants so some of that fertilizer must have spilled over onto the "to do " list. It has really grown. Well I spent the early part of the day jumping from job to the next and not sure if I ever finished any of them the way I should have. At some point I came into the house to get some more pink lemonade and cool off a bit. You see it has decided to turn into summer here and the temp is running in the high 80s and low 90s with ever increasing humidity. The phone rings and it is daughter Patricia who say she is taking Granddaughter Lisa to visit a friend here in West Chester and thought they might stop by and perhaps get a bite to eat and was I doing anything and would it be OK to drop by. Also a question of whether I was dirty or not. Now you might think that is a funny question to be asking but it really isn't because my family knows I love to dig in the dirt and that is exactly what  I had been doing -- digging up a sprinkler head and repairing a broken water line. So yes I was a little dirt or rather a little dirt had gotten on me. Grandpa Bill is always eager to have visitors so I indicated I was about to fix myself something to eat and I could get cleaned up quickly. Which I did.

I was sitting at the computer typing an e mail to daughter  Janice thanking her for a beautiful Fathers Day card when the door from the garage to the house opens and in walks Pat followed by Lisa. So that is what I was expecting. Pat announces that she had lied about bring Lisa to visit a friend and in walks daughter Joyce from New York. Well their intent was to surprise Grandpa Bill for Fathers Day and they in fact surely did. I was startled and said something stupid like " what are you doing here ? "  We spent a few minutes chatting and then went to Longhorn Steak House for a wonderful lunch.

I must admit I spent the rest of the day anticipating the door to open and another daughter to walk in but they assured me Joyce was the only one coming. Now you see Grandpa Bill is a guy who lived in a house of 5 women ( wife Jan and 4 daughters ). Men if you have not had that blessing you don't know what real living is all about. Along with the wild  mood swing throughout the months, problems at school and with boy friends they all over the years developed the skill of how to pull off surprises and they have further developed the skill. Now if you pinned the girls down they might tell you they just picked up some of Grandpa Bill's alleged skills from his work in the Air Force and elsewhere but that might be stretching it a bit. It seem they have been communicating between themselves for some time trying to make sure I was going to be home for Joyce's visit. When I was in Tulsa Jamie returning from my trip she kept pumping me about my schedule, doctors appointments, blood draws etc that would have me committed to being home on specific dates. I kind of thought it was a little overboard but what the heck it is nice for the kids to want to know what I am doing and I realize they have kind of banded together to keep taps on me after Jan's going to heaven and that is OK with me. So if anyone asks if I had a good Fathers Day the answer is most assuredly a resounding YES!!!!!

Second today is a great day because it is Jan's birthday and I say second only because it fits into today's story.  I had a lot of things to write about if I can hold it together to get the words on paper. If not it may be a day or two late. In the meantime I love you all and I really love surprises. Grandpa Bill.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good evening from West Chester. The last 2 days have been busy in trying to catch up on yard and house work. Both days have been beautiful. Low 80 in temperature and low humidity but that is going to change starting tomorrow with the next 5 days scheduled to be in the low 90s and high humidity.Yesterday I did my usual routine of going to the church to sign checks. One of our older members of long standing passed away in his sleep apparently from a stroke and they had his funeral yesterday. He was a veteran and always was pushing to have the American flag prominently displayed in the church and wanted to recognize veterans on all special national holidays. He will be missed.

I spent most of today catching up on posting my trip expenses to Quicken and other computer work. Did not go workout. I figured my yard work was good enough for a couple of days. Today I mowed the yard, did a lot of trim just general cleanup work in the yard. Also spent about 2 hours applying Miracle Grow to the plants. Around 3:30 I came inside to rest for a few minutes and woke up about 3 hours later. My new recliner is just too comfortable. Perhaps that little nap will help me stay awake to watch game 2 of the pro basketball championship. I thought you might enjoy some more photographs.

Large Blue Hosta

Looks Like the Deer enjoyed a snack on This Hosta

Violet Hydrangea

Flowers 0 Weeds 100

Small Asian Pears

More Asian Pears

Limb Loaded With Bartlett Pears

Banana Plants

Magnolia Blossom Trying to Open

Dead Apricot Tree. Killed by Freeze This Spring

Oh, by the way that pair of robins that were guarding their nest so faithfully Monday were all over the yard trying to keep up with the kids who decided it was time to explore their big world. I soon realized I have had 3 nest of robins hatch out this spring. Well that is about it from my point of view tonight. Need to do some house work before the ball game comes on. Good night to all and I love you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 30 , Monday, June 11, 2012

Greeting from West Chester, Ohio. Home again. Thank the Lord for safe travel. I Got to Lisa's apartment at University of Missouri at  about 7:30 AM and started loading her belongings, Just when we carried the first load  down to the car it started raining cats and dogs I mean just pouring. The wind was extremely strong. Well we finished loading carried some trash out and hit the road around 8:30 AM. It rained on us to St Louis and continued raining well into Illinois. I don't mean a light shower. I mean heavy enough the wipers had to be on high speed most of the time and still the wind was fierce. Typicall 35 to 46 MPH Speed. We got to West Chester around 5:30 and Pat came over to get Lisa and her belongings. She was glad to be home and Mom was overjoyed to have her home. Lady Blue got sticker shock and baulked at entering our local gas station with the price at $3.79. She was enjoying the last of her tankful of $3.12. I have been to Wal Mart and restocked the fridge and pantry and need to get myself something to eat now. I will have a few photos of stuff around my house and how it has grown and bloomed while I was gone. Will hit the sack pretty early tonight I suppose. Good night and I love all of you. Grandpa Bill.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday, Day , June 10, 2012

Good evening from Columbia, Missouri. Just finished chicken at Cracker Barrel. Had a good drive up from Tulsa and enjoyed a wonderful visit with Steve, Jamie and Will. As usual Jamie outdid herself with delicious meals. Well this is the last stop, the Lord willing, before I get back to Ohio. I am scheduled to pick Lisa up at her place at 8:00 AM in the morning, load her belongings and head to St Louis and then on east. Should be a pleasant drive providing the weather does not throw any storms at us. Looking forward to being able to talk to Lisa over a several hour drive. Her Mom & Dad will pick her up at my house. I am telling you I could get to liking the gas prices out her here. Most station have regular unleaded at $3.12 or $ 3.13. Got to take my medicine, eye drops and turn in for the night. Good night and I love you all. Grandpa Bill.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday, Day 27, June 8, 2012

Good evening from Tulsa Oklahoma. Jamie has continued her teaching me blogging items and how to master the Verizon Droid Razr phone. No photos tonight or for the next several days just want to let you know where I am and that every thing is OK. I love you. Grandpa Bill.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday, Day 26, June 7, 2012

Good evening from Hays, Kansas. Staying at a Best Western tonight. I think I am just under 300 miles from Tulsa, OK where I will spend 3 days with Jamie and family. It has been a beautiful and busy day. First a few comments about the Garden of the Gods. When I first saw this sign I thought what  gods are they talking about. There was no explanations. The holes in the red sand stone are unexplained. I tried to focus in on some of them to see if any birds were nesting in them but I could not see any. Birds often make holes in soft stone like this and make nests. You can't really tell from the photos but I am a long ways from the formations so some of these holes would have to be several feet in diameter.

One of Many Beautiful Formations

Beautiful Mountains near Pikes Peak

More Mountains Near Pikes Peak

This morning I got up early had breakfast and headed for the Pikes Peak COG Railway where I had a reservation for the 8:00 AM train. This was a most interesting, enjoyable and at the same time disappointing experience. Disappointing because through about 3/4 of the trip the trees are so close to the track that you do not have time to spot something of interest and then snap a photo. Also, this morning there was a lot of fog and low hanging clouds until we got up pretty high. The scenery is spectacular. Did not see any animals on the way up or the way down. This is over 14,000 feet so when I reached the top at first I felt a little light headed but that went away. The trip up is about an hour, You stay at the top about an hour and then about an hour for the decent back to the depot. They have several trains and often there are 2 or 3 that are in the process of going up or coming down. They have double tracks at strategic locations so they can pass one another. The slope of the mountain ranges from 12 - 14 %  grade  up to 25 % in several places, That is steep. The seats in the cars are wooden, highly varnished and slick. The conductor has a running commentary going all the time and as we approached the first real steep grade he said now would  be a good time to introduce yourselves to those you are seated with because you may slide out of your seat and be sitting in their lap. Big laugh all around but you do have to brace yourself to keep from sliding. The trains are typically 2 cars long and all I saw today were basically filled to capacity. When we got above the tree line it was windy and getting colder. There was a little snow but around some rocks you could see ice. This area has almost no vegatation except Arctic tundra grass. It is very slow growing only 1 - 3 inches every 100 years. There are some people of that would like that kind of slow growing grass. We would not like the conditions that it takes to grow this grass. The temperature stays very cold and about 3 feet down in the ground is the per ma frost layer which never thaws out. On the way up he pointed out a house where a man and his wife live. Beautiful little home with nice lawn and flowers. This was still below the tree line.
Their job is to check on the 6 or 7 lakes that are in the mountains leading up to pikes peak. They have a private dirt road from the bottom to their house. It is 16 miles and a few hours to get down to a store and then retrace you route. You better get what you want and not forget anything. Also on the way up the conducted pointed out an active gold mining operation which was to far in the distance to really see. He said they mine about 1.5 million dollars worth of gold per year.
This COG rail way has been in operation for 120 years and the tracks and equipment has been upgraded many time. At first they use a small steam engine with 3 cars. Interesting the engine was mounted on a slope to keep the boiler level as they went up the hill. They average about 12 miles per hour going up and about 8.5 miles per hour coming down. They have 3 sets of braking system to keep the train from going fast down hill.

COG Railway Depot

COG Railway Car

Big Boulders and Old Watering Station

Big Bolder Down Low Smaller Above Tree Line

Small Work Shed at 12,129 Feet

What the COG Rail System Looks Like

Nothing But Rock as Far as You Can See

Pikes Peak 14,110 Feet Above Sea Level

Finally Caught up with That Guy That Has Been Following me

Train Waiting to go Back Down

Way Above Clouds

The Words  For " America The Beautiful " Were Penned After a Visit  to Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak Weather Station

One of Many View From Top of Pikes Peak

Track in Front of Us

Another Look From Top of Pikes Peak

Inside of my Car

Track in Front of us and Far in the Distance

Train Going Past us

Boulder Bigger Than a House

Another Train Passing and Going Uphill

Another Look at the COG Rail

More Boulders

From Angle of Pole You Can Tell How Steep the Grade Was

Hugh Rock Formations

Journey Ends. Train Enters Depot

A few facts I found interesting. The COG rail system has been in use around the world for many years. The out side rails really do nothing except keep the train level. The pulling is done by the center rail which I showed to you. The power is supplied by two large diesel engines. Pikes Peak is not the highest peak in Colorado. In fact there are several peaks that are classified as 14,000ers meaning they are over 14,000 feet. The winds at the peak have been clocked at 125 miles per hour. That would give you a bad hair day would it not. Well it is close to 11:00 PM Central Time and I am fading fast. The Lord willing I will talk to you next from Tulsa. Oklahoma. I love each of you and may God continue to richly bless you. Grandpa Bill.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday, Day 25, June 6, 2012

Good evening from Manitou Springs, Colorado close to the base of Pikes Peak. What a wonderful tiring day. As I told you yesterday I made my reservation for the train ride through the Royal Gorge and I had to show up this morning for a 9:30 AM departure on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad.

Two Engines to Pull 17 Cars Uphill

Train Had 3 Dome Cars

One Engine to Help Push Uphill And Pull Downhill

Inside my Coach Car. I Sat Next to River.

See the Engines up Ahead on Curve

Rapids on Arkansas River in Royal Gorge

Side Canyons in Royal Gorge

Wooden Aqueduct Built in 1800s. Now Collapsed

Suspension Bridge From Train

Shear Wall of Royal Gorge

One of Many Rafting Boats I Saw

Another Rafter

Old Prospecting Equipment

More Old Prospecting Equipment

Suspension Bridge, Walls of Gorge on Way Out

Old Steam Engine That Pulled 3 Coach Cars Years Ago

As everywhere I have been I have met some interesting people. For example at the motel in Lusk, Wyoming I forgot to tell you about the young lady who was running the desk, and preparing breakfast who was a real cow girl. She participates in rodeos as a barrel racer and calf roper. She was dressed the part with cow boy boots, shirt, and big black hat. I talked to her a short while comparing her experiences with horses to that of Nicku. Then last night when I checked in at Canon City, Colorado I met a couple from Missouri. They had spent their who life on the farm and ran a large dairy farm. He is now in the process of retiring and this is their first time away from the farm for an extended time ever. He graduated from the University of Missouri and they had two daughters who graduated from the University of Missouri. One a journalism major with a masters in business administration and the other with a degree in some scientific field. The interesting point was the daughter with the journalism degree when she went to work in business her employer was thrilled that he " finally had someone who could write ". Isn't that interesting. They were also on the train ( same car ) with me.

That get us in and out of the Royal Gorge and we move on to The Garden of the Gods. I am sorry I am not showing more photos but the Internet connection is so slow it is taking 2 or 3 minutes to upload each photo.

Holes in Sand Stone Hill

Hugh Sand Stone Hills

Another San Stone Formation

The Garden of the Gods is a beautiful place comprised of Red Sand Stone mountains that have been shaped in some strange ways. I am closing this posting because I keep losing connection to the server and I will try to catch up at a later date. I drove up to the depot for the Pikes Peak COG Railway and made my reservation for a train tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM so I will have to start stirring around early in the morning. When I complete that ride I will be heading east with the next stop somewhere in Kansas. I am at least a day ahead because things have been close together and I did not have any long waits or delays. We have just had a good shower and a thunderstorm so that may be causing Internet service to have a problem. I love you all very much and miss you. Grandpa Bill.