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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nicku & Corey Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner, Aug. 30, 2013

I will take a detour from the normal travel blog to cover an extremely important event. Namely the Rehearsal and Rehearsal dinner ( for Nicku and Corey ) which was held at the Vente Vineyards . Vente Vineyards is located at 5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, CA. 94550. It is the country's oldest continuously operated family winery. It features a champship golf course, restaurant, shops, concerts, and of course weddings. The dinner was sponsored by Corey's mother and father Pam and Ron Corey.

The Families Gathering Awaiting The Start Of The Rehearsal

Rehearsal Area And Area Where Ceremony Will Be Held Is
Surrounded By Large Beautiful Palm Trees Such As These Two
And On A Beautiful Lawn
To The Left Are The Brides Maids Facing Nicku ( The Bride ) And With His Back To The Camera Is Corey And Nicku's Pastor Matt Van Cleave, Blue Oak Church. The Official Photographer Is In The Back Right.
Same Grouping As Above
Pastor Matt Discussing Details With The Bride ( Nicku ) with Corey
( The Groom )  Listening On The Right.
Brides Maids And Nicku Listening To Nicku's Uncle ( Not Seen On The Right ) Who Will Perform Part Of The Service
Nicku And Wedding Coordinator Listening To Instruction. The Groom
And His Men Are Standing On The Right background.
Nicku's Uncle Bahar Who Will Perform The Persian
Wedding Traditional Ceremony
Nicku And Corey. Did You Ever See Two More Beautiful
And Happy People
Walking Through The Winery To The Reception Area They Had To Stop For A Photograph Of The Wedding Party. They are Standing In Front Of Large Barrels Of Wine
The Three Doors You See Open To The Cave And There Are Three Different Dining Rooms. Ours Was On The Far Left. These Caves Are Cool And Extend Back Some Distance And Deeper Inside Are Used For Storage Of Large Barrels Of Wine.
Our Group Waiting To Enter The Dining Area ( Cave ).
Just As You Enter The Cave.
Deeper Into The Cave
Beautiful Table Arrangements And Flowers
Beautiful Flowers
The Very End Of Our Dining Area
Looking Back Toward The Entrance Of Our Dining Area.
Corey Eating His Rehearsal Dinner
Nicku Eating Her Rehearsal Dinner
Floral Arrangement At Entrance Of Cave
The menu was fabulous, Well Prepared and Presented
Garlic Croutons, Shaved Vella Dry Jack Cheese
Pan Seared Salmon
Citrus Aioli
Mesquite Grilled Chicken Breast
Salsa Verde
Roasted Potatoes
Scallions, Parsley
Roasted Seasonal Vegetables
Herb-Garlic Butter
Fruit & Berry Crisp
Brown Sugar Streusel, Vanilla Whipped Cream
It was a successful rehearsal and a wonderful delicious dinner and we thank Corey's parents for the occasion. In a very few hours it will no longer be rehearsal but the actual event where these two beautiful people will be united in holy matrimony. We all join in asking God's blessing on them and their lives together. I ask all my followers to do the same.
As always remember God Loves you and so do I.
Grandpa Bill

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mesa Verde # 7, Cortez,CO. Aug. 17, 2013

As I move on around the Rim Road in Wetherill Mesa there are many more overlooks and sites to see and things to learn about these early ancient people called Anasazi or Pueblo People.
Life In A Tough Environment

Lay Of The Land

Hard Dangerous Work Using A Stone To Make Foot/Hand Holds In The Face Of A Cliff High Above The Valley. Everyone Had To Access Their Home Using These Hand Carved Hand/Foot Holds. Imagine Carrying Your Supplies Or Your Child Up And Down. I Guess When You Got Too Old To Climb You Stayed Home.

Looking Down One Of These Canyons
Shear Face Of A Cliff. Look at The Perfect Square Of Rock That Has Fallen Out Of The Face Of This Cliff

 Alcove Dwellers Site Being Rebuilt
 Alcove Dwellers
Alcove Site Ruins 

Four Story High Square Structure Being Rebuilt In One Of The Photograph Below
Rebuilding A Tower
Part Of The Alcove Dwelling Near The Tower
Roughed Cliffs And Valley
Part Of Tower Alcove Dwelling Place
Another View Of Alcove Dwelling Tower House
The name of this dwelling comes from the  striking four-story high structure standing against the back wall. There are round free standing towers in Mesa Verde but this one is different in that it is square and a part of the overall plan of the house. It also has windows, doorways and flooring and the inner walls had been plastered. Artifacts found during excavation was a reed mat, some feathered cloth, a pottery rest and a human like figurine. Below the alcove was a spring that provided water for the residents but getting to the Tower House was not an easy feat because you had to use the toe and hand holds which had been make into the face of the cliff. Imagine climbing up and down the face of the cliff carry a jar of water or wood for your fire or bringing in corn from the field and more than likely for the women carrying a baby at the same time. Several photos above shows an artist rendition of an Indian using a rock to carve out toe and hand holes. People lived here between A. D, 1200 and A. D. 1300 and this was the last phase of cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde.

Next posting will be more about the Pit Houses and some improvements they made.

Amid all this blogging there is a wedding being prepared for here. Guest are starting to fly in from all over the United States and here at my daughter's house many details and crafty items are being made and prepared and yours truly is right in the middle of it all. They always said about me " have glue gun will travel ". Also, I am  playing the part of the mule pushing the shopping cart and carrying in goodies from the car. Two more days!

The Yesterday Afternoon I Was Taking My Nap And Was Awaken By Just Constant Airplane Motors Close By. This Is Rare So I Got Up to Find That A Ridge Close To My Daughters House Was On Fire And One Of These Aircraft Was A News Craft And The Other Was A Helicopter Dropping Water On The Grass Fire. There Was A lot Of Smoke But No Danger To Her House Or Housing Development.

Fire Trucks
Helicopter Used To Drop Water On Grass Fire
Heavy Duty Crafting Going On But Still Time To Smile.

As always it is late and I am still on east coast time which is even later so I am going to turn in for the night. Tomorrow will be an even busier day. In spite of the busy time remember that God loves you and so do I.

Grandpa Bill

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mesa Verdes, Cortez, CO., # 6, Aug., 17, 2013

Hello Everyone, In this posting I will try to show you some of the Cliff Dwellings and other scenery here at Mesa Verde. To do this I think I need to back up a few steps. As you climb the mountain up to Mesa Verde as I mentioned you follow a long steep up hill, down hill curvy road that takes you through some beautiful country. To add to this beauty the Park Service has built in numerous turnouts or overlooks which allow you to view the valleys below and in some instances see some of the archaeological sites. I think I counted 28 to 30 such stops and I hit them all. again, the elevation up here on the Mesa is from 8571 feet to 7000 feet and receive about 18 inches of precipitation per year in the form of rain and snow. The run off is to the south to the Mancos River which is some 6,200 feet below. Also, this runoff feed various springs at the head of many of the canyons and this supports the dense forests of Juniper and Pinyon pines.
Kodak House
Diagram Of What Kodak House May Have Looked Like

Kodak House As It Is Today

Cliff House Remains

Cliff Dwelling Ruins. Note Dwellings On Two Levels Of Cliff

Closer View Of Some Of The Ruins
Cliff Dwellings

Closer View Of Ruins. You Can Clearly See The Various Rooms

Another Close Up Of The Above Dwellings. Notice A  Tour Group
Is In The Site Climbing A Ladder To Reach A Higher Level

The Above Cliff Dwelling Site From A Overlook Point
From Across The Canyon

Wetherill Mesa which forms part of the western border of Mesa Verde National Park contains the second largest concentration of ruins in the area. In 1958 a survey of the area documented nearly 900 sites ranging in age from the Modified Basket maker pit houses ( A. D. 450 to 750 ) to the Classic Pueblo cliff dwellings ( A. D. 1200 to 1300 ). During this time, this was an excellent location and could have accommodated probably 1,000 to 2,000 ancient people. There must have been many settlements on Wetherill Mesa because of the thousands of acres of flat Mesa top land for the growing of crops. As noted earlier there was rain and snow on the Mesa but the amount varied from year to year causing drought years. During these drought years the ancients developed a system of water storage reservoirs and check dams which insured at least a minimal harvest to sustain life. Almost 1,000 of these check dams have been discovered. Near Steep House in one quarter mile over 100 terraces have been found. The ecosystem on the Mesa was no different than we find today in most parts of the world. The constant occupation, cultivation, cutting of timber for fuel, building and clearing for more farming, and expanding population took its toll. Increased hunting of animals for food, hides, and bones probably reduced the supply of these animals. Then in the late 1200's there was a severe drougth and this created a situation in which the ancient people could no longer survive so they left and moved elsewhere. By the 1300's only the empty cliff dwellings and broken fragments of pottery were left of the ancient culture that remained.

Wetherill Brothers Discover Long House

Long House

Long House. Notice The Round Kiva In Front.

The Long House is the largest cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde and contains 150 rooms, 21 Kivas and an unusually large central plaza. It got its name because of its long overhang. It could have accommodated 150 to 175 people. Using only simple tools, the building of such as large dwelling place must have taken a lot of time, materials and people. In some instances the structures were 3 stories high. Also to be considered was the need for water. They were fortunate in this instance because there was a seep spring in the back of the cave. On the ledges above the main parts of the pueblo are remnants of storage rooms which were reached by ladders from the roofs of lower buildings. The practice of these dwellers was to dispose of their trash in front of their dwellings. Can you imagine what a lovely smell this would have been. So there was an area in front of Long House that served as the trash dump. During excavation various items were found: such as, food remains, broken pottery pieces, discarded scandals, bone and stone tools no longer needed,and a wide variety of other utensils. Also, 28 burials were found in the trash dump along with their associated artifacts, blankets, pottery, and jewelry. As noted earlier a unique feature of Long House is the large central plaza. Speculation is that it was a great Kiva or a dance plaza and was probably used for ceremonial or  secular activities of the village. There were benches along the edge for people to sit and observe whatever was taking place. On either side of the large fire pit are recessed areas which may have served as " foot drums ". As noted this is speculation but if true just imagine the sound coming from these foot drums and echoing down the canyon as these people perhaps performed their dances. ( Think about your noisy neighbors having a party. ) There is only one other location that has something similar to this plaza and that is in Fire Temple in Fewkes Canyon on Chapin Mesa.

Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House. They Moved Off The Mesa To Build
Dwellings Such As Spruce Tree House along The Cliffs
Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House

Another View Of Spruce Tree house

Another View Of Spruce Tree House

You know folks the same thing happens out here on the west coast as it does on the east coast it gets late to quick and the old body says it is time to stop having so much fun and go to bed so that is exactly what I am going to do. So as usual don't forget God loves you and so do I.
In the next posting I will continue to explore more history of the Pubelo  People ( The Ancient People ).
Good night.

Grandpa Bill