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Archive for the ‘Fun Things’ Category

The other day, John & I jumped into the car and headed toward ‘The House of Myth Carving Shed’. It is located a few miles from where we are staying. In the “Shed”, artisans create totem poles and other artwork for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe of Northwestern Native Americans.

It is on Native American land located on the Olympic Peninsula, a few miles from Sequim on Highway 101. The Tribal Headquarters is located there. The 7 Cedars Casino is just down the street. We will hit that up one of these days also!

Anyways, back to the trip! Off we went, it was snowing very lightly, with a little wind. On the road, the wind had picked up and really began to howl, the snow came flying with the wind. The temperature dropped to 200 degrees below!

We first missed cruised the place, and made a repeat try for the entry way. We finally, got parked, but in the wrong lot. We didn’t know where the building was actually located!

Anyways, we climbed out of the car and leaning into the hurling wind and blowing snow, battled our way to the building, having to climb down a steep set of slippery stairs to get to it!

We made our way down to the building which was located in the bottom lot (on a hill). Did I tell you that it was bitterly cold, the wind harsh! I hate being cold! Got to the door, what! What do you mean its locked! Where is everyone? Back we go, up that awful flight of stairs. Approaching the door of the building we were passing, we noticed a sign posted on the door!  It stated: Closed for zxzzxz holiday! But we were here now! And we wanted in! Now! Out of the dam wind and freezing cold!  Off we go, returning home after our wonderful outing. Well! We did go for a ride, even if we were blown all over the road.  Well, we will make this trip another day. I am looking forward to it, kind of excited.  I enjoy anything Indian! After all, I am part Indian.

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Last summer, John and I had the pleasure of spending several weeks in South Dakota. We saw and did many wonderful things in and around Rapid City. One of the things that we did was to take a self-guided tour of the Presidents’ Walk.

We had heard about the project from some locals and were fascinated by the bonze statues all around downtown.

With some investigation we learned that in the year 2000, Rapid City launched its Presidents’ Walk project. The plan was to install the statues of all 40 past presidents on downtown street corners over a 10-year period, at the speed of four statues per year, to promote pride in the heritage of our country. I imagine that this plan has been updated to include all past presidents’, then again, maybe not.

The project provided that four statues of past presidents per year be created and placed on the corners of the downtown area.

The first year, the project began with the first two and the last two presidents: George Washington, John Adams, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. (Clinton was still in office at the time). Every year after that, two presidents from the earlier years and two from the modern years were added.  There should be about 36+ installed by now.

Also, there are a few other statues of other times well worth looking at.

This self-guided tour is well worth taking the time and energy to take. I have included a few snaps to give you a idea of what you will be looking at.
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A fellow, Paul, here in the park was talking to John the other day about things to see and do around the area. Location: Back country dirt road 10-15 miles from Sequim, WA on the Olympic Peninsula. He mentioned that we should take a quiet drive down one of the country roads (the name of which I don’t remember right now).

Our friend told John to be very quiet and to drive slowly and if we are very lucky, we would get a chance to see a tribe of woodland trolls that live near that particular nameless? road.

Now, who did he think he was kidding! Come on everyone knows that there is no such thing as trolls! Right!!   Wrong!  Oh my, trolls sure are scary things!  What is a troll? Is it a person? a animal? a critter? I don’t know, but don’t get to close!

We were fortunate to see their house off in the woods; a great big thing, weird looking. It was dark and foreboding. I am sure glad it wasn’t Halloween when we took that ride!

Now I am going to show you some pictures, get the little ones out of the room! Sit back and enjoy!

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This is their house. They have trolls on guard duty, hiding.

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This one almost got me!   And this one was working really hard holding that fence up.

 

trolls51This one was trying to get me to come closer! The green one was trying to get his barbeque working! He wanted me to come to dinner. Hmm, I wonder if I was to be dinner.

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I could hear his stomach growling!

trolls161I heard this one say that he didn’t want to hear this bunch scream. I wonder if he was talking about us? 

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You are looking down the ‘Road of Trolls’. If you look closely you can see them standing along the fence where the fence posts are suppose to be! They are standing on both sides of the road.

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This is where the ‘Queen of the Trolls’ lives with Lord Troll. The story goes that a person who happens to see one of them never survives the gauntlet called the  ‘Road of  Trolls’!If you ever get up this way, just ask about the Trolls. The locals are more than happy to share their location with you. After all, a well fed Troll stays under the bridge! 

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This afternoon a request was made by Mimi for me to teach her how to knit.  I attempted to teach her this skill a couple of years ago, but at the time, she was having a hard time concentrating on what she was doing, and also, if I remember right, was having difficulty getting her hands to follow what her mind was telling them to do. So the first lesson did not stay with her.  This was shortly before, her grandfather and I were leaving for the East coast so that was the only lesson I was able to give her at that time.  The few months before that I had begun to teach Kt how to crochet and to knit, now it is time to get out the needles and hooks again and continue what I had started back then. I am looking forward to once again teaching my granddaughters the fine old art of needle work.  There are so many wonderful yarns and pattern books waiting for young hands and minds to discover.

Years ago, my mother taught me how to crochet, and I had a lot of fun with it and took great pride in what I could create.  She didn’t know how to knit, so I had to find another way to learn that craft. I was able to become quite adapt with the use of a good beginners knitting book.  Years later, I tried to teach my Susan how to knit and crochet, but for some reason, she didn’t learn these skills. I might have to try once again with her as well.  I think that she told me once that I had never tried to teach her, but she must have been to young at the time and has forgotten, I must have been very eager to teach her. Then other things took up our interests. I do know that I did pass on to her, her love of sewing, which she has become quite good at. I do believe that she would attempt to make just about anything, and has made some very beautiful dresses, and gowns for the girls. Did I say how proud of her I am! 

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Look At Him Go

Back in August, we took a ride on the Needles Hwy in SD. That is where old Mother Earth chose to stand these huge flat rocks on their ends; they rose thousands of feet into the sky.

While we were wondering around the Eye of the Needle. (See photo below) we were pleasantly surprised to see three men engaged in the act of climbing one of the huge skyward bound rocks. One was sitting in his camping chair, one was holding the end of this yellow climbing rope that was attached to the top of the rock that held the other stupid brave soul that was climbing up and up and up. One of them had previously climbed the backside of this same huge stone and fastened this rope to the top. He had to climb up without the benefit of a safety rope. Wasn’t he another stupid brave man! And they do this for fun, now how cool is that!  Well it gave me a new experience to see first hand and lucky for him there was no blood.

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A view from the distance. There were lots and lots of these packs of needles!

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Getting there, as you can see, wasn’t always a relaxed affair. There wasn’t a lot of room in this tunnel, and you had to go around a curve as you were approaching the tunnel, which required the blowing of horns to assure that the on coming traffic wouldn’t run into us. 

new download 9.1 038 480x548 This driver had folded his side mirror up against his truck to protect it.

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The Eye of the Needle. I have seen these needles three times and I finially found the Eye. Something wrong with my eyesight I guess as it was right there in plain sight all of the time.

new download 9.1 027 480x548  Did I tell you just how huge these things were! Take a look at these.

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What do you mean you are tired!

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Who’s idea was this? I can think of easier ways to commit suicide!  Aren’t you suppose to wear a helmet for this activity!

new download 9.1 034 480x548    new download 9.1 046 480x548 Hey, you down there! Where are you going?  Someone grab that rope! Please  Pleasenew download 9.1 048 480x548

And he made it! See that extra bump on the top? Yes, that’s him.

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Ok, I made it!  Now where is that helicopter! What do you mean? I have to climb back down!!!  Hey, I got to go pee! Where’s the bathroom?

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What out below! Hey just give me a bit of privacy. Oh for the love of Pete, haven’t you seen a man pee before! 

Oh! No!    God Help Me! I just discovered that I am afraid of heights! Oh, where should I put my foot!  I think I will just stay up here!

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Custer State Park

Hello Everyone,

August 2008,

Since I haven’t been keeping current with my blogging, I am just going to give a overview of our time in Custer State Park, SD.

First of all, I really love this area!  It costs $10 to get into this park. This ten bucks allows us to spend a week, coming and going from the park. We had planned on taking the rig and staying (camping) in the park, but we couldn’t get reservations for the Labor Day weekend, and besides that, the narrow, twisting road and the tunnels make following the shortest route to a camp site impossible.

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Can you see a 36 ft Class A motor home driving through these. Nope! neither could we.

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Modern day cowboy! A ranger with his bull whip, and could he ever make it snap!

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The Ranger used the crack of his whip to move these “cows” out of the camping area. Sorry, I wasn’t fast enough to get a photo of that.

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These are some of the road hogs bison that John was playing “chicken”with! Some of them was walking down the road right toward us. as we ever so slowly, approached them on the road.

There are signs along all of the roads, saying;

Do Not Approach The Bison/Buffalo,                                        They are extremely dangerous.

I was holding my breath and scooting lower and lower in the seat, just waiting and knowing that one of the big bulls were going to make mincemeat of us and our puny, little SUV.

No! I didn’t take a photo of that. I was to busy hiding. Actually, I thought I had taken a couple of pictures of this act of macho by my sweet brave husband,  but I guess, I just thought that I had.

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This little guy is a wild burro looking for a hand out. This one was standing in our lane, blocking our passage; another car was getting the same treatment in the other lane. They are real beggars and they are good at their trade.

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This one came up and put his head in John’s window. There was a whole herd of them beside the road.

We seen lots of antelope, different types of mountain goats & lots of deer and other unnamed critters.

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This is a zoom shot of the Pronghorn “Prince” keeping track of his harem on the slope below him.

I could go on and on about this park, but I think you have seen enough for this trip.

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Badlands of SD

Hi Ya all,

8/16 Saturday 

After seeing Wall Drug this morning, we went for a ride out in the Badlands of SD.  If you don’t know, it is just a short distance below Wall; Highway 240 cuts through it. 

These photos were taken in the late afternoon.  The sun was still pretty high.

Badlands of SD8.08 023 640x479 You can see 240 here as it snakes through the area. 

 

Badlands of SD8.08 032 640x479  Here you can just see the pink layers of sediment from the long ago seas.

 

Badlands of SD8.08 028 640x479  This a good example of the prairie grass.  There is suppose to be in the range of 1500 bison/buffalo living in the badlands; eating this grass; but we didn’t see any (not a one) here. 

I wished our granddaughters were here. I can just see the four yr old twins running through the grass, squealing and laughing, swinging their arms about, with the two teenagers chasing after them. 

 

Badlands of SD8.08 033 640x479  The clouds were beautiful drifting across the sky.

 

Badlands of SD8.08 024 640x479  This was photo was taken at one of the many overlooks that looked down into the areas where erosion was very dramatic.

 Badlands of SD8.08 025 640x479  A large cloud darkened the scene here.    

 

Badlands of SD8.08 032 640x479 It is really very beautiful here. My lack of skill didn’t do justice to the color of these statuesque formations.

There are suppose to be Prairie Dogs, Black-footed Ferrets (which recently have been reintroduced to the area), Bison, Swift Fox, Big Horn Sheep, & lots of different birds. We failed to see any of these critters.

Sunday & Monday we are staying at home and resting up. You all come back for more!

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Hello Sue, Rick    and all the rest of you out there

Monday 8/18/08  Boy! I am off to a good start today! I just finished putting a load of clothes in the washing machine, its located in the toilet area of this rig.  Anyway, I was pretreating one of John’s T-shirts and darn (that looks like dam, but it isn’t) – I realized that I was using room- deodorant to treat it with. I mentioned my treatment of his shirt to John and he wanted to know if I really thought he smelled that bad! Hee Hee – I ain’ telling!

As I said in my letter. yesterday , I will now tell you about the city of Wall and its drug store. If you kids and the rest of you are ever in this area, be sure to make a side trip to visit Wall, you will not be disappointed. We enjoyed it very much.

Sat. 8/16/08  We continued our journey west just as dawn was arriving or so it seemed; oh around, 9:00am on Saturday. I am having a terrible time adjusting to this changing in time zones. It should be easier going west, but it doesn’t seem to be, at least for me. My nights are all messed up. I have trouble getting to sleep,   it seems to early to go to bed and I keep waking up during the night.  I used to be such a night owl.

Sorry about drifting off again, now back to the trip. John drove the rig while I sat in my seat with the footrest up and my seat reclined.

I was doing my job of looking pretty; and keeping him on track! Its a good thing I was sitting there when suddenly I realized he was driving past the turn. All I could do was go ah ah ah,  as he was headed for parts unknown.  We had just taken a break and were looking for the west-bound entrance to get back onto I-90   I think his mind was drifting as he drove right by the turn. We had to make a detour to get back to it. Now can you imagine turning a 36′ coach with a vehicle towed behind it, around on a narrow street! Luckily we found a business establishment that had a large parking area, which sufficed nicely. We continued down the freeway for what seemed like miles and miles,  finally coming to the city of Wall. It is located just off of I-90 in the southwestern part of SD, just above the badlands. It is a tiny tourist spot.

We walked up & down the sidewalk, in and out of stores, and found that most of these buildings were all connected inside and were all part of Wall Drug Store. Sometimes, it was very crowded, we were bumping shoulder to shoulder with people up and down both sides of the little main road. I loved every bit of it.

I took lots of pictures. 

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It is a huge place with lots of souvenir stuff and clothing of all sorts, lots of fun stuff to look at and touch. Lots of pretend people, and animals everywhere.

We walked out the back door of one of the shops and found another part of the store, called Wall Drugs Back Yard. This part was even more fun!

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We went inside and about fainted when this creature roared at us, towering high over our heads. After watching it a bit, we found that it would sit up there in the jungle turning its head, its eyes followed our movements and then steam would blow out and it would let out this loud earth shaking roar. It was so fun, John had to drag me away, I wanted to watch it scare the people coming in.Wall Drug Store08.08 001 640x479 Wall Drug Store08.08 003 640x479

There is a large cafe where they give away lots of ice water. You just walk up to the counter and ask for it. They will even fill up your water jugs for traveling. The story goes that ice water is what made the drug store such a hopping place.

Upon entering the cafe, we noticed these people sitting in a corner. The guy in green has a gun drawn and aimed at one of the group. I think he  is one of the famous gunslinger of old times.

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This was the theme of most of the store, but with different items for sale in the different sections of the store.

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We had such a fun time strolling around and looking at everything. We could have spent a lot more time here, but alas I got tired, and my butt was a dragging!

Keep tuned for our excursion through the Badlands of SD!

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Black Walnuts

A couple of weeks ago, John had been on one of his walks and came back with several of these walnuts (we were at another park then). He laid them out on the picnic table outside of the rig to dry.

For those not knowing about black walnuts. They have a different taste (really good) then regular walnuts and are a lot more expensive, that is when you can find them in the market. 

The walnut trees need the cold winters to produce their fruit. The nuts fall from these huge trees, looking a lot like green lemons; they smell like them also! They are also the same size of lemons.

The nuts must dry to get them out of their shells. They come straight from the tree with a coat on. This green outer coating is like the skin on citrus fruit. It is approximately the thickness of the peel of a naval orange, and it must be taken off before the nut shell proper can be seen. This happens after the green skin softens and turns black, at that time it is easy to tear the blackened area of the nut off. After that the nut must continue to dry so that it will shrink and be easier to remove from the shell.  

As I was saying, John laid his walnuts (in their green coats, some already black and soft, some still green) onto the table outside. The next day he plays with them, repositioning them, rubbing off the dark coat on some; in general just admiring his cache.

A couple of days later, he notices that all of the nuts are gone, with just the black leavings left on the table. He had been robbed!

After noticing that they were gone, he asks me if I had taken his nuts! Of course, I had not, but keeping a straight face, I mention to him that I had noticed gray squirrels scampering around the trees that were close behind us and on the green grass areas near us.

It was funny, he had provided a ready source of nuts for the squirrels; and they were quick to take advantage of the situation! He, of course, didn’t see the humor in it. Poor guy, and he was so looking forward to eating those nuts.

I am sorry that I didn’t think to take a picture of those nuts lying on the table. I could have shown them to you. Oh well.

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Mid-morning the other day, John asked me if I was ready to go – go where, I reply. He then reminded me of the little adventure that we had planned on taking, ie, going to gather wild black walnuts!

So we gather up some stuff; a big huge brown bag (with handles), a small pail, and a large five gallon empty paint bucket. We pile into the car and head off to the wild part of the RV park. This is a wooded area that is only used for hiking and fun. We drove down a country lane, mostly just two dirt tracks with weeds growing up the center. After a bit we came to some black things lying on the road, all smashed up. John declares that those are the walnuts.

Oh, now this is my kind of fun! I tramped through the brush, into and up the other side of the ditch (no water) to get closer to the tree, but find out that most of the nuts are in the ditch and in the road and on the other side of the road. It was like a treasure hunt. Sounds silly, but I had a lot of fun. We would drive from one tree to the next, watching for the nuts in the road to locate where the gold was! We came away with all of our containers filled.

Before: Lots of Nuts

After:   walnuts 021

Thankfully I had the forethought to wear my jeans, as the brush had lots of things to snag and cut us. John wearing shorts, had several deep scratches on his legs.

John spent part of the next day, cleaning the outer skins off of the nuts. He did this by dumping them on the ground and stomping on them, grinding them into the ground. He sure had a mess! Then he picked up the black nuts and laid them on the picnic table Then raked the ground clear of the black leftovers. The nuts that were now lying on the table sort of look like a peach pit that is black, though they were rounder then a pit. Now they have to dry so the meat inside will shrink and make it possible to get it out of the shell.

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To learn more about black walnuts go to my post telling about a spot of humor concerning black walnuts.

Hopefully the squirrels won’t discover the table covered with the nuts.

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