Monday, June 21, 2010
From Wendover, Nevada, past the Bonneville Salt Flats, (yum yum, salt! ), through Salt Lake City. Bing had to "cowboy up" and get us through some mighty windy weather along Highway 8o. John Sery taught us that Montana term for "toughen up and quit your whining." It was several pretty tense hours on the road after seeing a semi tipped on its side by the wind gusts. We landed in Rawlins, Wyoming, a nice campground at 7000 feet altitude and very near the Continental Divide.
June 17th Update - This would have been my dad's 108th birthday and I think he was watching over us. The wind blew all night long nonstop at 50 to 60 miles per hour and the forecast for this day was windier winds. So, Bing made the wise and brave decision to alter our route to go with the wind. We set out with the wnd behind us and the temperature at 35 degrees. There were big neon signs on the highway with wind advisories against travel for light trailers and the buffeting of the camper only occurred on the curves but I, as the designated pray-er, rattled through the rosary and some frantic oh God, please God, please God's and the hymn, "Be Not Afraid" was whirring through my head. Needless to say, since I'm writing this in Nebraska, we made it. It probably will be the best mpg of the trip. I was thinking Wyoming was a dusty, ugly state back at Rock Springs and Rawlins, but when we neared Cheyenne it was rolling and green
with snow capped mountains in the distance. We saw a lot more of Nebraska today. It is a big big state and I feel a kinship to it because my brother and his wife, all his children and grandchildren live there and they are all such kind and welcoming people. It is a state with vast
natural resources and lots of pretty small towns.
Friday, June 18th update - We left a very nice campsite between Chapman and Central City, Nebraska, continued through South Dakota, hoping to make it to Minneapolis on Saturday. Bing's artist Uncle Ray had died last Saturday and the funeral was Wednesday and some of his west coast cousins were waiting around to see us. We camped in Flandreau, South Dakota at the very site where we started the trip on June 1st..............The end of the trip is drawing near and our supplies are being used up. This is such a dependable little moving house. We've only had to stop once for bread and milk and otherwise we've thrived very nicely with breakfasts, lunches and dinners easily prepared. We brought some frozen walleyes along and Bing made a great Friday night fish fry.
Saturday, June 19th update - we headed through a pretty flooded South Dakota and I finally saw some wild horses. I really wanted to see a herd of wild mustangs thundering through Wyoming or Montana, but no such luck. But there in South Dakota were several horses on an island along the highway, no visible fences. In reality however, we were pretty sure that the horses were on the high ground of a flooded field, busily munching the available grass. It looked like the Big Sioux River had flooded the area.............We visited Bing's mom, Milli, for a while and then headed to his sister Sue and her husband, Dan's house where they hosted a nice gathering of cousins from far and near. We camped in their driveway that night, went over to cousin John's house in the morning and picked out some of Uncle Ray's paintings for our sons.
Next began our drive home. And home sweet home it is. We love this place and it felt so good to be back after 5280 miles on the road. But memories of the last three weeks will forever be a part of our lives and especially the memory of sweet little Ben resting so quietly in my arms. Thanks for traveling along with us. Right now, we're catching up on all the mail and newspapers from the 3 weeks and soon we'll be in the garden tending our emerging crops. Summer's going fast and we've more memories to make...............The pictures are from miscellaneous sites and days.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I have to type this fast because this is a poor signal tonight and it keeps disconnecting. I've already typed the last three days' travels twice and it has disappeared twice so I'll have to wait for our journey end which will be Sunday and I'll fill it all in on Monday.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
We didn't have access to the internet last night in Wendover, Nevada, so we stopped at this Flying J truck stop where all the big semi trucks get their supplies and grease jobs, etc. It's just outside of Salt Lake City. Yesterday we started from Lakeview, Or., and traveled through southern Oregon. It is beautiful with mountains, lakes and streams peppered by wide green valleys. Tony and Carmen's land is high and varied with views of mountains all around. It is rugged terrain and full of future adventure, I'm sure. As we left Lakeview, we had a minor calamity. I guess it was a major calamity for the Mule Deer we hit but the truck only lost its left head light and running lights. We'll chalk it up to feeding the local vultures........The desert then delighted us as we drove through the dunes and scrubby brush and sand, sand, sand. Buttes and mesas sprung out of the flat land and Bing spotted three wild mules in the brush. Blue skies and curly clouds accented the picture and a Golden Eagle flew right past the truck..............Our wildlife count has increased with the eagle, the mules. chipmunks, a lizard, tumbling tumbleweed and a wee lizard. The pix are in T&C's territory.
Monday, June 14, 2010
It was a glorious day Sunday. Cori's mom, Linda, joined the five of us at the Baptism and service at Dan and Cori's new church, Milwaukie Presbyterian. Cori and Ben were christened to new life and both were as good as gold - angels in the flesh! It was also a day of parting but we have so many warm memories of the week with this wonderful trio, we could not grieve. We thank Dan and Cori for the week of cherished days, holding sweet Ben and knowing that he will have a wondrous life with these two parents and a life filled with love and curious adventures........I have to hurry this morning because we have to get on the road again. We're in Coos Bay, Or and we'll be heading to the two and a half acres of land that Tony and Carmen bought near Klamath Falls, Or. Our mission is to see it and take lots of pictures for them. We don't seem to be able to e-mail from these wifi sites so they won't see most of the pictures till we get back but at our next stop, we'll try to get a couple on the blog. ...........These pix are at the baptism and a view of the glorious Pacific Ocean along Highway 101!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Love is beautiful and an infant is a perfect little personification of love. We were heartily welcomed here at Cori and Danny's and it was so good to see them and to see their pride and joy in their new little resident. Naturally he's a perfect little baby, symetrical and oh so bright.
They have a nice home in the middle of a cul de sac and the front and back yards are landscaped beautifully as are most of the residences here in this part of Oregon. The rose bushes in their front yard are over fifty years old. Little Benjamin is most interested in eating but he snuggles so nicely in our arms in between feedings and Dan and Cori have worked out quite nice chore sharing routines. Dan took the whole week off so it's great getting caught up on all their happenings. Benjamin will be christened Sunday at the ten o'clock service so we'll be attending and then heading back home but via a different route so we can take a look at son, Tony's, newly purchased land near Klamath Falls. It's Tony's birthday today - happy birthday, from Dad and me. Holding little Benjamin brings back the loving days when each of our sons were infants. Those are precious memories and we are privileged to be able to make some new ones with Ben-Ben...........The pictures show the three generations of Ronyak men and the happy family.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Left the campsite and continued on the road of beauty. We have only one CD along and it happened to be Enya that Danny had given me long ago. We put it in and it added amazing auditory grandeur to the stunning scenery rolling past our eyes. We hoped to find a Mass in one of the towns after getting through the pass. We didn't, but figure it was a soul stirring experience to drink in God's awesome creation. One could take pictures at every turn and never capture the raw beauty of the dozens of shades of green, the yellow, white and purple wildflowers, the splashing roiling water and the slips of islands in the river. We made it as far as Umatilla, Oregon and tomorrow we should meet our new little Benjamin Caleb. Alleluia!
Lots of Montana today and we headed into Idaho. We went across Lolo Pass. Bing loves the mountains. I do too but I can only look ahead. I am too scared to look over the sides. We traveled Highway 12 from Missoula and Bing has proclaimed it his favorite highway in the whole United States. It winds along the wild Clearwater River and every turn in the road presents an awesome vista. The ascent to the top reveals snow covered peaks and forests so thick, there's sure to be some Bigfoots. We found a nice campsite right alongside the rushing river and slept soundly in a beautiful part of the potato state. The pix are of Idaho and some of the eight Mule Deer we added to our wildlife count.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Left Deadwood, heading for Billings, Mt. Bing's boyhood buddy lives there and we'll camp in his driveway and catch up on his doings. He and another friend come to visit us every fall for a week so they feel like family. Drove through a bit of Wyoming and then into Montana. Montana's scenery is striking with its abundance of forests and knobby hills, mountains and creeks. Lots of cattle and sheep are grazing and we've seen tons of lambs and calves and even some baby horses. The grey green of the sage brush contrasts beautifully with the dark green evergreens and the yellow green grasses. The pix are of John and Bing and John's yard.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
We're at a nice campground in Deadwood, South Dakota tonight. We went across a lot more of Nebraska today. It was called the sandhill region and that describes it pretty well. Most of the way we went side by side with the Burlington railway and we were amazed at the number of 100/car long freight trains filled with coal. Bing guesses that the coal comes from the Anaconda coal mines in Montana. I like trains. They remind me of my childhood in Chicago. My dad worked for the railway and we had free passes for anywhere the trains went. We'd wait on the platform and those huge steam engines would come right alongside of us. I held onto my Mom's hand as tight as possible. The porters were so nice and friendly, they made you feel special.....At the edge of Nebraska and right before entering South Dakota, there was a drastic change of terrain - the start of the southern half of the Black Hills. Wow, from hills of sand and scrub brush to lush evergreens, mountains and draws, long grasses and wildflowers and ads to visit various caves. We entered Wind Cave National Park and were thrilled to see twenty wild buffalo grazing and then went around the next bend and there were one hundred buffalo. Outstanding!
Our wildlife count jumped immensely and we added a whitetail deer and lots of antelope to the mix. The vultures are around too and it brings warm memories of our dinner table when our sons were teen agers. They were on that food like vultures on road kill.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Wahoo - I'm sitting in Tomahawk Park in Broken Bow, Nebraska and for the first time this wireless hookup worked in this campground! Bing and I are tired. I stayed up too late last night, gambling at a Sioux Indian casino till 2:00am. Then I thought I'd blog because the campsite had a wireless network and was given the security code. Trouble was it just didn't work. Up at 7:00 and on our way to Mark and Alice's house. We had a great lunch with them at the Golden Corral
- never saw such a spectacular variety of food at a buffet and we had a great time eating and visiting. Mark and Alice's hometown is a town of 46000, so it seemed pretty large and populated to us. Then, on the road again - 446 miles today - Bing is an amazing driver and gets us everywhere safely - thank you, God. We covered a lot of Nebraska today and it's another pretty state with land, lots of land. A little trivia, the town of Wahoo came right before the town of Surprise.--Our wildlife spotting so far - one baby bunny and one teen aged turkey - no, not Michaela! The pix are Mark and Alice at home and downtown Omaha.
We'll have to look up the words to , "On the Road Again," because all we know is that title sentence and there must be more. But it felt good to start the trip after all the packing, planning and pondering - the three "p's" of preparation. We drove 554 miles today. It was 87 at one point and then rainy and in the sixties later. I prefer the sixties. We traversed Wisconsin and Minnesota and marvelled at the valleys and glens, bluffs and woods. I love to look at the farms and try to imagine who lives there and what stories they have to share. Every little town has a cemetery and you know there's a story at every grave. The Mississippi river itself could cough up thousands of stories at every crossing. The pix show a bridge over the Missis at Wabasha, Mn, the backwaters of the Missis and a sunset in South Dakota.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
On this 40th anniversary of our first son's birth, we're setting off on a happy happy trip out to meet the newborn son of our second son. Looking back forty years we couldn't have imagined all the events that have filled our lives. And now, we've packed up all our cares and woes and stuffed the truck and camper with clothes and food and busy little projects and we'll travel across this amazing nation. Forty years ago traveling with a machine that can keep us in touch with the whole world would have been unthinkable and now we've packed two of them. We have this laptop computer with us and a TracFone.- holey moley Batman, we are totally cool! We always start our trips with Bing behind the wheel in his cowboy hat singing, "On the Road Again"
--so, here we go!!