Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Images of Spring in the Northwoods

The power of nature is undeniable.  Every time we see the aftermath of tornadoes and hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis, we know that there is a force that cannot be controlled by man, (or even woman!)  But another most beautiful side of nature is its ability to transform and heal.  Every spring in our latitude there is an incredible transformation of the landscape from grey and brown and black to every shade of green imaginable, to the subtle pinks and whites of cherry and apple blossoms, to the bright yellows of daffodils and dandelions.  The air's bitter crispness softens into sun sprinkled warmth and the spirit soars.  I walked around our place and captured some of spring's delights.  Some day our technology, besides offering us a way to capture the digital images of these miracles, will figure out a way to capture the warmth of the sun, the smell of the rain soaked earth,  and the ability to breathe the fresh clean air of spring's revitalizing properties.  Now, these aspects are left to one's imagination and memories.  Enjoy the spring of your life and soar with the season!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Where in the World are Grandpa and Grandma? Back Home and Happy to have Traveled

    Great God, we made it home again - wow, what an amazing trip.  We were stunned and awed and frightened and exhilirated and so very joyful to be in the presence of our children, grandchildren and our beautiful daughters-in-law.  The weather extremes were from about 16 degrees in Montana to 98 degrees in western Minnesota.  America is blessed with such richness and diversity - God bless America and thank you for the ability and resources to make such a trip.


Where in the World are Grandpa and Grandma? One More for the Road!

This state has very special meaning for Bing and me.  We started our married life here and our firstborn son joined us in 1970.  This is a state that was explored by Pere Marquette and Joliet for France.  There was heavy fighting between the white settlers and the native americans.  The state produces one tenth of the nation's food and its farms sell over ten billion dollars worth of crops and livestock annually.  It leads the nation in corn, soybean and hog marketing and is third in livestock sales. The capital sports a French name.

Where in the World are Grandpa and Grandma? Thanks Walmart

This state is the only state we went through that didn't list tourism as an important feature.  It kind of proved it when we found very few RV parks along the way.  Luckily, Walmarts across the country offer their parking lots to travelers and we found one when we needed overnight rest.  The capital of this state is named after one of our presidents.  The state entered the union on March 1, 1854, the 37th state.  The first permanent white settlement was in Bellevue in 1823.  We happen to have family in Bellevue.  The state is a leading grain producer with bumper crops of sorghum, corn and wheat. The state's sizeable cattle and hog industries make Dakota City and Lexington among the nation's meat packing centers.  Manufacturing includes electronic components, pharmaceuticals, clothing, farm machinery and equipment.

Where in the World are Grandpa and Grandma? Wear Your Blinders if You're Afraid of Heights!

Breathtaking scenery and world class skiing make this state a prime tourist destination.  A famous singer has the capital city as his name.  The territory was claimed for Spain in 1706 but it entered the union on August 1st, 1876, the 38th state.There are more than 1000 mountain peaks over 10,000 feet high and 54 peaks towering over 14,000 feet.  Condominiums and cabins line the valleys below the popular ski areas and roads  and tunnels through rock and around sheer cliffs speak of past engineering marvels.  This state was once primarily a mining and agricultural state but its economy is now driven by the services industry - medical providers and other business and professional services.  It has a strong manufacturing base also with food products, printing and publishing, machinery and electrical instruments.  The primary crops are livestock, corn, hay and wheat.

Where in the World are Grandpa and Grandma? You Don't Need a Salt Shaker Here!

This is a state with only four letters in its name.  It has a great huge lake in which it is very easy to float.  It was the 45th state to enter the union and that was on January 4th, 1896.  The region was explored for Spain by Franciscan friars in 1776 and then in 1847, Mormons who were fleeing religious persecution in the eastern United States and the midwest, settled and began the capital city.  The state has varied topography, beautiful mountains and awesome multicolored canyons and arches, great salt basins and stretches of sand.  It is a state rich in natural resources, a leading producer of copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, potassium salts, molybdenum, oil and natural gas.  The top agricultural products are cattle, calves and dairy products.  Every January it hosts the Sundance independent film festival, the largest film festival in the nation.

Where in the World are Grandpa and Grandma? Bring Your Water Bottle

This state is the driest in the nation.  Much of it is uninhabited sagebrush covered desert.  Trappers and traders entered the area in the 1820's and the United States obtained the region after the Mexican War in 1848.  The state entered the union on October 31, 1864, the 36th state.  The first permanent settlement was a Mormon trading post near modern day Genoa.  In 1931 the gambling industry built the city of Las Vegas and it draws visitors from all over the world.  The state manufactures gaming equipment, lawn and garden irrigation equipment and titanium products.  The capital city rhymes with criminal fire igniting and is near the Comstock Lode, the richest known silver deposit.  The leading agricultural industry is raising cattle.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Where in the World are Grandpa and Grandma - Just Passing Through

We just spent a few hours traveling through a very small part of a very big state.  It is the number one state in the USA in terms of population.  It was the 31st state to enter the union - Sept. 9, 1850.  Mexico surrendered the land to John C. Fremont in 1847, and a year later, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill.  The gold rush began and large numbers of settlers moved to the wondrous and rich land.  This state has the lowest point in the nation and the highest point in the 48 contiguous states.  The lowest is 282 feet below sea level and the highest is 14, 491 feet above sea level.  Leading industries are: agriculture, manufacturing, biotechnology, aerospace-defense and tourism.  The pictures don't show the vast diversity of this state but show a lttle of its beauty.

Where in the World are Grandpa and Grandma - Time to Go

From one breathtaking state to another - this next state too is full of beauty.  It was the 33rd state to enter the union and it did so on Valentine's Day, 1859.  Spanish and English sailors spotted the pacific coast of this state in the 1500's and 1600's.  Lewis and Clark arrived in 1805 and a fur depot was established in 1811.  This state's most valuable agricultural products are greenhouse and nursery products, such as daffodils, gladioli, irises, lilies, peonies and tulips for bulbs.  Hay is second. And the state is first in the nation in lumber production. It also produces most of the country's grass seed.  The natural beauty of the forests and lakes and mountains inspires awe and one lake in particular is deep and blue and attracts tourists from all over the world.  The eighth largest city in this state has 74,907 people and five of those made a very memorable stay for us.  We hiked in the mountains, waded in a lake, dug for gold and reconnected with our dear ones.  We thank them so much for their exceptional hospitality and will treasure the seven days in their midst.  The pictures show some of the fun.