Thursday, August 30, 2012

Final Part of Colorado Trip

by Gayle via Dianne

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Greetings everyone! Fall is in the air. This morning the temp was 39 degrees. Some of the Aspen trees are already starting to turn a golden yellow and the bears are coming down from the high country to find berries. This week there has been as many as 5 bears in town and one scared a tourist who called 911. Of course the local police just laugh and tell people to just ignore them. I was told by a local that berries are very scarce due to the dry weather so the bears are having a hard time putting on the weight they need for hibernation. Store owners expect break-ins to occur anytime as they search for anything that smells good.

In another 3 weeks Lake City will get its first snow and a lot of the local folks will be preparing to leave for the winter. Most of them go to Texas for the winter. I was told that I should stay for Christmas as Lake City turns into a fairy land. I can't do that!!  Where would I catch a Red Fish with all that snow on the ground?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our campground is now off limits to tent campers. Last night a bear knocked down a tent with a lady in it. He clawed her hip but she was able to scare him off without being hurt. One also ate a pound of bacon, brats, milk, and several bars of soap. They are even eating RV sewer hoses at another campground. This morning a biker that was tent camping across the lake was attacked in his tent and hurt bad enough that he was taken by crew to the nearest hospital which is 50 miles away. His injuries  were life threatening.

Bear trappers arrive on site
It did not take long before a deputy arrived at our camper warning us of the bear danger. They quickly closed the campground to tent campers until further notice. This bear will probably be destroyed when they find him.

Cozy cabin for Bob and Grace
Our friends from Denver, Bob and Grace, arrived Sunday afternoon. They are so pleased with the cabin I found for them and were looking forward, so much, to a much needed vacation. Bob has recovered nicely from his shoulder surgery and Grace is doing really well with her beautiful new teeth.

Jim has been the grill master in his outdoor kitchen each afternoon and boy have we been eating high on the hog. The fresh grilled trout, using our friend Rick's recipe, was a real winner with them as they had not had rainbow trout in many years. So far Jim has caught 86 trout. Bob and Grace lived in this county where he was Superintendent of schools for many years. This is their first visit back in over 40 years. Yesterday he took us on a full day trip visiting the places he elk hunted, deer hunted, and fished as a boy and also when he worked here. He is such an amazing person to listen to as he knows so much about the history of Colorado. Bob has never known a stranger and is so quick to share all of his knowledge. Jim and I give Bob all the credit for teaching us how to catch redfish.

Update - on the camper mauled by the bear: We were told he had 700 stitches but then that is 2nd or 3rd hand info.

Yesterday while doing our afternoon sightseeing ride we saw a female moose. We were able to watch her for almost an hour. I think when God made the moose he took all the left over parts from his other animals and made the moose. The female with a calf is probably more dangerous than a bear. Two guys were chased by a female with a calf just last week. They had approached her to get a closer picture. How stupid!!

Our time here in Lake City is quickly coming to a close. Bob and Grace leave on Sunday and we will leave on Monday morning. I am glad to report that we caught 25 mice and 2 packrats during our stay. Jim's fish total is close to 90. We plan to be home by Sept 1st and look forward so much to seeing our family and loving our precious grandchildren.

There is a big favor that I want to ask all of you who have received my logs. Chloe, our beautiful granddaughter, will be having a Pulmonary Valve replacement sometime in the very near future. Please keep here in your prayers and ask God to keep his hands on her surgeon's shoulder.

It has been a pleasure sharing our wonderful trip with all of you. Take care and may God bless each of you.

Gayle, Jim, and Scruffy..

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

R.I.P. Ron Hanson

by Allison, via Keith

RON HANSON went HOME to be with the Lord at 10p.m. last night: Monday.

Ron Hanson (Dec 24, 2009)
He received Jesus as his Savior, repented of his sins and ask
Jesus to remember him when He comes in His Kingdom.
Therefore, we can all rejoice with Carole, even as she cries
tears of missing him. 

We have a card for signature at the office
and encourage everyone who would like to make a monetary
donation to send it to the office.  Thank you,

Love you all.
Jesus Christ!
Yesterday, Today & Forever
Hebrews 13:8

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Movie Review

By Connie, via Keith

Connie sent several of her friends a well-written review of the movie 2016: Obama's America.

To set the stage, I'll include, first, the description of the movie supplied by Google on our theater's website:

Immersed in exotic locales across four continents, best selling author Dinesh D'Souza races against time to find answers to Obama's past and reveal where America will be in 2016. During this journey he discovers how Hope and Change became radically misunderstood, and identifies new flashpoints for hot wars in mankind's greatest struggle. The journey moves quickly over the arc of the old colonial empires, into America's empire of liberty, and we see the unfolding realignment of nations and the shape of the global future.

Next is Connie's review:

Hello my friends!  

I've been considering whether or not to send this email and decided I really had to do it.  Ron and I went to see 2016, Obama's America this past Friday here in York, PA.  We had both already read Denish D'Souza's books about Obama's Rage and now Obama's America.  

I totally recomend this movie or either of the books.  They are total eye-openers and give the only explanation of Obama's actions these past 3 1/2 years.  It also explains how a virtual unknown got elected in the first place and why the media doesn't delve into the unanswered questions that are still unanswered today.  

The Dreams From My Father that Obama wrote tells us in his own words that the ideas of his father are now Obama's destiny. Obama's father was very anit-colonial. The colonists such as Great Britan, Israel, and in Obama's mind America, have gone into Third-World countries and stolen their valuable assests. 

Great Britan had colonized Keyna. (Hence the return of Churchill's bust from the White House.) Therefore the colonizers have to pay.  Obama is on a path to spread the wealth of America back to the countries which have been pillaged.  Why does he block oil drilling in our country, but gives millions of dollars to Brazil and Mexico to drill in our gulf.
This movie answers the questions about the Middle East and Israel and why he helps get some dictators out and not others.  He is not a friend to Israel.  Israel has taken land from the Palestinians and are occupying land that does not belong to them. The answers in this movie are the only things that make any sense as far as Obama's actions or lack of action.  His goal is to level America to the same status as other "has-been" countries. 
We saw this movie on opening day, the first showing.  The theater was small, but it was full.  People clapped at the end.  The movie was well done and was just factual, not political.  As it says, "Love him, Hate him, But You Don't Know Him."
Please, if you get the opportunity, see this movie!!!  It will answer so many questions and put some sense behind his actions.  In his thinking, he really thinks he's doing the right thing, but he is not a friend to America or to Israel.  I am frightened to think of 4 more years of Obama.  Although, it won't be the same, it will be worse. 
My comfort is that our God is in control and our security and hope lies in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  In all things, His Will be done!!!!

Comment (Sep 1):

Why are prople so hesitant to admit they like to be well informed?]
Tony & I saw "2012"....the Obama you don't know.
We saw it is Houston.
Sure glad we did.
Can we change any thing?
Sure gonna try
Good on ya, Connie!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What A Wonderful World

by Keith

Every once in awhile, someone tips me off to an absolutely great YouTube video. In this case, the link came from Julee.

This short video would be a great one to watch with little ones of all ages. There's action, there's color, there are animals small and large. What kid couldn't love all that?

Thank you, Julee, and THANK YOU, BBC!

Allison's Progress

by Allison, via Keith

Allison provided a detailed report of her treatment at M.D. Anderson and the results. I've taken the liberty to break it into several paragraphs to make it easier to read here on the blog. kaw

I am so glad to tell you that Tony and I are HOME and SO MUCH better!

My oncologists tell me that the disease I had was unlike any other in that it was all through my body and was both T-cell and B-cell Lymphoma. Therefore, my treatment was unlike anyone elses'.

I was receiving a myriad of high potency chemotherapy. I don't remember all of the names but some were: High Dose Cytarabine (ARA-C' Cytosine Arabinoside, Cytosar-U) infused over 1 hour every 12 hours;Cytarabine (This has additional DepoCyt);etoposide (vepesid, VP16-123)infuse over 3 hous every 12 hours for 8 doses;Carmustine (BCNU, BiCNU)infuses over 2 hours on 4 spaced days;Mwlphalan (L-PAM, Alkeran); This is SOME of them.

Another I don't remember the name but it had Mustard in it and all I could think was "Mustard Gas".  All of these were covered in Aluminum foil from top to bottom and the nurses were gowned, gloved and masked to protect themselves from the toxins, in the event there was a splash or spill accident; but also to protect me from any germs they might bring in with them--my White cells were .0.

Heavy-dose chemo was important so that my stem-cells could be harvested. (Stem-cells are brand new, newborn cells which have not yet been imprinted with any disease markers or characteristics) Then more chemo to wipe out all cells in the bone marrow so that my harvested stem-cells could be re-infused into my system.

My white blood cells were often .0 / platelets less than 9 /and Hemoglobin 7,  So there was a steady stream of Chemo, Blood, platelets. White cells were encouraged to grow with injections into the abdomen of Filgrastim (Neupogen).  As all of these things destroyed my system to eventually make me better, they infused Amoxicillin/Potassium CLA Vulanate;Klor-Kon to replace Potasssium;Magnesium by mouth, my IV, etc.

In the meantime I was taking pain medicine and several other antibiotics like Cipro and other and anti-virals like Valacycovar.All these medicines were fighting against my body and despite being given replacement Potassium and Magnesium I was losing it via diarrhea as fast as they gave it.

All of this created the perfect storm which caused my perfect heart to arrest.  Also, I was attempting to suction myself to bring up some really thick mucous.  As I couldn't breathe I dropped the catheter and Tony handed it to the nurse to get a clean one--which she said she would just as soon as she hung my antibiotics and chemo.

Tony turned around to see me stop breathing and fall backward.  He called to the nurse who (This was told to me: jumped on me and began beating on my chest and yelling for help. Like magic about 20-people arrived.  They de-fibrillated me twice to get my heart started--Tony says when you see this on TV and you see the bofy jerk--it's not the same.  He said I flew up into the air and slammed back onto the bed.)

 Well, the next thing I heard was a doctor telling me, "Allison, we have to shock you two more times."  I said, "Wait, take my rings and watch"--they gave them to Tony, who was there. I didn't know anymore about it.

They cardio-verted me once to get my heart out of V-Tach and int A-fib. Another time to get me out of A-Fib to Normal Sinus Rythm.  Tony texted our Houston boys and Jason was there in time to see the last two shocks.  They had moved me to the emergency room by then.

Chemo types were not given just once; but several times over the course of treatment to get the disease under control and the bone marrow depleted enough of cells so that
It's an amazing procedure.  They chose to use my own cells because the procedure is not as hard on me and because if a problem developed I could have another stem-cell transplant from a donor.  I have two sisters standing by and ready to help--hopefully, they won't have to.

I had the Stem-Cell Transplant on July 13. The Cardiac arrest was on 7/20. My body has been BEAT UP and I was very sick.

Thank God He put Tony into my life.  He stayed with me (leaving only to potty and feed the puppies).  As all of you prayed for me, HE prayed for me, encouraged me, begged me to live.

My esophogus was burned from one end to the other and anything that went in there came out immediately--plus the sluffing off burned tissue.

He cleaned, bathed, creamed and diapered me.  He coaxed me to try to walk, to try to sit in a chair.  He pushed me via wheelchair everywhere I went and encouraged my use of a cane.  If we had any distance to go he used the wheelchair because he said it was to painful for him to walk slow enough to keep up with me!

Two weeks ago, I quit using the wheelchair! Last Sunday, I quit using the cane and bought a wig. For the last 3 days, I have not used a cane!  I walk slow; but steady.

My Oncologists and the cardiologist tell me that people they've seen who have gone through all that I have "...don't walk and they don't talk in full sentences!"

I stop right there and Praise our Great God and remind them that I have SO MANY PRAYERS going up for me!  There is no other explanation.

Love to ALL of you: Family, Friends and people I don't even know who have prayed and are praying for me.  You were constant in prayer--and I am here.

God bless you all,
Jesus Christ!
Yesterday, Today and Forever
Hebrews 13:8

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Road Finished

by Keith, with photos by David Enman

As you probably remember, we were saddled with various degrees of inconvenience last season by construction on TX 35, which runs right past the park.

The view from the entrance driveway, looking south. Note the center passing lane!

And looking toward the north. Also note the nice blacktopped entrance! Quite and improvement from the mess the construction left us from time-to-time last year, isn't it!

Thanks for the pictures, Dave.

Canadian Visitors

by Dianne

Recently, we had the pleasure of accommodating our newest friends from Canada, Bob and Marie Desforges.  They were on Second and Main streets in the park, next door to Dick and Lucille, and winners of our second annual Not-So-Newlywed Game. As they were making their way to British Columbia, we were pleased they could stay and visit with us for a couple of days.

One point of interest we managed to subject them to was a visit to the world famous Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in nearby Frankenmuth. It has the largest collection of Christmas ornaments you will ever see anywhere.  Neither of us we able to leave without making a purchase. Theirs was purposeful, ours was frivolous.

One of these three objects does not belong in this picture.

It was a short but great visit, great conversation with a great couple. We are so happy they took the time to stop in and we look forward to seeing them again during our next migration season.  To Bob, Marie, and all our traveling Rockport 35 RV Park friends, enjoy and be safe.

Dianne and Rick

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Words Not Necessary

by Dianne via Gayle

You've all heard the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words."  The following are pictures from Jim and Gayle Clark from their Colorado trip.  I think they speak for themselves.  It appears that they are having a fabulous time celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. 

Gayle and Jim, we too wish you many more wonderful years together as you travel with one another through life's journey.

Be safe. Love you both.

Neat old buildings against the mountain side.

Here's looking at you kid

Are you following me?

Just another big old moose grazing on the hillside.

Love this refreshing pond.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Did You Know - - -

by Keith

You can click on pictures posted in articles on this blog. Most will be shown greatly enlarged!

Actually, most (probably all) of the ones Dianne posts will be enlarged. The ones I post, not so much. Maybe I can do better, now that I know about it.

A good place to test this is on the articles by Gayle! The pictures in her articles are great!!! And after you look at the enlarged picture, look down at the bottom to see the other pictures in the same article. Just click on a different one and it will become the enlarged one.

When finished looking at the great pictures, click on the "X" near the upper right corner. That will close the picture layer and take you back to the blog.

Pretty neat, isn't it!

Colorado Trip 2012 Part 3

by Gayle via Dianne

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Greetings from our absolutely beautiful lake side overlook with a temperature this morning of 40 degrees and clear blue skies. It is with great pleasure that I can report a decrease in the mouse population. In the last 5 days only 5 have gone to that big trap up yonder. Now I don’t know about the pack rats. We still have caught only 2 but we are seeing dead ones on the road when we take our hikes.

Our jeep rental started at 5:00 Monday afternoon with a return of 5:00 Tuesday  afternoon. Four wheeling is the only way one can get to so many of the beautiful places in the area. Even though our truck is 4 wheel drive she has a long turning radius making it seem impossible to travel the 3 roads we did Monday and yesterday. Monday afternoon we went to Carson. The distance from the main road was 4 miles and took 1 hour of straight uphill climbing over boulders bigger than basketballs.

Restored buildings in Carson
Carson was an old mining town built in the 1800’s. According to the number of buildings that the Bureau of Land Management have partially restored with new roofs it is hard to imagine how many people lived there. There is only one 2 seater outhouse left standing. The next time we go to town I will Google a search to find out. We also saw a large steam boiler that provided steam to power a huge winch that pulled cars out of the mine loaded with gold, silver, cooper, and who knows, maybe even diamonds.

Powerful old steam engine
Just think about a horse pulling a wagon loaded with all of the heavy equipment and building materials up the road I just described. Now just imagine having to deal with 200+  feet of snow during the winter and also black bears, mountain lions, and other predators. We did see fresh bear track so we made lots of noise. In some areas around Lake City there is still mining going on.

Yesterday our day began at 5am with the temp once again in the low 40’s. Our first destination was the trail head leading to Unconpagre, one of the 14000 foot mountains. This is the mountain that Jim and I climbed to within one mile of the top 2 years ago before weather forced us back. Nellie Creek is the name of the road taking us to the trail head. It is almost as difficult as the one yesterday. The scenery was different with beautiful groves of Aspen trees on both sides of the steep road. Their white trunks were gleaming and their leaves sparkled with the early morning dew in the sunshine. It really did feel like Heaven was looking down on us and I could not speak. We hiked just far enough for me to get a great shot of this beautiful mountain.

Too many sheep to count
From Nellie Creek Road it was on to Engineer Pass, 13500 feet, and what we hoped was a close encounter with at least one sheep and a dog. It took 2 hours to travel the 13 miles with every one of those miles not wide enough for 2 jeeps to pass except at certain pullouts. Even then the jeep on the outside had its tires very close to the edge of a steep drop off to nowhere. When we finally made the last turn to the pass there were sheep as far as we could see. The sheep herder gave us a real interesting talk about his love for his flock of 2000 sheep, 2 Great Perinea’s, and 4 Border Collies. They also had an old canvas tent set up and his wife was serving lamb stew. It was delicious! I took a picture of their “home” and it is enclosed.

Sheep herder's home
Sheep were first brought to the Colorado Plateau in the 1500’s and grazing began in the mid-to-late 1800’s. Our government has put so many regulations on the livestock owner’s ability to protect their sheep from predator attacks that the protection dogs have become an extremely valuable means to reduce predator attacks. Even a domestic dog or a mountain biker is subject to attack if the dog fears his flock is being threatened.
We hated to leave the beauty and flatness of this beautiful plateau where we felt like we were on top of the world.

Ahead of us lay Cinnamon Pass, another 12000 foot pass, followed by all down hill driving on what is called “the shelf road.” Look out roller coaster here we come again! This time we encountered 4 switch backs that would have made our headlights shine in our rear view mirror if it had been dark. Jim did a great job navigating all the challenges this day and we arrived back in the campground at 4:00 giving us an hour to go into town to fuel up with $4.05 regular gas. The price of gas would have been $6.05 per gallon for the jeep owner to fill it up. Lake City has certainly not seen the lower gas prices that we have seen in Virginia.

Today was a laid back day. I did manage to make a run to the bakery where I got some “good stuff” to celebrate yesterday’s successful road trip. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012
Jim finally bought a fishing license yesterday and this morning he caught 20 Rainbow Trout. None were big enough to keep but he had a ball and is still smiling.
Tonight is Bluegrass Music night and then more days filled with fishing, hiking, looking at more beautiful scenery, and just enjoying being with each other and celebrating the start of our 51st  year together. We are so lucky to have each other and such a wonderful family although I am sure they wonder when their parents are going to stop being such free spirits. We hope it won’t be for many more years to come.  

Take care everyone and God Bless,


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Catching Up with Dick Carlson

by Dianne

I know some of the Blog readers are aware of Dick's health issues either through email or facebook. For the rest of his Rockport friends and family who don’t have access to either, here’s what has been going on since the last report. 

Dick started his chemo therapy on June 13, via a pill, and was doing quite well with not experiencing any of the negative side effects. However, on July 30 he was admitted to Henry Ford Hospital due to low hemoglobin.  The doctors were very concerned with this unexpected blood loss again.  They were not sure if it was due to his chemo therapy or something else. In addition to getting blood (at last count he has received nearly 70 units so far this year) more tests were scheduled to pinpoint the leak, including something similar to what he previously had while in Texas where they administered a contrast dye and he had to lie still 90 minutes for the detailed scan.  I am not sure what the technical term is for this test. The scan results showed another tumor in the right lobe of his liver.   

A committee of cancer/liver specialists met to determined the course of action.  Their decision was to remove the right lobe of his liver since all his recurring issues were stemming from that area. The surgery was done on Saturday, August 4th and took from 10 am until 6 pm. The procedure included removing the right lobe, reconstructing the bile ducts, and repairing the three hernias.  He was released on Sunday, August 12 and is very happy to be back in his own home and bed. At a follow up visit with his doctors next week, they will assess his progress and determine what plan of action can be implemented and hopefully put this illness into remission.

As you can probably imagine, Dick’s “get up and go got up and went” without him.  He’s a little on the weak side and doesn’t have much of an appetite right now.  Sleep is his best friend.  It’s going to take some time for him to regain his strength and energy level, but he is determined to do just that. After all, he and Lucille have a date with their friends and their 5th wheel down in Texas come October.

Dick and Lucille want to thank everyone for the cards, emails, and phone calls.  They appreciate your friendship and are thankful for your continued prayers. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Colorado Trip 2012 - Part 2

by Gayle via Dianne

It is 1:00 PM mountain time on Saturday, August 04, 2012. We have just finished a 2 mile hike and enjoyed a tossed salad with left over grilled pork chops for lunch. Where in the world did the last month go? There were so many wonderful visits with friends and so many beautiful new places explored.

There are always funny things that happen to us that will bring a smile to our faces for years to come. We always have a great time together and it is a joy to share some of our laughs with friends.

Our first meal in Lake City was hot dogs. Jim was the first to put ketchup on his. When he opened the plastic bottle top ketchup sprayed everywhere. I thought that was the funniest thing until I opened the bottle of mustard and the same thing happened to me. After we stopped laughing and a clean up with dawn dish liquid was done Jim explained the reason for the comedy act. We are at 9240 feet elevation. That builds up pressure in plastic bottles and they blow when opened. I always carry condiments in plastic bottles rather than glass because we travel roads that have rocks as big as footballs or bigger. Guess what! In my storage locker under the sofa there are 3 bottles of chocolate syrup, 2 bottles of mayonnaise, 1 bottle of mustard and 4 bottles of Ranch Dressing. Will they blow too? Lucky for me the bottle of dressing that I opened for our salad today DID NOT BLOW.

Ear muffs here we come!
Have any of you seen the TV show Swamp People? I have never seen as many rednecks making so much money killing alligators in the swamps of Louisiana. There are 2 guys that Jim relates to real well. They are Troy, the boat handler and his partner that shoots the gator. Troy is always telling his partner to “Choot-em”. Well the morning after Jim cleaned 5 traps of 5 mice and laid them all out on a log he went into the camper and returned with his pistol hollering “Choot-em”.  I still laugh when ever I think about it. I am enclosing a picture!

I wish that all of you who are dealing with 90 and 100 degree temps could have been with us yesterday. We were riding in the back country with another couple from our campground. The elevation was 9700 feet. The scenery was spectacular with canyons, green meadows, streams and water falls. The rocks on the canyon walls looked like tinker toys that someone had placed there. They looked like a puff of wind could easily blow them over any time. In some areas rock slides had occurred and it really made you think about what could happen. Later in the afternoon we had our regular afternoon rain. Only this time because we were so high the rain turned to snow. What a sight. Our weather continues to be in the 40’s at night and low 70’s during the day.

On Tuesday night we went to the Lake City Fine Arts Theater where I was hoping to find a little culture for my “trapper Jim”. I am afraid to say that not much rubbed off on him. We did have a wonderful evening being entertained by a very talented couple singing Cowboy songs. A lot of the songs were ones that she wrote. I think she is one of the most talented people I have ever seen. She played the guitar, mandolin, steel guitar, and a concertina.

We will be going there again in 2 weeks to see a Bluegrass show, but I am afraid there will be no culture that night. Tomorrow afternoon the Lake City Community Band is presenting a concert “Baroque to Broadway”. What do you think? Is it possible Jim will come away more refined? After 50 years I don’t think there is a chance.

Next Tuesday will be an exciting day. We have rented a jeep for the day with the other couple that I mentioned. We will take a scenic road called the Alpine Loop over 2 passes which are at 13,000 feet. There we will see sheep herders with huge herds of sheep who spent their summers there grazing before returning to the low country in the fall before the snow begins. A ranger will be there to give a talk about their livelihood and also to tell about the big white dog that lives with the sheep call a Great Perinea’s. This is a beautiful animal. As soon as the pup is taken away from his mother he is placed with the sheep and becomes one of them. His job is to protect his sheep from predators and he will give up his life for them. From there we plan to visit several old mining towns.

Some of you have wondered just how close we are parked to the edge of the cliff. Enclosed is a picture taken from inside looking out the door. Notice the boat just past the top of the tree. Yes, lots of fun things coming up and I am sure there will certainly be another story to tell.

Take care and God Bless, Gayle
Maybe too close for some campers
Terrific view. Note the little boat at the tree top

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Attraction - Bay City, Michigan

by Dianne

Finally, on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, the USS Edson (DD-946), a retired Navy destroyer, arrived in Bay City after 15 years of hard work from many dedicated people. The destroyer will be towed further upriver to its permanent location near the Independence Park Boat Launch once mooring installation is completed there. Construction at the site is taking place and should be completed in several weeks.

Some history:   The Edson  was a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer of the United States Navy, built by Bath Iron Works in Maine in 1958.  Her home port was Long Beach, California and she initially served the Western Pacific.  She was shelled by land forces in North Vietnam and apparently received “friendly fire” from our US Air Force.

Edson returned to the West Pacific following an onboard fire in 1974 and was later commended for her roles in the evacuation of Phnom Penh and Saigon.  She was decommissioned in 1988, but the following year became a museum ship at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York. In 2012, it was agreed that she should again become a museum ship at Bay City, Michigan.

The museum plans to offer formal tours below deck once the Environmental Protection Agency determines it is safe to do so.  It's not as big as the Lex, but it's ours, all 418 feet. Just one more point of interest to add to your list when visiting our great Bay City.

The USS Edson, at her temporary site, and Rick

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mini Vacation

by Dianne

It’s been a hot, dry summer, but the rains have started once again in Michigan. That means the grass is growing again which means Rick has more work to do than just his “fishing” job. Especially since he is tending to our's, his dad’s and the neighbor’s yard. It was a wise decision to take our mini vacation while the lawns were dormant for a bit. So, off we went to the Midwest.  

Our first stop was Ham Lake just north of Minneapolis to visit family.   I’m including a picture of my other mother-in-law, Annie Plumb, who will be 95 in October. A great lady, who loves to go to the casinos and “scalp” the Indians. Which I must say, she is very good at. 

Next was Ankeny, Iowa to spend a little time with Bob and Gelene.  Had a great visit.  Bob chauffeured us around town a couple different times and actually confused the heck out of Rick, who has a great sense of direction and never seems to get lost. Bob never took the same route twice which added to Rick’s directional loss. We visited with Gelene’s mom again, met Bob’s mom (his dad was away that day) and met their son, Chad, daughter-in-law, Karen, and their 2 precious grandsons, Jackson and Nicholas.  Topped that off with a meetup for lunch with Keith and Pat. It was a great BBQ place and somehow most of us had room for ice cream afterwards.

Third was Elroy, Wisconsin to visit Cliff and Lois Calhoun.  What a beautiful State with lots of trees and rolling hills. It’s amazing how they can farm the hillsides.  According to Cliff, it’s no problem with the big tractors rolling over since they have dual wheels; however, he said it does get a little interesting when the tractor starts to slid. Their home is perched on a hilltop with a long sloping drive and a great view.  We were lucky enough to meet their 5 sons, all of whom live nearby.  Before leaving Wisconsin, we visited the Wisconsin Dells and took the “upper” river boat tour which was fantastic. The Dells were on my bucket list because my mom talked so frequently about her trip there many years ago.

Our last stop was McHenry, Illinois, home to Tom and Dianne Carl, just north of Chicago. Tom was just returning from his annual trip to Oshkosh, WI where he participates in the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Show.   He and Dianne camped by us in their local State park. They have a boat launch at the park which provides weekend entertainment for the campers, who go down to the docks to watch young Chicago boaters launch and load their watercraft.  Kind of a "learn as you go" experience for them.

 On a sad note, for those of you who may not have heard, Tom’s ailing father passed away the previous week.  Our condolences to his family.)

Annie Plumb, my other mother-in-law

Bob and Gelene visiting us at the campground

Lois setting up for supper - she fed us well

Cliff and Rick holding down the front porch and enjoying the view

The Carl's and Carlson's
We had a great mini vacation and plan to see a few more Rockport friends before the summer ends.  We also look forward to seeing all the rest of you at the park later this year.  Take care and be safe.  Dianne and Rick

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jim & Gayle's Summer

by Gayle, via Dianne & Keith

Note: This is a long and interesting article. I've tried and tried to make the "Read More - - -" feature, which this is supposed to have, work. I can't seem to do it so will publish it as-is. Hopefully, I'll be able to make some format improvements later.

The important thing is for you to be able to read Gayle's story, so here it is!
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The Summer of 2012
By Gayle Clark

Gayle & Jim Clark  (Feb, 2010)
Fifty years ago I was only dreaming of seeing the beautiful things that our great country had in store for us. How lucky Jim and I have been to have traveled to all of our states except Washington, Oregon, and Vermont. Without a doubt my home state of Virginia will always be at the top of the list. Even though we have earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and hot summers like this one there is no place I would rather go home to.

We had planned to go back to Alaska this summer but not wanting to leave Scruffy, our cat, who is 16 years old, at home, we decided to spend the summer visiting dear friends from all across the country, that we have met while wintering in Texas and ending up in Lake City, Co.

We left home on June 26 and spent our first night in West Virginia. When I checked the news on the computer the next morning we saw that Colorado Springs was being threatened with the terrible wildfires. Since we would be going right through there in another 4 days we decided to change plans and visit friends first.

A quick phone call to Rick and Dianne and his parents, Dick and Lucille, in Michigan and we were off to discover more beautiful new places. While in Texas each winter Rick fishes with us most every day and they both go with us to all of the music shows. Rick took us Walleye fishing on Lake Huron and for the first time, we enjoyed some of the best tasting fish, ever. Dick and Lucille took us to the German town of Frankenmuth where we had a great family style dinner at a Bavarian Inn. Since my Grandfather was German this visit was really special. They also took us to the biggest Christmas store in the world. It was too hot outside to even think about Christmas. 

After a wonderful stay our next new experience took us to the upper peninsular (UP) of Michigan. I am sure all of you have heard about the Mackinaw Bridge which crosses into the UP of Michigan. I guess having crossed our Bay Bridge in Maryland so many times that is probably why this long high crossing did not bother us. We stayed for a week in a campground near the town of Munising. The town sits right on Lake Superior with one of the most beautiful natural harbors. While there we took a boat tour of Pictured Rocks. These are sheer walls of different colors and shapes. The most interesting one was shaped just like a Castle. We did a 4 mile hike around the lake on the rim trail having to climb several steep rocky hills. Seeing their July 4th parade was really a treat. I think every fire truck and rescue vehicle in the UP was there. 

As I am sure most of you know I always give Scruffy a haircut before leaving home. Well, I discovered that she had fleas for the first time in the 16 years we have had her. Thank goodness there was a vet in Munising and she had her first treatment of Front Line. Lucky we have had no fleas in the camper.

Our next stop was outside a little town in Wisconsin to visit Cliff and Lois. They have been coming to winter in Texas for 20 years. After he got home this past spring he sold his camper and truck so this visit was especially special. They are quite an amazing couple. He farmed over 3000 acres of corn and soybeans and she took care of a large dairy operation. They live in a beautiful home sitting high on a bluff overlooking some of the land that he once farmed. For those of you who know him, you would be surprised to know that he now spends his late afternoons sitting on the front porch feeding rabbits and birds. It was with a heavy heart that we left them knowing that they would not be with us this coming winter.

Cliff has 2 brothers in Illinois and nearby in Iowa that was our next stop. We stayed 3 days with Del and Sue and also visited the other brother Terri and his wife Linda. Del has the most beautiful voice and sings for the local nursing home each week. He dedicated one of his songs to us because we were having our 50th anniversary in a few days. This was the first place to have a Wal-Mart since we left home so of course I restocked a few things.

Bob and Grace live just outside of Denver and we arrived at a campground a few miles from their home on July 16. Bob, Jim, and I have been fishing buddies in Texas for 10 years. There is no telling how many pounds of Redfish have been put into our 2 boats. Bob had a shoulder replacement in May and is doing really well. They are coming to Lake City to see us mid August and if he continues to do well will once again come to Texas this winter.

Leaving Denver we were only 5 hours from Elk Creek Campground and thought we would have a nice easy day. There were 2 high passes we had to cross with our 5th wheel and Bertha (F250 pickup) proceeded to overheat on each one. As usual Jim handled these situations just fine. When we arrived at the campground he discovered that we had a clogged air filter.

Elk Creek Campground is only 56 miles from Lake City but there was something special we wanted to do before heading there. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is 10 miles away. We had done the rim drive of this canyon 2 years ago when we were here which was spectacular. Someone told us about a boat trip into the canyon that is run by the park service. July 20th was our 50th anniversary and, yes, we rode the pontoon boat into the canyon. It was even more spectacular than we imagined. We had told the Ranger before the trip about our special day. When we got back to the boat dock he announced to the 60 other people that there was a couple on board celebrating 50 years of marriage and could they guess who this couple was. Everyone on board turned and looked right to us. Yes we were the oldest!

Getting to the boat requires going down 235 steps. Of course you have to climb back up those 235 steps. Needless to say we consider this a great accomplishment. Now where does Jim choose to take me for our special dinner? The name of the place was the Trough which he had picked out on the Internet. Do you think a restaurant named the Trough would be somewhere you would take your wife on such a special day? The big sign outside the restaurant had a pig with a paddle stirring in a trough. Yes, we did go in and had the most delicious barbequed ribs dinner in the bar. Surprise, surprise the restaurant part was 5 star.

July 22,2012
We finally reached our destination. Lake City we are here. What in the world will be in store for the next month? Well, it did not take long for us to find out.

Arriving on Sunday morning enabled us to find a campsite right on the cliff overlooking Lake San Cristobal. This time we are at least one foot further away from the edge than we were 2 years ago. The same campground host from before welcomed us back and right away told us that everyone was having rat and mice problems due to their mild winter and really warm spring. We told him not to worry because we brought an arsenal of rat traps along with a live trap.

Monday was spent getting settled and checking out town. Jim set the 2 rat traps and the live trap before bed. There was also a tray of d-CON left from before. Tuesday morning 2 bug eyed mice caught in the rat traps were waiting for us when we got up. However, I could not find the tray of  d-CON. My laundry basket also sits in the basement and when I looked in it the mice had tried to make a nest in one of Jim’s dirty shirts with the  d-CON. Go figure!! We had to go to 2 hardware stores in order to find mouse traps. One store was sold out so that tells you what a problem the area is having. Today is Sunday and so far our total kill for the week is 12 mice and 2 pack rats. Instead of Trapper John I now call him Trapper Jim. It usually takes close to an hour each morning to remove the dead and rebait for the next night.

I did not know that Lake City has a monsoon season during June, July, and August. It does not rain all day every day but at least several showers. We have been able to do our hikes and so far have a total of 8 miles. I know that does not sound like much but they are very difficult climbs. We are still adjusting to the high altitude which is above 9000 feet.

We went to see Michael Martin Murphy in concert on Tuesday night and what a great time. We sat at a table with some nice local people who told us about a black bear getting into her house and really making a mess. This makes our rat and mouse problem seem small by comparison. Now it would really be a treat to see a bear but Jim is very careful to leave the grill a long distance from the camper.

We try to go into town at least every other day so we can have cell phone coverage and internet at the library. There is also a local bakery that has been here for 40 years. Boy do they have wonderful turnovers.
Tomorrow is laundry day and other chores.

You are probably wondering why someone would stay in a place that has such a huge rodent problem. Two reasons: Day after day of daytime temperatures in the 70’s and nights in the 40’s and the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere. Note the picture of our camper. .

We send our love and best wishes to all of you.
Take care,
Gayle and Jim