Monday, June 29, 2009
Joy for the Sunshine Day, Sadness for a Passing Away
It's been a week of joy and sadness. Joy for the beautiful weather and 2 really glorious excursions I got to take with my friend Rick.
On Wednesday I finally got to 'do the Beartooth Pass!' OMG - what a gloriously, beautiful, awe-inspiring trip. For over 300 miles we drove up, over and around the Beartooth Mountain range which borders Montana and Wyoming, crossing back and forth between states. I have posted just a few pictures that don't come close to doing justice to the scenery or the views. But I do love the one of the Wyoming Hoary Marmot - they were so used to being fed by people, as you can see, he came right to my feet and posed.
We started with 80 degree weather and as we climbed, higher and higher (11,000 ft.) we went above the tree-line into the still snow-covered mountains and frozen lakes. We came back down into the quaint town of Red Lodge, MT where we stopped for a local brew and the first pizza I have had since leaving NC!
Yesterday Rick brought his Honda cycle over and off we went to "The Park". Seeing Yellowstone on the back of a motorcycle is so different than through the window of a car. As you can see, we got pretty up-close-and-personal with a big buffalo that was strolling down the road. I really don't have my camera on zoom for the head-shot - he was that close. I could have touched him - or he could have head-butted us very easily if he had wanted. We went to the Lake Lodge for lunch, did the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the falls, and wandered around Canyon Lodge where I found a "Moose Drool" t-shirt (my favorite local brew) that I just had to have. Came back and threw steaks on the grill and the other work/camper couples joined us for a lovely evening.
And now for the sad part of my week. While in high school I 'ran' with 8 of the greatest friends (4 girls, 4 guys) anyone could ever want. We never dated each other, we were all good students and participated in every activity the school offered. We laughed together, cried together, ran-away to each others houses when things got tough at home, and have stayed in touch and have gotten together over the years when and wherever we could. This past week one of our own, retired Air Force Academy officer, Dr. Ed Cannon's lovely wife Sandy lost her long battle with heart disease. Since I am the closest member of 'the Group' in distance to Denver, I am flying out Wednesday to attend her memorial and represent Ed's friends who care for him so much.
I will also get to stay and play with my cousin Rita and her family and hopefully see 2 other high school friends who live in the Denver-area over the 4th of July weekend. And eat at good restaurants and shop-till-I-drop! I fly out of Billings (about an hour and a half drive from Cody - but literally $100's of dollar cheaper than flying out of here!) I hate to say it, but I can't wait to get away for a few days. The high desert is getting very hot and dry and windy. With not a single tree on the property, it's going to get really bad, soon. A change of scenery and pace will be welcomed.
Until next time.....take care of each other.