A Sight to See on my Next Trip to Colorado

Sharing a link to this blog about a Russian artist who carves gemstones:

Following up on my last post regarding my at times overzealous interest in geology and pretty much all subfields therein, it’s only fitting to admit the #1 reason we decided to visit this particular museum over any others. We (and by that I mean ‘me’) had been undecided on which museums in Denver we were […]

via The Gem Carvings of Konovalenko- Denver, Colorado — Sleepy Coffee and Fables

The Junior Oxford Dictionary is Losing Touch with Nature

Forrest Fenn wants to get kids off the couch and out of doors.  What does this news say about our culture when “selfie stick” & “hashtag” replace words like “acorn” and “otter”?                    : (

Sharing this post from Lady Muir:

I was shocked to read the list of nature words removed from the Jr. Oxford Dictionary in the last decade. What follows are excerpts from an essay that explores the intersection between language and life.

via Let Nature Words Live — LadyMuir

Fathers and Sons

Marvin and Forrest Fenn

Lawrence and Dan Fogelberg

Yours and mine

    “The Leader of the Band”FogelbergBand

1942 DeKalb All Grade School Band Concert

Dan Fogelberg‘s father Lawrence

Dan certainly had a way with words-

                  “I’m Just a living Legacy to the leader of the band”

2nd verse:  “A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn’t wait
He earned his love through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand”

It puts me in mind of Marvin Fenn as school principal and Forrest’s tales of lessons learned.  (See the books.)

Full lyrics here: Dan Fogelberg – Leader Of The Band Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Pondering

Pondering

1972 Dinosaur National Monument

(Missing my Dad, too)

First fish?

 

Happy Fourth of July

First fish?

First fish?

When I was a child, the 4th meant an outdoor fish fry at my grandparent’s and a contest for the biggest fish caught in the backyard pond.  I won once with an ugly bullhead.

I went on to bigger and better fish stories.  One, How Not to Catch a Muskie.  Short version:  I caught one, but was by myself without a camera. (My husband agreed to watch the baby so I could get out early.)  It’s a good thing, however, that no one in the far off boats had a video camera.  It might have shown up on America’s Funniest. I had it in and out of the boat a few times while I looked up the regulations, tried to measure it, put it back.  A bit excited, I started the motor to roar back to the cabin before I remembered to pull up the anchor.

That was a while ago.  Later on I found fishing a bit frustrating.  I’d be baiting hooks for one child or untangling knots, while the youngest, (Intrepid, remember her), would be tossing toys, and then the worms, over the side of the boat to watch them disappear.

And then, oh, joy, in Minnesota, my husband got a fish finder.   After he’d get tired of criss-crossing the lakes and complaining about the lack of fish biting, I’d suggest a spot to stop and drift across.

“No, hon, please don’t even use the trolling motor.”

It kinda bugged him when I would then pull in a northern or two.  {Not complaining. Really.  He’s a keeper!}

Lewis and Clark but not in the Rockies

That picture at the top is my dad and grandpa, and my grandma’s shadow.  I come from a long line of fishermen.  Some of my earliest memories are of camping in an already ancient army umbrella tent, and having to pee in the minnow bucket when our family of 5 was way out on a big lake in a rowboat with a tiny Johnson outboard.  Those were my mom’s years of untangling kids’ fishline.

I’ll have to look for a picture of the tent.  It’s one my great-grandmother used when she went to Traverse City to escape the pollen down here.  I remember the smell of the old canvas.  One of my first memories is of lying on the floor of that tent during a dark and stormy night watching my mom hold the center pole upright in the wind, thunder and lightning.  I asked her later where Dad was.  Out watching the storm, she said.

Misty morning in Glacier National Park

Misty morning in Glacier National Park

He knew things.  Like, “Put your back to the wind.  The storm will come from the left.”

I mentioned the Nimrod in an earlier post.  It occurs to me that many readers might be clueless, so here is a photo when it was 8 yrs old.  Out west.  You pull out the sides, prop them up, and pull out poles and snap the tent to the sides, and Voila!  The boys got one side, my folks, the other.  I got the convertible bench seat/dining table/bed that my carpenter father built in.

nimrod at dinosaur

Hmm. The Utah side of the park is out of the Thrill of the Chase search, but that leaves the Colorado side. . . .

That was it’s second trip out west.  There was one big loop out east, swinging through Detroit, Canada, Maine, Niagara Falls, and back to a great beach on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron.  Still a great site.  About the only place my husband will camp.  (Cabins are okay, but someone has to do housework…..People pitch in when you camp.)

Oops.  I mentioned a couple of my favorite places.  At least I didn’t put too fine a point on it.  That’s one reason I never wanted to be travel writer—didn’t want to attract a crowd and spoil the peace and quiet of special places.

Columbine

Columbine

A Rumor of Gold

The Hand of Faith, the largest gold nugget in ...

The Hand of Faith, the largest gold nugget in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just what does it take to abandon family and the comforts of home?  Dreams of adventure? Fortune?  Fame?  Maybe just a dare.  Or a failure of common sense, as in buying lottery tickets?  Oops.  Not you, of course.

I guess I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for a great-grandfather that had that something.  He sailed from Denmark and ended up in Cripple Creek, Colorado, at the right time. Cripple Creek mining dist According to a great-uncle, he found a large gold nugget.  Great-grandpa also knew when to say “Basta”, enough.  (Yes, that’s Italian, not Danish.)  He sailed back to Denmark and returned with his bride.  They bought a farm in the midwest and lived happily ever after.  Actually, I couldn’t say;  I never met him.  The same great-uncle also claimed we were related to the Danish royalty.  I told my kids that even if they were princes and princesses, they still had to do their chores.  There was no one left to ask whether it was true or not.  (I wrote a novel based on that nugget;  maybe 15% truth, tops.  85% lies and imagination.  Surprising to readers which parts are actually true.)

on frozen lake

Worth the Cold

That something seems to have been passed down through the generations, so much so that one child I’ll refer to as Intrepid.  She decided it would be fun to take a high school class that combined biology and phys ed credits, and spent a 3-day weekend in February(! ) camped on a frozen lake in the Boundary Waters on the Canadian border.  icy waterfall

behind icy waterfallWhy I looked on the internet for the weather report, I don’t know.  I saw that instead of a low of 0 degrees F, a front came through with 40 mile an hour winds and 20-something below temps.  I didn’t sleep that night.

Not THE blaze

Not THE blaze

She’s also the one who phoned home one night from a trip to the wilds of Alaska to tell us not to worry about the forest fire.  She had to hang up then so the other kids could call and scare the heck out of their parents.  Not until we got her photos developed did I realize how serious it was.  Not the kind of blaze any TOTC searcher wants to run into.

I suppose I had a bit of that something as well.  Once, I went west with a friend in a VW bug to visit a former co-worker who’d moved to Colorado.

royal gorge 5

We thought we’d see the sights while there, so ended up hanging in a cable car over the Royal Gorge.  I turned to her to tell her that I was getting off, not enjoying the view while terrified, but, too late.  The door slammed shut.  At least I made it across without screaming or fainting.  Oh.  Back to the story.

Trailblazing.  I was the navigator.  I love maps.  We’d visited the Air Force Academy, been down as far as Pueblo, and wanted to get back to Denver or Boulder or somewhere.  I saw a short-cut.  It was right there on the map.  No name.  No number.  It appeared to be paved.  So, we took it.  Before long, we started seeing jeeps.  Army jeeps.  And other things.  Low buildings.  Low flying jets.  Who knows.  Soon, one of the jeeps with 2 or 3 guys in it, came up to us.  We stopped.  They asked what we were doing or where we were headed or how we ended up there.  I explained.   I showed them the map.  They gave us an escort.  I followed them right up the road I’d planned on.  Saved several miles.  I don’t think I’d be alive to mention it if it happened these days.

There were other things I didn’t mention to Intrepid until she was older, like sleeping on a picnic table in Tennessee on the way back from a Florida camping trip—different friend, spring break sort of thing.  Intrepid comes up with enough ideas of her own.  I’ve got a few gray hairs to show for it. She’s too tied up these days to venture west on a rumor of gold.  Maybe I can get an older child interested.

TTOTC book jacketSurprising the reactions I get when I mention Forrest Fenn‘s The Thrill of the Chase treasure hunt.  Nobody thinks it’s real.  That’s okay.  I’m a firm believer in the Fenn formula.  Somebody’s going to find it.  And all the other TTOTC searcher’s are having fun.  (Though some of you might need to slow down…..you, know.  Basta.)