After viewing Vertigo the exhibit of Wyeth paintings (three generations, N.C., Andrew and Jamie) at the Shelburne Vermont Museum, we biked on the Island Line Trail from Burlington to a point on Lake Champlain where we could go no further without waiting several days for a ferry.
We have often camped in this magnificent part of Utah; this time, instead, we stayed at a lovely B&B, the "Kiva Kottage" midway between the villages of Boulder and Escalante. We enjoyed a couple of hours watching the sun set on the cliffs and valleys around us from our terrace. There are two cottages, appropriately named Sunset (ours) and Sunrise. Today, we hiked in perfect weather to a unique falls in this part of the country.
View from our terrace looking east towards Capitol Reef National Park
The Kiva Koffeehouse and Sunset Cottage
This and the two shots below we viewed from our terrace as the sun set.
We had a fun evening at the Blue Moon Bar and its adjacent Blue Moon Rodeo Arena. The Rodeo contestants were all local cowboys and cowgirls from northwestern Montana. The audience, local as well, mostly were from Whitefish. Being from a distant home, we were celebrities - the announcer pointed out that tonight we had folks from Massachusetts and Australia in the audience.
Off he goes, give 'em a hand for trying...
Will he make it-8 seconds in the saddle?
Local Rodeo at Whitefish, Montana (near Glacier National park)
"The 8 second length of a qualified ride was devised purely for the safety and well-being of the animals involved. After 8 seconds the horse or bulls bucking ability decreases because of fatigue, adrenaline loss, etc. In order to prevent the animal from becoming overly stressed, the buzzer or horn will sound to signal the rider to end the ride and prepare to dismount. This keeps the animals spirit high and healthy and keeps them from 'breaking' or taming down. The 8 second ride allows rodeo stock to continue competing at the best of their ability at the next rodeo and throughout their career in the arena." from the website:
... after which we relaxed at Flathead Lake, near Polson:
Janet does "Downward Facing Dog" yoga position. The water was surprisingly warm, liked a heated swimming pool.
Flathead Lake is the largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River.
A couple hours' drive from this area took us to a remote mountain area where we biked the spectacular "Route of the Hiawatha," a rail-to-trail project. The trail begins with a tunnel of 1.67 miles that traverses Taft Mountain. There are a a number of smaller tunnels and several high trestles by which we crossed over deep valleys in the Bitterroot Mountains.
a trestle of the Route of the Hiawatha in the Bitterroot Mountains near the Montana-Idaho border - and view from the trestle:
"What is today the Route of the Hiawatha was also known as one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country. When the Milwaukee Railroad was operating, the trains traversed through eleven tunnels and over nine high trestles, covering a 46-mile route that crossed the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The Route of the Hiawatha's most well-known feature is the long St. Paul Pass, or Taft Tunnel, which burrows 8,771 feet (1.6 miles) under the Bitterroot Mountains at the state line between Idaho and Montana." from the website: http://www.traillink.com/trail/route-of-the-hiawatha-.aspx
We saw six glaciers on our drive along the "Going to the Sun" highway.
"It has been estimated that there were approximately 150 glaciers present in 1850, and most glaciers were still present in 1910 when the park was established. In 2010, we consider there to be only 25 glaciers larger than 25 acres remaining in GNP." (Excerpt from this website: http://nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/glacier_retreat.htm.
at Glacier National Park, Montana, with the 1938 "Red Jammer" in the background
Saint Mary Lake with Wild Goose Island, Glacier National Park, Montana - a place of romance and fantasy, Note, we were told that the placidity of the lake as we saw it on September 4th is unusual. See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/locosteve/6001947119/
The Glacial Drumlin rail-to-trail is well maintained "toll" rail-to-trail pathway is described in the TrailLink website:
"It is common on a rail-trail to be reminded of railroading history; it is quite another experience to be taken back thousands of years and witness the effects of ancient ice flows on the landscape. This is the case with the 52-mile Glacial Drumlin State Trail, particularly at its western end. As gigantic sheets of ice bore down on this area, they created wetlands, ponds and rivers, as well as hundreds of low, cigar-shaped hills called drumlins."
Days 1 to 3: our drive took us from Cambridge through Pittsfield, MA, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo and today to DeKalb, Il. We have made visits along the way to son Brendan, to old friends and friends newly made. We entered a heat wave today and drove through cornfields which will produce ethanol (we pray this product does not get shipped by rail behind our condo as has been proposed). We do not think growing corn for ethanol is the way this land should be used. Please see the recent article, “More Corn Ethanol In 2013 Means Environment, Consumers Lose Out” at this link:
This beautiful, productive garden at the high school in Thiaroye, Senegal, was empty space behind the school, when my late, close friend Bill Griff decided to collaborate with the former principal of the school, Abdou Salam Deme to create a school garden. Now, a couple of years later, with the hard work of the students and staff and the support of the municipality, the new school principal El Hadji Sao and Peace Corps Volunteers David Vaughn and Danny White, the garden is flourishing and greatly productive.
I urge people to read this report which demonstrates that:
"U.S. forces, in many instances, used interrogation techniques on detainees that constitute torture. American personnel conducted an even larger number of interrogations that involved “cruel, inhuman, or degrading” treatment. Both categories of actions violate U.S. laws and international treaties. Such conduct was directly counter to values of the Constitution and our nation."
This is pretty weird - sitting on our patio while less than a ten minute walk from here the police prepare to set off a precautionary explosion to clear their way into the premises previously occupied by the older of the two madmen who killed and maimed so many at the Boston Marathon and killed a policeman during the night. It's sunny and warm. I would like to be walking to downtown Boston to do some work at the library but that is no longer on my agenda as we are all - something like a million of us - supposed to stay at home. All of the public transportation in the area has been shut down. All I can hear and see are helicopters going this way and that. No traffic on our usually busy street. A strange feeling, indeed.
I would like at least like to take a walk but I am stuck here as if under house arrest for who knows how long. The crazies who did this horror are from my neighborhood, which brings their crimes close to me personally. I may well have walked past these people on my way to my favorite coffee shop on Cambridge Street last week.