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Golden Colors of Fall

Greetings all and happy fall,

For those of you who live, lived, or even just visited our Gym City on the Plains, you know most seasons in Wyoming are limited (winter is long, spring is only glimpsed, summer is far too short) but fall can truly be grand. Fall in Laramie is a bit like an extension of summer only better: night temperatures can dip into the 30s but day temperatures can still reach the 70s and the colors are golden. During the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time outside enjoying the fall weather and hiking trails with camera in hand. Below are a few photos taken from some of my favorite fall locations.

Blair Picnic Area Trail – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Blair Picnic Area Trail – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Blair Picnic Area – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Elephant Head Rock, Happy Jack Road (HWY 210) – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Reynolds Hill Trail – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Reynolds Hill Trail – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Aspen Trail (Tie City and Happy Jack Trail System) – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Aspen Trail Wickiup (Tie City and Happy Jack Trail System) – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Eagle Rock Trail – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
September Snow, Vedauwoo – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
September Snow, Vedauwoo – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
September Snow, Vedauwoo – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Snowy Range Road (HWY 130) – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Pond, Snowy Range Road (HWY 130) – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Lewis Lake with Sugarloaf Mountain – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Snowy Range Road (HWY 130) – Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Laramie River Greenbelt Trail – Laramie, Wyoming
Laramie River Greenbelt Trail – Laramie, Wyoming

Sugarloaf Mountain

Greetings all,

Hope your summer’s going well … only a few days left of our nice warm, snow free weather in Laramie. We’re all good: Sorrel’s healthy and getting her walks to the park most mornings; Susan’s running, playing tennis and soaking in our Sabel pool; and I’m playing pickleball, hiking and photographing wildflowers. But I also had a recent adventure worth sharing here: finally hiking to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. (Sugarloaf is one of two mountains in the Snowy Range often overlooked by day hikers; the other is Browns Peak; I plan to focus on both in a future YouTube video.) Located some 41 miles west of Laramie, Sugarloaf is a picturesque cone-shaped, boulder covered mountain most frequently encountered and photographed by visitors to Lewis Lake. For a few years now, I’ve wondered about the best route to reach the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain (elevation 11,398 feet) for a look around. Recently my friend Marty returned to Laramie for a few days and we planned a hike in the Snowies – the hike became an adventurous boulder climb to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. Below are a few photos.

View of Sugarloaf Mountain from above Lewis Lake — Snowy Range Mountains, Wyoming
View of Sugarloaf Mountain from Lewis Lake — Snowy Range Mountains, Wyoming
View of Sugarloaf Mountain (lower right) from Medicine Bow Peak (elevation 12,013 feet) — Snowy Range Mountains, Wyoming
View of Browns Peak (elevation 11,722 feet) from Medicine Bow Peak Trail — Snowy Range Mountains, Wyoming
View of Sugarloaf Mountain from Medicine Bow Peak Trail — Snowy Range Mountains, Wyoming
Summit of Sugarloaf Mountain (elevation 11,398 feet) — Snowy Range Mountain

Happy Summer

Hope all well. Not traveling abroad this summer so spending lots of time in Laramie: running, playing pickleball, and taking wildflower photos. We’re all enjoying summer: walks each morning to the park for Sorrel, tennis and pool-time for Susan, and for me enjoying that each day is spent wearing shorts and soaking my frequently tired legs in our little Walmart wading pool. Some good local news is the fence that stretched some five miles north to south across the Pilot Hill Recreation Area (blocking miles of wonderful trials) was finally removed.  So once more I’m enjoying long runs surrounded by beautiful wildflowers (photos below).  Also, I was elected president of our local Pickleball Association; one of my first tasks was creating an online presence (link to website below). Pickleball is a great game for players of all ages (providing exercise and fellowship); we’ve a fairly new outdoor pickleball court where and I tend to play two hours a day, five days a week. (“Recess for adults,” is how one of our older players once described pickleball.)

More soon … currently working on an addition to my Youtube channel featuring local wildflowers.

Laramie Pickleball Association: http://laramiepickleballassociation.com
Pilot Hill Recreation Area – Laramie, Wyoming
Wildflowers, Pilot Hill Recreation Area – Laramie, Wyoming
Wildflowers, Pilot Hill Recreation Area – Laramie, Wyoming
Wildflowers, Pilot Hill Recreation Area – Laramie, Wyoming
Wildflowers, Pilot Hill Recreation Area – Laramie, Wyoming
Wildflowers, Pilot Hill Recreation Area – Laramie, Wyoming

Happy Spring

Happy Spring!

At long last, the BIG snow seems behind us.

You may have read about 2 feet of snow we endured a few weeks back (photos below). But, our local ski area did benefit from all the snow, reaching a 100inch base; I managed 37 days teaching skiing this winter (below is a photo of a trio of instructors). And, our tulips are beginning to emerge BUT probably a big mistake — late April early May snows still likely. Most summer travel on hold for another year so still have too much time on my hand. Included are five recent YouTube videos. The most recent “Celebration of Travel” is the video I had in mind March 2020 (beginning of Covid isolation) when my first YouTube video was constructed. Hope you enjoy the videos and our paths cross again soon; and stay healthy!

Spring Snow, March 2021 — Laramie Wyoming
Spring Snow, March 2021 — Laramie Wyoming
Spring Snow, March 2021 — Laramie Wyoming
3 Ski School Instructors, April 2021 — Mountain Sports School, Snowy Range

Rusty

Greetings and best wishes for 2021. Unfortunately, I begin the new year with a sad announcement. Shortly before Christmas, Rusty passed; he no longer kept food down, was losing weight, and growing week. We tried a few things but nothing worked, and after many sleepless nights it was time. We miss him greatly, as does his sister Sorrel, but Rusty managed to live a long life (14 years, not bad for a Springer). When I began sensing we’d soon lose Rusty, I started a YouTube video celebrating the lives of all seven of our Springers. The video is now complete and can be viewed at

On the bright side, 2020 and the Trump reign, are finally over. Let’s hope the virus is soon controlled, decency and forward thinking return to government, and days of social distancing and wearing a mask are soon behind us.

For those who knew Rusty, what follows are a few photos.

Holiday Greeting 2020

What a strange time we’re living in. Hope you’ve stayed healthy and remain hopeful for the future. I am, though it seems the very fabric of our democracy is being tested daily. Attached are some links to recent YouTube additions … still have too much time on my hands. Let me know what you think. Wishing you the very best for 2021!

Five New YouTube Videos

Hi all,

Hope summer going well and all healthy. Managed to visit Yellowstone for a few days in late June — needed Yellowstone Fix. Stayed in Gardiner, Montana (near north gate of park) because few accommodations open in park. Park crowded BUT not as bad as recent years BECAUSE buses not allowed … wonderful!  My goal was to video black bears and capture some Yellowstone sounds. Was partly successful — road over Mt. Washburn closed so unable to take videos of black bear moms with cubs (best locations for me always along road from Roosevelt Lodge to Tower Fall), though did get some audio of the park’s great sounds. Have included five new videos to YouTube channel (two are Yellowstone additions), hope you like.  Stay well!

Trekking to Everest Base Camp  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw8Jg0wZ4dw&feature=youtu.be

Wildebeest Migration Serengeti National Park  https://youtu.be/zVxf8tjIhJA

Land of Polar Bears  https://youtu.be/_KK5IO9Z1Cw

Sounds of Yellowstone  https://youtu.be/PwuT8HwYul0

Searching for the Loveliest Waterfall in Yellowstone  https://youtu.be/DVKOGGFg62I

 

1000 Days of Travel

Greetings all

Hope you’re all healthy and successfully weathering the new virus. Like most of you, I have plenty of unplanned stays at home recently and had to reschedule planned trips (postponed Australia visit until 2021 and postponed annual Yellowstone adventure until next month, hopefully). So, I had time to take some of the blog idea to YouTube; thus far placing five short videos on YouTube (seems a length of 12-16 minutes works, let me know if you agree). On my YouTube channel, I plan to continue linking the benefits of Adult Education to Wonder, Curiosity, Adventure and Travel. To date, I’ve had the good fortune to visit five of seven continents, spending (at last calculation – lots of time these days for calculations) over 1000 days traveling and exploring new sites, often in new countries (42 countries visited thus far). That’s roughly 20 days of travel a year for the past 50 years. How and why would I spend that amount of time traveling? Answering the “how” part of the question is easy: it helps that Susan (who’s been part of my life since 1971) also enjoys traveling, that my job provided ample time for travel, and that not having children we had additional resources and discretionary time. Answering the “why travel” part of the question is more difficult. At times, I feel like a travel junkie (experiencing first-hand the harsh and uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal lately), but that isn’t all bad. There is something about the excitement surrounding a good dose of travel in one’s lie. Though travel tends to inform, broaden one’s world-view, increases openness to novelty and to others, and remains a cornerstone to learning throughout life, travel also thrills and animates life; it has for me. Below are links to my first YouTube videos.

Countries Visited

Banner for YouTube channel

Arusha Pickleball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-TngGGHYLo

51 Works in American Adult Education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpKMaIBSb_Q

Seven Yellowstone Hot Spots:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7kF1VNhrHI&feature=youtu.be

Galápagos Islands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbemmnQ7wTU&feature=youtu.be

Kilimanjaro Trek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbdKtCOOxkU&feature=youtu.be

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo used at end of YouTube videos – taken by Matt Caires (River Lodge, Tanzania, June 2009)

Love Bears

Greetings Everyone,

Happy early March 2020! Hope winter was kind thus far. This morning -15 Celsius in Laramie (brrrrr); once again shoveled snow. But skiing is wonderful; have already taught skiing nearly thirty days at Snowy Range. Fun seeing a few of you at last Monday’s Pickleball movie/presentation at Eppson Center – nice group and seemingly recruited a few new players.  Am already working on next Eppson Center movie that I hope to present in May: working title is “The Heart of Adult Education: Curiosity and Adventure (Yellowstone, Galápagos, and Kilimanjaro)”. Looking forward to weaving a bit more adult education into future presentations. This blog though captures another of my interests: photographing bears. Thus far, Susan and I have had the great fortune to experience a wonderful variety of bears (five of the eight species, both in zoos and in their natural environments). We’ll visit Yellowstone again in May and hopefully fortunate enough to see and photograph more Grizzly and Black bears. Why do I love bears? Those bears I have had the wonderful opportunity to experience in the wild possess a rather unique solitary majestic quality of wildness (though mothers do seem to possess an infinite amount of affection and patience while caring for cubs). And, that quality of wildness should be celebrated, as does Lyle Lovett in his tribute to “Bears”  and not destroyed (see lyrics below).

And, in Australia this summer, I hope to photograph some Koala bears (I do realize koalas are marsupials and are not really bears). Also, it seems I have a few potential clients interested in buying and displaying some of my bear photos. So, I’m sharing a few of these photos in this blog. (If you see a photo you like and might want a print let me know). Cheers

Songwriter Lyle Lovett “Bears” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T4SaNuxZO8

Some folks say there ain’t no bears in Arkansas
Some folks never seen a bear at all
Some folks say that bears go around eating babies raw
Some folks got a bear across the hall

Some folks say that bears go around smelling bad
Others say that a bear is honey sweet
Some folks say this bear’s the best I ever had
Some folks got a bear beneath their feet

Some folks drive the bears out of the wilderness
Some to see a bear would pay a fee
Me I just bear up my bewildered best
And some folks even see the bear in me

Some folks drive the bears out of the wilderness
Some to see a bear would pay a fee
Me I just bear up my bewildered best
And some folks even see the bear in me

So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you
And even though your friends may stop and stare
Just remember that’s a bear there in the bunch with you
And they just don’t come no better than a bear

So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you
And even though your friends may stop and stare
Just remember that’s a bear there in the bunch with you
And they just don’t come no better than a bear

No they just don’t come no better than a bear

No they just don’t come no better than
No they just don’t come no better than
No they just don’t come no better than a bear

 

1. Grizzly bear and cub – Togwotee Pass, Wyoming

2. Polar bear – Churchill, Canada

3. Black bear – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

4. Polar bear Voda and cub (Koda or Nuka) – Denver Zoo, Colorado

5. Black bear cub – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

6. Grizzly bear #399 and cubs – Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

7. Male Grizzly bear – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

8. Polar bear – Churchill, Canada

9. Female Black bear – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

10. Male Grizzly bear – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

11. Grizzly bear #399 and cubs – Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

12. Male Grizzly bear – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

13. Black bear – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

14. Black bear cub- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

15. Female Black bear – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

16. Polar bear – Churchill, Canada

17. Male Polar bears sparring – Churchill, Canada

18. Male Polar bears sparring – Churchill, Canada

19. Brown bears fishing for salmon – Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

20. Polar bear resting – Churchill, Canada

21. Brown bear fishing for salmon – Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

22. Male Grizzly bear (black and white photograph) – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

23. Polar bear walking ice field – Churchill, Canada

24. Male Grizzly bear (black and white photograph) – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Joy of Pickleball

Happy 2020!!

Hope all healthy and thus far 2020 treating you well. On the 31st my sister Donna and her husband Ken sent fresh crab from Seattle so Susan and I welcomed the new year with crab and champagne … managed to stay awake until after midnight. Last month I mentioned working on my next iMovie and presentation at our local Senior Center: Joy of Pickleball (JoyPickleball Announcement). As noted a few times recently, I really enjoy playing and teaching the game of pickleball.  There is a flow and rhythm to the game that’s both relaxing and engaging. Ironically, I find similarities between learning to play pickleball and learning to alpine ski: initially the learner’s approach is commonly defensive but overtime there is a significant change in performance as understanding and confidence increase. Love it! Included in the iMovie is a discussion of when and why the game of pickleball began and how the game is played. Also included in the movie is some footage from a “Beginners” pickleball clinic I did in Tanzania last summer as well as some of our local pickleball players playing the game and discussing the attraction of pickleball. If you’re in town, I hope you can join us on February 24th for the pickleball presentation.

Have a great year!

Pickleball equipment and player – Laramie, Wyoming

Beginner’s Pickleball Clinic (June 4, 2019) – Arusha, Tanzania

Beginner’s Pickleball Clinic (June 4, 2019) – Arusha, Tanzania

Beginner’s Pickleball Clinic (June 4, 2019) – Arusha, Tanzania

Beginner’s Pickleball Clinic (June 4, 2019) – Arusha, Tanzania

Beginner’s Pickleball Clinic (June 4, 2019) – Arusha, Tanzania Beginner’s Pickleball Clinic (June 4, 2019) – Arusha, Tanzania

Beginner’s Pickleball Clinic (June 4, 2019) – Arusha, Tanzania

New outdoor pickleball courts – Laramie, Wyoming