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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

 

With so many political posts lately I had thought to make this one about religion.  After all, a blog titled Bad Atheist should be discussing religion every now and again.  However, instead, I wrote another political post.   Why?  Because, as the saying goes, shit happens.   And that shit is Trump.

This week Trump started confirming my worst fears about him.  While it is hard to pick and choose which of his executive actions was the worse, since he has provided us with a full, rich smorgasbord  of terrible decisions and actions to choose from, I am going to talk about his latest one.  The one where he stopped and banned all migrants and refugees from seven countries from entering the United States, even those who hold permanent resident status.   These countries were supposedly picked due to their failed nature, terrorist activity, and violence.

This sudden and drastic action reeks of so many things – fear, hatred, ignorance.   This action, and Trump’s and his supporters justification for it make it seem as if there is no vetting of these travelers, as if we just say “yep, come on in” without doing any sort of check.   Trump and crew seem to believe that we have avoided a terrorist attack from the citizens of these countries due solely to the grace of God.

The reality is that we do check them, each and every one.   Some more than others.  But none are given a free pass to just come and go without any scrutiny.  And you know what?  It seems to work.

Consider this fact – a true fact and not an alternate one that Trump and his followers are so fond of – none of the attacks carried out in the United States were done by a citizen of these seven countries.  Not one.

Consider this fact too, none of the attacks carried out in the United States were done by Syrian refugees.

Finally, consider this fact, and it is one that Trump’s defenders are making a big to do about; all of these seven countries were identified by the Obama administration as posing special risks for visa status.  In other words, the situation within those countries are dire and rife with terrorism and violence.

And yet, with just the procedures we have now, none of its citizens who have traveled here, go to school here, work here, and live here have committed any attacks against the hnan_and_lian_fadi_kassar_5758bdbd2e3fc99559b93f42d7bf4d69-nbcnews-ux-2880-1000United States here.    Despite being from high risk countries.

Seems like pretty good evidence that we are doing something right.  And that sudden, drastic measures such as those Trump engaged in, are not necessary or needed.  Examining those procedures and tweaking them, possibly so.  Full out stop – no.

An analogy from my own background might be useful here.  If I have a productive piece of equipment that, although not giving me zero defects, does do well and whose defects are well below our goals, I am not going to shut it down to examine it in order to find ways to improve it.  Instead I will let it run while I look at improvements, or even replacement.

Now, if the same machine were to malfunction and we had more defects than good product, or, even worse, someone were injured or killed, then yes, shut it down and fix it.

Our immigration system from these seven countries was working well, as evidenced by the fact that we had no terrorist attacks from anyone from these countries on our soil.  Agreed, some from those countries have engaged in terrorist acts in Europe, but Europe is not the United States and the dynamics and situations are different.  The situation in Europe is a cause to examine our system by using what is happening in Europe to see how it could be improved.  However, it is not cause to shut it all down to do so.  As I said, our immigration system for these seven countries so far has had zero defects.

Moving on, let me point out one other fact of interest.  Refugees are going to come from high risk countries with high levels of violence and terrorists.  If it were all nice and peaceful they would not have uprooted themselves from home and family and fled their country.  What this means it that in using the criteria of not allowing people in from high risk countries Trump effectively blocks entry to this country to those who need its safety the most.

So, what does this tell us about Trump and his administration?

That they are, tactfully speaking, not deep thinkers.   In fact, they are not thinkers at all – they do not analyze and try to understand the situation and system before making changes.  Instead, they are reactors.  They react and then try to justify, often with alternative facts and denial of actual facts.  Think of them as being the proverbial bull in a china shop, only with the ability to speak.

Next, they don’t care.  They do not care about the hardship that this imposes on people and families – on their livelihood, on their jobs, on their goals and plans.  They  don’t care that many of these people are in productive jobs in the United Sates and that their absence impacts American businesses. They don’t care that some of these people are engaging in important research that could have a potential impact on our medicines and healthcare.  They don’t care that their actions may even cost people their lives.  They don’t care.  They x_lon_syriaboy_170129-nbcnews-ux-1080-600reacted and damn , that felt good.  The rest – they don’t care.

Moving down the list of things we learned from Trump and his administration.  They don’t like to communicate. Nor do they like to coordinate.  A small group wrote this up without input from anyone.  The normal vetting of this executive order to ensure it does not violate laws and the Constitution, that it does what they want it to without unwanted complications and consequences, was not done.  But of course, Trump knows it all anyway and so doesn’t need to worry about that.  Which, come to think of it, is why he so often seems to live in a fantasy world.

This last trait, not vetting it (and isn’t that rather ironic), along with not communicating it in advance and planning on how to best implement it with those who are charged with actually implementing it contributed greatly to the chaos and uncertainty that followed.  That with, of course, the fact that this was a bad, very bad, hugely and bigly bad executive order.

A bad executive order done badly .    Trump and friends managed to get nothing right about this.

All for what?  National security?  To make out country safer?

This does not do that.  Not even a little bit.  In fact, it does the opposite.  It provides evidence for the radicals claim that the US is waging war on Islam and Muslims.  That our words about freedom of religion are nothing more than hollow hypocrisy.  Trump and company’s actions have the potential to increase the effectiveness of the terrorist’s recruitments efforts.

I know, I know.  Many of those supporters of Trump would pooh pooh my claims that Trump’s actions here actually help the terrorists and radicals rather than hurt them.  This despite the fact that the reasoning is sound and is supported by actual events.

There are currently several  Jihadist groups who are hailing Trump’s piece of ant-terrorist action.  One even said that Trump was “the best caller to Islam”. Why?  Because it shows that what the terrorists and radicals have been saying about the United States, that it is at war with Islam and has no true freedom of religion, are true.  It turns what had been their lies into truth.

Or consider the citizens in Iraq.  We, the United States, are working with them to defeat ISIS.  But we won’t let them in?  What message does that send – hello, we think you make fine cannon fodder but don’t really want to have anything else to do with you. Other than help you become good cannon fodder.

Even worse, the message this executive order sends to the American Muslim community is that the United States does not care about the ideals of religious freedom.  That Muslims are second class at best.  Especially when they consider that now Christians will get preferential treatment over all other refugees.

Which brings us to another question being asked – is this a ban on Muslims?  Trump did call for such a ban during his campaign.  Add to that former New York City mayor Giuliani stating during a Fox interview on Saturday that Trump had tasked him with finding some legal way to make a ban on Muslims happen.  Then add to the pot Trump’s order giving Christians priority.

While this is not conclusive, there is enough here to cause extremely justified suspicion that it is indeed a ban based on religious belief.  A ban on Muslims disguised… rather like how laws to discourage black voting back in the good old days were disguised as literacy tests.  And if somehow it is not, then it gives every appearance of being such with all the accompanying issues and problems that such a ban would create.  Including providing aid and comfort to the terrorists.

Not good

syria_prosfyges

Moving to another one of the interesting questions being asked – why these seven countries?  Yes, President Obama had them on a list.  But, it was not for the sort of actions Trump is engaging in.   Since Trump is busily doing everything he can to undo what President Obama has done, then why not add countries who have actually had some of their citizens attack us on our own soil?   Why not add Egypt and Saudi Arabia to the list?  Or Turkey?

Hmmm, let’s see.  Trump has significant business interests in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey.  He has none in Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.

While not conclusive, it is suspicious.  Add to that the fact that he continues to refuse to release his tax returns and divest himself of his business holdings, or even put them in a blind trust, and I think we have a grand cause to investigate.  Is Trump trying to benefit, or at the very least, trying to protect, his business interests through the office of the Presidency without consideration on whether that is good for the United States or not.

Finally, despite all of this, the facts and the reasons, the protests and the pain it is causing to good people, I see many of his supporters still trying to justify this order and support these actions.  In reading some of the articles and in my discussions with them, some do it out of hatred of Muslims and Islam.  To those people I can only say go to hell cause we are not going to let you create one here in the United States.

Others though are doing so out of fear and ignorance.  To them I say, heal yourselves.  While your intentions may be good, ignorance and fear turn even the best of intentions into terrible actions.  They are the bricks used to line that road to hell.

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A Short and Succinct Blog Break – and Right in Every Respect

 

In looking over my posts I notice that I have a tendency to write rather long ones.  This supports the charge leveled by numerous people over the years that I am somewhat…. detailed in what I write.  This is especially evident when I do a series of blogs on a subject such as the current series on Morality. 

Now, I can be succinct and brief and thought it would be fun to break into this series, briefly, to prove it. 

I’m right. 

About everything. 

If you disagree, you’re wrong.  Period.  Get over it. 

This short argument inspired by many conversations I have had with people on the internet and in life. 

Only 125 words.

Next blog will return to the series on Atheism and Morality.  Damn, now I’m up to 137 word.   Shoot, 144 words, no 146 wor……….

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With this blog I thought I would give free reign to my ego and let it proudly proclaim that I have a way with words such that I can pithily and succinctly capture some of the great truths about the world we live in and in how we live in the world.

In other words I am going to share some aphorisms that I have thought of the last couple of weeks.  There are only four so far, but I reserve the right to add to these at any time.  I believe that I will have created many more before I die, several of which will be as eternal as the English language (I  did warn you I was letting my ego run unchecked).

Think of these as a starter set of Bill’s aphorisms or sayings.  Please feel free to  use them in your conversations at the appropriate moments.

Shopping for a Grandchild:

It is not a success until done to excess.

 

Vacations:

The worth of a vacation is  not determined by how many building and mountains were seen, nor in how many events attended and experienced.  Instead the worth of a vacation is determined by how much joy you experienced in those you did see – even if it is only one.  

 

Dignity:

Humanity is  not lifted up to dignity by God but rather lifts himself to dignity on the basis of his own efforts.  

 

Communication:

Miscommunications occur when  two or more people think they have communicated effectively and successfully and then refuse to believe otherwise.

 

As I said, this list is short (especially for me) but then genius is not defined by length and even the shortest of sayings, even if of only one word, can contain all  the wisdom of the world.

Also, if anyone has an aphorism, pithy and witty saying, or cleverly expressed short insights that they have said in the past and would like to share please feel free to do so.   I do not mind sharing other people’s insights, as long as they meet my high and demanding standards.

After all genius shared is not genius halved but rather genius squared.

 

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Currently my wife – the beautiful and wondrous Dindy – are on vacation.  I had posted some updates on our vacation on facebook for family and friends.  Dindy rather liked them and thought that they approached being humorous, more so than most of my attempts at humor, and suggested that I post them as a blog too.

I thought that over for three or four seconds and decided that, as usual, she was write.  I had spent a considerable amount of time writing these and  thought them rather interesting.  I also thought  it would be a nice change of pace from what I have been posting lately.

So here it is, notes from my vacation – unedited.

 

Umm,  normally I  would be posting a picture here, but being on vacation and working off a netbook I have not figured out how to accomplish this.  Might I suggest you use your imagination to supply the appropriate imagery.

 

 

Thought it might be time to update this page with details of Dindy’s and mine vacation so far. It covers only our first three days, but it has been an interesting three days, partly in the sense of the Chinese curse – “May you live in interesting times”.

What I am trying to let you know is that this will be a bit long. In fact I will be breaking this down into four or five parts. And eventhen most of those parts, especially at the beginning will be long.

So man or woman up, make sure that you are sitting in your most comfortable chairs and your favorite jammies, have your favorite beverage in hand and have just returned from a productive trip to the bathroom, because here we go.

Part 1 – Getting There Is So Much Fun

As you may or may not know, Dindy and I are on an eight day vacation to visit Yellowstone Park, the next door Grand Tetons (both of which are in Wyoming) and then travelling north and west to visit Glacier National Park in Montana. Our flight to start and end this vacation is at Great Falls Montana. We chose this due to a great deal Dindy got on the airline tickets. Yellowstone and the Great Tetons are about seven hours southeast and the Glacier National Park about four hours northwest of Great Falls.

Our first interesting event of the Chinese variety occurred way, way too early on a Saturday morning. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:30 am. However when we woke up at 3:45 am (or rather when I woke up since Dindy never made it to bed having to do some work plus trying to do some last minute trip related items – although she did take several short naps using her computer keyboard as a pillow) we discovered that our flight had been delayed until 7:18 am.

Normally this 48 minute delay would not be a major problem. However, we had to catch a connecting flight in Denver at 8:10 am. Our flight was originally scheduled to touch down at Denver at 7:29 am. A quick check of the math showed us that we were indeed facing a CCIM (Chinese Curse Interesting Moment).

Fortunately this was of the relatively minor variety. Once at the airport we were told that they would hold the plane until we arrived and had boarded it.

Due to Dindy’s knee injury she is walking around with a cane and has only one speed – slow. When told this the airline people told us that there would be a person with a wheelchair awaiting us at Denver to whisk Dindy away to our connecting flight. Little did I realize that I soon would wish I had a wheelchair waiting for me.

The pilot must have pushed the throttle to the metal because we arrived at Denver airport only about 20 minutes late instead of 48 minutes. And sure enough there was a short, thin older gentleman there at our arriving gate for Dindy. Or course our connecting flight was at the other end of the terminal.

The older, thin gentleman started pushing Dindy’s wheelchair and told her not to worry, that he was a marathon runner and would get us there in good time. And with that he was off and marathoning.

When he said us I assume he must have meant just him and Dindy because there was no way in hell that this 56 year old, overweight, out of shape man with a gimpy left knee was going to keep up with him. I was doing damned good to keep him and Dindy in sight and only managed that because they arrived at the gate before they disappeared from my sight.

That CCIM moment was mine and mine alone. I arrived at the gate – my body producing rivers of sweat, my face a red beacon, and huffing and puffing enough to make the big bad wolf proud. Dindy on the other hand, was getting out of her wheelchair and was thanking the old marathoner for such a nice ride.

By the time our flight landed in Great Falls Montana at 10:10 am (only ten minutes late) I had finally found my lost breath, dammed up my flowing river, and regained my normal color again.

                                         Of Pace Cars – Part 2 of our Great Vacation

Everything initially went well after arriving at Great Falls, Montana. We got our rental car without issues. We found the highway out of town without a problem and stated south to our lodgings in Wyoming on the other side of Yellowstone National Park. There were only two seemingly minor problems.

The first was Dindy’s nausea and tiredness. While for much of the drive she slept she was awake during much of it too, enough to enjoy the scenery we were passing through. And after having no sleep the night before tiredness it to be expected. I figure she should have spend more time napping with her computers.

The nausea though – Dindy is prone to mild motion sickness. She also had just started some new pain medication for her knee, medication which had nausea as one of its side effects. Also, since both Dindy and I experienced some rather severe altitude sickness in Denver last year we had gotten some medicine to counter this and had started taking it on Thursday.

What puzzles me is that one of the symptoms of altitude sickness is nausea. One of the side effects of this medication against altitude sickness is nausea. Nausea + nausea = no nausea???

Fortunately I was not experiencing any nausea, but I was experiencing another concerning side effect of this medication, as was Dindy. Namely that it makes soda taste flat and out right nasty. Damn.

Anyway, the other minor problem was my inability to find and purchase a map of Wyoming. We had directions from Google on how to get to our lodging and also had a GPS with us. But I always enjoy having a paper map too. Without it I never feel like I have a firm grasp of the bigger picture of the area I am heading into – what roads intersect which highways which pierce which towns and so forth.

Now, I found a map for Montana at the airport. However we stopped twice in Montana in our trip towards Wyoming – once for a potty break and another for a lunch break – and at both stops I found maps for Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Washington. But none for their southern neighbor, Wyoming. I figure it must be a jealousy thing.

I finally gave up and went on. After all, I had a GPS with the jeep and my detailed travel directions from Google – what could go wrong? Right?

At first driving through Montana was boring – relatively flat with scrub plants dotting the flatness. Whilst driving this part of Montana we encountered another CCIM (Chinese Curse Interesting Moment for those who may have forgotten) – rural highway construction.

Now all of us have driven through rural highway construction before and are familiar with its slow traffic, narrow lanes, and its dust, dirt, and gravel. However the state of Montana, and as we discovered its sister state of Wyoming, had added something that vastly increased the irritation factor.

We were approaching a road that was intersecting our rural highway. Just a few moments before we had passed a sign warning us of “Construction Ahead”. Sure enough, at this intersection there were three highway construction workers, one on every arm of the road and highway except for the other side of the road on the highway – the part we were wanting to get to.

The highway worker on our part of the highway had stopped traffic, as had the other two on the road intersecting the highway. We had six cars ahead of us. There were no cars coming from the other way of the highway. At first Dindy and I thought that they were waiting for some huge monster of a construction machine to pass through.

At the five minute mark Dindy and I were wondering if our initial thought might have been wrong.

At the ten minute mark I was wondering why the other drivers had not gotten out of their cars and trucks to ask the highwayman what was going on.

At the 15 minute mark I was wondering why I wasn’t getting out of my car to ask this question of the highwayman. No sooner had I wondered this than I translated wondering into action.

I hopped out of my car, walked the six cars up to the highwayman and had a conversation with him. The conversation with something (but not exactly) like this:

Me: “Hi, hows it going?”

CW (Construction Worker): “All right.”

Me: I was just wondering, what are we waiting for?”

CW: “Oh,the pace car. It should be here soon.”

Me: A blank look, a moment of silence and then “Pace car?”

CW: “Yeah.”

Me: “Ummm, we’re not in a race are we?”

CW: Smiling, “Naw. We use a pace car to keep everybody at 20 mph so that they don’t throw rocks and gravel. We just laid down some sealer and want to make sure that it does not get damaged.:

Me: “Oh. OK. Thanks.”

I then walk back to our car and relate the conversation to Dindy. We had a calm and reasoned discussion of this idea of a pace car and considered all its ramifications in a calm and reasoned manner.

We came to the conclusion that were this to be tried in the great state of Texas that the construction worker would have been shot and killed on the spot. Afterwards his dead body would have been run over by every driver going through that construction site until it was as flat as the road. Governor Rick Perry would then have declared this practice of using pace cars as an unconstitutional federal intrusion into matters best left to states and declared the construction workers death as fully and wholeheartedly justified. He might even be able to get re-elected again on the basis of this.

Anyway, after waiting for another ten minutes we finally saw the pacer car approaching us from the opposite direction, turtling along at a fierce 20 mph and with a long tail of cars and trucks behind him.

When the pacer car reached the intersection, slowly it turned, step by step, inch by inch (anybody get that obscure reference) and finally fronted our parade of vehicles and off we went – a 15 minute thrill ride at 20 mph. The O. J. Simpson car chase went faster than that for goodness sake!

                    Road Trip Continues, Darkness Falls, and Tools Fail – Part 3 of our                                                                    Great Vacation

After we left the pace car and the construction behind us things started to look much better. The terrain became more varied with gorges, mountains, and valleys; rivers lined with trees, brush and various grasses. It was beautiful, nature at its finest.

So far the GPS had worked well for us, as had my google directions (taking into account the fact that we decided to vary our route through Montana a bit at the last minute). However all of that changed at Yellowstone National Park.

Upon entering the North Gate of Yellowstone I asked the ranger at the gate about our route. I wanted to double check my google directions and so asked him from which gate should we exit the park to get to our lodgings. He confirmed google beautifully, telling us that we needed to exit the southern gate of the park. He also gave us a map of the park. Feeling pretty good about everything (although I still would have liked to have had a paper map of Wyoming) we entered Yellowstone National Park.

One of the first things I noticed was that the names of park map did not match the names of my google directions. This was the start of our biggest CCIM yet.

Soon afterwards we noticed that the GPS was giving us strange directions – trying to make us turn west instead of continuing south to the southern exit (if I had been able to get a paper map of Wyoming I could have checked to see if this actually made any sense or not – but alas I had no map). It also started telling us to turn into campgrounds and parking lots.

This is the point at which I upgraded my worry status from mildly to hugely. We had lost an hour due to construction and had lost another hour due to me pulling over to take a nap (while Dindy had had no sleep the previous night I had done only marginally better having gotten only 3 1/2 hours sleep). Because of that it was 7 pm when we entered Yellowstone.

We had planned to be at our lodgings around 8 or 8:30. This would have allowed about an hour for stopping to look at some of the views and sights. However now it was 7 pm and we had 62 miles of road to drive in order to reach the southern gate of
Yellowstone (I had decided to follow the park map instead of either GPS or the google directions) with the speed limit in the park ranging form 25 to 45 mph. I was also concerned about finding our lodgings in an unfamiliar boondocks at night with few if any lights.

As I followed the map I quickly discovered that all of the roads in the park apparently have no names. Or at least no signs letting us know what road we were on. I figure the roads must be very shy.

The only way I could be sure I was on the correct road was by looking at the very occasional wooden sign giving how many miles it was to the next tourist attraction – Mammoth, Norris, Old Faithful, etc. I’ll agree that there were very few roads in that part of the country, however few is not the same as none. It would have been very comforting if I could have been sure I was on the correct on of these few roads and had not taken a wrong turning. This did nothing to help my rapidly fraying nerves.

Finally though we made it to the Southern Gate and exited Yellowstone National Park. As we exited I finally saw a sign giving us he name of the road we were on – joy of joys, its name matched that of my google directions! Our troubles were over. Or at least that is what I so naively thought at the time.

It was 8:50 pm by the time we left the park and the night had gone beyond dusk to dark and was rapidly working its way to pitch dark. From the time we saw that one sign telling us what road we were on until we finally arrived at our lodging at 10:50 pm (it should have taken us only 40 minutes to arrive there from the southern gate instead of the actual 120 minutes it did take us) we never saw even one, not even one freaking sign informing us of what road we were on. I have never seen such shy … or perhaps paranoid roads in my life!

After about 30 minutes of driving I knew something was very wrong… again. By now we should have hit a turn. In fact, by my figuring we should have hit a turning around the 20 minute mark. Also by now we had achieved pitch darkness with the only lights visible anywhere being my own headlights.

So, to summarize, at this point we were on a nameless road, had passed no towns, and seen no signs for upcoming towns. It was at this point that Dindy suggested that we call our lodging and ask for directions. I calmly (that is my story and I am sticking to it) told her that the first thing they were going to ask is where were we? And what were we going to tell them? That we’re stuck in the pitch black night without a town anywhere near us and on a road that has a case of BLOODY AMNESIA?????

We drove in silence for awhile.

Then a moment of decision descended upon us. Our amnesiac road ended at an intersection and we had to decide either to turn left unto a road that was in the witness protection program and not allowed to give out its name or turn right onto a road that was a silently gibbering idiot that had never learned its name. And apparently they did not believe in building towns in Wyoming since there was also no sign pointing out there direction.

At this point we decided to try the GPS again. We were already lost, so what did we have to lose?

It told us to turn right and id’d the road with a name I recognized from my google printed directions. Hallelujah! We had finally found the right road again.

That feeling lasted for about five minutes. At five minutes I happened to glance into my rear view mirror compass (and thank goodness that Dindy shelled out for a version of a jeep with a compass in the rear view mirror) and saw that we were heading south. Even though we were lost I was pretty sure that we wanted to be traveling north.

Since we had a tentative ID on the road (if our GPS was correct, but it had failed geography after all) and also had come across the name of a tourist turnabout we decided to call our hopefully near future lodgings and ask for help. Sure enough the front desk clerk confirmed that we needed to turn around. She also told us that once had hit the Moran junction (and there would be a sign) to turn left and they would be 16 miles down on the left. So around we turned, keeping a sharp eye out for a sign that we were indeed on the straight and narrow road.

Finally we came upon that sign. Keep in mind that 99% of all signs we had seen in Wyoming so far had been made in dark wood. We had seen no signs strung over any roads. More importantly, we had not seen any signs that were lighted.

What this meant was that we saw the sign at the same time that we were passing by it. Fortunately I have mastered the art of the U turn and turned that jeep around and turned down what had been a left turn but was now a right turn for us. I also noticed something that, at first, did not make much sense to me – namely that it stated that Moran CO was what would have been straight ahead had we not turned.

But despite that discordant note we kept on that road for almost 1/2 mile when we came across the entrance to the Teton National Park.

During my conversation with the front desk clerk she had asked me if I had exited the park. I told her yes because we had exited a second park about 30 minutes after leaving Yellowstone National Park.

Being the great intellect that I am I quickly put together the anomaly of the sign and the gate we were just passing through and realized that this was the gate the front desk clerk was referring to!

I quickly u turned the car again and went back to Moran’s junction and made a left. At the three mile mark our CPS told us to make a left turn unto a dirt road. My printed google directions were totally lost and starving. I continued on, trusting in the young, sweet sounding voice of the women had talked to at the lodge.

At the16 mile point there was no lodge on the left, only forest. We persevered on.

at 16 1/2 miles we saw the lights of a sign on the left side of the road n the distance.

At 17 miles we turned into what would now be our home until Wednesday. A nice, two room connected by a kitchenette cabin.

                                          The Day Upchucks – Part 4

This will be a very short post.

We both slept late, tired out by the many travels or our trip.

I woke up short of breath, very little energy, and slightly nauseous.

Dindy started her morning out in a spectacular fashion – two upchucks in a row. Worn out by this tremendous display of gastric pyrotechnics she slept the rest of the day.

I napped. I read. I watched movies and CNN on TV.

It seemed that despite our medication we were again afflicted with altitude sickness – Dindy more so than me.

A Good Day Arises – Part 5 – Monday

Today both Dindy and I woke up.

After waking up we discovered that we were in better shape than we were yesterday. Which, come to think of it would not be that hard to do.

Dindy had some soup and ice cream and kept it down.

We walked down a short a beautiful trail that starts just outside of our cabin door. The woods are beautiful. Not far off there is a majestically craggy mountain. The trail ended at a sewage treatment pond. Despite the boat laying nearby we easily resisted the urge to go boating. Or swimming.

We even drove to the Grand Teton National Park where we walked a couple of short trials, stopped an looked a few overviews, and even had lunch in a nice restaurant with a nice view of a lake and mountains.

We took enough pictures of the magnificent scenery here to bore even both of our dads.

The altitude sickness pills seem to be working. During the whole week Dindy was in Denver she was very very sick. During my three days there I was also very sick, although not quite a bad off as Dindy.

Anyway, although both of us were still short of breath and of energy and Dindy is still mildly nauseous there is a great improvement from Denver… and from yesterday.

Tomorrow we go to see the sights of Yellowstone instead of just driving through as we were on Saturday.

Have I mentioned that Dindy is totally intent on seeing a live and open range bear. She badly wants to see one… even if it costs me my life.

Needless to say, I am not as wild on the idea.

Just a quick update on our vacation and to let you know that there will be no more updates, especially the long ones I posted yesterday, until we get back.

Both Dindy and I are doing much better – Dindy’s nausea is still with her but is much more manageable and she is eating better. Both of us are still short of breath and not up for any long hikes but are up for short ones. Which we have taken.

Today we went to Yellowstone National Park and thoroughly enjoyed it. Until doing research for this trip I had not realized that Yellowstone had a canyon. While not to the scale of the Grand Canyon it was still impressive and wonderful to behold. I think the fact that it was an unexpected find made it even more impressive.

Of course we watched Old Faithful erupt surrounded by a family from France, a large group of Amish, a German, and a large variety of Americans. It was great.

Tomorrow we leave for Glacier National Park, about a 10 1/2 hour drive. We are getting up earlier than we have been in order to get there in good time.

Anyway – Dindy and I are having a blast and thoroughly enjoying ourselves (with the possible exceptions of part of Saturday and most of Sunday).

Enjoy!

Oh, a last update to our last update. I am very grateful for that and Dindy is very disappointed at not seeing a bear. This despite having me stand in the woods just outside our cabin holding raw bacon in one hand and a newly microwaved meat lovers pizza in the other and calling “Here bearie, bearie, bearier. Din din is ready!”

I also finally found a map of Wyoming. I mentioned earlier that I could not find such a map in its northern neighbor Montana even though it had maps of every other state bordering them. What I did not expect was that I would also have problems in Wyoming finding a map of Wyoming.

I guess that they are just like their road signs – very, very shy.

Finally found one though after going to three different convenience stores and even more souvenir shops.

Anyway, thats it for now and probably until we return. We hope that you are enjoying your lives as much as we are enjoying ours!

 

 

And thats it for now.

Have you ever noticed that writings about bad things happening are more interesting than when good things happen?  It is why Dante’s Inferno sells more than  his Paradisio.

So, since Dindy and I seem to have the worst of our trip well behind us I won’t bore you with the more fun parts.  Instead I’ll  just wish everyone a good and enjoyable life.

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