Oct 7, 2008

Continuing East

This morning,after a quick breakfast,we pulled out of the rv park in Evanston, Wyoming around 8am, spent 30 minutes in a truck stop waiting and fueling and then hit the road.

This afternoon we pulled into the Cabela's RV Park in Sidney, Nebraska. Sidney is home to Cabela's headquarters and the RV Park is located next door to their store. We are in a nice pull through site and it's not a bad price. They also have a boon dock area here for those that don't want hookups.

The mountains are now behind us and from here on we will be driving across the flat plain until we reach Michigan. We will miss their beauty.

Our plan is to drive to Des Moines tomorrow. Then on Thursday morning make the short drive over to the Amana Colonies and spend the day there.

Should be back in Michigan by Saturday.

Oct 4, 2008

A Wedding, Some water and a Lighthouse

It hardly seems possible that we are already heading back to Michigan. We haven't done a very good job blogging, so this will be a brief overview of the last two weeks. We arrived in Portland on Thursday September 18th.

The next week was filled with last minute errands and wedding plans. Before we knew it the big day was here. The weather was perfect. The wedding was held in downtown Portland on the top of the Eco trust building. The reception was one floor below. We had a great time and it was over before we knew it. Sunday morning,family and friends gathered for a brunch for Julie and Jeremy, so they could open their gifts.

Sunday afternoon we drove over to Multnomah Falls with Michelle,Ian,Nemo,Mia,Melissa and Emma.

Monday morning we played taxi service getting first Julie and Jeremy to the airport for their trip to Spain, then Melissa and Emma to the airport for their trip back to Michigan. Jonathan and Laura had flown back to New York City early Sunday morning.

After picking Mollie up from her weekend stay at Noah's Arf, we headed back to the motor home for a little down time. Tuesday evening, Michelle and Ian treated us to a Japanese dinner and after hugs and goodbyes we headed back to the RV to get packed up.

Wednesday morning we left Portland and headed down the coast and taking our time going south on 101. We spent the night at Beverly Beach State Park just north of Newport.

Thursday morning we continued south to Winchester Bay to meet up with our friends Bob and Linda who are volunteering at the Umpqua River Light House.

That afternoon they took us to the processing plant for Umqua River Oysters.

Linda bought some freshly shucked oysters and we then headed to a local seafood market for some freshly caught tuna. That evening Bob grilled the tuna and Linda fried up the Oysters. What a meal!!! Fresh seafood with Peach Salsa, asparagus, caprese salad, coleslaw, and chocolate zucchini cake for dessert. Friday we got to see the pictures from Bob and Linda's recent trip to Europe, and Bob gave us a private tour of the lighthouse.

Then it was time for dinner. They took us to the WaterFront Depot, a wonderful little seafood restaurant a few miles north in the town of Florence. Another great seafood meal. When we returned to Winchester Bay, we went up to the lighthouse again for a spectacular night time view.

All too soon, it was time to say good bye to Bob and Linda.

It was a very rainy, windy night and still soggy when we got ready to leave this morning. First we made a quick trip back to the market for some more fresh tuna to freeze and take home with us.

Then we hooked up the Jeep to the motor home and headed East over the Cascade mountain range. We are spending the evening at Camp Walmart in Bend Oregon. On to southern Idaho in the morning.

Sep 13, 2008

Deer Lodge Mt.

We are spending the night at a nice small rv park in Deer Lodge Mt. We have been listening all day to the fox news channel on our Sirius Radio. The Texas hurricane and the L.A. train wreck seem to be the topic of conversation. I had to smile when I heard about all the gas price increases. When we filled up this morning on the North Dakota Montana border we paid 3.92 for diesel. That's the cheapest for us in several months. Today started out windy and rainy but by noon it was a nice day out. We started seeing the mountains this afternoon and crossed the continental divide at about 6800 feet.

We plan to have a short driving day on Sunday. We are going to stop in northern Idaho, in the Coeur D'Alene area. Monday we should be in the Seattle area. Thursday we will drive to Portland and start in on last minute wedding details.

That's all for now.

Sep 11, 2008

On the Road again

We hooked up the Jeep and headed west this morning. We are going to Portland via a few detours. Chicago was it's normal pain and tolls are almost 20.00 just to get to the n.w. side. We had rain this afternoon but it's nice now. As I write this we are parked at the Super Walmart in Eau Claire Wi. On to North Dakota tomorrow.

Apr 24, 2008

Back in Michigan

After 4+ months traveling thousands of miles over this great country of ours we are back in West Michigan once again. We feel very blessed and grateful that we had this opportunity to spend time with family in Oregon, meet up with friends, explore areas of the US we had never seen before, and take a day trip into Mexico. We did it without having any trouble while on the road and for that we are very thankful.

We are staying at the Hidden Ridge RV park just a few miles south of Grand Rapids. We will be here (mostly just for sleeping)for the next week while Jonathan, Melissa, Todd, Emma, and Ella are here in town. That way Jonathan can use our condo's downstairs level and Melissa, Todd, and the girls can use the upstairs. To be honest we really don't mind because for the last 4 months the rv has been our home and we're not sure we are ready to change that.

Stay tuned!!

Apr 22, 2008

Heading North

Saturday and Sunday we stayed at a small rural campground near Tupelo, MS. just off the Natchez Trace Parkway. An area so rural that we weren't able to connect to the internet. No emails and no blogs, but we survived. We were very close to the Tombigbee Waterway which brought back memories of our boating trips on this river.

Monday we drove to nearby Red Bay, Alabama to go on a tour of the Tiffin RV factory. We and about 30 other people observed the production line of some beautiful motorhomes. The 2009 coaches are already in production. This factory produces 11 coaches every day. Two of those 11 rv's go to the Lazy Days dealership in Florida! After the 2 hour tour we drove north a few hours and spent the night, along with 5-6 other rv's, in the Flying J truck stop parking lot in Franklin,Kentucky.

Today we left the truck stop at 7am and drove all day, arriving in Nappanee, Indiana. Nappanee is home to Amish Acres and the Newmar RV factory. We ate 'lupper' at Amish Acres this afternoon and tomorrow we plan to go on the morning tour at Newmar.

Apr 17, 2008

Roast Chicken with a side of hail

Today we had an uneventful drive from Hobbs,New Mexico to Hudson Oaks,Texas which is about 30 miles west of Fort Worth. It was a boring drive but we made up for it tonight.

We were parked at the Super WalMart where we planned to spend the night in their parking lot. We decided that a roast chicken sounded good for supper, so we went inside to ask permission to spend the night and to buy chicken and a few other things.

When we came out of the store we noticed the sky looked very dark to the West so we turned the TV on to watch the weather reports while fixing supper. We had just started eating when a tornado warning was issued for the area just to the west of us and it was headed directly our way. So we decided we needed to move the motorhome.

We quickly put things away and began driving back to the Southwest on I-20 to see if we could avoid the worst of the storm. We had gone about 2 miles when John remembered we forgot to lower the tv antennae. Judy got out of her seat and tried to get it cranked down but with the strong winds and rain it wouldn't budge. So we quickly pulled over to the side of the expressway and John got it down. As we pulled back onto the road it began hailing so we pulled over once again and sat under an overpass for a few minutes. Crazy!!!!!!

We stopped to fuel up at a truck stop and let the storm pass then headed back towards the WalMart. We were shocked to see what at first appeared to be inches of snow along the highway. We soon realized it was hail. The area around the WalMart parking lot was peppered with hail and there were a few overturned shopping carts.

The pictures don't really do it justice. We just saw a news clip showing footage of blown out windshields at a car dealership near here. Reports are that this area had hail from dime size to golf ball size. We feel very fortunate and blessed that we are safe and had no damage to our home on wheels.

Tomorrow we move on towards Alabama, hopefully with better weather.

Apr 15, 2008

Border Crossing

We arrived at Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico yesterday afternoon. What a neat place. We have really enjoyed the county and state parks on this trip. Not only are they reasonable but the rv sites seem to have more room.

This morning with eager anticipation and passports in hand we got into the jeep and drove 3 miles south of the State Park to the border crossing at Columbus, NM / Polomas, Chihuahua, Mexico.

The plan was to have lunch and do a little shopping. We parked the car in the parking lot on the US side and then went into the duty free shop. All the products in this shop are for export only. What this means is, anything in this shop that you buy has to be carried into Mexico and then brought back out.
So, we walked into Mexico carrying a few purchases with us. We knew where we wanted to have lunch, at The Pink Store. Our friends Bob and Linda were here last month and recommended we stop here. With its pink exterior, the store was easy to find.

This is part store, part restaurant that caters to Americans. In fact it appeared that the majority of the patrons were Americans. Store signs are in English and English is spoken and understood. We immediately felt at ease.
We had a wonderful, leisurely lunch of taco/ combo plate, chips and guacamole, and great margaritas while listening to some lively music being performed in Spanish.

After lunch we did some additional browsing and shopping in the store. Judy wanted to purchase some more hot sauce like Bob and Linda had given us. No one seemed to know what hot sauce was. However someone finally said "Picante Sauce" and the mystery was solved. They didn't sell it at Pinks but suggested that the small grocery next door might.

We left The Pink Store with our hands full. After finding the picante sauce at the grocery we were ready to head back to the border.

Crossing the border back into the US was uneventful. We showed the border patrol our passports and then we walked back onto US soil.

As we were walking back to our car 2 couples approached us. They wanted to know how difficult it was to cross the border and where we had lunch, etc. One couple was celebrating their 58th anniversary and the other couple was buying them lunch. The anniversary couple was from the Grand Rapids area. Imagine that!!

On Sunday when we were fueling up in Arizona a guy came over to talk. He had seen our motorhome back in California and noticed the Michigan plates. You guessed it. He went to college at Ferris just north of Grand Rapids.

While we were in the California wine country one of the people who served us at a winery had attended college at Cornerstone University, where Judy and I met. Makes us wonder if anyone is still back East.

We were talking with our daughter Julie last night. She says she tells her friends that her folks are "Reverse Hippies". I like that.

At lunch today we overheard someone making a toast. It went something like "may your wheels always be moving forward"

They must be fulltime Rving Reverse Hippies!!!!

Apr 14, 2008

Gila Bend, AZ to Columbus, NM

We left Gila Bend before 8am ,drove through the remainder of Arizona and into New Mexico (we are now on Mountain Time ) and arrived at Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus at 4pm local time. We are POOPED.
Columbus is 35 miles south of Deming and is right on the US/Mexican border.
Tomorrow we plan to walk over into Mexico, have lunch, and do a little looking around.

Apr 13, 2008

Aguanga to Gila Bend

We rolled out of Jojoba Hills SKP park at 9am this morning and headed south on
Rt 79. For the next 1 1/2 hours we encountered mostly switchbacks and hair-pin turns, while sweating the fact that we had left the SKP park with only a quarter tank of diesel fuel.

Of course, there weren't any gas stations along the way that we could fit into before getting on the Interstate. We made it to a truck stop on I-8, added enough fuel to get us through the rest of California (at $4.08/gal) and continued on down the road and into Arizona.

We have stopped for the night at Holt's Shell Rv Park in Gila Bend. The rv park is behind the Shell station and is very clean with level sites and full hookups and only $9.50 with a Passport America or Escapees membership discount. This afternoon we turned on the air conditioner for the first time this trip. Temps were in the 90's...but according to Judy it's a dry heat!!!

Apr 12, 2008

Heading East

We had a great time this past week with Chris and Teresa in the Santa Ynez Valley area. We love it here and think it ranks right up there in the top 10 most beautiful places in the Country.

Today was departure day as we begin our way back to Michigan. We left at 8:30 this morning, driving down through the mountains and along the beautiful Pacific coast, then through the not so beautiful and very busy LA area.
John says it's like flying a B-17 on a bombing mission with German fighters coming at you from all directions.

You may remember an old Johnny Carson skit where he had a chart describing the L.A. freeway system. Well our route today was something like that. Start out on the 154, then merge into the 101, then head east on the 134 which merges into the 210. Stay with me now... Then head south on the 57 get off onto the 71 which ends at the 91. We then headed east on 91 to 15 then south to 79 east to our present location.

We arrived shortly after 1pm at the Jojoba Hills Escapees Park in Aguanga,CA. This is our first visit to this park and we are very impressed with what we see. Friendly people, great views of the mountains and the rv sites are large.

Apr 8, 2008

Planes, Rv's and Automobiles

A brief review of the past two weeks:

We left Bisbee,AZ and drove east to Silver City N.M. to meet up with our friends Bob and Linda. They had just finished volunteering for 3 months at the Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas and were on their way to the Petrified Forest National Park to begin volunteering there for 2 months.

We had a great time visiting, enjoying some great food and seeing some of the area attractions. We hiked around the "Catwalks" and the mining Ghost Town of Mogollon. On Friday we drove up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. It is only about 35 miles from Silver City but because the roads are so curvy it took us 2 hours to drive there. The cliffs and caves are amazing though and worth seeing.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Bob and Linda and look forward to the next time our paths cross.

Saturday morning we left Silver City and drove back to Phoenix for the next leg of our adventure. We were about to fly to Florida.

Back in February, Ian and Michelle had asked us if we would like to meet up with them in April in Orlando. Ian and John would go to the Photoshop World Convention and Michelle, Judy, and the kids would go to Disney. We thought that sounded like a great idea. So we made arrangements to park the RV for a few days in Phoenix and board Mollie at a Camp Bow Wow.

So, April 1st, we flew from Phoenix to Orlando. Wednesday thru Friday John and Ian went to seminars, while Judy,Michelle,Nemo,and Mia visited the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney.

We had a great time together and all too soon Saturday arrived and it was time to fly back to Phoenix. We arrived back in Phoenix, picked up Mollie, shopped at Trader Joes and hit the road again Sunday Morning.

Where to now you ask? We were about to go to California.

Around the same time we made arrangements to go to Florida, we received a call from our friends Chris and Teresa. They wondered if we would like to join them near Santa Barbara in the Central Coast wine district. Sounded like a great idea.

So this past Sunday, we drove (and we were still in time zone limbo) from Phoenix to just north of Santa Barbara. We'll be here visiting local wineries and restaurants with Chris and Teresa until Friday. Then it's time to start a slow trip back to Michigan.

Stay tuned to see where we end up next.

Mar 24, 2008

On to Bisbee

We brought Mollie home from the pet clinic on Saturday and she is slowly becoming herself again. She is on antibiotics, pain meds and has to eat a bland diet of white rice and chicken for a couple more days. Her belly, left side, and part of her front legs were shaved for surgery and she looks like she just had a cheap haircut by a crazed groomer. Judy can't wait to fix it.

We came within yards of the Mexican border this morning as we made our way from Amado to Bisbee. In our quest to avoid the expressway we headed south to Nogales and then up to Patagonia, through Sierra Vista and 2 1/2 hours later we arrived at the Queen Mine RV Park.

This is our second visit to Bisbee but it's the first time we have stayed at this rv park. It's located up on a hill overlooking downtown and is an easy walk to the shops and galleries. We are really enjoying the view.

We walked into town this afternoon and made a quick stop at our favorite coffee shop, Old Bisbee Roasters. We got to say hi to the owner Seth, and bought a few pounds of fresh roasted coffee. We also visited one of the few open galleries. Most are closed on Monday, so we'll hit them tomorrow.

Mar 21, 2008

Long overdue update, and Mollie goes to the hospital!!

After spending 2 weeks in Santa Fe, including a great seminar at the Santa Fe Photo Workshop,it was time to head towards Tucson for our Life on Wheels conference. We decided to stop in Silver City, New Mexico and spent Sunday just looking around and relaxing.

Sunday evening Mollie was being extra feisty and getting into things she wasn't supposed to. We had some leather gloves laying in a basket on the floor and she pulled one of them out and began to chew on it. When we noticed what she was doing we took the glove from her and realized the nylon care tag inside the glove was in shreds. Mollie seemed to have something caught in her mouth and John saw a string wrapped around her tooth. He started pulling and ended up with 3 foot long string that she had swallowed. We couldn't believe it! Little did we know that this was only the beginning.

Monday morning we left Silver City and drove southeast about 1 1/2 hours to Benson, Arizona.

And soon our week began to get interesting.

Monday evening Mollie came down with a severe case of diarrhea. John was up during the night either taking her out or cleaning up messes when she didn't make it outside in time. We figured she had gotten into something during one of our walks.

Tuesday we arrived at the Pima Community college in Tucson for our Life on Wheels conference. This is a series of seminars aimed towards people who either live full time in their motor home or are planning to. There were people there who were just learning and haven't yet purchased anything, people like us who go on extended trips, and people who live full time in either motor homes, 5th wheel trailers, or travel trailers. There were at least 50 of us dry camping in the parking lot and more who either stayed in local rv parks, or hotels.

Mollie continued to have intestinal problems and started vomiting as well. Tuesday night was a repeat of Monday night. Not much sleep. The seminars started Wednesday morning and we were attending classes all day. Wednesday night Mollie was no better, in fact she was worse. She was restless all night so we once again we didn't get much sleep.

By Thursday morning she would not eat or drink anything. We decided that this was serious so we found an animal clinic that could look at her right away. They ran tests and x-rays and it was decided that she had a blockage in her small intestine. After some serious discussion with the vet, we decided to have them operate on her. She was seriously dehydrated and they started her on an IV before surgery. Since they weren't going to operate until late afternoon, we left her in the care of the vet, who promised to call us when the surgery was over, and headed back to the conference.

Around 4:00 the vet called letting us know that the surgery was successful. Mollie had apparently swallowed some thread and a small stone. Some how it all got wound up together and caused her intestine to bunch up so nothing could pass through. If we had waited another day or so to go see the vet little Mollie would not have survived.

It's now Friday and we finished the LOW conference at noon. Mollie can't come home until tomorrow but they encouraged us to come to the clinic to visit her for a few minutes. It was so good to see her but she's still on IV fluids and pain meds so she was a bit "out of it".

This afternoon we moved the RV south to Amato, about 40 miles south of Tucson. If everything goes well we will drive the jeep to Tucson in the morning to pick Mollie up and bring her home.

We had a great time at the conference, but we are both beat and ready for a little less activity.

But we are thankful for a great ending to the week.

Mar 8, 2008

Tesuque and O'Keeffe

It was overcast and cold this morning but we wanted to go check out the Tesuque Pueblo flea market that we had heard about.

Eight miles north of Santa Fe, the flea market is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Spring through Fall. In fact it just opened for the season last weekend.

When we arrived about 10am we discovered very few vendors open for business and very few shoppers. We had read good things about the flea market where local painters, sculptors, and Native American jewelers, and clothing designers sell their wares. I guess the recent cold temps have resulted in a slow start to the season. We didn't stay very long, but long enough for me to buy a turqouise pendant from a very appreciative vendor. No photography is allowed on the premises, so no pictures.

Our next stop was the Georgia O'keeffe Museum . Georgia O'keeffe (1887-1986) is one of our favorite modern day painters and lived for many years in Northern New Mexico at her Ghost Ranch house and her house at Abiquiu. Many of her famous paintings were inspired by the beautiful landscapes and vistas in that area.

Also on display today was an exhibit by another New Mexico artist, Marsden Hartley (1877-1943). We learned he lived here in the early 20th century and stopped painting pictures of New Mexico five years before Georgia O'Keeffe began painting it.

This was our second visit to the museum and once again, we throughly enjoyed it. Again, no photographs allowed.

Now it was time for lunch. We went next door to the O'keeffe Cafe that features dishes from a European chef . We had "blunch" as they called it. We each had eggs benedict made with lump crab meat. The food and atmosphere were excellent.

After visiting a couple of photographic galleries we drove down Canyon Road, known for it's many artist galleries and historic adobe houses that line both sides of the street. We didn't stop and look around.

So much to see and do here in the Santa Fe area. We'll just have to come back.

Mar 7, 2008

It was shortly after 6:30 this morning that Mollie...

It was shortly after 6:30 this morning that Mollie began licking my hand. This is her way of letting us know she wants us awake and wants to go outside. Ignoring her doesn't do any good, we've tried. So, as hard as it was, we got up (ugh).

John took her outside for her morning ritual and I made coffee. We both sat at our computers with our coffee for about an hour before we had breakfast enjoying the bright sun streaming through our windows.

While John was working on photoshop, I worked on my knitting project with Mollie napping by my side. John has been brushing up on photoshop in preparation for his workshop that begins on Sunday. It was still very cold outside again this morning and neither one of us was anxious to spend much time out there until it warmed up.

After lunch, we took the jeep and headed for the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which are about 15 miles to the northeast. We wanted to check out the campground at
Hyde Memorial State Park and also see the popular Ski Santa Fe ski area. Ski Santa Fe is high in the mountains. Some of the runs start at over 12 thousand feet. It's amazing that it only 30 minutes from downtown Santa Fe.

As the road twisted up the mountains we were treated to awesome views. The sun was shining brightly and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The higher we went the snowier and colder it became. About half way up is the State Park. Only one of the campground loops appeared to be open and it even had a few campers in it! What hardy souls they must be! This would be a beautiful place to camp in the summer.

As we made our way up the mountain the snow levels got even deeper. Some of the snow piles along the road were higher than our car and higher than the road signs.

When we reached the ski area we were over 10,300 ft in elevation and 25 degrees.. Judging by the number of cars in the parking lot the ski resort was doing a very good business today.

We enjoyed being up in the mountains and enjoyed the snow... maybe because we knew we would soon be out of it. :)

Mar 6, 2008

Snowy Santa Fe

The snow began falling around 7pm last night and this morning there was snow on the ground, and on the trees, and on the rv....a total of 6 inches! It was enough to cancel the Santa Fe schools for the day.

But by late morning the sun was shining and the snow was melting and most of it will likely be gone by tomorrow. One of the things we like about Santa Fe is the abundant sunshine. In fact, they average over 300 days of sunshine a year.

Just as most of the country, Santa Fe has had colder temps and more snow than usual this winter.

This week the overnight temps have been below freezing each night. Our winter coats have come out from storage (under the bed), and the bed now has the down blanket on top of the down comforter. Even Mollie wears her sweater day and night. We're trying to conserve our propane so we keep our thermostat set low and run our small space heater around the clock.

The rv park management has asked everyone here to disconnect their water hose after 7pm. This has been a bit of a hassle although we understand their concern. We don't want any problems either. This weekend the temps are supposed to be much warmer and near 60. That sounds very good!

Mar 1, 2008

One last hike and on to Santa Fe

Yesterday morning the 3 of us went on one last hike before leaving Mesa. I think we wore Mollie out.

We had a safe and uneventful drive up from Mesa, stopped for the night 50 miles west of Albuquerque and arrived in Santa Fe this afternoon. We went from desert saguaro, through snowy mountains,

back to desert, and now here in Santa Fe we're up at 7,000 feet in elevation. Snow is in the forecast!

We'll be staying at the Trailer Ranch RV Park for the next 2 weeks. It's small and clean and is close to the location where John will be attending the Santa Fe Photo workshop next week. It's also close to downtown. The city bus stops in front of the RV park so we don't have to drive to the downtown plaza unless we want to.

Feb 28, 2008

Dinner with Kin Folk

This is our last day in Mesa before moving on to Santa Fe. I have 2 cousins who live in this area. Both on the Randall side. Scott and Pam Randall and daughter Erica have lived here for around 16 years. Mike, Kelly and their 2 boys Troy and Nathan have lived here for almost 2 years.

I talked with Mike earlier in the week and he suggested we all get together for dinner. Scott and Pam were our hosts at their home in Mesa. It is beautiful home with an in ground pool, orange trees and even a small patch of green grass. I didn't know any of the yards here had grass.

Mike's wife Kelly made lasagna and a chocolate brownie dessert. Pam set a beautiful table and made Caesar salad and garlic toast. Great meal with great company.

It was fun learning about their lives and talking about our pasts. I hadn't seen Mike in over 2 years and it's been at least 25 years since I last saw Scott. The evening went quickly and since they all still work and have kids in school we made an early night of it.

We have had a great time here and this was a perfect way to end our stay. Santa Fe is next.

Feb 27, 2008

Hiking Wind Cave Trail

Today was another beautiful day and another great day for a hike on Wind Cave Trail. We drove the short distance over to the parking lot near the trail head to begin our ascent. This "moderately difficult" trail is the park's most popular trail and is 1.6 miles one way with a steady 800' ascent.

The trail ends just before reaching the south peak of Pass Mountain. There were plenty of switchbacks and rocky terrain and it was difficult at times. Glad we had our hiking shoes and poles with us.

Spring has come early to Arizona. The wild flowers are beautiful. It sure made the climb more enjoyable.

After we arrived back down at the trail head we looked back up at Pass Mountain with awe and amazement. We could hardly believe what we had just done.