Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bright and early on the morning of July 11th, 2009, the 714 E2 crew sat buckled in in their American Eagle plane as the captain spoke over the intercom: " I'm sorry folks, but we've been told, by Chicago O'Hare, to delay take off because the weather in and around Chicago this morning is so bad that flights are backed up and we would only add to the chaos. Their current estimation is a 45 minute delay."

Grumble, grumble, toil and mumble: "we're going to miss our connection. Beautiful!"

Thirty minutes later their plane lifts off and climbs to 35,000 feet. For the next hour the turbulence was so horrific as to make the scariest roller coaster seem like a carousel ride. Finally, with clearance from air-traffic control, the pilot took the plane to 37,000 feet and the rest of the ride was smooth as silk.

Long story short: The crew arrived in Chicago in plenty of time to grab a bite, catch their connecting flight, and land in sunny, hot Albuquerque, NM one half hour early.

The tour bus that was scheduled to pick them up at the airport had broken down in Santa FE and necessitated some scrambling which took enough time as to require them to scratch a visit to the Atomic Museum. Waiting for their ride, the rumor floated around that the temperature was 107 degrees. Actually, it was really 95 degrees. It was incredibly hot when they arrived in Old Town to shop, eat lunch, and observe a wedding.

First stop: San Felipe De Neri Catholic Church.

The wedding was taking place across the street in the gazebo in Old Town Plaza.

Next the adult members of the crew proceeded to the Church Street Cafe. The choice of restaurant was made due to recommendations of locals who were asked while waiting at the airport. This restaurant, as well as many others ,was once a private home that has been converted to a restaurant. This one in particular is in the oldest residence in Albuquerque. The teen members of the crew were already there. The food was delicious and the staff alot of fun. Their green chile was to die for. Green chile? It's a NM culinary mainstay.

The final tourist destination for day one was a visit to Sandia peak Tram. This was the piece de resistance!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Expedition group 714 E2 deplaned in Albuquerque, NM on the morning of 11 July, 2009: eight people, 4 adult advisers and 4 Venture scouts. For four members of the group this would be their first visit to the vast BSA wilderness ranch known as Philmont, located in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico. For all it would be a life altering adventure, testing their limits; physical as well as mental. They experienced nature in many of it's vagueries, and saw the best of human behavior.

A mountainous adventure that would start at an elevation of around 6,500 feet above sea level and include a climb, midway through their trek, to over 11,000 ft. asl would require some high altitude acclimatization. The air becomes quite thin as you rise in elevation which means there is less oxygen available to fuel your muscles. For that reason the group will spend three days getting accustomed to altitude by spending a day in Albuquerque (5,312 ft (1,619.1 m)) and moving north to Taos (6,969 ft (2,124 m)) for two days, filling their time taking in some wondrous sights along the way, to wit: Sandia peak, white water rafting the Rio Grande, visiting the Taos Pueblo, mountain biking, 13 miles, along the Rio Grande Gorge, and sure to include a meal at Blake's Lot-a-burger, Five star burger, and always Michael's Kitchen cafe and bakery in Taos. A trip to WalMart was necessary so that a certain adult member of the group could buy a camera, since he'd forgotten his. The last visit before Philmont: Angel Fire's Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park.

If your interest is peaked, stop back, as I detail our trip/trek.


Friday, July 10, 2009

two fawns feeding on the road to camp.

In the wee hours of tomorrow morning, 0330, I'll be joining a venture crew for a road trip to an airport 2 hours west to board a 0730 flight that will carry us ultimately to Albuquerque, NM.
We are scheduled to arrive there just after noon. After three days to allow us to acclimate to altitude we will depart Albuquerque for the Philmont BSA Ranch for ten days of hiking in the foothills of the Rocky mountains, During our trek we Will climb two mountains; The Tooth of Time, and Mount Phillips. That will put us up there around 10,000 feet. This trek will be a little less arduous than the trek we did there three years ago there, but will still provide a rewarding challenge. Truly a wilderness adventure there will be no tech gadgets in attendance.
That means that I'll be shutting down the microscope for two weeks~ give or take~
The down side to this trip for me is that I'll miss two weeks with my grand daughters. The last two weeks with them have been nothing less than a huge joy! For those of you who want to keep up with there activities with their grandma Diane, you can go here to stay current with the rest of munchkins NY vacation.
If God is willing and the creek doesn't rise, I'll be back in to weeks to give you a glimpse of Philmont; under the microscope.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Another cold, dreary rainy day in; July?

I like rainy days, but enough is enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Boston Pops 4th of July Stars and Stripes Forever ending

Friday, July 03, 2009

Yesterday, July 2nd, dawned grey and drizzly portending a day of indoor activities. Early the rain held off long enough for me to get my walk in; the rain drops started to fall just as I returned to the yard. The girls wimped out. Grandma did her workout with her TV exercise gurus, who always leave her feeling sore to the max.

"Should we chance it? What are the chances it'll rain while we're in the strawberry fields?"

Everyone agreed that we should go head and unless a torrential storm with lightening blew in, we'd be just fine picking in the rain. Even though the sun didn't shine on us, providence did; there was only a few minutes of light rain while we were in the strawberry fields.

There were plenty of berries and even with frequent sampling, just to make sure they were of satisfactory tastiness, we picked at a rate of a pound of berries per minute. Grandma and Crystal made up team one and Hailey and I were team two. We were in the field for about thirty minutes and came away with eight quarts of berries weighing in at 29 pounds. Team one weighed in first and they totalled 14 3/4 lbs. I was positive that team two could top that by at least 1/4 lb. Too bad too sad team two, you weigh in at 14 3/4 lbs also. We were very careful to pick only the reddest, ripest berries and leaving those not quite as red for another day and another picker.

After we tallied up and paid the cashier we loaded our largess into the car and made our way back to the 'burg to eat lunch at The Place.

As we pulled away we espied the blueberry bushes that will be ready to plunder for their luscious fruit in a couple of weeks. That's them just behind the Amish buggy.
We weren't a mile down the road when the sky opened and the rain came down with a vengeance.
Following lunch we drove home where Grandma and Crystal whipped up a batch of Fresh strawberry jam. No pics, 'cause grandpa was out spreading dirt in the trenches formed the day before while hilling the potatoes. Hailey was perusing grandpa's library.
After eating the delicious repast prepared by grandpa, grandma served up a scrumptious shortcake of fresh baked buttermilk biscuits smothered with fresh strawberries. Yummm, yummm, yummm!
Uncle Jacob called to tell us that Kristy and he have purchased a home. Daddy (rel II) called to check on his chicks, and we called auntie Michelle to shore up plans to pick her up at the airport Friday morning. She will be here 'til the 6th of July to help us celebrate the 4th.

Who says you can't have a good time on a rainy day?

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

This morning the girls went for a 2 mile walk with grandma along the Maple city trail while grandpa went home to do strength training in the gym. We offered the girls a choice for tomorrow; 2mile walk with grandma or 5 mile walk with grandpa. Crystal likes grandma's deal and Hailey is going to give grandpa's route a try.

Later in the morning we met up and did some more gardening. Hailey and I hilled the potatoes and she pruned the grape vines. The day turned out to be a sunny warm one so after lunch at the Morristown diner we spent the afternoon in leisure activities.

Supper, river baths (girls only), campfire, reading and a visit from Bonnie and Dick rounded out the evening's pleasures.

Tomorrow, besides other things, we're going to a pick-your-own farm and pick a few quarts of strawberries. I can taste the short cake already. ;>)