Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fort Laramie....

As it is now, restored for the most part
...Wyoming, a living part of the Old West,
fur traders, soldiers and cowboys, held cards close to their vest,
the fort thrived and teemed with people from all walks of life;
but, back then, there was no place for a soldiers wife.

Built in 1834 as a private fur company,
it's location was important, so a fort it came to be,
now peace has been restored, the danger is in the cars,
it's nice to know we have a place like this, to come and see the stars.
Ruins of the fortified part

The barracks for the Fort Laramie soldiers

Friday, January 28, 2011

In 1976...

...when I retired from the Navy, I was driving from Virginia Beach to Seattle.  I was driving a 1973 Ford Pinto station wagon (remember those).  Just outside of Medora, North Dakota the car overheated, the air temperature was over 100 degrees,  we were stuck on the side of Interstate 94, maybe 15 miles from town.  Someone stopped and drove me to a garage in Medora, they had a tow truck and we went back for the car.  When we got back, it was closing time, not to matter they said, they stayed open to repair the car.  The owner took my wife and two children to his house, his wife fed them and tried to find a room for the night - because it was July, and the Park was full of tourists there were no available rooms.

My car was quickly repaired, and he was putting together the bill.  He knew I had just retired from the Navy, and what with selling back vacation (leave) time and all, I did have a "bit" of money on hand.
When he handed me the bill I was SHOCKED, for towing, repair and "entertaining my family" the grand total (drum roll please) was.......$21.00!  I'm sure my good friend Glen who lives in that fine State won't be surprised.  That started or intensified my appreciation of the State of North Dakota, and Medora,  home of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Lots of hills

A river run through

...and the buffalo roam

and, they have winter

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cape Cod National Seashore...

A nice stretch of beach and dunes.
Patti Page wrote and sang the song "Old Cape Cod", thank her.

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod
(Cape Cod, that old Cape Cod)

If you like the taste of a lobster stew
Served by a window with an ocean view
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

There's nothing more to add, well there is more to the song.

A walkway through the dunes

The grass protects the dunes from wind erosion.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Acadia National Park...

The rocky coast of Maine
...Maine, just down the road a ways,
thanks to Mr. Rockefeller, now everybody pays,
it's a small admission, the fee won't bother you,
and it's worth the price, to take in such a view.

And, some miles away, is the other part,
Schoodic Point, most folks don't go, that just breaks my heart;
the land there is magnificent, where stone meets the sea,
my wife and I go there, can get in free!

Schoodic Point

Acadia in autumn

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

El Malpais National Monument...

In the winter, click to enlarge
Out in the New Mexico country side, the lava used to flow,
from lava tubes so large, it flooded with lava, all those years ago;
now frozen by the chilling winter cold,
this is now what's left, at lease that's what I'm told.

The formations here shaped by wind and rain...
..along with the volcano, caused the land great pain;
it's all here today, won't you come and see..
the remnants of ancient times, we call that history.

A lava tube

El Malpais Arch, click to enlarge

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve....

Some of the farm land, and a ferry to the mainland
This beauty is 17,500 acres of farmland, in a busy place,
Whidbey Island Washington holds this land in grace,
it's open to the public, each and every day,
lodging and camping and lots of room to play.

It's also the site of Washington's second oldest town,
when the development started, islanders began to frown,
there must be a way to preserve the farmers land,
and this is the solution, someone strike up the band!
Crockett Lake, with a view of the Cascades

Ebey's One, a beach

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Devils Postpile National Monument....

One pile is exposed
....California, these hills are about 60 feet high,
stacks of pencils on end aim at the sky,
columnar basalt in an unusual formation,
one of a kind in this great nation.

Conditions must have been just right,
with moisture, ice and abundant light,
to form these oddities up here in the hills,
where they peel off, just look at the spills.
What a pile looks like on top

Rainbow falls, a 100 foot drop

another view