Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Trip To Riverfront Park...

And my trip to Jackson, Wyoming, in which my car felt the need to introduce itself to a guardrail. More on that in a bit. Be patient. : )

Back in early March, I think it was, we had some really great weather for a week or so, so I decided to take Heather to Riverfront Park, which is more of a nature-type park than a play park, about 2 miles from our house. There's a decent size lake there, picnic tables, barbecue grills, a bunch of trails through the trees, and of course, the Yellowstone River flows alongside the park and through the lakes there. There are a bunch of Canada geese that live there just about year-round, and we always take a little bit of bread to feed them.

This guy got close enough to touch.

After we ran out of bread, we went walking along one of the trails to see what we could see.

There's a muskrat living in here somewhere. We keep seeing him poke his head out of the water, but he didn't stay out long enough to catch him with the camera.

This is the top of one of the cottonwoods that grow all over the place here, but mostly I was taking a picture of the sky. It was just incredibly blue that day, with no clouds anywhere.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Heather. She had just stepped out of a break in the trees, and the sunlight was kind of hazy around her. I thought it was kind of ethereal. : )

I'm going to add a few other pics that I liked, in no particular order, but were also seen on our walk in the woods.

View of the lake from the bridge--I liked how well the trees and sky were reflected.

A bird's nest in a tree.

A dried berry of some sort. There were a bunch of these on bushes all over the park, but this one stood out for me because it was the only one in that area.

I'm pretty sure this is another view of the lake where the muskrat lives. Or it might be another lake. Same park, though.

Okay, now for my trip to Wyoming. (See? Told you I'd tell you about it!)
Towards the end of March, I was asked to go to Dubois, Wyoming and Jackson, Wyoming to train some new crew leaders. (I was still a recruiting assistant at the time, and didn't know I would be giving me the same training shortly after my return.) Actually, what I was doing was training them to take fingerprints--they would get the rest of their training from someone else.

Anyhow, I headed out, and after being on the road for about 45 minutes, I managed to wreck the car. The road had been dry up to that point, so I was driving the speed limit, but I came across a curve in the road that had a small patch of ice on it. The car slid (by the way, I HATE anti-lock brakes), I corrected it, ended up going waaaaaaaay over to the left (thereby freaking out not only myself, but also the driver and passenger in the oncoming pickup truck), corrected it again, and was then introduced to the ONE AND ONLY piece of guardrail on that stretch of road. The bumper was pretty well mangled, as seen below:

After calling Dave and apologizing profusely for wrecking his car, and calming down a bit, I continued into Wyoming. The drive was pretty uneventful, but I ran into more snow:

As a matter of fact, I got stuck in Thermopolis for a night because the pass was closed and I couldn't get to Dubois until the next day. But they did open the pass up late that night, and the next morning I headed out bright and early.

Believe it or not, on the other side of the pass, the roads looked like this:

After doing my training class, I continued on to Jackson. Lots more snow on the way:

See that orange pole? It's attached to the top of one of those green poles that you see along the side of the road. That's how deep the snow was right there.

And this is more of the snow.

The weather cleared just a bit, and I managed to take one picture of some of the stores there in Jackson before it got nasty again. All of the stores in that square looked like that--I love the river rock facing.

So, I spent a night in Jackson, then headed back to Dubois for the next night, and there I saw the giant Jackalope. I took pictures!

What're you lookin' at?

And a more normal sized specimen:

After spending the night in Dubois, I drove back home. I stopped in Cody for about an hour and visited the Buffalo Bill museum. I took a couple of pictures there, but I think I'll save those for a photodump post.

I think that's about it for today. The next post will be of my son's wedding! (Why yes, that was a week and a half ago, what's your point? lol)

Have a good one!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hmm...long time, no post...

Sorry about that. There's actually been a lot of stuff going on, I just didn't get around to posting here.

First things first, I suppose. My son moved out just after Easter--and it was a fight to get him to stay that long. Things are certainly quieter around here with just Dave and Heather in the house with me.

Also, at the end of March I started working as a crew leader for the census. I've had about 10 people under me, and it's been interesting, to say the least. I've been in charge of approving their payroll and making assignments, and also I've been doing address canvassing myself. The canvassing work is cool--we have hand held computers with maps and address lists for the different areas, and our job is to make sure that all the addresses are located correctly on the maps, and to make sure that all addresses are listed correctly; for example, if an address is a home, a group-type home, uninhabitable, or if it doesn't exist. We also have to add, delete, or rename streets if what is actually on the ground doesn't match what's in the computer. It might sound kind of boring, but it really is interesting to see more of my town and state.

In April, I got to go with Dave to meet up with John (a friend from the Museum of Hoaxes) and his family in Fairmont Hot Springs. It was a lot of fun--they're great folks! I had crocheted a small mushroom and hedgehog for John's daughter Sydney--it was a hit! : ) I suppose now would be a good time for some pictures...

First, I want to introduce Phoebe! John brought her for me, and I know that Dave's posted a picture of her already, but I haven't, so you get to see her again--so there! lol

Sydney and her new friend...cute, yes?

Anne, Sydney, hedgehog, and John

This was actually taken on Friday, before heading to Phillipsburg to visit the sapphire mine. I wish we'd managed to get one that included all five of us!

This is a post in front of The Sapphire Gallery. There were several of these, and I thought they looked pretty cool.

These are just a few of the very cool gemstone carvings that could be bought at The Sapphire Gallery. There were carvings ranging from really tiny--under an inch--to really big--a foot or so tall for some really neat obelisks. You'll just have to take my word for it, though, because I didn't manage to get pictures of those.

John, Anne, and Sydney looking for raw sapphires. At this place, the people who work there wash and sift the gravel for you, and then you go through and pick out the raw sapphires. Raw sapphires (at least these ones) look like blue-green bits of broken glass that have had the edges smoothed out. I will get some pictures of ours and post them another time.

This is from The Sweet Palace, which is a candy store next door to the sapphire place. Both sides are lined with bins of candy sold by the pound, and there is also an old-fashioned taffy-pulling machine (don't know if I got a picture of that or not) and a TON of custom chocolates. One of them (that I didn't get a picture of, and should have) is called Miracle Max's Magic Pill (or something like that). I thought that was pretty cool!

On the other side of the store there were a bunch of toys and puppets. Notice the dragon in the front there? He was about a foot and a half tall, and cost something like $69!!!! Yeesh!

Candy bins on the other side of the store...

Closer view of the candy jars...

This is the counter of the restaurant across the street where we had lunch. It's supposed to look like an old-fashioned soda shoppe. They had some great little hamburgers served on a skewer, and shakes made with ice cream (as opposed to a mix).

These safes were in just about every building. Dave was saying they're a holdover from when Phillipsburg was a mining town and everyone had to lock up the gems, gold, and silver. I just thought they looked really cool. All of them are painted like this, but with each business's own logo on it.

And, on our way back to the hotel, Dave and I found the road to Wisdom. We did not take that road...

Okay, I think this is long enough for today. Next time will have my trip with Heather to Riverfront park and my trip to Wyoming, in which I wrecked the car and encountered a giant Jackalope!