Vermont & New Hampshire

While in Vermont we stayed at Moose Creek Campground. It was a beautiful site right on the creek!
Our view for the week!
And we had these daily visitors. Two or three groups would float by every day! Pretty awesome!
On a suggestion of the camp owners, we visited “The Bird Man”. He was fascinating! He lives alone and he loves making these small birds that he carves from a single piece of wood!
Here are just a few of his beautiful creations, they’re amazing! He sells them too, and for way too little money: $11-$13 depending on size.
His living room is his workshop. It looks a jumbled mess but he knows right where everything is (pretty much!)
His kitchen had this great wood burning stove next to a stone chimney he did by hand.
His yard was also beautiful! A very interesting man but if you do go visit him don’t expect to get in and out in a hurry, he loves to talk!
Also near by our campground was the Dog Chapel. The man who built it did so as a place for people who love dogs to visit, bring their dogs to the dog park and leave notes and/or pictures of the dogs they’ve lost.
The front of the chapel; no those are not real dogs they’re carved wood!
The inside of the chapel is covered everywhere with sticky notes and photos of peoples beloved pets.
Notice the angel dog in the stained glass?
Even the church pews have carved dogs on each end!
A view looking out from the front of the chapel.
Even the weather vane was a depiction of a dog!
There’s even a guard dog on each lamp post base at the base of the driveway! A very cool tribute to man’s best friend!

rock of ages granite quarry

I remember visiting this place with my dad when I was very young. I’m sure it wasn’t the huge operation it is now!
The quarry itself doesn’t look much different. A bit deeper I’m sure though. They’ve been mining granite here for over 100 years and their geologists tell them there’s enough granite to mine for at least another 4200 years! That’s a LOT of granite! This is the largest deep hole granite quarry in the world! At present it’s about 600 feet deep.
They cut the granite using water cooled cable saws. It takes about 5 weeks to separate just one of these huge cubes of granite weighing thousands of tons.
Here you can see the cable saw at work (see the wet area and the stream of water coming out from the saw cut?)
On the road up to the top of the quarry we could see some of the giant blocks along the way.
There’s a great view from up on top. That’s a debris pile you see in the distance.
Back at the plant they’re busily cutting, carving and polishing the stone into beautiful headstones, memorials and statues.
Outside they even have a granite bowling alley! Back in the 1950’s they experimented with this idea to replace wooden alleys. Unfortunately it was too hard and the bowling balls would sometimes shatter when they hit it!
I had to try it! They use plastic pins and a foam rubber bowling ball for this demonstration alley!
If you must know, I threw two gutter balls! It’s hard to use a foam rubber bowling ball accurately!

covered bridges

We couldn’t leave Vermont without visiting at least one covered bridge!
Obviously not used in quite awhile but still pretty cool!

on to new hampshire!

In New Hampshire, our campground we were planning to stay at was, let’s just say, not as advertised! Jan was able to get a refund and get us this great spot in another place instead. It turned out to be a better location for day trips.

castle in the sky

We visited this fascinating house after learning about it from brochures we found. It was built in the early 1900’s but had many very modern amenities I didn’t know even existed back then!
This gorgeous view is probably why it’s called Castle in the Sky!
These stone planters everywhere follow the “castle” theme in their appearance.
The grounds were beautifully maintained as well.
One of the modern conveniences; an intercom system throughout the house!
The range was coal burning.
Much of the upstairs had these skylights in the ceiling!
The secondary sink in the kitchen was pretty cool too!
There was this pipe organ built into the house. The music was piped throughout the house.
Some interesting decor!
They were in the process of renovating some of the rooms.
This was the owner’s “get away” room under the main stairs. He could go in there and no one would know he was there!
These “Needle” showers were pretty interesting!
A beautiful granite fireplace front!

winnipesaukee rail and boat tour

They even have this party caboose you can rent out.
Getting ready to board.
After a tour on the train we stopped at this pier to get the boat part of the tour. After that tour ended back here we would take the original train back to the station.
Our tour boat, the Mount Washington.
On our way out of the harbor we could see the train we would be taking back later in the day.
The views along the banks of the river were not unlike the views we saw on our Thousand Islands tour in New York; lots of expensive homes!
And back to port where we once again rode the train back to our original station. Fun day!

and last but not least… more covered bridges!

This is a newer one but still cool!
Notice this one has steel I beams underneath.
As we went out onto it, this cool Chris Craft boat went under it. Very “On Golden Pond”! It belongs to the Inn where the movie was filmed.
This was a really long one, one of the longest we’ve seen.
Can you read the sign? There’s a $5 fine for driving faster than a walk across this bridge!
This last one is really cool! Notice the structure, very interesting I think!

New York, Part III- The Eisenhower St. Lawrence Seaway Locks

While in the area we decided to check out these locks. They don’t really have a tour but we lucked out and got there just as their only ship for the day was coming through!
These locks are much bigger than the Soo Locks in Michigan. Those locks only change 21′ in elevation; these change 42′!
Also, at these locks instead of using lines to keep the ships centered they have these pads that hold it in place as the water level changes.
Quite the parking job! There’s just a foot or two on both sides as they enter!
Once in and gates closed it only took about 10-15 minutes to raise the water level (and the ship) 42′! Amazing to watch!
A unique view under the chainlink fence!
She’s on her way up to the upper Great Lakes!
This is a spare Culvert Valves they keep on hand just in case (or maybe just for display for the visitors). It’s easy to see how they can move so much water in such a short time!
A unique perspective of the seal on the culvert valve! By the weathering on the seal I’d say this was an old valve they replaced and then painted top this for show!

New York, Part II- Time with the Davidsons in upstate NY

Our site for the week at Coles Creek State Park. Another beautiful spot! Man, we really have a great travel agent!
A view of the St. Lawrence River from our dining room window. Just across the river is Canada!
We met up with Tom and Carol and we did a river cruise; The Thousand Island Tour.
Our tour was on the boat. Nice view from all sides!
As the tour name suggests there are literally over a thousand islands of all sizes!
Some quite small.
Others much larger with beautiful summer homes. In the foreground of this one is a small “Guana” island full of the culprits!
A beautiful traditional New York summer “cottage” complete with dock and boat house.
This is two adjacent islands owned by one owner. If you look close the water is quite high and is actually covering their dock. Still from Spring run off?
A few of the islands are very small; this one just large enough for one small tree!
These are two islands connected by the world’s smallest international bridge!
As you can see; Canada on the left and the USA on the right! What, no crossing sentries!?
This by far was the most impressive; Boldt Castle!
The main house on the right and the gate house on the left.
There was a tour available but we chose not to do it; it was threatening rain any minute!
On another nearby island sits the quant little boat house for Boldt Castle! The tours for it were cancelled due to the high water flooding. It’s a boat house, isn’t it supposed to have water in it?!?
While on the tour we went by this Osprey nest in the trees along the shore of one of the uninhabited islands.
One of the smaller quaint summer houses!
Tom and Carol also invited us up to her family camp for a lunch. Such a cool little cabin deep in the woods of the Adirondacks on Joe Indian Pond!
When she was going there as a child there was no electricity or indoor plumbing. This was the outhouse, now used for storage.
Very lush greenery all around, just beautiful!
It has it’s own boat dock on the very serene Joe Indian Pond!
Another view of the pond.
A view looking up from the dock. Really nice back screened porch to enjoy the view from!
I spotted this little guy in the greenery near the house.
We toured around the Adirondacks with Tom and Carol. We stopped for lunch at a nice spot near Potsdam, where Carol grew up.
A great picure Jan took of Carol!
Jan and Carol after lunch. Just so you know, we had to buy the bottle!
Da boys enjoying a cigar and cocktails at the cute motel we stayed in while there!

New York, Part I

niagara falls

While visiting Niagara Falls we stayed at Four Mile Creek State Park. This was our spot for the week! All of it! This is the largest spot we’ve ever stayed in!
We were very excited to visit here! Jan had never been and I was maybe 12 or 13 when I did!
Our first view of the falls was very impressive!
The rainbows were constant from the mist caused by the thundering falls!
Across the river on the Canadian side you can see the folks on the Cave of the Winds Tour.
Even from a distance it’s impressive. You can hear it before you even see it! This is a glimpse of the American Falls from where Horseshoe falls is.
This close-up of Horseshoe Falls shows the sheer power of this place! They say that 750,000 gallons per second go over the falls!
While there we figured out that the best view of the falls would have to be the Maid of the Mist Tour. Here’s a shot of the loading area for the tour from up on top; it’s 167 feet tall and the 3 falls span 2700 feet!
This is the observation tower from the Maid of the Mist docks.
All dressed in our snazzy ponchos and ready to see the falls!
From down on the river you really get a feel of the power of the falls. The sound is deafening and the mist and wind is like being in a torrential rain storm! Amazing!
You can’t get a better “up close and personal” view than this!
A view of all three; Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and Bridal Falls.
Here’s a view of the Canadian side from our tour boat. The structure at the river level is part of their hydro electric plant.
Here’s a closer look at the American and Bridal Falls.
Back up on top is one last view of these amazing falls from the observation tower!

Michigan, Part II

the soo locks

We took a boat tour of the Soo Locks while in Michigan. They are on the St. Mary River between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. They bypass the rapids of the river which drops 21′.
One of the many large ships that use these locks.
These tug boats are sometimes used to help ships get through the locks.
Approaching the two parallel locks. They were originally opened in 1855 and are still in service! More than 10,000 ships pass through these locks during the shipping season each year. The season lasts usually from April through December. They are named after the two cities Sault Ste Marie in Canada and Michigan. (The “Soo” name is shortened and anglicized from Sault)
As we approach the lock gates open.
Once inside the lock you can see how big they are. Each lock is 1200′ long, 110′ wide and 39′ deep. When originally built they were 800′ long and 100′ wide but were rebuilt in 1968 to accommodate the much larger ships. They’ve been maintained and operated by the Army Corps of Engineers since 1896!
We entered the locks from Lake Huron so once the gates were secured they flooded the lock to raise us up 21′ to the level of Lake Michigan. That process took less than 15 minutes!
They keep the ships tied on both sides so it stays centered in the lock.
Once at the same level as Lake Michigan, they open that end of the lock so we can proceed. It’s an amazing thing to watch and pretty cool to be on a boat in the locks!
This was a large cargo ship going the other way in the parallel lock.
This is huge rolls of steel ready to be shipped on the Canadian side.
Steel mills on the Canadian side.
After our short tour of Lake Michigan we returned to the locks to get back to Lake Huron.
That’s Lake Huron on the other side of the lock, 21′ lower. That’s Canada on your left, Michigan on your right.
If you look closely, you can see we have a few visitors in our lock; ducks!
Luckily they were smart enough to stay out of the way of the huge steel gates when they opened!
We are back down on Lake Huron. Here comes another ship towards the locks, this is a busy place!
Near the locks, there is also a large hydro electric plant that uses the river for power.

the henry ford museum in dearborn

Since we were so close I had to see the Ford Museum in Dearborn! As it turns out, it’s so huge we spent two days there! There’s the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village and the Rouge Ford Plant Tour where you see the F-150 in production.
This is the main lobby of the visitors center where they have a few of their most iconic cars on display plus a rolling chassis and drive train for the Ford F-150 Raptor.
Ford F-150 chassis
1923 Model A Ford
The F-150 Raptor
1949 Ford 2 door Sedan
There is such an extensive collection of different types of transportation here it’s mind boggling! From trains to automobiles of all types and aircraft! This old steam engine was huge! I could barely get back far enough to get a side view even with an 18mm wide angle!
Here’s the sideview; that’s all just the engine!
There was a pretty cool model train layout in front of it too!
Right next to the antique trains was this Bonneville Salt Flats race car.
This was an old engine used to plow the snow so trains could get through in winter.
Another much smaller steam engine.
I tried out the driver’s seat!
Hmmmm, I wonder which thing starts this sucker!
One of Ford’s flops over the years. Now worth lots of money because so few were made!
The first Bluebird school bus.
1960’s Desoto convertible I think.
They also had several presidential limousines on display. This was FDR’s 1939 Lincoln convertible.
This was the limousine that President John F. Kennedy was in when he was assassinated. After that tragedy they rebuilt it with a bulletproof top; too little too late!
Notice the grab handle on the truck and the step on the side for the Secret Service?
A little cheerier picture of their 1950’s diner with a few unique cars of the era .
This was an experimental concept car. The goal was to design a car that would carry 4 people and get at least 100MPG.
And, even though it’s a GM product, they showcased this 1961 Corvair.
A 1956 Volkswagen Beetle. My parents bought two of these in early 1956. They traded in my dad’s 1955 Ford station wagon and bought a 1955 and a 1956 beetle. Probably the first two in North Canton, Ohio!
Not everything was cars. Here is the 1975 FMC motorhome Charles Kuralt used in his “On The Road” with Charles Kuralt show.
A 1960’s VW Van camper. I don’t believe they called them Westfalia yet then.
This is a 1949 Airstream travel trailer. They don’t look much different now!
One of the first campers built. This was built around 1912-1920 for the most adventurous ones! Not exactly “Glamping”!
One for all my Jeep and off road friends; it had pretty humble (and i’m sure uncomfortable) beginnings!
And a REAL Jeep!
Ford’s latest race car with the original GT40 in the background.
One example of the Wright Brothers original products; the bicycle.
besides automobiles they had quite a collection of airplanes. Including of course the famous Ford TriMotor!
A comparison of the size of the Ford TriMotor to a modern airliner.
The luxurious cabin of the Ford TriMotor! Yes, Rattan seats and no seatbelts! FAA approved I’m sure!
This was in Greenfield Village which is adjacent to the museum. it’s a complete village where the employees farm, run households and go about their daily chores as they would have in the early 1900’s. Very interesting to see!
Herding the sheep.
An old steam driven farm tractor. Steel wheels and no suspension; rough riding I’ll bet!
They had the Wright Brothers original bicycle shop from Dayton, Ohio where they developed their infamous airplane.
Their homemade wind tunnel where they experimented with different shapes of wings.
The beginnings of their plane. Notice all the power tools in the shop run off of belts to a single motor.
Henry Fords original Ford plant where he hand built the first Model T’s
This is the 15 millionth Model T, all built here! That’s a cut-away of the very simple engine used in the Model T in the foreground.
Edison’s shop where he developed his many inventions, notice the Edison light bulbs!
They had a pottery shop where the employees made all sorts of pottery just as they would have back then; and pretty much how it’s still done today!
The glass shop.
We even got to ride in an original Model T like this one. It was actually pretty comfortable! Pretty slow, but better than a horse carriage!
Armington & Son’s Machine Shop
Notice here again all the machines are run off a single engine via a belt and pulley system.
The village church with beautiful landscaping.
One of the cool things that the Henry Ford Museum sponsors is the Henry Ford Charter High School. Here’s a statue of Henry Ford and a student commemorating that.
On the second day we visited the Ford Rouge Plant where the F150 is assembled. Obviously no cameras were allowed on the tour but I got these few shots of the outside showing the paint plant in the distance where the bodies are assembled and painted,
The green you see is plants installed to insulate the plant and act as air cleaners at the same time.
Even the fumes from the paint plant are captured and used as fuel to run the plant; genius!
The parking lot across the road is where employees who don’t drive Fords have to park; at least that’s what our guide told us! The plant tour was amazing. Lots of robots used in both assembly and inspections along the way. They average one completed truck off the line every 53 seconds! It takes approximately 20 hours to build one truck.

Michigan, Part I

While visiting Michigan we stayed in St. Ignace at Tiki RV and Campground in the UP (Upper Peninsula). We had a beautiful pull through site with a view of the lake in the distance.
Our view for the week.
Our first day we spent exploring the beautiful area.
A small lighthouse marking the harbor here.
We crossed over the Mackinac Bridge to the Lower Peninsula and Mackinaw City. By the way, we learned “Mackinac” and “Mackinaw” are both pronounced MACKINAW! Very odd!
A closer look at one of the two towers suspending the bridge.
A couple of shots of this majestic bridge from the Mackinaw City side.
This is a pretty cool bridge! Building started in 1954 and completed in 1957. It spans almost 5 miles!
We visited the Ice Breaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in the Lower Peninsula. It was fascinating!
It was launched in 1944 and was known as “The Queen of the Great Lakes”. It served as the only ice breaker keeping the shipping channels open until it was decommissioned in 2006. It was later replaced by a smaller ship, but according to the docents we spoke with who served on her the new ship isn’t as capable as the USCGC 83. She is 290′ long, over 5000 tons and has 6 diesel engines with a total of 10,000 HP!
We thought Reeve would like this: it looks like it’s made up of Legos!
One of the 6 massive diesel engines.
Here’s a look at the workings of the engines. Quite impressive for the 1940’s!
Their ship’s motto.
Some of the crews quarters; cozy! When they were deployed in the early fall they stayed out clearing the shipping channel until late spring; that was 6 to 8 months.
This is the massive winch they used to tow huge cargo ships as needed.

mill creek discovery park

Another trip to the Lower Peninsula we went to see the Mill Creek Discovery Park where we saw how the lumber mills worked back then. Here the docent shows us one of the axes they used to cut logs into rectangles before sawing them into planks.
This was the apparatus they used to saw the logs into planks before the invention of the water powered sawmill. Very labor intensive and slow! The docent got this girl from the audience to assist him.
Next we saw the newer more “modern” water driven saw mill. It used a pond dammed up from the creek for power to drive it’s water wheels. All the gears and workings were made of wood! The wooden trough you see in the foreground of this picture feeds the water wheels from the pond.
Here the docent is demonstrating the workings of the saw. The water wheels drive the system of gears and levers (all wood) to reciprocate the vertical saw blade as well as move the log through it to cut the boards. Still slow by today’s methods but light years better than the old two man saws!
The water wheels in action. One to power the saw blade and one to move the logs through the blade.

boat trip to mackinac island

We took a ferry day trip to explore Mackinac Island. We rode in style; a Cadillac!
We got a special treat on our way to the island. The ferry went over to and under the Mackinac Bridge which doesn’t happen all the time. It’s depends on the weather. What a great way to see it up close! Look at that massive cement block anchoring one of the ends of the suspension cables.
Those towers look much taller from down on the water!
As we went under, you can see that the two inner lanes are open expanded metal. A little spooky to drive on, but I’m guessing they are there to help with wind sway and/or weight?
On our way to Mackinac Island!
A lighthouse coming into the harbor at the island.
Here’s a view of the Grand Hotel on the island with the town down below.
We’ve arrived! Now to explore.
There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island, so the only choices of transportation are horses, carriages, bicycles or walking. This is their trash truck.
This is a carriage from the Grand Hotel. Pretty fancy!
We of course took a carriage ride tour of the island. The drivers are very connected to their horse teams. They know them all by name and know all their moods. The horses only work 4 hours a day, it doesn’t seem very long but the island is pretty hilly so they work hard for those 4 hours.
We got to see ours switched out; it was like a NASCAR pit stop! They did it all in less than a minute!
Jan loved all the flower baskets and flower beds around town.
Bright vibrant colors everywhere! Even these Adirondack chairs!
Interesting sculpture!
A grand view of the Grand Hotel!
The smaller wagons just needed one horse.
Near the hotel and Surry shopping area they had a display of the Butterflies of Mackinac, very beautiful!
Our carriage for the afternoon was larger, so we had a three horse team.
They took us to the other side of the island which was beautiful. There was this military cemetery in the wooded area.
Beautiful shaded pathway.
The path we took was on a path above the beach on the back side of the island. One of the stops we made was for pictures and exploring Arche Rock.
The view was breath taking from up there!
Some great views from above the town too!
One of the many beautiful homes on the island! We learned that there are only 500 full time residents on the island. Everyone else works and lives there seasonally.
Here are a few more pictures from in town. A very magical town for sure!
Great day, on our way back to the mainland.
It was a quicker trip home; the captain kicked the jet boat into high gear!

Stay tuned for Michigan, Part II………

Wisconsin

tilleda falls campground

Jan found this nice small family run campground. We were set up right on the pond with a great view and a waterfall for the week!
This was our site. Very green with a small sand beach right behind us!
A fabulous view from our dining area window.
A view looking back across the pond toward our site and the beach. On the left you can see the top of the dam and waterfall; it’s kind of a zero edge pond!
A view from below the falls. That’s our rig in the background.
Beautiful little creek don’t you think?
Downstream past the rapids, very tranquil!
We arrived just before the 4th of July weekend. The park was packed with campers; here’s our row on Sunday afternoon, EMPTY!! We had the place to ourselves the rest of the week.

oshkosh, wisconsin eaa aviation museum

For my birthday we went to see the EAA Aviation Museum. Jan arranged for Melissa and Jeff Drescher (friends we worked with at Santee Lakes) to meet us at a restaurant for lunch. It totally surprised me! They live in Milwaukee now, but I wasn’t expecting to see them! Had a great time catching up.
As you can see from this shot, the museum is quite extensive.
This is a replica of the Wright Brothers historic plane.
This is a plane used by S.C. Johnson to travel the world looking for carnauba which he developed into wax, still used today! And this was in 1935!
This is a map of the route they traveled.
An array of the products he came up with using the wax.
Here is an example of the many “flying cars” developed over the years.
There was of course displays of Lindbergh’s historic flight.
There was a section dedicated to air racing and the stunt flyers.
There was even a display of Lego planes!
Throughout the museum they had original nose art from the war planes of WWII. Many were pretty interesting, some a bit risqué!
A bit risqué, but it was obviously on a twin engine war plane!
This “Fat Man”, the atomic bomb dropped in WWII (obviously not THE bomb but a replica!)
Here is an early example of a sea plane.
They also had experimental and research planes there.
Is that a famous War hero?!?
This was an interesting plane and project. They helped the whooping cranes in their migration using this ultralight in 2004!
The pilot wore the suit to diguise being a human and they used whooping crane puppets too!
One last risqué nose art!

Minnesota

This is a photo Jan took on our drive to Minnesota. The yellow flowering pants were everywhere for miles!

minneapolis/st. paul

We stopped in Minneapolis to visit our good friends, Manny and Carmen, whom we met 3 years ago on a boat tour of Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho. We had fun then, so knew we’d have a great time with them here! Carmen cooked us a wonderful Puerto Rican meal.
Manny drove us all over the area showing us the sights. This was Minnehaha Falls in Minnehaha Park.
We also visited the Guthrie Center in Minneapolis where we had a great view of the city. It’s a live music and entertainment theatre. It has a beautiful, welcoming interior.
The General Mills Gold Medal Flower plant in downtown Minneapolis.
Across the river is the Pillsbury’s Best Flour plant in downtown St. Paul. Apparently Minneapolis wasn’t big enough for two competing flour companies!
Another bridge between Minneapolis on this side of the river and St. Paul on the other.
I saw this in one of the parks and thought it was funny.
Carmen resting in the park. Great day touring the city!

the spam museum?/ austin, minnesota

We couldn’t visit Minnesota without visiting the Spam Museum!
Reserved parking for Spam Fans!
There were lots of displays and memorabilia from the beginning of the company to present day.
There was a lot of information about Spam during WWII.
All through the museum you could see this conveyor above you with 780 cans of Spam on it!
Meet Sir Can-a-Lot!
They even had a motorcycle that runs on bacon grease!
Some of the huge array of Spam memorabilia.
There was even this huge Spam RC Rocket!
Of course we couldn’t leave without stocking up with SPAM! I got a case of 12 different varieties plus a can of Portuguese Sausage Spam that wasn’t included in the case.

Colorado Part 3- Colorado Springs & Sterling

We spent 9 days in Colorado Springs staying at our favorite place, at the Air Force FamCamp. We pulled into our site and look at our neighbors! TWINS! (We’re the ones on the left in case you couldn’t tell us apart!
While we were there visiting family we got an afternoon with Aneka. We had a drink at the Broadmoor. Fun day! We saw her a few times while there but unfortunately weren’t there for her debut as a Pikes Peak Rangerette at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo; Maybe next summer, can’t wait!
Aneka enjoying her Mocktail.
Since we missed the rodeo, here are a few pictures from her mom, Kristin. We can’t wait to see her there next summer!
Aneka and her proud papa Rich!
Aneka in action, waving to the crowd at full speed! This photo is from the official photographer at the event.
We got to go see Rich and his band, RetroWave. Unfortunately it was pouring down rain so it was indoors, but still a great time!
Here’s a better pic actually showing Rich!

on to sterling……

We got our favorite spot at North Sterling State Park looking towards the reservoir. We loved spending time with our good friends Steve and Mary Bergman but were having so much fun we forgot to take any pictures!
We loved this campground, lots of space between sites!

Colorado Part 2, Family Time in Palisade

This was our campsite for the week. Right on the Colorado River (although about 100′ above on a cliff)
This was our view!
Before Bryce and family arrived we went into town and they were having a motorcycle show.
An old Harley with sidecar.

colorado national monument

We took a day to explore Colorado National Monument. I’d never heard of it, it’s just up the road a bit from Palisade where we were staying.
There is some pretty impressive scenery here! This shot was looking straight down to the bottom of the canyon. I’m not sure what possessed me to take this shot; anything for a good picture I guess!
Some of these formations defy gravity!
And if you look closely, there’s ferocious wildlife!
This one looks like a chimney
Despite the barren appearance, it was pretty green.
Some very interesting rock layers everywhere you look!
There were several of these brilliant pink cactus flowers in bloom; quite a contrast!

family time in and around palisade

Bryce and crew stayed nearby at a cool farm Airbnb. They were in a nice house shared by Bryce, Laura, Reeve and Laura’s sister Monica and her husband Benjer and their two kids, Autumn and West. This is the pond by their place where the kids enjoyed exploring and finding small frogs.
They had plenty of room to run and play!

riggs hill dinosaur excavation site

While we were there we all went on a hike to see Riggs Hill, a dinosaur excavation site.
Here are the kids standing with a casting of one of the bones discovered here.
It was a fun hike, but not always easy and level!
The view from the top was pretty good though.
Photo evidence that Reeve and Autumn made it to the top!

fruita dinosaur museum

After Riggs Hill we went to Fruita and visited the Dinosaur Museum there. Here’s Laura getting into the whole experience!
The displays here are obviously not real but very realistic! This one spit every so often!
This one was a bit too realistic for some!
Who are you looking at?!?
This was more Reeve and Autumn’s taste!
I saw this at the gift shop and thought it was pretty funny!

pool time

After all day exploring we returned to our campground where they all enjoyed a cool time in the pool.
Of course complete with Super Soaker fights!
While there, Bryce discovered this Alpaca Farm nearby. It turned out to be very interesting!
The Alpacas had been recently sheared obviously!
If you look closely they have very large front teeth!
The process of taking their fur and spinning it into threads and then yarn is pretty interesting too. This is the wool after it’s been cleaned but before it is spun into threads.
One of the many machines they use.
Here are some of the many products they make.
This is their guard dog. He looks pretty docile but the guy who gave us the tour said he’s all work, don’t go near him! He once took out a mountain lion who tried to get to the Alpaca!
The Alpaca Shack! I thought it was nice of these 3 to pose for this shot!
After the Alpaca Farm we stopped at a winery for lunch.
While in Palisade Bryce and Laura treated us to a great seafood Paella dinner in town.
While driving around Palisade Jan spotted this B&B that had a beautiful Rose garden all set up for weddings and other occasions.
The house next door was quite beautiful too!