Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 3 - On Our Way to Arizona

Why is this typing with underlining? This blog drives me nuts.

Left Cody, Wyoming at 7 am. The drive to Yellowstone was awesome with the trees being so brilliant gold that they look artificial. It is incredible.

Entered the gates of Yellowstone at 8:22 am and made our way right to Old Faithful. Was able to see her erupt at 10:45. Then we took off on the boardwalk which goes among many of the geysers and bubbling pools. It was longer than what we planned but once you get on it just keeps going round and round and it kind of surprises you. We found ourselves going really far and decided to turn around and go back which was still a long way away. Weather is about 55 degrees and the sun peeks out once in awhile. Many things are closed for the season at the park.

We hiked down to the bottom of the canyon to see the lower falls. It was awesome. Many switchbacks to get there and then we had to go back up. We only had to rest once while ascending. It started to rain, sleet, snow while we were doing this. Didn't matter. I put my hood up and that did the trick. Lots more walking and climbing stairs as we stopped at many lookouts to see the amazing views.

Saw herds of buffalo and one bull elk. Oh yeh--before we entered the park we spotted a big wolf crossing the road.

We left the park at 6:00 pm. We decided to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and look for lodging. The original plan was to spend the night in a campground in Yellowstone but most of them were closed and it had rained so the one we were going to stay at was all wet and muddy and that would not have been fun.

Upon leaving Yellowstone we entered Grand Tetons National Park. Saw a bear in the far off distance. The Tetons are very majestic. You skirt these mountain rather than drive through them. The sun was setting and the scenery was surreal.

Got into Jackson Hole about 7 pm and found lodging and took off to explore this very fascinating place.

Tired so I am going to sign off and say good night.

Walking the boardwalk among all the bubbling and erupting geysers. It
was about a 3 mile walk.
At a lookout point on top of the canyon. I was scared.

Walking back up from the bottom of the canyon. Many switchbacks.
It was a somewhat of a struggle. Glad we did it.

Old Faithful sprouting.

Left Cody, Wyoming on our way to Yellowstone. The gold colors of
the trees were imcredible. This picture does it no justice. It almost
looked artificial because of the brilliance.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 1 & 2 -- On Our Way To Arizona

Oct. 15 & 16, 2010

Pudge has been so excited about going that it was hard to contain him. He has been thinking and preparing for the last month. Me--not so much. Not crazy about leaving this early but I am willing to give it a try. This is all a new learning experience so we will see if this works or doesn't.

Left at 12:30 pm. Went back roads through southern Minnesota. When going through Gaylord I thought to myself--I wonder where my aunt and uncle's farm was? I wonder where the roller rink was? the church we went to mass? When we went through New Ulm I thought -- I wonder where those Stations of the Cross were? So many memories from down there. We passed the Catholic cemetary and of course I thought of my grandparents, aunts and uncles who are buried there.

Got to Pierre, S. Dak about 11 pm. This was after we missed a turn and went 30 miles out of our way. We are trying to avoid the freeway. Climbed into bed in the back of our van in the WalMart parking lot. Yeh--I know some of you are saying, WALMART PARKING LOT. They allow it and it is not bad at all. In fact, it can be kind of fun. We were not the only ones there.

Up at 5 am but it was really 4 am because we crossed time zones. On the road and it is dark as pitch. Went to Wall Drug but it was like it was in the dead of night and nothing was open. Took scenic route through the Big Horn Mountains. Came very close to hitting a deer but with quick reaction from the driver (not me) it was avoided. Quick grateful prayer was said.

Got to Cody at 5 pm and we both took hot shower and relaxed some. Off to dinner and now we are back. I have missed this computer and feel really good about being able to catch up emails and facebook.

Tomorrow we will be in Yellowstone Park. I could write so nmuch more but I am getting weary. To be continued.....

Picnic in the Big Horn Mountains

Buffalo in Custer State Park

Deep water on the road in Tyler, Minnesota--not far from Walnut Grove

Saw so much of these corn fields in southern Minnesota--miles & miles.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tribute to Aunt Ginny & Uncle Alan

Aunt Ginny (Mom's sister) with her silly birthday hat & Uncle Alan

My Tribute to Aunt Ginny & Uncle Alan
On the Occasion of their 60th Wedding Anniversary
Patricia Soderberg
September 17th, 2010
60 years together with one person!! How awesome!!
The thing that I personally find impressive is how accepting you are of our family. I mean we were the Catholics, the cigarette smokers, the beer drinkers, the liberal Democrats, the loud and boisterous. My family even bought in others that were not members of the family but they thought they were. I think you guys deserve a medal for the way that you not only accepted Tony Dadey but it seemed like you embraced him and enjoyed him. I never got the feeling that Aunt Ginny had to hold a gun to Uncle Alan's head and say "Oh yes, we are going to visit my goofy sister and her goofy family." Nope. Never gave me the feeling like he tolerated us just for his wife's sake. If that is the case he has done a very good job of faking it. You guys have always been very gracious, kind and supportive and for that I thank you.
I wonder how many milestones you two have seen. How many jobs, houses cars, vacations, events, and the list goes on and on. I wonder how many mountains you have climbed, how many valleys you have walked through. How many sacrifices were made. Think about how lucky you are to have done it together. To quote someone (not sure who) "To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage."
Have you ever thought about the accomplishments the two of you have achieved together? (Ask children to stand) (Ask grandchildren to stand) There is no doubt that these are your greatest accomplishments. Aunt Ginny, Uncle Alan, you have every reason to be filled with pride and joy about these accomplishments. This is what it is all about. This is what has made everything about your journey together so worthwhile. This is your legacy which will continue long after you are gone.
When you married 60 years ago you had no idea where the road was going to take you. Aren't you glad it took you where it did? I am.
Love you guys.