30 October, Wed: The news is better today with the prediction Obamacare will die a natural death by Dr. Charles Krauthammer: http://washingtonexaminer.com/critic-in-chief-krauthammer-diagnoses-obampolicies-and-psyche/article/2537486. The ride into town was chilly; we will hike early!!!
29 Oct, Tues: The day was chilly; we hiked for an hour with plans to hike later in the day. Instead, caught up with our various projects, we hardly worked. The address book has been updated; almost all of the contacts have received a post card. If you did not, Hollar!!! Our Christmas card will be a Beatty Fun Foto of the Santa Smooches on the SleighCycle. The charger for the tape recorder batteries arrived so transcriptions can continue. Cynthia (ever so thrifty) found a great deal for a 128 GB flash drive for $ 89.00 at Staples. She had Staples scan lot of documents for print, placed on the flash drive which will become the new video flash drive. Ron is editing (woe is I) while she is discovering new documentation for her book, "James Lea, James Lea, and James Lea, Caswell County, North Carolina 1790"... solving a decades old mystery that will unmask one of the three men named James Lea as the husband of a Bankston daughter. Wisdom for the day broke through the gloom of bad news: Pay attention to grace that comes to you on this day. Be thankful. Just be thankful and don't read the news. Nice hike and cozy evening. Guess who cooked?
28 Oct, Monday. Good Morning America: the Republicans are to blame because the ObamaCare website does not work. Despite the promise from Mr. O that no one would lose their personal insurance, the morning news told the horror story of half of Blue Cross and other individual personal insurance are being cancelled. Todd Starnes and his wife Audrey Hudson had their home invaded by US Marshals, Maryland Coast Guard with a search warrant for guns, anything about guns. The Starnes Hudson duo are journalists. What the US Marshals took instead of guns were their files of documents and hand-written notes about the Federal Marshals:
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/10/28/federal-agents-pre-dawn-raid-on-reporter-home-raises-questions/ and Mr. O ordered the surveillance of the German Chancellor's telephone since 2001. Great job!!! And the DHS is considering allowing Libyan Nationals into our country to study aviation??? Whew. More after we digest our food.
We had a great hike despite the wind and cooler day. Using the GoPro for the hike strapped to Cynthia's backpack as a harness will be interesting to watch tonight. We may have a 30 minute video of her nose.
27 Oct., Saturday: We didn't learn the name of the very bright 30 year old guy hiking with his mom and sister all from Israel, but he held us spell-bound describing the mid-east political situ, "Follow the money," he said. "Throughout the Mid-east, and now in Europe people are so crowed, they cannot have homes, jobs and food. That is why they are fighting. That is the crux of the situ in Israel and the West Bank. It has not happened here in America yet, but it is happening." Wish we had learned his name or goten his address.
The week passed quickly. Transcribing the tape recorder from the AT hike has progressed nicely albeit there are errors in the transcription. The tape recorder is plugged into the Mac and transfers quickly during our breakfasts and dinners in town. The Batteries in the recorder died. Cynthia ordered a battery charger from Amazon that arrived in one day! The AT hike may become a book, slated to become a best seller containing the beginnings of our romance. WooWoo!!
Cynthia has completed the manuscript of James Lea X 3. Ron's job is to edit. She likes to throw the bull over the fence some hay. She is awaiting research from the N.S.D.A.R., Raquel and Rick from Caswell County Historical Society before she publishes the breakthrough discovery on Lulu.
21-27 see above:
20 Oct, Sunday: Christ Lutheran is a very nice place to worship. The hike today was a preview of the week to come: The Plein (outdoor) Sedona Arts Festival is underway. The park is filled with photographers and artists. We have taken many pictures of the artists soon to be published here. SOON! We gotta find time.\
19Oct, Sat: St. Olaf's orchestra: (http://www.stolafrecords.com/store/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=5) in Cottonwood was so enjoyable. The program's nicest moments were Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Don Juan op.20, Claude Debussy's Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune, Gershwin's familiar American in Paris. The standing ovations brought an encore, too. St. Olaf College is 7 miles from Nerstrand, MN.
A story about Nerstrand, MN and St. Olaf: (Cynthia here) My great grandparents emigrated from Flaa, Buskerud County, NOR in May, 1861 from Drammen, entering Quebec, then Wisconsin where they drove by covered wagon to Nerstrand, Rice County, Minnesota to join Margit Wold/Vold and her husband Jon Hellerud, among others from Norway. They participated in building Valley Grove Lutheran Church (http://valleygrovemn.com/PDFs/Newsletter200511.pdf)Atop a hill overlooking the beautiful rolling hills of Minnesota completed late in 1861. The active congregation outgrew the building which became a parish hall and they built a "new" church a few yards away now surrounded by a large cemetery. The church was active for many years and then dwindled to the point the doors had to close. Except, to keep their charter, they must have one service a year. The service was Christmas Eve, a service so popular people drive from the Cities to Valley Grove to experience the beauty of this small country church that is on the cover of the Most Beautiful Churches of Minnesota. Fast forward to 1995: after several years of invitations to preside at worship, I was able to make that trip on a Christmas Eve. My grandson and I flew into MPLS and drove through heavy, wet snow without a GPS to Valley Grove. Amazingly, we found the church on the darkest of nights. The Christmas tree, cut by my cousin John Hellerud (a descendant of Margit and Jon Hellerud), was so huge, it filled the entire chancel to the ceiling. The aroma of hot apple cider and warm cookies filled the sanctuary; the sight of worn Heart of pine wooden floors, with real, red lit candles in the windows will be remembered. But, that was only the beginning of the delights for the sanctuary quickly filled to standing room only. IMAGINE 400 voices singing four part harmony, the songs they love the best accompanied by two flautists, three
violinists and a magnificent pipe organ played by a most accomplished organist!!! I could not hold back the tears dropping down my cheeks. I climbed into the very tall pulpit ... And commented , " You sound like the St Olaf Choir. They laughed. After worship, during fellowship time, I learned that many of the guests were indeed faculty from St. Olaf. My favorite Christmas Eve!! See the link for newsletter and photos.
18 Oct., Fri: Two pleasant hikes! Dinner at Dale and Linda's beautiful home; they are new friends we met from church. She is a super cook.
17 Oct., Thurs: The parks are due to open again today after the ridiculous ruse perpetrated on the American people. Sistah Carol writes re our daughter: "Carole Anne lost one of her chickens yesterday. It had a huge tumor. Now she is begging to go to Rural King to see if they have any more chicks there. Eric got a new chick that is all white and she is jealous because he has two and she only has one." Isn't she just the cutest three year old? She looks exactly like her daddy.
Here is a link to the photos taken in the Red Canyon, Monument Valley UT and Sedona, AZ .https://picasaweb.google.com/113780268026608859160/COUTAZ10172013#
16 Oct, Wed: Cynthia, this blog needs photos! Glorious day! Cynthia is pain free following lumbar epidural injections, the hand is nearly healed. We enjoyed breakfast at Red's, mailed post cards and Halloween cards, skipped Zainey's, hiked five hours with one scary accident: a stick broke with one end narrowly missing the right eye. Cause for belting out the doxology LOUD!!! Really! We did. Lots of projects are getting accomplished. Writing projects are lined up for our two month stay in Sedona: the Rambo CD to be completed, the James Lea book readied for the publisher, volume 3 of the Bankston book revised; we plan to use Lulu Publishing House this time. Exciting discoveries in the Bankston's DNA occurring monthly. The refrigerator is so well stocked we dined in tonight. We received the package Roy mailed from Salt Lake today. Thank you Roy!!! Life is good!
15 Oct, Tues. Etc. Etc. Etc., same as Sedona yesterday, only we shopped at Staples's to order a Class 10 64GB mini SD card for the GoPro camera. It will arrive on Thursday along with a gorillion cute shoes and outfits from TX :D Reviewing the Rambo index of five volumes, now separated for uploading to the website as individual volumes, is nearly completed. Cynthia's sermon is written on the Lord's Prayer for Nov. 3rd. We hiked the Secret Trail again taking some very pretty pictures of light and shadow plays on the rocks and plants. Dinner this evening at the Olde Sedona Bar and Grill was the same yummy baked sweet potato french fries, large salad without dressing, white fish baked with vegetables in parchment paper. Zip added fat. The stop at Safeway's was fruitful: we now have four rain check coupons for four 12 packs of diet cherry soda at $2.67 apiece. News: it doesn't get any better; the same negative news has people boiling mad at the so- called shutdown with most people here realizing who is responsible, yet most do not know the real issue is not about getting ObamaCare to the poor and needy, but protecting the elected elite from having to participate in ObamaCare. Sure, the politicians cry, "everyone will benefit," but don't force the Congress to participate. And, have you heard about the parks that are kept open in D.C. And other places where Democrat senators run? Read USA Today, today.
14 Oct, Mon: After over-eating at Red's, loading the shopping cart at Safeway, mailing another stack of post cards, stocking the refrigerator, hiking through the park (and noticing cars in the parking lot behind locked gates for the park) we once again climbed the hill and hiked the rim trail to Red Rock Crossing Road. We listened to howling coyotes in the distance. Dinner at the Barking Frog was marvelous, followed by yet another shopping trip at Safeway where the roses are spectacular! Make that WERE! Now, even more glorious, they grace the table in Creekside Cottage.
13 Oct, Sunday, Sedona: We arrived at the Creekside Cottage today after attending worship service at Christ Lutheran and enjoying breakfast at Reds and seeing Claudia, our favorite waitress there. Dessert at Zaineys was as much fun as ever, especially with so many no-fat varieties to chose. Unfortunately there was only one sugar-free variety, but Cynthia has discovered a supply of fat free, sugar free caramel, so she is one happy girl. Another absurdity from our president, Red Rock Crossing Park is closed; why close a tiny park run entirely by a concessionaire where neither Cynthia nor I EVER saw a forest service employee in a month of regular attendance? Obvious evidence to me of a bully who just has to throw a tantrum and show everyone that he has power. I'm impressed all right; bullying always impresses me very negatively. Did you know the shutdown is costing 630 million dollars a day? (Editorial USA Today, 14 Nov). Park employees will receive back pay for their months vacation, but the restaurants, lodges, and small towns hit by this economic disaster are receiving nothing. Oh, food bank trucks have been sent from Sedona to some of those areas. The counter view talking points are stuck on one track: We need to pay and the fiasco would end. Right! USA Today (today) makes the point that folks only heard the word free and now the zombies are awake and they are hungry. There is no free lunch. We hiked through the park and up the hill to the secret slick rock trail. After hiking, as we rode into town at 5:30, the views were accently amazingly well by the lengthening shadows. We dined at the Barking Frog and stocked up on diet cherry coke from Safeway. (Never fear, we did not neglect nutrition. We also bought BOTH wine and champagne.)
12 Oct: Village of Oak Creek. Today we hiked a different portion of the Big Park Loop and dined again on baked sweet potato fries and fish in paper at the Olde Sedona Bar and Grill.
11 Oct: We switched hotels from the Quality Inn to the Wildflower Inn. Sarabeth was true to her word and put us into an upstairs room with a wonderful view of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. The only drawback was that the window looks across a walkway, so it was not possible to enjoy the morning view while still in bed. We tried breakfast at the Blue Moon Cafe, but their omelets seemed too oily despite our explicit order. On the other hand, the grilled chicken salad was marvelous. Today we resumed our daily hiking after walking 200 yards from the Inn to the Bell Rock parking area. Our hike was part of the Big Park Loop adjacent to Bell Rock.
10 Oct: The ride from Flagstaff at noon to Sedona was quite cold starting at 39 degrees and dropping to 36 at the highest pass where there was snow beside the roadway and sleet in the air. It is reassuring that the bike tells me the temperature so that I could be unconcerned about ice or frost on the roadway. We didn't expect colder temperatures after leaving Flagstaff and were not quite prepared. Cynthia was chilled despite turning her Gerbings gear to its highest heat setting. Next time we ride into 36 degree weather, we will put her into the Montbell down undies or the Frogg Toggs wind protection. The fun part is that Cynthia was awestruck by Monument Valley one day and by Sedona the next. We actually stopped short of Sedona at the Village of Oak Creek on highway 179, the scenic approach to Sedona.
9 Oct: We ended today in Flagstaff, AZ after a chilly ride over the flank of San Francisco Peaks, 7286' elevation and 53 degrees temperature. Amusing (after the fact) that we were pleasantly warm at Cameron where we stopped at the Thunderbird Cafe for a beer. The temperature started dropping as soon as we left town from 75 to 70 to 65 to 60 to 53. Lodging opportunities in Flagstaff were limited, and it was expensive because so many tourists have had their accommodations in the National Parks canceled by the malicious decision to close down the tourism industry in these Republican states. Lots of trails, tales and tears have occurred since the last post observing the effects of one man's destructive actions on OUR National Parks. The good folks at the market in Springdale, UT posted a notice of assistance for food to park employees and those affected by the crisis. More on this later!!! Just VOTE out all incumbents. Remember that any vote for any Republican or any Democrat or for a straight party ticket is a vote to retain the status quo.
This AM began in Kayenta, Arizona with a ride to Monument Valley, Utah, one of the most breathtakng spots in the US. The new Go-Pro camera Ron bought Cynthia for her birthday is taking glorious photos. If we only had time to upload or converse about the travel!!!!
8 Oct: Arrived in Kayenta on the Navajo Indian Reservation with lodging at the Kayenta Inn. We were quite surprised to find the lodging much more expensive than we expected. The food was good. So was the lodging, although we asked to be moved to quarters with an air conditioner. We don't do nighttime heat well.
7 Oct., Mon: A shorter hike today - still in the Red Canyon
6 Oct., Sun: Hiked once again in the Red Canyon for 6 plus miles on the Cassady Ttrail. Brayton Point Overlook was awesome. Ron talked to Beanie about her need for a kidney donor... and said good-bye just as we approached an awesome view where he said views like this caused the song "How Great Thou Art" to f8ll his lungs, heart and mind. AH It is so true. "When I in awesome wonder... ? I believe that this was the day we enjoyed seeing three pronghorn antelope preparing to cross the roadside fence. I've seen them closer only once, at night.
5 Oct, Sat: It is noon-thirty and we are en route to Zion National Park hoping the bozos in Washington can reach an agreement not laden with pork. The ride from Ephraim reminded us of how challenging it is to find healthy food in some of the western states where they subsist on butter, biscuits and gravy and call that healthy. We stopped 7 miles S of Panguitch, UT. Don't bother trying to vacation in Panguitch. (Hey Cynthia, the BBQ was pretty good, and I had fun with Hatch & Nancy at the Galaxy Diner.) We are at the Bryce Western Resort That may sound fancy but imagine going up the steps to the restaurant with the mops and brooms propped alongside the stairs. The smoked chicken and pulled pork is very good, though, and so is the berry salad. It just gets old after the third night. YES! We stayed here for three days. It is close to the Red Canyon and good hiking that the Man in Charge has not closed.
4 Oct, Fri: Departing today for Zion National Park and only Ron knows the route. He is not sharing. I-Hop for breakfast where C asked the hostess if a diamond stud earring was turned in. No. Fat chance. But, the hostes asked where we had eaten yesterday. As we approached the booth that now held people, the hostess, Adriana, and Cynthia spotted the earring on the carpet right smack in the middle of the walkway to the booth. So amazing that it was not vacuumed up or that someone had not seen it. Happy Days ARE Here Again!!
Arrived in Ephraim, UT recognizing the hotel Willow Creek Inn where we spent a night three years ago. That was the night the lights went out in Ephraim! The City Cafe fed us an OK meal. They tried!!!
3 Oct: Thurs: I-Hop for breakfast. Most enjoyable lunch with Raquel and Stan in the Market Street Grill downtown. Raquel has done a great deal of research for Cynthia before Cynthia's retirement. The research will all go into her latest book, "James Lea, James Lea, James Lea, 1790 Caswell County" YIKES! In the LDS Library mid-afternoon Cynthia noticed a missing diamond stud earring. Certain it was in place this AM, we searched the library foyer and lost and found, the restaurant we dined at for lunch, the bed, the floor in our room. Bummer! Nada.
2 Oct. Wed: Cynthia returned to SLC from the ten day trip to TX. Laughter in our family is heard once again.
1 Oct, Tues: We are soliciting diapers and bottles to be shipped to both House and Senate.