Thursday, October 31, 2013

November Tales and Trails

30 Nov: No plans as yet.  We hope to wake up, God willing.  Transcriptions are beginning to lose appeal, so Ron may do differently tomorrow.   Indeed we did differently today; we routed yesterday's hike in reverse allowing more time to add in the Carroll Canyon Trail completing the long loop.   On the way out of the subdivision three cute little girls set up a "booth" with grocery bags for sale (one dollar) and membership in their Save the World club (a quarter).  Alas, no cash, or we would have joined.   Ron has been curious about walking the arroyo so about 2:00 PM we bounded down to follow the rocks and rills missing today's heavy road traffic taking us right to the Old Post Trail which leads to the Carroll Canyon Trail which connects to the Ridge Trail.  The sun was setting as we crossed the open views from the slickrock above the park to finish about 5:15; we did such a good job; the total hike was about 5 miles.

29 Nov: Plan is to join Mike & Maria for dinner at the Barking Frog prior to their Saturday departure.  We enjoy their new-found love which looks so like ours; we four make a joyful noise.  Cynthia has taken a liking to Maria's nickname for Ronnie Ponnie.  Maria in turn is Maria Tortilla, a good friend of Ron's since the late 70's. (see June Santa Fe blog photos).  Breakfast at Red's and now off to hike for the day at the crack of afternoon.  Life is good.  Another nice hike, this time including the ramshead trail.  One of these days we will have time to add in the Carroll Canyon trail for a long loop.

28 Nov:  Happy Thanksgiving.  Cynthia has already sent that message via text to her half of the world while I was trimming flowers and hanging laundry late last evening.  It is another nippy morning; says 38 degrees at 7AM.  Ron has been so good, hiding junk so that we can invite Maria & Mike to see the cottage before they leave Saturday.  The plan is to meet them for breakfast at Reds (our treat) and enjoy an easy hike without any falls or mishaps.  (Ron was trying to walk and talk yesterday and slid on a steep bit of gravel.  We are happy to report no injury therefrom.)  The day went as planned: breakfast with Maria & Mike at Reds.  We were all a bit surprised that they received none of our 4.5 voice messages until they were already halfway in to town.  Apparently Enchantment is not cell phone friendly.  We were done with breakfast and out of Reds slightly after the crack of noon and decided to hike our usual hour and a half hike.  By 2:45 Mike and Maria declared our "usual" hike to have awesome scenery.  After goodbyes, Cynthia and I rushed ready and onto the motorcycle to join Pastors David & Gwen for dinner with Bob and Tod and Jackie, all delightful people and good conversationalists.  All in all, another beautiful day to be thankful.  And then we made the mistake of opening the bedroom window to cool off.  We should have circled the house first, sniffing for Javelina.  God Almighty, what a stench!  Amazing to think that Javelinas eat prickly pear.
Maria Tortilla and Maria's Mike

Ain't Love Grand

Most embarrassing picture I've taken recently

We've Been Framed

God's Grandeur

27 Nov:  Early AM again.  No javalinas to be seen.   Not quite so brisk as yesterday.  High forecast to be 57 degrees.  We are looking forward to dinner tomorrow with Pastor David & his delightful wife, Gwen (also Pastor Gwen).   After our typical late morning breakfast at Reds and a good hike, Maria and Mike presented us with a HUGE surprise by calling from our driveway.  Maria was uncertain that we were still here (amazing to me that people still wonder when WhereIsRon tells all - or almost all), and they've been in Sedona several days before their explorations brought them close to Red Rock Crossing where eagle-eyed Maria spotted the blue BMW motorcycled nestled next to the cottage.  We all trouped down to the crossing and spotted a couple of duckies in the water.  We had dinner reservations at the Barking Frog where Maria and Mike had just finished filling themselves.  We were all much amused by that, and not only did they give us a ride and sit with us, they even forgave our manners as we talked with our mouths full.  Cynthia was practically ecstatic to be able to dress up for dinner in something other than motorcycle gear.  To cap the night off, I saw a couple of javalinas very clearly, thanks to the porch light.  Those wild porkers are surprisingly big.

26 Nov:  My goodness, did we skip the whole month?  Last time I registered a date it was about November 10th.  Time flies when you're having fun.  This morning was beautiful and crisp here in Sedona, frost underfoot although not gilding the brush like yesterday.  The river (Oak Creek) is an inch lower this morning, and the steam rising in the early morning light was lovely.  No sign of the duckies and the great blue heron.  It was a surprise to see that the arroyo out back of our Creekside Cottage is filled with water backed up from the creek; normally the arroyo is absolutely DRY.  Ron is up early today to work on his voice recorder transcriptions from the Appalachian Trail in 2008.  (He is so up-to-date on his projects!)  Pause for another trip outdoors to gaze at the faint pink on the horizon.  Oh, and there is a balloon in the sky; pretty nippy weather for that.  He also replied to the latest genealogy inquiry by encouraging the correspondent to join the Swedish Colonial Society so that he could request a 20-page manuscript Peter Craig wrote about the Nebeker family of New Jersey.  Now back to transcriptions.  Oh, and smooch to my beloved; betcha you're surprised that Ron updated the blog this once.  Breakfast at Reds as usual.  Hike along creek, up hill, and back on Ridge Trail mostly as usual (one new excursion through the underbrush on an animal trail).  We were home early enough to ride into town to dinner of fish in paper and baked sweet potato fries at the Old Sedona Bar & Grill (recommended).  Ron finished mending the worn-out pants torn on a kitchen drawer knob.  He actually finished mending the hole that resulted from using a cotton setting on nylon to fix the original patch more securely (a "comedy" of errors there).

25 Nov, Mon: Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Hi Dick.  Days like today remind me of your upbeat, cheery mantra on those morning marches through Irmo SC.  The sun is shining brightly in the blue skies over Sedona,  too, after a three day steady rain.  Sedona may have exceeded its annual rainfall in only three days.  The creek is lower today, although some trails have high water.

Excited to see snow on the ridge, we braved 27 degree temp at 9:00 AM for breakfast at Red's.  Gerbing's heated gear kept Cynthia warm while Ron, being a chronic hypothermic, was comfortably cool.  Super after breakfast hike took us on the north side of the  Ramshead Trail to Old Post Road with a return by road, the total distance about four miles.  Techie Ron re-took our Christmas Beatty Funny Family Foto using the timer on the GoPro and his camera with such good results he decked the halls and hung the stocking with care.

Santa Claus gift link to sign up  for Stash Co. Wednesday deeply discounted Purses/bag:

Prepare for Santa by gifting your little ones a chimney with attached house,  Google: 13506 Northshore Drive, 77356

The height of mortification is to email a college writing prof while unable to stay awake?  Auto Correct is our worst enema.

24 Nov,  Sun: Sistah Carol wanted to know if we survived the night on the raft/Ark. Ron explained it worked great until he fell asleep exhausted and Cynthia "redecorated" by moving the outhouse from the middle to a corner.  Yes.  Need you ask?  It did indeed rain last night, and at 6am, color radar showed a wintery mix on the high ground near the high school on the only road into town.   Ron managed to crawl back onto the raft to dry out.  At 7am the wintery mix had moved on and the temperature was a balmy 39 degrees, but there was a big green blob engulfing the church.  At 7:10, he returned to bed to check Cynthia's preferences.  Easy call:  "I wanna sleep!"  We did.  11:30 AM... despite the mist, we paddled into Sedona for a super breakfast at Red's.  Exciting  turn of events in our search for the original notes of the Rev. Lorenzo Lea, last having seen the light of publication in 1977 in the home of a descendant in Lookout Mountain, TN.  Ron googled the name of the descendant and found her grandson with the same unique name.  He fired off an e-mail to Oberlin and discovered a very amusing, articulate and charming maybe-cousin whose father has the very family Bible we wish to have examined by a forensic document specialist.   Life is good.  On our hike this afternoon, we hiked through the fields to avoid mud and water expected near the river and returned via the Ridge Trail, very little mud and delightfully stable footing.  A good time was had by all of the survivors.

23, Nov. Sat: Rain Rain, Rain.  All night long the rains came stopping long enough to hike and do lunch:  with a break in the rain, we jogged out the door for a great hike exploring the high water in Oak Creek.  The break held long enough we were able to travel into Sedona for a real meal and stocked our cupboards once again.  Google is too funny... what a riot, animated games in the Google Logo brought belly busting laughter for a fun evening.

22. Nov, Fri:  Rain, Rain, Rain.  The dry arroyo behind the house is full of water.    Early AM, Ron saw four duckies,  and the Blue Heron.  Sitsah Carol sent a remindah  to pound the nails firmly into the ark using new 2x2's and 4x4's angled at the corner for speedy construction.  Also... Pack plenty of food, mobile hotspot, etc. in plastic.  The creek, she is a risin'!!!  Good thing we are used to being together 24-7  cuz that ark has close quarters.  We managed a fast 45 minute boogie along Oak Creek before the sky started cryin' agin.  Twice!  Daughter-in-law is released from the hospital and is doing well.   We may run out of food by Sunday.

21, Nov. Thursday:  Familiar morning topic the past few days, "Guess what I dreamed last night!"  "James Lea?"  "Yeah, which one?"   Interesting life, writing and editing a book.  Ron cooked omelets, cleaned house, Cynthia is reading  and typing.  Two Hikes before 5:30, and the rain threatened.     A young woman  we met on the upper road hiked down the Ridge Trail; we met again in the park when we took the Creek Trail. Almost five-thirty it was turning dark enough she would have problems going around the mud puddles. We walked her back together, but it became too dark for Cynthia to see very well. Ron, with eyes that see in the dark, finished taking her to the clearing.     Chilly.

20 Nov, Wed: Financials examined. Vegetables cut for omelets at home.  At eleven AM the water pressure was zero. The neighbors do not have water either.  Five hours until the water is restored.  Darn. Good time to hike. We made it to the pump and back dry as raindrops began to fall.     Three month pregnant daughter-in-law had emergency appendectomy last night which went fine, but she now has peritonitis.  Baby is fine. 13 year old Zoe reassured her grandmother she is keeping her expectant parents calm.  Zoe thanked her grandmother for understanding what she is going through: happiness and sadness, no longer on only child,  stress of mom's very high risk pregnancy and parents who are basket cases.

19 Nov, Tues: Two hikes, chilly day.  Early to bed.

18 Nov, Mon: Sleep deprived after a LOONNNNGGGG evening at the computer,  we did not awaken until 9 AM!   Now, the ms is nearly ready to upload to the publisher once we figure out how that works.   We had a productive day, bills paid,  scissors and knives sharpened,  plural hikes (AM and PM, magnificent views; plus an invite to garden with the super nice neighbors.  Another grandchild is on the horizon for late May in a very high risk pregnancy.   Time Magazine's special edition, "The Body,"  is filled with gems.  I appreciated the section on the mind-body connection; both of us enjoyed the section on exercise: "Walk the Talk,  Just Do It."  The article had very few words about diet, but, instead, focused on movement:   "How many times are grand plans made and not followed through because of laziness?  Our very lives depend on the follow - through - no - matter - what."

17 Nov, Sun:  7:22 AM.  Get up???  Aaaauuuughhhhh.  So who is going to get out of bed first?  OK,  together!!!  We arose dressing warmly for the trip to Christ Lutheran in 50 degree weather.   The sermon was well worth sleep deprivation.  Love our congregation!  Red's Restaurant provided another super breakfast; Claudia appreciates the "big tipper."  Ron loves the hugs.  He hardly worked while Cynthia slept the afternoon away until a hike beckoned --- followed by a soup supper at home.  Now, out of soup and supplies, Ron warned,   "We have to get up at the crack of dawn to get supplies in Sedona."  Ron exaggerates :)...  Good reading on the IPad:  Dr. Charles Krauthammer's book, "Things That Matter."  The journalist and political commentator, writes with wisdom stemming from his former occupation as a psychiatrist.  The title is suggestive of another one of my favorites, "A Little Compendium on That Which Matters," written by Dutch philosopher Frederick Franck about 1968; it is available on Amazon.  Kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart's candid book is an act of courage itself.

16 Nov, Sat:  Ron cooked delicious omelets for breakfast before we took off to hike  the Ridge Trail all the way to Airport Loop on a chilly day, commenting on our high energy hiking in cool weather. Last night we were up late obsessing about James Lea; Ron discovered a unique search feature for Southern pension records.  Cynthia's manuscript is almost ready to combine text and supporting documents. We are waiting for DAR records about a death date plus a response from the owner of the Lea/Rose Bible to hopefully allow forensic studies of a critical page. Our trip to the archives in NC will wind it up for a May publication date using Lulu (probably) this time.

15  Nov, Fri: Red's for breakfast sometime around noon - thirty.  Hiked the canyon trail to the upper road.  Very cool today.  Dinner with our pastor David and his lovely wife Gwen, a Presbyterian pastor plus Joyce and George from church.  David was a head chef in his former life before he matriculated into Wartburg Seminary (Cynthia's).  The melt-in-your-mouth dinner was extraordinary.  So was David's HO Santa Fe train set that occupies a third bedroom.  Oh, what fun!!! The downside was traveling home in rain.  Ron's pants and shirt front were soaked.  Cynthia was warm and dry with heated gear and helmet.  She can verify helmets cause accidents because she could not see but Ron could.  He misses the glasses he lost at Chimney Rock in CO that would have kept the eyes dry.

14 Nov, Thurs: shop, hike to the Ridge Trail.  Cynthia lost her sunglasses.  Hero Ron turned around to discover the glasses and a glorious sunset . NOW, get ready for more fun photos:

Oak Creek at Red Rock Crossing

West Fork Trail

High Canyon Walls

Yeah! WOW!  

Fall Leaves like Shook Gold

Ridge Trail

O Beautiful For Spacious Skies


Javelinas at Red's

Fall Foliage
Prickly Pear Cactus in Abundance on the Ridge Trail

Ridge Trail View

Another Great View

13 Nov, Wed: Eat, Zainey's Shop, Maintenance hike because it is too  warm.
12 Nov. Tues. Editing, hiking and writing consume our days.  Yet, spring and summer plans are falling in place: January is Texas time for medical appointments, plus Ron's side trip to Illinois to sell  Dale's games to a collector delighted to buy them so super  el cheapo. Maybe... Ron will RIDE thru the frozen tundra to the Archives in NC to meet Smooch Smooch's flight.
 April 5, Rachel and Ryan's wedding
 April 25th, Cynthia's seminary, honoree for distinguished alumnae of 2014.
April 26,  depart to Philadelphia with stops in Louisiana and SC.
May 29 depart Philadelphia on British Airways to Belfast; probably buy a motorcycle there.
July 1 ferry to Scotland, stay near Dumfriesshire to research Ron's genetic connection to the Littles of the Clan Little(Borders Rievers)
July 8, ferry, England to Denmark
July 10, ferry from  Copenhagen to Oslo, Norway for 12 days of touring on our own
July 22, train from Oslo to Bergen for the Brekke Historic and Scenic Tour of Norway
August 4,  Oslo to pick up the motorcycle
August 5, Oslo to Gothenburg, Sweden by bike
August 8, Gothenburg to Stockholm
August 12, Stockholm to Oslo ... Ship motorcycle to states???
August 14, Flight: Oslo to Philadelphia

11 Nov Mon:  Ron arose EARLY to cut veggies for omelets.  Plans to hike early were delayed. You know you are still a bride after 2.5 years when (for no reason) I love You is written on the bathroom mirror, Rose petals are strewn on the bed covers, and vases of flowers appear wherever she sits.

10 Nov. Sunday: the Santa Smooches dressed in red to take a Christmas photo after worship.  Enjoyed a very lovely breakfast with Dale, Linda and grandson with his beautiful brilliant fiancĂ©e from Holland.  Mr. Smooch found some cute!!! Cute!!! Decorations for the SleighCycle Beatty Funny Family Foto.  Someone is very proud of his Foto Idea.

9 Nov. Sat.: one of us had a long overdue haircut.  Cynthia received a funny video of  a large lumpy stomach in constant motion of new grand baby Abigayle due In three weeks.

8 Nov. Friday, Auuuggghhh !  We are too busy to remember. We eat hike and write! Hiked the Ridge Trail to the Canyon Pass. Long, great hike.

7 Nov. Cynthia's sermon is now uploaded to Christ Lutheran Sedona, under leadership drop down box, Pastor David, sermons for Nov. 3.

6  Nov, Wed: hiked the Ridge Trail and continued work editing Cynthia's manuscript.

5  Nov. Tues: a Glorious day with super photos of the gorgeous white Sycamore trees in front of the cottage. Short hike, lots of work accomplished including champagne for porch time.

4 Nov. Monday:  What to do while Cynthia is sleeping and the computer is busy uploading the video?  Cut vegetables for omelets?  Oh, boy!  Omelets pleased the bride!  We were off  early to hike the West Fork Trail 10 miles N of Sedona.  The moderately rated trail had little elevation gain, but it did have countless ups and downs plus 13 creek crossings.  We enjoyed Carmen and Rosa,  two very delightful folks we met on the trail where it ended deep in the canyon, unless we wanted to continue the 2.3 miles in thigh high water to the campground.  The hike, our longest in three weeks, tired us enough we hit the sack early.

3 Nov. Sunday: Rise and Shine!  We did!  Cynthia had to be at worship by eight AM in the  COLD... She preached both services, and we were off to breakfast at Red's.  Go Pro used to video the sermon did not successfully get uploaded to Picasa despite 36 hours of extreme patience. You Tube has a 15 minute limit per video.

1 Nov., Friday:  All Saints Day... The days begin to flow into consistency.  We eat, have a g
Fun time at Zainey's, drop our mail at the PO, hike and return to computer work.  The temperature warmed up for a super hike up the Ridge Trail.  The address book is nearly completed.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October Trails and Tales

30 October, Wed: The news is better today with the prediction Obamacare will die a natural death by Dr. Charles Krauthammer:   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:   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: ( 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 ( 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  .

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.