Sunday, September 18, 2016

September's Song - These precious days

Ain't Love wonderful; Cynthia hangs on & Ron avoids storms
 
30 Sep: Fairview Heights to ???? Wherever it isn't raining in Indiana ... ??? We hoped for a very early morning start but it was raining. The hotel is sold out tonight. Sooo we waited for a break in the rain and successfully navigated through some downpours to Lafayette, Indiana. We might be zig zagging to Cleveland. From Cleveland we head to Vermont. Hear that Oke??? Then on to MD to the wedding followed by the Archives in Philadelphia and on to NC, SC.
 
29 Sep. Thurs. Litchfield, IL; -- dinner tonight in Edwardsville, Illinois with Sistah Carol, nephew Eric, Erics's uncle David and Eric's growing up fast family: Kyle, a 7th grader, is exceptionally bright like his sister Erika; he plays the French Horn in concert and marching band. Erika is a junior in HS with plans to become a criminal defense attorney. She is very excited about performing in the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. We were most impressed with Kyle and Erika.
 
 
28 Sep: Litchfield, Illinois to Fairview Heights for two nights after breakfast with Sistah Carol. Today we visiit Don and Ann S; dinner at Ruby Tuesday's was very good. Don has had health issues this past summer. Happy 100th birthday to our cousin Dorothy in Denton, TX.
Ron with Ann S.
Don S. and Ron with Ann in the corner.
27 Sep: Litchfield, Illinois. How fun to have breakfast at Denny's with sister Carol who reports that our brilliant six year old, "Little Carole Ann," rides on the bus to school. Ron spent the day working at the farm while Cynthia had the Mac all to herself to work on DNA. Dinner at Ruby Tuesday's with Carol was also fun, followed by a walk and talk!
26 Sep: Des Moines, Iowa to Keosauqua, Iowa ( to visit our 97 year old aunt Eleanor) then to Litchfield, Illinois to visit Sistah Carol. Thankfully she is willing to eat at Ruby Tuesday's because Cynthia won't eat "kill." (Squirrel stew)
25 Sep: Des Moines, Iowa: Ron e-mailed the Mullica files to the Swedish Colonial Society and visited cousin Sandy this afternoon. Cynthia wrote the wedding ceremony and sermon that has been nesting in her brain. The wedding is a few short weeks away.
 
24 Sep: Hiawatha, KS to Des Moines, Iowa: hmmm, we booked the wrong Hilton Garden Inn, but nada problema, cousin Sandy is just a very few miles further away. Cynthia's classmate lives nearby; she and her husband treated us to dinner last night at a lovely restaurant.
 
23 Sep: Norton, KS to Mankato, KS to Hiawatha, MO: After a hearty breakfast at a local diner Ron completed his 90 day wireless pacemaker test transmitted to the electrophysiologist in Houston. The WIND is a bugger today! Ron was Researching unsuccessfully at the library and courthouse in Mankato, Kansas with a stop at the Mount Hope Cemetery to visit Mechem grave sites of great grandfather and great great grandparents. We left Mankato at 4:30 arriving at. Very Nice Best Western Plus in Hiawatha, Kansas at 8:00 PM. Beautiful sunset. Did I say it was windy?
 
22 Sep: Denver, CO to Norton, KS: the ride took 7 hours facing strong gusts of wind but we stayed afloat/upright. Fascinating to see the wind farms on the north side of I-70 from Denver to the Kansas border. A very nice Choice hotel had space for us; and the PFonZ Steakhouse fed us a marvelous meal.
 
21 Sep: Denver, CO helping grandson Brett pack 3000 plus books to move into his new home. After showing us his nifty new home we had lunch at the DBar Denver downtown. Ron enjoyed four flavors of sorbet for an appetizer and two for dessert.
 
20 Sep: Estes Park, CO to Denver, CO for two days with grandson Brett helping him pack to move into his new home. The fall foliage along the Peak to Peak route was fabulous. Our Denver stay is in a LaQuinta only because most hotels are booked solid; this is one of the nicer ones - but I don't understand why La Quinta tolerates such shabby dry wall construction - every hotel has poor sheet rock finishing and thin walls. Lunch at Landry's (with a $25.00 discount), dinner at McCormick Schmick's.
 
19 Sep: Vernal, UT to Estes Park, CO, the fall foliage was breathtaking. Almost immediately out of Craig, CO we saw prong-horned antelopes followed by a lot of cattle, horses, deer with many Elk in Estes Park including a huge one on the side of the road. The best sighting was a black bear about twenty feet away at the trash containers by the Rocky Mountain Inn hotel, sighted by the very cute young girl who opened the hotel door for Ron's cart. Great restaurant called Freshies at Steamboat Springs. Our dinner at Nicky's was delicious. And not to forget the fun time we had visiting with motorcycle riders at Vernal, then at Estes Park. A delightful young woman has ridden on four continents. Bravo!!
 
18 Sep: Salt Lake City departing for Vernal, UT after brunch with cousin Roy W. and his lovely wife Barbara. Last night was our first experience at a Hilton Double Tree Hotel; they offer "made to order"breakfasts, meaning this is another property for our list. The mountain views from the dining room were spectacular as the sunlight glazed the peaks. We walked around the lake while duckies approached eyeing us for a feeding.
 
 
 
17 Sep: Tomorrow! Tomorrow !! It IS tomorrow, and I love you SmoochSmooch. I was busy uploading photos from Thursday (Golden Spike & Kennicut Copper pit - )(click here)
Engine No. 119 at Golden Spike
and missed midnight. At 2:30 PM laughter will once again be heard from this BEATTY family!

16 Sep: Tomorrow! Tomorrow, it's almost tomorrow!! Ron enjoyed a good night sleep. Up early and out walkity talkity to Sistah Carol about DNA when Cynthia phoned returning from the good report at the oncologist. She picked up the meds making two trips to the pharmacy (IRS) and two trips to the ENT, ship box to MD for the wedding.

15 Sep: (To Smooch, first I love you of the day!) Ron and Roy having fun, fun, fun photographing mines after traveling on a dirt road that required four wheel drive. Aweeee! Did I say fun??? Cynthia had a dinner party for her sister from Palm Desert.


 
Lookie the beauties, Cynthia and sister Bonnie
Jon and Paul
The Bakers with Cynthia and her daughter Roxanne
 
14 Sep: Ron was up at the crack of morning to work on Mullica papers, page 67 of 367, before riding with cousin Roy on an exciting adventure three hours away to the spiral jetty (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_Jetty) and to also see the Golden Spike, the last spike driven to complete connection of the railroad from the east to the West. Cynthia is off to the Galleria for a haircut, then Grandmother fun visiting Fyn and Zoe. Two year old Fyn loves her new black patent leather shoes that are perfect for spinning and dancing. Seven adorable granddaughters are loved by their grandmother.
 
13 Sep: Cynthia had medical tests at St Luke's all day (IRS). (I miss you, Smooch!!) The Mammo is clear! A Five year survivor deserves Triple Caramel Chunk. Earlier, Ron and Roy walked after breakfast and tried to go for a walk again, but they were rained out. Now, they will try once again. It is wonderful to be loved "three sixteen tenths and a million, and a Smooch smooch Smooch and raise your trillium a trillium." Haagen Dazs sorbet was on sale 3 for $10.00. Ron bought 3.
Galveston Island tonight: L-R (closest): son Jon, Tom R., (a friend) Cynthia's sister Bonnie
Far side: L-R: Tom's wife Penny R., our brother-in-law Bob, Granddaughter Lauren(Jon's daughte)
12 Sep: Cynthia picked up a rental car, had labs in the AM; hired a driver for the afternoon neurologist appointment because she could not drive after treatment (IRS). Ron spent the day at the hotel working on the Mullica files, with side trips to Trader Joe's for sorbet, moving to Roy's afte eight PM.
 
11-17 Sep: Ron will be under the adult supervision of cousin Roy W. and his lovely wife for a few days while Cynthia returns to Texas for medical tests. Miss Smoochie usually turns a blind eye to Ron's mischief. Ron rode with Cynthia on the shuttle to the airport (IRS) and escorted her to security. (To Smooch: I love you!!! )
 
10 Sep: Salt Lake City, UT, 120 mile chilly ride with frost on the ground, an interesting traffic jam, and a bee sting next to Ron's right eye but we survived. Lunch at our favorite Marketplace Grill was delicious followed by a walk with new fine feathered friends.

9 Sep: Duchesne, Utah. The temperatures were warmer for the day's 170 mile ride. A visit and short hike at Dinosaur Museum and Park was most enjoyable. Duchesne is a mighty small town that appears to be economically disadvantaged according to the dearth of groceries on the shelves in the only grocery store. No sorbet. No fat free bread. Ron did find pretzels for breakfast tomorrow. Our hotel (Suite 6) is an upgrade to Motel 6 and it is comfortable enough. For entertainment we are doing aerobic meditation and calisthenic contemplation. Ron is frustrated by a watermark issue on a family group sheet project, but he figure it out. Our poor Miss Smoochie fell out of the tank top case and lost an eye. Ron searched the pavement, avoiding being struck by oncoming traffic, but did not find the poor girls eye.

8 Sep: Craig, Colorado will be tonight's stop en route the three day ride to Salt Lake City. Our route on 14 West has breathtaking views of stands of Aspen are already shimmering gloriously gold in Jackson County. Crossing Jackson Pass at 10,900 feet we were thirsty and chilly; we found water at a very appealing Moose Visitor Center and added jackets. Once we passed Gould, CO, the forests ended abruptly with vast, barren ranches and we were whipped by wind to Walden, CO where we discovered the Antler Cafe and fed our faces. The gusts of wind continued as we turned onto US 40 to Craig, CO, but the changing scenery was marvelous. Ron ate elk for dinner followed by a stop at TCBY Yogurt for mango sorbet.

7 Sep: Rocky Mountain National Park- We were dressed/prepared to take the shuttle to go hiking after breakfast. Ron prepared by going toSafeway while Cynthia ordered breakfast at the Egg and I. How disappointing to learn that the Sorbet on sale for $1.99 was over at midnight. But the price label hadn't been changed so lucky Ron got the last sorbet on sale but no more after hiking. The shuttle system worked seamlessly transporting us on the Hiker Shuttle up to the National Park Shuttle dropping us off at Bear Lake. We hiked around the lake, then up to Emerald Lake, a 400 foot elevation gain. We saw a mama elk with her baby and later a large deer. Our new best friends today were from Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, Arkansas.

6 Sep: Inn on Fall River, Estes Park. CO. Breakfast at The Egg and I after the shuttle to city center, home again, home again, and walking back to the city to get our 10,000 step buzz. Estes Park proper' river walk is much like San Antonio's walking the shops. Safeway had two good flavors of sorbet and fat free sourdough bread. Mmmmm. Ron forgot his plastic spoon but there's always a way to eat sorbet.

5 Sep: Georgetown, Colorado, the temperature at 8:30 AM was 40 Brrrr degrees. Wishing everyone a peaceful, relaxed Labor Day. We started our day with Pat A., a buddy of Ron's from Washington, D.C., and breakfast at the Happy Cooker. Cynthia was indeed able to order and enjoy her Eggs Benedict. Ron's last minute decision to take U.S. 40 north was an excellent one, the long lines of traffic were heading south. Once we passed Grand Lake, the traffic situation deteriorated, and Ron was content to dawdle along lettng cars pass while watching the magnificence of the barren peaks unfold. As we neared the top, the winds became strong and the cold frigid. The mountains are beyond description, and the road meanders through the alpine meadows seemingly without end. We stopped at the Alpine Visitor Center (click here), and Ron hustled up the trail to 12,002 feet to take several pictures (click here). Eventually we descended the last 20 miles into Estes Park and found the Inn on Fall River (click here) where we are staying at a quaint log river house. Cynthia wants to live here forever.

View from balcony of our room at the Inn on Fall River, Estes Park, Colorado
View from Visitor Center at 12,002 feet, looking down on snow.
4 Sept: Breakfast at the Mountain Lion Cafe was terrific. We were unable to tour the mountain passes because of Rain. Light rain. Wet rain. Cold rain. Instead we hopped onto the interstate for the fast route twenty miles to Georgetown to visit with Pat A. The sun came out while we walked uptown to The Happy Cooker for brunch. Bummer, we were ten minutes too late for Cynthia's California Eggs Benedict. Dinner at Coopers was OK. I was hungry!!! Life is good. Very good. Thank God.

3 Sept: A two day ride to Georgetown is ahead of us. Thankfully, we have lodging the next two nights. Colorado is experiencing a 10,000 population increase a month; everyone must be checking out their new home weekends. The ride across Independence Pass/Continental Divide was breathtaking but cold, the summit of the Rockies, 12, 000 plus feet elevation. We had lunch at the Village Smithys in Carbondale, arriving in Silverthorne, CO by six PM. WooHoo, there is a Ruby Tuesday's. Our lodging at this La Quinta is a reminder why we don't stay at this chain very often. Neither A/C nor toilet work.

2 Sept. The BMW dealer provided a loaner bike so we were able to have breakfast at the Egg and I. The bike was ready with new tire and installations by 1PM. Now we have to figure out tomorrow's destination before dinner at The Winery ( corn on the cob! Blackened red snapper) The hotels are filled and pricey on Labor Day weekend. After dinner the LaQuinta desk attendant helped us locate a room for tomorrow night at Silverthorne.

1 Sept. Today is a difficult anniversary; Cynthia's son Scott died from Leukemia September 1, 1998 after a short life well-lived. Breakfast was at Jean Pierre's before riding to Grand Junction, CO; the bike has a service appointment in the morning. After a great ride on the million dollar highway, stopping at Ouray Brewery for lunch, we rode through the beautiful Box canyons making one stop to lie down because Ron was falling asleep. How fun to see three or four groups of wild turkey hens cross the road. The bike is at the shop for the 6000 mile service tomorrow, Gerbings plug installed, and a new tank case bag. Dinner at The Winery was delicious.

These guys are in a hurry to get to Grand Junction.
 

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