My Journey


Thank you so much for the Mari Sandoz book recommendation. Most of my family is buried in the panhandle of NE, and my last remaining grandparent lives in Crawford, where my Mom’s family is from. My Aunt recently retired from Chadron State, before she and my Uncle moved to Lincoln. My other aunt still lives in Chadron. When I was young, we had one of the family reunions at Fort Robinson State Park.

My parents now own and maintain the nearby ranch, which has been in our family name since 1886. If you would like to visit the panhandle and set up base somewhere that has room to hike, with views all the way to the Black Hills, just let me know.

Besides the Ranch, the rest of my Dad‘s family lives near Deadwood, SD.

Here’s a picture of me and my Dad, working the Ranch.



There is something to be said about strong willed women. It is what I admired most about my grandmother (father's mother). My great grandfather was part of a large group of Norwegians that settled in Big Timber/Melville, MT. My grandmother was born in 1884, in Melville, 8 years after the Battle of the Little Bighorn. She traveled to Switzerland and Hong Kong, alternating each year. My grandmother was strong willed, but with a heart of gold. She would travel back to Montana in late summer and I would visit the family ranches. She would then escort me back to Chicago. She would bake tins of chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. She lived to just shy of 101. The family portrait from the 1880's hangs in the Big Timber Museum.

The picture of the dogs always brings a smile to my face.
ITTOG.....yep I've read it and loved it, and I've watched the movie as well (as usual.....the book was much better than the movie in my opinion).....I'd guess I've read maybe 6 or so of his books..... might be surprised at the number of the things that I many many years.....

pkripper.....yea she was a pretty cool woman as best that I can recall.....strict she was.....the old school educator type if you know what I mean.....

Riversdad.....thank you.....

Dougnuts.....what a great picture ! I love that land that you own.....I could easily see building a small cabin exactly where you's paradise.....

JD.....nice story.....we're headed north to Montana I think next'll be a slow crawl north.....thanks.....

I got tired of Las Vegas and drove south.....I got tired of Lake Mead and drove further south.....I finally made a stop at Hoover Dam.....I guess maybe I wanted to see it while there's still water in the lake.....or maybe I was just killing time.....




I know that I've mentioned several times in the past that I'm not much of a dam guy.....i can say that I'm still not.....



One thing I can say with absolute certainty.....the water level here is much lower this year than it was just a year ago.....



I couldn't get myself to go inside or do any type of tour.....heck, I don't even know if it was open.....I really didn't care.....the road then took us back into Nevada.....


And then right back into Arizona as we continued south.....



Officious Intermeddler
A couple more classic road trip books (you and I are old enough to remember Kuralt, yah?)

Rumsay’s book is about explorations, traveling with a brother, around the west and midwest looking for dinosaur bones.

Graves is about a canoe trip down the Brazos before it got dammed, with his short legged dog.



For admirers of strong women who grew up or lived on ranches and farms in the West I heartily recommend "Leaning Into the Wind: Women Write From the Heart of the West". The book is a collection of nonfiction short stories about life in the West and includes writings about periods from the early 20th century to modern times.

I gave a copy to a client who'd grown up in the 1930s on a dryland wheat farm in northwest Kansas and she said it described her farm life perfectly. Miss Winifred rode her horse to school each day, a 6 mile trip each way.

Now the plan here was not to visit the state of Arizona.....honestly, Arizona in the winter is no longer a place I want to be.....why is that ? Simply put.....I've learned to despise the whole Snowbird Nevada I find it not to be as unacceptable.....

So we only traveled roughly 20 miles that day into northern Arizona.....the goal was to simply spend an afternoon soaking in the Arizona Hot Springs.....



The hike to the hot springs are roughly 6 miles round-trip.....


.....crossing over a small mountain ridge.....



....then the trail drops down into a sandy canyon.....



And then towards the end of the canyon, just prior to its' intersection with the Colorado River, the hot spring surfaces and the pools of steaming water are created.....


The water here is simply amazing.....



Soaking in these waters is nearly therapeutic.....


Staring up into the sky while soaking.....blissful.....


I wish I could say that I had this place to myself.....


Unfortunately that was not the case this was more like a neighborhood swimming pool.....I've been here in years past.....never seen anything like this before.....I struggled to take pictures without people.....this woman struggled to get into every one of my photographs.....she kept yelling "take my picture".....




Oh this world that we live in.....I'm just thankful for my 2 best friends.....and knowing that solitude is still out there.....yep.....counting the days as February comes to a close.....


Arjan.....this is my second season hanging out in the Vegas / Lake Mead area and I hope it will be my last. There's really no other way to say it so.....people can be disgusting pigs. Last year I spent better than $500 at the vets having a fish hook removed from Trappers' mouth. This year Tanner got an infection on his neck (see picture below).....that was a nearly $700 vet visit including the pain killers & antibiotics (he had to be sedated to clean that wound). The vet & I suspect that he had an unseen wound and subsequently rolled in human feces somewhere along the lake.....since there's plenty of it out there. We currently are preparing to leave here if his vet appointment goes well in a few hours from now.....


We left the hot springs late that afternoon with plans to return to the lake but at the last minute I changed my plans as I often do and we headed up into the foothills above the Colorado River.....




The following morning we drove south maybe just 5 miles to make a visit to Willow Beach where we all had several nice swims together in the freezing cold Colorado River.....



For me, I had a love / hate relationship with this place. I loved how clean it was here yet I hated the way the river canyon had been developed.....jet skies, kayaks and large pleasure craft were common here.....not necessarily to my likes.....



We ended up spending five nights camped in the foothills.....each day we'd drive down into the canyon to enjoy the cool waters of the Colorado River.....


This sure did surprise me.....I had no idea.....



Whenever I think of the Colorado River & boats, I think of rafts and kayaks.....obviously not the case here.....




Yet another surprise for me were the Stripped Bass being caught.....when I think of the Colorado River, I think trout.....


Beautiful sunsets on the Colorado that was no surprise to me.....



It's difficult to post here without thinking about the terror in heart aches for the eyes shed tears for their children.....



Fossil Overlander
Ouch - hope that wound doesn't get infected.... Human F. is really nasty pieces of sh. t

Vet bills in the US are serious by the sound of it - better not tell ours here....

Everybody is "outdoors" these days..

Hope you find some P & Q soon.

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