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The Gipper

The Gipper's Guide to America

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On 1/15/2019 at 4:14 PM, The Gipper said:

I would have told you to go to AAA for your rental car the first thing.  I nearly always just do it that way.

And VRBO is good.   Alternately look at AirBnB.     I am looking at doing something like that in New York City later this year.  You can rent whole houses on either one.

Edit.....I did a search on VRBO for you....for May, near Yellowstone.   There look to be a number of good choices for May  (still offseason).  A number that sleep 6-8.

our plans are coming along - we do want to do some easier hiking - no serious killer stuff.  But a few hikes well back into the park, to see a pristine lake - I may have to jump in and swim in it just to know i did. I found out that Yellowstone Park has it's own fishing licenses - no other one needed. We aren't much on tourist traps - just beautiful scenery, some adventure.

    Like our trip to Tenn - we went horseback riding, white water rafting (safe, family rafting on Ocoee river)) and hiking.I know out there, I'll have my backpack set up for first aid, emergencies etc. Interesting - the #1 item to take with you out there, is a bear bell.

   I wonder how many snakes are out in Yellowstone? I read where someone used double thick cardboard and made snake guards for below their knees...

  that seems silly.

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5 hours ago, calfoxwc said:

our plans are coming along - we do want to do some easier hiking - no serious killer stuff.  But a few hikes well back into the park, to see a pristine lake - I may have to jump in and swim in it just to know i did. I found out that Yellowstone Park has it's own fishing licenses - no other one needed. We aren't much on tourist traps - just beautiful scenery, some adventure.

    Like our trip to Tenn - we went horseback riding, white water rafting (safe, family rafting on Ocoee river)) and hiking.I know out there, I'll have my backpack set up for first aid, emergencies etc. Interesting - the #1 item to take with you out there, is a bear bell.

   I wonder how many snakes are out in Yellowstone? I read where someone used double thick cardboard and made snake guards for below their knees...

  that seems silly.

Oh yes....I have used Bear Bells.   The next best thing to that is to sing  the chorus to The Midnight Special by CCR.repeatedly.    Never heard about the snake guard thing.  My brother just wore his (cowboy)  boots.   Usually if you stay on the trails you won't have a problem with snakes as they prefer to hide. 

 

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Canyon De Chelly... Northeastern Arizona.. 👍

31647_395638831510_3892185_n.jpg?_nc_cat

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On 1/18/2019 at 6:55 PM, Axe said:

Canyon De Chelly... Northeastern Arizona.. 👍

31647_395638831510_3892185_n.jpg?_nc_cat

Been there a couple of times

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They have created another National Park Unit...in Kentucky  called Camp Nelson NHS.   It is a Civil War era site...though not a battlefield.

It is in a fortuitous location for me....being just south of Lexington KY.   I am actually going to that area in April and can stop by.

https://www.nps.gov/cane/index.htm

This makes NPS unit #418.   I have been to 351 of them so far.   I plan to go to another in mid Feb....if the BOM gets out of the way.

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I just have to find a place to pan for gold wherever we do end up going. We decided to go to Yellowstone next year - most any place we could find to stay within reason, was already booked. It'll take more planning well ahead.

Meanwhile, we are going together somewhere. Probably Smokies? don't know. Acadia in Maine? don't know.

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On 1/26/2019 at 2:22 PM, calfoxwc said:

I just have to find a place to pan for gold wherever we do end up going. We decided to go to Yellowstone next year - most any place we could find to stay within reason, was already booked. It'll take more planning well ahead.

Meanwhile, we are going together somewhere. Probably Smokies? don't know. Acadia in Maine? don't know.

I will be going to Acadia in June. 

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Last week I went to National Park Unit #352:

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monumnent.

You take a 44 mile windy twisty hilly road out of Silver City New Mexico  to see these ancient native American dwellings that were built in caves in a cliff above the Gila River.  They were built circa 1200 AD....but were only used for a period of 30-40 years.

I also revisited several places I had been to before:  White Sands NM,  Big Bend NP,  Lincoln Count NM.  Tombstone AZ, Roswell, the very Large Array,

Also new stuff:  Columbus N Mex.  (where Pancho Villa invaded),  The Coronado Trail, Three Rivers Petroglyphs, the Organ Mtns.  and more.

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On 1/26/2019 at 2:22 PM, calfoxwc said:

I just have to find a place to pan for gold wherever we do end up going. We decided to go to Yellowstone next year - most any place we could find to stay within reason, was already booked. It'll take more planning well ahead.

Meanwhile, we are going together somewhere. Probably Smokies? don't know. Acadia in Maine? don't know.

Cal....have you made your plans yet?  You say you are not going to Y-stone.  Have you decided on Acadia area?   and when?  My resource has some 2BR units in the Acadia area....for the end of April.

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no, we had to cancel plans - you'll have to go read my post about "...close call" on the political board as to why. I guess we'll try again next year. On page two, Feb 20

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1 hour ago, calfoxwc said:

no, we had to cancel plans - you'll have to go read my post about "...close call" on the political board as to why. I guess we'll try again next year. On page two, Feb 20

I don’t think I want to wade through that morass why don’t you just say it here. 

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ok, geez, here is the op I posted after being noticeably gone from the poli board for a few weeks

(mostly a public service announcement - we got a great education on a close call - she is going GREAT after two weeks - you'd hardly know she had surgery two weeks ago Wed. She will be able to fly in a few months, or less.)

"Some weeks ago, my Wonderful Cute Wife and I visited our family dr., she was going to visit her Dad, 96, down in Texas, bought plane tickets,

and just figured to get some anti-biotics to get over her bit of bronchitis before she left. Our Dr frowned, said she heard her heart murmur loud, nothing like the very slight one over the years. She arranged an Electro-cardiogram some days later, etc, and by the time we got home from that, after stopping at the grocery store, Dr. office called and said she had to see a heart specialist right away, as in, the next morning. 

  So, we did. He explained that she had a Critical Aortic Stenosis. Never heard of that, but it's a drastic narrowing of the aortic heart valve.

He said she needed heart surgery sooner rather than later - he seriously said " I wouldn't wait even six weeks, folks". Three days later, they did a heart catheter, and her heart was strong and clear. A very high level surgeon met with us after that, and discussed a few surgical options. He said our family Dr. was right on the money - the "red line" for critical aortic stenosis is .8 centimeter. Hers was even smaller - .6. They explained that the valve is supposed to be the size of about a quarter - and hers was only as wide as a pencil eraser.

  With zero symptom overt, they arranged a meeting early the next week to meet with the prominent surgeons to discuss options.

then, the saturday night before.. she calmly came to me, a bit before midnight, and said she felt a weird, slight pressure on her chest, like one of our cats was laying on her chest. We found out later, that women don't have the same symptoms as men with heart problems occurring.

With zero pain, etc, I drove her to emergency. They said she did not have any heart attack, but that the weird feeling with zero pain was considered a kind of pain, as in, a preliminary warning to worse and far more dangerous symptoms. So, with her stabilized, they said they wanted to send her up to the main hospital, pronto, and joked that I did a good job getting her there, but me driving her up to the main hospital wasn't an option, and yeah, we were both fine with that. The paramedics got her up to the main hospital, and she was quickly admitted to the heart floor. They did not want her going back home to wait for surgery - it was dangerous.

I stayed with her the first two nights, in a recliner chair the nurses brought to me, in her room, without sleeping - the surgeon stopped in, joked that he hadn't expected to see her again so soon. He said their plan was to expedite surgery to about the end of the week. On monday, he said their surgical team met, and her surgery was wednesday. We discussed options again, got an amazing education, made the perfect decision. It helps that before the emergency trip, my longtime best friend's brother was a longtime heart-lung machine expert/research fellow, who gave us a great understanding of it all, and a great reference for the surgical team.

   Last Wednesday, she had open heart surgery, to replace the bad valve with a new bio-engineered valve. I stayed with her all the day and all night, in the chair...

With the incredible advanced tech they have, she came home five days later, and she was carefully walking around the house like she never had surgery.

  We are so very fortunate - she could have been flying when symptoms hit, etc. She's my best friend, always and forever, and I am so much one of the luckiest guys ever, It's great to have such wonderful friends - we are so fortunate and blessed.

  Everybody take care.

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Updates:

A month ago did a trip to Kentucky.

Went to NP unit #353  (out of 419).....Camp Nelson, Civil War encampment site SW of Lexington KY.   I described that above.

Just came back from doing a trip to Michigan....NW Michigan.  I really liked the area. Revisited Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Also...they have another new NP unit....#419:    Tule Lake.    This is another site of a Japanese internment camp from WWII.  It is in very northern California right near the Oregon border.   This is the 4th  Japanese internment camp they have turned into a NP unit:  Manzanar in SoCal, Minidoka in Idaho, and  Honoliuli on Oahu.   Not sure why we needed another of these.

Next trip:  2 weeks in New England with the wife.  A week in Southwest Harbor ME...which is basically part of Acadia NP, then a week in New Hampshire. This will be in mid June.

Here is a link to a list of all 419 NP units:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_United_States_National_Park_System_official_units

Also....as an aside,  one of the persons who was interred at the Tule Lake "Segregation Center" as it was called, was none other than:

George Hosato Takei was born Hosato Takei[7] on April 20, 1937 in Los Angeles, California,[8] to Japanese-American parents Fumiko Emily (née Nakamura;[7] born in Sacramento, California) and Takekuma Norman Takei (born inYamanashi Prefecture),[9] who worked in real estate.[10] His father named him George after King George VI of the United Kingdom, whose coronation took place in 1937, shortly after Takei's birth.[11][12] In 1942, the Takei family was forced to live in the converted horse stables of Santa Anita Park before being sent to the Rohwer War Relocation Center for internment in Rohwer, Arkansas.[13] The family was later transferred to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California.[14]

Of course, we all know George Takei as Lt. Sulu of the original Star Trek.

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Hi, Gip - seriously, if you are ever in the Canton area on your travels...let me know if you'd like to stop by - we met at a tailgate once, when I was with Canton Mike.

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Just spent a week + with wife's sister and B.I.L. in Bedford, Ma just minutes from both Lexington & Concord. Had a wonderful trip including 3 nights @ Mystic Seaport, Conn. where I was treated with a one on one discussion of Melville & whaling/sailing with a UConn Asso. Prof. of English who is a published Melville expert and spent 3 years as a teen sailing around the world with her family. She was aboard the last wooden whaler that is permanently docked there, the Charles Morgan, sister ship to the Acusnet, the whaler that Melville shipped aboard. Ate lots of clam chowder, clam cakes, lobster rolls, etc. The prof is currently working on a comparative book on Melville, Conrad and London. Also got to attend a lecture/interview with Preet Bharara at the Lexington town hall. Interesting to hear his opinions about the King & his minions just blocks from the "shot heard 'round the world".

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8 hours ago, TexasAg1969 said:

Just spent a week + with wife's sister and B.I.L. in Bedford, Ma just minutes from both Lexington & Concord. Had a wonderful trip including 3 nights @ Mystic Seaport, Conn. where I was treated with a one on one discussion of Melville & whaling/sailing with a UConn Asso. Prof. of English who is a published Melville expert and spent 3 years as a teen sailing around the world with her family. She was aboard the last wooden whaler that is permanently docked there, the Charles Morgan, sister ship to the Acusnet, the whaler that Melville shipped aboard. Ate lots of clam chowder, clam cakes, lobster rolls, etc. The prof is currently working on a comparative book on Melville, Conrad and London. Also got to attend a lecture/interview with Preet Bharara at the Lexington town hall. Interesting to hear his opinions about the King & his minions just blocks from the "shot heard 'round the world".

Was that Bedfod or New Bedford?  New Bedford is where the Whaling National park unit is located....and where they filmed some of Moby Dick...with Gregory Peck.

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11 hours ago, The Gipper said:

Was that Bedfod or New Bedford?  New Bedford is where the Whaling National park unit is located....and where they filmed some of Moby Dick...with Gregory Peck.

It was Bedford. We went to New Bedford on the previous trip along with New Plymouth. Interestingly they had the Mayflower II in dry dock for repairs in the shipyard in Mystic this trip and last trip we went on it in the water where it normally is in Mass.

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12 hours ago, TexasAg1969 said:

It was Bedford. We went to New Bedford on the previous trip along with New Plymouth. Interestingly they had the Mayflower II in dry dock for repairs in the shipyard in Mystic this trip and last trip we went on it in the water where it normally is in Mass.

Bedford is a suburb of Cleveland.  And there is one sight associated with Bedford OH.  that may beat anything that those other Bedfords have:    it is the home town of Halle Berry.

Maria-Halle-Berry-Hot-Actress.jpg

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I've been taking several short hikes a day in the Estes Park area to get used to 8,000 ft. before going on longer hikes starting tomorrow in the Wild Basin area in the southern part of RMNP. Have to go really early and return early as the weather outlook is for thunderstorms early pm.

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Ended up with only two really decent 6 mile plus hikes due to way too many rainy days and several snows added to a high snow season that has not melted yet. That cut off most of the really long hikes. They even had to re-close Trail Ridge Road over the divide a couple of times since Friday night due to heavy snows requiring heavy machine removal again. And one really good hiking day I had to squander on going with family over the divide for lunch at Grand Lake Lodge. On the way back we got to see two very large Bighorn Sheep rams with huge sets of horns and full winter coats up above treeline. Great views on a really sunny day. Oh well, at least I got some great pictures of Cascade Falls and Ouzal Falls in the Great Basin Hike in the southern part of RMNP yesterday. Had an encounter with a mama moose whom I had to wait to move off the path to join her yearling. She barely paid me any mind while munching water grasses on the side of he path from about 15 feet away. They get kind of used to people. But it helps to get on the trails by sunup so you get to see the wildlife before too many hikers move them back from the hiking paths. Got to see a coyote marking his domain as well that morning. And the wildflowers are just starting to make their appearance at lower elevations. Taking a trip on the scenic highway to Blackhawk for the casinos with my wife, brother and sister-in-law today before heading home tomorrow. Been a good trip overall despite not getting as many long hikes as I wanted. A lot of elk with new babies all around the area where my brother lives. And a lot of big males with velvety antlers as well before they head for the alpines as the snow melts. We may fly back for a week in Oct. to go to the largest Monet exhibit in decades that will be only in Denver and a place in Germany afterwards. I'm trying to talk my wife into waiting until Jan. so I can go snowshoeing in the Park.

https://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/claude-monet

EDIT: And a week in Jan. it will be with tickets by air and Monet exhibit time/date with headphone guide purchased. 125 total pieces in the exhibit.

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Just spent the last two weeks in Maine and New Hampshire.  Did a full tour of Acadia NP as we stayed at a timeshare right in the middle of the park practically.

Did visit one other national park unit:   Katahdin Woods and Waters.

This park is in the middle of the state.  It is exactly what it says it is:  lakes/rivers/trees that sit in the shadow of Mt. Katahdin.   That mountain is not in the park per se, but is close next door in a state park.  Recreational activities can be done there, camping, fishing, canoeing/kayaking. Not sure about hunting. I just came to see the sights.  Just a note of warning if you were to ever plan to go:  take a high clearance vehicle. All the roads to and in the park are hard scrabble gravel.

This now makes park number 354 out of 419 that I have visited. 

On my next trip at the end of this month I expect to hit about a dozen NP units that I have not been to before....NYC/Long Island areas.

 

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