55,000 Thousand People!

Here we are with over 55,000 others at the International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  This is the main stage being assembled last week, in preparation for the evening meetings.  It was built with the top layer first, then raised up a bit, and another layer installed under the top layer, and so on for several layers.

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The theme is “Chosen” – saying we are chosen of God, and we need to choose to respond to Him as well.  Every evening there has been a play portraying a part of David’s life, how he was chosen of God, and times when he trusted God and times he failed to do so.  The production has been very well done, and the stage, scenery and effects are great.

We are fortunate to be staying in our “home on wheels” in an area of RV’s.  We have full hookups and are very comfortable.  The pictures below were taken from on our roof.  You’ll notice the “street” in front of us is pretty open and not busy.  Most other places in this huge area are packed with tents.  In these pictures it looks like RV’s go on forever – but that is only about 2 percent of the real estate here.  The tents literally go on for miles. We walked a big circle around maybe a quarter of the lot before everyone arrived and it was 3 miles.

When all these people arrived, they hit local stores, like Walmart, to get things they had forgotten or had decided not to take with them.  They also needed food to feed their groups. Here are pictures of empty shelves at the Walmart where fruits and vegetables should have been.  Camping supplies were also sold out.

 

 

 

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It is impossible to describe what over 55K people on one big field look like!  People as far as you can see!

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Over 100 countries are represented here, and they all are very proud of their flags!

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There have been hundreds of activities for the kids – I have no idea how they even decide what they would like to do!  We’ve spent a few hours just looking around at the tents full of educational opportunities, entertaining shows, delicious foods and lots more.  They have had hundreds of kids donate over 30,000 hours of community service in the Oshkosh area.  We’ve seen evidence of horseback riding, water skiing, and basketball competitions. The plethora of things to do would give you a headache!

 

EAA

Of course this is at the Experimental Aircraft Association grounds in Oshkosh… so one has to visit the amazing EAA museum.  We got far too little time there; I think we’ll come back next week when the crowds are a bit less!

The machine on the bottom right is a weight and balance calculator for old bombers.  It would let you calculate all the parameters before you actually loaded fuel and payload.

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A section is dedicated to the “Rutan Legacy”- Burt and Dick Rutan and their amazing unconventional aircraft.  Space Ship One in the foreground here was the first non-government manned spacecraft that was able to go to space and back, and again within 2 weeks.   Voyager was the first manned (and womaned) aircraft to fly around the world without refueling.  11 days in a cockpit far smaller than a regular twin bed.  Amazing!

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After spacecraft it only seems fitting to include a moon shot of my own- last night was a beautiful full moon.

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Doing Duluth

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, Minneapolis

Becky and the grandkids spent an afternoon with us at the zoo.  Giraffes figured prominently…

The conservatory portion is very pretty, but we only saw it from the outside.  Grandkids are more interested in animals… but it did look like Peter would loved to have walked in among the water lilies like the worker was doing.

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Our cute grandkids got to feed a giraffe!

Headed North

With all three families together, we loaded up Kevin’s Polaris General, and headed for a rented Lake House, a bit north of Duluth, Minnesota…

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Lake Superior Marine Museum & Maritime Visitor Center

The focal point of this museum area in Duluth is the Aerial Lift Bridge.  It is one of only two of this type in the world, the other being in France.  Built in 1905, it originally had a trolley car suspended from the top structure, and would take pedestrians across for a nickel.  Horses and carriages and even some cars made the trip.  With car traffic becoming more common, the bridge was upgraded in 1930 by having a roadway that lifts straight up.  The roadway weighs about 900 tons, but with that same amount of counterweights, it is said it takes very little electricity to open or close it.

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A land locked tug:

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Island Lake, Minnesota

Our hosts for the beautiful lake house warned us that some phone wires would be too low for the motorhome… but they have done this before and had a special stick made to lift them so we could drive under!

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The house was on the shore of Island Lake.  You may notice a few islands!

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Sunrise over the lake:

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An early morning double rainbow seemed a great omen…

 

 

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We had several kayaks, a paddle board, a paddle boat, and several tubes.  Time spent playing in and on the water was wonderful!

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We also got some fun rides in “The General”… and it’s never really done till you get stuck!

Here is a short video recap of our time on the lake and on the trail…

 

Split Rock Lighthouse

1905 saw some of the worst storms Lake Superior has ever seen.  29 ships were lost that year in one storm alone.  With Radar and GPS decades away from being invented, during a storm it was very hard for ships to navigate and stay off the very rocky coastlines.  In response to that disastrous year, the Split Rock lighthouse was created.  The 133 foot cliff was a great spot for a light, but there were no roads anywhere near it.  So a derrick was built to lift all the supplies up the steep cliff to build the beacon.  For years it was only accessible by boat, but now the road makes it much easier (and safer) to visit the lighthouse.  While there we were treated to a torrential downpour, complete with extremely close lightning and deafening thunder!  It added to the mystique of the old lighthouse!

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Music by Bensound.com

 

 

 

 

Making Memories in Minnesota

Nebraska

We spent a lot of last week in Little Creek campground on the border of Iowa and Nebraska.  A short drive south took us to the Platte River State Park; another very pretty park where we saw a wild turkey and a couple of empty teepees.

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The Teepee Village was very picturesque and available for camping… but with it so hot there were no Indian wannabes.

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Iowa

We had to drive the car and motorhome separately for a while, till we got the car set up to be towed. (Is a Suburban a car or a truck? Comments?)  As we were driving, I commented to Cherryl following in the car/truck (by hands free cell phone) how beautiful the farmland scenes were.  She replied with far less enthusiasm than I obviously  had.  I was thinking the cornfields rolling over the gentle hills were gorgeous.  Later, once the car/truck was being towed behind our Fudge Ripple, she said she could see what I’d been talking about… “The view is much better from the motorhome!”  Sitting higher gives a view over the tops of crops and lets you see the shape of the countryside.  Maybe even as high as an elephant’s eye! A great way to travel!

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Cherryl eyeing Soybeans…

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Tasseling

We have learned a lot about Tasseling… it seems that at exactly the right time, thousands of school kids and maybe retired folks work extremely long, hard hours ripping the tassels off of corn plants.  While this might sound like vandalism, it is a necessary step in the production of hybrid seed corn.  Only certain select cornstalks are allowed to keep their tassels and pollinate the pretty little silks of the growing corn kernels.

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Nice scenery for morning walks…

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Minnesota

Midweek we made it to our daughter’s home north of Minneapolis.  Great to see the family!

Thursday evening the city of Champlin had a “Touch a Truck” event.  Tons of the city and county trucks (really, MANY tons!) were on display, and kids were encouraged to climb on them.  And not only climb, but honk horns, turn on lights, and even (if you’re a little boy) rub your hands on greasy tractor parts! (guess how we know that!)

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Dayna got in the ambulance, but wouldn’t get in the patient’s stretcher…

This was not a “brief” case!

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Everything from Ambulance to Zamboni!  Hummers, tractors and tracked toys, blades and backhoes, firetrucks and a fireboat, mega mowers and snowblowers, police cars and even police horses! Great fun for all of us kids!

Even more fun than “Truck Touching” was having my other daughter and grandkids come from Washington!  Now the whole family is here, except poor Loren who has to work a few more days.  He’ll be with us mid next week however…

Breakfast Banana Splits

How cool is that! Build your own Breakfast Banana Split, with many yogurts, granolas, berries, nuts etc… Fantastic!

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L’More Chocolate Shop

An afternoon trip to the cute shop where Becky works as a chocolatier.  So many awesome delightful chocolates!  Rather difficult to get 4 grandkids to decide on what they want now and later… and keep track of all the exotic flavors of truffles!  We left with raspberry, elderberry, peach, key lime, peanut butter, peppermint, and apricot truffles!  Life is Good!

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Trying to find Cooler Climes

My buddy Brad said that I’m not too good at this retirement thing… I keep finding work to do!  Well, I’m not doing too well finding cooler climates either!  We are now right at the edge of Iowa/Nebraska, in an absolutely gorgeous campground.  I didn’t know something this pretty existed in this area!  But before I get into all that, a brief wrap-up video by Kim at Union College about the Maranatha project we just finished up.  (His shot of the final room still didn’t have all the baseboards and light fixtures up…)

Fantastic Car Museum You Can’t See

My good friend in Lincoln, Terry, has told me of his friend’s car collection.  It is a VERY private collection, and you have to know someone (like Terry) to get invited to see it.  He has told me how amazing this collection is, but as effusive as he could be, he could never describe what an awesome museum this is!!  There are hundreds of cars, not in a warehouse, but in a artfully designed environment that rivals any public car museum anywhere.  Trust me, I’ve gone to MANY world class car museums, and this is right up there with the best of them.  BUT! No photos allowed… So now I have the impossible task of describing all the cool things we saw.  If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the black 1933 Duesenberg SJ Boattail… a majestic machine that epitomizes elegance and power, while being absolutely HUGE!  Second runner up would be the 1934 Packard V12 Boattail.  Long and elegant, another huge but sporty convertible. The detailing on both these cars is fantastic.  This room of the collection includes many Auburns, a 812 Cord, a Cadillac from around 1914 (I’m not sure of the date) a couple dozen other rare and amazing cars.  A Hudson from the ’30s that the owner raced across the country and won!

Another room has a “Hollywood Corner” with famous movie cars… not replicas, but the actual cars used in movies or TV shows.  Like the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard, a time-traveling Delorean from Back to the Future, some George Barris cars like the Munster’s cars, the Monkee’s car, and a whole area of Bat Stuff.  Like the original Batmobile (another George Barris Car) in it’s own Bat Cave, with lights flashing on fancy equipment.  There is a Bat Cycle, a Bat Boat, and mannequins in Batman and Batgirl garb.

Maybe the largest room has Drag racing cars, actual cars that have won famous races.  Dragsters, Stock Cars, plenty of Corvettes… I have already gone on too far without any pictures… Wish you could have been there!!

 

Mahoney State Park

So after leaving this hidden car museum (no external signage at all) we headed out of town.  We stopped for the night at a park near the border of Nebraska and Iowa, and felt it was so beautiful we’d stay a while… Plenty to do nearby, and the park itself has a zip line course, pool and waterpark, driving range and miniature golf, lake with small boats, and two campgrounds.  The only drawback is that we thought Lincoln was hot… this place has been scorching!   Temps in the high 90’s or as high as 102 for a while.  Glad our “home” has good air conditioning!

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The Scoundrel of Dagger Gulch

A theater in the park presents corny old-style melodramas during the summer.  Great fun, with people (kids) throwing popcorn at the villain and booing and cheering as should be done at any proper melodrama.  We were told ahead that in addition to throwing popcorn, we were free to throw wadded up currency… and a surprising amount of that was hurled onstage!  The actors would sometimes stop mid-line and grab for it, sometimes race others for it, sometimes stepping on it and sliding it within reach… it was a hilarious addition to an already crazy play.

Guess which one was the villain!

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Sass Memorial Iris Garden

Hans, Jacob and Henry Sass worked over 5 decades doing Iris hybridization.  In the ’30s and ’40s they introduced many new colors of Iris and developed Iris that did well in the harsh conditions of the prairie.  Unfortunately, Iris are not blooming now, but the garden was still pretty.

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Strategic Air Command

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When I was a kid, the Strategic Air Command was the top of the heap of military excellence.  Always ready, amazingly powerful, it was an icon of American ability.  The SAC was headquartered in Omaha, so it’s only fitting that they have a huge museum here.

When you enter the building, you are at “eye level” with an SR71, one of the most amazing aircraft ever produced.  Created by men with slide rules in the ’60’s, it still holds many speed and altitude records.  I’ve been told by some of the very few who got to fly them, that they flew far faster and higher that the Air Force has ever admitted.

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The leading edges look sharp enough to shave with, if you could figure out how to hold it…

 

Inside a B24 Mitchell Bomber like Jimmy Doolittle took on his famous raid of Tokyo after Pearl Harbor.

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One of my favorites is the B36… a huge bomber created just at the end of the propeller age and start of the Jet age.  Six huge “pusher” props, with 4 jet engines outboard on the wings, to aid in take off.  Called the “Peacemaker”, it never flew in wartime, but is an amazing airplane.  There are so many planes in the picture below you might have a hard time finding the B36, but the cockpit is to our left, three props are visible behind the wing, and two jets further outboard.  Far too big of a plane to get in one little picture!IMG_0814

 

The XF-85 “Goblin” was an attempt to have a fighter escort for the B36 bomber… that rode inside the bomber and was dropped out when defense was needed.  The part about flying it back into the bomber was too tricky, however, so the project was abandoned.

 

I had a toy CH-21B helicopter like the one in the picture below.  It was very big, and had motorized rotors that would spin and make it very difficult to play with!

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Another noteworthy plane is the U2, which caused no end of trouble when Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia and convicted of spying… this is not his U2; I think the Russians still have what’s left of his.

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Good Friends

One evening we had a nice visit from Angie, one of the hygienists in my former dental practice.  She teaches dental hygiene in Iowa, and was kind enough to come visit us in our wheeled home (and bring cookies!)  Really fun to catch up with her! And really negligent of me not to take a picture!

 

The Durham Museum

The Union Pacific Railroad built what may be their flagship station in Omaha.  This Union Station was opened in 1931, as one of the country’s first art deco stations.  Since the UP stopped passenger train service a few decades ago, the station has been restored to its original splendor and is now the Durham Museum.  Great exhibits on history of the area and the nation, trains you can walk through, model trains, a whole section on the Trans-Mississippi Exposition… I walked and read till I thought my feet would fall off.

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There are many sculptures of folks waiting for trains, buying tickets, or moving luggage.  If you get close to them, you can listen to their conversations!

 

I had to include this young guy, because he is named “Hollis” after a famous influential local.  Or after one of my favorite Uncles…

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A Rauch & Lang electric car – “The Car of the Elect”.  (I won’t even try to guess what that was all about!)  With a 70 mile range, it was a great car for elite city dwellers.  The truck is a 1932 Douglas; built in Omaha, Douglas produced very sturdy trucks and no passenger vehicles.

 

Big tall gas pumps like this one had a large glass cylinder that would fill with fuel, then you could watch it drain down into your tank.  An early way to make sure you were getting an honest measurement! (Note the 16 cents per gallon sign, with a huge percentage being taxes!)

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Trans-Mississippi Exposition

I really enjoyed the exhibit on the Trans-Mississippi Exposition.  In 1898, hundreds of buildings were erected with a large lagoon in the center.  It was an era when people were hungry for new experiences and knowledge.  The buildings were lit with electric lights, and at dusk thousands would gather to watch the buildings come ablaze with light one at a time, creating a light show of a sort.  Many had never seen electric light- none had seen that many lights!  Some of the things that lots of people saw for the first time:

  • Electric Incandescent Lights
  • Electric Horseless Carriage
  • Water Faucets
  • Flush Toilets
  • Jell-O
  • Sno-Cones

It’s fun to imagine how amazing this Expo would have been!

If you’d never had electricity, how cool would this fan have seemed!

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Ever ridden in an ostrich-drawn carriage? (Notice that it’s a Studebaker!)

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Next week we will move a bit farther north… maybe we will find some cooler weather!

 

Maranatha Project Wrapped Up

Another week has passed, and we have wrapped up the Maranatha project redoing 34 rooms in Rees Hall, the girls’ dorm at Union College.  We have spent the last three weeks ripping out the desks/dressers and bookshelves out of the rooms, as well as light fixtures, electrical outlets and more.  We were simultaneously turning big piles of beautiful wood into beautiful and strong cabinets and bookcases.  So we manufactured 68 of the cabinets, involving a total of 340 drawers, and 68 bookcases.  Solid oak face frames and drawer fronts not only look great, but should last forever.

I could show you hundreds of pictures, taken by the Maranatha team leaders, and some more that I shot, but I’ll spare you that.

Here is one of the best rooms pre-renovation.

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And here is what it looks like with new flooring and cabinets…  OK, my picture with the lap drawers in and the baseboard placed is not uploading… hopefully soon!

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Here are a few shots of work in the shop:

 

Parts started multiplying and taking up lots of space!

 

Units had to be moved a lot just to find spots for new ones to be stained and lacquered.

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Then all the finished furniture had to be taken across campus and up to the third and fourth floors!  Thankfully they used a SkyJack to lift them all up and through a window opening.  Here is a load of drawers being sent up.

 

Of course there was a ton of cleaning to be done… Here’s Kathy going above and beyond by vacuuming a part of the shop… note the spot in the lower left that she hasn’t gotten to yet!

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Obviously, the most important job of all was feeding all 100+ volunteers!  Cherryl worked in the cafeteria to aid the otherwise small summertime kitchen crew giving us wonderful food.  Really!

There is supposed to be a nice picture of Cherryl in the kitchen here, but it’s not uploading either!  ARGGG!

 

To close out the week, I’ll show you a few more pictures of the campus:

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Our “home” is just beyond the tennis courts…

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This is a nice little water feature outside the Krueger Science building:

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More Maranatha

64223092_10157373946312380_4495364482846949376_n  We are still hard at work in the cabinet shop, making lots more sawdust and some other stuff too.  Ok, all the desk cabinets are finished, and are being installed, and we are working hard to get drawers finished and bookcases built.

 

In case you can’t read it, the bucket of sawdust and scraps says “Desiccated Coconut”

Here are some of our cabinets being installed in the dorm rooms.  New flooring has been placed, some of it still covered with masking for protection from work in the closet area.

The bookcases we are creating now will be stained to match the lower cabinets, and hung on the wall above them.

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Here are some of the beat up old drawers that we are replacing! Think it’s time??

 

I’ve seen a bit of wildlife on my early morning runs around nearby Holmes Lake.  Lots of Tri-color Blackbirds, a Meadowlark, and other nice birds, but one critter stopped me in my tracks!  A cute little skunk was walking across the trail.  As he leisurely ambled away, it dawned on me that I could take a picture with my phone, so here is proof of a peacable skunk encounter.

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Here are better shots of early morning Holmes Lake…

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Becky, Kevin and our grandkids Dayna and Peter drove down from Minnesota to spend a little time with us.  Kevin worked a couple of days in the cabinet shop with us.  Kevin even let us celebrate his birthday with him! Six flavors of iced bundt cakes… fantastic!

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To celebrate the 4th of July, the shop shut down a couple of hours early, and we went to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo.  I told the gal at the ticket booth I’m not from Lincoln and I’m not a child, but she let me but a ticket anyway.

They are rebuilding this zoo, and it was a nice zoo to start with.  There is a very clever area where kids can climb in a structure that surrounds a monkey cage, so it looks and feels like they are really in with the monkeys.  They have a giraffe feeding area that is set up for little ones to be at giraffe mouth level. Kids can buy lettuce, and then have great fun when the giraffe reaches out with an enormously long tongue and eagerly grabs and gobbles. Lots of gobbling and giggling!

The tiger cage has a jeep bisected by the glass of the enclosure.  If you’re lucky, the tiger will sit in the passenger seat and you can sit by him in the driver’s position.  We didn’t get that photo, but did get some of our grandkids and their cousins.

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A couple of rescued Bald Eagles were being fed.  Magnificent birds! I couldn’t get them to move fully out of the shadows and this guy looks ticked at me for asking!

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We saw a Lemur,

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A Fossa,

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A camel who looks like he could use a dentist,

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and someone else with teeth I’d rather not work on…

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Pretty birds,

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And odd birds,

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(I had to cut this guy in half because a cage wire was in the way!)

And what would a zoo be without Peacocks?

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And a Parrot or two.

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Of course the cutest animals in the zoo were the grandkids and their cousins…

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That evening we had a very special cake… decorated by Dayna and cousin Charlotte, it was very surprising when sliced!  Once again, Becky has created a great fun desert!

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Maranatha

A short post for a long week!  We are at Union College, in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Maranatha Volunteers International is using volunteers to completely refurbish 34 rooms in Rees Women’s residence; the girls’ dorm.  Built in 1958, with an addition in 1965, the  rooms are ripe for refreshing!  We are only doing a small percentage of the rooms, but there will be more projects in the future to cover the whole building.

I got to the college a few days early, and was privileged to help set up for the project.  Director David has basically built a factory in the campus maintenance buildings, to create 68 cabinets, 340 drawers, and 34 bookshelf units.  A massive undertaking to be accomplished in three weeks, and done by volunteer labor!

So I feel like I’ve spent every waking hour in the cabinet shop… and that’s not too great an exaggeration!  Meanwhile, other teams are tearing apart the dorm rooms- removing built-in desk cabinets and bookshelves, repairing walls, and tuning up A/C units.  The walls will be repaired and painted, lighting and electrical fixtures updated, new flooring placed, and then our newly created desk cabinets and new countertops will be installed.

Another group of special people are aiding the cafeteria staff preparing food for this whole team.  Cherryl is working in the kitchen to make sure we all have plenty of good food to keep our energy up!

 

Not sure who this guy with the wild thinning hair is, but I see him in the mirror a lot…

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Lots of lumber turning into cabinets!

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Some have been stained, and will soon be lacquered.

Jerry, one of the great workers on the cabinet team, said he bleeds too easily- his blood thinners make him bleed whenever he is bumped or scraped… and he did that a lot.  So I got him a remedy he could try out…

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We decided we should sign one of the cabinets, so if the world (or the dorm) lasts for another several decades, when they refurbish the rooms again they will find our scrawlings and the date… a sort of time capsule.

So I have no pictures of the demolition of the 34 dorm rooms, but the college has had some photographers around, and they put together the following video:

 

Here’s Why You Want To Go To Leavenworth

Far from being a prison like the Leavenworth in Kansas, this Leavenworth is a charming little Swiss village hidden in the mountains of northwest Washington.  The buildings are all attractively old world styled, and beautiful flowers are everywhere.  I could have stayed a month just to try all the inviting restaurants!

 

 

A great little art show was one of the first attractions.

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Gustav’s won our patronage for lunch, and served up a great feast!

 

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I’m not sure what the extremely tall blue striped spire is… any thoughts?

 

We met a VERY TALL Knight:

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We didn’t ride a horse drawn carriage:

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I enjoyed just looking at all the interesting architecture

 

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And the beautiful locale

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But best of all, a Father’s Day on the river!

 

Nearby Wenatchee has a beautiful park on the river, and a sculpture memorial to a legend about the Coyote:  It seems a long time ago, some Swallows dammed up the river so the Salmon couldn’t get upstream, and the Indians upstream were starving. So the Coyote disguised himself as a little baby, snuck in among the Swallows, and while they weren’t looking he sabotaged the dam.  He then guided the Salmon upstream, and everyone lived happily ever after.  Unless of course you were the Salmon eaten by Indians.  I’m not convinced it is a true story…

 

 

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We are now back in Lincoln, Nebraska, where we will be volunteering with Maranatha to remodel some rooms in the girl’s dorm at Union College.  That project starts Monday, and should make a substantial improvement in some of the girls’ rooms.

 

We had a tremendous thunderstorm one evening!  Amazing how lightening can flash instantly across the whole sky, every couple of seconds, for hours!

Here is the view from our current motorhome location:

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One other fun thing… While in Florida, we decided to upgrade our Jeep.  We wanted a bigger four wheel drive vehicle that we can tow behind the motorhome, and can fit 6 people and luggage if needed. We decided a Chevy Suburban would be ideal. I called my buddies at Mile High Car Helper for advice only, since I didn’t think they could help me from Denver.  But I was wrong!  They arranged for my Jeep to be picked up, and found a beautiful Suburban for us, and had it shipped to Lincoln to meet us!

 

It looks absolutely brand-new, and is just what we wanted.  If you need to buy a car, Rich and Ryan at Mile High Car Helper in Denver can work miracles!  Even with all the shipping, I saved thousands over what I had been able to work out without them.  Painless and easy.

 

The paint on our beautiful home is all brown and tan swirls, and makes me think of ice cream… so I’ve been calling it “Fudge Ripple”.  Now with the white Suburban, I was afraid we’d have to call it “Vanilla”.  But Becky suggested “Marshmallow”…  So now I guess we live with Fudge Ripple and Marshmallow.  Life is good!

More Jet Travel

 

Independence, Missouri

Working our way to Lincoln, Nebraska, we stopped in Independence.  As with so many of the towns we visit, there is a lot of interesting architecture.

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There are several denominations of churches within a few blocks… always interesting to see.  These two were so close I thought it would be illustrative of how tightly packed the churches were… and then realized it is an addition to an existing, growing church.

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A horse drawn history tour:

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President Harry Truman lived in this house, and used it as a Summer White House:

A nice “Peace Park” is watched over by this elegant little lady:

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After seeing so much traditional architecture, it was slightly surprising to come across this interesting spire:

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We were naturally drawn to it… turns out is is a temple for the Community of Christ; which seems to be a “Reformed” LDS denomination.  There were lots of cars in the parking lot, so we dared to enter.  We were just in time for the last number of a fantastic Choral Concert.  Awesome acoustics in the hall were perfect for the beautiful choir.

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Spartan Mansion

In a storage area of our campground I spotted an old silver trailer.  I knew it wasn’t an Airstream, but thought it might be a Silver Streak or another make I knew as a kid.  It turned out to be a Spartan Mansion…  Spartan was an aircraft manufacturer in the early 1900’s.  J. Paul Getty bought the company around 1935, and with housing shortages in WWII started using aircraft manufacturing techniques to build portable housing.  There were a couple of models with palatial names like “Manor” and “Mansion”.  While a “Spartan Mansion” may seem like an oxymoron, they were quite nice for their time, and a refurbished 1951 Mansion sold recently for $350,000.  Not this one:

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Lincoln, Nebraska

After arriving in Lincoln, we parked our “home” at Union College.  We love this school, where both our daughters spent some time, so we have volunteered to help Maranatha upgrade the girl’s dorm.  The volunteer time starts in about 3 weeks, so we have time to Jet to Washington to see our kids and help Karen close out the school year and inventory her kindergarten classroom.

 

Tri-Cities, Washington

Karen has been wanting to build a teepee for a while.  When finding that several of her kindergarten class didn’t have a clue what a teepee was, she decided to get it done.  Here is how you build a teepee in less than 40 seconds:

 

Show and Tell

Bryan’s second grade class was to have a “Show & Tell” day… and Bryan wanted to bring the lawn mower, because he enjoys mowing the lawn.  Since that seemed a bit unwieldy, we decided to document a bit of mowing.  The K-2 classes found this great fun:

 

Cheyenne

My son-in-law Loren has bought into a beautiful plane- a Piper Cheyenne. A pressurized turbine twin, it has seats for 7 and looks fast even sitting in its hanger!

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Outside the hanger are several helicopters, including an old Bell helicopter that seemed to be meticulously restored.  It made me think of the old “Whirlybirds” TV show I saw as a kid.  Cool.

 

Flight to Lewiston, Idaho

Just in case you haven’t been fortunate enough to read it in previous blogs, my son-in-law Loren is an Ophthalmologist working for a great company that flies surgeons and teams to cities all over the northwest.  And I bum rides when I can, for the simple pleasure of flying right seat in beautiful Citation Jet III’s.  It’s quite a ride!  Smooth, quiet, with amazing acceleration.  We had moderate icing on the way to Lewiston, Idaho, and rain all the way back.  No big deal.  Just fast and fun!

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Last day of School

The final day of class had lots of fun, food and frivolity!

 

And now the Friday night sunset that closed the final day of school:

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Corvettes and More

National Corvette Museum

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The Corvette below was the personal car of Zora Arkus-Duntov, the “Godfather” of Corvettes, from vision, design and development.  While he obviously drove any number of ‘Vettes, this is the only one he ever purchased.

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I’m sure the only reason I’m so fond of Corvettes is that we share the same birthday.  On my 50th birthday (a few years ago) my  good buddy Gary let me drive both his 50th anniversary Corvette convertible, and his 50 year old ‘vette!  What a treat!!  Thank you Gary!  (His looks exactly like the title shot above).  That same year we were driving through Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the Corvettes are made, and spent some time in the National Corvette Museum.  Since it was the 50 year celebration, there were literally acres of Corvettes parked everywhere; on grass fields as well as paved parking lots surrounding the factory and museum.   It’s a really fantastic museum, with more Corvettes, Corvette history and memorabilia than a person can take in.  But I tried!

Below is an interesting tidbit about the original Corvette emblem…

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This ’53 has been cut away to show you its innards.  I won’t show you mine…

Another ’53 as a mosaic, with thousands of tiny shots.  I love these.

 

This one looks a lot like my Uncle Hollis’ Corvette.  He stored it at my house one year and I had to keep it exercised occasionally.

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Just before Valentine’s day in 2014, at 5:39 in the morning, the ground shook under the largest domed display room in the museum.  Then the floor literally dropped out… a huge sinkhole caved in the area supporting 8 cars! Some of the Corvettes fell about 40 feet, as rocks and earth fell all around them.  Some were buried so deeply that they were only found by digging exploratory holes in the rubble. The entire sinkhole fit within the perimeter of the display room, with most of the cars around the edges remaining where they were.  The cars were eventually hoisted out of the newly formed cavern, and several were restored. Three were so badly mangled that restoration would be impossible, so they are now displayed as they were brought up.  Pretty grim!  The event made world-wide news, and prompted a lot of jokes too…

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