Wednesday, August 30, 2017


We drove 700 miles---located a great--free camping spot in the dead center of its path--waited 3 days for it to happen---welcomed abut 30 others to our fine spot---AND THEN---AND THEN.

At 10:20 AM on 8/21/2017 the world began to darken,

and darken,

and darken,

until it was near total darkness for 2 minutes and 23 seconds.

Strange things began to happen:
 This bird ceased flying and settled herself into roosting posture.
The temperature dropped an estimated 20 degrees--chilly.
Cricket sounds suddenly filled the air.
Stars came out--Venus was especially bright.

Then slowly dawn appeared on the eastern horizon.

My feelings were of AWE and WONDER  I marvel that SCIENCE can so accurately predict its exact path and time.  SCIENCE took the terror out of this and other phenomenon and now we are free to enjoy.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


SHE SAID LET'S GO---IT'S A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY--MORE OR LESS.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to see total darkness fall over the land at 10:00 O'clock in the morning so that you could see the stars.  Wyoming is the best place. Scientist studying weather history say there is where clear skies are most likely.

The offer comes as I'm settled into one of my favorite spots in the Flagstaff area--a meadow of some thousands of acres.
Looking to my south---and no, that;s not the moon rising.  It's the Naval observatory perched on that distant hill.  It's primary function is to certify what time it is---nd if necessary to add or subtract from our officil time.  As a sideline, it locates exo-planets outside our solar system.  They have found several.
And this is Kat, come to visit for a few days--one of my favorite people--the sanest, most contributing citizen I have the privledge to know.  She is amazingly resourceful, self reliant and joyful--and a terrific dancer.

A better view from my campsite--Mt. Humphrey behind me.

Two more friends arrive to enjoy Flagstaff's coolness and beauty.

And later, two more old friends Laurie and Lisa just in time for a rainbow shot.
So why would I leave such a spot and such friends.

Well, to go on a grand adventure with another of my friends.
I stashed my trailer, cobbled together a bed and some supplies in my van and off we went, North of Flagstaff through Indian country toward Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

Our first night out we made it to Navajo National Monument. (terrific and the parking is free)

Past Kayenta through monument valley

and on past mexican hat.  Isn't this amazing?  I have climbed up to its neck, but there are climbers who have succeeded in climbing on top of it.

Climbing down into a real kiva at Edge of Cedars museum in Blanding, Utah. (worth seeing)

Our second night we spent at Recovery Reservoir just 4 miles outside Blsnding. (free)

Enroute to Moab, Ut is this well named CHURCH ROCK.

Some miles south of Moab is one of America's great Rest areas.  Stop and rest awhile and get some good water.  Butch Cassidy and gang did so.

Then drive this fantasy highway---#128 along the Colorado River

To the ghost town of Cisco.

Into Colorado and North on scenic highway #139 to Rangley. Very exciting--high passes--at the top of which we met these guys who locate and photograph animals in the valley below.  They showed us a large black bear.

We camped for the night at this rest area south of Rangely.

In Vernal Utah

We visited the dinasaur museum---don't miss this one--it's great.

We moved on into Wyoming--surprisingly treeless here, camping at Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

And then I very nearly got destroyed by this gigantic  wide load. I managed to take this pict and swerve to the roadside
In Lander Wyoming we met these wonderfully helpful people: Steve Schacht, Barb Gustin and Rob Robertson.  I was amazed at how well prepared they were to be helpful to the public during this special event.  In addition to giving free eclipse glasses and a special Forestry Service eclipse bandana, they helped us locate a terrific viewing spot---dead center of the event.

Here's one page of  a specially prepared report on everything you could wish to know.
Ahh sweet people, believe it, the world really is getting better and these federal employees are stretching their imagination to prove it. (read Pinker's latest book:  THE WORLD IS NOT FALLING APART)

Settled into a dead center lovely spot to await the big show.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  A road trip with a friendly and flexible companion is one of life's great joys.  No one said it better than Walt Whitman:

Afoot and light hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free--the world before me.
Henceforth I ask not good fortune;
I myself am good fortune
Strong and content I travel the open road..
I inhale great draughts of space;
The East and West are mine;
The North and South are mine.
All seems besutiful to me.
I can repeat over to men and women;
you have done such good to me;
I will do the same for you.
Whoever you are, come--- travel with me;
However sweet these laid up stores,
However convenient this dwelling
we cannot remain here.
However calm these waters, however secure this harbor,
 we cannot anchor here.
Together the inducements shall seem greater.
We will sail wild and pathless seas;
 go where the winds blow, Waves dash
and the yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.

Forward, after the great companions
and to belong to them;
they too are-- on the road.
Onward to that which is endless
as it was beginningless.
To undergo much, tramps of days and rest of nights.
 To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it;.
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you.
To know the universe itself as a road;-- as many roads;
As roads for traveling souls.