Tag Archive: travel


Taken Labor Day evening.

Okay, so snow is not necessarily a mountain thing, although it is prevalent for six months out of the year. But the temperature dropping from 90 to 30 degrees in a few hours with snow beginning to fall, on Labor Day, as it did last week, is most certainly a mountain thing.

As is the deer wandering around town as if they own the place, because, well, they were there first. So when they graze in the front yard or wander through the yard next door to reach the cul de sac as they have for years, you just watch. It’s a cool thing to watch anyway.

Bears have been wandering through for a couple of months now. They only tolerate the humans because they’re nice enough – and stupid enough in some cases – to provide their trash. As well as forgetting to close the garage door with a full refrigerator and freezer inside. Making a note of the bonus location, the bear hit that particular house three times. Apparently, he really enjoyed the freezer full of shrimp he got the first time.  

It’s a morning routine for Sally, Cyndy, and I in Colorado. Drinking our coftfee and watching the street, front and side yards for grazing or passing deer. We’re beginning to recognize some of them. It’s also fun to be driving around town and see deer in a yard, a roadside grassy area, or any grassy or shady area really.

The previous trip to Sally’s.

There is a particular deer that we know well. Each time Cyndy and I leave to head back home – like we did last Saturday – he’s laying in Sally’s front yard telling us good-bye. 

The same deer last Saturday.

 

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

There is a shop called Mountain Wookies in Colorado with a location in Canon City and another in Woodland Park. On the last couple of trips to Colorado, I went in search for a mountain wookie. Our friend, Sally, went on the search with me. The picture on the left or above, depending on your device, is of a cutout on the wall in the parking lot of the Mountain Wookies in Woodland Park. That wasn’t good enough.

There were shops with wolves, bears, deer, owls, dogs, and a pig or two. On the side of one mountain there were the Flintstones characters. But, alas, no mountain wookie. I had an idea for a picture I wanted to get that by design must have a mountain wookie.

Then, when Cameron and I drove up to Colorado the first weekend in August, the three of us were running errands and ran by Mountain Wookies. There in front of the shop on the sidewalk was a mountain wookie. Just go with that.

And here is the picture I wanted.

Mountain Wookie Eats Buc-ee for lunch!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

Brodie is looking at the camera. You can see Buddy’s ear and back in the foreground.

So Cyndy and I thought we would take the two dogs with us to our friend, Sally’s, in Colorado, near Colorado Springs. If you have been following my posts, Sally’s brother Sam passed away unexpectedly in April. I drove up, the next day we ran errands pertaining to Sam’s affairs, and drove back to Texas the day after.

Sally stayed with us a couple of weeks before we drove back to Colorado. I stayed for a couple of days before driving back home. Then Cyndy and I drove up to Sally’s for Cyndy’s work vacation.

And, as I said, we thought we would take the dogs. On the way up to Colorado, there were few people at the rest areas. Walking the two dogs was no problem. We were lucky that they weren’t barking at the animals on the side of the road. Neither dog really even looked out the window.

We arrived at Sally’s and got the dogs in the backyard without incident. Overall, they did better than we thought they would. The dogs next door were no problem, other than our dogs barking at them. But there is a gap in the fence in the back corner. The chain-link fence on the other side kept the dogs away from each other, but they could still see through. The problem was that Buddy and Brodie could not fit their heads through the hole at the same time. So they went after each other. With Cyndy in the middle. She managed to get the dogs apart, yet not without bruises, scraps, and a very sore finger.

Despite our best efforts, it happened again the next day. We had been making sure someone was at the house with the dogs at any given time. This time Cyndy was literally in the middle and came away with more bruises, scraps, and a scratch on her face.

On the drive back more people were traveling. The rest areas were crowded with often a number of dogs. Our dogs do not play well with others. Brodie and Buddy seemed to be more at ease on the trip back. With the exception of the biker that pulled in behind us in the Dairy Queen drive-through. We had to simply find a place to pull over with enough room to walk the dogs. They weren’t too difficult and we were back on the road.

After the lion’s share of the driving was done, we found a rest area with just a few cars and no animals that we could see. Cyndy and I each grabbed a leash. I got Brodie. Buddy came through the front seat and followed Cyndy out of the driver’s side. Brodie tried to follow them. I persuaded him to come out the passenger door and he shot out. We were parked on a curb and my foot missed the curb. I proceeded to fall and my head snapped against the concrete. I kept hold of Brodie and got up as quickly as I could with the pain growing in the back of my head. The dogs did their business, then we took turns doing ours, then back on the road.

The bump on the back of my head grew as fast as the pain. I was lamenting the fact that I left the head medicine in my backpack in the big ass box on the back of the van. It took a couple of hours, but the pain subsided. I kept talking and thinking clearly which would make it appear that I got through without much damage to my head – other than a sizeable lump, a healing wound, and the feeling that my teeth had been seriously rattled.

I had, however, acquired a shooting pain just back of the middle finger on my right hand anytime I did anything with that hand. My award for hanging onto Brodie’s leash. Although I have to admit that if the pain subsides and there is no lasting damage, it is not too high a price to pay to not have to chase Brodie down the side of the freaking highway. It’s fortunate I wasn’t playing shows. I’m just now able to type or play guitar without pain.

When we head back to Colorado the end of the month, we’re going to have someone take care of the dogs. They’re both rescue dogs so they each have their issues. We’ll give training another shot. But for now, they’re staying home.

But the kicker is, I had thought ahead after all. When we arrived home, it occurred to me that I had put the head medicine in the snack tub. It was three feet away from me the whole time while my head throbbed!

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark 

 

 

 

So I spent last week social distancing my butt to Colorado to pick up Sally and bring her back for her brother, Sam, to be interred in Ft. Worth. Due to Covid-19, it will only be Sally and her cousin at the graveside. Her older brother, Kenny, lives in the area, but he doesn’t get around well.

It was odd, but pleasant, making the long drive with very little traffic. You can make really good time when you rarely have to pass anyone. Driving through New Mexico – in the middle of freaking nowhere – two other drivers and I played a casual vehicle, bored drivers version of leap frog. In other words, we took turns passing each other.

The day after I arrived, we drove into Colorado Springs to pick up the death certificates. The traffic was not as heavy as “usual,” but considerably heavier than on the highway. We picked up barbecue from Front Range BBQ. I highly recommend them should you find yourselves in the area. We picked up a few more things on the way back to the house for the evening. On Thursday we headed back here to Farmers Branch. Sally took the first shift until her eyes went “wonky” as she put it.

It was nice to be in cooler weather before coming back to Texas heat. Sally enjoys the heat though- having been stuck in the house most of the winter. We’ll head back to Colorado when things are taken care of. I’ll hang out a couple of days – leaving time between driving days. Then I’ll come back here until Cyndy and I go up the end of the month. In the meantime, I’ll try to get back to the projects I was working on when we heard the news that Sam passed away. Stay tuned – it’s going to be interesting!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

[If you like what you read and/or enjoy my music and what I do, feel free to let me know – Paypal.me/danroark]

Heading out to Georgia and Tennessee last week I stayed in KOAs when I wasn’t staying with friends. As a member, I get 10% off every night and points for every stay. I got a tent site with hookups, pulled the van into the site, plugged in my power strip, and settled in.

An ill-fated trip to Colorado where I made it no farther than Amarillo in late April began with a stay at the KOA in Abilene. The staff was very nice and helpful. The high temperature of a warm 80 dropped when the sun went down to the 60s and made for a pleasant night.

I was remembering that night with fondness as I pulled into the Toomsuba, Mississippi KOA on Tuesday the 21st. Before I left Farmers Branch, the Weather Channel was announcing a coming heat wave that could possibly set records – the center of which was right around Atlanta, Ga which was where I was headed. What they didn’t say was that the humidity percentage was going to rival the temperature.

Fortunately, it was not yet that humid in Toomsuba, even though it was in the middle of a large wooded area. But it was upwards of 90 when I pulled in about 6:30. The woman in the office/store greeted me and checked me in.

“Nice to have you here. The store closes at 7.” She checked the time again. “Oh good, you made it before the mosquitos come out.”

Well, good. I put the extension cord through the slightly open passenger front window, then stuffed my towel in the crack. Fortunately, mosquitos don’t care for me much, but I’m not immune. I have an Arctic Air that Cameron loaned me. It doesn’t work like they say on tv. It worked okay sitting behind my fan blowing cool air into it, but it wouldn’t have cooled the van by itself. Hell, both together were struggling against the heat before the sun went down. But after the sun went down, I had a peaceful night.

I stayed with friends, Joe and Lisa Catanese, while in Athens. Joe and I played at Akademia Brewing Company on Thursday. On Wednesday and Thursday in Athens, the temperature was in the 90s and the humidity was 89%. Fortunately, on Friday afternoon when I pulled into the KOA in Cartersville, Ga, the humidity was only about 50%, but at 92 degrees at 6 p.m. the Arctic Air and fan had more work to do. I worked on the computer and watched a movie sitting in front of the fan(s) moving as little as I needed to. It’s the only time I wear shorts. And again, after dark it got cooler and relatively pleasant.

You never can depend on the weather. But you can depend on KOA camps. It costs considerably less than a hotel room, it has a bathroom, shower, and sense of community. Keeping costs down is essential to any possible monetary success for a touring artist. I utilize travel centers and rest areas as well. I couldn’t stay every night in a KOA on a two week tour. But it’s nice to know they’re there when I need a break, electricity, and a shower.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

There are no pessimists on the TransAmerica Trail. That’s the conclusion of Bruce Moore, a King of Glory (KOG) member who spent a summer biking across America. Moore will share memories and photos of his three-month trek at King O f Glory Lutheran’s  GUSTO! meeting on Monday, December 12, at 10 a.m.

In 2010, at age 49, Moore quit his job and embarked on a bicycle tour from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. He left Yorktown, Virginia, on May 8. Three months, eight flat tires, two bike chains, a bunch of hot days and cold nights, a hailstorm, and more than a few cold showers later, he arrived in Florence, Oregon—a trip of 4,100 miles.

Moore camped four or five nights a week and stayed in motels the other two or three—when he needed to do laundry, when it was raining, or when it was over 95 degrees. He blogged the entire trip, followed online by many friends and King of Glory members back home. His ride raised funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Moore will talk about his journey—both physical and mental—and about how our society grossly undervalues shelter, cold water, hot water, vegetables, and high quality toilet paper. He’ll have stories about some of the places he visited and people he met—stories that will make you laugh, cry, and think. He’ll also bring a loaded bike to give a flavor of his trek.

At the end of his biking adventure, Moore launched his own mathematical modeling software and consulting business. He continues to be an active member of King of Glory.

Come at 9:45 a.m. for coffee and conversation, and join us for a reception after the presentation. Everyone is welcome!  The sanctuary can be chilly at this time of year. We recommend you bring a sweater or coat.

[From the KOG Gusto! staff]

Peace be with you.

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