Tag Archives: Windshield Shots

‘Bout Time…

….I do a little blogging, right? Although I still have to put together a post about our wonderful cruise –
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and then catch all you’all up on our April project at Oakridge Ministries in Anadarko, OK.
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I thought I’d do a little real time update, instead.
We left Anadarko bright and early Tuesday morning.
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We did have a small concern in that the “Warning” light on the dashboard came on just as we were starting out. It doesn’t actually tell you what’s wrong, just that SOMETHING isn’t right. All the fluids were good, and she was running fine, so we opted to drive up to Oklahoma City (about 45 miles) and get it checked out there.
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We made it without incident, and they were able to diagnose (and replace) a failed transient suppressor (you wanted to know, right?). That’s the good news. The bad news is that they spotted a potential problem with the “#3 Exhaust Gasket” – it had a leak and there was possible damage to the manifold. However, since they couldn’t fix it until next week sometime, we opted to continue on and get it looked at (a second opinion is always a good idea anyway when $$$ is involved) in Ohio since we’ll be there for over a week. (Are you glassy-eyed yet?) Sooooo…..
With the 4 hour delay, we only got to the Missouri Welcome Center before we stopped for the night. Not quite as far as we had hoped, but thankfully we had no additional mechanical issues.
This morning we started out in the rain –
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and it pretty much rained all day, all the way.
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Eight Hours. Driving in the Rain. Ugh. But we made it most of the way across Illinois and, Lord willing, we’ll make it to Columbus (or at least to the diesel mechanic) by the end of the day tomorrow!!

As I type this, we are sitting in a Walmart parking lot in Effingham, Illinois watching it rain.
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(And listening to PSA’s about severe weather warnings. What county are we in again? Do we head into Walmart if it gets too crazy?)

It looks like we’ll be in the rain for most of the night –
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We’re the blue dot – and let me say, that green blob has been with us all day!!! We can only pray that it will be long gone in the morning!

I’d like to say that I’ll be catching up soon with Cruise and Project posts, but the truth of the matter is after tomorrow my days will mostly be filled with kids and grands. And once again, blogging will get placed on the back burner! (But that’s really how it should be, don’t you agree?)

Thanks again for stopping by!

Catching up – Second installment

We still had a couple of National Parks to check out before we made that final dash to Waco –
Canyon DeChelly
This was another one of those ‘lesser known’ parks in the Four Corners area of the country, but we’re glad we stopped!
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Here’s the opening blurb from the website –
For nearly 5,000 years, people have lived in these canyons – longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. In the place called Tseyi, their homes and images tell us their stories. Today, Navajo families make their homes, raise livestock, and farm the lands in these canyons. The National Park Service and Navajo Nation actively work together to manage park resources.
Because we were stopping here on our way to our next campground, we opted to do the driving tour rather than a more extensive tour of the valleys. Once again we were treated to beautiful views and lots of pueblo ruins.
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Here’s a bit of a zoom-in at the base of the canyon wall –
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Pretty impressive views all around!
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It was a great stop and we’re glad we put it into our itinerary!
(More pictures of the Canyon deChelly HERE) 🙂
Next up – The Petrified Forest and The Painted Desert.
WOW!!
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The petrified wood was so interesting –
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and very beautiful!
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The drive through the painted desert
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was spectacular, and the combination of the painted desert and the petrified forest
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was pretty amazing.
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Lots more pictures of this area can be found HERE. (Funny story about first world problems with the picture taking on this trip. Theoretically it was daylight savings time and I made sure my phone and big-girl camera were set to the same time so when I combined the pictures they would all be in order. HOWEVER, since Arizona does not do daylight savings time, every time we drove into AZ, my phone would change – but of course my camera would not. And then, if we were also in Navajo land, where they do do daylight savings time….well, let’s just say, getting these pictures in order was quite a task. Every park we went into in that Four Corners area had three clocks – Arizona time, whatever state we were in time, and Navajo time. Crazy!)

After the Petrified Forest, we put the pedal to the metal, and pointed the RV to Waco!
Back to Gary’s Journal –
[Following the Petrified Forest] we reconnected the truck and drove to the NM Welcome Center and stayed the night.
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UntitledLeft NM Rest Area @ 6:30. Stopped @ Denny’s for breakfast, drove East I40 to Rt 84. Stopped at Walmart in Lubbock, TX.
Left Walmart and drove East on Rte 84.
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Arrived Waco 2:30PM

And that finally wraps up our very long drive from California to Waco long, long ago…..

Thank you for your patience – and for coming along!

The New Neighborhood

When we left our January SOWER project (Highland Lakes Camp) on Thursday morning
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the sun was shining brightly. It’s a 15 minute drive just to get to the main road and we were blessed with beautiful glimpses of Lake Travis.
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We had less than 50 miles to travel, but they were all taking us toward Austin and one of my least favorite parts of RV’ing – Traffic!!! And we also noticed that our beautiful sunny day was about to run smack dab into a cold front –
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Oy! The traffic wasn’t really too bad since we had timed it for after rush hour. (Although it did bring to mind a trip I made into S. Austin last Monday with a sweet 91 year old behind the wheel during rush hour. Did I mention the blinding sun glare. Now THAT was a ride! Many prayers of thanksgiving were offered once we arrived at the doctor’s office. And yes, I did drive home! But back to THIS drive…) It went off without a hitch and soon we were tucked into our February neighborhood.
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Even though we’re the only SOWERs at this ministry this month, there is another long-term volunteer couple here, and right now there are other campers that came in for a weekend retreat. I think the neighborhood will look different come Monday!

As you can see by the cloud cover in our parking picture, the cold front did arrived along with us! But a fun dinner (at the famous Salt Lick BBQ) with friends (yippee for a bit of overlap!) warmed us right up!
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Friday morning we said good-bye to our buddies (though we’ll be working with them in March, so it wasn’t too sad!), and we spent the rest of the day learning the lay of the land (both in camp and the area)and getting a bit more settled. Today continued cool and drizzly, so we just stayed inside ALL day. Nope, didn’t get out of my yoga pants all day! But I did get a good start on Weston’s quilt!

All cut out, and ready to sew. Well, not quite ready to sew – I still have to arrange the layout. But still, it felt good to it cut and organized. And it felt really good to have a total stay at home, no place to go Saturday.
Hope you’re weekend is going well too!

PS – there’s a map showing our location over on But Where Are We Now? page if you want a bit more detail! 🙂

So let’s start with Christmas….

Since I have lots to catch up on and Christmas was pretty recent and I DO have some pretty cute pictures of the grands, I figured Christmas was a good place to start! And if I’m going to start at Christmas, I figure a couple of “on our way” shots is a fitting beginning.
We started early
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Covered lots of country
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a couple of cities
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and lots and lots of road.
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1200 miles (give or take) each way – but let me say right now – it was SO worth it!!!
We started out at our daughter’s house, celebrated Christmas day with her and then two days later had a Joint Family Christmas with both families.Ah, the beautiful chaos of it all!!  Then we moved to the other side of town to finish off our Columbus holiday with our son and family. I confess that I didn’t do a really good job of documenting all the fun – guess I was just too busy having all that fun!! I did get some pretty cute shots of all the kiddos, tho –
The two sweeties from the first part of the week –
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Alexandra
Ellie B
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and the five darlin’s that completed our visit.
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Ellie
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Hayley
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Maddie
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Noah
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We are so blessed to be able to claim these kids as our grandchildren. (We’re pretty blessed to call their folks our kids, but I didn’t do such a great job of getting pictures all of them!) But I did get some pictures of the festivities –
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Trying to get a picture of the girls in red on Christmas morning. Looks like I was the only one interested in actually having that happen!
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Pops helped little Alexandra with some boo-boo care.
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The girls (and Herbert) waiting expectantly for the present opening to start!
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Finally!!!
Once we moved north to the busy household with the five kids, our days were filled with acrobats
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And others who were oblivious to acrobats.
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There were games to be played
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And then there were GAMES TO BE PLAYED!!!
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It was a great holiday – and of course it went by too fast. There are more pictures (naturally!), so if you want to see more adorable kiddos, some cute adults and then some more amazing youngun’s – feel free to check out the batch of ’em HERE!

Although it was hard to head back to Texas, we did have some pretty wonderful littles waiting for us back down the road.
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So there it is – the Conrad Columbus Christmas in a nutshell. Giggles and snuggles and even some “pie in the face”.
Lord, let us never take for granted the beautiful, crazy, loving family you have blessed us with!

Mondays are for Memories – January 2010

Since so many of our family and friends are posting snow pictures, I checked back in the archive to January 2010 when we were working at Cherry Valley School in Beaumont, California. We might not have had a ton of snow at our location, but it wasn’t far away!

January 31, 2010 – The Round About Way

Since this was our last weekend in the “Pass” (as this area is known), we figured we’d better take the advantage of a beautiful day on Saturday to take a drive to some of the nearby spots we’d been wanting to check out. Big Bear Lake and ski areas were only about 45 miles away according to our GPS, but of course we wanted to stay away from major interstates and congested areas. “Let’s go up the back way, through Oak Glen (a quaint town of orchards and all things apple only 15 miles or so up the road), maybe check out a couple of geocaches, and then make our way over to Big Bear Lake.” Sounded like a plan, so I grabbed the camera, a couple of bottles of water and some snacks, and off we went!
First Stop – Oak Glen.
OK, so we didn’t actually stop (it’s not exactly prime apple harvest time), but the views were impressive as we were heading out of town –
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And we really enjoyed the signage!
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Trust me, they really know how to do “curvy” here in California!
Oh – and I wish I knew exactly what mountain that is in the distance. It was in my viewfinder for most of the day, but the best I can do is “San Bernardino Mountain”. And it’s a guess, folks. Just a guess.
But I digress with my lack of geography knowledge…..
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See, there it is again!
Since we were headed to Big Bear we knew we would be coming into some snow. Remember last week when we had 2-4 inches of the stuff? Well, the mountains near here got 2-4 feet. Or so it seemed by the look of this car coming toward us on the highway –
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Uh, sweetie – the snow was LAST WEEK, and maybe you could have cleaned a little more off the driver’s side??????
But for us, the roads were clear.
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And even though the plowed piles got higher and higher, the drive was lovely!
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We did take a little detour to do a geocache, and while Gary was walking around with his trusty GPS
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I was busy clicking away at the beautiful snow covered landscape.
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(I think this cactus was a little concerned about the blanket of snow….)
Finding the cache with all the snow presented a little bit of a challenge (and we hadn’t done much geocaching lately, so we were a little out of practice), but I finally noticed a straight edged thing under a root.
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I made Gary do the groping (I’m not really fond of sticking my hand into dark “what just might be there” spaces, and we were rewarded with our first “find” in several months.
There were several other mountain roads that Gary had hoped to explore, but they were all closed. Such a disappointment for a guy who was really hoping for some dirt road adventures.
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Anyway….on to Big Bear Lake.
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All along the way we saw cars pulled over and folks getting ready to find a sledding hill or strapping on their cross-country skis or just plain having a snowball fight. Those are some renegade snowballs on the lake ice!
And there certainly was snow enough for everyone.
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Maybe they are waiting for spring?
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We literally crawled through the town Big Bear Lake – not only was last week’s snow the first BIG snow in a couple of years, but this was the first weekend day that the roads were open. It took us 2 ½ hours to drive the 10 miles along the south side of the lake. (We stopped for lunch thinking that maybe we could “wait out” the traffic. Not only was the lunch the slowest meal we’ve had in a loooonnnng time (2 hrs. for a burger and a bowl of chili), but the traffic was still waiting for us when we were (finally) done.) I have to tell you, 4 ½ hours of Big Bear Lake is just a little bit too much!
Not wanting to go back the same way we came, Gary chose to head north, pick up a cut-off road that went over to Yucca Valley, and return from the East. It was a great plan, except we never found the short cut road. Apparently the plows had never found it either. The road we thought was “it” turned out to be a little connector road that took us back to Baldwin Lake and was only about a ½ mile long.
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But it did (almost) give him his dirt (mud) road fix.
Almost.
Enough chatter – here, in the order of their appearance, is the rest of drive home.
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Baldwin Lake
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Down the other side of the mountain until we ended up in the “high desert”.
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We were losing daylight fast –
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Caught the sunset going through Yucca Valley
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(sorry for the blurry sunset. It’s very tricky taking sunset shots from a moving truck!)
That trip home was definitely the “long way home”!
Here’s our day’s journey on the map –
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(You can see our missing”shortcut” home – it goes east above Big Bear and heads over to Pioneertown and Yucca Valley. It would have been sweet if it had been open!)
Zoomed out a bit –
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And here’s a zoom in –
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Yeah, there were a lot of those curves!
You know, not everyone can take what should be a 100 round trip drive and turn it into a good 200 miles. And even with the crawl through Bear Lake and the incredibly slow lunch service, it was indeed a Very Good 200 miles!

Here’s a link to the original post – The Round About Way