Saturday, December 30, 2006

Round two and New' Year's Eve



Round two of the snow didn't hit us as hard as it could have.  Debbie posted some pictures in her journal of the piles of snow at her altitude.  She is about 2000 feet lower than I am.  The storm is moving east and should dump rain on Time Square just after midnight, January 1st.  (For Ellen, Vicky and Marina, I watch channel 2 on the satellite)  The mayor, Chris was nice enough to plow out our driveway and parking lot this morning.  We are hosting the first part of the progressive dinner on New Year's Eve.  Cocktails will be served at the Wheeler bar,  Dinner at Steve and Dee's  and the final celebration will be at Steve and Lisa's. (I understand the Hot Tub will be ready).   The band will be playing at Steve and Dee's, which may be interesting.  I'm sure Dee (the flute player) will want to keep and eye on her kitchen.




Thursday, December 21, 2006

Colorado is Closed


Milo is ready for a walk in any weather

Colorado, from the Wyoming border south to Colorado Springs and from the foothills to the Kansas is closed!  We are looking at 24" of beautiful, white snow.  Milo and I had an interesting walk this morning.  It took us a while to walk down to the school house and put the flag up.  Milo romped and jumped and almost smiled.  He had fun playing.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

The news is showing the traffic reports.  There aren't any cars out at all.  The only vehicles on the roads are the snow plows and the national guard HUMV's. We are going to enjoy the white Christmas.

For those into the science of weather, a strong low pressure system slowly moved over the panhandle of Texas.  The counterclockwise spin pulled moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and slammed it up against the mountains.  The moisture could not move over the mountains so it just dumped snow on top of the front range.  So far, we have had 29 hours of non-stop snow.  This condition is called an "upslope" and is responsible for most of our heavy spring snow storms.  The spring storms are usually followed by several days of very warm weather, something that is lacking with this one.  This snow will be on the ground for some time to come.

For more pictures, visit Deb at Frosty Thoughts.

Here's a couple of more pictures.


My poor car!


Anybody for lunch on the deck?


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

We're going to have a white Christmas


It's hard to tell by the bird feeder but it is really snowing in the area.  I-70 eastbound and I-25 southbound are closed due to blowing and drifting snow.  The snow started about 6:30 this morning and is expected to continue until tomorrow afternoon.  Predicted accumulation is 1-3 feet.  We're definitely going to have a white Christmas!  I'll try to post another picture after the storm passes.

Milo and I left the house just as it was beginning to snow.  We went across the valley to visit my girlfriend, Chili.  I have assumed responsibility for her this week while her owner is diving in the Caribbean.  She has plenty of food and shelter.  As usual, she was happy to see me.  I arrived with breakfast!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Activities in Sunshine and Milo's miffed!


Milo's a little miffed at me today.  My friend Hollie is off diving in the Caribbean for a week.  I am overjoyed because I get to take care of her horse, Chili while she is gone.  I get up at 5:30 and drive over to her corral.  I mix her feed, give her some lovin (after all, she is my girlfriend) and make sure she has plenty of hay.  I have to be careful not to bring Milo with me.  Chili is getting along in age and I don't want to spook her.  It is still dark when I tend to Chile and the head lamp I wear is bad enough.  Milo has to stay in the house when I leave or he will follow me the mile and a half to the corral. 

When I returned home this morning, Milo and I took our walk.  He was so happy, he was jumping up and down.  The sun was breaking over the horizon and it was beautiful.  The clouds are gathering for our next winter storm.  Sorry Debbie, but I think we are in for a good one.

There has been a lot going on in Sunshine this month.  Don and Marty sponsored their annual tree cutting party on the 5th.  We had a Friday Afternoon Club (FAC) last Friday.  Mary had her annual Christmas cookie exchange (must have been 40 women there) and, of course, we are planning the New Years Eve, progressive dinner.  Cocktails will begin the festivities at our house.  Dinner will be at Steve and Dee's (the band is going to play) and desserts and the New Year will be at Steve and Lisa's.

For those following the reconstruction of the old fire house, the footing have been poured. 

Milo and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 4, 2006

Why is the moon so bright?

Have you noticed how bright this full moon is?  On December the first, the moon hit it's perigee, that is the closest it gets to Earth on it's orbit around us.  I guess it needs more space and starts to move toward its apogee.  During a sales training meeting many years ago, the trainer was trying to make a point on how different most men and women think.  He asked us to describe the moon.  Most of the men described a small planet-like object (a rock), orbiting the earth, going through phases (new, 1st quarter, full and last quarter).  The women described something totally different.  Most described watching the moon rise on a romantic summer evening, with a warm gentle breeze.  They talked about it's orange glow that turned white as it rose in the sky.   The object of the lesson was to teach the new sales people to open their minds and to remember that different people observe different things.

We are seeing some progress on the rebuild of fire station #1.  At least that was until the snow and cold moved in.  Here is a recent picture.  That is as high as the cinder block wall is going to go.  The rest will be siding.  I'm sure Steve and Julie across the road will enjoy the view once it is finished.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snowy Morning

Milo and I arose early this morning.  We knew we had to climb out of the nice warm bed.  The snowstorm that started just after dark yesterday was still going this morning.  There was work to be done before we could start down the driveway.  Eight inches of beautiful white snow greeted us as we opened the front door.  I grabbed the snow shovel as Milo bounced off the porch.  I shoveled a path to the car, opened the drivers side door and started the engine.  As the car warmed up, I scraped the ice from the windows and swept the snow from the bright red finish of my wife's car. 

Just as I was moving the car the the front door, Jan opened the front door, purse, bag and lunch all in hand.  She was followed by Mike. The snow was a big change for Mike.  He spent the Thanksgiving holiday on the big island of Hawaii and just returned home yesterday.  Jan gave me a good-bye kiss and hopped in the warm automobile.  A few seconds later she and Mike took off down the driveway, leaving Milo and I in the middle of the parking lot.

Milo and I worked our way down the snow covered driveway and out onto the freshly plowed road.  We made it to the flag pole and raised the flag to the top.  The school bus approached but did not stop as usual.  Bob, our normal driver will be off work for the rest of the calendar year.  He is having prostrate surgery today.  Damn cancer!  Our prayers are with him.  Milo and I returned to the house.  Safely inside, we put another log on the fire and fixed breakfast.  There is nothing like a warm fire, hot chocolate and oat meal on a cold, snowy winter day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Mayor Goes Gambling

Sunday morning, after Milo and I took our walk, I loaded up the car with the comforter from our bed and headed down to the Laundromat.  My favorite place to be on a Sunday morning. (yea...right!)  Donna was working.  She is a beautiful, mature woman in her 70's with well kept gray hair.  She takes in laundry, cleans up the messes and keeps us all in conversation.  There is always room for a laugh at the Laundromat.

As our conversation moved from topic to topic, she asked where I lived.  I told her "up in Sunshine".  Somehow I knew the next question was coming. 

"I know someone up there, do you know Chris?" 

I replied, "Of course I know Chris, he's our Mayor"!  We both laughed because there is no real mayor, we just call him that. 

Donna continued "Well I saw him up at Central City in one of the casinos.  He came over and sat down next to me.  He told me he knew the secret of winning on the slot machines". 

She smiled and continued," He took me over to a different machine and put in one quarter and pushed the button.....a loser.  He did the same thing two more times.  Then (her voice when up a notch in both volume and pitch) he said 'here's the secret'.....He put in 9 quarters and hit the button.....He WON!!!!!! Not only did he win but he won $75!"

Donna and I had a big laugh over that.  I would only happen to Chris.


This morning, Milo and I took our walk at the normal time (7AM).  We passed by the old, burnt out firehouse.  They are starting to rebuild.  As we reached the fork, we heard the sound of Chris's white Ford mustang coming down the road.  Chris stopped in the middle of the road and handed Milo a treat.  I asked him about Donna's story.  Typical Chris, he looked at me with a very serious look and denied that he gambled.  He started to chuckle.  "Do you believe in luck?"  He started to laugh, and said "I sure do, because it was pure luck that I hit on that machine"!   He drove off toward Boulder, still laughing. 

Friday, November 10, 2006

Morning walk - Veterans Day


C.O. Wheeler WW1  My grandfather

Milo and I started down the driveway this morning.  The air was cold, around 30 degrees, and the wind was strong, gusting at 40 MPH.  We made a quick trip to the flagpole and raised the flag.  Now that daylight savings is over, I have asked for some help lowering the flag in the evening.  I do not close my office until 5:30 and it is dark by then.  Our new neighbors, Brian and Megan, are lowering the flag.  I thank them for their time and energy.

My wife, Janice, her sister and father all left today for Socorro, New Mexico.  They will be attending the 27th Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium this weekend.  Watch out...the boys are home alone!

I have mixed thoughts about veterans day.  I have very few pictures of myself in the Army.  Most of the ones I have were taken at home, with me in uniform.  This one was taken during basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO in July, 1966


I learned that you don't make friends in the Army.  The gentleman on the left and I did not keep in touch after basic.  I have now idea what happened to him.  Most of the people in my Basic Training unit were headed for Vietnam.  Those of us in uniform were not treated very well off post.  My neighbor, Col. Wain and I have reminisced about how difficult it was to walk through an airport in uniform.

I salute my grandfather, my father and my brother, Phil for their service to our country.  They were (are) brave, handsome men who did not shirk from their duty.


LTC Duane J. Wheeler, WW2, Korea, VietNam

If you see a veteran, say "thank you".  Give them a hug.  They deserve it.


Thursday, November 2, 2006

Jackson Hole and the Tetons


When Lewis and Clark made their trip across the North American continent, they went north of Wyoming, through Montana and Idaho.  They did not see the wonders of Yellowstone of the beauty of the Grand Tetons (named by the French Explorer and fur trapper, Jacque LaRamie...look teton up in the french dictionary).  After spending the winter at Fort Clapsup in Oregon, they started their trek back to St.Louis via the same route they took heading west.  On the return trip they split up and explored more of the western territory.  One member of the Lewis and Clark party asked if he could leave and explore on his own.  John Colter went looking for the head waters of the Yellowstone river.  He was one of the first white men to see Yellowstone, Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons.  When he returned to the east he was called a liar when describing the steaming geysers and the boiling hot pools of water.

I have often called Jackson Hole one of the best kept secrets in the world.  There are many pictures taken of the Tetons but very little credit is given to the location.  The destination of many travelers is Yellowstone, not Jackson Hole.  The area is full of things to do. There is some GREAT winter skiing at the Jackson Hole ski area.  My neighbors, Steve and Julie have climbed the GrandTeton Mountain.  In the mood for a chuck wagon dinner?  How about white water rafting, canoeing, or horse back riding?  There is camping or 1st class hotels.  There are plenty of fine eating establishments and a few good bars. Jackson even has a great library.  Fishing in Jackson Lake or Jenny Lake is superb (the water is so clear, you wouldn't believe it)


My older brother, John, walking through the gate of the Chapel of Transfiguration.  (please check out this link)


Mt. Moran from Colter Bay, named after the famous western artist.



My Friend,Dr. Chris and our boys join me at Jenny Lake

I had mentioned to my friend, Dr. Chris (Oxford University) that most residents of Wyoming are only one person away from knowing most people in the state. (It's not hard when there is only one four year college in the state)  He thought I was joking until we took our vacation together to Jackson Hole.   He and his family stayed a couple of days after my family left and returned to Colorado.  Chris took his family to Yellowstone to see all of the wonders up there. He is a early riser and headed up to Old Faithful Geyser before the crowds of people arrived.  He noticed a couple of official looking people with clip boards near the geyser.  Thinking this might be a good point to see if I was speaking with a forked tongue, he approached the gentleman and engaged him in conversation.  He asked him where he was from and the gentleman mentioned a town in Wyoming,  His crew was recording the activities of the geysers.  Chris asked him if he knew David Wheeler.  The man thought for a moment and then replied, "no, but I do know a John Wheeler" (My brother).  We had a good laugh over that one.


Here fishy, fishy!

Well partner, that's about it for my travel log of my home state of Wyoming.  There is so much more to see and do.  The one thing to remember is that Wyoming has ninety of the most beautiful days of summer you can find.  Just ninety!

"If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence,
try orderin' somebody else's dog around."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Morning walk


Milo and I left for our morning walk around 7AM.  It's nice to walk in the sunlight again.  It was a very cool, 19 degrees.  Milo bounced down the driveway, ran ahead of me and was waiting at the flag pole when I arrived.  We raised the flag, saluted, and continued on our walk. 

There was no sign of the Halloween party held for the children on last Saturday.  They had games and prizes in the school house, and a hay ride.  Since the fire house burnt down, there is no power to the school house, hence, the party went from 1PM to 4PM.

There were a couple of adult parties around the neighborhood.  The band (Star Route) played at Steve and Julies.  It must have been a really good time.  The place was packed.  I kind of  remember walking home.

Milo wanted me to remind you that today is Sharon's birthday (Golf and Other Stuff) .  Hop over and wish her a happy day.  Sharon

I would like to welcome Sunshine residents Dr. Bruce and Dr. Joyce to my journal.  I hope you enjoy the winter in California.  The neighbors are looking forward to seeing you next summer.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Northern Wyoming and Yellowstone



Unlike the desert of southern Wyoming, northern Wyoming is a mixture of beautiful mountains and grasslands.  Moving from east to west, you leave the Black Hills into the Thunder National Grassland.  At Buffalo and Sheridan you enter the Big Horn Mountains.  Buffalo is the county seat of Johnson county, location of the famous Johnson County War between the open range ranchers and the homesteaders.  It's quite a story.  The Wyoming Stock Growers Association wheeled as much power as the state legislature (several people were members of both)  It is reported that the WSGA hired some Texans to run the homesteaders out of Johnson county.  Some of the settlers were murdered but they rose up and surrounded the cattlemen.  The US Calvary arrived and escorted the ranchers to the safety of a jail and everything quieted down.  The book "The Banditti of the Plains" by A.S. Mercer was written about the incident.  In the 1900's the books were destroyed and it was dangerous to own a copy as late as the 1950's.  My grandfather hid his and only a few people in the family knew of his acquisition.

North of Sheridan, in Montana, is the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, location of the battle between Gen. George Custer and the Indians (Lakota Souix and the Northern Cheyenne).  Although not in Wyoming, a trip to Sheridan would not be complete without visiting the battlefield. 

Sheridan is also the headquarters for the International Association of Turtles.  For those of you who are Turtles,no explanation is needed.  For those of you who would like to know more click here.  There is only one correct response to the question, are you a turtle?


West of the Big Horn mountains is the Big Horn River and the Big Horn Basin containing the towns of Lovell, Greybull and Worland; the smaller towns of Basin, Ten Sleep and Meeteetse.....  And then there is Powell and Cody, the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  Cody was founded by William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) in 1897.  It is the location of the Buffalo Bill Historic Center and the Whitney Gallery of Western Art (containing many Charley M. Russell favorites).

The northwestern corner is the home of The Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  Yellowstone is probably one of the best know of the national parks, for it was the first.  Thank you Teddy Roosevelt.

Here are several photos I would like to share.  My father took these pictures in 1953 when he returned from Korea with his brand new 35mm camera.  Many of them were framed and hung in my parents house for years.  The original photos are on slides.

Yellowstone lodge before the fire.  The lodge survived but the forest didn't.


Old Faithful gyser.  I have a funny story about my friend Chris and his trip to Old faithful.  I'll share it on the Teton Post


Lower falls of the Yellowstone River.


Elk or Wapiti

Our next visit to Wyoming will be Jackson Hole and the Teton Mountains.  Until then, remember, life ain't about how fast you run, or high you climb, but how well you bounce. 

Don't squat on your spurs!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tagged by Amanda

I've been tagged by Amanda.  I've seen this going around and have read some very interesting entries.  Amanda's post had me ROFL! goes............


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your Blog along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet I know that is what you were thinking!

6. Tag 4 or 5 people

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Taken from the current book, (I'm actually in the middle of three books but this is the one I can't put down) "Walking The Bible" by Bruce Feiler

"The distance between Jerusalem and Cairo is almost impossible to measure.  By foot it should take about a month, by camel two weeks, by bus a day.  But for most of history, such conventional means rarely worked.  Abraham made it faily easily, as did Mary and Joseph when they fled Bethleham with the baby Jesus to escape the wrath of Herod."

I won't tag anybody but I do find it fun to see what others are reading.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Following The Oregon Trail

The early settlers of the American west mostly traveled through Wyoming without staying.  They followed known rivers to a point that they could easily cross the continental divide.  On the other side of the continental divide they would follow the rivers that flowed west to the Pacific Ocean, and their final destination, Utah, California or Oregon.  The three main trails that cut across Wyoming are the Oregon, the Morman and the California trail.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, they followed the North Platte river.  You can still find wagon wheel ruts and places where the early pioneers carved their names in the sandstone cliffs.  On the south side of the North Platte, across from Fort Laramie, is Register Cliff.  North of Rawlins and northeast of Whisky Gap is Independence Rock, also known as the "Register of the Desert".

The towns that sprung up along the old trails are Torrington, Fort Laramie, Guernsey, Douglas, and Casper.  Just north of Douglas (home of the famous Jackalope) is the site of the most notorious gambling resort and saloon in the territory. In 1882 it was known as the "Hog Ranch".  Northwest of Casper is the "Hole-in-the-Wall", Butch Cassidy's hide out. 

As the trails moved west they crossed the continental divide at South Pass and then moved southwest to Fort Bridger.  After Fort Bridger, they split, some going south into Utah and California, the others going west toward Oregon.  Fort Bridger was the home of the early fur trapper, Jim Bridger.


One of my favorite places in Central Wyoming is Lander.  Is is at the southern edge of the Wind River Indian Reservation, and the grave of Sacajawea, the famous Shoshone girl guide and heroine of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1805-06.  West of Lander is Pinedale.  This is the location of one of my not-so-secret fishing places.  There is a series of lakes in the Wind River Mountains east of Pinedale.  My favorite is Burnt Lake.  Until the late 1970's you could only access it with a four-wheel drive vehicle.  It  holds many memories of fishing trips with my father in the 1950's.  If you plan a trip to Jackson Hole (The Tetons) and Yellowstone via this route, take along your favorite tape or CD to listen to.  That is unless you enjoy listening to country and western music on an AM radio.  The only station you can receive is KMER-AM, Kemmerer, Wyoming.


Before I move on to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone, I would like to share one of the strangest sensations I have ever experienced while driving.  On US20 between Shoshoni and Thermopolis, is The Wind River Canyon.  The river flows north through the canyon (contrary to most in the area that flow south).  The highway slopes down ever so gently that it gives the illusion that the water in the river is actually flowing up hill!  The first time I drove it alone (1970), it freaked me out so much that I almost drove off the road and into the river.  To top it off, I was listening to the sound track to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and could imagine ol' Butch and Sundance riding horseback along the river.......  And I wasn't even smoking anything!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Orionid Meteor Shower and Southern Wyoming

Milo and I took our morning walk in the frozen mud from yesterday's storm.  After raising the flag he mentioned that I should post something about the upcoming Orionid meteor shower.  The dark sky of the new moon should offer excellent viewing.  The meteors seem to originate from Orion's hammer, or club.  They will peak on the night of October 21st.  There can be as many as 20 meteors an hour.

I would like to use this post to take a quick trip through southern Wyoming.  I have received many comments from people who have made this trip. I thank them for their thoughts.  On our trip traveling from east to west, along Interstate 80 from Laramie you travel north of the Colorado Rocky Mountains along rolling hills.  There is a hugh windmill farm to the north of the highway, near Elk Mountain.  South of the highway is the area I fought my first forest fire when I was 20.  From there we travel to Rawlins, home of the Wyoming State Penetentry.  It was rumored for years that there was a set of cowboy boots in the front window of the main bank, downtown.  The story behind the boots is that they belonged to the last person to hold up the bank.  They buried him without them.

From Rawlins traveling west you cross the Red Desert and the Great Divide Basin.  The only way to describe it is miles and miles of nothin'! Nothin' except yellow-brown dirt, alkali flats (white), sage brush and tumbleweeds. You cross the continential divide with an altitude of 7208' and then 50 miles later, you cross it again, altitude 7200'!  The continential divide seperates the US continent into two parts, all the water on the east side flows into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.  All the water on the west side flows into the Pacific Ocean.  And the water that fall in the Great Divide Basin....It doesn't flow anywhere.   It's a desert, there isn't any.

Halfway across the Great divide basin is the garden spot of the state, Wamsutter (an inside joke).  It's a town of house trailers and a couple of very expensive gas stations.  Try never to stop there.  The wind may blow you away.  The highway follows the route of the Union Pacific Railroad.  It was near Wamsutter that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid blew up the railroad car with Woodcock inside.  That is one of the true facts used in the movie.

Many, many miles later (and a movie or two on the mobile DVD player) is Rock Springs.  It's not the end of the earth, but it is rumored that you can see it from there.


Rock Springs, Wyoming

Rock Springs is 90 miles north of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, known for it's trout fishing.  Head north and you will find the Shoshone National Forest, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park.  We'll visit Jackson Hole and Yellowstone soon.

On the trip west out of Rock Springs comes the town of Green River and then the road side stop of Little America.  You have to stop for an ice cream's a much needed treat and reward for crossing the great American desert.  Stop and read the story.  Southwestern Wyoming has so much early western history, that is is best servered for another venue. It is stories of early fur trappers and American Indians.

Next we will follow the Oregon Trail across central Wyoming.  I'll share another great fishing hole with you.  Till then.....Happy trails!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

cracking me up

Who would have ever thought I would have my picture in the newspaper for playing the drums?  Of course, I did when I was in the Army but that was really, really different. 


Just a bunch of "old school, old farts" having fun.  The last time we played at the Outlook, people were leaving the hot tub to dance.  Cracked me up!

Here is the entire article:,1713,BDC_2462_5065271,00.html

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Trick Or Treat Through J-Land

Greetings to all.  Let's have some fun!

Make a journal entry titled "Trick Or Treat Through J-Land"and copy these instructions so others can play along.  Visit as many journals as you can with the "Trick or Treat Through J-Land" title and leave them your link.  Hopefully all those who actively participate will get many trick or treaters and meet some new J-Land pals!

Happy Haunting!!!!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Southeastern Wyoming


Southeastern Wyoming is the location of the state capitol and my home town, Cheyenne.  How could you be born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming and not be a cowboy?  Yes Amanda, I often wear cowboy boots.  The area just west of Cheyenne is where the plains meet the mountains, at least the northern tip of the Colorado Rockies.  The hill between Cheyenne and Laramie is the highest point along the Union Pacific railroad.  There is a monument at what used to be the highest point dedicated the The Ames Brothers of Boston.  They were instrumental in building the railroad.  It's know as Ames Monument.....Duh.  The railroad moved the tracks and left the monument out there all by it's self.  Few people ever see it any more.

Just south and east of the Ames Monument is Remount Ranch.  It was at the ranch that Mary O'Hara wrote "My Friend Flicka", "Thunderhead" and "The Green Grass of Wyoming" in the 1940's.  Bea, I would definitely put this on a "must see" list when you finally visit the west.  If you click on the link to the ranch, you will see the name "Tom Horn" mentioned.  I will cover Tom in another post and my connection to him. 

Laramie sits in a valley,  a high plain located between two mountain ranges. The mountains to the east are conered by Ponderosa Pine.  The mountains to the west and south are covered by Lodgepole Pine (used to make telephone poles).  Northwest of Laramie are the small towns of Bosler, Rock River, Medicine Bow and Hanna.  Medicine Bow is the location of "The Virginian" written by Owen Wister.

A drive to the west of Laramie will take you to Centennial (great skiing) and Woods Landing.  I'll share a secret with you.  Some of the best trout fishing in Wyoming can be found near Woods Landing.  If you go south on highway 230 and cross the Wyoming / Colorado border, there is a dirt road that goes back into Wyoming.  The forest hides the small streams.  If you look hard enough, you will see some streams to the north of the dirt road.  These are the headwaters of the North Platte river that flows into the Missouri River and then into the Mississippi River.  The Brook trout are very tasty and they fit perfectly in the frying pan.  Make sure you purchase a fishing license!

Here fishy, fishy!

OK, my best friend Chris, has reminded me that I forgot to mention Lake Marie, high atop the Snowy Range, west of Laramie.  At over 10,000 feet above sea level, it's cold, very cold.  There are still very deep snow drifts in early June.  Yes, that is snow in the picture and it was taken in July.

Nate and Lake Marie, Wyoming

A prayer

Please offer a prayer for our neighbors Doug and Pam.  Their son, Davis, passed away last night.  He was 12 years old.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

first snow


Just a quick note to log our 1st measurable snow fall this year.  There is a blue jay and a downy headed wood pecker on the bird feeder.  The wood pecker is hiding on the other side of the 2nd to the left feeder.

Milo does love to run and romp in the snow!


Friday, October 6, 2006

Eastern Wyoming continued


Old Fort Laramie Painting by Alfred J. Miller (1858)

The early pioneers that followed the Oregon Trail entered Wyoming along the banks of the North Platte River.  Fort Laramie is located on the north side of the river.  The old fort served may purposes while it was an active army post and contains much history.  It was a thrill and an honor to participate in a flag ceremony at the fort in June of 1968.  In the movies, you will see the wagon trains in a circle with the Indians attacking, riding around the circle.  In all of my reading I can not find any instance when that actually happened!  There is only one case where the Indians attacked a circle but they did not ride around in circles.


Modern day Fort Laramie

The northeast corner of the state was originally a very large Lakoda Souix Indian reservation.  The discovery of gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota created a demand for land for the white man.  The Indians did not give up their right to the land easily, as General George Custer found out.  Crazy Horse and the united indian nations could only keep the white man out for a short time before the indian wars forced them to live as captives on their own land.  I believe, as the native Americans did, that the land does not belong to man, man belongs to the land. 

The Cheyenne / Deadwood stage trail follows the eastern Wyoming border.  In the early days, before the railroad went north, the stage was the only way into the wild west town of Deadwood.  Lusk is the last community to have a bordello.  North of Douglas, in the Thunder Basin National Grasslands it the town of Bill, Wyoming.  Bill is a very small town.  It has one building that houses groceries, the post office, the jail and out front is a gas pump.  It services all the ranches for miles around.  When I was growing up, the mayor's name was Bill.  He was also the constable, grocer and post master. Much to the surprise of many visitors, there is a parking meter in front of the building.  Some "easterners" are often surprised when they failedto put a coin in this singular device and end up with a fine or even worse, jail.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

A visit to eastern Wyoming


Wyoming's State Capitol building.  Notice the new cars!

I have traveled from Boston to Key West and out to the US Virgin Islands.  Driven from Ocean City, Maryland to Seaside, Oregon. This is a beautiful country with landscapes as diverse as one can imagine. Ask anyone who has driven across Wyoming and a couple of thoughts will be universal.  First, is how dry and desolate it is; there are more Pronghorn Antelope than there are people.  Second, how big it is, almost 400 miles east to west. Third is the wind; it blows all the time (there's a joke in there about Idaho and Nebraska but I can't quite seem to remember what it is).  It is difficult for me to explain several things about Wyoming. 

The concept of space and distance are quite a bit different than what is experienced on the east coast of the US.  I have been called a liar by folks in Baltimore when trying to explain how far you can see.  On a clear day, you can sit just north of the Wyoming-Colorado border, just south of Cheyenne and see the top of Pikes Peak, 175 miles to the south.  With this in mind, I have been perplexed on how to accurately describe Wyoming.  Upon asking friends, I have been given two suggestions.  The first was to read several books by Louis L'Amour.  He has a way about describing the wide open spaces of the American west.  Another friend suggested (and this is the truth) that there are places in Wyoming that you can stand and not see any sign of civilization, as far as you can see in any direction, north, south east or west.  As a matter of fact, you won't see anything except blue sky and grass.  No trees, no nothin'  As funny as this may sound, there is a kind of beauty to it.  When watching "Dances With Wolves", there is a scene when Kevin Cosner wakes up after sleeping under a wagon.  As he stands up, the camera pans the country side.  It almost took my breath away.  I leaned over to Janice and said, "I can almost smell the air, the smell of the sage brush."

With that out of the way, Eastern Wyoming is mostly grass, prairie, farming and ranching.  The two pictures in my last post were taken in eastern Wyoming.  The capitol and largest city(? only 53,000) is Cheyenne, in the southeastern corner. Toward the northeastern corner is Devil's tower.  Some where in the middle is Douglas, home of the Jackalope.  They even have a statue of one in the middle of downtown, but then, that's another story. (I have mine mounted just above my bar)  Now, keep in mind, most folks from Wyoming have a very strange sense of humor.  At least I blame mine on the fact that I was born and raised in Wyo.

Oh...BTW....the character who plays Jack in "LOST" is also from Wyoming.  I don't know him but I'll bet I know someone who does.  You are only one person away from knowing most everyone born in the state.  That's a story I'll share when we visit Yellowstone.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The bears have been very active


Southeastern Wyoming

A sure sign of the approaching winter is the increased bear activity.  Almost everyone in Sunshine has see at least one bear, some have seen two or three.  They sure are beautiful, and very graceful for their size.  While Milo and I were on our walk last evening, our neighbor, Julie had a bear story for us.  I'm kind of wishing winter would arrive and the bears would settle in for their long winter nap.  That will come soon enough though. As for now, we have been enjoying a beautiful Indian summer.

The annual Sunshine Community Fest went well.  For the first time, it was held somewhere other than the old firehouse (which burnt the jokes, we've heard them all).  The new firehouse served as a great setting for the dinner and auction.  It's great to see the neighbors and often there is a surprise.  This year the surprise was seeing our neighbor, Brian.  He has spent the last two years in Africa serving in the Peace Corps. The turnout was somewhat dampened by the Great American Beerfest.  A lot of the big spenders went to the beerfest and passed on the auction.  We'll see that doesn't happen again next year.

I just finished reading Kates post and have been inspired.  I love looking at pictures of places I want to visit and have not yet had a chance.  Scotland is one of those places.   

I have been thinking about doing a short travel series about my home state of Wyoming.  As Kate has shared her home with us, I would like to share my corner of the world with you.   I'll bet very few of you have ever met anyone born there.  Of course, you know me!!!!  There are some amazing, beautiful places in the state (and I'm not talking about Wamsutter..inside joke).  I have some of my fathers pictures taken just after he returned from Korea and I'll try to share them.  I also have a connection with the old west and the last person hung in Wyoming.  It's a story about chasing Indians, cattle rustling, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, and if I keep going, I'll give it all away. So anyway, here's a picture of some of my friends.  I was hesitant about posting the picture.  My old girlfriend may demand equal time and I don't have any pictures of sheep.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Evening walk


Everyday of the week, early in the morning, Milo and I take our morning walk. I raise the American flag.  I have never mentioned that I also take an evening walk and lower the flag.  This evening Milo and I took our walk, as we have for the last year and a half.  I told myself that I was not going to write another bear story but I just can't keep this one to myself.  I usually keep Milo on a lease.  He loves to run and romp, chase imaginary bunnies and sniff every thing he can find.  Tonight I let him run, and run he did.  As we passed Tony's house I noticed movement in the woods above the road.  I looked and saw a black bear moving uphill, away from us.  Milo followed his natural tendencies and started after the bear.  The bear took off on a run, up hill.  I called and called for Milo to come back.  I knew the bear could kill Milo with one swipe of his paw.  Fortunately, Milo quit chasing the bear and returned to me.  Unfortunately, the bear, still in flight, also turned and started down the hill.  As I reached for Milo's collar and clipped the lease on him, I looked up.  There was the bear, stopped dead in his tracks staring at me.  I thought to myself, "this is not a good thing".  The bear turned and moved down hill, away from us.  Milo and I started home, I needed to change my underwear.

The craft fair at the school house went very well.  There were shoppers there on both Saturday and Sunday.  There was pottery, paintings, blown glass, jewelry, Christmas decorations and much, much more. 

Our neighbor, Paul, is the Director of the American HomeBrewers Association .  Paul's organization puts on the Beer Fest every year.  It is a national event, with beers from all over the country.  This year 380 breweries and 1,669 beers will be there.  Many Sunshine residents will be attending the annual Beer Fest at the Denver Convention Center.  It will be held on Saturday.

The Sunshine Community will be held on Saturday, September 30th, 2:00PM to 6:00PM at the fire station.  There will be a live auction, a silent auction (new this year) and great food and drink.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Busy weekends


My neighbor John and his collie, Sandy

What a gorgeous morning for a walk.  Milo and I left just as the sunshine was hitting the top of the flag pole.  The sky was a light blue as the sun rose in a cloudless sky.  We made the trip to the fork and returned.  Bob stopped the school bus and said "hi" as he threw Milo a treat.  Clouds will be moving in and there is a chance of snow tonight.  We are ever vigilant of bears.  There is a lot of bear activity as they prepare for their winter nap.

It's a busy two weeks for the folks in Sunshine.  Saturday and Sunday will be the annual Sunshine Arts and Crafts fair at the school house.  The hours are 10-4.  It will be damp on Saturday but Sunday is predicted to be a beautiful day. 

Saturday night (Sept 23) the band is playing at the Boulder Outlook Hotel.  It will be our first Saturday night gig.  We have a few new songs to play.  If it's anything like the past, we'll all have a good time.  I love it when the dance floor fills up with people having fun.

Next Saturday, Sept 30, will be the Sunshine Community Fest at the firehouse.  The event is the annual fund raiser for the fire department.  It's a GREAT event and a lot of fun. There will be food and drink and an auction.  It's fun to watch apple pies sell for $300. 

Saturday is also the Brewfest in Denver.  It's a Sunshine event because it is put on by one of our neighbors, Paul and his wife, Jean.  There are quite a few of our sunshine neighbors who brew their own beer.  The Brewfest is a good place to see the Sunshine neighbors.

Most Sundays some of the neighbors gather for a long walk.  Here's a picture taken last Sunday of the ladies.


From my friend Chris


1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

2. A will is a dead giveaway.

3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

14. Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

16. A calendar's days are numbered.

17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.

22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Talk Like a Pirate Day, Sept. 19


Milo and I left for our morning walk around 7AM, as usual.  We stopped at the school house and raised the American flag, honored our soldiers and their relatives and continued down the road.  There was wildlife all over the place.  We saw a red fox, a grey coyote, lots of rabbits, birds and a group of male deer. Their antlers are still covered in velvet.  Milo said it looked like they were holding a "stag" party!  How ever said dogs don't have a sense of humor?  Last Saturday a large, black bear(300lbs) crossed the road in front of us.  I was reminded that I still have a heart in my chest, for it was pounding rather hard.  It was the first time in a long time, that I have gone into "flight or fight" mode.  Fortunately it was just crossing the road and could care less if we were even around. On our return trip today, we said good-by to our neighbor Jill who is moving to the city.  We will miss her.

Milo wanted me to remind all of our j-land buddies that Tuesday, September 19th is "Talk Like a Pirate Day".  It is even celebrated in the UK.  It's a fun thing to do and yes, most landlubbers will think you've lost all of your marbles.

For those of you who need help, here are a few words:

ARRGH - Part of speech: exclamation.  A pirates favorite word.  It can be used for anything.

AYE, AYE - Yes, Yes

GOBBLE - To eat in a fast, rude and noisy manner

GROG - A pirate's drink

Grub - Food of any kind  "come ye pirates!  It be time for grub!,  ARRR

Landlubber - Pirate talk for land lover.  A landlubber is a person who does not have the constitution to live aboard a ship.

Manners - Pirates are generally not aware of this concept!

Scallywags - Pirates who love mischief.

Smartly - Quickly

Swashbuckler - A well-dressed, dashingly handsome pirate


David and Milo

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunshine gathering


Morning fog on the plains

The sun was just breaking over the eastern horizon, giving us a view of the fog below.  Our Sunshine neighbors gathered at the school house.  There was a long table with a green table cloth.  Upon it were pots of coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, orange juice, donuts and rolls.  The air was a crisp 54 degrees.  Although the sky was a bright blue above us, the moisture in the air formed a bank of fog on the plains below us.

Milo and I acquired the garrison flag for it's secure location and approached the flag pole.  This was not our ordinary flag raising ceremony.  We usually honor those in service our our country every morning.  Today we honored our usual list and all of the people involved in the 9/11 tragedy.  The neighbors stood in silence as we raised the flag to full staff and then lowered it to half staff. We stood at attention, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and stood for a moment of silence in memory of all of the people who lost their lives on that September day, five years ago.  Pavel played our National Anthem.

The community members enjoyed coffee and conversation.  Bob drove by in the school bus and stopped for a cup of coffee.  Milo walked to the bus door and wagged his tail.  Bob threw Milo a treat, thanked us for the coffee and the proceeded on his way.  It's a beautiful morning in Sunshine, Colorado.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

One Year Journaling


My front can actually see four neighbors houses, the school house and Denver International Airport!

It's been one year since I decided to no longer just read journals (yes, I started as a lurker) but to join in on the fun.  It was somewhat of a scary venture for me.  The only people who ever read any of my stories were my teachers in school and my wife.  I pondered over the "public - private" selection and said, what the heck, why not... nobody will ever read this stuff anyway.  And for the few few weeks, nobody did!  I sent my link to some close friends who had moved to England.  They said "thank you" for attempting to keep them informed on what was going on in the old neighborhood.

I found that I enjoyed writing in this format, but did not expect, but a few, for anyone to read my thoughts.  I left Dad a few comments and occasionally left my link.  Then two independent things happened.  First, Deb pimped me!  I had never been pimped before but took it in stride.  I wasn't sure what was going to happen when "you're pimped" but I'm a brave soul.  Second, Sharon tagged me and I had to publicly answer some questions about myself to a bunch of strangers.  I knew I was in trouble when I mentioned that I like to shovel snow in sub-zero weather.   At that point Sharon said she knew I was crazy.  More and more of the most wonderful people I have ever met started leaving comments in my journal.  I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining me on this little venture.  I hope you have enjoyed being in this community as much as I have.

I have tried to keep to my 30 second rule.  I have tried to keep my time with you to a minimum, and offer something other than a complaint, criticism or condemnation. I have enjoyed bringing you into our community and home.  I hope you have enjoyed the visit.  I would like to re-print that first entry and reflect on the last year.

Milo (My mixed breed mutt) and I started our morning walk around 7AM.  The morning sky was still pink, following a spectacular sunrise. After waving good-bye to the wife and son, we walked down the long driveway onto the main road.  We stop at the Sunshine school house every morning and raise the American flag.  The School house was built in 1900 and is no longer used as a school, but as a community gathering place.  This morning the flag went up to full staff and then down to half-staff in memory of Chief Justice William Rehnquist.  This will continue until Sunset, Tuesday, Sept 13th.  Milo was rewarded with a doggy biscuit and we marched on.  We passed the spot where we were greeted by a black bear a few weeks before and walked to the fork.  On the way back, the school bus passed us.  Bob, the driver, usually has a treat for Milo, but not this morning.  He just waved and kept going.  Milo usually sits when he hears the school bus coming. He knows there is going to be a treat.  This morning, I gave him one out of my own pocket.

My mother and father in-law live with us in the summer.  They are "snow-birds" and move to Arizona in the late fall, and return in May.  My mother-in-law, Audie, was just diagnosed with Cancer.  She is in good spirits.

Sunday morning the community is gathering at the school house at 6:30 AM.  We will ring the bell and raise the flag, all in remembrance of 9-11.  The bell will ring once at 6:45 and then again at 7:03, the times the planes hit the world trade center.

Milo and I still walk every day.  The flag goes up everyday.  Bob is still driving the school bus and gives Milo a treat.  Audie left us last month after a courageous battle with cancer.  The community will be joining together again on Monday, 9-11, for a flag raising ceremony.  Life in Sunshine continues.

Smiles to all,

David and Milo

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Labor Day in Sunshine

First we need to talk about the color of the sky (please see the comments in the previous post).  For the first 18 years of my life, I thought the beautiful blue color of the sky was something universal in the world.  It wasn't until I left for Army Basic Combat Infantry Training at Fort Lost in the Woods (Ft. Leonard Wood), Missouri in July of 1966, that I found out different.  Even on a clear day in Missouri, you could not see the pure blue sky.  With the lack of humidity in the western US, several things happen.  The sky is a beautiful clear blue.  There are so many stars at night that the big dipper gets lost in them and the milky way is easily seen.  Your skin also dries out.  Wrinkles appear. Oh, and I love touching the metal door knob in the winter....It zaps you good!  I get to see that blue sky about 300 days a year.

There were lots of Labor day barbecues in Sunshine.  It seems like the "flat landers" like to drive to the mountains for the holidays.  For those of us who actually live where others like to vacation, we have our own way of enjoying ourselves.  We had a pot luck picnic, played mountain volleyball and pitched horse shoes.  A great time was had by all.  Mountain volleyball adds a new dimension to the game.  If you hit the ball out of bounds, and down hill......It takes a few minutes to retrieve the ball.  Time enough to retire off the court and grab a quick drink.  I will admit that I am feeling some sore muscles today.

The next events are the Community fest on Saturday, September 30th and the Arts and Crafts fair at the School house on Saturday, September the 23rd.  John and Kat are getting married on the 23rd and the entire neighbor hood is invited to their Post wedding party.  It will be held at the Spread Eagle Lodge, starting at 2PM and going until the beer runs out.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Morning walk


Milo, Wain, Mark and David (me) with the new "Garrison" flag

Milo and I started our morning walk just after 7am.  Fall is in the air.  It was a chilly 45 degrees.  We raised the flag and honored the soldiers.  As we continued down the road, Bob approached us in the school bus.  He stopped just long enough to open the door and throw Milo a treat.  He was running a little late (or I was early), I don't usually see him heading into Sunshine.  Milo and I made it to the fork and turned around.

We heard the sound of a tractor approaching.  As it rounded the turn in the road, we recognized our "Mayor", Chris.  He's not really the mayor because Sunshine in not incorporated, but we all call him that.  It's like I'm the sheriff but only because our house is built on top of the old Sunshine jail.  You never know what Chris is going to say but you can always count on one thing, he will have a story.

Chris and I got on the topic of smoking.  He use to be a heavy smoker and one day, he just quit.  People he worked with used to ask him for a "smoke" and he would gladly share whatever cigarettes he had.  Even after he quit, others would ask him for a "smoke".  For some reason, he felt obligated to continue to carry a pack with him, just to give them away to others.  He grew tired of supplying others with the nasty little things but wasn't sure how to stop people from asking for a "smoke".  One day he had an idea and put the package of cigarettes inside his pants.  To the very first person who asked of a cigarette, he was more than happy to reach under his belt, deep down into his pants and produce the package of cigarettes.  He tapped the package against his hand and offered a protruding cigarette to the person.  The gentleman politely declined.  Word got around and Chris was never again asked for a cigarette.

We should have the results of the "Battle of the Bands" next week.  There is one more competing band playing this coming Friday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006