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WHATS IN THIS BLOG: Pics from a jeep tour and a hike around Durango. High water and river play – best snowmelt runoff in 25 years. Best places to visit in Durango. How Olga Little saved 17 miners.

NOTE FROM THE GRAY NOMAD: IF THE BLOG PRINT IS TOO SMALL ON YOUR SCREEN AND HARD TO READ, CLICK ON CTRL AND + SIGN TOGETHER, AND THE PRINT SHOULD GET LARGER. CLICK ON CTRL AND – TOGETHER AND THE PRINT SHOULD GET SMALLER.

Durango is in southwest Colorado, just over the border with New Mexico. Just a 4-hour drive from Albuquerque, the town is bustling in summer when the famous tourist train runs from Durango through the mountains to Silverton. Silver and gold and other metals were discovered in the mountains in the 1860s.… More

TWO COSMIC MYSTERIES. I have personally encountered two cosmic mysteries early in my career – like about 40 years ago. They both involved massive, unprecedented sources of energy. The mysteries continued for decades and occasionally the two encounters kept popping up in my memory. Only in the last few years have both these mysteries been solved – and both explanations involve black holes. This is Part 1. Part 2 will come later.

GAMMA RAY BURSTS. I flew into Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1972 to work at the famous scientific laboratory there (only an hour and a half drive from where I now live in Albuquerque). My job was to study data recorded by satellites (called Vela) that looped around the earth – data on high energy protons and electrons specifically.… More

I DROVE INTO TUCUMCARI A FEW DAYS AGO. Tired, after eight hours on the road from Kansas, I pulled over and called my hotel, meaning the one that I found when I was stuck in Tucumcari a previous time (see HERE to read about that adventure.)

A small voice answered, “Would you mind holding for a minute…” After 10 minutes of waiting, I hung up. I drove away from Amarillo for 30 minutes and tried again. Nobody picked up. I drove another 30 minutes… still nobody picked up. After another 30 minutes I tried once more but nobody answered. I gave up.

I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT, I WAS STUCK AGAIN IN TUCUMCARI. As I drove into town, tired and upset, I mulled over what to do.… More

I WAS IN STARBUCKS IN LUBBOCK, CLOSE TO TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY. Waiting for a woman I had never met. I told her I was tall and with a gray beard. After sipping a decaf mocha frappe, she tapped me on the shoulder and I stood and shook hands.

She was young (at least compared to me) with brown hair, attractive, and her face held a perpetual smile. Her voice and movements were filled with enthusiasm. She had just flown in from Wisconsin, where she had given a talk about the intersection of faith and climate change.

She opened her laptop and showed me a picture of Science in one circle and Faith in a second circle. The two circles were not touching.… More

It’s the day before Easter Sunday, 2019, and I took Chanel for a walk. I’m very fond of Chanel, although she belongs to my good friend Mary Ann. She’s a Morkie, which is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkie. A really pretty dog – she’s small like a puppy but she’s not young like a puppy anymore.

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Chanel makes me think about love. There is no question she loves me, and this makes me feel good. When I approach her after being absent, her tail wags like crazy and her eyes light up. Is she thinking about the joy and comfort of our personal relationship? Do I wag my tail when I meet other people, even strangers?

During our walk this morning, Chanel reminded me of how much she appreciates exploring the world.… More

Last Sunday after church and lunch at a Mexican restaurant, I drove past a broken-down car with the owner, a young woman, sitting on the ground with a grubby child by a flat tire. The contents of her trunk were strewn in the dirt. She was speaking on her cell phone.

I thought about stopping. But I had a full suite of things on my ToDo list. I had noticed that many other cars just drove on by. The scene reminded me of the Good Samaritan story.

I turned the car around and came back. Rolled down my windscreen and asked the woman if I could help. She was talking on her cellphone when I interrupted her. She asked me if I had a spare tire donut, which I did not.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Heaven in country songs. • Heaven in hiking. • How to imagine heaven by Max Lucado.

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HEAVEN IN COUNTRY SONGS I enjoy country & western music – to listen to or to dance to. Here are some words from a song by Tanya Tucker: When I die I may not go to heaven I don’t know if they let cowboys in If they don’t just let me go to Texas, Boy! Texas is as close as I’ve been.

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Another country song about heaven is by Hank Williams, Junior. If heaven ain’t a lot like Dixie I don’t wanna go If heaven ain’t a lot like Dixie I’d just as soon stay home If they don’t have a Grand Ole Opry Like they do in Tennessee Just send me to hell or New York City It would be about the same to me

HEAVEN IN HIKING These songs are cute and humorous.… More

GHOST RANCH is 21,000 acers in the midst of red rock country about an hour north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. There are five terrific hikes through spectacular scenery. We took the hike called Chimney Rock – a moderate hike of 3 miles which took about 3 hours round trip. Photos of this hike are interspersed above and below.

Ghost Ranch was originally in the wild west, as quoted below: The canyon was first inhabited by the Archuleta brothers, cattle rustlers who enjoyed the coverage and invisibility that the canyon provided as well as their ability to see for miles down the valley. They created two jacal homes and would move stolen cattle throughout the night to Box Canyon. By transporting the cattle through streams, footprints would be lost and they could not be tracked.… More

I gave a talk this past week called Fracking and Global Warming: What’s the Connection? I appreciate the invite by Dr John Korstad who teaches two different courses on Sustainability at Oral Roberts University (ORU).

Sustainability is getting to be a hot subject: it implies conserving the present environment for our grand-kids, to use a simple definition. For businesses the application is People, Planet and Profits: People meaning quality of life and employee retention, Planet being environmental stewardship and waste reduction, and Profit meaning responsible economic growth. At ORU, staff like Dr Korstad are leading the way.

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The world-class lecture room at ORU, where I was video’d automatically. 

I did a lot of research on the topic and decided some critical slides would be of interest and make a good summary.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • My talk on Fracking and Global Warming at Oral Roberts University. • The faith of a neurobiologist. • Tensions he sees between science and faith. • Deciding to marry – science or faith? • Netflix challenge of the week. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ PREAMBLE: I’m giving a talk this coming week called Fracking and Global Warming: What’s the Connection? This is a new topic for me and I had to put some research into it. The talk is at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Wednesday 27 February at 1:15 pm and at 2:15 pm (same talk at both times in room 102 of the Global Learning Center). I appreciate the invite by Dr John Korstad who reaches two different courses on Sustainability at the university.… More

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