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WHATS IN THIS BLOG:Rafting on the Animas river.Hiking along the Purgatory Flats trail.A roadside hot spring.An outstanding Mexican restaurant.

I WENT BACK TO DURANGO. With my step-daughter Kim and my granddaughter Kara. I wanted to see Smelter Rapids, to see how much the water had risen in the ten days since I’d last been there. To read my earlier Durango blog, click HERE. The Animas River had risen – and was now 7,000 cubic feet per second – highest flow rate for many years. The major rafting companies had stopped running Smelter Rapids because they were class 4 and the risk of a raft overturning was too high.

THE FIRST RAPID IN SMELTER was constructed artificially by placing huge boulders in the stream.… More

Kim McGrath invited me to talk to her first-graders about Christmas in Australia. So with my rabbit trap, boomerang, and didgeridoo, I turned up in December 2018 at her first-grade class at Independence Elementary school in Kansas. Six-year olds!

I can make a noise with the didgeridoo, and the kiddos found this entertaining.

Miss McGrath is a top-notch teacher. She modulates her voice wonderfully, is always encouraging, and corrects her students gently when its needed. And she is multi-tasking every minute of the day. After an hour and a half presenting to her class, I was exhausted. My esteem for such teachers, who do this all day and all week, went up through the ceiling.

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Climbing around the red rocks that Gallup, New Mexico, is famous for.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • My niece and husband came from Australia. • Golden aspens and blue skies. • Crater lake carved out by a glacier. • Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

MY NIECE CAME TO VISIT FROM AUSTRALIA and to see the Maroon mystery. Alyse and her husband, Sam, visited LA, San Fran, and Las Vegas. Then last week they flew into ABQ and I took them for a tram ride to the top of Sandia Peak, a bit over 10,000 ft (ABQ is a mile-high city at 5,000 ft altitude).

A couple of days later we drove my Subaru Forester to Durango where we took lunch. On to Silverton, then the million-dollar highway to Ouray, Colorado. It’s called this because the cost to build the highway was a million dollars per mile (in the 1960s I believe).… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Tom and Anne Thomas roll in to hike New Mexico. • A river runs through it – El Porvenir. • Wild fruit – raspberries, apples and tomatoes. • Lunchtime at second waterfall. • Hot springs and mountain lion.

TOM AND ANNE THOMAS DROVE OUT IN THEIR CAMPER VAN FROM HOUSTON. I have known Anne for years, principally from Chapelwood United Methodist, a wonderful church. She was an insurance broker, originally from the deep south (Georgia). Tom, a mechanical engineer, worked for a service company that supported the oil industry. His last job was to oversee the building of an enormous submersible platform to be used to drill and produce oil in deep seas like the Gulf of Mexico.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Kit Carson cave. • The Navajo town of Gallup, New Mexico. • El Rancho hotel, famous for the movie stars who stayed there. • A terrific hike to Church Rock.

Woody, as the head of WOWE,  is a master of organizing hiking trips with WOWE, which stands for Way Out WEst. The one he organized last weekend, to Church Rock near Gallup, New Mexico, was outstanding in the hike itself (a challenging one) and the social interaction between the 15 hikers.

We stayed at El Rancho, a hotel which has preserved in style and photos a flavor of the old west — movies that were made here and actors/actresses that stayed in the hotel. Even the rooms have names like John Wayne, Jane Fonda, Kirk Douglas.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • The killer mountains. • The Peralta gold legend. • Peralta Canyon hike.

THE KILLER MOUNTAINS. The forecast called for rain, but i didn’t believe it. It rarely rains in Phoenix, Arizona. In fact, it was February 2018 and it hadn’t rained for 3 months. I drove east, past Apache Junction, and circumvented the Superstition mountains, rising like a terrible black menace from the plain. The magma that was forced up thousands of feet resulted in a huge block of basalt that has few natural stream outlets. The steep rocky walls are forbidding barriers to outsiders, except at a few trailheads.

The Apaches believed gods inhabited the rocky valleys and turreted hilltops, making rumbling noises when a thunderstorm struck in the summer monsoons.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Wonders of the natural world • The hummingbird • Spectacular hikes • Role of consciousness in creation and evolution

This is the first of three parts of a series on creation and evolution. It’s a mix of science and spiritual. I’m motivated by a need for clarity, as I’ve heard statements on the subject that seem way off the mark. As always, I use as much data and facts as possible, but there are times when my own experience and bias comes in. Your feedback and comments will be appreciated.

LET’S BEGIN WITH SOME WONDERS OF THE NATURAL WORLD. The whirlpool galaxy is a classic spiral galaxy, and one of the brightest in the sky. However, 75% of matter in this galaxy is missing.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Kimberly is a school teacher and my stepdaughter. • We hiked to a ruin where the Ancients lived 700 years ago. • We saw a deer with her fawn. • A thunderstorm hit us on another hike.

This blog falls in the category of Health and Hiking. My other two blog categories are Science and Energy, and Inspiration and Hope.

KIMBERLY IS MY STEP-DAUGHTER who lives in Independence, Kansas. She teaches an active first grade class of six-year olds, and is very conscientious. I taught one of her classes a couple years ago – about Australia. It was a challenge to speak down to their level, but I got their attention by blowing a didgeridoo and getting them to sing and dance in a brief Christmas play.… More

HIKING TOWARD HEAVEN – WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Hiking in Sedona, Arizona. • The devil’s kitchen. • The seven sacred pools. • Rattlesnake. • Spiritual thought.

 

FIRST OF ALL, I AM IN SEDONA, ARIZONA, hiking. This is where the red rock scenes are grand. For example, if I were asked to design heaven, these red cliffs would be the first wonders I would install.

So then, at 8 am I am the second car through the gate to access Soldiers Pass trail-head. Specifically, this is a two mile hike on the outskirts of Sedona. Soldiers Pass road comes off highway 89 A, on the west side of town. It’s a cool morning but I ditch my sweater for now since the maximum temperature is anticipated to be 79 degrees.… More

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