Sunday, December 20, 2009

Well, here is an update for you.

Haven't been traveling for a while but am certainly getting in the mood what with the temperature never getting above 40 degrees. It has been COLD. Snow on the ground for the past 3-4 weeks. Unheard of here in Northern Nevada.

So what the hell is going on with the Congress? I can't really blame Obama. Maybe he could have done more, I don't know...but Congress will never get anything done until we end the influence of MONEY in the hands of lobbyists. And don't talk to me about "Freedom of Speech"in the context of lobbying. Speech is free only so long as there is no significant difference in the ability of citizens to deliver that speech in an effective manner. How can my freedom to speak compete with drug companies and insurance companies when the can spend MILLIONS of dollars to have their speech heard. I would be pressed to afford a ticket to D.C. and the soap box to stand on. Doesn't that, in effect, limit my ability to speak?????? According to CBS, the insurance companies have lobbied Congress to the tune of twice the amount spent by Obama and McCain combined in their presidential campaigns.

Still don't see the significance? This past Friday, stocks of insurance companies stood at a 52 week high. This from The Indianapolis Star:

Shares of the Indianapolis-based health insurance giant surged to a 52-week high Thursday as the prospects for a new government-run "public option" health plan faded amid intense Senate debate. WellPoint rivals Cigna and UnitedHealth Group also hit 52-week highs.

It’s a sign, more than one observer suggested, of victory for private health insurers, which strenuously fought the public option.

"Obviously, the market thinks WellPoint’s a winner," said Daniel Evans, chief executive of Clarian Health, an Indianapolis-based hospital system. "If the public option is no longer on the table, then WellPoint is a winner because it’s not threatened by a government competitor."

Come on, Congress. Throw me a frickin' bone!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lysi and I spent two nights at River Island State Park near Parker, AZ. We had a grassy area that was right on the river for our tent. We just relaxed for a couple of days and did some reading, etc. We then travelled to Joshua Tree National Park where we spent Friday night.

We arrived at Jim's house in San Clemente yesteday afternoon. Last night we went to a Halloween party put on by the employees of Doheny State Beach. Jim has created a couple of entries that were pretty cool.

We will be here until next Saturday and then head home with overnights in Sacramento and Reno.

Lysi and I had great fun and saw many awesome (in the true sense of the word) places.

This is probably the last post.

Blogging was harder than I had imagined primarily because most of our opportunities to get on the internet were in hotels and we spent the vast majority of our nights elsewhere. Also, it seems that when we were in a hotel, we were pretty tired and it was a struggle to get anything posted. Some hotels advertised wi-fi and did not have a very good connection.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lysi took this one. She got a bunch of good ones. The guide made sure Lysi got first shot at all the good spots.
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Tonight we are in Lake Havasu City. We spent last night in Page and made the 10:oo am tour of antelope canyon. It is truely an unbelievable place. It has an ability to take sunlight and change it into a miriad of colors, most of which are visible only on film (digital, whatever). You are able to see the compositions but the colors surprise you when they appear on your LCD.
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Various photos from the last few days. Some are self explanitory. Some we'll have to tell you about when next we see you. Most of these are Lysi's. She has had a blast with her camera and has a darn good "eye".
Well, it's been a week since last I updated. We have seen Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands (Island in the Sky District), Canyonlands (Needles District) and plan to be in Page, AZ tomorrow to visit Antelope Canyon.

We stayed two nights in Bryce, first in the tent (snug and mostly warm) and the second in a motel because snow was forecast and we were hoping for some snow on the hoodoos. Well, it did snow but not enough to stick so we moved on to Arches.

We did not have reservations for the campground in Arches so we spent the first night in Moab in a Kamper Kabin courtesy of KOA. Next morning we were at the visitor center at 7:00 am in order to get a campsite in the event that there had been cancellations or no-shows. Luck was with us and we got a site in one of the most beautiful and interesting campgrounds we've ever seen. Unfortunately, it was a site that was reserved for the next day so we had to uproot and move to another site the next morning. We stayed two more nights (they let us keep this one) and just had a ball visiting several of the 2000+ arches in the park. We probably saw 15 or so arches.

While in Arches, we took a day and went up the road to Canyonlands and did a lot of driving and looking over the edge. Sort of like the Grand Canyon but not nearly as big. Cool but nothing like Arches.

We left Arches yesterday and spent last night in Moab (Kamper Kabin again). Got up at a decent time (something we have not always been doing) and went to the other part of Canyonlands. Actually, there are three parts but The Maze District has very limited access with no paved roads and few 4W drive roads. This part of Canyonlands is known as The Needles District but you can't drive anywhere near the needles.

That is not a criticism, they have obviously decided to make this national park much less accessible to automobiles and how could I complain about that.

We are now in Monticello, UT. Look closely at your map, you might find it. We decided to go out for a nice dinner (you can chuckle here) and were debating between Maria's Authentic Mexican Food and The Lamplight. Since we had Mexican last night in Moab we opted for the latter and were all set to, hopefully, have a decent dining experience.

Best damn lamb shank I ever had. Middle of no where. From the soup to the coffee and desert, I'd put this place up against any steak house type eatery I've ever been to. Everything, except the dessert, was made on the premises. Two types of soup to choose from, both delicious. Lysi had prime rib and it was also very good. Guy even roasts his own coffee for gosh sakes!

We met the chef. He says he gets lots of surprised guests.

Well, hope I've made up for the last few days. Tomorrow we will try to get a tour of Antelope
Canyon in Page, AZ. That's the place that 11 European toursits died about 10 years ago when they ignored their guide's advice and went back down into the canyon.

It is also what you are seeing if you look at about 90% of the photos of slot canyons.

Goodbye for now.....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some of the country we've seen over the last couple of days.

Photo 1 is at Cedar Breaks NM

Photo 2 is at Red Canyon, approaching Bryce Canyon NP

Photos 3 and 4 are in Kodachrome Basin State Park