Sunday, September 30, 2012


Big Bore and I try to make it a practice to share the TV remote control as much as is humanly possible. If one of us has been "master" for a few hours, we'll turn it over to the other for equal time. 

"Your can pick whatever you want," he said tonight and then added, "as long as it isn't Honey Boo Boo,"  the star of TLC's latest hit reality show. It's not that he's so adverse to 7-year-old Alana Thompson; it's her goofy, sneezy, mother June who irritates him to no end.

"Don't worry. Her show isn't on. And, anyway, I watched it Wednesday night when you were asleep."

"Good. I can't STAND that show," he said.

"Oh, I think Honey Boo Boo is cute and funny!" I said in her defense.

"Well, her mother ISN'T!"

Hard to argue with that, so the conversation ended and I picked out a football game to watch.

BUT--that was not the end of Honey Boo Boo for the day. Later, when I was on the computer, I removed the screen saver picture of Big Bore and me at Glacier National Park and replaced it with, who else, Honey Boo Boo!!! (above picture all blown up).  The next time BB got on the computer, would he be surprised!

And he was.

"Good lord!  What's happened to the screen saver?" he roared.

I walked into the computer room nonchalantly. "Oh, I thought since you're such a big Honey Boo Boo fan that you might want to see her every time you get on the computer."

He started protesting until I gave him the option:  "Or I could put her mom's picture on the screen saver."

That shut him up and he went on to play a game of Texas Hold 'Em while I went back to the TV.  Soon, however, he was summoning me back to the computer room.

"You need to come look at this message that just popped up on the screen," he said.

"Panda Permanent Protection Has Stopped." 

Yikes!  The anti-virus icon had disappeared! What would I do? Quickly, I got on the Internet and found a possible solution.  Fortunately, I was able to get Panda re-installed without too much trouble and then told Big Bore the protection was up and running again.

"You know what caused it to act up?" he asked.

"No. I've never seen that message before."

"Well, I think it's the Curse of Honey Boo Boo.  Having her as the screen saver is a jinx."

"Maybe you're right. I'll change it back to Glacier National Park."

And that's what I did. And that's what remains. BUT--after he went to bed, I printed up a picture of Mama June and taped it to the coffee pot, so he'll have a nice surprise when he wakes up in the morning. I can't wait......

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Big Bore and I had no sooner returned from Glacier National Park when we stumbled on a movie that was filmed there--almost 60 years ago.  Dangerous Mission was shot in 3-D, but we got to see it in all its 2-D splendor on our TV this past week.  And my, oh my, it was just like re-living our vacation all over again--except for the murder, forest fire, and avalanche or two.

But so much for minor details.  The movie stars those two famous acting Vs of the 1950s--Victor Mature and Vincent Price--plus a glam Piper Laurie, well before she became Sissy Spacek's religious psycho mom in the movie Carrie.

Piper, a cashier at a Glacier souvenir shop, is hiding from the mob because she witnessed a murder there. Both V men are supposedly tourists who skirt chase after her.  We're not supposed to know that one is a bad guy hit man out to silence her, while the other is a good guy cop trying to protect her.

Once the ruse is up, Bad V kidnaps Piper, who jumps out of his car while it's speeding along the narrow, winding Going to the Sun Road. She has incredible bounce-a-bility and is totally unscathed, of course.

Next, Bad V grabs Mary, an Indian maiden/cashier who has the hots for him, and he enlists her help in finding his way out of the park once the news gets out that he's accosted Piper.  They are trailed by Good V, accompanied by the ever-resilient Piper, who is now dashing across the ice and show ( as in:  glacier) in a trench coat, dress, and heels.  The woman is amazing!

But, oops, here comes another little avalanche, and Bad V and Piper end up falling into a crevice AFTER he shoots Mary's prison-escapee father who JUST HAPPENS to run into them along the trail.  Good V grabs a rope he JUST HAPPENS to have handy in order to save the day.  Oh, the excitement was almost too much to bear. Or bare. Take your pick.

With chilling predictability, Bad V falls farther down the crevice to a dismal end, Good V saves Piper, and she rewards him with a "my hero" kiss--the end.

I give this movie two-and-a-half flames out of four.  It was fun to see Glacier National Park again and recognize places we'd been (minus the crevice), and there's some campy vamping, like when the Indian chick exposes herself to Vincent by opening her coat and showing him her mini-skirted tribal dance outfit. Hubba, hubba. And both Vs got in some first-rate eyebrow raising all through the movie. Mature's left eyebrow was in especially fine form.

We'd watch this movie again in a heartbeat and laugh and groan just as much as we did the first time around.  If you ever get the chance to see Dangerous Mission on Turner Classic Movies, go for it!  This movie truly is an Avalanche of Action!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012


I was the victim of a home invasion late yesterday afternoon. Sweet Neighbors #1 and #2 maneuvered a sneak attack onto the front porch of Casa de la Flaming Bore, rang the doorbell, and announced that they were ambushing me with a 15-Minute Makeover!  Oh, the horror!

#1 was in charge of fixing my hair, while #2 did the make-up. I closed my eyes and bravely sucked it up while they giggled and gussied me up to their satisfaction.

"You look just like a teenager!" they smiled, admiring their work.

"Yeah, right," I answered.  "A teenage MONSTER."

When the time limit was done, the girls escorted me inside to the bathroom mirror.

"I don't think I want to see this," I said, feigning fear.

"Yes you do!!!  You're gonna love it!"

"Would I be able to go to the grocery store like this and NOT scare off everyone or get laughed at?"


One look and I grimaced.  My hair was in loose pigtails, banded in hot pink. My bangs had disappeared, as though they'd been rolled back like window blinds. The eye shadow, pink and blue, made me look like I'd been the biggest loser in a boxing match.  The lip gloss was fine...mainly because I made #2 promise NOT to use the dark burgundy red.  

As soon as they were finished with their serial assault and left the premises, I pulled out the pigtails and took a wash cloth to my face.

"Those girls sure do love you," Big Bore said from his easy chair.

"No. They just love playing with hair and make-up, and I'm an easy target."

If they ever come over with scissors, remind me not to open the door.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


After five years of valiantly trying to nurse along our little patch of backyard fescue, we have officially given up (sorry, Maggie).  At the end of every summer, we'd re-seed, fertilize, winterize, etc., trying to bring it back to its original luster by the next spring....only to have it crash and burn again by July. The last two summers have been especially brutal. Fescue, the diva of all grasses, is more high maintenance than all the Kardashian sisters put together.

So, when we got back from vacation, a landscaping vision came to me and I decided it was time for a drastic change--one that wouldn't require much blood, sweat, and tears after it was all laid out. I bought 15 bags of mulch, 20 pavers, a bunch of bricks, and five bags of Arkansas white rock, and "presto-change-o!" No more grass worries! No more grass! 

Even Big Bore, whose contribution to the cause was unloading all the materials and then getting the heck outta my way, thinks I have created a masterpiece.

And the good news is, I still have four bags of mulch and two bags of white rock unused!  My brain is already at work trying to decide what to do with the leftovers!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


One of the great benefits of retirement is that something always seems to pop up that keeps me from doing chores around the house.

I was going to do some major dusting yesterday, but I couldn't find any dust buster spray in the cleaning cabinet, so off I went to the store to get some.  BUT FIRST I'd make a side stop to the library to put away books, as long as I was out and about.

In the middle of the book gig, Library Lady's assistant volunteer, Miss Linda, (another retired English teacher) asked me if I'd make a bulletin board to advertise the upcoming fundraiser, a murder mystery theatre.

"Sure. What supplies do we have?"  

About all we scrounged up was a box of construction paper.  "This'll work. I'll find some pictures on the Internet and whip up something."

So, I went directly home...forgetting all about the dust spray, of course, and started designing my own huge letters with the name of the play, IT'S A HANGIN' OFFENSE. Once I got them cut out, I jumped over to the computer and checked out some silhouette clip art with western themes. My eyeballs zoomed in on a hanging tree, complete with noose. Perfect. I printed it out, a few inches high, and tried to replicate a larger one on white construction paper as a template.

The drawing took awhile...mainly because I'm a lousy artist and cutter-outer AND Critter kept wanting to help, but finally it was done. Concerned that it might not look much like the original, I took my template outside to Big Bore for his assessment.

"Would you please look this over and tell me what you think it is?" I asked, hopeful that "hanging tree" would jump right out of his mouth.

He paused to give the cutout his critical eye. His face skewed quizzically. This was not good. "Hmmm."  Finally, an answer emerged.  "Is it something like a lava flow?"

"A lava flow?!!" I said incredulously. "Where do you see a lava flow in this?"  I was soooooo disappointed.  Even Critter could have given me a better answer. Was my artistic ability even worse than I thought?

"It's a hanging tree!" he laughed.

Relieved, I then set about tracing my template to black construction paper, cut it out--after removing Critter several more times from the action--typed up some labels with info about the big production, then returned to the library to throw it all together on the bulletin board, with the help of Miss Linda. By the time I was finished, it was time for "Jeopardy" to start, so I dashed back home to plop down in front of the TV and answer questions. Whew! What an afternoon!

So that's how a day of retirement usually goes. Somehow, the dust spray never got purchased and the dusting never got done, surprise-surprise. I will head back to the store pretty soon, with the best of intentions, and maybe the job will get completed today. At least, some of it.  

But first, I have to stop by the library to return some books and check out a few more.....                

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Our final evening in Colorado was spent at a Rocky Mt. National Park meadow attending a nature watch/lecture titled "The Power of Love" (including musical accompaniment by Huey Lewis and the News), or "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Elk Mating Habits but Were Afraid to Ask."  The lecture part was given by Ranger Mike and the "watch" part was presented by a harem herd of elk cows and three elk bulls who were eager to please when/if called upon.

Here are five fun facts about elk mating habits that you MUST know:

1.  Elk cows select their mates based upon the size of the bull's horn rack (yes, girls, size DOES matter), his color (the darker the better), and the sound of his bugling (loudest and deepest is best).

2.  If a female sees a male that is bigger and darker than her current beau, she'll ditch the smaller, lighter one in a flash and go after the big boy. (We got to see this happen in the meadow--and the "ditchee" was none too happy.)

3.  Males put so much energy trying to get their rack larger for the cows that they lose 10% of the calcium from their rib cage.

4.  A bull usually becomes sexually active by age two, but he may not actually be chosen as a mate until he's older. The females are the choosers in elk mating.  They must give their consent (not in writing, at least I don't think so) before the male is allowed to hook up with her, both literally and figuratively.

5.  Females live MUCH longer than males. In fact, it's rare for a male to live over age 10. This is because they just get so stressed out trying to be the king stud.

And there you have it. We hiked a lot and learned a lot and saw a lot of water.  What a GREAT VACATION!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Always ready to learn more about nature, Big Bore and I attended several national park programs while we were on vacation.  An enthusiastic retired science teacher told us all about the black bear, which roams Rocky Mountain National Park (not to be confused with the grizzly, which is common at Glacier NP).  Here are five fun facts about black bear hibernation habits:
1.  Before hibernation, the bear will consume about 20,000 calories per day.  That's equivalent to a human eating 17 Big Macs, 13 orders of large fries, and washing it all down with 3 milkshakes. Bring it on!

2. After stuffing themselves silly, and right before retiring for the big snooze, the bears start fasting except to eat pine cones to plug up their poop chutes, anal orifices, or whatever you want to call 'em. (Dr. Maureen, you might be of help here.) 

3.  In hibernation, a black bear breathes every 45 seconds. Or was that every 45 minutes? Or maybe every 45 days? Take your pick.

4. During hibernation, a black bear mama will wake up from her sleep long enough to give birth to her cubs.  She licks them clean and then goes right back to sleep and the babies nurse away. Let 'em take care of themselves.

5.  Black bear cubs weigh, on the average, one pound at birth. By age one, they average 60 pounds. If human babies gained weight at the same rate, a one-year-old would weigh 420 pounds. Put that in your diaper and think about it.  

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I have a feeling that when Big Bore and I were kids, we were probably always bugging our parents with pain-in-the-butt questions. I say this because we are constantly wondering about one trivial thing or the other and then rushing off to the computer to seek the answer.

Since we don't own a laptop and we anticipated LOTS of puzzling thoughts popping up during our 12-day vacation, I bought a notebook pad to log all of our questions so we could look up the answers once we got back home. Here's a sampling:

1.  How does Tyson Chicken Co. kill their chickens?
2.  How many miles a day did Lewis and Clark average on their journey through the northwest?
3.  Who is the Scott who inspired a town to be named Scott's Bluff, Nebraska?
4.  What was the name of the actor who was mauled by the evil bear in the movie GRIZZLY?  He was also in THE DIRTY DOZEN.
5.  Who was Boston Custer?
6.  What town in Canada is the home of Rock 106?
7.  Why don't ALL the wind turbines along I-70 rotate on windy days, just some of them?
8.  Why is Yellowstone National Park called Yellowstone?
9.  How many times in one night can a bull elk service his cow harem?
10. Does the huge Lower Falls at Yellowstone National Park freeze over in the winter?
11.  Who is the Yankee Jim who inspired the name Yankee Jim Canyon in Montana?
12.  Why is there a guy in Nebraska driving with a surfboard tied to the top of his van?

And the list goes on and on and on, page after page.  Here are the answers to the above questions, for those of you who have inquiring minds like ours:

1.  Tyson chops off the chickens' heads.  (which leads to a follow-up question:  Is this done manually or by a machine?)
2.  Lewis and Clark averaged 14 miles a day.
3.  Hiram Scott was a fur trader who died at the site named after him.
4.  The actor in both these movies is Richard Jaeckel. (which leads to another follow-up:  Who the heck is Richard Jaeckel and why does Big Bore remember his face?)
5.  Boston was the youngest brother of Gen. George Custer. He was a civilian who tagged along to work on  his big bro's army's pack train, and he died at Little Big Horn at age 28.
6.  Lethbridge, Canada in south-central Alberta is the home of Rock 106, and we have to add this this is THE BEST oldies rock station ever!  Too bad it doesn't reach Kansas.
7.  There are many technical reasons why the turbines might not rotate at the same time.  Go look them up yourself.
8.  French trappers named the nearby river there "Roche Jaune," which means Yellow Rock.
9.  A bull elk can service as many females as will let him. (Don't get excited. The cows are VERY picky about this.)
10.  Yes, Lower Falls can freeze over. (see picture above for the proof)
11.  James George came to the Yellowstone area in 1871 as a squatter and road builder from back east.  For 20 years Yankee Jim operated a national park toll road, and a nearby canyon was named for him.
12.  We didn't need to look this one up on the Internet.  Big Bore just asked this question of the surfer dude next to us at a gas station in Nebraska.  He was in the process of moving from Rhode Island to San Francisco.

Consider yourself educated for the day.

Friday, September 21, 2012


I drove very little of the 3,000+ miles on our recent vacation, but I did take a brief stint on I-90 in southwest Nebraska until I was overtaken by a semi that practically scared the liver out of me. There on the side of the truck, way BIGGER than life, was a sprawling, half naked Kim Kardashian in the same pose as the picture above.

"Good lord!" I jumped.  "Doesn't she know she could cause accidents with that photo?"

After the semi passed me, we were treated with its back side, which was a chest-up shot of Kim pouting open her red lips and showing off her pendulous breast-icles, as well as the same bottle of perfume that was on the side panel.

"We are on vacation to get AWAY from Kim Kardashian!" I moaned.  "It's bad enough that she's all over the television, magazines, and tabloid newspapers. Now she's plastered all over the interstate!"

And about the time I said that, another KK semi came zipping by from the other direction.

"She's everywhere!!!  I didn't even know she had a perfume! Who in Nebraska wears this stuff?  What's her perfume called?"

"Write it down," Big Bore suggested, his panties not all tied up in a bunch like mine were over this travesty. I had brought along a notebook to jot down all the questions we had on the trip so I could look up the answers on the Internet when we got back home. (This shall probably be the topic for my next blog.)

So, when we got back home, I dashed to the computer to find out if there really IS a Kim Kardashian perfume or if I was just hallucinating on the highway. Here's the scoop:  there has been a Kim Kardashian perfume on the market for about three years and the name of the perfume is, duh, "Kim Kardashian"--what else?

It's a "floral perfume that has sweet opening fruity notes followed by floral notes and rounded off by woodsy notes to create a well-balanced fragrance....that is best worn during the spring and summer or fall and winter evenings....and screams femininity and sexuality."  All for $20.48 an ounce at Macy's.

"Who writes this stuff?  What are perfume notes?" I screamed without a tone of femininity or sexuality.

"Look it up on the Internet."

"Kim Kardashian is taking over the world!"

I smell a conspiracy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


When Big Bore and I were passing through Montana a few weeks ago, we galloped up to the Little Big Horn National Monument since it was just off the interstate highway and we had some time to spare--plus we had my free "America the Beautiful" senior citizen pass, which is too neato for words. We were pleased to see that this is an equal opportunity monument--sort of separate but equal. The Indians who were killed there on June 25-26, 1876, many who were scouts for the US Cavalry, are memorialized in a kiva-type area across the road from the monument where Gen. George Custer made his ill-fated "last stand."

Now I've long known that many Indians got their names based upon their appearance or talents or some other personal trait, and that their names might change from time to time based on some special event in their lives. It's actually rather fascinating. So, without further ado, here's my Top Ten List of Indian Names from Little Big Horn:

10.  Bloody Knife (Just the kind of guy you want to bring home to introduce to your parents.)
9.    Full Beard (Have you ever seen an adult male Indian with a full beard?  Neither have I.)
8.    Lying Down (Did he get that name because he's lazy, or good in the sack, or both?)
7.    Limber Bones (What I wish for every morning.)
6.    Guts (Short and to the point)
5.    Young Skunk (Nothing like being known for your body odor.)
4.    Long Dog  (Okay, which is it?  Did he own a dachshund or star in a porn film?)
3.    Hairy Moccasin (If there's one thing I'd really like to own it's a pair of mocs that are really hairy.)
2.    Hair Lip (self explanatory)
1.    Plenty Lice (MORE than self explanatory)

As we were soaking in the scenery, Big Bore was quick to remind me that he had once been given an Indian name when he was a Boy Scout in his adolescence. His scoutmaster tagged him Pom-O-Tawk, which supposedly translated into Tall Mountain.  He said the name was appropriate because he was the big kid lugging everybody else's food and all the cooking gear on hiking trips.

Jealous, I decided that I, The Flaming Bore, needed my own Indian name.  Now during most of the trip, Big Bore started calling me The NAGivator...his  little transpositional twist to the word "navigator" since I was sitting in the front seat of the car next to him griping and laughing about his sense of direction (or lack thereof) much of the time. But that special name doesn't seem to have the Indian ring to it. Before the trip was over, however, we came up with the perfect tribal name just for me:

Running Mouth (Need I say more?  Probably not.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Last year when Big Bore and I were at Rocky Mountain National Park, we hiked up to The Loch, 3.1 miles one way.  As we sat on the rocks having a picnic, we admired a waterfall up in the distance, maybe a mile or so, and thought aloud that it would be fun to try to make it that far.  A sudden snowstorm, however, thwarted that idea and we hustled on back down the mountain.  The idea of hiking to Skyline Falls, however, stuck with us.

So, when we returned to RMNP after leaving Yellowstone, we decided we'd try again--even though Big Bore had been nagged by a sore left Achilles heel tendon ever since we'd left home. He'd suck it up and be all right.

So, off we went, and BB was, indeed, fine on the hike upwards, more or less. I kept checking with him..."Are you sure you want to keep going?"  It seemed the longer we hiked on past The Loch, the farther away the blasted Skyline Falls became.  He kept saying things like, "Just a little farther." It's not too far away." "I think it'll be just around the next bend."  But it wasn't as close as we'd anticipated, and, at last, his heel was starting to hurt.

When some hikers who'd been to the falls approached us on their way back down, I asked about the part of the trail we still had to complete.

"Well, on up ahead you have to scramble up boulders to get to the overlook."

That did it. Big Bore and I are not the scrambling type. I was afraid he'd end up with his bum ankle permanently lodged between rocks.  And he'd be like that guy in the movie "127 Hours" and require an amputation to get free.

So, we agreed to admire the falls from afar (above pic), have our little picnic, and then head on back to the parking lot before it started raining. A fine plan...until Big Bore discovered about 10 steps into the descent that going DOWN the mountain was a lot tougher on his Achilles tendon than going UP.

The pain showed on his face. Concerned people we encountered on the way down were patting him on the back and inquiring about his condition:  "Are you okay?"  "Are you going to make it?"  "Are you dying?"

"Don't say that!" I chastised the woman who made the last comment. "I've got a bad back and can't carry him down!"

But he made it...eventually. "I don't have any other choice," he said, midway down the mountain.

I think it's safe to say that this may be the last we've seen of The Loch and its Skyline Falls. At least until next year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

GOING YELLOW (or "Seeing all this water keeps making me have to pee!")

After four days at Glacier National Park, we headed off to Yellowstone. I've been there twice before, and if you've seen one bubbling pot of steam, you've seen 'em all--but Big Bore had his heart set on meeting Yogi and BooBoo, so Yellowstone it was--if only briefly (one evening and part of the next day.)

This visit turned out better than my previous two for several reasons. 1. Since we were there after Labor Day, the traffic wasn't as bad; 2. We saw some areas I hadn't seen before (Mammoth Hot Springs and the north visitor center, which is the old Fort Yellowstone filled with lots of historic artifacts); and 3. We got to see the Beehive Geyser make its daily eruption. It's bigger than Old Faithful and lasts longer. And we all know that bigger and longer is oh, so much better!   

After seeing the Beehive blast away, we went off to Old Faithful Inn so I could shop.  Big Bore was more fascinated with the inner structure of the building, which is, indeed, amazing.  

Big Bore says his favorite sight to see at Yellowstone was the Mammoth Hot Springs (above).  Mine was taking the hikes to see Lower Falls from both the overlook and at a distance (first pic). He said he would have liked the hikes a lot more if his left Achilles tendon hadn't been on fire. 

We ended our stay at Yellowstone with a picnic at a lake overlook. And who should pull over at the same spot at the same time but people from Kansas City who have relatives I know in, you guessed it, Eureka!  To borrow a catch phrase from another famous tourist trap, "It's a small world after all."  

Tomorrow:  Rocky Mountain National Park and the burning question: Will Big Bore's aching Achilles be ready for one last big hike?         

Monday, September 17, 2012


Grizzly and black bears live at Glacier National Park.  I don't know how many, but rangers say "a lot" and that bear sightings are common. Hikers are advised to carry bear spray (we did) and are given all sorts of tips on what to do if a bear shares a trail with humans.

Now, some park visitors are all gung-ho about having a close encounter of the bear kind, but not The Flaming Bore. No-no-no. I'd just as soon not have the pleasure.  Oh, we saw a grizzly dashing up a hillside, which was cool because we were safely tucked away in a parking lot at the time...and we came across a large deposit of "scat" (the nice word for you-know-what) along a lakeside trail, which was not cool.

But nothing quite prepared me for a morning near miss outside our cabin. I was packing up the car for our daily journey into the wild when a man staying in a cabin down the hill a bit started yelling, "There's a bear!"

The sun was blinding me, so I couldn't tell which way he was looking. After a few more shouts, I turned his direction and yelled, "Are you talking to me?"

"Yes! There was a bear just to the right of your cabin, but my yelling scared it off!"

"Well, thank God you saw it instead of me! I would have peed my pants!"  Not to mention been so totally clueless about my surroundings that I would have invited the bear into the car for a ride.

About that time, Big Bore came out of the cabin to see what the commotion was all about.

"There was a bear next to our cabin, but I didn't see it."

"Well, that's no surprise. You wouldn't notice a bear if it was standing right in front of you."

"I guess I won't be roaming by myself around the cabin anymore," I said.  "Rats."

Next time I go to a national park that is heavily populated with bears, I'm going during the hibernation season.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


There are two trails at the Continental Divide, Logan's Pass, in Glacier National Park. Hidden Lakes Trail involves walking up and down a lot of boarded steps, so as to preserve the tundra. And then there is Highline Trail. It starts out innocently enough, through a meadow, where we met up with three cute mountain goats (here's one)....

....and then the next thing you know it winds around a cliff, the path narrows, and YIKES!  Hikers are greeted by the first scene above. Hang on to that guide wire!  It's going to be a wild walk, for sure!

Big Bore took one look, started reeling, and refused to go one more step.  "The mountain is moving!" he said.  

I wasn't going to push him to do something he didn't feel safe in doing, but I just HAD to keep going.

"Do you mind if I at least go on to the bend?"  I pointed to a spot about a quarter mile on down the trail. "I really want to do this."

"Go ahead.  I'll wait here," he said, turning green and clutching a boulder.

So off I went, walking stick in one hand and guide wire grasped by the other.  It was just TOO cool, and I wanted to keep going and going to see how this trail would end up, but I had promised Big Bore I'd only go to the bend, so, drat, that would have to do. When I got there, I put down the stick, got out the camera, and tried taking a self-portrait with the valley below.  It didn't work too well, but you can sort of see where the drop zone is behind me.  

When I headed back, I encountered other hikers who were just starting out.  "Did you see a big bear of a guy back there waiting for me?" I asked one.

"If you mean the man clinging to a boulder and practically hyperventilating, then yes."

Well, my experience on Highline ended way too soon.  Big Bore was relieved to see me...but If I ever get back to GNP (alas, doubtful), I'm making a beeline to that trail and going the distance. He can wait in the car.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Well, after travelling 3,573 miles in 12 days, the merry vacationers are back home. Bags are unpacked.  Laundry is done. Time to post a few pictures from the trip. The above pic is from the Hidden Lake overlook at Logan's Pass on the Continental Divide, Going to the Sun Road at Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.

This is my second visit to Glacier.  The first time I was three-years-old, and I have no recollection of it--just a few pictures verifying I was there.  Big Bore suggested I strip down to my panties to recreate the picture of me wading at Lake McDonald in 1952.  I decided it might me safer for everyone concerned if I just stay dressed.

Our favorite hike at Glacier was to St. Mary and Virginia Falls. Here are some pictures from that beautiful day in the forest.

This last picture was in a windy, cold area that was sort of tucked away from the main trail.  I'm about ready to blow away.

Tomorrow:  Hiking the Highline Trail

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Big Bore has been operating in overdrive today getting ready to head out for Montana tomorrow. He is a master of list making and packing.  I'm just sort of going along for the ride, pretending to be the navigator. He claims we're leaving at 4 AM sharp.  I claim he's dreaming if he thinks I'm going to be ready to go at that time, in view of the fact that I usually never go to bed before 1 AM.  

"Just stay up a few more hours and you can sleep on the way," he's suggested.  That might not be a bad idea.

I'm trying to be a minimalist and cockeyed optimist with the vacation wardrobe this time around. I think my bag of books to read along the way weighs more than my suitcase. I've probably forgotten to pack something that I will later come to regret, but as long as I have a credit card and Tegretol, I'll be fine.  Oh, and the camera. And my glasses. Everything else is replaceable. Even the well-worn Atlas book of road maps.  

Time to go shave my legs, clean out the cat litter boxes, and get ready to hit the road.  T minus 12 hours and counting.......