Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Fun Filled Week…..

I’ve been off the net  for a while …its now Saturday, 30 Aug……Though I haven’t take a break from trying to make “memories”…I went exploring  areas I had not been to before;  retraced some previous memories and relaxed more than previous trips….

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©2014Horst Kelly Photographer

Made my way back to Mormon Row to see if I could capture a photo of another Barn that I missed on the previous trip..the conditions didn't develop as nice as last time, but I’m happy I got out there. 

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©2014Horst Kelly Photographer

Next I went for a drive off the Beaten path called Signal Mountain Road….you gain over 1000 ft in elevation, ..narrow road, though paved…Its well worth the drive….they have a couple of viewing areas and with magnificent vistas…and it gives you a whole new prospective of the entire area, from the valley of Jackson, to a different view of the Tetons..

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©2014Horst Kelly Photographer

Another place worth visiting is Two Ocean Lake Trailhead area…If you want to hike they have at least two defined trails, plus kayaking is allowed…bring your bear spray….Black Bears roam.

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©2014Horst Kelly Photographer

Also went up Jenny lake one morning…what an awesome drive and the best time to photograph the Tetons…you get several looks at the Mountain Range, plus you also have a Lake to include in your memory bank…The only downside…if you can call it that, has been the hazy conditions, which makes it difficult to get any great shots.  But I’n not complaining…I’m just happy to have the opportunity to be here…

They say T-storms are moving in this afternoon and will run through tomorrow…Mmmmm…another chance for a Rainbow shot, I am getting greedy…aren’t I…Have yet to see a Bear, Moose, Elk, Fox or any other wildlife…I thinking they left town due to the Labor Day weekend crowd moving in…and Boy are they here…the Campgound went from 3 campers to a Full House…all with ATV’s or Motor Cross Bikes…Inaddition, Lynyrd Skynyrd is giving a  outdoor Concert Sunday evening….

BTW, several folks sent me e-mails asking if I had “photo shopped” the Casita rainbow shot…NO…First, I’m not into “creating” photo’s….yes I may add some contrast, crop, add or take away shadows, but I’m not into changing the scene, ie..Create a lake in front of Mt Rushmore, add a Moon to a scene…or add a rainbow to my Casita, etc……I’m not going to change the environment that Mother Nature provides me….and what happened with the rainbow is why I love photography, like the time I was looking for some Elk and came across two Bear Cubs playing in a tree…it’s the magic moments that creates special memories!…Have a Super Labor Day weekend…I plan on heading to Yellowstone this coming Monday….Horst sends

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Received Mothers Natures Pot of Gold….

I had just finished grilling and cleaning up, when it started to “drizzle”.  Went inside and started to research about tomorrows adventures or miss adventures, looked at the forecast,etc. Time for my evening ‘Meds.’…since the door was open, I looked outside to see if it had stopped raining, and look what I see…a rainbow. I grab my camera to take a shot from my doorway…but I thought maybe getting a little wet would be ok…that way I can get a better angle…Lake and Rainbow, how neat would that be….as I get on the other side of Ms. Casita I see the photo op of the day…the rainbow magically ends at the door of the Casita….Soooo..here it is folks, a rainbow and Mother Nature “pot of gold”….which to me is the opportunity to be on this trip…..I am one lucky person.
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©2014Horst Kelly Photographer

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©2014Horst Kelly Photographer
Try going to sleep now….but when I did I was grinning from ear to ear….I woke up this morning later than I wanted to and knew getting to Mormons Row was now out of my reach…I opted to take a few shots coming down the mountain…the magic light was not to be…clouds starting forming in the Eastern sky and the sun never appeared…guess I was lucky not to waste the gas going for the Barn shot.

(c)2014Horst Kelly Photographer




I decided to travel up the Teton Park Road to Jackson Lake and back and hopefully get some shots of Lake Jenny and the Mountains….that took until noon…got back, made lunch and now its time to relax, download photo's and do some reading…probably run the “genny” a bit….Until next time..Horst sends
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©2014Horst Kelly Photographer
Even a rear view mirror is a photo op!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I’m Honored and Humbled…..Plus… St. Peter is not Here..No Pearly Gates…But it Sure Feels Like Heaven to Me

 

First, I want to the Thank the Hitchitch  folks for selecting my Blog into there Great Community of Bloggers….I am honored to be part of the family.  I suppose I now have to get serious and clean my act up… SmileAgain thanks to the Folks at Hitchitch for the selection into a very informative Community of Bloggers!

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At my campsite..©Horst Kelly Photographer

I’ll keep this short today, as I have no internet connection yet…I left Riverton, Wy 25 Aug. at about 0700, It was a great morning…the elevation was over 5500 and I did have a pass to master….all went well…it was one of the most scenic drives I have taken…about 270 or so from Riverton to my Campsite in the Tetons….I most have stopped a half a dozen or so times along the way….180 degrees from the previous days drive….

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Views like this just don’t happen..©Horst Kelly Photographer

The CG is off of Gros Ventre Road about 15 or so miles. Its called Altherton Creek CG…what a maginifcent place…run by the National Forest Service..they have about 20 + sites above the lake…awesome veiws..there where only about 3 campers here plus the Host..they try to keep it a secret…now I know why!…no electric, and only pit toilets..I can run my generator..though I,m ok thus far…will probably run it a bit this afternoon.

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For 6 dollars you to can have a site like this…©Horst Kelly Photograpger

Today is a veggin and errand day…also want to see how long it takes me to drive into town..without the camper!.  Woke up this morning to blue skies and 38 degrees…had set the heater to 47 and all was well…lots of condensation on the windows…coffee and watching the sun rise over the Mountain  and reflect off of this small lake…what more could an Old Man ask for!

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©Horst Kelly Photohrapher

I’ll close for now..try to add a couple of photo’s

BTW..one of great bloggers is having a problem of having their comment be posted to this blog.  Is anyone having the problem??? And what could be causing it…Thanks…Horst sends from  “HEAVEN”

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lead, Follow, or Step Aside.....I am Bulletproof....or NOT

I'm sitting in my Camper in Cheyenne looking forward to the next segment of the journey which gets me closer to the Tetons...the destination  would be Riverton, Wy...I review  the map and it looks benign enough...can't be near as tense as the white knuckle trip I had from Colorado Springs through Ft. Collins(last post).......Oh you na├»ve old man...or maybe someone was smoking those "funny weeds"at the Campground and you happen to pass by and caught a whiff of it....

(c)2014 Horst Kelly photographer

This morning started with a renewed determination that rain, sleet or hail was not going to stop this Adventurer...I had that special step ...I just knew this was going to be a Day of significance ....this was the day of a new beginning...The sun  was out, the temperature was great, I sat out by the camper with a cup of fresh brewed java, watching the sun peek over the horizon...the Casita was hitched and I am READY!!!!

(c)2014Horst Kelly photographer

 
I start out for the first segment to Laramie...stop for gas and a coffee refill...as I enter the freeway, a digital overhead sign states "High wind(50mph and higher) advisory....Mmmm, is that just a couple "gusts" here and there or sustained. I make a "leadership" decision..no guts no glory.....I will soon live to regret that...the winds increase the higher in elevation I travel.....I thought with my weight distribution hitch and sway bar I was safe...sorta like being in  a storm cellar doing a tornado...not so my friends....for the next 85 + miles with increasing elevation and openness the "tornado" continues to follow me...and I was wondering why no one else was on the road....wonder no more...did I mention it was a cross wind...after what seemed like an eternity, I arrived in Rawlins, Wy...I stopped for gas, something to eat and change my pants(need I explain)...the rest of trip, while still somewhat windy with 2 lane roads, was in comparison a walk in the park...arrived in Riverton, Wy. early afternoon...checked into the Oak Creek Kampground...Mom and Pop place, quiet, clean and very friendly ...has a veteran discount....I am now relaxing, sipping on a glass of wine..I asked the owner about my route for tomorrow..he said after todays trip you can tackle anything....we will see....tomorrow the Tetons, and maybe, just maybe, some more "Baby Cubs", bear photo's....just need to find a camping spot.....until next time, thanks for stopping by..Horst sends


(c)2011 Horst Kelly photogrspher

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lets Have a Moose Drool and think about this…



Soooo…last I left you I diverted and went to Great Sand Dunes National Park…I had arrived early enough that I had time for a couple hikes, grilled and was looking forward to some photography the next day… BTW,  Rob had to cut his trip short and is heading home...family stuff..but as he said we will hardwire a trip to Yellowstone.

(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

But the Best laid plans….next morning got up and checked the weather report..rain, rain and more rain….of course how often are the weather folks correct.  There isn’t too much else to do at the Dunes..Photography, hiking or veggin in the camper….now what..
Maybe a Moose Drool is in order, its 5 o'clock somewhere…decision was made to run from the storm…but which way…West or back East to l-25…I didn’t feel comfortable trying to scale Wolf Creek Pass in a t-storm towing a camper. So Chicken Little decided to retreat and head back East ….a couple hours and I was at Lathrop State Park just west of Walsenburg, Co. It’s a super CG, 3 loops, pull through, electric, etc…..I planned one night which would give me time to regroup….again, and figure out what to do…BTW, did get rain this pm and calling for more on Saturday.

Options are as I saw them to go south then west to Monument Valley, Arches, Slot Canyon, etc and probably forego Tetons, and Yellowstone as the weather window is closing on those places within the next 30 days or so….head north to Cheyenne,WY and then head west to the Tetons…or go Home...which I seriously considered.
Decision was to go to the Tetons and hopefully on to Yellowstone and then head to the Southwest…
Left Lathrop at about 0730…got to l-25 and started heading north…nice ride until Colorado Springs…and from that point until  Ft Collins it was bumper to bumper…both directions…Denver was a zoo and its not even noon on Saturday….why the traffic…maybe the area had a sale on marijuana this weekend..  Smile   Did see numerous signs that said “don’t be buzzing and driving”…what can I say..

(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

Got to Cheyenne about 130pm, staying at Terry Bison Ranch Resort…what a place, but the price was right with Passport America…not a place I would normally choose, plus I think they now cater to the oil folks as about 70 percent seemed to be in a permanent setup….in addition they have all sorts of entertainment for the kids…BTW, did have a rain shower most of the afternoon..it just keeps following me . Smile
Tomorrow my plan is to get to l-80 north until Rawlins, then take US-287 to Riverton and bed down there… about 270 mile drive and Monday go the rest of the way to the Tetons….have not made any reservations….we’ll see how that plays out…
Was able to take a couple photo’s of the Sand Dunes before the weather set in….Until next time…Happy Trails..Horst sends
(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

Friday, August 22, 2014

I Did Say this is an Undefined, Unstructured Tour…

While pondering my next move, I thought I would check to see what the weather was going to be in the next few days…at different locations. Seemed that there was a great chance of rain, storms and such at Taos….since I also wanted to venture to Great Sands Dunes National Park in Colorado…I took a vote from the “Trip Team”….that would be me…though it was a close vote…Mmmm(you can’t fix stupid)..and I’m now headed to The Dunes…it was only 200 plus miles, though a steady climb…I had to navigate two passes…the Raton pass(l-25) at about 7800 feet and the La Veta pass(US-160) at 9400 ft .  All went well..Griff(the Xterra)… did have to drop to 3rd at the La Veta pass. No harm no foul….Arrived sometime past noon..I had forgotten about a time change when entering New Mexico…number of sites available..but the real nice ones where taken…a major problem is how small, narrow they are,and some very uneven…I found one to my liking …direct view of the Dunes and some shade from the pinion trees…no electric or water, but that’s fine, does have bathrooms, great visitors center, and hiking trails…

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©2014Horst Kelly photographer

BTW they do not have Wi-Fi here, but my smart phone does between 3 and 4 g’s and I have 4 bars for phone coverage…so I can tether from phone laptop and be somewhat productive.

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©2014Horst Kelly photographer

Went on a couple easy hikes, no photo ops thus far may do some this evening, if not start in earnest tomorrow…I did take a couple pics with my phone…so I'll go ahead and post those..

Plan on grilling this evening ..a flat iron steak, something JerryC introduced me to through his blog…still haven’t found any sweet corn to grill ….life is Sooooo rough Smile ….

Until next time…safe travels and thanks for stopping by…Horst sends

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Timeout and Regroup....Caprock Canyons St. Pk.

When I last left you all,  I had arrived  at Caprock  Canyons....a place I visited in 2011, only then it was a day trip, while I camped at Palo Duro...I always wanted to camp in the Canyons and when my Window Closed at making it to Taos by Tuesday, or Wednesday...the Canyons window opened up ...isn't life great.....
(c)2014 Horst Kelly Photographer

Without trying to get into great of depth of my fondness of the Park, let me provide a short History lesson of the Canyons.


"Just a few miles north of Quitaque (KIT uh kwa ), Texas is one of the best and most underutilized state parks in Texas.  That park is Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway.
It has a lot of Texas Panhandle wildlife, wide open spaces and great hiking trails. 
 It is also home to the Official Bison Herd of the State of Texas.  The bison are descendants of the Charles Goodnight herd. 

(2014)Horst Kelly photographer
 
The Goodnight herd was one of five foundation herds that supplied stock to save American bison from extinction and represents the last of the southern plains bison herd.  You will not find these bison penned up in a small corral.  They roam most of the park in free range as they did for hundreds of years.  So you need to watch out for them! You can take their picture but always remain at least 50 yards away from them at all times. 
The park also has over 90 miles of hiking, mountain bike and equestrian trails.
Also in the park is Lake Theo, a small lake, (130 surface acres when full.) and like most panhandle lakes the water level varies with the rain fall available.  When I was there (September 2012) it was pretty low but there were still people fishing.
Then there is the Trailway.  The trailway is adjacent to the main park. Created from an abandon railroad right of way the 64 mile mountain bike trail runs from Estelline to South Plains, Texas.  It has 40 bridges and trestles, and a 700 feet long tunnel.  The "Clarity Tunnel" is home to a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats.
The sunrise and sunset views across the caprock can be awe inspiring.  Every evening find a spot and just soak in the view."

(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

There you have a short version of the park...I enjoyed it more than I did Palo Duro....BTW Charles Goodnight and Spouse are very famous in Texas...a good read if you have time and desire!...The weather got up to the low 90's, but the lows where in the high 60's .....which made early morning a great time to go exploring...numerous trails....it was a very relaxing time....did come across a young couple who had been on a hike, got lost and ended up about 5 miles from their "Trail Head".....crammed them in my car and off we went to find there's....
(c)2014Horst Kelly Photographer

The nights are specular...the sky opens up and invites you to go "star gazing" until the "weee"  hours of the morning....too lazy to attempt any star photography...

(c)2014Horst Kelly photographer


(c2014Horst Kelly Photographer
So now its the 19th(Tuesday) and where do I head to...decision was Clayton N.M...they have a State Park on a Lake with electric...sounds like a plan, only 200 plus change miles up the road.....Sleep in, make  breakfast, clean up, hitch up and pull away about 0800 or so.....the Drive was nondescript,  pull into Clayton, just across the border...start heading to the Camp Ground when the Ranger stops me and lets me know its all Booked up...woe is me....Clayton does have a "has been" KOA...so I go there....isn't my idea of an adventure...but its only for the night...its in the 90's and the AC is running continuous...and tomorrow starts a new adventure....where to next???....

(c)2014Horst Kelly photographer

 



Looked at the last post that I did in Live Writer format...not Happy the way the photo's came out...doesn't look like the original, color off, not crisp, etc...anyone else having that problem... and have a fix.

(c)2014Horst Kelly photographer...in Quitaque

Thanks for taking the time to stop by...until next time.....Happy Trails...Horst sends

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One door closes…but another opens

 This is late due to the unavailability of Wi-Fi....this was posted via live writer...not my preferred method ...I don't think the photo's will enlarge.


Last evening(Sunday) I was all pumped up about being in Taos by Tuesday….went to bed early to insure I got plenty of “Beauty Sleep”.  My eyes where closed but my brain was still racing a mile a minute….plus it was so quiet that it was eerie…I must have dozed off after 11pm…at 1130 I heard a vehicle…Mmmm, the County Park closes at 10pm…so why is anyone driving around. As I pulled back the curtain I saw I police car using a search light going around the various drives….Should this concern me?( I am the only one camping at the park)…I found the phone number of the local police station called and asked if they where just doing routine  runs or should I be concerned….Yup it was one of several trips they make every night…. well great!!…Got back to sleep around midnight and bam …..around 0300 the sky opened up….Lighting, thunder, wind, and torrential rain..it was coming down in buckets….and would not stop…by 0900 I knew I was not going to make Dumas, …now what..looks like I won’t get to to New Mexico or Colorado to connect with Rob, though that window appeared to be closing already..
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I made a decision I would go to Caprock Canyons State Park…..regroup, stay a couple days and look at options on where to head next ….I hitched up even though it was raining…when I looked at my weather app. it appeared that going further north would be the ticket….By the time I was hitched I looked and felt like a wet dog and smelled just about the same…but away I went…..heading North and hopefully out of the storm!
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Went north towards Sweetwater(Hw. 70)…about 30 miles south of Sweetwater and continuing north where more wind turbines then I have ever come across…amazing sight… next got on l-20 west for ..about 10 miles , off at us-84..mostly a 4 lane road…and very few towns…a lonely drive….the good news..I finally outran the storm …I arrived at Post, TX.  and  took Hw. 207 north to Floydada(pumpkin capital of the USA)  headed east and Quitaque(pronounced kittyque) and a couple 3 miles north I was at the State Park…it was getting hot…got settled and noticed my smart phone isn’t too smart here…not even 1g…the CG Wi-Fi is only good if you go to the office and sit right on it….so my posts will have a slight delay…..I am using live writer at this time….we’ll see how that plays out..well stay here until Wednesday and continue to meander to New Mexico….
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I leave you with a couple photos of the Park..Next Post will be about Caprock Canyons…with some more photo’s…I hope…Till then…Safe Journey…Horst sends

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 1 is in the Rear View Mirror

Woke up around 0500 and got the rest of the stuff loaded in Ms Casita and the Xterra...already had it hitched the day before...Wheels in the Well at 0815. Got on l-10 until I came to Junction, Tx and started driving on Rt 83 heading North....Towns where few and far between...it was overcast which is how I like to travel....about 1:30 pm I rolled into Ballinger Tx, and found the City Park and Lake...
Ballinger, Tx..Horst Kelly Photographer

Got myself a site right by the "lake", electric and water...it has a covered picnic bench...the park itself is pretty good size, especially for a town this small...includes a swimming pool...I was tempted ...I'm the only one that's here for camping...it appears to be well lite...and quiet...so it well probably be snoozeville somewhat early. 
City Park Campground...Horst Kelly Photographer

I relaxed, organized a bit and caught up with Rob...don't know if the stars are going to line up for a meeting...we'll know better tomorrow or Tuesday......
City Park CG...sunset..Horst Kelly Photographer

I did unhitch and won't hitch up until I get ready to pull out...tomorrows destination Dumas Texas or somewhere within 50 miles of there...Until then, Happy Trails...Horst sends

Monday, August 11, 2014

Countdown to Re-charging the Soul....

The Countdown is still on course and on schedule.....Everything is  moving right along...the camper is getting its final check...will run AC starting tomorrow and turn on the Frig on Thursday....do a final cleaning on Friday and start loading it up along with the Mule.....do last minute shopping on Saturday and pull out by 0800 on Sunday...First stop is around Ballinger, Tx...less than 250 miles up the road.
Horst Kelly Photographer (c)2012

Then keep the compass heading at about 350 degrees till I run into New Mexico and Taos...from there head North to Great Sand Dunes National Park area then west and North to as yet undefined locations.....Rob Rupp, The Super Casita "modification genius"  and awesome photographer is a week ahead of me...hope to either catch him or have him slow down a bit.....we're going to make every effort to connect sometime/somewhere!
Rob and I at East Glacier 2012

I'm really looking forward to this trip of solitude, hiking, photography...meeting some folks and will do my damnest(is that a word) to slow down and fully "inhale and absorb" the journey....

Until next post....Horst sends



Horst Kelly Photographer (c)2012

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Boys are Back Home.....and doing a final countdown

The Gkids and I started our Trek back to Charleston on the 25 of July and bedded down at Shreveport, La  the first night and Auburn, Al the Second evening....arriving in Charleston the afternoon of the 27.....the trip was uneventful...had pools both places.....so all is well with the World...I sure enjoyed having them for the 3 weeks or so....but all good things most come to an end.....can't wait till the next time. Since my Daughter and SIL are working and also preparing to host a dive trip to the Caribbean, I thought it best to head out the next day....got back to Texas Tuesday the 29....by then I was tired, Thursday I drove north for a couple hours to pick up my generator....it is purring right along...not missing a beat...

Now its time to do the final prep for my trip...I plan on leaving 16/17 August...I have no mapped out plan.....first area I want to head  is Colorado/New Mexico..then go west and northwest...other than that everything is in jello...we 'll see how that works....meander around for a couple months. I'm more then ready for a trip....this one I want to take slow and "stop and smell the roses" along the way...seems in past trips I would turn into a "roadrunner" real quick.....
Horst Kelly Photographer

Still have some work to do on the camper, no major issues...just some reconfiguring on the inside...should all be done way before I leave....also take the Xterra in to have them do a complete check.....I am biting at the bit!
Horst Kelly Photographer



If anyone has places I should experience, please let me know.....I appreciate any and all suggestions....thanks....till next time...Horst sends