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Posts Tagged ‘highway 34’

            Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge: Abraham Joshua Heshel

Adventures with Pepper: Day 1

Ring-billed gulls and a couple of coots at Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area. — Photo by Pat Bean

         I started my day in Wray, Colorado heading south on Highway 34, and soon crossed into Nebraska where I was greeted with a sign that welcomed me to “The Good Life.”

It was a ho-hum kind of drive. Except for a few passing empty cattle trucks and an occasional vehicle, I had the highway to myself. The kind of drive where my mind is free to ask itself important questions: like what’s the difference between a creek and a river?

That thought popped into my mind when I crossed over the Republican River, named for a branch of the Pawnees and not the political party, just in case you’re interested. The river was dry, unlike a full creek I had recently crossed over.

Monument to the Massacre Canyon Battle, where 69 Pawnee were killed by Sioux warriors. The site is just off Highway 34 between Swanson Lake and Trenton, Nebraska. I passed the historical marker denoting the turnoff and, belatedly, wish I had made a u-turn to go back and check it out. — Wikipedia photo

It was a question that stayed with me, so I later tried to find the answer.            Yahoo’s best answer was:  “A river is bigger, but the measurement is subjective. There is no standard, so it is really a matter of local opinion. The people who name it decide whether to call it a creek or river. As has been noted, a creek is usually a branch of a river, and doesn’t have branches of its own. But that is not a strict standard either.”

Too bad my question hadn’t been how much are two and two.

Plan A, meanwhile, was for me to stop at Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area in Nebraska for the night. It was a nice place, but the campground was far from the lake and isolated. So I decided to go with Plan B, which was to plop down to Highway 36 to Kansas and check out Prairie Dog State Park.

Thankfully, it was a great place to spend the night.

Book Report: Travels with Maggie is now up to 54,116 words. It should be more, but I had two days of no internet to double-check facts.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: The Great White http://tinyurl.com/9f7rc4r Beautiful photos of an emblem of this country’s heritage. While America is far from perfect, I wake up every day feeling blessed to live in a country where this wondering, wandering old broad feels safe to explore its beauty with only my canine traveling companion, Pepper, as my security blanket.

I feel honored.

  Thank you http://transplantedtatar.wordpress.com for giving me the One Lovely Blog Award, As for seven random things about myself:  I’m an innovative cook; I love to ride rollercoasters; I have 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; I have a son-in-law who tells everyone I’m homeless instead of a full-time RV-er; School classmates called me cootie-brain, which hurt so much I couldn’t say the words for 40 years; I’m a cockeyed optimist but with enough cynicism in my brain that everything balances out; and I’m extremely grateful that I still have a huge zest for life.

I’ll use my Bean’s Pat to play things back.

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Up high on Highway 40 near Rabbit Ears Pass. — Photo by Pat Bean

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” – Emily Bronte

Adventures with Pepper: Day Seven  

The rock formation that gives Rabbit Ears Pass its name. — Photo by Pat Bean

          After my daily morning walk with my canine traveling companion, Pepper, I took a second walk to bird watch with the park’s nature and wildlife interpreter, Holly. It was a pleasant walk but the birds in this high, quickly cooling elevation had mostly already flown south for the winter.

Magpies, starlings, black-capped chickadees, Cassin’s finches and yellow-rumped warblers were the only birds still hanging around this morning.

So bidding farewell to Yampa River State Park, Pepper and I continued our journey east on Highway 40, stopping when we came to the town of Steamboat Springs. The ciy has no steamboats, but it does have some natural hot springs. I had visited this ski town in the early 1980s when it was a minor dot on the landscape.

This day its bustling crowds, even though snow hadn’t fallen yet, reminded me of in tourist places like Park City, Utah, and Jackson, Wyoming. It was a much bigger dot now.

I found a parking spot, and telling Pepper to guard the castle, I went in search of breakfast.

I found it at Johnny B. Goods bar and diner, where I took a seat at the bar rather than wait for a table. Johnny, himself, waited on me. I had the special Johnny B. Goods breakfast, which was excellent, and enjoyed the lively chatter going on in the place. Eating alone, with my Kindle in hand, always gives me a great opportunity to eavesdrop, which I love to do.

Highway 34 passes three lakes on the way up to Rocky Mountain Park, Lake Granby, Grand Lake and Green Mountain Reservoir, which is shown above. — Photo by Pat Bean

I didn’t learn anything worthy of a story this day, just that everyone around me seemed to be having a grand old-time. So, carrying half of my breakfast in a to-go box, I made my way back to Gypsy Lee and Pepper to continue the day’s journey.

The drive took me up and over 9,426-foot Rabbit Ears Pass, and through a landscape already touched by the Midas finger of autumn.

After the pass, we passed through Hot Sulphur Springs, which used to be so rowdy on the last day of the month, which was pay-day, that the town celebrated Halloween a day early. While the town is not quite so rowdy these days, the early Halloween tradition is still observed.

At Granby, we turned north onto Highway 34, and followed it to Elk Creek Village just outside the southwest entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

What a great day!

            Book Report: Grumble, grumble growl. I spent a half hour working on Travels with Maggie this morning, then a second half hour recovering what the computer ate when I hit a couple of wrong buttons. I’m not exactly sure what I did, but the control Z recovery didn’t work. 51,902 words.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: 12 Things My Grandmother Told Me http://tinyurl.com/bmymnuo These are almost as good as some of my grandmother’s saying’s to me, like “You’re going to hell in a hand basket,” when I got into mischief; or “The devil’s beating his wife,” if it was raining while the sun was shining. Did your grandmother tell you these kind of things?

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