Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Go West lost count

Surfin' Jesus

Lecturn cover, St. Cross by the Sea, Hermosa Beach, CA.

Where else could you see this?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Go West 6

We left the Grand Canyon to reach Flagstaff by dark.  We met my cousin, Kathy, who has lived there for many years.  On the next day (Saturday, Dec 8) Kathy took us to Sedona which is supposed to be a "must see."  It does have some of most beautiful canyon country views you can imagine.  It is also a New Age hot spot.  I was surprised to see so many mainstream Christian churches there though.  We had lunch at the Creekside restaurant.  I never saw the creek but I was impressed by the lunch menu they have for your dog along with a free dish of ice water.  In the evening after our return, I began to feel a bit funny.  My extremities where very cold, I was slightly short of breath, had a headache and started to feel a bit more confused then usual.  We had been above 5000 feet since Denver (5 days). The Grand Canyon is at 8000 and Flagstaff at 7000, so altitude sickness seemed like the obvious diagnosis.  I felt like I should try to make to morning when we where leaving for lower parts but it slowly dawned on me that I could be dead by morning.  We went to the hospital and after running 500 tests on all my poor health conditions which came out negative they concluded, "Yep, its altitude sickness."  They reasoned it would make no sense to admit me since I would still be there, so they told us to high tail it out of town.  We left Flagstaff at about 3 am heading down.

The drive to lower altitude took about 2 hours so by the time we got there I was feeling better.  Monica wanted to find a Goodwill to do shopping for stocking stuffers and gag gifts so by a quirk of fate and providential guidance we ended up in Bullhead City, AZ, elevation 500 feet in the Mojave desert. (Its one of the lowest spots in the US.) Bullhead City is right across the Colorado River from Laughlin, NV which is a mini-mecca of casinos.  We got a room for $22 a night and booked in for 2 days to get some rest (no slots).  I felt good enough to play golf on Monday and Monica rode along braving the 40 degree desert morning and later 25 plus mile an hour winds.  The views of the desert were spectacular and we enjoyed our rest in the Mojave.

Next day (Tuesday, Dec 11) we are off to LA.  We arrived at the Pacific just before sunset.  A semi-conclusion to our journey.  We will be in LA till after Christmas when we plan to visit our son Drew in Oakland, CA.  Click once on pics for better view.

Best shot from Sedona

Dogie lunch menu

Destination Bullhead City, AZ

Desert view Laughlin Ranch GC

Braving the weather -- Look, no crutches!

The patient has recovered

Desert sunset

Pacific Ocean

Arrived at Manhattan Beach, CA.  Where else?

Sunset on the pier

Journey's end

Go West 5

Coming down from the Rockies we stayed in Moab, UT.  Pretty red rock mesas.  We did not tangle with the Moabites (see Judges 3.29) as we left for the Grand Canyon.  We arrived there about 2 pm and headed for the South rim.  It has to be an amazing experience to see this for the first time as we did.  I image some cow poke riding along and coming to the edge for the first time.  What a sight!  That said, once you have been there for 10 or 15 minutes, you get the basic idea.  Not to disparage those who dedicate their lives to exploring and and understanding the Canyon. It is a wonder.  Pictures do not do it justice.  There was a lot of walking for Monica from parking lots to shuttle buses and then to the view sites so we only stayed for a couple of hours.  Our next stop was Flagstaff, AZ where a new adventure awaited us. Click once on pics for a better view.

Leaving Moab -- explains itself

Red Mesa

Monica at the rim, my shadow, poor compostion

Tiny black dot in middle of picture is Colorado River

Zoom into river with suspension bridge

The sky at the Grand Canyon (long view)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Go West 4


We left Dallas on Monday, Dec 3, and made our way to Amarillo.  We were tempted to try the FREE 72 oz Texas steak  (free only if you can eat it all with all the fixins in an hour) but since we were in a hurry we settled for the 20 oz.  We then moved on and camped (Holiday Inn Express) on the High Chaparral near Lemar, CO (southeast).  The drought has hit Colorado and North Texas hard.  Lots of dry ground and still much cattle. We reached my uncle and aunt's house in Denver on Tuesday afternoon.  Had a great visit with them catching up on their six children and all the grandchildren.  On Wednesday we visited the St. Mother Cabrini shrine outside of Denver where Mother, like Moses, struck a rock with her staff and water came out to assuage the thirst of her orphan charges.  We drank the water from the holy Mother Cabrini spring which still flows today.

Then Thursday, on to the Rockies.  What a experience to drive through these American beauties.  The weather was shaky.  We had light snow flurries until we hit Vail (where else?) and then sun and clouds all down the west side.  Crossed into Utah and are spending Thursday in Moab, UT.  Heading to the Grand Canyon tomorrow!  Pics below.  Click on pics for better view.

Look closely for the Texas steak lover.

Texas style

The Gospel comes to Amarillo

Stations of the Cross -- Cabrini Shrine

Trophy case at Uncle Ed's

Rockies just west of Vail

Utah (period)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Go West 3

We are about to leave Dallas heading to Denver to visit my uncle and aunt there.  Before leaving we celebrated Nicolaus early (the feast day of St. Nicolas, December 6) with Hilary and Richard. Nicolaus was a great memory from my childhood.  Children place their shoes near the door on the eve of Dec. 6.  In the morning good children receive a small gift, bad children receive coal and onions.  One year I received the dreaded coal and onions.  I could not imagine what I could have done that was so bad.  Nicolaus was this great warm up for Christmas which, as a child, to me seemed very far away.

We gave Hilary and Richard their Christmas gifts, the first Sunday of Advent.  May we like the Wise Men begin our Advent journey to the manger to see the true meaning of our lives.  Pics below.

Nicolaus was here!

Alix and Richard's creche

A new blanket.  Wow!