We're Outta Here!

It's Time

Time to move out! This will be the last post on the Blogspot site. From here on out you'll find this blog remade and more readable at It is already up and running with more features including maps, tags and other new features.

Since Google gives a user little control, I can't tell if you are an occasional visitor or regular subscriber. If you are a subscriber then I can't move your subscription over - you'll have to subscribe at the new site (it's also more user friendly, I hope). If you are an occasional visitor, then just bookmark the new site and you are done.

Thanks for following along - hope to see you at the new website!




Sometimes It's Just Another Day

This is a full sized replica of the structure of the same name found in the UK. Though astronomically correct, its primary purpose was not intended as a Druid calendar but as a memorial for those from Washington State who lost their lives in WW I. The town that once surrounded this Stonehenge burned down.

For these folks, Stonehenge was a place for a chance encounter. Salt Lake missionaries meet Yakima barrio boys. 

Looks a little rough around the edges doesn't it. So does the new site but in the next few weeks it should be ready to go. The curious are welcome to click this link and poke around. Feedback would be appreciated.



Some Gave All

Though we enjoy the 4th of July as a national holiday with all the summer fun we can muster, it is also a holiday that didn't come easy. Repeatedly men and women have given time (& often their lives) to preserve our freedoms. This memorial is in Oak Harbor, Washington, home to Whidbey Island Naval Station. It commemorates men who never returned from ship hunting and bombing patrols during WW II.

Oak Harbor was one such base for those who flew these patrol planes. Formally called PBY Catalina, they had several nicknames. Since it flew many night missions against Japanese shipping, it was called the "Black Cat". When used for rescue at sea, many crewmen called it "Flying Dumbo". Though the Navy retired these planes after WW II, many can still be found flying mail and supplies along the Amazon, used for fish tracking in the Pacific and all around the world as fire retardant bombers.

If the occasion arises today, thank a service man for helping to preserve those freedoms we celebrate today. Happy Fourth Of July to Colby VanCamp and his fellow Navy crewmen and women.



Never Stands Still

And like this old gas pump from the 50s where the price per gallon never needed to be expressed in anything more than "cents," everything changes.

Change is coming this way too. Blogging will be light for the next few weeks as I get things moved over to a new site. More news on that soon. 



Cool Cave!

Lava Beds National Monument is as much about what's underground as above. With over 700 caves the Monument has largest concentration of lava tube caves in North America. Tennessee takes top honors for total number of caves of all kind as it averages 4 for every square mile in the state. This is Valentine Cave, so named for the date it was discovered in 1933.

The ceiling varied from smooth to stippled, as above. In the small area we explored near the entrance, portions of the cave roof were iridescent when hit by light. In another area, you could see where chunks had not long ago fallen off. You want a quick dose of spooky? Just turn your flashlight off.

Trying to persuade those a wee bit afraid of the dark. Better flashlights would have helped.

Whether is is a function of the cave or something else, we noticed a number of Juniper trees near the mouth of Valentine cave with a parasitic growths.

A closer look and it appeared to be mistletoe-like.

Something new to me - "Wag Bags." No need to explain further.



Facing West

Sunset on "The Peninsula" and a revelation of different activities than on the east face. Less than 100 years ago the waters of Tule Lake surrounded this prominence.

Low to the ground and up close, first to be noticed are a long parade of petroglyphs. The Native Americans who predated the local Modoc and Klamath bands of tribes left these behind.

Coming by canoe, they paddled out to this place and a left what is now an indecipherable record of their existence. People who know this field of study, admit being puzzled by their meaning. When I first saw these some years ago, they were unprotected by this fence.

Watching over this heritage for perhaps as many centuries has been a series of birds. This Great Horned Owl awaits the dark to begin foraging.

For how many seasons have these big birds been here? Who knows but you can certainly pick out all the rodent skulls at the bottom of the cliff face.

Just as the sun is setting we see the return of a Prairie Falcon. There is a small lizard or rodent in its beak. 

We can't see its nest until it lands as they are pretty well hidden in the countless crevices. Suddenly the falcon flares and does a pinpoint landing at the edge its aerie. Quite a show. Quite a place.



Facing East

There is a notable thumb of land, sometimes called the Peninsula, sometimes called Petroglyph Point, or on some maps, Castle Rock. Depending on which side you are on, catches either first or last light. Once surrounded by water, these cliffs are now high and dry.

Look one more time again at the previous picture. Towards the bottom, there is a patch of white with horizontal stripes. In 1917, Charles Coppock, born at the century mark, decided to express his frustration with being underage to join US forces during WW I. The result was this flag, dated August 15, 1917. He rowed out to a nearby spot, anchored a platform and painted what you see above. After 94 years some of the color has faded out.

When Charles Coppock returned to the area to farm, machines replaced the mules his father used. These vintage trucks spanned several decades - 30's, 40's and 50s.

Suffering from hard use, this old Ford still has most of its hardware intact.

Two more old battlewagons, a Ford and Chevy, appear to be more recently retired. Both have their license plates still attached. That is likely a field of young horseradish growing behind the trucks.

In that same early morning light that illustrated the "Flag" (above), a Canadian goose sits high above on a nearby spur of rock. Beyond, cliff swallows pepper the sky as they prepare to nest or feed their young.