Saturday, October 16, 2010

National Park Service Senior Pass

This is the greatest deal around.    If anyone reading this is 62 and does not have one, the next time you visit a National Park site, sign up.  It is only $10.  You have to purchase it in person because they have to verify age  Here is more information.

On our recent trip to Arkansas, we drove to nearby Beaver Dam and lake near Eureka Springs.  We passed a beautiful Corps of Engineers campground.  It appeared it was an island, reached by a causeway.  It was morning and we were not looking for a camp site, but if we were, the sites would have been half price with our Federal Golden Age Passport, which is now called  Senior Pass.   

Also, any National Park is free admittance with the pass.  On our recent trip to Colorado, the Chimney Rock site charged half price with the pass even though it was privately maintained as did another campground that was privately owned but in a National Forest.  The Great Sand Dunes was free admittance.   Additional fees such as parking are still full price at some parks such as Mount Rushmore even though admittance is free.

Fishing license is another issue.  Each time I fish in a different state, I have to buy another license.  Wouldn’t it be great if, at the least, states would honor a home state license if only for a day or two.  Or, even better, issue a national license. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vocal concert and growing up

Aaron had his 5th grade vocal music concert last night.  As I’ve said before, I do enjoy attending these presentations.  For one thing, the kids work hard memorizing the songs and I like to support that. 

Also, Mrs. Judd, Aaron’s music teacher, had her students well trained as to when to stand, sit and move about.  There was no clowning around.  Serious stuff as it will be any time in the future when participating in a singing group.

Finally, I feel young people learn disciple, and with that,  pride in the  Arts as well as  sports and deserve support in their involvement.  If the attendance last night at the very same time as the KU/KSU football game is any indication, the parents, grandparents and friends at Tecumseh North Elementary School agree.


After the concert,  we went to Aaron’s room with Marc’s parents.  When Aaron walked out of his room, the first thing we noticed is that he might have caught up to his other grandmother in height.  What do you think, Adam?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Roaring River State Park

A trout fisherman’s paradise is just a few miles north of the Arkansas/Missouri state line.  Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my gear with me.

Roaring River begins as a spring measured at 224 feet deep when divers last explored in 1999.    The second picture shows the map of the spring including a lower cavern.  According to written accounts the spring roared loudly, especially in the spring until the small dam was built in 1865 for the mill.

The area has a long history.  Early records indicate Native American settlements lined the river.  Then, for a time, the river was used to run a grist mill.  In November, 1928,  Thomas M. Sayan, the famous soap manufacturer of St. Louis purchased the land. . No one knew the plans Sayan had for the beautiful property; but when he found his plans could not be carried out, he gave the property to the State of Missouri in December of that same year.  Many improvements, especially to the hachery, were made by the Civilian Conservation Corps beginning in 1933.


A smaller spring at the top was hardly flowing when we visited.  I am sure it would be beautiful in the spring.  There is a hiking trail to the top of the cliff above the spring opening.

It is from this spring water that the trout in this hatchery flourish. 
IMG_8639The pools and lake were full of trout in various sizes.  This picture was taken downstream about a quarter of a mile.  There are strict limits which I am sure most filled.  The stream was visibly full of trout released from the hatchery.   IMG_8619
Some were fishing with rod and reels but most were using fly rods.  It made me realize I need to practice.  They made it look easy as the line gently whipped and swirled through the air.  Next time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The shower was fun

What is it about opening presents and kids—well actually everyone.  We all gathered around to watch the shower of gifts.  James & Laura were gracious

IMG_8505 - Copy This was after hot dogs, brats, mac & cheese, and cookies.  A wedding shower and no cake?  Yep.  Cookies were less messy.


Lots of friends and dogs…

IMG_8497 IMG_8499



Monday, October 11, 2010

Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

is a destination we wanted to revisit before returning home today. 

In 1984 we visited the chapel with a bus load of church kids.   It was a touching experience for all of us then, even quieting our young, rowdy group.  It is still just as breathtakingly beautiful today.

Thorncrown Chapel was the dream of Jim Reed and designed by F.Fay Jones, a professor at the University of Arkansas.  It is 48 feet high and contains 425 windows and has been called, “one of the finest religious spaces of modern times.”   Today the “space” included the fall color of Ozark trees.   Here is my attempt to capture that elegance.  Notice how it nestles into its setting.

IMG_8604Another picture of the entrance for perspective








All of this beauty with only a request to silently sit while taking pictures and a small donation upon leaving.  It is located between Beaver Lake and Eureka Springs.  See it in the fall.

GPS Coordinates: 36°24'58"N   93°46'22"W

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wedding Bells for Carole & Ray

We’re in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, for good friends Carole and Ray’s wedding.  It really was a lovely ceremony with lots of opportunities for pictures.  They will be happy, they’re good with each other.