Archive for May, 2015

West to California, North to Washington, East to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Home …

What could have been an easy four or five day trip to Portland by air, morphed into an eighteen day driving adventure as part of our year long celebration of fifty years of marriage. It was wonderful.

The first two days were “pedal to the metal” to Flagstaff, Arizona. After that it was relax, enjoy, stop at historic sites, eat in off the main road cafes, take pictures and truly “smell the roses.”
In Amarillo, the first night, we “forced” ourselves to have dinner a Napoli’s Italian Restaurant in downtown. If you are in Amarillo, this is a must … especially the bread.
In Flagstaff, not much of note except “beware of curbs with rebar protruding from the concrete.” Fortunately we made it on the full size spare until we found a Michelin dealer in Henderson, Nv.

Upon leaving Flagstaff, we drove the scenic route along the Grand Canyon Rim and miraculously got a room in the 1905 El Tavor Lodge … “right on the rim”. I think my mom was with us on the entire trip. When she was alive, she wouldn’t put down her rosary beads until each of us kids was home safely. As a reminder, at our dinner meal, the young lady pictured below attended our table. Of course, her name was “Ellen”, my mom’s name.
Thank you mom!

Ellen at the El Tavor

El Tavor

The Historic 1905 El Tavor Lodge

Below are a few of the hundreds of Grand Canyon Photos:

Patti and Jim on the rim

canyon panorama

Canyon Sunrise

Historic Watch Tower

Historic Watch Tower

Two Billion Year Time Line

Two Billion Years

bird on branch


Bright Angel Trail

Switchbacks on Bright Angel Trail

On to Hoover Dam and Death Valley …

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam


Tribute to the High-scaler daredevils

below sea level

Death Valley … 190 feet below sea level

I found Death Valley National Park to be one of the most interesting stops on our trip. Not only was it beautiful with the stark colorful moonlike hills and mountains but historic and unique. It vividly brought to my mind the old TV Show, “Death Valley Days” reinforced by this sign and the knowledge this is the mining site for Borax.

Twenty mule team

Twenty Mule Team

Desert Hills

Moon-like Desert Beauty

Yosemite Tioga Pass

Yosemite Tioga Pass


bishop to redding

Bishop, California, Yosemite and North

Sonora, California to Grants Pass, Oregon

Along the way we saw some of the most beautiful country side in addition to some of the most interesting and historic towns located on secondary roads. Towns and cities like Sonora and Grants Pass made us fully aware of the challenges and successes as the West was settled. Most concerning is the extreme drought in Southern California.

Sonora Inn

Sonora Inn where we stayed one night.

low lake levels

Low lake levels in California



A highpoint for me was simply “strolling” on the Pacific Crest Trail …

the Pacific Crest Trail

One should dress for the PCT



Picnic Lunch in a Laundromat … Grants Pass


On to Portland and the American Trails International Symposium…

Oregon State Capitol ... Salem

Oregon State Capitol … Salem

Bigfoot Lives in the NorthWest

Bigfoot Lives in the NorthWest



Zombie Control

Zombie Control

American Trails Exhibit Hall

American Trails Exhibit Hall


Portland's bridge ... no cars allowed ... bus, train, bike, people.

Portland’s bridge … no cars allowed … bus, train, bike, people.



Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana are so green and lush …


600 foot Multnomah Falls

600 foot Multnomah Falls




Coeur d' Alene, Idaho

Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho

McDonald Lodge ... Glacier National Park

McDonald Lodge … Glacier National Park


Battle of the Little Bighorn National Monument …

This stop while driving thru Wyoming was a special treat. I would probably not have gone out of my way to see it but … here it was … and oh, what a pleasant surprise and acknowledgement of this time in history when the Native Americans were systematically forced to leave their lands …

The vast open land and burial ground

The vast open land and burial ground

Native American burial markers as well.

Native American burial markers as well.

In Closing …there are so many more pictures, stories and aspects of this trip that I could literally fill a travel magazine. In summation, I suggest this kind of up close and personal trip for anyone who wishes to really see America and meet the wonderful people. In addition, it was a special time for me and my incredible wife of 50 years. Just when I begin to think fifty years is a long time, I recall the hike along the canyon rim covering one million years in one long step.

Until next trip … blessings to all


Don't miss Tad's Chicken' Dumplins on the old historic highway  30 at Troutville on the way to Multnomah falls.

Don’t miss Tad’s Chicken’ Dumplins on the old historic highway 30 at Troutville on the way to Multnomah falls.

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God Bless America, our Veterans and our Men and Women of the Military


I simply had to stop and take a photo of this Patriotic Statement by a farmer in Alma, Kansas.
This has been a wonderful 5000 mile driving adventure … Shortly I will follow up with pictures and stories. However,today on this Memorial Day weekend, I honor and thank our Veterans and those currently serving.

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Wabbit was the name of my grade school football team

I never was that great an athlete but had my moment of glory in the eighth grade at Holy Souls Catholic School in Little Rock. And, to make the story even more interesting … as I choose to remember it … I scored the winning touchdown or maybe it was extra point to give our team the Parochial School Championship in 1956.

Our coach, Mr. Harding, developed a “special” play for each of the backs … naturally my play from the fullback position was “The Dailey Special”… right up the middle. Miraculously on that day before maybe tens of parents at the Historic Lamar Porter Field, the Dailey Special was called, I fell across the goal line behind a powerful line and the Holy Soul’s Wabbits were crowned the championship team.

Last Night we visited our old school for an alumni party … pictured below are three former Wabbits … my sister Kathy, me, and my wife Patti … sporting my eighth grade championship letter sweater. GO WABBITS !!!


Below is a picture of what was the original front entry …
Where the tree stands in the right edge of this photo, once stood an American Flag … each morning we gathered to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

front entry of holy souls

The Original Cafeteria … now a Library pictured below.


Accuracy of facts is subject to authentication or rejection by former classmates.
If I have portrayed the details somewhat correctly, let it be known 1956 was my only successful football season. I played one year in High School, was lousy and my gridiron story ended there.

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