July 30, 2017 Bend, Oregon

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

Balloons Over Bend Festival

Until I saw them coming my way during my daily walk around the hospital loop road, I was unaware that this weekend Bend was celebrating it’s annual Balloons Over Bend Hot Air Balloon Festival. Since recovering my energy several weeks ago, I make it a habit to walk the roughly one mile long perimeter loop road of the St. Charles Hospital every morning before the traffic rolls in, so I am out there around 6 or 7AM daily … and that, of course, just happens to be the same time that balloonists favor for their flights.

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

This morning, as I was just approaching home, I watched as the pilot of this balloon carefully set down on the paved parking lot amongst several tall street lamps, just across from where I am camped on the hospital’s loop road. As I walked by, the chase team arrived and as they were hauling out the protective tarp to collapse the balloon on, I hurried the short distance to the motorhome to grab my camera for some shots and managed to get this one of the balloon just as it was being deflated.

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

A little later, another balloon came along the same route, but this one continued on across the hospital campus to the north.

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

Two more balloons show up after coming over the top of Pilot Butte.

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

As you can see from the image above, the hospital camping area had a front row seat for the show this particular morning. Note the non-interested spectator ( Sam ) in the motorhome, keeping an eye on Dad, not terribly interested in the balloon activity.

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

 

Another Way to View Balloons Over Bend
Another Way to View Balloons Over Bend

There were others getting a very close, and I imagine, a very interesting perspective on the activities.

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

 

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

 

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

 

Balloons Over Bend
Balloons Over Bend

Another Completed Acrylic Painting

"Maine Harbor Reflections" 18'" x 18" Acrylic
“Maine Harbor Reflections” 18′” x 18″ Acrylic

This makes three completed paintings since I have been waiting out my treatment schedule. Learning a little bit more about these acrylic paints with each completed painting and may eventually get the hang of how to use them.

Nothing much new to report on the health front. Chemo continues and results are all going in the right direction. My oncologist has set up a referral for me to go to Portland and meet with the specialists who will do the transplant procedure ( if that is the way they recommend going ) sometime in the next week or so. He also wants their input on perhaps truncating my chemo regiment since I have had such a rapid positive response so far. This means I may get this over with a little sooner than originally expected.

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September 21, 2014 Twisp, Washington

 A Weird Trip to the Grocery Store

Early Morning Flight
Early Morning Flight

This morning I chose to do yesterday’s route between Twisp and Winthrop in reverse and ran into another balloonist just taking off into the eastern sky. Also checked on the ducks again but no woodies anywhere near the shore by the fence.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

I then ran out East Chewuch Road to Forest Road 37 and proceeded about 8 miles north and east on FR 37. Found a couple of boon docking sites way off the beaten path that I could probably do with my rig. Awfully narrow gravel road though and I would advise anyone to check it out in a car before heading in with a big rig. It could get quite tough to try and turn around.

I had picked up some groceries at a store in Twisp called “ Hank’s “ yesterday and just had to return today with camera, to capture a very unique decor theme for this type of place. It appears that Hank must be a very avid big game hunter.

Cleanup Needed at Register 3
Cleanup Needed at Register 3

” Cleanup needed at register 3, the lion’s caught another warthog “

Grocery Store Display
Grocery Store Display

The taxidermy work is really pretty special when you get a chance to observe this lion up close. The action sequence has got to be tough to pull off.

Hank's Wildebeest
Hank’s Wildebeest
Hank's Grizzly
Hank’s Grizzly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lion and Deer
Lion and Deer
Hank's Antelope
Hank’s Antelope
Hank's Hyena
Hank’s Hyena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spent the rest of the afternoon watching football thanks to my still working Winegard system, that makes 4 days and counting !

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September 20, 2014 Twisp, Washington

A Beautiful Morning in Horse Country
A Beautiful Morning in Horse Country

Touring the Methow River Valley

This morning I drove down to the town of Twisp, across the bridge over the Methow River and explored the east side of the river heading back north to Winthrop.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Wonderful Morning for Ballooning
Wonderful Morning for Ballooning

 

 

 

A hot air balloon rose from the west side of the river as I made my way north and slowly drifted my way while ascending. What a great way to spend a beautiful morning such as this, the views of the pastures and winding river below must be incredible in the early morning light.

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Duck Tease
Wood Duck Tease

Just before getting to Winthrop, I spotted a small pond down by the river that was just covered with ducks. Spying the side road that led down to it, I turned off the main drive and pulled up to a fence that surrounded what turned out to be a water treatment pond, with “ No Trespassing “ signs all around. When I glassed the pond and saw three pair of wood ducks amongst the hundred or so other ducks, mostly mallards and gadwalls, I had to find a way to give it a shot.

Wood Duck Tease
Wood Duck Tease

Unfortunately, this was to be yet another woodie tease as I just couldn’t get close enough for a decent shot.

Backtracking West on Route 20

Once in Winthrop, a neat little town with an old west atmosphere, just packed with tourists, I decided to backtrack Route 20 all the way to Diablo Lake to experience the trip through the Cascades with blue skies and the sun shining, and I would have to say it has a very different look than yesterday when I traveled it under a low grey sky.

The Dry Eastern Side of the Cascades
The Dry Eastern Side of the Cascades
Glaciers Above Diablo Lake
Glaciers Above Diablo Lake
Route 20 Descending East
Route 20 Descending East

This was the start of a 2 or 3 mile 6% grade heading down the mountains from Washington Pass, one of two such downhill sections of Route 20 on the east side of the passes. As noted in yesterday’s post, Route 20 over the Cascades is not a terribly scary drive for a large RV and Toad, actually quite manageable.

Traffic Heading West on Route 20
Traffic Heading West on Route 20
East side of the Cascades
East side of the Cascades
Blue Skies over Diablo Lake
Blue Skies over Diablo Lake

This shot, above, was taken today. Compare it with the one below, taken yesterday under grey skies, what a difference a day can make.

Diablo Lake
Diablo Lake
Rugged Peaks
Rugged Peaks
Long Ways Up
Long Ways Up

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July 21, 2013 Lift Off! Liberation Day

Today I officially became homeless and unemployed.

After 5 years of attempting to sell my home and business, today I am freed of all encumbrances, no more physical ties to the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire, my home for the past 34 years.

Today, as I head west on I-89, out of my adopted home state, my long anticipated next (final?) adventure begins. After 20 years of owning and running a business and 30 plus years of rehabbing and maintaining a 5700 square foot, 200 year old house, it seems almost hard to believe that my only responsibilities now are my two canine companions and the only daily chores will be to keep my 2004 Allegro motorhome and my “toad”, a 2012 Prius, running smoothly. Oh, and I guess I will also have to make an attempt to figure out how to keep a blog going and perhaps even make it interesting.

Image of the Red Roof Gallery in Enfield, NH
Welcome to the Red Roof Gallery in Enfield, NH

Since 1993 I have owned and operated the Red Roof Frame Shop and Gallery in Enfield, NH, with another shop in West Lebanon, NH. With the sale of the Enfield property, the Red Roof Gallery in Enfield is no more ( the West Lebanon Red Roof Frame Shop will continue on under the new owner, Lisa Tibbits, who, incidentally, has been running the shop on her own for the past seven years ) and, while I suppose I should feel some kind of remorse, I must admit that it is more like relief, not regret.

Front yard perennial beds at the Enfield Red Roof Gallery
Front yard perennial beds at the Enfield Red Roof Gallery

 

 

Beautiful, yes, but, to me, all I can think is, no more weeding, transplanting, watering, mulching, autumn cut down and cleanup, never again! Free at last!

 

 

View of the carriage barn that houses the workshop end of the Red Roof Frame Shop in Enfield
View of the carriage barn that houses the workshop end of the Red Roof Frame Shop in Enfield

 

Also, no more scrapping and painting, no more lawns to mow, and never again will I have to shovel and snowblow that awful white stuff.

Opening reception for "The Flower Show" at the Red Roof Gallery
Opening reception for “The Flower Show” at the Red Roof Gallery
Opening reception for "All in the Family" at the Red Roof Gallery
Opening reception for “All in the Family” at the Red Roof Gallery

 

No more art shows to hang and take down, no more Opening Night Receptions (I will miss the excitement, the people, the conversations), no more 4 AM til 10 PM work days, no more vendor delivery mess-ups.

 

 

Also, most importantly, no more (censored) government paperwork and interference. I never realized, until starting a business and hiring employees, just how much productive time our wonderful government agencies, federal, state, and local, can manage to steal from a small businessperson.

So, with that little rant off my shoulders, off I go. My intent here is to provide viewers with some interesting photos of places I visit, people I meet, and wildlife I run into. I am a semi accomplished photographer and I do tend to concentrate on wildlife, especially birds, but I also appreciate the many wonderful landscapes I constantly observe in my travels.

Below is a small sampling of the sort or work I do. Just click on each thumbnail for a larger version of the image.

Geese lifting off at sunset, Lubec, Maine
Geese lifting off at sunset, Lubec, Maine
Yellowstone grizzly heading to his winter den
Yellowstone grizzly heading to his winter den
Great egrets start an aerial battle (or a dance?)
Great egrets start an aerial battle (or a dance?)
Yellowstone elk welcomes a 21 degree morning
Yellowstone elk welcomes a 21 degree morning
The fishing boat graveyard on Campobello Island, Canada
The graveyard on Campobello Island, Canada
Hot air balloons over the Valley of the Gods, Utah
Hot air balloons over the Valley of the Gods, Utah
Amish daycare, father and girls working a team of horses
Amish daycare
Altima oriole courting display
Altima oriole courting display
Foliage reflection on the bog
Fire on the water
Image of 3 Whooping Cranes and a Sandhill crane
3 Whooping Cranes and a Sandy
Killdeer in a N.Dakota cornfield
Killdeer in a N.Dakota cornfield
Cedar waxwing looking for lunch
Cedar waxwing looking for lunch