Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cripple Creek, Colorado

This week I am in Cripple Creek, Colorado. This once booming mining town once boasted over 40,000 residents near the turn of the last century. It missed being the capital of Colorado by just 4 votes. Truly a touch of the old west lives here as there are signs posted along the main street (Bennett Street) that firearms are prohibited. Mules and cows walk freely throughout the town (quite like the chickens on Kauai). There is even an old bordello that boasts family-type tours. Most of this place is a ghost town, with casinos all along the street. The area produces more gold than any other place in the world. There are tours of some of the mines available.

In Michigan

I spent the first week of August in Cadillac, Michigan. While they manufacture parts for various autos in this town, it is not the Cadillac factory. An interesting travel arrangement on the inbound . . . on my flight from Chicago to Grand Rapids, we were held on the plane for about an hour and a half wait for tech to fix a faulty fuel pump light. They de-planed us and after about another hour, canceled the flight. The next flight out would be in the morning at 7:30, which would get to Grand Rapids at 9:30, with another hour's drive to Cadillac. This wasn't going to work, so I set about obtaining a car at 1:00 in the morning, then drove 5 hours to my destination. I thought I'd have an hour to rest before training, but there was a time change, so I only got a shower in before the training.

The trip back to Chicago was OK until I got to Chicago. The traffic was so bad, I could have parked my car and taken this picture from the outside of the vehicle!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Roswell, New Mexico

The last week in July I spent in Rosewell . . . home of the 1941 UFO crash site. I learned that Area 51 is no where near this place (it is in Nevada) and that Ben's top secret work probably involves a coverup since the bodies of the recovered aliens are being kept at Wright-Patterson AFB!

The whole town is caught up in the alien-nation thing. I took a tour in the UFO Museum and Research Center and educated the attendant on the aspects of the 4th dimension (he asked!). The main street had several shops with all sorts of stuff on aliens.

Thursday night we had one of those storms like we had in Hershey when visiting Abby and Justin. The standing water on the roads could have been up to 6 inches in some places! It just poured and was a pretty scary storm.

Orlando - EPCOT

Immediately following the Aubrey and Steve's reception, I was on a plane to Orlando for PowerSchool University. I was bumped to First Class, so I was able to stretch out and sleep the whole way (it was the red-eye flight). I went to work at 2:00 pm the next day after flying all night. I had a great time training and even spent an evening at EPCOT. They fed us a meal before we went into the park so I didn't feel like eating any more food in the venues (which really what the park is about: pavilions, food, and souvenirs.

The space shuttle launched while we were there. We were about 10 miles away and the sky was overcast, so all we saw was something like a brilliant candle. Some of the clients went to a place
where they could view the launch up close and feel the earth move. Here a few of us from PowerSchool are. We snuck out on the roof so we could get a better view . . . that we didn't get.

Wedding(s) - Reunion!

This is coming a little late (July 10,11), but this much anticipated week was a whirlwind and a blurr (probably because we were all so sick!) I am glad that wedding photogs did a better job of capturing the moments than I did. I did get a picture of Dan and Ally, and the cake fight between Aubrey and Steve (I really expected it to be worse!).

We did manage a picture of the cousins. Wouldn't Grandpa and Grandma Bennett be proud!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

San Francisco, CA

The last couple of weeks I spent in San Francisco. The first week I was south of SF and didn't get out much. The second week, I went to the Plaza and took the trolley to Chinatown and then Fisherman's Wharf. I waited in line at the plaza for about 40 minutes.

My training took me into Market Street and Castro Street. I saw all of these rainbow flags around me and figured they had a thing for Kermit the Frog and his song. Daniel, do you know what the flags mean?

My last day I made it out to the Golden Gate Bridge. I think it is about 4 miles up and back. It sure was windy! It made me a little nervous on the bridge, remembering what happened in Minneapolis a few years ago. It was chilly, too. I was glad I had my hoody. I saw a card in the gift shop that indicated the "must see" list. I believe I got them all.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trip to the Sequoias

I did some training in Wood Lake, CA. I stayed up the road in Three Rivers, which is gateway to the Sequoia National Forest. The winding roads of WVa have nothing on the road I took to the General Sherman tree! While the actual distance wasn't too far, I climbed from 800 feet to 4000 feet to get to the big trees. They were magnificant! I thought to myself, while standing in a grove that was soundless except for the russle of the leaves, "God must live here."

The outer bark of these giants is soft, like cork. It is about 8 inches thick. Inside, the wood is very hard. The General Sherman tree has more wood in it that any other tree in the world, though I did see some that were taller. It is estimated to be 2200 years old and is 275 feet tall, weighing about 1385 tons with a 103 feet circumference at the base!