May 2010

 

We had never been up to Mount Rushmore so we headed up there in May and had a great time. The Black Hills area is beautiful and I also enjoyed the grasslands that time of year; intensely green and no trees. The inspiration for the trip was I had read “Black Elk Speaks” which is the recorded autobiography of a Sioux medicine man present at both Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee. It is fascinating reading and a tragic story of inevitable succession.  While there, all of us climbed Harney Peak, the highest point in South Dakota. On top is a fire observation tower built by the CCC in the 1930s. Now it is mainly witness to the pine bark beetle advance.

 

Maggie at Mount Rushmore

Maggie & Elena

Harney Peak which we Climbed

Suzanne & the Giant Oven Mitt of Doom

Behind Sylvan Lake

Logan In Front with Sylvan Lake

 

 

In June we all headed to Orlando where I had a conference on GPS that was pretty good. Suzanne and the kids braved Disney World while I sat in air-conditioned comfort. In my mind I definitely got the better deal. Later we explored some of the areas North of Orlando and found some real gems in the Florida state park system; Blue Hole Spring & Wekiwa Spring. Both are spring fed from underwater limestone caverns and the water is crystal clear and 72 degrees. At Blue Hole, a pair of manatees swam up the river which is unusual for that time of year. Elena and I were sitting on a tree branch while one of them swam underneath about three feet away.

 

September found me up in Portland OR for the annual GPS ION convention which is often a highpoint of the year for me. I had a great time this year. Amongst other things I had dinner at the Portland City Grill which is on the 30th story of a downtown building and has fantastic views of the surrounding area.  I think Portland is one of my favorite cities to visit since there is so much to do there and it has a vital downtown area.