Sacred Devils Tower

Remember this from the 1977 “Close Encounters” movie?

Close up shot of the columnar structure. Each “column” is about 8 feet across!

The Devils Tower is a sacred site to Native Americans and is an NPS National
Monument. Located in the Black Hills of northeastern Wyoming, this remarkable geologic butte stands nearly 900 feet tall from it base to the top. The rock is igneous and was formed when the molten lava intruded into layers of sedimentary rocks. Those rocks weathered away, leaving the Devils Tower that we see today.

There is interesting history of both the geology of the tower, as well as the history of human involvement of the site. This was the first National Monument, so designated ten years before the National Park Service was founded. Study the Devils Tower website for details about the park, its history and current covid restrictions.

We visited Devils Tower back in 2015.

Hey, we went somewhere today

OK, for some of you, maybe it would not be a big deal. But for Sher and I our trip to the Buck Creek Winery was the first time in a year that we actually went out and went into a store. Yes a place where people go, talk, buy things and act kind of normal.

Our son drove us out and about today. Yesterday we noticed that our wine supply was running, well, low. So off to the Buck Creek Winery, about a half hour from our place.  We had our masks on and there was only one other customer in the winery  when we went in.  We felt comfortable, Joseph set us up to have a sampling of 6 different wines.

Our assortment purchase today

We ended up buying a case of assorted wines after a fun sampling experience. We belong to the Buck Creek Winery case club, which enables you to enjoy a 20% discount on case buys. Refer to the Buck Creek website for details.

Even though we have had our first dose of the Moderna vaccine, we were still somewhat leery of getting out. But we felt ok at the Winery today. Joseph  maintained social distance, was most polite and informative and he poured our samples. Oh, it was different wearing jeans with a belt instead of sweat pants.

Looks a bit like a Hitchcock film

Of the same ilk as 1963’s The Birds

We wintered in Harlingen, Texas 3 years ago, and one of our jaunts out and about led us to a community theater in Brownsville. Coming back from the show at dusk we saw a huge flock of black birds perched on wires. There were twice as many feet of bird covered wires as shown in the picture.

It put us in mind of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 movie The Birds, one of his scariest and creepiest movies.

We miss this

Sher and I have been waiting, like most, for the vaccine. One of the things we miss since we’ve been “in isolation” is going out to eat. Such a simple activity that tons of people used to do before COVID. One place that we really miss is Cheddars Restaurants.

Famous potato soup


Legendary onion ring tower

 
Cheddars is really our favorite casual restaurant, followed by Olive Garden. It will be really nice going back out for a nice meal even if the tables are spread out and everybody is in masks. I guess we’ll all have to get used to that, it’s gonna be the norm for a while.

We have received our first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and our second dose is already scheduled for March 15th. Shortly after that we’ll have what the experts are saying is a high percentage of immunity.

The Falls in color

After sunset the Canadian Falls, sometime called Horseshoe Falls due to its curved shape, become a display in color. Bright lights from the Canadian side of the river provide the spectacular effects.

We had a great time on a trip to Niagara Falls with one of our granddaughters in October 2019. If you ever go to see The Falls, we strongly suggest that you take a Grey Line Tour. They’ll pick you up at your hotel, or in our case our RV park. No problem with waiting lines for the Maid of the Mist or any of the other attractions on the tour. You don’t need to be on a honeymoon to enjoy Niagara Falls.

A little over a year ago

Here is a look back to February 9, 2020. The concern over COVID was growing, and we were within a couple of weeks of leaving our RV resort near Austin to head back to the “safety” of our place in Indiana.

Solstice Outdoors is a unique gallery

Out side of Dripping Springs, Texas in the Hill Country near Austin is a thriving landscape design business that also doubles as a place to view and purchase unique outdoor artwork. Solstice Outdoors Ltd. is based in a former ranch home surrounded by 2 acres of what is now a whimsical display of outdoor works of art and decoration.

Solstice homestead

Outdoor fire pit complete with pyramid and butterfly seating!

 

 

 

 

 

Through an online mobile search Sher found this place while we were prowling about the Dripping Springs area. Thanks to google maps we soon found this surprising gallery of both indoor and outdoor craftsmanship. Each of the rooms in the house were used to display local artist’ works, including jewelry, tapestries and pictures.

Another metal man

Bull/man iron soldier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By far the most unique part of Solstice is the “backyard”. As soon as you go out into the yard you are greeted with a variety of ‘creatures” in all sizes and materials. The company offers landscaping design and construction. Walking through the grounds was like walking through an outdoor arts garden.

This face is kind of creepy

A different media for a longhorn!

 

 

 

 

 

Often we don’t have a set itinerary some days when we explore an area. It is always an adventure to find things by just driving around looking for signs, or hitting up the mobile search for “things near you”. The day we found Solstice Outdoor, Ltd. was one of those days.

Hot and tasty

Quaker Instant Grits

Everybody knows breakfast is an important meal. These grits are easy to fix: mix in either dairy milk, almond milk or even water. A quick trip to the microwave and voila! you’re ready for syrup, fruit or other toppings.

This is just about a perfect breakfast for a cold winter’s day. It also makes for a great quick and easy to fix  snack as well.

The Dead Files

Courtesy Travel Channel

We have come to enjoy different types of TV shows during our pandemic isolation. One that is actually kind of scary is a show on the Travel Channel ominously titled The Dead Files.

This paranormal themed show features Amy Allan, a physic medium and paranormal researcher, and Steve DiSchiavi, a retired homicide detective with 20 years experience with the New York City Police Department.  The show first aired in 2011, and is currently in its 13th season.

Each episode has a different “client” of theirs, and the two investigate  each haunting/paranormal event separately. Allan performs walks of the property and as a sensitive, she sees and sometimes talks to the dead spirits. DiSchiavi on the other hand, does police style research, interviewing others who have connection or history to the place. He also digs into the past stories of the property, finding documents and old photos. The two do not compare notes until the end.

When they present their “Reveal” to the clients at the end of the show the results are  startling. Allan often uses a police artist to make a sketch of the ghosts she has seen, and the most of the time this sketch is the same entity the property owners have seen. Amy and Steve then offer solutions to getting rid of the ghosts.

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, this is a fun show to watch, even for just a couple of episodes. If you have an interest in ghost hunting, this show is for you. The Dead Files is now streaming on several streaming services.