Welcome everyone. I have to apologize for being a bit out of pocket lately and probably going to be spotty for an unknown amount of time going forward. Linda’s oldest brother is not doing well and need to focus on helping her and the family where I can. In the meantime I am going to put you back in the very capable hands of Brad for this and likely a few others as we close out the month.
Take it away Brad!
When I was in middle school (summer 1977) my dad took my sister and I to see Yellowstone National Park and the American West. He wanted us to experience the park as he did in the summer of 1960. After driving from central Illinois for what seemed like weeks we arrived at Yellowstone. He took us on a Readers’ Digest tour of the park, driving the whole loop in just one day. We did get to see Old Faithful, the Paint Pots, lower Yellowstone Falls, and a bison or hundred. But as night fell, we exited the East entrance for my great aunt’s house outside the park. (BTW, after he passed, I found the slides he took while we were there in 1977 as well as those from his trip in the 1960. Now I have photos of Yellowstone from 1960, 1977, and 2008. While the park structures haven’t changed much, the car styles and photo quality sure have.)
Fast forward a bit to 2008, I thought it might be fun to take our family on a driving tour to see a few of the larger National Parks in the western United States. Since they are so far apart, we wanted to see as many as time and patience allowed. My daughter said “Dad, it’s just a bunch of rocks, do we have to spend so much time there?” Being the parent, and rather enthusiastic about the parks I said “Of course we do, it will be educational!” Instead of driving we flew to Salt Lake City where we rented a car and drove to Yellowstone to stay for three days. When we were leaving Yellowstone, my daughter asked if we could stay a few more days. I said “I thought you said it’s just rocks”. She said “yeah, but these rocks are so cool!” We drove 700 miles from the June snows of Yellowstone to the 100+ degree temps of Moab, UT for Canyonlands and Arches National Parks for a few days. More cool rocks! And the finale, not because of grandeur but mostly because of geography and our travel route, was two days at the Grand Canyon.
Fast forward to Spring 2022. When we were planning a visit to western Colorado with our daughter and her boyfriend, she asked if we can visit Arches National Park. I said it’s just a bunch of rocks. But she then said “yes, but they are really cool rocks!” Actually, it has been very fun and rewarding to watch her grow into a very cool adult. I could write a whole series of articles on that original six state 4,000-mile driving trip, but that’s a whole different story (maybe a future multi-part series here if Brian starts training for another 100k run). This article is on one solitary creature; the largest living land bird in North America and some say so ugly it has a face only a mother could love.
Hit the jump to read more about Brad’s ug….hmmmm… let’s go with “inner beautiful” feature.Continue reading A Face Only a Mother Could Love…by Brad Marks