Thursday, June 17, 2021

“Jeffy! I don’t have time…

It was way back when on a yearly Florida pilgrimage to see my Dad. (AKA Sid), when I noticed his reading habits. 

Just like a precision Swiss watch a Sunday edition Palm Beach Sun Sentinel newspaper would materialize at his door. Sid would then meticulously sort it out in order of importance. TV section placed reverently by his remote. Grocery ads stacked into a pile. International and National news sections placed on top. Beneath were the local news and arts and entertainment last. The sports section got the heave ho, unless I was around. Through the course of a week, he’d ration out that one newspaper. An article one day, a section the next day and maybe interspersed with a rest day. 

Me being me, thought, “Hmmm! I’ll call the Sentinel and buy Sid an everyday subscription of newspapers. That way, he’d be up on current events and he wouldn’t have to dole out his news each day.”  So that’s what I did.

A few days later, I got a call from Sid. 

“Jeffy!” He shouted. It was in his tune me up tone of voice. 

“Yes? What’s wrong?”

“Did you get me a subscription of daily newspapers?”

“Yes. I thought you’d like that.” 

“Jeffy! I don’t have TIME to read the newspaper! I’m BUSY!”

Mind you this came from a man whose daily schedule revolved around meal purchasing and preparation. The other hours were spent napping. 

So if you’ve been following my blog along, you’ve picked up the “BUSY! “ capitalized for emphasis.

This is a Sidism. I consider it a Yogism only less poignant or hilarious. 

So now, when I phone people, I’ll ask (if they pick up), “Are you BUSY? Do you have time to talk?. I’ll keep this short.” 

Most Americans lead BUSY lives. I don’t and I won’t.  

There were heaps of other Sidisms. Here’s a few of the Sambur family favorites.

“Wait awhile! Wait awhile! You mean to tell me…” He said this when he was trying to grasp a new concept. 

“I analyzed the situation. I should have been a psychiatrist.” 

“Jeffy! You need to be your own Doctor.” 

“God Willing!”

“You’re pissing your money away.” This was his financial advice. 

“You’re talking crazy!” (I use this one all the time. So succinct and straightforward).

So… on the eve of a Father’s Day weekend, I’d like to say, thank you Sid for all of your lines of wisdom. We didn’t always see eye to eye (I was three inches taller than you) on things, but I  knew you always loved and cared about me. You were a little man with BIGLY opinions. You were a character. 

Like your youngest turned out to be.

Cheers to all the great Dads out there. Sid was one of them.

Monday, May 31, 2021

A Sand Country Almanac

“Embrace the Sand!” shouted the jovial boatman on a two week Grand Canyon float trip. 

At the time micro rocks had been blowing in a 360 degrees fashion for days on end. The gritty particles found their way into crevices, gaps and unmentionable orifices. As if the sand wasn’t enough, there was the endless annoying sound of something without a true substance. When the winds finally abated, all us campers sighed an audible “Ahhh!”

Now back to the present. (If that makes any sense.) In early February, I began a somewhat common Coloradoan migration. I turned my back to our glorious (then cold and icy) mountains and set my sights on the desserts of California, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. It’s sand country. This year it was blowing sand country. 

In February, I ventured to Death Valley National Park. Originally, I was going to stay for over a month. However, the reality of Covid brought me back to Colorado. My buddy Paul L scored me a few Moderna shots via a website. I was craving to be out of Covid hell. I wanted to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. In Death Valley, I discovered my camper can withstand 60 mph gusts of wind. (Numerous times). Yes, there was sand and shmuts (Yiddish for dirt) everywhere. I’ve had gentler visits there.

In late March (pre-second dose Moderna vaccine)  I drove to the Island in the Sky district in Canyonlands National Park. I posted a blog about the experience. It was windy, it was cold. When I wasn’t hiking, I was hunkered down in my camper with the furnace at full bore. 

In early April I had my first visit to Chaco Cultural  National Historical Park. Initially, I thought what were those Ancient Puebloan thinking! The area is stark! Water is hit or miss in a nearby wash. PiƱon pine and junipers for possible fuel or building materials are on top of the mesas. It’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer. In the campground, dust devils and an overly enthusiastic volunteer host performed continual laps. Both were annoying. As near as I could tell, the location was all about the big views for seeing and being seen. After all it was a cultural, administrative and trading center. No one really knows the whys. I guess the Ancient Ones had their reasons.

In mid-April, I returned to the Needles District of Canyonlands NP. It’s one of my All-Time happy places. Mother Nature cooperated. There was no need for a Shop Vac to Hoover out the sand. Many old friends joined me at our shared group campsite. Happy Hours were sociable and entertaining. A wonderful time was had by all.

A few days later (No rest for the WW J) I camped atop the Horseshoe Canyon district of Canyonlands NP. I hiked up-canyon the first day to see the Great Gallery and other amazing artful artifacts. I tried getting to Bluejohn Canyon to see Aron Ralston’s exit way. He’s the adrenaline junkie who amputated his right arm after a being detained by an irate chockstone. Once again, I was in awe of Mr. Ralston’s pluck, endurance and toughness. I never did see Bluejohn, it would’ve been a massive day hike. The second day I headed down-canyon. It was more scenic but the Green River was too far away for an out and back. In between those hikes, I read inside of my truck. It was too stupid windy to sit outside and get sandblasted.

The next morning, I met Brad with his tricked out, accessorized and macho Toyota Tacoma 4X4 truck. I dubbed his conveyance “The Beast.”  We were about to enter the Maze. We’d need the Toyota’s spacecraft technology for a successful journey on a so-called road which is nauseatingly gnarly. The payoff would be camping and hiking in the most beautiful and remote segment of Canyonlands NP. Of course our forecast sucked. Warm and windy, followed by cold and windy, followed by cold, rainy and windy. Our tents were pancaked by the gusts. One blast broke my tent pole. Any attempt to sleep soundly proved futile. We did manage to get out each day for a hike. Once back we hid behind rocks. I wanted to cry more than once. On our six night campout, we scored 56 hours of fine weather. On that day, I celebrated by getting lost...again.  

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Maze, but this time the experience was quite exhausting.

Five days later, I was schvitzing (Yiddish for sweating) at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It was 93 degrees at Hermit Rapids. Once again Brad (plus two family units) was on hand. We hunkered in the meager shade provided by a few anemic willows. We couldn’t wait for the sun to go down. The next morning we hit the trail early to beat the heat. Five miles and a few hours later, we were hiding under the only cottonwood in Monument Canyon. We had plenty of time on our hands as we watched the nearby campsites fill in with other hot hikers. The following dawn, I was the first one up and out of M Canyon. It was another hot day. Eleven miles later, I shucked off my backpack on a picnic table at Indian Gardens campground. I was done. My Mojo wasn’t into this trip. My mind and body were saying, “No Mas!” For once I listened. The next morning I hiked out to cooler climes. Brad and family continued onto the Colorado River. 

Back in Durango, I finally scored some needed rest. One night, I slept over 8.5 hours, an astonishing amount for an insomniac like myself. I guess I was tired. 

Eight nights later, I was camped in four inches of slushy White Death in Great Sand Dunes National Park. OY! I finished one book and read 40% of another one before the onset of dinner and Happy Hour. The next two days, the snow melted or it might have been blown away. Yes, the winds returned. I hiked in the dunes way past the crowds. I enjoyed this giant cat box (minus the poop and acrid smell) all to myself. As usual I savored the solitude and serenity of those mounds of sand. 

Yet, I didn’t “embrace” the winds. 

And that’s all I’m gonna say about my Sand Country Almanac.

It’s time to get back to the mountains!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

A Country of Contrarians.

A Country of Contrarians.

“I don't know what they have to say
It makes no difference anyway
Whatever it is, I'm against it
No matter what it is or who commenced it
I'm against it

Your proposition may be good
But let's have one thing understood:
Whatever it is, I'm against it
And even when you've changed it or condensed it
I'm against it”

Groucho Marx from “Horse Feathers.” 

There’s a lot of Doubting Thomas’,  Naysayers and Conspiracy Theorists in Merica these days.

Obamacare? Creeping Socialism

Climate Change? Chinese Hoax

Reasonable Gun Control Laws? A Govment intrusion on our sacred Second Amendment Rights.

Covid 19? It’s just another flu.

Masking up? Nope! I’m no masktubator.

2020 Presidential Election Results? The Dems stole the Election. It was rigged! (Despite no real evidence of widespread voter fraud).

The deadly January 6th  Attempted Congressional Coup? “Normal Tourist Visit.”

Now we are left with “vaccination hesitancy.” 

“The vaccine was rushed through!” 
“I’m not a Guinea Pig!”
“There’s a microchip in each dose!”
“I don’t need the vaccine. The Lord watches over me.”

Here’s an allegory. (I didn’t create it although I wish I had.)

The Mississippi River was rising! 

Local TV, Radio and emergency texts messages were warning,
“Flooding is eminent! Move to higher ground. NOW!”

Clem took it all in and tossed out a wry smile. “I’m not worried. The Lord will take care of me.”

He heard a knock on his door. There was a firefighter in knee deep water. “Sir! Follow me and I’ll get you to higher ground. It’s not safe here.”
Clem shook his head in the negative way and said, “I’ll be fine. The Lord watches over me.”
The firefighter shrugged his shoulders and moved on. There were others to save.

The river kept rising. Clem retreated to his second floor bedroom. Shortly thereafter a teenager in a rowboat came by. “Get in the boat, I’m rowing around the neighborhood picking up stragglers. I’ll get you to a dry spot.”
Clem shook his head. “No. I’ll be OK. The Lord has a plan for me.” 
The young Samaritan rowed away. There were others to save.

The river kept rising. Clem escaped through his roof hatch to the apex of his home. A helicopter hovered overhead. The copilot tossed down a rope ladder. Through a loud speaker the copilot shouted. “Climb up on the ladder. We will get you out of here. Save yourself! Your home is gone!”
Clem shook his head vigorously. “No! No! No!” He was thinking, the Lord will take care of me.
The chopper flew off. There was others to rescue and time wasn’t on their side.

Finally, the river began to overlap Clem’s precarious perch. He launched himself onto a piece of flotsam. Disappointingly he looked up at the Heavens. “Lord! I thought you’d  keep me safe!  Why is this happening?”

From the stratosphere there was a booming voice. “Clem! I sent three ways to save thyself. You turned them all down! You are now on your own. Good Luck!”

Folks! The vaccines are three ways to salvation from the scourge of Covid 19. Their names are Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Think of these jabs as gifts from God. 

Or else, you are on your own. 
Good Luck!

From the New York Times:

There is no better way to crush the pandemic in coming weeks than to persuade the vaccine-skeptical to get a shot. It is the best way for them to protect themselves from the risk of Covid hospitalization and death. “If you are not vaccinated, you are not safe,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the C.D.C. director, said yesterday.

I know. New York Times. Fake News! Sigh.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

“The Future Ain’t What...

it used to be.”

Yogi Berra

In the early 80’s...

I encumbered myself with an overloaded backpack and headed into the Maroon Bells Wilderness. It was midweek. There was a just a smattering of vehicles at the trailhead parking lot I shouldered my pack and set off on a narrow trail past Maroon Bell Lake. I was starting out on the now famous Four Pass Loop. 

The Four Pass loop is a 27 mile, 8,115’ elevation gain jaunt over a quartet of  12,000’ plus saddles. It’s gorgeous, glorious and a great work out. 

In the 80’s it was virtually devoid of humans.  At that time the trail required a sharp eye not to go missing.  My! my! how all that’s changed. 

What’s never changed is my love for this hike. Through the years, I’ve lapped this route six times. Each time the trail was more rutted and worn down. Each time there were more encounters with Homo Sapiens. It was noticeable but not annoying.

This year, I had time on my hands, a great forecast and a desire to visit my old friend once again. I arrived around 7 am on a Tuesday. There were Ubers  and Taxis ahead of me. They were disgorging backpackers with the latest REI gear and apparel at the trailhead. The parking lot was full. I backtracked down the valley and left Barley the Van at the Aspen Highlands ski area. ( $70 for three nights ). I took a bus up ( $8 round trip ). The driver was an “American Idol” wannabe. He warbled two off key songs. There was a prominent tip jar adjacent to the driver’s seat. I would have paid him to shut up. The bus was three-quarters full. The vibe was more DisneyLand than Wilderness. 

When the bus dropped us off, I bolted up the trail. In half mile there was a mandatory self-registration kiosk for backpackers. By the time, I filled in the blanks about twenty people slid by me. Many were being guided up to the top of West Maroon Pass. I caught them when they were taking a time out. The guide smirked at me and said, “Well, there’s plenty of wildflowers on the other side of the pass!” I smirked back, “Are there more flowers than people?” His answer  ? “Maybe!”

After passing droves of humans, I glanced down from the 12,490’ summit. On an indistinct mini-ridge line, I spotted my campsite for the night. As of that moment, it was vacant. I headed down to claim my turf. 

I set up camp, hauled up liters of water from a trickle of a creek and went into relaxation mode. As I turned the pages of a paperback, I noticed a steady stream of backpackers drawn toward my campsite. It was similar to a crowd of obese people eyeing an all-you-can-eat buffet, except the backpackers were leaner. The homeless veered off once they realized, the site was occupied. I never saw any wander too far away. I suppose they found a tiny bit of flat property nearby. I estimated I had fifteen neighbors within a tenth of a mile radius from my prime real estate. Fortunately, they were out of sight and quiet. 

I hightailed it early the next morning while my neighbors slept in. The cool air was thick with the scent and pollen from a gaudy display of wildflowers. I took photos between sneezes. I have hay fever, but I wasn’t complaining about the “Damn flowers!” 

I had Frigid Air Pass (12,405’) to myself. The views of the Maroon Bells were obscured by the hazy smoke of a nearby fire. I took a few minutes to savor the lonesomeness before heading down. I was on a mission to score a campsite with a neighborly waterfall. The morning was getting old as backpackers headed up Frigid Air Pass from the counterclockwise direction. There were Boy Scout Troops, Church groups and coveys of male retirees sporting ubiquitous gray beards. Every now and then (rarely) I spotted a solitary soul. I counted over 60 campers before I found my camp. 

Once again, this early bird claimed the Sotheby’s Real Estate deal of the month. A flat worn down pad with a fire ring and a few logs and soft rocks to sit upon. An unobstructed view of the waterfall was steps away. Unfortunately, so was a large communal latrine. I shot photos of the waterfall but none of the latrine. 

After setting up camp, hauling water and snacking; I donned my flip-flops and took a mosey down the trail. I found a creek side seat and watched trout go about their daily routine. A few hours swam by and I returned to camp. OY! I had five neighbors in three tents within eyesight. Luckily, they were pleasant neighbors who respected our distances. There were five billion black flies who were extremely unpleasant neighbors too. After dinner I sought fly free refuge in my tent. 

I broke camp early. The loop’s  toughest climb to Trail Rider Pass (12,415’) was waiting for me. As usual, I had a game plan. I lusted for a true wilderness experience. I reckoned I wasn’t the sole sociable hermit hiker in the World. Surely there would be a single-tent sized plot of land prior to the KOA-like campground at Snowmass Lake. 

The climb came and went. The Forest Service had apparently upgraded the old straight-up-a-gulch approach to the pass. It was still hard but hiker friendlier. (On the old trail, one could practically touch the rocks and dirt ahead of you. That’s steep.) 

I dawdled on the pass enjoying the views, the warmth and three giddy young women from Alaska. One asked me “Why don’t you move to Alaska?” I blurted out an answer, “Too much winter and too many people with too many guns.” They didn’t disagree. 

I started my descent on the lookout for a solitary campsite above Snowmass Lake. About half-mile and 400’ above the Lake, I noticed a social trail curling up above the main trail. I wandered up it. YES! There it was. A beat down bare spot large enough for one tiny tent. Mine! 

But! What’s a campsite without running water? Well, its  sort of like a breakfast burrito without green chili. Worthless. I dropped my load and ambled  downhill on a rudimentary path. Eureka! A miserly-looking snowfield was melting above at the rate of one spilled IPA/minute. With a little bit of Bureau of Reclamation engineering I was able to fill all my personal reservoirs. Now, I had all the essentials of home.

After making camp, I chilled out adjacent to the main trail. From my perch I achieved a better view of my surroundings. Besides taking in the lake, the mountains and the scree fields, I counted over fifty-five hikers in my impromptu census. Most looked weary and physically thumped. Many didn’t even notice me, even though I was a mere twenty feet from where they slowly trod. At 6 pm, I spoke to two young dudes working their way downhill. I nostalgically related about how uncrowded the hike was in the 80’s. They told me about the Four Pass Loop’s prominence on Google. (I checked. They weren’t handing me Fake News). As a goodbye, one of them said, “We’re sorry for making the hike so crowded! We wish we saw it in the 80’s too!” I smiled and thanked them just the same. 

Before retiring to my tent, I did a lap around my campsite in my “invisible Emperor’s Suit.” Why? Because I could! I had my best night of sleep at that solitary camp.

The next morning, I was revved after a two Clif Bar breakfast washed down with two shots of Starbucks instant. I flew up to the top of Buckskin Pass, with lustful thoughts of real food, a hot shower and clean clothes. I passed an odd assortment of backpackers. One youngster was wearing bedroom slippers while carrying a tent in his hands. I won’t get into the blue Jean and cotton sock wearing crowd, (with heavyweight boots). I topped out, enjoyed the long distance views and snacked with the handful of calories I had left. 

Down I went stepping aside for the multitudes of backpackers and trail runners heading up. 

Yes, the Four Pass Loop is a BUSY place. 

According to the US Forest Service estimates, visits to Maroon Lake and the surrounding area surged to a record 320,500 in 2017, up about 12 percent from summer of 2016. 

Many were carrying backpacks. 

Alas, it is time for this beauty to join the ranks of “The Enchantments,”(Washington) the “Wave”  (Utah) and Rocky Mountain National Park. I’m writing this with a feeling of angst. The Four Pass Loop cries out for a permit system. The number of backpackers/day/trailhead must be limited.

The US Forest Service needs to do this to save the place I love. 

From the start of a 2.5 month North by Northwest then South road trip,

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Clara’s Fountain.

Well over a decade ago, I was on my yearly  pilgrimage to see my father in Delray Beach, FL. Of course, I went in the wintertime. There I would enjoy the Sunshine’s State feel good warmth and get to listen to Sid (my Dad) perform his stream of conscience monologue. I’d chime in with an occasional “Uh-huh” or “Yep” and once in awhile, “That’s right.” 

Once he was between subject matters, so I interjected. “Do you have any photos of Mom? I have none.” He refocused and said, “Yes! I have box loads.” That energetic little man was now on a mission. He dove into his two walk in closets which were piled high with “stuff.” My father was no minimalist. Out came a few tattered cardboard boxes. “Here! Go through these and pick out the ones you want. I have plenty.” So like a good son, I did what he told me to do. 

Those boxes contained the Sambur family history in its visual form. I started choosing Mom containing photos. One particular black and white caught my full attention. It was a fuzzy photo of Mom sitting primly on the edge of a fountain. Her beguiling smile was still prevalent. I had a deja vu,  I’ve been to that fountain. I just couldn’t place its exact spot. 

I kept rifling through the photos. I extracted loads of them. When I was satiated, I looked up at Sid and asked, “Is it OK for me to take this many?” His reply was sage like. “Take! Take!! A boy needs pictures of his Mother.” 

For me, this was one of Sid’s most generous acts.

Fast forward to the early 2000’s. I was visiting NYC and my nephew Keith and his soon to be wife Courtney. We’d go out each night and take in the City’s famous bars and bistros. (I was able to stay up later in those days). In the morning my hosts would go off to work. I’d fortify myself with many Starbucks and head out for long walks up and down the avenues. My turnaround point was always Central Park. A place (besides Yankee Stadium) which meant so much to me while growing up in the Big Apple. 

As usual, I was wandering around the Park with no specific destination. Then, I found it. Clara’s Fountain! I let out a BIGLY smile that would make Mom proud of her youngest boychik. (Young man in Yiddish) I sat approximately in the same spot where Mom once perched. There I’d think about her and I’d miss her once again. That tiny woman made such an impact on me in the seventeen years she was involved in my life. She taught me (in a subtle way) the art of nurturing. She’s the reason I’ll offer you food and drink just by showing up at my home or camper. She made me a Jewish Mother in a man’s body! 

Now, no visit to NYC is complete without a pilgrimage to Clara’s Fountain. 

Thanks Mom for making me a better person. I only wish you were around a lot longer. You were the best. 

Cheers to all the great Moms in the World.

PS The fountain’s real name is Bethesda Fountain.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

She Left Me...

just when I needed her most!

I’ve  been reprimanded occasionally to “Get Lost!” Most of the time this cliche is said figuratively. (I think) Unfortunately there’s been times I’ve taken this expression quite literally,

In late August of 2019, I did get lost on Snow Mesa in southwest Colorado. Of course, I wrote about this mishap. 

In this blog, I took full responsibility for my screwup. I was careless and not paying attention. (Remember, I write the World’s most honest blog!). Later on, I reached out to readers for suggestions on trail and GPS apps for my I Phone. I stated that I’m a tech Neanderthal. The app needed to be simple like me. 

Many fellow hikers responded. I took the advice of a techie buddy who described the trail minder as “easy peasy.” I purchased the “G” app. No longer would I find myself being a true wandering, wondering-where-I-am Jew. 

I practiced using the app. An arrow shaped like a Star of David (only joking!) was me. I’d walk away from the dotted trail line and the arrow would move away. If I returned to the dotted line so did the arrow. Magic! All I have to do is make sure I stayed on the straight and arrow! 

Recently, I was hiking in the Maze. It’s the most remote district in Canyonlands National Park. It takes a millennium to get there on a terribly tough 4x4 route. If poop happens the Cavalry won’t be miraculously arriving in the nick of time. One would have to be patient if an emergency occurred. (Like getting lost)  

No bueno.  

I headed out on the Confluence Trail near the Dollhouse campsites. I followed the obvious trail and cairns. No biggie. I’d be out gazing at the Green River’s meeting with the Colorado in a flash of time. Towards the rivers, the trail got wonky. The cairns went this way and that. I walked toward the end of a rock outcrop and saw the Green River, but no meet up of western waters. I pulled out my I Phone and dialed in the “G” app. I was off the dotted line. Oh well, it’s was getting hot so I’ll headed back. After a quick lunch under the shade of a juniper, I checked my app once again. Spot on. I began walking. I noticed a tree stump with a colorful rock on top. I plowed on. About a half hour later, I had a deja vu. A twin of the post with the colorful rock on top was in my sight once again. I was walking in circles. Out came the app. Nothing! I became invisible. I was stealth without wanting to be. 

I took a deep breath. OK. Don’t panic. Remember you’ve crawled into burning buildings. You kept your cool in those stressful times. The  feeling of calm lasted about 30 seconds. I looked at the app again. No arrow. 

“NOOOO! This wasn’t supposed to happen! This is not funny. I paid for your services! This is no way to treat a customer. You left me in my time of need!” All the above happened while I was pounding the sand with my fists. 

I relaxed and eventually shut off the I Phone in an effort to reboot the app. (In reality I felt like booting the phone.) Nothing. No arrow. My battery power was at about 52%. 

OK. I’m still on a trail. It goes somewhere. Look around. The Dollhouse is distinct. Head that way.  So that’s what I did. In time I saw a familiar dead branch propped up along a climb for handholds. I saw an old cigar shaped coyote turd. I was going in the right direction. Still I hustled along, just in case. It was only when I saw a rectangular arch that I knew for sure I was on the right track. I checked my app. The arrow was back. Too little too late! A 9 mile hike turned out to be 12.5 miles.

My point is this. Don’t count on technology. One still needs to pay attention to where the trail turns and your surroundings. It’s not a good idea to just shut the brain down while using a navigational tool to get you in and out of places. Glitches happen! 

I’ve learned my lesson...again.

Last photo: A collared lizard was willing to share its meal with me while I was pummeling the sand. I said “No Thank You. I still have a few Clif Bars left and a liter of water.” 

Stay safe!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Post Pandemic Dreams.

Post Pandemic Dreams...

The readers speak! You may recall I reached out for input on what’s on your post pandemic bucket list. 

The post received over 200 hits, but I guess many of you are the strong silent type and camera shy too.

Here’s the results. I interspersed the quotes with pretty photos from Canyonlands National Park. (Returning to our National Parks was BIGLY on my post pandemic bucket list.) 

I want to do this, sans mask. His name is Lewis and he was born Febr. 6, 2021.

I want to sit at a table, at any bar with a patio, with you and talk.
I want to go to Florence, to see my friends, who live there.
A road trip to WA to see other friends would be the best.
But most of all I want to see people's smiles and get a few hugs.

Hi Jeff! Great blog posting today. I also got my second Moderna shot on March 30th and am thus looking eagerly to April 13. I felt crappy the next morning and needed to sleep. Got up again at 1:00 p.m. and gradually felt better and better. Since one of my big passions is hiking and backpacking and I often do that solo, that has not been impacted much by COVID. That said, I do look forward to feeling more carefree on the trail and at campgrounds when interacting with others. 

Looking forward to a motorcycle ride to eat some steamed Cheasapeak Bay Blue Crabs...

Hugs, baseball games and concerts. Traveling in and out of the country!

we are back in green Iowa with smiles abundant in supply.  it is so nice to gather in small groups and enjoy a beer or 3. This thursday i will be be able to do my volunteer work at the information center.  real people.  but, i will still wear a mask.

As usual, entertaining and informative. My main post-Covid plan is to see family again. I have a plan in the works to visit family on the west coast including my son. It may take awhile longer to visit my daughter and grandson in Thailand.

In the meantime here’s to sharing more IPA moments.

Here is what I am looking forward to doing once things get back to normal, in no particular order:
  1. Dance at the Caribou Room
  2. Ride a bus, train & plane
  3. Hug my grown children
  4. Hiking vacation in Norway
  5. In person book group meetings
  6. Dinner parties
  7. Going out in public without a mask, seeing people's smiles and chatting without a mask
  8. In person government meetings
  9. Yoga at the studio
  10. Eating indoors at a restaurant

Seeing the world again. Volunteering in a foreign land. Seeing my friends in the usa and welcoming visitors to NZ 

Looking forward to vacations, concerts, and socializing downtown on main street.

To say I am forever grateful for the dedication of our safety by our incredibly wonderful and brilliant scientists is such an understatement. For me, I long to see (in person) family, friends, full faces, smiles, dinner and party gatherings, blue water, white sand, happy hours, the inside of restaurants and airplanes, frequent empty gas tank levels, more smiles, concerts, festivals, Broncos, Rockies, Rangers and Longhorn games, the brilliant color of people's clothing in crowded stadiums and even more and more smiles!!! "These are a few of my favorite things..." Bring them all on! I am ready!!! 

I will do the Inca Trail in Peru. We booked the trip for 2020 and hope that we can do it in 2022.

Cheers Jeff