7/30/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we drove from Joplin, MO, to Rio Rancho, NM.  It was a long drive, and I swapped driving with JoAnna in Clines Corners, NM, and she finished the trek.  We made few stops along the way, as we knew this was going to be a long journey.

Other than that, there is not much to say.  We spent twelve hours driving, plus another hour or two at stops along the way.

Today, I head back to work to see what got messed up when left to PhDs.

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7/29/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we drove from Peoria, IL, to Joplin, MO, on a windy path to operate amateur radio equipment from more counties in Illinois and Missouri.

We started out the day by chatting with my friend and former student, Renee, who had been kind enough to let us stay at her house Friday evening.  We had a very nice visit with her, and it was good to catch up.  I think it has been three years or so since I last saw her.

In the afternoon, we drove through Illinois and Missouri along state routes, and saw the scenic rural areas of both of these states.  I operated the amateur radio equipment, and added several new counties to my logbook.

In the evening, we had a nice dinner at the Missouri Hick BBQ in Cuba, MO.  This is an excellent place, and we try to stop whenever we can.  The weather was so pleasant last night that we sat on the upstairs outdoor patio.

After dinner, we drove to Joplin, MO, for the night, and stayed at the EconoLodge.  There was no International Space Station (ISS) pass, unfortunately, but we still had a great trip.

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7/28/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we started our day at the Rodeway at the north end of Chicago.  We had breakfast with one of JoAnna’s friend from high school.  We ate at Yolk, and I had great chicken and waffles.

Soon after breakfast, we drove around until we found free parking, and then went to the Nature Museum, where this friend worked.  She is a taxidermist there, and trains other taxidermists, so we toured the museum and watched her teaching someone to skin and stuff a blackbird.

The museum was great.  They had a bird and butterfly exhibit, where you walk into an indoor garden full of exotic butterflies.  There was also this flightless bird called a button quail, and they were neat.

In the afternoon, we drove to Peoria to have dinner with one of my former students.  She invited us to stay at her house, so we did that last night.

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7/27/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I spent the morning in the final days of safety training at ADM.  We said our goodbyes and exchanged contact information after the event ended, took a group photo, and all went our separate ways.

JoAnna and I then drove to Chicago, in hopes of seeing the Cubs and White Sox game.  We sat in Chicago game traffic for quite a while, finally found parking and walked to the game.  The game tickets were “standing room only” at $75 a ticket.  We decided not to go to the ball game, due to the price of the tickets and the line extending from the gate into the parking lot, and realizing with that line, we probably wouldn’t get in the door until the 4th inning.

Instead, we took a walk to Lake Michigan along 35th street and saw what there was to see.  We watched the International Space Station (ISS) pass over Chicago, and then continued to Lake Michigan.  We watched the sun set over the city and watched the millions of orb spiders make their webs on a pedestrian bridge to the water.

Overall, it was a great time.

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7/23/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we spent the day on the road from Guymon, OK, to Fort Scott, KS.  We have named this trip the “Nerd Olympics, 2017” thanks to all of the nerdy things we have done along the way.

First, we left Guymon and plotted a route through southern Kansas.  It was designed for me to operate my amateur radio equipment in a bunch of new counties.  I only talked to a few people in each county, but I did operate from a handful of new counties.

Along our route, we passed through the town of Moline, KS, which had a sign boasting of the “Oldest Swinging Bridge in Kansas.”  With that, we had to stop.

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This creek was quite neat in itself.  We watched crawdads, minnows and pond skimmers running along the surface of the water.

Also, the gravel around the creek was completely full of fossils.  I found a good crinoid stem, and JoAnna found a handful of other fossils.

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While I looked around at the crawdads and the fossils, it occurred to me that there was probably a geocache nearby.  I downloaded the app and went on a quest, and found the magnetic box under the bridge.

After that, we packed up and continued towards Fort Scott.  Along the way, we detoured to drive into a new county.  When I had finished operating from that county, we found another geocache and signed yet another logbook.

We then drove to Fort Scott, arriving right around sundown.

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We also watched several trains pass through town, including this one, that had a crew change as we arrived.

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In the late evening, we watched the International Space Station (ISS) appear to pass through the Big Dipper.

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7/22/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we began a road trip to Illinois.  We started out the day late, but that allowed us time to get to the airport for Joey’s late afternoon flight to visit his father.  As soon as he boarded the plane, we headed east.

We turned northeast on US-54 at Tucumcari and stopped to see this awesome sunset under a (non-severe) thunderstorm.

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While we watched this storm and sunset, two hawks landed on a tree nearby.

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We continued northeast on US-54, crossing into Texas soon after dark.  Before we drove through Stratford, TX, we stopped to watch the International Space Station (ISS) pass overhead.

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On the other side of Stratford, we stopped once again, only this time, we watched the continuous lightning on the non-severe storms that had formed over the Texas Panhandle.  Most of the lightning was obscured by rain (sheet lightning), but, as you can see, it made for some fantastic photographic opportunities anyway.

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We ended our night in Guymon, OK, at the Quality Inn near the north end of town.

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7/21/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I spent the day prepping for my upcoming trip.  I ran like four loads of laundry, cleaned the fish tank, cleaned the bathroom and kitchen, and so on, before packing my bags.

We did find out that the Durango leg of our trip was cancelled, so we are driving straight to Illinois instead.

In the evening, I went to the Rio Rancho Seventh Day Adventist church and attended another prayer session and study of the Desire of Ages by Ellen G. White.  We are on Chapter 55, and had a lively discussion about the parable of the Good Samaritan.

In the late evening, we saw the International Space Station (ISS) pass overhead, and then we made some chips and dip, and watched Ghostbusters.

Thank you for reading my post.