Friday, December 29, 2017

Expect the Unexpected 2017 - It was a Hike

Reflecting back and moving forward into 2018. 
It was a good year!


I had this elusive dream in 2017 that I was going to track my descendants that I still can not prove I am related to. However, it must be so because I can feel the explorer running through my veins. I was going to retrace part of the Lewis and Clark Trail through Oregon and Washington State.  Yeah, that didn't happen but in my wildest dreams, I never thought this would either. I ended up hiking the highest possible trail at Mt. Rainier National Park. I should mention that I did stick to the plan that my name would change to Sacajawea Lewis as soon as the plane landed in Portland with my companion aka Clark.

The hike idea all began on the porch of Paradise Inn, one of three resorts you can stay at in Mt. Rainier National Park. We arrived late, had enough time to have dinner and I headed out to the porch to catch the twinkling stars, so clear up in the mountains. With a sigh of disappointment, I spoke out loud and said, "I just missed sunset." A voice came out of the darkness and said, "You didn't miss anything, the smoke was too thick". There were a few wildfires going on in Oregon and Washington the weekend after Labor Day, the one we were in the mist of closed down part of the park but hiking trails were open on this side of the mountain. The couple we met that night were from "Philly", a younger set and they had hiked to the snow line that day. Snow line made my eyes bulge out of the sockets. I wanted to go to see the snow. I have never hiked a mountain. I got this map and plotted our course.


The ranger recommended trail, after accessing my team was Moraine Trails, .37, which would take approximately 1.5 hours. I thought we could do better. There was no snow possibility on that route.



We set out early that morning 7 a.m., grabbed coffee, two bagels with cream cheese, two bottles of water and a pack of crackers. I was pumped, look at this beautiful ascending trail. I was headed to heaven. What appears to be the haze of morning dew was a combination of dew and smoke from the wildfires. The path was smooth and the incline grew, if you look through the fog, you can see the switchback, relatively high to the left of the photograph.



It was approximately, at the top of that particular switchback that I paused to catch my breath and steady my beating heart that I noticed something moving about in the brush. This is going to be good I thought to myself and I turned to Clark and said how long have we been on the trail now, as I exhibited some heavy breathing. He examined his stop watch and announced, 4 minutes. My reply was an initial, hmmm. Four minutes in and we spotted a deer, the only problem was the deer also spotted us and he wasn't coming out behind that piece of pine. It was the deer's turf so I had to let it be what it wanted to be, slightly hidden. We powered on.



Look at this pathway between the pines, elevated yes, but I was all about the beauty in nature every step along the way provided a new and intriguing living organism and something to marvel at. Life is good. Approximately eight minutes into the exploration, that first layer of clothing came off. It was getting warmer or perhaps I am may have been a tad overheated.



Clark's observations turn to the more complex events of the landscape. He wondered if the dripping water flowing from the glacier was cold.



Then it was, what's living in there? How did those holes happen? All these questions, nature had formed its own world up here. Men and their curiosities can hold up the haste to climb the mountain. C'mon man.



These mysterious things had also caught my eye but I remain more of a people and critter enthusiast and spotted a photographer, my favorite kind of people. I wonder, what has he spotted? He was our first human that morning. We caught up to him and he had found the first marmot.



What? You have never seen a marmot before? My very first sighting was in Colorado so I wasn't too freaked out to see these critters all over Mt. Rainier National Park, especially high in the mountains. They don't bother you, its a natural habitat for them and they seem to perform for the tourists. They are great posing for a camera.


 It is always an exciting part of the day when you stumble upon a piece of history. The 10th Mountain Division of World War II trained here in Paradise. I felt honored to be in the same hemisphere, let alone the same atmosphere. How incredible is that! 

History Happened Here





At the time, I was unfamiliar with what I was looking at. I only knew it was a bird, a BIG bird. Apparently, you have to be on a natural high to see one of these birdies and as luck would have it I was. It is a ptarmigan. Do not ask me to pronounce it, I can barely copy it by typing. It is my first and only ptarmigan to date. I am sure I will be able to identify it next time.



Chipmunks are cute no matter where you spot them but it is especially hard to say "no" to them when their cute little eyes are asking, "are you going to share that bagel?"


Clark wouldn't even share that bagel with me, let alone his last drop of water. Wait till you see my dehydrated face after five hours into the trip!



The Trail
Paved, Smooth, Steep, Winding, Breezy, Rugged, Rocky, Man-Made, Nature-adjusted and Challenging



We encounter roughly 20 people on the trail that day.
Some had speed much greater than ours and we simply stepped aside.



This gentleman from Germany heard a rumbling suggesting avalanche or falling rock, I heard it too.


This gentleman passed us on the way up and the way down. In conversation, we learned, they do not have marmots where he is from.



He was from Spain but currently living in Philadelphia, he is a medical student and will be returning to Spain soon. He is visiting as many National Parks as he can.


This young lady went above and beyond, the rest of us took pictures, she interacted. Now if this were a bear, I may not admire.



on Mt. Rainier








I Touched Snow!


Landscape
ever changing, be it by elevation or around the next bend, just breathtaking.
 
 
I certainly would never want to discourage anyone from a challenge but in hindsight I was lucky to have made it down the mountain without injury and I fear I put Clark's ability to have a more enjoyable experience at risk.
I was certain once i reached the summit it would be smooth sailing downhill. The steep steps down were hard on my knees and I limped down the last mile. At one point I thought the dog sled was going to have to come and get me.
My logical self struggle with the overachiever.


A lesson learned, know your limits 
and adhere to them. 



I did make it to Paradise.
and Clark was my lookout.


The Sky High Trail at Mt. Rainier National Park on paper suggests a 4.5 hour trip, normal people take 5 hours. We finished in 7. I did take a lot of pictures.

The smokey haze was the result of a wildfire in the area caused by a lightning strike two days prior. One can only imagine how beautiful it must be on a clear day. 

Hikers - My People


Here is a list of 10 Essential Things For a Safe Wilderness Experience.
It could safe the day and possibly your life.

Map, Pocketknife, First Aid Kit, Extra Food and Water, Compass, Flashlight (extra batteries) matches in a fireproof container, emergency shelter, extra clothing and rain gear, sunglasses and sunscreen.


and may I suggest a whistle, it could be a lifesaver in an emergency and the suggestion comes from a valuable authority. 

Wishing everyone a great and adventurous year.
 Safe Travels
🙏 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Upcoming Weekend Events 10, 9, 8, 7.........

Dec. 29 New Year's Eve Countdown Night 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Create free New Year's Eve crafts and look forward to the final night of the Franklin Square Holiday Festival. Free

Dec. 30 Clear Toy Candy Making Workshop at Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge with Ryan Berley of Shane Confectionery 2 p.m.  Tickets $15, Ages 7 and Up. Located at 41 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley, PA.

Dec. 30 - 31  St. Alban's Railroad model train display open to the public 1 - 4 p.m. at the basement of the thrift shop of St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 3625 Chapel Road in Newtown Square.

Dec. 31 New Year's Eve Fireworks Celebration at the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum Open 10 a.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 31 General Meade's Birthday Celebration at his final resting place Laurel Hill Cemetery at noon. A $5 donation is suggested, Parade with re-enactors, civilians and dignitaries from the civil war for a 21-gun salute and a champagne toast graveside, followed by a reception in the Cemetery Gatehouse.

Dec. 31 Penn's Landing Sugar House Casino on the Waterfront Early Fireworks 6 p.m. and another show at midnight.  

Dec. 31 Celebrate New Years Eve State and Jackson St. Music by "Philly Gumbo"  11 p.m. Ball Drop, Midnight.

Dec. 31 Betsy's Birthday Bash at the Betsy Ross House 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. celebrate the January 1, 1752 birth of America's mot famous Flag Maker with crafts, entertainment and at 1 p.m. cake courtesy of City Tavern. Free

Dec. 31 New Year's Eve craft making at 3 p.m., then stick around for the Square Drop from atop SquareBurger at 6 p.m. and view the SugarHouse New Year's Eve Fireworks from Franklin Square. After the drop thre is a Kid's Dance inside the Pavilion, the park remains open until 8 p.m. for the final Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show of 2017 presented by PECO.

Dec. 31 Blue Cross Riverrink Winterfest watch the SugarHouse New Year's Eve Fireworks. Check to see if spectator and or skater tickets are still available.



Plan Ahead:

Jan. 1 Philadelphia Mummers Parade 

Jan. 1 Mummers Fancy Brigade Fest and Finale 11:30 a.m. and  5:00 p.m. at the PA Convention Center.

Jan. 1 Swarthmore Recreation Association New Year's Day 5K Race. Registration starts at 9 a.m. at Swarthmore College's Lamb-Miller Field House. Race begins 10:30 a.m. Kids race starts at 11:30 a.m.

Jan. 5 First Friday Music Series Bickel Brothers at MAC 8 - 9:30 p.m. at the Media Arts Gallery 609-B W. State St. in Media.




Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Things That Come To An End

sentence

chapter

story

term

season

relationship

rainfall

cup of coffee

life

meal

anxiety

happiness

sadness

circle

cycle

list

year

At the End of the Day
everything is temporary,
it has a beginning and an end.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Upcoming Last Week of December 2017 Events

 🦅

Home Field Advantage

🎅
E A G L E S 


Check for Upcoming Times and Locations to Spot the Station Up in the Sky - Spot the International Space Station near Media, PA.

Dec. 26 - Jan. 1  Kwanzaa

Now Through the Dec. 31 Holiday Lights at Rose Tree Park 5:30 -9:30 p.m.

Dec. 27 DIY No-Sew Fleece Blanket Workshop 10:30 a.m. at Middletown Free Library. Call the library or register online to attend.

Dec. 28 Guide to Immigration Records Genealogy 10:30 a.m. at Middletown Free Library. Call the library or register online to attend.

Dec. 28  Philly Holiday Festival Happy, Happy, Hour at Liberte Lounge at Sofitel 5 - 7 p.m. located at 17th and Samson.
 

Dec. 28 Begins St. Alban's Railroad open house schedule for 2017 - 2018 located at St. Alban's Episcopal Church 3625 Chapel Road in Newtown Square.  7 - 10 p.m.


Dec. 29 Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Fantastic Beasts and How to identify Them (on the Refuge). Ranger led winter walk to identify signs of animals, explore pelts and make a craft. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Through Dec. 29 Mitten Tree Drive at the Delaware County Courthouse. Donate Mittens, Scarves, Hats and Winter Accessories, dropoff items to the first floor of the courthouse.

Dec. 30 Clear Toy Candy Making Workshop at Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge with Ryan Berley of Shane Confectionery 2 p.m.  Tickets $15, Ages 7 and Up. Located at 41 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley, PA.

Dec. 30 - 31  St. Alban's Railroad model train display open to the public 1 - 4 p.m. at the basement of the thrift shop of St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 3625 Chapel Road in Newtown Square.

Dec. 31 Celebrate New Years Eve State and Jackson St. Music by "Philly Gumbo"  11 p.m. Ball Drop, Midnight.

Dec. 31 Betsy's Birthday Bash at the Betsy Ross House 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. celebrate the January 1, 1752 birth of America's mot famous Flag Maker with crafts, entertainment and at 1 p.m. cake courtesy of City Tavern. Free

Plan Ahead:

Jan. 5 First Friday Music Series Bickel Brothers at MAC 8 - 9:30 p.m. at the Media Arts Gallery 609-B W. State St. in Media.






Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Collections

🌟

👼
 
Tree

Gifts

Bells 
 
China

Trains

Candles

Napkins

Wreaths 

Earrings

Fruit Cake 

Tablecloths

 Decorations

Bath Towels

Nativity Set
Indoor Lights

Christmas Tie

Christmas Pin 

Holiday Dress
Outdoor Lights

Kitchen Towels

Elf on the Shelf

Wrapping Paper 

Christmas Mugs

Christmas Apron

Christmas Cards

Lawn Ornaments

Santa Paws Prints
  
Christmas Pitcher

Christmas Pictures

Christmas Pajamas

Christmas Blankets
Christmas Stockings 

 Candle in the Window 

 Christmas Storybooks

Christmas Music CD's

Christmas Movie DVD's 

Christmas Pillow Covers 
 
Lighted Christmas Village Houses


Here's the list check it twice, I am sure I missed something.

Amazing how it has grown
from out of a manger.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thomas Leiper Historic Estate Colonial Christmas

In Case You Missed the 1785 Historic Thomas Leiper Open House



Beautifully decorated for the holiday by local garden clubs

NRHP, 1785 Historic Thomas Leiper

 Holiday Decorations

2017 Christmas Decorations by local garden clubs
 
Entry room - Country Gardeners (chairman - Pat Neff)

Music room - Springfield Garden Club (chairman - Trisha Lambert)

Dining room - Providence Garden Club (chairman - Minnie Ullman)

Child’s room - Rose Tree Garden Club (chairman - Gena Scanlan)
 
Middle bedroom - Twilight Thyme (chairman - Cathy Custer)
 
Master bedroom - Swarthmore Garden Club (chairman - Joan Apt)



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Top 10 on National Caroling Day

Always a debate, favorite holiday music, but its Christmas lets not fight, here are my favorites and I like most of yours too.

O Holy Night Jim Nabors

Go Tell It On the Mountain James Taylor

Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah Royal Choral Society

Carol of the Bells Mormon Tabernacle Choir

White Christmas Bing Crosby


Peace on Earth/ Little Drummer Boy Bing and Bowie The track was recorded on September 11, 1977.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Andrea Bocelli

Snoopy's Christmas vs. The Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen is a personal favorite that reminds me of the Christmas Truce during World War I, that happened in 1914.


Charlie Brown Christmas Dance Vince Guaraldi Trio

The Nutcracker Suite (Full Album) - Tchaikovsky no words but great music to tip top down the street to. I  have this CD and cannot find it and after enjoying the



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Christmas Chaos Crunch is Here, Practice Patience


On the First Day of Christmas
I had to find a smile



 Lots of traffic out there
maybe I can sit a while

Decorate a tree



Wrap the presents and save one for me 

Bake cookies and be super sweet



Run out of tape and not admit defeat
Replace those lights that refuse to lite



Finding the one not working is a useless fight
Make time for get togethers


Try not to ruffle feathers
Deal with the mall traffic

Figure out the perfect gift and be telepathic
Curb the credit card use


If driving, keep sober and stay off the juice

Remember the true meaning of the season,
that gets lost along the way.


Jesus was born on Christmas day.



Photograph taken of the display window at Deals in Media.

It really is the complete Christmas deal.



Monday, December 18, 2017

Upcoming Events Week of December 18

Dec. 19 Media Branch Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union at State and Olive Streets, Santa Paws Pet Pictures. 4 -7 p.m

Dec. 19 Swarthmore Public Library presents Rob Borgstrom reading A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote 2 p.m.

Dec. 19 Annual March of the Continental Army Commemoration 6 - 8 p.m. at Valley Forge National Park.

Dec. 19 Ridley Township Library Holiday Music Presentation 6:30 p.m. for children.

Dec. 20 ♫♬♫♬ National Caroling Day ♫♬♫♬ Sing Out Loud a recommend group activity but if you must go for the solo.

Dec. 20 - 22 Santa Village at Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union at State and Olive Streets.  4 - 7 p.m.

Dec. 20 Hanukkah ends

Dec. 21 Philly Holiday Festival Happy, Happy, Hour at Hard Rock Cafe 5 - 7 p.m. located at 12th and Market Street in Philadelphia.

Dec. 23  Santa Village at Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union at State and Olive Streets. Noon to 4 p.m.

Plan Ahead:

Dec. 25 Annual Christmas Day Crossing Reenactment of General George Washington crossing the Delaware. 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.  Free