Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A river runs through it

Last week in St. Louis, the Meramec River flooded from all the rain that had fell on southern Missouri the week before. Near where I work, the Meramec makes a bend in Fenton, here are some pics from the area. This area is where Anheuser Bush has a conference Center and Soccer Park. The road at the end is Vemell Rd. and is used by east bound traffic to get to the north side of I-44. Now they have to go further east on 44 to do it.

More are available here Flood pics at Flickr.

IMG_0029IMG_0027IMG_0050IMG_0014Flooded Road SignIMG_0084Eastern Planes Garder SnakeIMG_0066IMG_0072IMG_0190

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Goronwy Owen and Virginia

We recently took a trip out to Lawrenceville, Virginia to see where Martha's nine times great grandfather lived in the mid-seventeen hundreds. Goronwy Owen was an interesting person. He was born in 1723 in Wales, and died in 1769 in Lawrenceville Virginia. He is a famous Welsh poet of his time, apparently known for reviving a form of Welsh poetry that is quit difficult to pen. He made his way to Virginia when he was appointed rector of the St. Andrews Episcopal Church in 1760. He also served as Master of the Grammar School at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Martha and I flew off to Richmond, VA. on Saturday, March 1st. Once there, we rented a car and drove down to Lawerenceville. Once there, we checked into the Three Angels Inn B&B. That was a very nice B&B, and the owners knew a lot about its history.

Martha had contacted the current rector, and he arranged for Wayne Gilley to take us out to Goronwy Owen's house. He picked us up at the B&B and after switching vehicles at his house and picked up his wife Shirley. Shortly from there we arrived the house. From what Wayne and Shirley had heard, the house had not been lived in for almost 100 years. After looking around the house we headed into the woods and found his grave near his barn.
house and road leading to it 02house interior 02house exterior 12house exterior 06house crawlspace 05goronwy owen househouse and road leading to it 01gravesite 01martha at grave 02barn and grave 01barn detail 01old barn 01

On Sunday we got up and took a walk around in the field behind the B&B. Along the way we made friends with horse. We also found this rusting out International truck. It has been sitting there long enough for a tree to grow between the front fender and the bumper, and another tree to grow right behind it, such that you would have to cut one or both down to get it out. Googling it, it appears to be from 1948ish.
goronwy owen cross in churchyard 03

After breakfast, went to the Sunday service at St. Andrews.

st andrews interior evening 02st andrews 04st Andrews with cross 02goronwy owen cross detail 04goronwy owen cross detail 01

After church,we hit the road and were off to Williamsburg.

On Monday, We drove out to Yorktown and took in the battle sites.
After that, we drove back to Williamsburg and toured its historic area and had lunch there.
bruton parish episcopal church est 1715 williamsburg 02

campus entrance

wren building

We then walked to the college campus to find a plaque that had been erected to Goronwy Owen. It was spring break so we had the campus to ourselves practically. We wandered around a lot of buildings. I even talked to someone at undergrad enrollment, and she directed us to the oldest building.

wren building grammar school room 02

This is the building he would have been teaching at, but alas, no plaque there. We did bump into another person and she was very apologetic about not knowing where the plaque was, but directed us to the library.
library with plaque location marked
Once there, I asked the librarian and she immediately knew where it was, and sent us up to see it.
goronwy owen plaque in swem library 3rd fl poets corner 03
Next to it is a set of shelves dedicated to him and houses all kinds of poetry from many authors.
swem library poets cornerowen poetry collection detail

On Tuesday, we headed up to the Airport. Our flight got delayed do to the massive snow happening in St. Louis, MO. It kept getting delayed until about 5pm, when they just cancelled it. Boo! (First time that has happened to me) So several of the passengers and us called the Days Inn. They didn't really have shuttle service, but one of the employees came over with his van and picked us up. This was a rather sad Motel. Its an old one with all the doors facing the road. I called my boss to let him know I was not coming in the next day, and then we went off to dinner. It rained like crazy that night.

In the morning, we got up, since they don't really have shuttle service, we had to get a taxi. Luckily, the weather had all passed and we managed to make it home.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Skiing 2008

Another year, another great vacation in the mountains.
PhoenixHangingOutInKCThis year started off with an unexpected passenger, Phoenix the Dog. She is being transported to her new mommy in California. She went across the state with Rachel and I, the first leg of her trek.
Once we got to KC, we stayed overnight at George and Julies. Saturday morning, we all piled into the truck and headed to Colorado. I drove the the whole way out, while George and Julie kept Phoenix company in the back seat.
Upon reaching Denver, we dropped Phoenix off with the next person. For the entire time we had her, she was great. Fun and happy when out of the vehicle, and very calm in it.
The drive from Denver to Silverthone was fun because it was snowing. Slow going got us there.
We had planned eat at our favorite pizza place, but it was no more, so after driving around for a while, we gave up and went to "Old Chicago".

View From The CondoP2270045

For our first day, Sunday, we went to Loveland. We started off on a the bunny slope to get our ski legs back. After a couple quick runs we were off to slopes. There was a lot of new snow. Ah the powder, well actually, the powder kinda sucked, as none of us had really skied on powder, so we (I mean George and I), had some difficulties. (Some may say maybe it was the skier that sucked rather than the powder, but I beg to differ ;) Once we where back on groomed, or pre-skied snow, we where doing great. George had some issues with his boots, so that evening we went and replaced them.

With new boots in hand, George was skiing up a storm on Monday. After making breakfast at the condo, we went to Copper Mountain.

Copper MountainRachel had to sit today out do to migraines. She just can't catch a break. She stayed at the ski lodge and we swung by several times to check on her.

BadWeatherWhileDriving 02

George And The Trees
The snow is flying on our drive.

This was a good day of skiing. This year I brought my hand held GPS and had it attached to my right forearm so I was able to create track logs for all of our runs. Also, I was able to tell how fast we were going. It was amazing that when it felt like I was barely moving, I was cruising at 7-10mph, and when I really opened it up, I was normally doing about 25mph. Only once did George and I hit 30mph.

George and Julie on the Lift
For Tuesday, we made breakfast again, and then headed back to Copper. It was another beautiful day for skiing. Helped Rachel get the hang of cutting. As the day went on, she managed to earn her nickname 'Speed Demon'. She managed to get herself pointed straight down the mountain. Once George and I noticed she wasn't slowing down, we bolted after her. According to the GPS, she was screaming along at 25mph. Luckily, she finally just sat down and came to a stop without injury.

Jule Rachel and George resting between runs
Julie, Rachel and George resting between runs
During all of our escapades over the three days, Julie managed to stay upright the entire time. She gets the 'No Falls' award for the year.

Wind Farm In Kansas 07

The drive home Wednesday was uneventful, but long. About 11 hours back to Kansas City, then another 3 back to St. Louis. In Kansas, there is a big wind farm outside of Salina. That was a beautiful sight to see. Which reminds me, that on all the Copper Mountain Ski lifts there was a sign stating that all of the lifts are powered by wind farms.

Wind Farm In Kansas 01Sun Through the Trees

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Phoenix the Rescue dog

Originally uploaded by FotoMeister
This is Phoenix, she is a rescue dog that needed to go from St. Louis, MO. to San Diego, CA.
For the first Leg, Rachel and I drove her across Missouri.
Once there, we piled into George's truck and headed across Kansas to Aurora, CO.
We were kind of packed in there all the way across the state.
She was the nicest dog.