Have you ever wondered….

what you would do if you lost your phone down a vault toilet. I did not neither did Roy. We did watch the retrieval process. It involved Duct tape. More on that later.


In the big cities of Alaska and the lower 48 there is a place called Wal-Mart. Trapper Creek Alaska has Wal-Mike’s an emporium of strange things for lack of a better description. Someone told me yesterday to not buy the Pepto Bismol it expired in 1986. Everything there was for sale. I think he would have sold his wife given half a chance. It was warm in the sun, so we didn’t stay long. Just long enough for me to take some photos. On the way out the driveway we spotted an old truck that was now home to some weeds and trees. So, I had to snap a photo or two that I will turn into black and white as that is what old truck pictures should be. It was a mostly clear sky, so we headed up to Denali.

the truck
stuff everywhere

Of course, you know we never take the direct path to anywhere. The detour involved the Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness lodge. The property was at the top of a winding road with great views. It looked like a planned senior community.

You’ve heard the saying about the weather around Denali wait five minutes and it will change. It sure did socked right in. The clouds were not moving. This all occurred during the 30-minute drive up to the viewpoint along with our side trip. Well, I wasn’t going to waste a trip to explore the Denali south viewpoint. We got my chair out I put on my hat and off I went. It was cloudy and even dark over the mountain, so I snapped a few pictures of the river below and set off on a mission.

There is a gravel trail that goes up to a higher viewpoint (I think).

sorta the summit

I did not make it to the top because higher up the path there was pea gravel that my chair hates. So, I had to settle for the first plateau that had a bench and a large rock. I stayed there for a while just thinking that wasn’t half bad taking the chair up a gravel curvy incline. It has taken all summer but, I can handle almost anything in it. I start my way down and realize that there is a hump in the middle of the path and if you get to the outside edge of the path the wheelchair kept wanting to head for the ditch. I experienced this firsthand as I moved over to let a group pass me. That was not one of my better thoughts. The quick thinking of that group saved me from falling off the cliff. I was able to get angled back to semi solid ground and finish heading down the hill. I have to say going downhill is a little harder than going uphill.

what 70% see

Back at the overlook I was still waiting for Denali to show and that was a no go. I asked someone to take my picture and then decided to head back to the car. This is where the duct tape comes in.

Over my shoulder I hear do you work here, you’re in a white truck. The two people did not but they asked what do you need. The daughter of the guy asking for help did it. She dropped her phone in no man’s land. Of course, we had to stay around and watch.

Truck guy said he had Duct tape and that they could wrap it around something lower that down and grab the phone. So, we watched as they wrapped the tape around a stick and disappeared into the bathroom only to return and get a larger stick prepared the same way. That did not work. Someone then brought a small empty box into the picture. I’m wondering what they were attempting. They decided to tape the box to the bottom of the stick that could reach the phone and scoop it into the box. Success! I will let you know that they did not want to try and use it they just need to get the sims card out of it.

I would have to say just leave it be. I will bet that the girl who dropped it will not bring her phone with her to the bathroom for a very long time.

It was a Bull. No, it was a Cow moose.

This is what happens when you have two different viewpoints, one from the driver side and the other from the passenger side. This occurred the other night as we were driving to see more eagles. Anyone who have heard our banter, can imagine the banter. I did however say don’t go back there will be others to photograph. Well, a u-turn was made, and we both realized that at the exact same time we both saw a moose. (Just of the opposite sex).

I cut out mom’s behind
first sight

How often does that happen when you are both right. As a bonus we were treated to twin baby moose, of course mamma tried to get in the way of my shot. During the u-turns and the banter I was not able to get a picture of the mom. (Unless a butt shot counts.) I do believe once mom felt our presence, she was eager to nudge her kids out of the way.

Almost saying no photos please.

moving along

There are some disadvantages from shooting from a car; no cross-yard pursuits. So where to next.

Remember though we did see the bull moose on the other side of the road. He was just standing there no care in the world. I’m thinking he was thinking they are too far away and can’t take my picture. (These paranoid thoughts are happening because lately every moose we see we can’t get a good photo of.) Back to the story. Roy sees a road where we can get closer, and I can use my camera from the car. After going down a near (dirt) road we cross the road that can get us close to the moose. I first try shooting with the 300mm close, but I think I can do better so, I brought out the big guns. Here are the photos side by. side. I did not realize the big difference until I saw the photos side by side.

300 mm lens
600 mm lens

I like both versions for different reasons the 300 mm lens gives you the look that everything is in focus. The 600 mm has you looking and concentrating only on the moose.

good grass

This moose was not photo shy, he was only concerned with the flavor of his grass. I took a few more photos than we had to leave. Our fish taco dinner had gotten rescheduled to the next night. Off to Homer. Roy had to find out if the restaurant where he was introduced to Bear Creek Winery Rhubarb Chardonnay still served it. I am getting ahead of myself.

view looking down on it

We did our normal pass throughs of the beaches in an off chance we would see eagles, because that is what this year seems to be focused on. No eagles tonight though. We get to Homer a little earlier than we wanted to. So, a trip to the harbor and checking for more eagles. No luck by the ferry terminal. We then find another road we had not travelled, (yes, we explored) a short trip around the small boat harbor.

Now to that restaurant and dinner. We had visited the ‘The Fat Olive’ on our last trip through Homer in 2017. The food was great, and Roy learned about edible flowers and wine. On this particular Sunday there were no edible flowers and no Bear Creek wine. What did happen was after dinner this group of three kids came over to our table 1 boy and 2 girls. The look on Roy’s face was quizzical because he was not sure what the shy boy was asking. The boy kept pointing to Roy’s nose and his oxygen, well the sister chimed in and asked Roy if they could lay hands on him and pray for healing. He agreed and it was just interesting to see the determination in the three kids when they were praying for him.

Where do you go from there? Home with leftovers and warm thoughts.

You can do it … FAMOUS last words

I was told when I got my chair DO NOT take it on gravel. OK I understand. Did you know there are different types of gravel? I did not. To me gravel is anything that had some sort of small rock. In my mind I was rolling over a bunch of gravel (actually I now know that was stone). So now you know what I was told, I now know why.

We decided to do the farmer’s market in Homer on Wednesday because it was in the afternoon and shorter then Saturday’s market. The parking lot is full of gravel the sinky kind. You know the stuff that is thick and heavy. We thought what a great way to get around the market use the scooter and chair. The thing is you have to get to the market first. We unload and put together both the scooter and my chair. We start out. I immediately get stuck. Not a problem I get up and try and move it after I put it in neutral. I got it free, sit down try again go a few feet, stuck again. Well now we have a crowd. So the next time I get stuck it isn’t freeing up. So we came up with a solution have the crowd of men carry it back to the car.

We did not get to the market because Roy also got bogged down. So I guess our fresh produce will have to come from SafeWay now.

So I learned a few things here.

  • Listen when the people who know say something.
  • When your gut says this is a bad idea.
  • People still are helpful.
  • If you do something embrassing do it where people will never see you again.
  • Make sure there are no photos (THERE ARE NONE)

In Search of

peek a boo
Look close

animals, birds and maybe a unicorn. Yes unicorns do exist, I have photographic prove but more on that later. After getting directions from a friend (thank you Stephanie) with the hope of seeing animals we were off early in the am headed toward Recreation Road north of Helena. The road runs along the Missouri River and I-15 and a train track. We saw one deer and a very cute squirrel even though he would not give me a good position to photograph I’m ok with it. I went to change my position and he was gone. Today was mainly focused on birds because we were near the water the whole way. The first group of birds we came across were white pelicans very plump white pelicans. They have plenty of food here. I took some time zooming in and out on this line of pelicans who were just hanging out.

just hanging out

We did pass a bar and quite a few fishing spots, it was in one of these I was able to get a few pictures of an osprey who was hunting down dinner. I am also learning how to make sure my camera settings match what I am trying to shoot. Sometimes I’m finding out you have to be ready for anything. Later in the day I was not prepared to shoot the golden eagle who appeared on scene when I was getting ready to shoot some rafters. So yes the golden eagle is still on my bucket list. One day I know it will happen. I am jumping way ahead so back to the osprey.

skimming the air

This pull out had 2 pelicans just hanging out so I thought you can’t have too many pelican photos. I was pleasantly surprised to see this osprey soaring and diving. I actually had to take the time to focus and realize what I was seeing. In my opinion the osprey always seems to have this determined look on their faces when they fly and hunt. It is also real calming for me to watch how graceful these birds are.

just watching

He finally flew down river and I was able to turn my direction back to the two pelicans.

on the move soon

They were just standing on two rocks chilling. In fact if you look closely you can see the osprey in front of the two pelicans. They were hanging around although starting to get upset with what was coming up the river.

noisy boat
more nerves

It just happened to be a boat with two fishermen in it. The boat did slow down so as not to totally scare them away.

here they come

bye bye

So after my subjects flew the coop we headed down the road to the Hardy bridge which is near the end of Recreation road. I did get out and take a few landscape pictures of the bridge just for practice.

Hardy Bridge

So after the bridge we turned around and head back home the same way we came. Why do we do this, because you never know what you will see. You might just see a unicorn. We pass an area where there are a bunch of rafts getting ready to launch down the river and there it was the unicorn. We had an advantage of no schedule so we could do a u-turn and park, wait and take pictures. This is exactly what I did. I set my camera for not involving fast action so I would be ready for pictures. The kicker to this one is this is when I saw the golden eagle and a bald eagle. I snapped away just hoping I might of caught one. (I just wasn’t fast enough to change settings).

I am sharing the pictures and letting them tell the story. The second group with the unicorn asked if I was with them I said no just stumbled on the craziness. Speaking of the craziness the water fight between two boats was hilarious.

My goal for this week before we leave is to bring a chair find a spot and hope to catch a golden eagle playing on the river. I did have fun capturing the unicorn though.

Stubborn Rabbit

I can and will explain but this is what led up to our encounter with said bunny. We are now in the cycle of getting up for morning photography that is hard (Roy is rubbing off on me). It is true they say good light happens in the morning. So the 28th I have it all planned get up early, head to the Coolidge Tower Fire Outlook, take some panoramas because the view is amazing. That was the plan. That is not how it happened.

Crazy Horse with haze

Hazy but There

I was woke up to my phone going off at 6:15 am glad I answered it because I am going to try an hour horseback ride. (Maybe improve the balance for a few hours. The balance has been a little off, and horse riding is good for that. ) Back to the story. I fall back to sleep, then we had a power blip a long beep woke me up. I just did not have the energy to get up and out early. I got bad light because of it. We got up to the outlook about 11 am the sky was hazy and the sun was harsh I did get a panoramic. I also was lucky enough to see Crazy Horse Monument head on and George Washington on Mount Rushmore. I did take a few photos but they did not turn out, just gave me inspiration to come back and try again. seeing this was a bust we went home to eat and head into Custer to use my hotspot. (internet not happening at the campground). Back to the campground to decide where we wanted to drive again couldn’t be too far because we had dinner at 7pm.

More Rocks

So we headed out to wildlife loop again with a twist. We stopped to take a picture of this rock formation because the light was perfect. We then hit another dirt road for me to take a landscape with clouds and rolling hills. I find out this is one of the roads that lead to Wind Cave. So Roy and I headed for adventure. (Roy and I were both looking for more adventure.) The fact that the roads start in Custer State Park and end right outside Custer State Park it was an easy decision to travel the V. Did I mention it was also a one lane road. Well the first thing we see are Prairie Dogs these critters are prolific and they have nothing on bunnies. More on the Prairie Dogs in a few paragraphs.

Narrow is an Understatement

So for this one lane road we are headed over ruts and stuff at a slow speed as to be able to see everything. I was able to catch out of the corner of my eye a pronghorn with her baby. They were definitely running from something and baby was trying to catch up I am mesmerized just watching how they slowed down and headed up the hill. Needless to say I did not take any photographs, we do have the crossing on dash cam though. We had one car pass us and then there was another car that decided to wait up at a turn out. This was a good thing because we ran across a stubborn bunny.

We start up towards the hill once we realize that we are going first, we see a bunny in the road. This bunny had a mind of its own and he was not budging. The rain that we had over the previous days left a water hole just perfect size for a rabbit. Picture this we slowly inch up on it until you can’t see it on dash cam thinking we get close enough that it will move. Wrong! So we inch in reverse the bunny is still there. We repeat the process again, same result. We even honk the horn the RABBIT did NOT even flinch. Roy then decides to creep up on it and have me open the door get out and chase him away. I took my camera with me got out and before I was around the front of the car it was gone. I will be sharing the dash cam of us going forward, backing up and repeating. So the guy on top of the hill started heading down and we met rolled down our windows and explained to the other guy it was the rabbit’s fault that we were not coming up the road.

The rest of the road was narrow even for a single lane had a few steep areas to it. In one place we drove up the hill and the road just disappeared over the crest. My only thought her was please no buffalo on the road at the top. There wasn’t thankfully. Although we did see a few down the road. Now for those prairie dogs. We are ending the adventure and we see hundreds of prairie dog holes on both sides of the road and even on the road. This critters were everywhere including running up down across the road. I know I will be back to photograph them. So the off road adventure had a stubborn rabbit in the middle of it all.

When You are Glad Roy

Doesn’t have a camera close by. Yes it is true I do goofy stuff. So I admit it. This trip has been filled with some of those times here are a few. I want a picture of the full moon rising over Mount Rushmore. Metal rails make good horses. Roy is definitely not a princess. Rocks are animals in hiding. Knowing I don’t have everything but me thinking I do.

  • Roy is not a Princess now please remember this is my story. I was running out of logical places to put things on this trip, so where do you store something flat under the mattress. This was a good place because I wasn’t going to be making the bed until we got to where we were going anyway. Well Roy has a three legged seat cane he uses sometimes, I know he needs it so under the mattress it went. I forgot about it and he wanted to use it, I then proceeded to basically tear the trailer and car apart looking for it, because I knew it was here. This is where Roy Not being a Princess comes in,,, Only a Princess could feel a pea under so many mattresses, why couldn’t Roy feel the cane. If he only had a camera to see me racking my brain.
  • Rocks are animals in hiding. The camera that would have been needed here would be for my face the look of I’m sure it was. I am amazed at how many things rocks especially look like animals. This does though mainly happen when I’m almost asleep so my defense is not paying attention.
  • For some reason I insisted that the full moon could rise over Mount Rushmore, (it can if I make up a picture) I just could not get it into my head the direction relation. Camera was needed here because of the light bulb that went on when I grasped it.
  • Knowing I don’t have everything and thinking I do. I do not know why but this caught him laughing hysterically. I have to say he did though plant the seed in my brain. It was during one of the night shoots, I was almost done and he asks “Am I going to leave my tripod there?” I say no . So I put everything away get in the car buckle up and say let’s go. He then replies so you really are going to leave the tripod there. I say no and promptly retrieve it. I say it was power of suggestion I was going to leave it so I tried.

The one that is the main reason I am glad no camera is me attempting to ride a metal rail. I was just being me. I do not know what came over me except my inner child. I had just finished shooting some long horn sheep after gracefully get out of the car for this one. (good day for balance) I successfully got some pictures, then I attempt to step over a guard rail not so gravefully. I get one leg over and mind goes blank on what to do next. So I improvise; I start riding it like a pony and getting into it. That was until this women asks if I was stuck. My answer nope just riding my horse. She proceeded to lose it in laughter. At least my being sorta stuck made her day. I did eventually did get the courage and skill to get my leg over. Roy and a stranger got a good laugh out of it. I do so enjoy making Roy smile all the while being able to say ‘It wasn’t me.’ No photographic proof I can deny it then.

Too Funny NOT to Share

When I start out a post like this you do know it involves Roy in some way. You guessed correctly. He needed the sink to do something. Easy right wrong, I have a tub of dishes in the sink. (using the pump and limited water I don’t do dishes every day).

Here’s the back and forth that went on.

Roy “Take the dishes out of the sink.”

I then go and start clearing an area to put the dishes on. I ask “you want to use the tub?”

Roy “No, just take the dishes tub”

For some strange reason, I was not grasping he did not want to use the tub but, he did want to use the sink. This went on for about five minutes. I finally picked up the whole tub dishes and all. With a chuckle and a roll of his eyes he said “YES now you got it.”

In his defense he thought I was talking about clearing out the water and tea we were storing in the bathroom sink. That’s his story.

It is funny how people ok I mean ME. There are just times I think Roy is speaking Greek. I think it’s a guy thing. 🙂

A short post to make you smile.

We found Beaver

So today was day two, 6/6/21. We are enjoying cool breezes and open windows, the last two days were brutal in the heat department. Over 100 degrees, Beaver Utah is about 80 and the nice part of this is it should get a tad cooler. Every trip requires a mascot and ours is (wood) Chuck a stuffed Beaver. I will be posting his photo bombs in the future.

The drive up today was interesting, a lot of traffic going from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Utah. Las Vegas is open for business, full capacity the employees were fully masked but the crowds were about 1/3 masked. The place itself was also extremely busy. We were able to have dinner at the Angry Butcher with a friend.

So far not many wild animals, did see some wild horses and a few ravens just above St. George Utah. The ravens were just dotting the skies. The landscapes though have become covered with solar panels which to the naked eye look like lakes. The night sky is dark which is amazing to be away from light pollution.

On a side note we (Roy and I) are still doing daily short video clips on every subject. At the rally in October we will show the DVD.

Joy at the Mailbox

Yes, it can happen.   Mine, however, was short lived. No it wasn’t a tax refund, a PCH prize notification, or even an Amazon package, I see the envelope Jury Summons, my mind starts to race. Roy might get his wish, he got called. This is a man who has always wanted to be seated on a jury.  He has come close twice.  I’m getting happy and excited, then I see the name. Darcy Quimby, my mind shouted THIS IS INSANE! I will explain. I understand that serving on a jury is my civic duty. I would love too. The state of California says I can’t have a driver license because I can’t see or stay awake. (They do not live in Palm Desert, you know how many people can’t do this but still drive?) They will try and put me in charge of someone’s fate.

I can see this happening in my near future; I am sitting behind bars, I get asked why are you in here. Well here’s the short story. I get a jury summons, I get seated, I fall asleep.

I think if I did fall asleep it would be ok, until I argue with the judge that I was not sleeping. I do that sometimes when Roy is talking and I fall asleep. I do know that I will probably get medically excused, it just struck me as funny.

This is a short post I just thought I would share the insanity. I hope to bring you more snippets of life with MS this year. I am also getting ready to embark on at least two months of summer travel and wildlife pictures. We have reservations for Custer State Park in South Dakota. This year I promise not to be so scared of the burros.