21 June 2011

Second Week in June 2011

Monday it was back to the grind at work, and also I was 90% free of the soreness that came with the sandbagging over the weekend. During the day, I received an e-mail forwarded from VK, from her father, who saw the Yahoo news article on the sandbagging efforts on Saturday. It was kind of a nice moment to be recognized, even though it wasn't the point of it.

After work, VK and I met up and went to out to eat at That's Amore in Olde Towne Bellevue. Dinner was delicious and then we got a dessert pizza. We drove down to Haworth Park, which is crazy flooded, parking is restricted all the way down, they don't want anyone sightseeing. While I understand the need for safety, I think it's important for people to be able to see what is going on. After gawking, we went back to my place and walked around the neighborhood.

Early Tuesday morning I had an another epically cool dream. It was a murder mystery dream, the people in the dream existed today, but the murder mystery was a prohibition gangster setting. My father owned a bakery, and he was now dead. During the course of the dream, I found out that his bakery was a front for a distillery. There was a lot of role playing and investigating, and during the course of the dream, I decided that I didn't want to deal with doing something illegal, so I arranged through a trusted friend to sell the remaining liquor and was going to get rid of the equipment. My trusted friend and I packed up the remaining cases of booze in a truck, and we drove to meet with the bartender who was buying it. The money was exchanged ... AND my trusted friend pulled a gun and shot us both, taking the money and the booze. Sweet deal for him. Sweetly detailed dream, and the moral of the story is don't trust gangsters.

Tuesday after work Troy fired up the grill for the first time this year, and we had grilled sausages. I made sure I ate my veggies first, and then made sure I didn't eat too much because I did lawn work right after eating. Our string trimmer is stringless, it makes it hard to trim anything, that's for sure. I also helped Jenny with the plan for the camping trip weekend.

Wednesday after work I went shopping for the weekend camping trip. When I got home I was surprised to see Maggie pulling up behind me. It turns out that she was there for a dance lesson. I did some cooking and some cleaning. After the lesson was done and I'd finished with my chores, Maggie and I watched the first half of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark. It all started when I quoted the nazi about "what shall we talk about". I confused myself by mixing up Gandolf saying "Mellon" and Indy saying "Belloch".

Thursday after work, I decided to go to Kaleb's and play Dominant Species. It's a very strategic game, so I didn't win, although I think I did better than I expected.

Friday morning was the start of the annual camping trip. I had an early start (okay, 1000) planned and I was driving, and Anne was riding along. We planned on going to Yankton, SD, meeting Matt and Vivian at Gavins Point Dam, and then continuing on another 60 miles (25 of it flood detour) to Niobrara, NE and Niobrara State Park. I ended up being a few minutes late picking up Anne, but we hit the road and headed out of town. We made a stop at a Hy-Vee in Norfolk to pick up some ice and some raspberries, then drove up to Yankton. Yankton was very pretty, the streets were wide, and there were lots of outdoorsy things to do. We got our lunch at a Subway, filled the tank, and then received a well timed call from Matt and Vivian that they were already at the dam. We headed over to the dam where the road over the dam was closed. There was some confusion as to whether we were both on the on the South Dakota side or the Nebraska side. Finally we found each other. The amount of water coming out of the dam was awesome, according to some internet research (*cough cough*) the amount of water going over Niagra Falls is 64,500 cfs, the amount coming out of Gavins Point Dam while we were there was 150,000 cfs ... no wonder it was amazing.

Yep, that's a lot of water.

If we all look wet, it is because, well, we are.

I was surprised by the 'party' atmosphere there, I thought it would be more somber.
There were dozens of kids (and adults) playing chicken
with the water crashing up over the barrier.

After we left there Anne and I did a three stop excursion on our way out of South Dakota. We checked out the Ridgeline Drive west of town (my stop), pulled into Dam Fireworks (Anne's stop), and finally we stopped at my new favorite ice cream place in the whole world, The Dairy Dock. My medium sized, vanilla, butterscotch dipped cone was so big, that I could not finish it. Let me repeat, I could not finish my medium sized, vanilla, butterscotch dipped cone ... and the taste was fabulous. As it turned out, Matt and Vivian had just pulled out of the Dairy Dock as we pulled in, so they had about a 20 minute start on us as we headed to the state park. As it worked out, I had almost caught up to Matt and was about five minutes behind, the group that Jenny left got in about five minutes ahead of Matt, so we all arrived at about the same time.

The place was deserted, or at least there was no one there yet. The rules were first come, first served on the tent only camping areas, and we were first served. We drove around until we saw this ...

...yeah, that kind of view will do just fine. Photo credit: Matt

Jenny wasn't too sure still, and we all said "Look at the view!", we didn't convince her so we all said "It has a shelter!", it still didn't work, so we said "The bathroom is right there" pointing across the road. She still drove around the park to look at the other spots, but we had decided.

I went for a short sight seeing walk before ...

...I was called back for dinner. You don't have to tell me twice.

As the sun set, this was the view to the northeast.

The evening wore on, we sat around the fire, spotted a nearby deer (my camera balked at the idea of getting a picture), and talked into the late evening around the fire. Then bedtime in my 'camper'. Saturday morning I was up at 0700 and off in search of the shower. It seemed as though it was closer to Kansas City than our campsite, and it took quarters, but what are you going to do? I arrived back at the campsite in time for breakfast, it was going to be a busy day.

Jon and Jenny supervised Chris' pancake making skills. Photo credit: Matt

First up on the activities for the day, horseback riding. My horse was Woodrow.
It turned out I was a pretty experienced rider for our group. Photo credit: Vivian

After lunch we hiked over to the the Niobrara State Park Lewis and Clark Interpretive Dance Center.

Then down to the swollen river, this bridge was closed...

...HEY! I said the bridge was closed!

I walked in the other direction about a half mile until the trail succumbed to the river.
Yes, I walked out on the log.

In the afternoon, we went over to the pool.
Don't adjust your monitor, that's my skin. Photo credit: Matt

After the pool Anne, Stacy, and I drove in to Niobrara. We saw the house Stacy's mom grew up in, got ice, and saw the flooding in town.

At 1700, I was at Saint William for Mass. Yeah, that's a view.

I arrived back just in time for dinner. I could eat potatoes like this every day.

After dinner we went for a walk (about three miles), of course we didn't get lost ...
hey guys, where are we anyways?

We sat around the campfire, but it was probably only 2230 when I headed off to bed. I was so worn out by the entire day. Sunday morning I got up about 0700 again, only this time ...

... the sun was up.

I coughed really loudly, and Stacy and Anne appeared ready to get get a ride to the shower, it was like it was all prearranged or something. I finished up my shower long before they did, so I organized and repacked the car for heading home. We took one more photo op before we left.



Good bye Niobrara State Park.

We headed off and drove through Verdigre, the kolochi capital of the world. I had to sample some, of course. All of us, with the exception of Matt and Vivian met up in West Point to eat at Nebraska's only Pizza Ranch. We headed home from there and that was the trip. I dropped Anne off. I came home to discover no bedroom door. I started laundry and unpacking, and eventually took a short nap. It was another great adventure put together by Jenny. If you'd like to see all of my pictures, you can find them here, all of Matt's can be found here. I'm still waiting for Jenny, Anne, and Stacy to put their's up, hopefully that won't be too long.

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