I wonder how much greenhouse gas this guy emits in a day!!??  With the record snowfall in the Rockies this year, waterfalls seem to be flowing just about everywhere…

And enjoy the wildlife that call these lowlands their home…

   Wildlife And Nightlife                                                       July 5, 2008

I hadn’t noticed this before but Mike looks like a young version of Newt Gingrich; and he doesn’t even mind if you hang onto his head for balance while bouncing across the waves!  Another benefit of being in this part of the world is how near we find ourselves to South Bend and Notre Dame University…

We came upon this group of ATV’ers on Engineer Pass.  They had broken an A-arm on one of their quads and were a bit shy of the necessary parts to repair it.  We, fortunately, ascribe to the Rube Goldberg philosophy of auto repair (“You can fix anything with enough duct tape”) and were able to provide them with the tape and wire ties they needed to get safely back to civilization  (check out the “repair” job in the lower-right pic).  Spring is also the time when many local ranchers round up their cattle for movement to greener pastureland…

And wildflowers can be found at every elevation…

Taking a picture of a cornfield is not as easy as one would think.  The depression in the middle of this shot along with the yellowed plants represents the area of this particular field which was once underwater and will not produce a crop this year.  The water is still overflowing the banks of the river and many of the farms can only be recognized by rooftops visible above the water line.  We now find ourselves on the shores of Lake Manitou in Rochester, Indiana, enjoying the hospitality of our brother Elks…

This place is nothing like Berkeley or San Francisco, California!  As we conclude this month’s assault on your senses, we’d like to wish you all a belated “HAPPY 4TH OF JULY”!!

With all of the so-called “global warming” going on right now, you will occasionally find a cow that has taken precautions to keep from freezing to death…

Throughout our travels of the past 8 ½ years we have developed an expansive list of “favorite” places to be at various times of the year.  Foremost on this list is the Rocky Mountains in springtime.  The divergence of scenery from one altitude to another as you make your way into the mountains is without parallel anywhere in the “lower 48.”  Here you can drive through a lush meadow in the morning…

As well as folks who are only too happy to take a couple of wayfarers out for an afternoon on the lake…

In addition to a terrific lodge on the lake, there is also a boat dock available to the membership…

And encounter the “wildlife” who inhabit the alpine region above timberline…

One of the most disheartening things that can happen to any guy in an “extreme” Jeep is to spend the day winching over rocks, navigating though downed trees and plowing through hip deep mud and snow to get to the top of a mountain, only to find some guy in a station wagon, drinking a latte, already there to greet you…

Afterward, we returned to the home of our friends Arty and Mary Francis for a few margaritas.  Arty is the chief flunky at Coyote Creek Concerts (he calls himself a “Promoter”) and bears full responsibility for luring Mark off a warm beach in Mexico and into the Colorado wilderness.  Arty has been trying for years to convince Mary Francis that he would look better with “Asian eyes” but she has yet to agree to the surgery, and so Arty has been relegated to squinting a lot to achieve the desired effect…

Rien (pronounced “Ryan”) is the fellow with the self-inflicted bunny-ears and is singlehandedly responsible for destroying the “Rocky Mountain high” I usually get after successfully traversing one of these nightmarish trails.  I really detest station wagons…and latte!!  Our mountain adventure was greatly enhanced this year through our attendance at a concert in Elizabeth, Colorado, featuring our old buddy from Mexico, Mark “Stinky” Mulligan…

After spending an obscene amount of money in the bookstore buying “Fighting Irish” t-shirts and stick-on shamrock tattoos, we spent the rest of the day wandering about the campus chanting, “RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!”…    Small town America is another of the things we really enjoy about our chosen lifestyle.  Independence Day in a small town is an especially patriotic experience as the people have absolutely no timidity in organizing and participating in parades to honor our country, flag and veterans…

Heading eastward out of Colorado, we crossed the plains of Kansas and Illinois through thousands of acres of corn destroyed by the recent flooding along the Mississippi River…

We are going to mosey on out of here in the morning in the direction of Ohio, Pennsylvania and points north.  See y’all next time!  Hugs!  Chuck and Kalyn

And later in the day, drive over nearly impassable roads…