Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Amazing Woman on the Flying Trapeze

Update for Sunday, February 19, 2012

This afternoon we walked around the park. It's fun to see the different people, their unique camping setups and what not.

An Unusual Rig...
We saw a fellow with a neat setup.  The car is a Japanese Kei van.  I have never seen one.  It is a left hand drive.  I don't know if the sign in the back window is required for left hand drives in the US.  He is from Canada, touring the US.

Later, we came upon a couple on bicycles stopped on the side of the road. They appeared to be discussing something. I asked if they had questions about riding in the park. They replied that all was fine. We started visiting with Alisha and Ludwig. After a few minutes Alisha mentioned something about the circus and the trapeze.

WAIT - Hold on. What did you say? Circus?? - Trapeze??

Come to find out, they are trapeze enthusiasts. They travel around in their motorhome with a collapsible trapeze apparatus. How neat is that?

Alisha is also a tight wire (tight rope) walker. They have a portable setup for that too.

They offered to get out their equipment and give us a demonstration. Who were we to refuse??

I got to help erect the apparatus. Hopefully, I was more help than hindrance.

Here it is going up:

We learned that besides "flying" trapeze which is when one person swings and another flies through the air, there is "static" trapeze. This is when a performer does a solo routine.

Also, have you seen the silk acrobats on Cirque du Soleil? You know, it's usually women doing beautiful gymnastic moves on a trapeze using huge silk ribbons rather than ropes.  Well, Alisha does that too.

Once the gear was in place she gave us a demonstration:

Wow!  I got sore just watching.  On a side note, Alisha is over 50 years old!

Ludwig is more the engineer and builder than acrobat:

In all fairness, Ludwig was a flying trapeze performer years ago.

Alisha showed off her tight wire prowess:

After a short time she was exhausted. I understand. Seeing it up close gave us a new appreciation for the talent and physical conditioning aerial work requires.

Here's an interesting note. Alisha shared that the aerialists we see on TV or stage are fooling us. When they stop, wave and smile, they are not taking time to appreciate our attention, they are resting!! My bubble was burst.

Alisha and Ludwig are not professional aerialists. They are active with the Imperial Flyers, an amateur aerialist club in Denver, Colorado.

Uh Oh...
Later, when we returned to our camper we saw a small motorhome on the side of the road. There were four orange cones behind it to alert traffic. Uh-Oh. Someone is having mechanical problems.

Sure enough, come to find out, when the owner was leaving her campsite early this afternoon she had gone only a short distance when she heard a horrible squeal from the engine. It quit running.

She started it again and got the same squeal.

Passersby told her it sounded like she lost her oil pump and she may have been spinning bearings. Ouch!

She was pretty upset while she was trying to get a towing company to come get her rig. After literally hours to no avail with her Road Side Service (Road Side No-Service???) she decided to leave it in the park and pursue getting it towed tomorrow.

Louis, the on-duty Ranger, and I helped back the rig into a nearby slot so as to be safe and no-longer a road hazard. I hope things are not too bad for her.

Can We Get a Rain Check On That?
Fellow Park Hosts Rich and Pat  invited us over to cook out this evening. We asked for a rain check until Wednesday.

Pat is training to become a docent at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. They invited us on a tour so she can practice her newly gained expertise. We gratefully accepted to go on Wednesday, followed by our rain check for dinner.

The Rest Of The Evening...
I grilled hamburger steaks for dinner. We had some ground sausage that needed to be eaten. I mixed it into the hamburger. Yum - Yum. That was soooo much better than the fish last night!!

Robin, as usual, did a great job on the brussels sprouts.

We are so stuffed we are tempted to do our Templeton act by rolling on the floor with our feet in the air.  That would be quite a site given our small space!!

Robin watched her favorite program "Once Upon A Time" while I worked on the blog.

Robin and I were talking this evening about all the amazing things we are seeing and experiencing. We learn so much when we step outside our comfort zone, ask a few questions and break the ice with strangers. It all contributes so much to the life we live while "Chasin' Our Dreams!"

It's Cool to be a Veteran!

Activities for Saturday, February 18, 2012
We had quite a bit of rain overnight. Somewhere around an inch. Per a lesson learned in an older post, I unplugged us from the pedestal when we started hearing thunder. Worked great. No problems with lightning!

This morning we went to the falls to see how they looked. Not a flood but there was pretty good flow.

The Jedi kids were out training while it was raining. We drove by and there must have been 30 kids outside the dining hall, all mock battling with their light sabers. Looked like they were having fun. The rain had not dampened their spirits. The Force was with them.

I was going to take a picture but our 12+ year old camera is not waterproof.

Got the laundry done! Always feels good to get back into clean clothes.  Robin can't wait to have her washer and dryer back in the motorhome.

While waiting for the clothes I set up our cell phone to work with our hands-off system in the truck. That is neat. It knows when the cell phone enters the truck and it gets itself ready to communicate. We can have it dial any number via voice commands. The conversation is heard over the stereo system.

I can see how this is much safer than dealing with the physical phone while driving. Also, with it havng a cab microphone and using the speakers, Robin and I can both participate in calls.

We almost always share calls so if you ever phone us, be careful what you say about Robin...

It is so easy and fun to call everyone. Our friends and family will be putting our number on their blocked list so we won't drive them crazy. Although, with the cost of diesel fuel going up, we may have to make shorter calls.

We visited with Robin's parents, Richard and Norma, who we spent so much time with in North Carolina. We always have a ball talking with them.

Bringing the Motorhome to Texas...
I am flying to Southbend, IN next week to get the motorhome and bring it back to Texas. Richard and Norma are heading to Indiana at the same time for a brief visit and to check on Louis, Richard's brother who broke his hip.

Our daughters, Michelle and Jessica, are going to meet all of us in Muncie for an evening of food and fun. I sure wish Robin was going but we decided that she will stay here so our commitment to the park will not be broken.

We also called my sister, Demity, in Cody, Wyoming. We look forward to our calls with her. We are anxious to get back up there in June. BTW – if you have visited the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Demity works there. Pretty neat, huh!

Laundry complete, we went to REI to look at some rain pants. We have good rain coats. I have been interested in rain pants for some time. I think it would be fun to be able to weather any storm. We sure enjoyed our hikes in the rain in Georgia. We stayed dry from our waists up!

We did not buy any pants but we are better educated in case we decide to take the plunge.

Our friends, Kristine and Bob, met us for lunch at Marie Callendar's.

We had never eaten a meal there. The food was pretty good. The pies looked great. I was proud of us for resisting the temptation.

We recently decided to change our eating regimen to as low carbohydrate consumption as we can. We got serious beginning February 1. So far, we are both seeing positive results. We have a ways to go but we are happy with what we see.

Proud to have served...
A really neat thing happened when we were leaving the restaurant.

Bob was wearing his Vietnam Veterans cap. You've all seen them.

A guy walked up, grabbed his hand and said "Thanks for serving."
He asked if I am a vet, to which I replied "Oh, yeah!"
He grabbed my hand and offered his thanks to me, too.  He said he served there himself.

I was taken a bit back with his abrupt and forceful approach but it sure felt good.  Kristine said this happens all the time when Bob wears the cap.

Later I saw something on TV about our modern-day Vets and it got me to thinking.

I am so touched by how the country now reveres our soldiers past and present. It heartens me to see them being appreciated and their war-related issues being taken so positively and seriously.

I did not go to Vietnam. I enlisted in the Marines in 1972.  I knew many men who did go. Robin had a friend who lost both his legs from a land mine.

I cannot begin to imagine how it felt to go to war, suffer horrendous physical and mental injuries, and then return to your homeland and be hated. To be a pariah in the country that you offered your life for...

I remember walking through the airport in Denver in uniform. Someone shouted "Baby Killer!" and spit at me. I did not assault them, but I was sure tempted. I hope they eventually matured and repented.

Nowadays it is wonderful to be a Veteran.

Thank you America for thanking us!!!

Other Stuff...
We received a shipment from our mail forwarding service in South Dakota. We have all our income tax forms now. I worked on our return this evening. Looks like we will be getting a refund. With us retiring this year, I was not quite sure what to expect. Refund = Fuel = Good!

We bought some fish fillets. I've never heard of Swai??? Sounds like Kwai.

My first foray into fish did not go well. It tasted pretty bad. Thankfully, Robin's stir-fried collard greens with garlic and bacon were a huge hit! Yummm.

Strange thing about that Swai/Kwai stuff. I had a curious reaction; felt like whistling and building a bridge.

The rest of the evening was spent watching TV and relaxing. Cannot wait to be doing it in our motorhome where we will have 350 square feet rather than our current 85.  It will feel positively HUGE!

Folks are wondering what we plan for the camper after getting the motorhome back.

For the present we are keeping everything. The motorhome will be moved infrequently. The camper will be our exploring rig  (Alaska???). The camper provides us way more flexibility for travel than the bigger motorhome.

Between the two we have no barriers to us "Chasin' Our Dreams!"