Because I love to hike, I am always interested when I see something about a trail I’ve never been on. I can’t say that I’ve hiked an extensive number of trails, but most trails interest me anyway. Sometimes it’s just the area of the country, and my imagination kicking into high gear.
The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the Western United States, located between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin, with most of it located in the state of California, although the Carson Range spur lies primarily in Nevada. The Sierra Nevada is part of the American Cordillera, an almost continuous chain of mountain ranges that forms the western “backbone” of the Americas. There are literally miles and miles of trails leading to such famous places as Yosemite Valley, King’s Canyon, and Sequoia. Yosemite is the most famous one, and probably the one I would most like to hike. Pictures of the falls often grace the internet as people love the challenge of the hike to Yosemite Falls.
The Sierra Nevada runs 400 miles north-south and approximately 70 miles east–west. Besides the mountain tops, waterfalls, trails, and rivers, the area also boasts the largest tree in the world by volume, known as General Sherman; Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America; Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet the highest point in the contiguous United States; and of course, Yosemite Valley sculpted by glaciers from one-hundred-million-year-old granite, containing high waterfalls. The 28,000 square mile mountain range is home to three national parks, twenty wilderness areas, and two national monuments. These areas include Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Devil’s Postpile National Monument. Many of these places are not accessible by roads, although many are. Still from a hiker’s standpoint, these places are much more interesting if they are approached by trail.
During the years when people headed west to look for gold, the Sierra Nevada was often the destination of choice. Nevertheless, at that time, traveling across the wild west was very dangerous. Many rich travelers had to hire armed men to protect them on dangerous routes. Thankfully that is not the case today, although, there could be times when we feel the need for armed guards. Nevertheless, I have found that on most trails, people
are friendly and kind. Of course, there are always the wild animals, which I have never come across on a trail…perhaps strangely, but true, nevertheless. The biggest “problem animal” I have ever come across was a few cows, who decided that they didn’t want to get off the trail for these strange creatures to pass them. I finally had to slap my hands together, after which, they decided that I was the dangerous one, and they left. One of these days, maybe I will have the opportunity to hike up to Yosemite Falls. I think I would really enjoy it.
As America grew, towns popped up in many places, only to dwindle into ghost towns when the expected industry that motivated their beginning, fell through. Lost Cove was one such town. Established just before the Civil War, it was once a thriving agricultural community, but then in the early 20th century, logging replaced farming, and the railroad brought workers. Somehow in the shuffle of changes, Lost Cove found itself off the beaten path, almost hidden in the forest, with no electricity or running water. The little town had to figure out something new, and so, because of the remoteness and because the town lay on the North Carolina/Tennessee border, an equally thriving moonshine industry was born.
Many people might think that the moonshine industry was all due to prohibition, and that is largely true, but while bootlegging was a crime of opportunity, it was also quite likely to be a crime of necessity. Still, while moonshine could provide a living for the residents, it would never be able to sustain a whole ton for very long. Eventually, the residents of Lost Cove began to move away to laces where they could make a living. The town, now empty, seen fell into disrepair. These days Lost Cove is a graveyard of abandoned homes and crumbling gravestones. Because Lost Cove was on the border, either state could have agreed on jurisdiction to collect tax revenues, but both declined to, thereby creating a haven for bootlegging.
Even with the logging business doing well, the timber eventually thinned and the railroad service that brought passenger trains through the area stopped. With that, the Lost Cove residents became even more isolated. The nearest stores were eight miles away, and they would have to walk for basic supplies, mostly because they didn’t have money for any other form of transportation. Soon the infrastructure deteriorated too, and the rough or non-existent roads led to even more shortages. In the end, here was nothing left, but to leave. The last known resident left in 1957. Sadly, in 2007, a fire destroyed most of what still stood in Lost Cove. All that is left now is a few structures, memories, and the history of the area, only seen by the occasional hiker, using trails that remain the only route of access.
My husband, Bob Schulenberg and I love to hike the Black Hills, and with Independence Day and Bob’s birthday on July 10th, it is always a perfect time for us to go and spend a week in one of the places we love the most. We aren’t always able to hike our favorite trail, up to Harney Peak (now called Black Elk Peak), because sometimes, one or the other of us isn’t in shape for it. We always miss that hike when we are unable to go there and look forward to getting “back in the saddle” again, so to speak. It’s not that we ride the trails on horseback, but it might be one way to get up there in a pinch. I think I might have to consider that option, if it is too many years before we can get back up there.
After being together for more than 48 years, married for just over 47 years, we are comfortable in our life. We are one of the forever marriages, and that means that we must like doing many of the same things. It stands to reason, and we find ourselves thinking and acting alike. The same activities are fun for both of us, and yes…we can finish each other’s sentences. It is almost impossible not to. That’s what long term married couples do. They just know each other, and how their mate would react to things. That is the case with my husband and me. We are soulmates, and that is perfectly ok with us.
Bob spends much of his free time working on vehicles, for us and his friends. Thats a good thing, because he would probably go just a little crazy without his favorite pastime to keep him busy. Bob loves working on cars, and he is very good at it. He has a knack for finding out what is wrong with a vehicle and then fixing it. What would drive someone else crazy, keeps his mind sharp and on track. Mechanics is like a puzzle for him. Every piece has its proper place and finding that proper place is his passion…and the people whose vehicles he works on, reap the benefits. And they consider themselves blessed. Today is Bob’s birthday. Happy birthday Bob!! You are the love of my life, and I am so blessed to be your wife. Have a great day!! We love you!!
My husband, Bob Schulenberg is a hard working man. He is retired, but he never slows down. Bob is an excellent mechanic. He works on the vehicle of friends and family, most of whom count on him to keep them going down the road, going to their jobs, and their other daily activities. Mechanics has always been Bob’s niche. Mechanics just clicks in his head making Bob a great mechanic. He comes from a long line of mechanics too. Plus, with a brother, friends, and nephews who are mechanics too, he always has someone he can call when a job requires more than two hands. Of course, there are times when there is no one else to call to help, and it is then that I become a mechanics helper too. It’s funny, because I am not mechanically inclined…not really. I can follow instructions, so I can help and over the years, I have learned a thing or two about mechanics. I guess that there is something to be said for being married to a mechanic for 45 years.
Bob and I have taken up the hobby of hiking over the past 25 years too, really getting started right after our youngest daughter, Amy’s marriage to her husband, Travis Royce. I must say that our first hike was…interesting!! Leave it to us to choose a trail that is 6.4 miles with an elevation gain of 1,499 feet. Now the trail was listed as moderate, but I’m not so sure it’s not more like strenuous. At least it felt like strenuous the next day, when we made the necessary decision to lay around the cabin we were staying in, putting lots of Icy Hot on our leg muscles. Nevertheless…we made it to the top that day, and I have the picture to prove it. Hahahahaha!! They say that some situations that seem so awful at the time, will be a source of laughter years later when you are looking back. They are so very right. Since that time we have hiked that same trail 14 times, and many others in the Black Hills several times too. We have Hiked all 109 miles of the Michelson Train that runs from Edgemont to Deadwood. Hiking has become a way of life for us.
Bob loves comedy. He was the kid who would get up at the crack of dawn to watch the cartoons. After we were married, he often watched “The Three Stooges” and “Laurel and Hardy” every chance he got. It was really funny, because it didn’t matter if he was the only one in the room, he would laugh out loud about a funny scene. Once we were at my parents house. My mom and I were in the kitchen, and suddenly Bob let out a big belly laugh. My mom and I couldn’t help ourselves. We had to laugh too. My mom loved that he could just let go and enjoy the show without any inhibitions. Even out girls know that their dad loved those shows. One of them bought him a full set for Christmas one year. He loved it. Bob’s sense of humor has been a joyful part of our lives for all these years. Today is Bob’s birthday. Happy birthday Honey!! You are the love of my life!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Until recently, it had never occurred to me just how much my grand-niece, Jala Satterwhite is like her great grandmother, Joann Schulenberg. She doesn’t really resemble her, since Jala takes more after her mother, Susan Griffith, but there is a notable similarity nevertheless. Jala loves horses, and in many ways, would live on a horse if she could. That thought brought me back to a time when my mother-in-law’s own mother, Nettie Knox made that very statement about her own daughter, Joann. Whether we realize it or not, our parents really do know us well.
Jala didn’t have much opportunity to ride horses until her mom married her step-dad, Josh Griffith, whose family had horses. Jala was introduced to the horses, and her love of horses was sealed. Later, her parents moved out into the country, and got horses of their own, giving Jala the ability to ride much more. Because her mom had never really been around horses, and only learned to ride with a great degree of apprehension, this natural riding ability that her daughter had, left Susan somewhat in awe, but also very proud. Of course, Susan’s own abilities have greatly improved, but that does not change how she feels about her older daughter’s riding prowess. Still, I don’t think Susan realized just how much Jala was like her great grandmother. I don’t think any of us did, really. I just looked at a picture of Jala on a horse yesterday, and it was like looking at my mother-in-law on her own horse. It was crystal clear to me then.
I think that for young horse-lovers, the horse provides them with an ability to go and do things without asking a parent to take them…at least within certain limits. When my mother-in-law was a kid, they could ride to school, as well as to other towns and ranches of friends nearby, those aren’t really options for Jala, except for nearby ranches. Still, there are lots of trails available these day, and Jala loves riding on them. I’m sure her great grandmother would love them too, and maybe she is there, watching proudly as her great granddaughter, Jala continues the great tradition of horseback riding just for the love of horses. Today is Jala’s 17th birthday. Happy birthday Jala!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
The years in American history during which people held slaves, were in my opinion, sad, dark years. I don’t like the idea of anyone being a slave to another person. Nevertheless, it is a part of our history, that ended when Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves effective January 1, 1863, which also brought about his own death be assassination.
As a girl in junior high school, I read a book about Harriet Tubman and The Underground Railroad. The book so impressed me, that I have never forgotten it. Harriet was a conductor, as they were known, on the Underground Railroad. The conductors lead slaves who had escaped, along designated trails, in extreme secrecy, mostly at night, from the south to the north, and often into Canada. Harriet’s code name was “Moses” and she was one of the most famous conductors in history, although there are several others too.
One of the other conductors was Samuel Burris. Burris was a free African-American, who was caught helping a slave try to escape from Delaware in 1847. Burris was caught, tried, and found guilty of “enticing slaves” to escape. As part of his sentence, he was sold into slavery for seven years. Instead, a Pennsylvania anti-slavery society raised the money to purchase him and set him free. Burris went right back to helping slaves escape.
From what I read, and from what history has told us, these conductors were very committed to this, and that makes sense when you think about the fact that they held the very lives of their cargo or passengers, which is what they called the escaped slave, and their own life in their hands. Harriet Tubman made 13 trips on the Underground Railroad bringing seventy people to freedom. She was able to say that she had “never lost a passenger” in all that time. I don’t know how many Samuel Burris helped to escape, but I’m sure it was quite a number too.
Samuel Burris family has been working for years to have him pardoned for the crimes he was convicted of, and finally, today, November 2, 2015, Samuel Burris was pardoned. His grand niece, Ocea Thomas of Atlanta was interviewed for television Tuesday, and she said that she received a phone call last weekend letting her know Delaware Governor, Jack Markell has decided to posthumously pardon Burris for his conviction that was 150 years ago. I think that is awesome, and I think all the conductors who were convicted of crimes concerning the freedom of slaves should also be pardoned. After all, the crimes they were convicted of aren’t even crimes anymore.
As many of you already know, on October 18, 2013, my sister-in-law, Brenda went to the hospital with a case of cellulitis, and congestive heart failure. She spent a total of 23 days, between Wyoming Medical Center and Elkhorn Rehab Hospital, re-learning to walk. Then, on November 11, 2013, she was released. She had made amazing strides, but she had a long way to go. At that point, many people would have quit, but not Brenda. She was determined to take back her life…and make it better. She determined that she would never be in this position again, if there was any way out of it. Brenda set out on a quest to get in shape. She joined Weight Watchers Online, and she exercised. She walked every day, increasing the length of her walks as soon as she was able. She worked out with weights and did sit to stands from a chair with no hands. She was determined not to need assistance for any longer than was absolutely necessary…and I can tell you that she would not accept very much help. She was determined to do it alone. I have never seen a person so determined in my life.
With the coming of summer, her walks have gotten a little hot inside Sunrise Shopping Center, so she has started walking on a trail behind the Senior Citizens Center. That is a nice fairly flat concrete trail, so it worked well for her. Most of the time she doesn’t use her walker anymore, but on those long walks, she does, because it allows her to keep up her speed and still be safe and in the event of needing to stop. The trail provided her with some much needed fresh air, as well as a change of scenery.
And speaking of scenery, a while back, my sister-in-law, Jennifer, Brenda’s sister, started talking to Brenda about doing a little bit of hiking. I’m sure Brenda thought that was impossible at first, but when Jennifer mentioned new trail at Garden Creek Falls, which has been upgraded to make it a little more accessible, Brenda began to think that maybe…just maybe it was possible. Well, a couple of days ago, Brenda and Jennifer made that hike, and the impossible became not only possible, but reality. Brenda was surprised that it was so hard, but she persevered and she made it. Her efforts were rewarded with the beauty of Garden Creek Falls, the sounds of the falling water, the birds, and the shade of the trees adding a coolness to their rest at the falls. Brenda thought the hike back down was a lot easier, but Jennifer was a little worried about going down hill. Nevertheless, Brenda made it, and I think she got hooked. She wants to go back on October 18th…one year after her journey began, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she went back before that. Brenda we are all so proud of your accomplishments. You have shown a lot of people what is possible…as long as they never give up. You have excelled, and you can do anything you set your mind to. Congratulations!!!
My sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely, loves to hike. That is something Bob and I can totally relate to. There is just something wonderful about being on a trail in the woods, listening to the birds singing and seeing the beauty of the green trees. Most hikers like to find trails wherever they travel, and Jennifer, Bob and I are no exception. Jennifer has hiked many of the usual places around Casper, like the Bridle Trail on the mountain, and of course, the Platte River Parkway, but she has also hiked places in Colorado, and as far away as New Zealand. Now that would be my kind of hiking trip to take.
Jennifer’s love of hiking came about when she decided to get into better shape, and it is really all part of a package of things she does to stay in great shape. She skis, runs, hikes, and bikes for exercise. With a broad range of activities that she likes, she doesn’t have to go to the gym to workout, although she might do that too, for all I know. Many people would call Jennifer an exercise fanatic, and I suppose they would be right, but if you want to be in good shape, you have to do what it takes to get to that place.
Jennifer is an Obstetrics Nurse, working with mothers in labor, and in the nursery with their babies. It is a job that started when she became a candy stripper at the young age of 17 years, and one that she does very well. My girls, Corrie and Amy, and I have been very glad to have her there when the time came for their babies to arrive. She is very good at her job, and has a very calming effect on a young mother who is a little apprehensive about the impending birth of their child. Having a baby is no easy task, and when you have a nurse there who is so confident and capable, it makes the process much easier. Her hours are long, but the nice thing is that she doesn’t have to work as many days a week to get her hours in…something all of us might have liked to do, at one time or another.
Then, as if her life isn’t packed full of activities, Jennifer also takes piano lessons, and spends time practicing the piano. I suppose you would call this a well rounded life, and of course, you would be right. I think her activity filled life really started when she decided to get into shape all those years ago. You can’t have such a busy life, if you are too tired to get out there and just do it. Jennifer has proven that if you are determined, you can get back to good shape and you can do all the activities you want to. You just have to go for it. Today is Jennifer’s birthday, Happy birthday Jennifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Whenever life gets too hectic, I find myself wanting a place of solace, so I can get out of running mode, and into relaxing mode. Many of us don’t realize that our lives are even hectic. We just think it’s normal, and maybe it is, but normal can be very hectic. My Uncle Bill understood how I feel, because he felt the same way too…and he was a kid!! We mistakenly assume that kids can’t have a hectic life, or that things weren’t hectic in days gone by, when life was supposed to be so much more simple. Maybe things were simple back then, but that did not make things easier back then. What takes us minutes to do these days, probably took them hours, making it necessary to cram more things into a working day than we do today. And yet, with our modern inventions, our lives today are always making us rush from this place to that place…always in a hurry.
It’s no wonder that I, like my Uncle Bill, enjoy getting out into nature to hike the trails. When you are out on the trail, you can only go so fast, and it’s harder to rush yourself. The beauty of nature around you draws your attention away from the pressing things in your life, and you find yourself drinking in the smells of the trees and flowers, the singing of the birds, the sound of the breeze through the trees, the beauty of the scenes around you, and the feel of the air on your face. It is the place I want to be and the things I want to be doing. When Bob and I are out on the trail, being one with nature, it is such a beautiful time. And in our hectic lives, we need those breaks to recharge our systems. The trails are perfect for that.
Uncle Bill loved to be out in the woods of Wisconsin and Minnesota, mostly around Holyoke, Minnesota. He talks about going to his private place in the center of a shaded area, to sit on a log, listen to the birds, watch the squirrels, and “even” read a book. I have to wonder if Uncle Bill maybe didn’t like reading very much at that time. It wouldn’t be something so unusual for a boy. Most of them seem to busy with other things to consider reading as an important pass time. Nevertheless, whatever solace we each find in nature is probably unique to each of us. No two people are the same, and no two people have the same stresses, so each finds solace in different things or in different ways, even in the same place.