Thursday, January 12, 2012

Two Days across Wyoming--January 2012

It is January 2012-- and you have probably already read my 2011 summary blog.  However, there were a few other things that happened along the way that I did not detail, so here are some details and links to more photos.

What really got me motivated to do an update was a trip across Wyoming.  If you click here, you will see the photos that name this blog--two days across Wyoming.  I started in Laramie-SE corner--at sunrise one day and drove to Thermopolis--NWCentral--through the Shirley Basin, past Casper, and then through Wind River Canyon. I had to drop something off there, and so I stopped at the Hot Springs State Park, apparently the largest hot mineral springs in the world.  Pretty wonderful and the free public bath house is kept at 103-104 degrees F, inside and outside pools. Then next day I hung out with friends in Lander, then headed back to Laramie at sunset. 

Here are some entries from earlier in the fall:

October 10:  I had one of those horrible events in which someone got a hold of my credit card info, including email and mailing address, then proceeded to spend freely.  Fortunately, the credit card company caught the charges immediately (a bit scary that they determined that the charges did not fit my algorithm and called me) and then cancelled my card. However, the nasty hackers had already made about 6-8 charges.  I didn't have to pay for any of them, but these hackers were not very bright.  All the stuff they bought was pretty minor--biggest charge was $35.  They also sent all their purchases to me--at my mailing address.  Then, one of them (I am thinking more than one as there were chick flicks, an entertainment book for Las Vegas, a princess costume for Halloween, a cosmetic website registration, and 3 game site registrations)  used my email for his game site registration, and the site sent me his name, city, and password.  The password worked for a couple of the sites, so I changed the password and unregistered.  I contacted the FBI, but they were not that interested, sent me to a website to register my claim; guess they have bigger fish to catch.  Anyway, several calls to the credit card company and a couple fraud claim forms later, it seems to be mostly gone.  Pretty funny though to receive the 'stolen' goods; though I refuse them at the post office.

At the end of October, I spent a weekend in Chicago visiting friends, enjoying awesome pumpkin pancakes, and trying a mid-Eastern restaurant.  However, the impetus for the visit was a one-day seminar on nature photography sponsored by National Geographic and hosted on the campus of Northwestern.  First, if you have never been to the Northwestern campus, and you are in the neighborhood, I highly recommend it.  There is a lovely park right on the lake with a great view back to the skyscrapers and then out to the lake--it was really beautiful and a great surprise.  As to the seminar, it was awesome.  Michael Melford from Nat Geo and  nature photographer  Eddie Soloway did a great job to detail what to think about, gave some technical info on cameras that I always wondered about, but I think most importantly, they showed some of their photos and explained how they got the shot, what they did--or did not--do.  It was inspiring.

On a lovely November day, mostly sunny, warmish, and  a great day for rock climbing, my friend, Lou, coerced me to join her and some other folks at Rumney Rocks, NH for some sweet time on the rock.  Click here if you want to see some photos I took while there (they are on my Facebook page).  Anyway, it was great to be outside, enjoying the late fall, and I pretty much smoked the route (5.7) that I did--even got to use some rusty rope skills and take down the anchor and rappel down.   It was a really beautiful day, and I am so glad that I went.

On Thanksgiving  I did a 5K turkey trot in Woodstock, VT for a local charity there. My time was OK, but it did garner me 2nd place in the old ladies age class--I won a medal and another Water Bottle!!  If anyone reading this needs a water bottle, just let me know, I may just send it along.  I otherwise had a quiet Thanksgiving listening to Handel' s Messiah and running the furnace so the cat could sleep on the register. 

At the beginning of December, I was madly trying to finish up the stuff I said I would do before I drove to Wyoming.  I finally left on 4 December--cat, snowboard, winter clothes and all!! 

I did get to Wyoming and will be heading back to the Upper Valley (where I live in Vermont) in mid-February to grab some stuff and head to PatagoniaClick here from some photos of snowshoeing in the Snowy Range with some friends (it is on my Facebook page) a few weeks ago.
And I also had a lovely hike around Vedauwoo--a stunning rocking climbing area near Laramie, and I have a few photos from that adventure as well.  At one point, I was following some tracks as they were heading my way, and then I realized that they were mountain lion tracks--at the point I decided to head a different direction: tracking a mountain lion near sunset did not seem like such a good idea.

Click here for Vedauwoo photos

Click here for "2 Day Wyoming" photos

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