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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Coast to Coast: More Photos From The "Vault" and a Brief Update...

Put on some travel music cause I have a little vicarious coast to coast jaunt lined up for "the faithful." The above Lighthouse photo was taken in Michigan, Tawas Point State park on Lake Huron.

Bears came out of hibernation a few weeks ago—a mite too early, I might add. Winter seems reluctant to take leave of our mountain Crevice this year; another rain-changing-to-snow storm is currently blowing in for the weekend, which will force us indoors to write and paint, or vice-versa. 

But back to the "bears:" Yes, they wake up hungry after a long winter's snooze and are currently on the prowl for food. This year a heavy snowpack has lingered beyond its welcome and bears, being lazy "opportunistic" feeders, are flooding into town to raid trashcans, dog food bowls, and bird feeders…not to mention the occasional small pet. 

We have a "Bear-proof" trashcan—if fact, it's so Bear-proof that I can't even get it open. It requires three hands and the double jointed-ness of a rubber band man circus performer to work the latch. Bears knock it over, jump up and down on it, swat the hell out of it, and it's never failed…until this year. It seems hunger is the "mother" of persistence, and our latest intruder somehow got his big fat claws into the tiniest gap and was able to pop the top—just snapped hinges off like they were toothpicks. 

A recent hike up Oak Creek Trail had us following the largest bear tracks we've ever seen outside of Glacier. Twas no Griz, but certainly big enough to make a meal out of the slowest person in our group…say, some big guy with a hernia. And, speaking of "hernia," I just had surgery to remove a malfunctioning para thyroid gland. It's ok, we have four of them so no big deal…other than the hospital experience. 

I'm not fond of hospitals (a colossal understatement)—with their dignity-reducing check-out-my-butt gowns and blood-thirsty "Chicks with Pricks" that wake you at all hours to inflict pain...and Tylenol that costs 20 bucks per pill. I abhor the whole medical merry-go-round, but the older one gets the fewer choices they have. Just climb on the big medicine wheel, give'er a spin and see where you land.  I'm home now, recuperating from the breathing tube insertion. I swear they must use a mallet to drive that puppy in…a procedure that has, evidently, claimed my voice box as collateral damage. I sound like Mickey Mouse (more dignity reduction).

And the fun part of all this is, I get to do it all over a week from wednesday when I'm scheduled for a hernia repair. 
That's the news from Lake Woe-is-Me.

Following a big bear up Oak Creek Trail

A small Zion watercolor sketch done "on location Plein Air

A near castle in Doylestown, Pa.

Snow Canyon, Utah

Fall harvest in Pennsylvania 

The power of a short skirt...

Nephew Darin

On the campus of Princeton…beautiful architecture 

Utah is sexy

Reading the "Times" in New England

New England fall

Fiery Canyon Walk

Monoliths near the Wildlife Refuge south of Quartzite, Az.

Our Backyard

New England backyard

Bar Harbor, Maine

Oregon Beach Sketch

Coastal Maine, Fall

Chesapeake Bay Harbor

Classic Air Stream…Highly polished

Old Fishing Boats, Chesapeake Bay


Rust never sleeps...


  1. I'm so very sorry to hear about your health issues, but sounds like you're recuperating and soon will be able to put it all behind you.

    Hang in there - summer's coming! :-)

  2. I'm with you on the hospital thing., Ack....I had the whole thyroid removed and am still kicking! LOL but it isn't fun. No kinds of surgery or hospital stuff is the least bit fun. I can't take pain pills either, so won't be having surgery any time soon if I can help it. Do hope once the hernia is repaired that you will no longer consider yourself bear food. And...must say also...so glad to get an update. Great photos, as always.

  3. One down, one to go. Hang in there. Now to the most important question of all. Where is the short skirt photo?


  4. Glad to hear that one surgery is over and the next will be soon. Before you know it, you'll be hiking in the wildflowers and this summer will be extra sweet after the long winter.

  5. That's great the surgery went well and you are already back on the trail chasing a bear. Sometimes these hungry bears skip the garbage and go right for the homeowners refrigerator

  6. I sure hope yours' goes much better than mine...No more hiking for me..Just bring me along and I'd be the bear bait. Of course being 5'5" and 140# I'm just a snack..

  7. Hi. A lurker coming out of the woodwork. I had parathyroid surgery back in the 90's. The parathyroid regulates the calcium in blood. I'd had excessive calcium in my blood for years; finally the cause was found. A few years later I had to go for cervical surgery. It seems calcium had been depleted from my spine. Interesting how one thing leads to another, huh? I know you will be glad to get it all over with so you can get on with life. Do appreciate your blog---your thoughts and your wonderful pictures.

  8. I've been wondering about your surgery. Thought I missed something. Thinking of you:) It will be good to hit the trails full force.

    Great easy coast photos! Love the Zion watercolor:)

  9. I would settle for just a tiny bit of your photo skills! Amazing! And beautiful......

  10. Hey, Mark, wonderful U.S. photo tour.

    I gave you a shout out in my blog: http://travelbug-susan.blogspot.com/2014/04/share-blogs-state-parks-and-splashing.html

    Thanks for all your thoughts, photos and Bobbi's paintings. It's nice to find them when I go to my Feedly reading list.

  11. Glad you came out of the vault...especially with such beautiful photos/paintings. I think I would be moving in the opposite direction of those bear tracks though, for fear of needing a second, larger hernia repair. ;-)

    Lake Woe-is-Me....better than Lake Woe-be-GONE!

  12. P.S. Snow Canyon photo is mesmerizing. I keep humming, "Can't take my eyes off of you..."

  13. Good to read you again! And to hear surgery number one is done. Chin up for the next round...we'll be thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Metamorphosis Lisa

  14. My dog had parathyroid surgery and had to be on vit. D supplements, but was fine. Glad your surgery's over and good luck on the next round. Nice to see you posting again.

  15. Glad you're hanging in there, what else can you do, right? Nice to see the pic of Michigan included, I've noticed a lack of Midwestern representation in your "flashback" photos. Heading up to the UP myself for Memorial Day weekend and hoping I don't freeze to death but you never know in the upper midwest this time of year until the time comes. And I got to agree with you....Utah is sexy. What does that say about us?

  16. Mark:
    Thanks for the Maine / New England photos....reminds us what it's like here in summer...hope it rolls around soon!
    Keep healthy!
    John & Mary

  17. Mark:
    Thanks for the Maine / New England photos....reminds us what it's like here in summer...hope it rolls around soon!
    Keep healthy!
    John & Mary


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