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Just as the weatherman predicted, it began to rain yesterday and continues today as well. We had about ½ inch last night when we headed off to bed and at midmorning today we are up to 1 ½ inches. The year has not been severely dry but we have been below the norm for several years in a row so we do need it.  They are saying that we could get another inch or so before it moves out tomorrow!

We are waiting to hear when Pam will be having hip surgery. Doctor said that the office would call on Monday and now it is Wednesday and nothing yet………….frown  Pam called an hour ago but of course you only get to leave a message so the wait continues.

I have been remiss in posting to the blog for some time now, but will try and get back to more frequent efforts. We had a good visit in Kansas with friends and family, arriving home once more at Bass Lake on September 28, one day less than five months after we departed for the summer on the road.

While we were traveling Pam developed an increasing amount of arthritis in her right hip and this became our priority concern once we arrived back in Texas. Of course, with five months away the doctors were all in line, waiting to pounce on her so we spent much of our first weeks back in making the visits expected and contributing to the financial wellbeing of the east Texas medical community. It has been determined that the next event for Pam is to be a complete hip replacement, which we should have a surgery date for early next week.

We have also returned to our volunteer work at the Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Center near Lake Athens. They were short on volunteer help so we have spent a great deal of time there assisting with their programs for school children and last Thursday we assisted with their annual Halloween Experience by working the entry of the hatchery haunted house. It has been very busy but enjoyable, although Pam has had to deal with hip pain so we look forward to the coming surgery. Once we have dates I'll get back to share when it will happen.

The old, downtown area of Cheyenne, now restored and attractive.We had a very good visit to Cheyenne and got to see quite a few of our friends from our days living there. We spent an evening with “children” from our youth activities when there, but those kids are now parents and even grandparents! We were quite impressed with the changes in Cheyenne and especially in the downtown area to save the historic buildings while making it attractive.Our site at Johnson's Corner is acceptable, but not great.

On Sunday we traveled south to Loveland, CO to spend a little time and to visit friends and relatives in this area. We also wanted to go back to Rocky Mountain National Park and spend some time as we had not been there since we moved from Cheyenne in 1989.

This is a veiw of the Gore Range mountains as you enter Trail Ridge Road.The day could have been better with early rain but it did clear as the day progressed so we did enjoy the trip. We spent most of it returning to the various places that we visited when we were there in the past and did the mandatory trip up and over Trail Ridge Road. The visitor center at the top was already preparing for winter and snow was predicted for last night up there.There are small snow fields or glaciers that remain all summer near the tops of the mountains.

The signs of fall were starting to show in most areas with leaves beginning to turn and the starting of mating season for the elk herd there. The best part of that was that elk were fairly easily seen and at times there was much bugling in the air with bulls challenging each other for dominance and harem cows. It was great fun to watch and there is little so fascinating in nature as the sounds of bull elk sounding their warnings and challenges.

This heard bull elk was proudly showing his stuff to all of the ladies!The elk cross a medow with their bull in close attendence! ---The chipmuns and squirrels were almost aggressive.

The aspens are beging to change to gold as fall weather arrives.The day turned out to be a memorable one. We had a great time and refreshed our memories of visits to the park with our family so long ago. Far below us in a valley park there were some beautiful ponds.While Rocky Mountain NP is not nearly as large as some of the other parks, it clearly is worth the time required to visit.

There are campgrounds inside of the park, several in the Estes Park area and if you stay at the foot of the mountains it is only a short, scenic drive.

On September 3 we hitched up and moved away from our summer home at Shep’s Canyon. We traveled south on US18 to Orem Junction, where we took I-25 south to Cheyenne, WY and stopped in Restway Travel Park. The park is one of the less expensive here and does have reasonably good Wi-Fi and also cable TV which Pam was really looking forward to. At Shep’s we had no TV at all, and while that really didn’t bother me, she really missed that.

This park is one that I would only rate as OK since it is older and going to the seedy side. Streets are not paved and are rough and in need of attention. Sites are reasonable in size but in need of more gravel and general maintenance. Our site has shade and the location works so while it won’t be high on our list for the future, it will do fine for now. Tomorrow we leave to travel south to Loveland, CO.

Our final weekend at Shep’s Canyon is now beginning. It has been a great summer experience and with really great park management. We have managed to see pretty much all of the attractions in the Black Hills and the most interesting of them more than once.Here we see the campground as when we arrived with little wather showing.

In the past week we have managed to wrap up all of the projects that we took on as part of our host duties, including some that went beyond the park requirements. We love being able to leave with a feeling of accomplishment and this is another that will be long remembered. The largest project that I had on my agenda was Here us the campground with the brush & trees removed! that of removing brush and trimming trees as well as removing some of the excess ones. In the past two weeks this task has proceeded well beyond what park management believed we could do, thanks to some staff assistance and ready access to the park tractor.  I could not leave without a few shots to remember this by, and especially of the “victory pile!”

The campground is booked full for Labor Day weekend and the guests have begun to arrive. Weather has so far been a bit unsettled and that seems to be slowing things but it is expected to improve as the weekend progresses.  After staying close to home for more than two years, it has been a wonderful relief to get back into The pile of brush we leave for winter burning is very large!the RV travel mode. We will be traveling for about the next month, anticipating an arrival back at base about Sept. 29. While Pam is somewhat anxious to get back, I’m really in no hurry as I still miss the full-time RV lifestyle.

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