Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
October 29, 2006
The very first annual Whiteplains Commumity Celebration took place Saturday, October 28th at Frank Skenes hanger. It was sponsored by Niel & Nancy Bonacum, with RAY ACKERMAN and LARRY ROSS doing the cooking. Thanks guys for a great day! Click on the link below to see the Photoshow.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
From an altitude of 7,200 feet I shifted into fifth and let the gears help with the long winding descent into a broad, fertile valley. From the top I could see a mass of black which materialized into a massive herd of black angus cattle being rounded up by three men on horseback and a few lightning fast Border Collies. Real cowboys! Along the side of the road were parked cattle trucks waiting to take this lucrative cash crop to market. Fall was coming and soon the snow would stop all movement of livestock in northeastern California. These men on horseback would wind down the summer livestock operation and soon pull their motor homes to southern Arizona for the winter.
Climbing to the top of the next ridge gave breath taking views of the towering white ghost off to the west - Mt Shasta. Snow covered year round, this ancient volcano reigns over hundreds of miles. Little farm houses in eastern Oregon, city apartment dwellers in Eugene and cowboys in northern California all claim her as their own and find peace knowing she is watching over them from afar.
To view route 395 in eastern California on any AAA map would be deceptive. It looks simply like a flat road traveling through underwhelming countryside. So it was to our sheer delight that scenes of uncommon beauty unfolded before our eyes, one vista more stunning than the next. It was an undulating journey through pine forest, scrub brush and jumbles of volcanic black rocks. After a climb of a few thousand feet one would come to a descent with a view that encompassed hundreds and hundreds of miles laid out before you. The area in Nevada to the east is known as basin and range country. And that descriptor could be used for the neighboring California as well. So one would climb and climb only to reach a summit and then a long descent into a valley that usually contained a lake and stream beds lined with golden Cottonwoods. Picture the view unencumbered by trees or hills - just a huge open vista with so much for the eye to take in. We arose very early on this particular morning and were treated to the rising of the sun and happened upon a broad valley that was still cool from the night. The entire valley contained hot springs that flowed in streams and rose from fissures in the earth creating a ghostly appearance as steam arose in patterns from each source.
As we continued on, the high Sierra Nevada ranges came into view to the west. Range after range of high, glacier cut, jagged snow covered peaks caught our eye. Very few glaciers remained but the evidence of their mighty force could be seen in u-shaped valleys high in the range, random and jumbled piles of moraine dumped as the glaciers melted and receded and occasionally a small glacier in the shadows at the highest peak. Mt. Whitney, at over 12,000 feet, looked as though a giant bear had clawed ridges down her flanks. It was in the foothills of this awesome range, tucked tightly up in the moraine rock piles that we settled in for the night. An unexpected treasure lay hidden here - hot springs and a bath house that had been used by weary travelers since 1920. After a beautiful day of travel and a good soak in the hot mineral springs we were ready for a night of sleep under a canopy of stars.
As I lay in bed I could not help but think about the therapy of travel. The immediate scene before me demands my attention and I am humbled by the enormity of our country and the billions of years of geologic processes it took to sculpt the valleys and carve the peaks in the mountains. And then Lee coughs as he lays in bed beside me and I am jerked back to the reality of cancer and the courage it has taken for him to stray so far from home. I am aware that he is not getting better and that it is my responsibility to get him home. Wow. We two are such specks in the whole scheme of things.
The next day we head east into Death Valley. I simply stand mute - there is no way to describe the experience of Death Valley. Any words I would use would sound trite. Reminds me of Lee trying to describe the fatigue of cancer. He says there are no words big enough to describe the fatigue of cancer. There are no words descriptive enough to describe Death Valley. It is not one valley - it is a series of raw rocky mountains and immense valleys filled with sand and rocks and materials eroded from the mountains surrounding them. It is obvious from the landscape that over a period of billions of years volcanoes poured thousands of square miles of lava over the northwest, streams and lakes covered the lava with sediment and the entire mass was thrust up, wrinkled and eroded. It is all before your very eyes but you simply must experience it - that's all I can say. We found ourselves reciting the 23rd psalm. And then, always humorous, Lee says he has just come through Funeral Mountains and Death Valley so he must be OK:)
BLAM - Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas! We had just spent two entire days on a two lane highway with very little traffic for miles and miles. The only sight in the rear view mirror were mountains and valleys. And with one turn in the road and one stop light we are thrust onto 6 lanes of madness on a Sunday afternoon. Stop and go traffic coming from Las Vegas back home to LA. Watch the car ahead, watch the car passing, watch the truck grinding up the long grade. Phew, this is madness. But I guess if we are going to get all the way home to South Carolina I am going to have to put my camera away, hit the four lanes and mash the accelerator. So I mashed all day and made it to Grant, N.M. west of Albuquerque. Then today we slowly descended from a high elevation east of Albuquerque of 7,243 feet to below 3,000 feet above sea level near Clinton, Oklahoma. Five hundred and fifty two miles brought us closer to home but there are still the better part of two days to go.
Two different American writers have said, " Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves." "...travel does change you. We know that instinctively; it is for that, I think, that we leave our homes and go looking for the rest of the world. Not just to see it and know it, but to be changed by it."
We have gathered courage from all we have experienced and are ready for the road ahead.
Hoping all is well with you,
Nancy and Lee
Monday, October 23, 2006
Posting from: Lee & Nancy
October 20th, 2006
Tonight I will let the photos do the talking as there is no way to compete with the glory of this day. Yesterday my camera bit the dust so we spent the morning in Bend. Oregon researching and buying a new one. Then we had an easy drive to Crater Lake but we found the top of the mountain socked in with fog, rain, snow on the roads and there was no evidence of a lake at all. I was driving the rig on hair pin turns and on two lane roads with no guard rails. Needless to say it was a hairy drive. We checked in to a KOA in Klamath Falls, OR. and the proprietor told us that they had a direct line to the ranger on top of the mountain and in the morning they would make a call and see if there was a lake there today. As the photos will show, there really is a Crater Lake and it was magnificent. Flags were at half staff there becasue an 8 year old boy ran from his dad at a viewing pull -off and has been missing for a week. One of the major roads around the rim was closed because of search and rescue but we were able to drive around a portion of it. We have not read a paper to see if there have been any leads but our hearts go out to the parents.
Honestly, tomorrow we may make some progress in finding our way at least in the general direction of South Carolina.
Hope all is well with you and yours.
Nancy and Lee
Click Link to see Photoshow : http://www.photoshow.net/watch/qv8Ce9nc
October 18, 2006
I searched through the selection of post cards at the Flying J today trying to find one that showed Mt. Hood barely visible through a low layer of clouds and drizzle, the highway wet with reflecting pools of water and yellow Aspen leaves laying still in the branches of towering firs. Post cards don't depict the numerous volcanic cones scattered through central Oregon through the windshield wipers either, nor can they capture the million drops of mist thrown off by a passing truck that seem to go on forever.
October 19, 2006
If we are going to go any further west we will need a deHaviland Beaver as today we have made it to
One of the many joys of having Tom along was that we could take long walks after Lee had fallen asleep. Tom also relieved me of my part of the driving and he drove some mighty challenging stretches of highway. Lee particularly enjoyed having another man along - someone to joke with and philosophize with as I made dinner. And what a joy for me- making nice dinners for "my men" while listening to their deep man voices talking about the day. Our favorite meal was seared tuna steaks, asparagus with lemon , Caesar salad and chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. Tom is 42. It has been years since he has been a boy and lived under the same roof with me. Any mother will appreciate how warm the cockles of my heart were to have my first born son back at my table again. Peach, blueberry and banana pancakes for breakfast might tell you how I overindulged the two out of three men I love most in the world. Son Pete was back home in
How could I, a mere woman, forget that wonderful computer chip which Lee had installed in the truck back in Fort Collins which gives him his second greatest thrill - listening to the throaty roar of his Dodge as it passes other vehicles grinding up the steep grades of the mountains? :) Not only must one drive that six speed stick shift monster but now there is a little do--hicky on the dash where I have to monitor EGT, boost, and all manner of other manly things. And if one exceeds the limits it sends off an alarm that sounds like the cops are on your heels. It's a guy thing!! Oh, and another thing for you men. Tom spotted a car , guess it was a Porsche something- or -other, that rung his bell. Checking it out on the internet he told me the sale price was $480,000. As it passed us going down a long 6 percent grade it must have been exceeding 100mph. Guy thrills.
We hope each and every one of you is safe and at peace and enjoying your day.
Nancy and Lee
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
October 2 Michael Cone
October 2 Yom Kippur
October 3 Jim Wheat
October 11 Ray Chaplin
October 15 Jamie Black
October 16 Michelle Cone
October 18 Kelly Branning
October 20 Kay Meyer
October 21 Jeff Cargile
October 23 Bob Murphy
October 24 Peg Peterson
October 30 Ray Ackerman
October 8 Darlington (UDG)
October 22 Timmonsville (56J)
October 28 Whiteplains Party Starting at 3 PM Eat at 4 PM - Franks Hanger
October 29 Daylight Savings Ends Roll Back 1 Hour
October 31 Happy Halloween
Young Eagle Flights:
October 28th JR. ROTC Lexington HS Starting at 9 AM
Thursday, October 12, 2006
When: October 28th
What time: Starts at 3, eat at 4:00 pm.
Where: Franks Hanger
What to bring: Yourself and Other Half
Goodies provided by Niel & Nancy Bonacum
That's it... come and have some fun, and good food.
Friday, October 06, 2006
White Plains Pilots
If you don't know by now, there is a fly in at CDN this weekend.
Saturday there will be an Antique Classics, Classics, and every type of general aviation airplane found and of course food and plenty of it.
Then on Sunday there will be the SCBC and we all know what that means.
Yes, Gerald Ballad gets to tell stories about his or your fly byes.
Calendar of Events
10/6 - 10/8/2006: Camden, SC: VAA Chapter 3 Fall Fly In,Woodward Field KCDN Contact Information: ... Http://www.eaa1310.org/flyin: 10/7 - 10/7/2006: Rockford, IL: EAA Chapter 22 Fly-In Lunch,Cottonwood ...
Hope to see you there
Due to a conflict on October 21, I moved the Whiteplains Young Eagle Day to the following week, October, 28th at 9 am. Rain day is the following saturday. Still looks like we have ten to fly.
As of today, I have only one, maybe two people that offered to fly. With myself, that would be three. Two more would be nice. If your interested and a EAA member, just drop me a line or a phone call.
Whiteplains Young Eagle Director
I added a link on the right hand side of the blog "100LL.Com". Click on it, and then enter the airport code. Such as KCAE. If you look at the bottom of the screen it shows the lowest price found for that area checked. Give it a try and save a little CASH on gas.
Or click here: http://www.100ll.com/
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Whiteplains UNICOM #10: The Election Process
At its meeting on September 29, the Board of Directors voted to adopt a four-part elections process and to create an Elections Committee to oversee it. The Board’s objective was to draw from the best practices of organizations similar to ours, and to ensure openness, fairness and accountability. Membership on the Elections Committee will exclude current Board members, current Officers, and those standing for election. This year’s committee will be composed of: John Gardner, Larry Ross and Linda Demaray.
Part 1: Nomination
The Elections Committee will collect nominations for election to the Board of Directors. These nominations can result from a general call, by approaching specific individuals, or by accepting self-nominations from interested residents. There should be at least one more candidacy than there are vacancies. Individuals who are interested in standing for election are requested (but not required) to prepare a 100-word statement for inclusion in the balloting material. This statement might include the candidate’s qualifications, goals/objectives, views on issues pertinent to the community, or anything else that might assist the voters in making an informed choice. Nominations will open on October 15 and close on December 1.
Part 2: Balloting
The Elections Committee will design and prepare ballots which include the candidates’ statements (if provided). The ballot design will incorporate a procedure to allow for the identification of the Lot number of the incoming vote (to provide integrity) while still preserving the anonymity of the voter. [Example: use of a return mailing envelope identified by lot number containing an otherwise unidentifiable ballot.] The choice of US mail or e-mail is left to the Elections Committee, but ALL property owners must receive ballots no later than December 15. Persons owning multiple lots have multiple votes, in accordance with our by-laws.
Part 3: Tabulating
The Annual Meeting of the Whiteplains Plantation Association is scheduled for January 16, 2007. The Committee may begin to count ballots one week before that date, and will create a provisional tabulation at that time. The first order of business of the Annual Meeting will be to close the balloting process so that any recently-received ballots may be added to the provisional totals. When called upon to do so, the Chair of the Elections Committee will read the names of the individuals who have been elected. The total number of ballots cast will be reported, however the number of votes for each individual candidate shall not be reported.
Part 4: Challenge and Audit
If a member of the Association wishes to challenge the election, he/she has one week from the date of the Annual Meeting in which to do so. If a challenge is received, the Board of Directors will appoint an Audit Committee to review the work of the Elections Committee and render a decision. If no challenges are received within the allotted time, the Elections Committee will destroy all balloting material and disband.
Ken Plesser, President
Whiteplains Plantation Association
Salt Lake City and a steady, pouring rain - that's almost an oxymoron, isn't it? Be that as it may, that's what we encountered as we ended our two day trek across incredibly wondrous expanses from Fort Collins, CO, where my sister lives to my brother's on his 59th birthday. Today, October 4th. We pondered over which way to cross the Rockies out of the Denver area but with the help of a few locals who had taken several different routes we opted for route 14. This two lane highway would be vitually free of traffic and wind over Cameron Pass at just over 10,000 feet , Rabbit Ears Pass at a titch over 9,00o feet and then connect with route 40 east of Steamboat Springs, on past Dinosaur National Monument , through the Wasatch Range at Park City, Utah and down into the Great Salt Lake Valley.
At long last, Lee would realize a dream that he thougth might never come true - to drive his Dodge Ram pulling his rig up over some challenging mountains. Mind you, the one ton Dodge diesel would have done a very adequate job of doing just that, but Lee is a man's man, a guy. He wants all the bells and whistles and as if 350 horses are not enough he had to have a "chip" installed which would give him 450 horses!! Now he sold me on the deal saying that we would get better gas mileage and what do I know about such things as chips and torque and horse power? So while in Fort Collins we dropped a little cash at a local performance shop and on the day of departure he flashed a bigger than ordinary smile as we waved goodbye to family. I later learned that it is not the icreased gas mileage that was so great but MORE POWER. You remember the old Men are from Mars......well, later on, in low gear in a mountain area parking lot, pulling a fully loaded 28 foot fifth wheel, he peeled rubber:) I tried to act impressed. He said words like," and it even has limited slip rear differential." This is the same guy who notices every bump in guardrails and even makes out-loud noises like BAMB BAMB BAMB as he relives the poor fellows fate who banged those guard rails. Did you ever notice the tire rubber on concrete barriers on extra sharp turns? You gotta be kidding! So does Lee!! Oh, and as I'm all agoggle over the Red-tailed hawk I see circling overhead he's telling me about the extra reinforcement on the road signs in this high-wind area of the trip.Keeps them from fluttering. We laugh at each other and wonder at our differences but also appreciate how those differences make for a more enjoyable whole.
As I revel at the beauty of the scenery I find myself feeling wholly inadequate when thinking of how to describe the beauty of the land. I need to hire a poet to put together a string of words in such a beauteous way that anyone reading those words could envision what I was seeing. Take the trees for instance. The Aspens cling to the valleys of the green pine covered hillsides wearing such bright golden colors that they shout out to all. As the wind blows through their leaves it scatters them like yellow snow flakes across the road and into the streams. In the higher elevations where the leaves have fallen, it's as if they have shed a golden petticoat on the ground below their outstretched branches. Take each individual tree - golden is just one word. Some are light gold, others bright yellow, others amber. One would need an entire jewel bag full of color words to describe the individual hues. Then there are the Cottonwoods that line the stream and river beds - they have fat brown trunks, unlike the lithe white trunks of the Aspen, and they,too, need words of many shades to describe the yellows and golds that they wear with such grace. From a distance, as I glance up to the high mountain slopes, it's as if an artist has taken a paint brush and splashed the green forest canvas with bright flashy colors, a last hurrah before the bland, monochromatic colors of winter. I think about all the artists and poets and song writers who have written and painted in an attempt to capture what their eyes behold, and convey that vision to the rest of the world. Shops and books and recordings are filled with such attempts. No wonder I am struggling.
Up out of the mountains, on to the vast high plains of western Colorado and eastern Utah the landscape changes. For endless miles I see no one in the rear view mirror and no one up ahead. Signs warning of antelopes crossing cause my scan to widen for signs of danger. I sight herds of the white and brown beauties far off on the sage colored hills but fortunately none crossed the highway as I passed. Colors now are muted in shades of mauve, putty and bronze. Just grab a color chart at any Lowes paint department and chose a Laura Ashley palette- those are the colors of the high desert. Mixtures of beige and rust, maroon and cafe au lait all paint the colors of the rock formations that loom on the horizon, layers of old lake beds hardened into sedimentary rocks and lifted up by gargantuan forces that have turned them into grotesque forms, then eroded into sensuous, smooth undulations of solid rock. What a magnificant sculptress Mother Nature is!
As the sun sank lower in the sky we needed a place to stop and sleep. The Barbed Wire Campground was easily accessible and we were tired. Lee hopped out and went into the office. As I glanced around I became more and more uneasy and quietly locked the doors to the truck. Tough looking, long haired cowboy types milled around some ratty trailers and I knew instantly that I would be as out of place as a Lady Di in a strip joint. Lee came out of the office carrying an envelope and my heart sank. How could I tell a tired and weary traveler that I wanted to move on? His first words to me were,"We're out of here!" Besides his own intuition, the sign in the office saying No Drugs, No Guns raised his protective instints and we drove on into Dinosaur National Monument. It was at the end of a 10 mile paved road that we found a spot that will rank in the top 5 places I have ever camped. Split Mountain Campground. Located on the Green River flanked by towering red sandstone cliffs, we parked the rig and began settling in. There were no services but we were prepared so I cooked a gourmet dinner which we ate by candle light. By nine o'clock the stars were dotting the sky like pin points and we slipped under the covers and snuggled until we were warmed. The thermometer read 44 degrees in the camper by morning but as the sun rose over the rocks it warmed us up and I took an early morning walk to discover the campground was full of rabbits! After a breakfast of hash browns, eggs and sausage we took my kayak to the river and Lee helped me launch into the brown silted waters of the Green River. I was in HEAVEN!! I LOVE the Green River and had white water rafted down a section known as Desolation Canyon years before. So I paddled upstream, caught some light rapids and floated down, crossed to the far side and explored some caves. It was a wonderful treat and as I marveled at the beauty surrounding me I stored the images in my mind for tough times ahead.
The sky turned grey as we headed west towards Salt Lake City . Lee no longer had to slow for my photography requests . We ate lunch at a rest stop and I drove on in pouring rain down 6 degree grades into the Great Salt Lake Valley. In total contrast to the night before we are camped in a KOA campground in the middle of the city with a few hundred other rigs. All safe, all manicured and green and close to my brother. My son flies in on Friday and will be our companion for the trek to Seattle.
Hope all is well and safe with each and every one of you.
Nancy and Lee
Click on Photoshow to see full size. Enjoy...Don