We had made our upper west loop of our adventure, it was time to turn back east, back to Rapid City. The morning was very gloomy and raining so the mountains were hard to see as we left Jackson Lodge. We came upon Lava Mountain Lodge, situated on The Togwotee Pass in the Shoshone National Forest. We dashed into the General Store as the sky opened up and dumped a ton of water on us. The store housed the Wilderness Boundary Restaurant, a liquor package store, a full service bar, and a laundromat. They had a gas station, small campground, lodge rooms, vacation rental cabins and camping cabins. There was also a wide selection of the usual tourist items and snack foods. By the time we were ready to leave the rain had slowed and we were able to take in the sights on the outside. The bear was so …
Dragon’s Mouth has a temperature of 170.2°F and is 18X30 feet and is 16 feet deep. Tower Falls is approximately 1,000 yards upstream from the Yellowstone River, and plunges 132 feet. Its name comes from the rock pinnacles at the top of the falls. We took time to see Mammoth Hot Springs, different from other thermal areas at Yellowstone National Park. There was two levels with wood walkways to view the inside out caves. In the Mammoth area, the hot, acidic solution dissolves large quantities of limestone on its way up through the rock layers to the hot springs on the surface. When it is exposed to the air some of the carbon dioxide escapes from the solution. Without it the dissolved limestone can’t remain in the solution, so it reforms into a solid mineral. This white, chalky mineral is deposited as the travertine that forms the terraces. Picture could not …
As we entered Yellowstone National Park, this buffalo was walking down the road. He was walking down his side of the road. Don’t know where he was going or where he was coming from! A stop at the West Thumb Geyser Basin gift shop. Old Faithful Geyser reaches the height of 106 – 184 feet and last 1.5 – 5 minutes every 90 minutes with temperature of 204° F and discharges 3,700 – 8,400 gallons at a time. We spent some time walking the area’s scenic trails. We were told to stay on the trails because of the thermal area break so easy and there is scalding water just under the ground. We saw lots of steaming vents, spouting geysers (small ones), bubbling and boiling geothermal features and quite a few turquoise blue hot springs. There are rustic and meandering boardwalks that allow us to have personal access to thermal …
We did not have the Devil’s Tower on our list to visit but Rumi said it was a must see. So we whizzed down I-90 towards the tower enjoying the Bear Lodge Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest. Devils Tower, a laccolithic butte composed of ignesous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains in the northeastern Wyoming, was the very first official United States National Monument. It was proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt on September 24, 1906. Devils Tower isn’t simply tall, it’s also very wide. Its summit is around 180 feet by 300 feet, roughly the size of a football field and the circumference of its base is around one mile. Devils Tower was famously featured in 1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” culminating in a scene in which an alien mothership descended upon the rock formation. This first picture is when we started seeing the tower …
Our “Great American Road Trip” started with the Rotchfords flying into Kansas City. We spent the time catching up on things and went out toFogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse for dinner. They had an unbelievable salad and sides bar that included gourmet salads, rare exotic vegetables, fresh breads (my favorite), imported cheeses, and cured meats. After all of that, who needed the main course. There was a continuous table side service of fifteen signature cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken cooked over an open flamed pit. The meats were served with traditional Brazilian side dishes of polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas and warm Pão de Queijo (bread cheese bread). We were given a small green and red sided chip. The green side signaled the “Gaueho” chefs to bring out skewers of sizzling meats, while the red side indicated a stopping point. To get more meat we simply displayed …
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino was our home base for our 2009 visit to Las Vegas. Our mornings started with the breakfast buffet, which was outstanding. We always topped it off with bread pudding top with vanilla sauce and ice cream. Our main show for this trip was Bette Midler at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. We had want to see Celine Dion but she was off during this time. It just gave us an excuse to go back again! Jubilee, Legends in concert and the Stratosphere was all on our agenda as well as traveling up and down the strip visiting the casinos. June turned into July and it was time for our annual Fourth of July get together. It was a reunion of the Kerricks and Rotchfords clan, traveling to Kansas from Texas, Minnesota, and Florida. Every couple was responsible for a meal plus cleanup. They sent in …
The year was 2000, we were off to El Paso for the celebration of the marriage of Carmen and Jamie. They met in Germany while attending Frankfurt High School. Over the years, there were many miles separating them but it was their love that endure distance and time. We had some down time from wedding prep so we went over to Juárez. We had a snack at one of the outdoor cafes where a Mariachi played for us. Later in the City Market we bartered with some friendly, good nature merchants for a few “prizes” to take home. The wedding was an absolutely flawless day spent with loved ones and family members to celebrate the marriage of Jamie and Carmen. There was only one problem, the priest got Jamie’s first name and last name mixed up. Every time he should have said Jamie he said Kelly. At the time it …
The clan moved back to the States in 1992, with the Rotchfords going to Kingsville, TX and the Kerricks going to Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Fred was a Professor at Military Science at Texas A&M. Steve taught at the Command General Staff College in the Leadership Department. They were busy with their teaching, the two oldest girls attended college, the younger girls were in high school and junior high and Lupe and I continued our support of the family units. With the girls getting older and the military commitments, it became harder to get together as our clan of eight, so we became a foursome. From my timeline and photos, there are no records of visits until 1994. My memory doesn’t even help with this. I do know that 1994 was our one and only visit to Kingsville. Fred and Lupe might have visited Kansas, they were always so much better …
In February of 1989, Steve got orders back to Germany and the girls and I were not happy. Kristie had wanted to graduate from a high school in the United States. She had been a freshman in Virginia, a sophomore in Kansas and now she would do her Junior and Senior years in Kaiserslautern. Holan’s school days in Germany had been terrible and I was not sure it would be a positive move with her learning disability. But the Rotchfords were heading back to Darmstadt so off we went. We were an hour and twenty minutes apart. Still closer than in the States but with the girl’s school work and activities, the guys work schedules it wasn’t like living in the same city, We got together as much as we could. The Rotchfords came to Kaiserslautern for New Years Eve so the adults went out to the Officer’s Club for …
As we settled into our lives in Virginia Beach and the Rotchfords into El Paso, it was much harder for us to spend time together. The cost of flying for four was too much not to mention the activities of the girls and job requirements for the guys. Now looking back on the years of 1985 to 1991 there isn’t much to recall how often we saw each other. The Rotchfords came to Virginia Beach and we took in the sights of the shipyards at the Naval Base. Once again, we loaded up the van and traveled up the coast to Washington, D.C. Our family traveled to D.C. earlier in the year so we knew exactly what we would do with the Rotchfords. It included all the normal sights and a VIP tour of the White House. We lived on a small lake, so the girls spent time feeding the …
PAGE TOP