Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 9 June 2008

Show Me the Ka

Chugwater, Wyoming

We drove over Cameron Pass yesterday. My GPS said the summit was 10,300 feet. The surrounding mountains still went up another half mile or so.


We found a campground on a river in the Roosevelt National Forest. It was on the eastern slope of the Rockies about 30 miles from Fort Collins. The river was rushing downhill and swollen from the above average snowfall. The river noise was conducive to sleeping. No electricity there, so we played Scrabble after dinner. I added an “A” to “jar” going down and placed a “K” in front of the “A” on a triple letter score. Mrs. Phred challenged the “ka”, of course, but I was a gentleman and failed to point out that an unsuccessful challenge normally requires a turn forfeit. It’s rare that I win against her. Ka is the part of a person that leaves the body after death, according to the old Egyptians.


Our last day in Steamboat included tennis, a ride on the alpine slide called “The Howler”, a two hour raft trip on the Colorado, a visit to a bookstore and then dinner in Glenwood Springs with Kim and Randy. Mrs. Phred met Kim online. Randy is an architect who wants to build his own RV. Kim just won a weight lifting competition. She was the only one entered in her class, but I’m impressed anyway. Randy is 6’-5”, a former Army Ranger. They were interesting, I’m glad we went.


Dinner was at a microbrewery in Glenwood Springs about 125 miles from Steamboat. I ordered a sampler tray of eight beers.


Mrs. Phred drives home from Glenwood Springs. She tends to run the Toyota about 30 MPH faster over the mountain curves than I do, constantly running up and down though the five-speed manual gearbox. I try to read and clutch the sissy bar at the same time.


You remember that heel pain I was telling you about? I went to WebMD online and came up with a diagnosis of plantar facilitis. That’s a problem with the tendon in the arch attached to the heel. It happens to older people who are a little overweight and who play tennis, jog or walk a lot. They suggest ice packs, stretching exercises and a change in activities. For example, one could substitute bicycling for hiking and Scrabble for tennis.

We are in Wyoming today. We want to go to South Dakota and see the Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore and the Cave of the Winds National Park tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get the bikes down off the back of the RV where they’ve been hanging for the last two months and gathering gravel road dust.

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