On the road again!

Hello everyone, it’s your favorite dog blogger, Makena!

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Keeping my peeps informed!

We are on the road again!!!  While my parents are busy driving from Wyoming to Yuma, Arizona, I’ll get you all caught up.  We have finished up with our fourth and final summer at Luton’s Teton Cabins, just five miles east of Grand Teton National Park.  Once again, we were the last work camper couple to leave.  My dad steam cleans all the carpets, so it takes a while to get thru all 14 cabins and the lodge.  I have enjoyed my time here, because I can run around off-leash on the property.

The one problem, for me, with being the last to leave is the weather.  It always snows before we leave, and it gets cold.  It was 17 degrees when we pulled out this year.  But it sure is pretty!  This was our view from Luton’s on Saturday, October 5, when we left.  It had snowed the day before.

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I think I caught a cold or something, because I’ve gotten sick the last two mornings before we left.  My parents had to wash my favorite blankets two days in a row, and I’ve been sneezing a lot.  But now that we are on the road again, I am doing better.  I spend all day in my crate in the truck, so I have been getting a lot of rest.  It’s my “safe place.”  My parents say I’m an excellent traveler.

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We are going back to Westwind RV and Golf Resort in Yuma, Arizona.  I’m looking forward to the warm weather and sunshine!  My parents told me they will have new jobs this year, and will only be working two days a week.  Yay!  That means more time for me!  They will have an orientation day on October 15th, so I’m sure my mom will get back to blogging and have more information on their new jobs after that time.  And their friends Tom and Ellen will be working at Westwind this year.  They stopped over at our house a month ago, and brought their new puppy, Duffy, with them.  He promptly sniffed my butt and ate all of my food.  I don’t like him….

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Before I go, I’m going to post some more photos of the Tetons that my mom took in May, and September.  The Tetons are a beautiful place, and I hope all of my readers can someday visit the park.  Good-bye Tetons, looking forward to new adventures next summer in Alaska!  Here’s a view from Oxbow Bend at the beginning and end of our season.

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May 2019

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September 2019

 

Jenny Lake is a popular area in the park for hiking.  This is a view from an overlook.  In May, the lake was still frozen.

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May 2019

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September 2019

Quote for the day:  “Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” – Michael Palin

 

Winding down for the season…not yet!

We have started our last month here at Luton’s Teton Cabins, but instead of winding down, we are full speed ahead.  September is the third busiest month in the park, and we are at full occupancy until the third week of September, and then half full for the remainder of the month.  Many of our guests this month are repeat visitors, and it’s always fun catching up with them.  By the middle of the month, Dan will switch over from housekeeping to steam cleaning the carpets in all the cabins and the lodge.  He enjoys the change of pace.  Karen and I continue to be busy in the office, booking many reservations for next year.

I haven’t been faithfully posting this summer, but with this being our fourth year here, I just haven’t been that motivated.  We are very excited about going to Alaska next summer.  Our friends and co-workers Karen and Al  have done a fabulous job planning out an itinerary and looking into fishing and sightseeing opportunities.  We have already made a few campground reservations, but have a loose enough schedule to make changes, if need be.

Dan and Al have have gone fishing multiple times this summer, including one successful outing on Jackson Lake in the park.  I think it’s the “here fishy, fishy” hat that draws them in!

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All those fish led to a wonderful employee pot-luck for everyone.  Dan and Al grilled the fish.

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This has been a good summer for visitors!  A former co-worker of mine, Laura, came out here with her family, and we were able to spend a little bit of time with them!  Makena especially loved meeting her kids, and suckered them into some belly rubs!  Ironically, it was six years to the day that I left work when Laura and her family came to visit.  We had a great time catching up on the past six years, and I’m so happy she stopped by!

Dan’s brother Gary and his wife Julia also came out to the Teton’s.  Julia’s father John was celebrating his 90th birthday, and their entire family flew out to the Teton’s, and took a bus trip for the next week visiting many national parks and historic sites.  They were only here two days in this location, but we enjoyed our brief visit, and took Gary and Julia out for a hike along String Lake, one of our many favorite places here.

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Jean, Julia, birthday boy John and Gary

We met up with friends Jack and Ruth Ann, and Ruth Ann’s sister Jean.  We first met them working at Amazon in 2013.  Jack and Ruth Ann, as well as our friends Tom and Ellen, took us “under their wings” when we first started.  We all ate lunch together at Amazon, and learned so much from them about RV’ing.  Jack and Ruth Ann have been full-time since 2005.  They have volunteered several times at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, and we talked about doing that in the next year or two with them.

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Jean, Jack, Ruth Ann, Jonell and Dan

And speaking of Tom and Ellen, we did make it up one night to West Yellowstone, Montana, to surprise Tom for his birthday!  We will be seeing them again next week when they stop through for their last visit to the Teton’s.  They will be joining us this winter in Yuma, and next summer they will be working in Skagway, Alaska.

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Happy Birthday Tom!

Friends Dan and Nancy from Wisconsin also stopped in for a visit.  Dan just retired from teaching in June, and they were visiting their son in Idaho, and stopped on the way back.  We had a long discussion on full-time RV’ing, and on their way back home, they stopped in South Dakota and changed their residency.  They will be working on transitioning to this wonderful lifestyle!  We wish them all the best!

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Dan, Nancy, Jonell and Dan

We always enjoy playing ‘tour guide’ and giving out suggestions to our guests on things to see and do in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  We have enjoyed our four summers in this area, but we are also ready to move on to new adventures!

Quote for the day:  “Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Back to work (2 months ago…)

I admire the people that blog consistently.  I am not one of them!  We are back to work for our fourth, and final, summer here at Luton’s Teton Cabins.  I think part of my delay in writing is due to the fact we have been in this area of Wyoming for 5 years now (4 here, and 1 summer in West Yellowstone.)  There are days that I feel I’m in a rut.  As beautiful as this area is, I’m overdue for a change in scenery.

We arrived here on May 4, and took a quick drive through Grand Teton National Park.  Many areas were still covered in snow, and the ice on the lakes was just starting to melt.

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After getting acclimated to the altitude, we started spring cleaning the cabins a few days later.  All nine of us work campers came back this year.  Brad and Joanne are wonderful people to work for.  Spring cleaning consists of a deep clean of each cabin, including wiping down all the woodwork with a damp rag, and then oiling each log with wood oil.  It’s a tedious process, but it keeps the cabins looking “new.”   Many guests are surprised that the cabins are 25 years old.   Dan works on the ceilings, as he’s the tallest!

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The bedroom is ready for the season!

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After working 3 days per week in our winter jobs, it’s back to 5 days a week, and a split shift on my office days.  Karen and I split the office – 3 days office/2 days housekeeping one week, and 4 days office/1 housekeeping day the next week.  Office hours are 8 – 12 pm and 3 – 7 pm.  Between 12 and 3, we are still available to answer phones and help guests with any issues/early check-ins.  Because of the long office schedule, we are paid a daily rate.  Dan refers to me as “the bread winner.”  Housekeeping generally starts at 9 am, and we can be done between noon and 3 pm, depending on how busy the cabins are.  Usually there are 4-5 housekeepers, and we can get through a cabin fairly quickly.  Dan does 4 days of housekeeping, and 1 day in laundry, washing all the linens, towels, rugs and rags.  He enjoys the variety.

As long as office duties are done (checking in guests, answering the phone, cleaning the lodge, watering plants, cleaning grills and helping the housekeepers on busy days) we can sit and read in the office.  I’ve caught up on a lot of magazines that I can get for free through Flipster on my local library’s website.  It’s a great app to use to read magazines offline.  Here’s a screen shot of my “bookshelf” on the Flipster app.

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We took a day trip up to Yellowstone with Karen and Al.  The overlook to the upper and lower falls at Canyon Village are now open.  It’s always pretty to see, especially with snow.  I’d like to visit Yellowstone in the winter someday.

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Upper Falls

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Lower Falls

We also stopped to watch Old Faithful.  I’ve seen it dozens of times, and was a bit amused when this couple in front of me immediately stood up to take selfies!  They spent the entire time taking pictures of themselves, and not even bothering watching the eruption!  P1060272

Dan and Al have had several successful fishing outings.  Soon we will be having an employee fish fry pot luck.

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And speaking of pot lucks, we just had an excellent lobster dinner, courtesy of Brad and Joanne.  They had lobsters, clams and mussels flown in from Maine.  Al did an excellent job cooking everything, and even gave the ‘newbies’ tips on how to crack open and eat lobster.  It was an excellent feast!

And speaking of food, my goal for the summer is to clean out our pantry.  I look like a food hoarder, and I need to work on that!  Since we arrived on May 4, I have not bought anything new for the pantry.  This is what our pantry looks like today  (and this is after 2 months of eating…still a long way to go!)

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Over the winter we accomplished the goal of eating everything in our freezer before buying new food.  So nothing in the freezer is older than 3 months.  We replenished the freezer again when we arrived in Wyoming, and will work on emptying that out again over the summer.  It’s a great way to try out new recipes.  But it’s also made me wonder “what was I thinking in the first place when I bought this?”

We are going to Alaska next summer, and have considered getting a truck camper.  It would be an exciting challenge to downsize even more.  We may even consider selling our beloved 5th wheel.  But we are not coming off the road, just changing things up.  And downsizing more will give us more flexibility.  Variety is the spice of life?  We’ll keep you posted on what we decide.  Just starting to look at what’s available right now.

We had some visitors already (we like visitors!!).  Dean and Jeannie stopped by on their way to Oregon, and we played tour guides for a day.  Our door is always open!

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Jonell, Jeannie and Dean

And we finally saw our first moose of the season (no porcupine yet!)

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Until next time, please stay safe!

Quote for the day:  “You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Roy T Bennett

 

Back at my summer home!

Hello everyone!  It’s your favorite dog blogger, back after a long absence!

makena blogging 2-09-2014

Keeping my peeps informed!

Now that my parents have finished blathering on about all kinds of things that I didn’t get to see in Arizona and Utah, I thought it would be time to catch everyone up with the important stuff….me!  Although I enjoyed my time in warm and sunny Arizona, I’m happy to be back in Wyoming.  They have grass, and lot’s of it.  Arizona has a little too much sand for my liking.  And they have these tiny, nasty little plants with prickers that kept getting stuck in my paws.

We arrived back at Luton’s Teton Cabins in Moran, Wyoming on May 4.  The weather was cold and rainy for most of that month, but has steadily improved.  My parents are here to work, and I’m here to run around, off leash, on 100 acres of grass!  Here I am in action….the cabins that my parents work at are way off in the background (I’m not allowed in them).

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WooHoo!  Back on grass!

And once we round the corner of the property, we get to look at this view every day!

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Wait for me!

Since we didn’t go back to Wisconsin this year, my parents had to find a new doctor for my annual wellness exam.  They found a nice place in Jackson Hole, Spring Creek Animal Hospital.  The doctor was very impressed with my overall health, and said my heart and lungs are very strong!  It’s all that playing and running around that I do.  I haven’t had any problems lately from my back injury.  The doctor wants to have my teeth cleaned, however.  After 12 years, I guess I could use a little cleaning, but my parents are worried about the anesthesia, given my age and petite size.  They haven’t decided what to do.

I did make a new friend here in Wyoming, a tiny bald kitten named Butters.  I’m not sure why he’s bald, and I’m not sure why they call him Butters.  My mom thinks he looks like Yoda from Star Wars.

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Butters

Butters parents (my parents co-workers) were going home for a family event for a few days, so Butters stayed with us for five of the longest days of my life!  When they first brought him over, I was not too happy about sharing my home with him.  Then my mom walked in with his food…yummy!  I tried my best to get at it, but I was shut out.  And, Butters gets canned food twice a day…I only get canned food once a day.  Darn cat.

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yummy cat food!

Apparently Butters was not happy that I was trying to eat his food, as he got revenge on me by sitting in front of my own dog food.

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payback from the cat

No matter what I tried to do over the five days, Butters wanted to join in, whether I liked it or not (mostly not).  If I sat at the door watching outside, Butters joined in.

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I like to relax on my mom’s lap with a blanket in the morning when she is enjoying her coffee.  Yep, Butters joined in.

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I was okay with this at first, but when the bald cat decided he wanted to crawl under the blanket with me, well, you can tell by the look on my face I was not happy!

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Go away Butters!

Even when it was time for my canned food, exactly at 5 pm, Butters wanted to help me out.  I finally had enough of him, and growled, so my parents had to pick him up and keep him away while I was eating.  Nobody messes with my canned food!

When I tried to play with my toys, Butters kept butting in (maybe that’s why he’s called Butters?).  You can tell by the look on my face that I’m not happy.

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don’t mess with my toys!

I don’t understand cats.  What’s wrong with just sitting on the couch to look out the window.  Why do they feel the need to hang on to the window instead?

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And what’s wrong with this picture?  Sheesh!  It’s my house, my bed!

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It was a long five days, but I survived!  Stay tuned, I hope everyone is doing well!

Quote for the Day:  “In ancient times, cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” – Terry Pratchett

 

Trains, Automobiles and Guns

In continuing on with the Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Guns themes (Planes were the last post), we visited Union Station, in downtown Ogden, Utah.  It’s definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.  The station contains four small museums that you can visit, for $7.00 per adult.  The current station was built in 1924, after the previous station burned down.

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The Grand Lobby in Union Station

In Wisconsin, we call this a bubbler.  The rest of the country, for whatever reason, seems to think this is a water fountain.

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At it’s heyday, 120 trains went through Ogden every day.  Union Station is now used to house several small museums, including an outdoor display of diesel and steam engines.

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The Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has a small space honoring the Utah Cowboy Hall of Fame as well as historic western memorabilia.

The Browning-Kimball Classic Car Museum has about a dozen old cars on display.  What is unique about the cars is they are all driven out of the museum every year during the annual Heritage Festival in Ogden every May.

The blue car on the right is a 1931 Lincoln Model 202A.

P1050978 (2)Below is the 1929 Pierce-Arrow.

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Below, on the far right, a 1929 Durant model 6-60.  The red vehicle is a 1911 Knox Model S Roadster.  The beige vehicle on the far left is a 1930 Cadillac Model 452.

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The Utah State Railroad Museum is now the proud owner of the The Golden Spike safe, which was originally held at Stanford University, and contained the original Golden Spike of 1869, a 17.6 karat gold spike used to connect the final rail of the Transcontinental Railroad, connecting the Union Pacific with the Central Pacific in Promontory Summit, Utah Territory, May 10, 1869.

After the 1989 earthquake in California, the museum displaying the safe and spike was damaged, and a new museum was built, with a new display case for the spike.  The safe was then donated to this museum in 2010.  The “golden spike” on display in the safe is the Utah Centennial Golden Spike.

Before trains, people were not really aware of “time.”  There was morning, afternoon, evening and night.  People used sundials to keep track of time.  After trains, “time” became important, and people soon realized that the time in Chicago was not the same as the time in Ogden.  In 1884, the National Railway Time Convention proposed standard time zones, and in 1918 Congress finally passed the Standard Time Act, making the time zones official.

The John M. Browning Firearms Museum  has a large display of firearms.  The museum started with the history of the Browning family, talking about John M Browning’s father, Jonathan.  The family history was a bit confusing, because Jonathan was a polygamist with several wives and lots of children.  (too many branches in the family tree!).  Jonathan was a gunsmith in Ogden, and John followed in his footsteps, working in his shop at young age.  He is considered to be one of the most successful gun designers in history, with many of his 128 patented designs still in use today.   He sold many of his designs to Winchester, Colt, Remington and Fabrique National de Herstel (FN) of Belgium.  Original models of his guns are on display.  They provide an excellent history on the development of rifles, shot guns and automatic weapons.

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His very first invention, in 1878, was the single shot rifle (top rifle in the photo below).  In 1883, he sold the patent to Winchester, and in 1885, they started selling Model 1885 in 33 calibers (bottom rifle).

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John M Browning also developed a 9mm pistol.  The top pistol was his first prototype, and the other three were patents he sold to Fabrique National (FN).

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He developed a number of weapons for the military.

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Including this automatic rifle, which was first used near the end of WWI, and continued to be used through the Vietnam War.  It can fire 500 rounds per minute.

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In 1911, Browning designed the M1911, semi-automatic weapon used by the military as their standard sidearm.  It was manufactured by Colt, and used until 1986. Below are several variations of the model.

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If you are a gun owner, John M Browning probably had something to do with the design and development of the guns that you own.  We enjoyed our visit to Union Station, and highly recommend a visit if you are in Ogden, Utah.

Now it’s back to work…

Quote of the Day:  “Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.” – Jamie Lyn Beatty