Gretchen and I are about to embark on a long-awaited journey to the Great American West. We’ll be leaving on Sunday, a day after Gretchen’s retirement from the Minnesota Department of Health. 33 years of hard work and making a difference. We will be taking the blue Vistabule “Dark Sky” on a 6-week tour of parts known and unknown. 

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The first leg of our journey will take us through the Bad Lands and Black Hills of South Dakota, which is a tradition when heading west. From there, onto Colorado to visit Friends and attend 3 concerts of Brewer and Shipley (One Toke Over the Line). 

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These guys are known as the quintessential guitar and songwriting duo of the Sixties and Seventies. They’ve had a massive influence on us kids. They helped inform our politics from Nixon to Trump. They witness what is truly great about America and shine a light on those scoundrels who make patriotism their last refuge. We will attend a concert at Estes Park on the 7th. Denver on the 8th and Colorado Springs on the 9th. If you would like to meet up with us at any of these venues go to Brewer and Shipley’s Facebook page and find further details. We’ll be discussing them more later in future posts to this blog.

From Colorado, we will be wending our way thru Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington. Across the Scab Lands and Grand Coulee and on to Seattle, where more friends await our arrival.


A few days later we will head south to Crater Lake in Oregon. 

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From there on, things become more fluid. A lot of musts, maybes and unknowns.

Yosemite, LA, Tesla Auto and Battery Factories (to lobby Elon Musk to put hitches on all his new Model 3s and charging stations in all the National Parks), Apple’s UFO shaped Headquarters, Bonneville Salt flats (to break the teardrop land speed record), Monument Valley, Chaco Canyon (to do some dark sky viewing), Zion, Salt Lake, Lightning Field, Ship Rock, Mesa Verde, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and maybe more or maybe less! Did I say, “six weeks”? Yeah, right!

We know that Gretchen will be joining her sisters, the first week of October, near Albuquerque at a small cabin at the Lightning Field Earth Sculpture and then on to Albuquerque to the world’s largest gathering of hot air balloons. 


I’ll make myself scarce by tripping off to Chaco Canyon to do some night sky viewing and other exotic adventures.

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Gretchen and I will meet up again in Santa Fe and plan our trip home. I hope people will recognize us when we return. I’m thinking that we will be so buff and shiny that it will hard to gaze upon our bright and glowing countenances! Or, not. But we will, no doubt, be looking forward to commencing with our lives. Gretchen’s acclamation to retirement and my many new projects and challenges. We hope to see you all on the other side!

Happy Trails!