John Muir – “Father of the National Parks

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“The practical importance of the preservation of our forests is augmented by their relations to climate, soil and streams.” – John Muir

My blog today is about a man who every outdoorsman, or one who loves frequenting the National Parks, should know.  He was a naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist and activist for the preservation of wilderness.  His name was John Muir.

John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland, on April 21, 1838 and died December 24, 1914.  He was also known as “John of the mountains” and “Father of the National Parks”.  He also founded the Sierra Club.  He was well known for his writing.  He published two articles about Wilderness Preservation in The Century Magazine that influenced the US Congress to establish Yosemite National Park in 1890.

“Only by going alone into silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness.  All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” – John Muir

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The Muir family left Scotland in 1849 headed for America.  They started a farm near Portage, Wisconsin.  The farm was known as Fountain Lake Farm and it has been designated a National Historic Landmark.  He enrolled in University of Wisconsin – Madison at the age of 22 and in 1864 moved to Canada until 1866.  Indianapolis was his new home and he went to work in a wagon wheel factory.

In September of 1867 Muir began a 1,000 mile walk that started in Kentucky and ended in Florida.  You can read about his journey in his book A Thousand – Mile Walk to the Gulf.

“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.” – John Muir

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John was very active his whole life trying to save the wilderness and was at home in nature.  Some controversy followed him concerning some of his activism, but his love for the outdoors prevailed.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Remember, spread the love.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

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It’s Your Life; Who’s In Charge

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“Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to.  We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be.  We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.” – David B Wirthlin

In the picture above the river represents your life and the dam represents control. Who/what controls your life.

Old cowboy saying, “A woman finds her a man she wants and says I can change him.  A cowboy finds a woman he wants and says I hope she never changes.”

So many things  can control your life and you may not even know.  Drugs, alcohol, gambling, and sex can all become a control issue. Most of the time they are pretty obvious to your friends and family and garner a lot of attention sometimes resulting in one getting help.

There is one form of control that literally breaks my heart.  Low self esteem.  It can make you a prisoner in your own world.  Some people don’t even realize they have it.  If you were bullied in school, had abusive parents, always ridiculed and never complimented or parents that never interacted or did things with you, then you probably battle with low self esteem.  Good news  is that if you are, you don’t have to.  With the help of some family members, friends and YOU, YOU can heal yourself.

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These wildflowers are representative of a new beginning.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are one that suffers from low self esteem, to beat it you have to restore your self confidence.  You have to quit listening to others and believe in yourself.  You are somebody.  You are beautiful.  You are a good person.

It’s not gong to be an easy row to hoe.  You are going to have to be strong and unwavering.  Create yourself a negative free environment and begin a healing process.  Surround yourself with positive friends and family and seek out a good counselor.  All these people will be good for you.  Again I stress you have to believe in yourself and take control of your life.

For those of you that have an addiction, you will have to use a little different approach but you can get control of your life back.  Surround yourself with positive people and again, find yourself a good counselor.  Set realistic goals and don’t lose sight of them and don’t ever give up.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Memorial Day

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This grave is located in the Masonic Cemetery in Farmington, MO.

Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” – Franklin D Roosevelt

Memorial Day is upon us.  I know some of you out there aren’t going to believe this but there is a real purpose and reason for Memorial Day other than going out and seeing how hard you can party for three days.  It is a holiday with true meaning and really shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Memorial day was first observed on May 30, 1868 and in 1971 by an act of Congress it was declared a national holiday.  The day of observance was also changed from May 30 to the last Monday in May.  It is also referred to as “Decoration Day”.  The practice of decorating soldiers graves has been a custom for some time even before the Civil War.

In 1868 Memorial Day ceremonies began at Gettysburg National Park but wasn’t known nationally until 1913.  That year veterans of the United States Army and Confederate Army converged on Gettysburg to commemorate the most famous and bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

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Picture taken by me in the Masonic Cemetery located in Farmington, MO.

There will be a special ceremony at this Revolutionary Soldier’s grave tomorrow but I am sorry I don’t know the time.

“For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” James A. Garfield

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My office at K of P Cemetery located in Farmington, Mo.

As I sit here writing my mind is taken back many years ago when I was a child and we would go camping upon the banks of the St. Francois River at a place we dubbed “sandy banks” located just below the Lake Wappapello dam.  There are a lot of great memories on those banks.  It has been at least 45 years since I have been there but it just seems just like yesterday.

War brings so many casualties and adds to the populations of the cemeteries.  This is the day that was designated by Congress to remember those that lost their lives while serving in the military.  To all you party revelers out there, you have had two days to play and party hard.  I ask that you take one minute of your time today and have a moment of silence for those brave men and women who paid the ultimate price with their lives.

I mow three cemeteries and know for a fact that a lot of graves never receive flowers or visitors.  I would like to see a movement in this country where folks adopt one of those soldiers graves and decorate it with flowers.  You don’t have to know them to place flowers on their graves.

 

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My great grandparents headstone located in Arkansas.

Many areas of the country also decorate the graves of their family members regardless of them not being a vet.

In closing I want to wish everyone a safe holiday and if you are traveling be careful.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.

 

Joy of Friendship

=-“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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My story begins in a small second grade classroom located in the High Ridge Elementary school in the year 1961.  That is when David Tripp and I became friends.  I begin writing about our friendship on the eve our next adventure.  I hope you find it entertaining.

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My house for the weekend

 

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David’s home for the weekend.

As I have stated in the beginning David and I met in second grade.  We went on to become graduates of Northwest High School in House Springs, MO.  We went our separate ways and were actually reunited through social media.  In 2010 our ole buddy Tommy Parton planned a fishing day and we saw each other face to face for the first time in over 35 years.  After that reunion David and I started getting together once a year to do some fishing and reminiscing.  The subject of this blog is our 2018 trip.

David is quite an accomplished artist and is quite busy with art shows so it is hard for him to get free.  We finally got it pinned down for this year and we decided on Silver Mines.  I did a blog on Silver Mines in the fall 0f 2017.  I used to visit the area when I was a teenager.

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Trail leading to the old dam.

We arrived around 11:30 am and began setting up camp.  The weather forecast called for rain and wouldn’t you know it, they actually got it right.  Now I am here to tell you when two 64 year old men go tent camping there can be some humorous moments.

The first one was getting our lean, athletic (yeah right LOL) into those tents.  Now let me tell you that is no easy feat.  The best way I found was to just drop to the ground like you are on fire then do the worm through the tent entrance.  Ahh, I am safely with in the cocoon.  Oh crap!  At sometime I have to leave the cocoon.  When the time came I once again did the worm through the entrance and there I lay on my belly.  A grown man who looks like he has fallen and can’t get up.  I finally muster enough energy and coordination to get up and it sounded like somebody poured milk over a bowl of Rice Krispies, snap, crackle, pop.

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David in his element.

Now I have to tell on my friend David.  The ground was causing David some problems. so to help him sleep we went to town and he bought him an air mattress.  Now David’s tent wasn’t 2,000 square feet.  So David sets about placing this spacious mattress within the confines of his tent.  I now know what it looks like when someone tries to put a size 38 waist into a pair of 34 jeans.  However I do now know it can be done!

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The old dam.  You can see we did get some rain.

Well the weather more than PPed on our parade.  It poured.  I lost track but I think we survived four typhoons and a hurricane.  Both our tents were one man tents.  David had a Magellan and I had a Bushnell.  I can say they both were fantastic through the storms.  Only tense moment with my tent happened at 3:05 am.  My bladder woke me from a deep sleep and when I tried to get out, the zipper was stuck.  When you are 64 years old you just don’t have the holding power and knowing this I began to panic.  Finally I was able to get it unstuck and I found I could get out of the tent easier than I thought I could.

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Old overflow at the damn.

 

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Path to dam.

 

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Near Turkey Creek.

 

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Part of the dam that is left.

 

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Bridge across Turkey Creek.

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“Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.” – Epicurus

Friendship is the greatest gift someone can give you.  Don’t take it for granted.

Thank you reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Spread the love.

(All pictures were taken by me and are the property of Double D Acres LLC and can not be used without my permission.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                               

 

 

 

 

Bonne Terre, Mo Vacation

 

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St. Francois River in Silver Mines Recreation Area

 

Vacation time is upon us.  Do you like small towns?  If you do, don’t look any further than Bonne Terre, MO located in St. Francois County about 60 miles south of St. Louis, MO..  Population is a little over seven thousand and it is located in the lead belt of Missouri.  The French settled here in 1720 after the discovery of iron ore.  It was platted as a town in 1880.

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Bonne Terre Dragstrip

National Geographic calls Bonne Terre Mine “One of America’s Top 10 Greatest adventures. Take a walking tour of the old mine and take a boat ride on the Billion Gallon underground lake.  They also have scuba diving classes.  You can find out more at http://www.bonneterremine.com.

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A turtle sunning at Bismark Lake

There are many near by attractions one can also enjoy.  If you are a fisherman you are in luck.  Big river is near by and Bismark Lake.  Bonne Terre has its own city lake.  Then there  is Monsanto Lake located in beautiful St. Joe Park.  You can also ride your four wheeler or dirt bike in the off road park inside St. Joe Park.

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Monsanto Lake

Bonne Terre is only 32 miles from the Arcadia Valley.  In the valley you will find the towns of Arcadia, Ironton and Pilot Knob.  A significant battle of the Civil War happened in the valley at Fort Davidson in Pilot Knob.  Just up the road from there you can find Johnson’s Shut-Ins, Elephant Rocks and Taum Sauk State Parks.

 

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A building inside St. Joe Park

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  It is much appreciated.  You get a chance check out Bonne Terre.  Be safe out there.  Spread the love!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Suggestions

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“Life is but a dream for the dead.” – Gerard Way

Have you ever thought, who am I?  What am I doing here?  Is there a purpose for me to be here?  If you are like me you have thought of these and several more.

I think most of us have seen the movie “Its A Wonderful Life“.  George Bailey is shown the lives he had touched and what would have happened if he had not been born.  “A Christmas Carol” depicted a miser with no compassion, who is visited by three spirits and shown the error of his ways.

Now back to real life.  You pretty much don’t have any control of your birth, so the beginning of your life is pretty much controlled by where the birth canal you come out of resides and the owners outlook on life.  Until you leave home your parents are pretty much in control of your life.  Your parents are a crucial part of your road to adulthood.

“The anguish of death hangs over and leads the human spirit to wonder about the mysteries of existence, man’s destiny, life, the world.” E. Morin

So you finally make it to adulthood.  Your prize: work your arse off to make ends meet.  Now you are going to spend the next 40 to 50 years of your life going to work and dreaming about retirement.  Life is grand.  Really it is.

There you stand at the beginning of the road of life with some big decisions.  May I make some suggestions?  First off I am not a psychologist, or the owner of any big degree title for that matter, but I have graduated from the school of hard knocks.

  1. Are you happy with your life?
  2. Are you harboring any grudges or bad feelings toward anyone.
  3. Do you love yourself?
  4. Do you keep a journal?
  5. Do you take me time?

If you aren’t happy with your life take a step back and figure out why.  Once you have figured that out then devise a plan to fix it.

If you are holding a grudge or any ill feelings toward anyone, STOP!  Drop it!  Forget about it.  FORGIVE them.  As long as you are holding a grudge, that negative energy is holding you back keeping you from being what you are capable of being.

You can be the type of person that loves everyone but don’t love yourself.  Why don’t you love yourself?  Do you not think you are worthy of your own love?  You have to figure this one out.  I am a firm believer that life holds those back that don’t love themselves.  This is a very toxic negative energy.

If you don’t keep a journal may I suggest you keep one.  You don’t have to write a book.  Just keep track of your thoughts for a day and 6 months later go back and read it.  You may learn a lot more about yourself.

If you don’t take time for yourself then please start doing so in the very near future say, like yesterday.  There is so many ways you can enjoy “me time”.  Yoga, meditation, reading, fishing, drawing/painting etc.  Just find something that you enjoy, love doing, something that oozes of positive energy.  Take this time to clear you mind, body and soul of the negative energy that has hitched a ride with you, trying to bring you down.

Don’t get caught up in it.  Focus on the positive energy.  The only one who will hold you back in life is you!  Have fun and enjoy life.

I hope you enjoyed my blog.  Thanks for taking the time to read it.  I appreciate it very much.  Make the world a better place and spread the love.

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies  inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins

 

 

 

 

Duality

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Duality is found everywhere in nature. We usually call it ‘yin’ and ‘yang’.
Yang is the energising, activating and motivating principle of life. Yin is the nourishing and building principle of life.

Here some examples: 

  • driving the car, playing sports, multitasking, drinking coffee, eating spicy, making deals/business is yang activities. It is also hot, bright, fast, dry, aggressive, male, daytime, sun. 
  • sleeping, mediating, getting massage, eating oatmeal is yin activities. As well as it is cool, dark, slow, soft, stable, moist, female, night, moon. 

So if we’ll look at our hormones in the body, we’ll see that stress hormones are yang and sex hormones are yin. They are also harmoniously balanced and complement each other perfectly, because they are actually aspects of the One. 

makyaj-sanati-11If you remember I’ve told you before that every human being has a life force or energy (you can call it Soul…

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Change; Good or Bad?

“Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience,  independent will, and creative imagination.  These give us the ultimate human freedom… the power to choose, to respond, to change.” Stephen Covey

Once we squeeze through the birth canal and leave the warmth of the womb and take that first breath there is no turning back.  Our “life clock” has began ticking and we have so much to learn and everything we learn is subject to change.  Sometimes change is good and sometimes it isn’t.

Life experiences are responsible for defining our character and preparing us for adulthood.  The leaders of life experiences are parenting and schooling.  One prime example of change is parenting.  Parenting of the 50s and 60s was a whole lot different than the parenting of today.  My life clock began in 1954 and I have seen parenting change for the worse in my opinion.  Schooling has changed immensely also and all I have to say is I am glad I was a child of the 50s and 60s.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Unfortunately as we are rolling along down life’s highway with adulthood in our sights, we can pick up something like “bigotry” or other negative energies and they pollute our hearts and minds and if we let it, it will pollute everything around us.  Therefore we need some kind of filtration system and be smart enough to identify these negative energies.

My filtration system is Mother Nature.  It might be camping out along the river, kayaking the river or sitting on a high spot on a ridge watching the sun set or rise.  Mother Nature does a good job of absorbing those negative energies that have hitched a ride with me.  It doesn’t have to be Mother Nature but should be something you love doing.  Shedding those negative energies is a positive change.

“If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

I don’t think we understand that “egos” cause a lot of problems and changes.  I call it the “hungry beast” because it seems like it needs to be fed a lot.  I know some people who are constantly feeding their egos without realizing how much damage that massive ego can do.  It can be a person’s worse nightmare.  It can completely change a person from well liked to a person who can clear a room by just walking into it.

Sometimes society goes head first in the world trying to change things.  A lot of times they do this without thinking it through and not taking the time to envision what these changes are going to do in the long run.  What impact is this change going to have on the highway of life?  Is it going to be full of speed bumps or is it going to be like gliding down a toll road?  We really need to start looking at the full impact of changing something before we do it.  Just this humble bloggers opinion for what it is worth.

“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.” – Hugh Prather

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  It is deeply appreciated.  A big shout out to all of you who follow me and read my posts.  I finally broke 200 and I thank everyone of you who made it possible.  Remember, spread the love.  It will make the world a better place.

Technology; Friend or Foe

“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” – Christian Lous Lange

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Photograph provided by Pexels

Is it just me?  Am I just old school?  Is technology infallible?  I am sorry but the way we have become so dependent on technology makes me nervous.  We store everything on hard drives but have no real hard copies of anything.  That works great until something happens.

Maybe I just don’t understand technology well enough but if the power grid were to go down for some reason what would we do?  Computers run the power grid and computers run off the power grid.  What would happen if someone attacked our power grid and took it out?  I mean computer glitches grounded some airlines for a while disrupting the travel of thousands of people.  What if it would have been the power grid that went down for five or six hours.

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Photograph provided by Pexels

I can see you shaking your head at me.  Another old fart who just doesn’t get it.  There are safeguards built into our system to protect us from that thing.  Really?  Well listen up.  They said the Titanic was unsinkable too.

Please remember I learned to count on an abacus.   Actually did, and still do, math problems in my head.  We didn’t have those fancy little calculators.

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives.  It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” – Steven Spielberg

Technology is so easy to become dependent on.  I use to know everyone’s phone number and had them memorized.  Not anymore.  They are all in this little ole phone now where you push a button and abracadabra, phone number has arrived.  One can live in St. Louis, MO and be vacationing in Mexico and see in your living room and check to make sure everything is ok.  However, if you are flying you still end up in Dallas, Texas and your luggage ends up in Chicago, Illinois.  We have driverless cars but they still need to work all the bugs out of that idea.  Yet at a fast food restaurant when you order a hamburger you never get one that looks like the one in the picture on the wall.

All we can do is hope that nothing causes our system to go down for a long time.  Hope you enjoyed my post and thank you for taking the time to read it.  Spread the love.

Bonne Terre, Dragstrip

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“If you want to make a million dollars racing start with two.” – Ken Shrader

For many years the ground that Bonne Terre Dragstrip sits on was a place to pump tailings and water from the mines.  Eventually it was turned into a 300 foot sand drag strip.  After a lengthy time of sand drags the track changed hands many times then finally closed down.

Then it was given a new life when Jarrod Keen purchased the property and made several improvements to the property.  One of the improvements ended the chance of ever having sand drag races there again.  An eighth mile track was built and a drag strip was born.  That was in 2014 and it is still going strong.

“I’ve been upside down, backwards, and on fire, faster than most people will ever think of going in their life.” – “Big Daddy” Don Garlits

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Bonne Terre Dragstrip is located at 7640 Blackberry Lane, Bonne Terre, MO.  Presently racing is on Sunday and gates open at 10 a.m.  Friday nights is “Test and Tune” and starts at 6 p.m.  Admission is $10 at the gate.  Kids 12 and under admission is free when with an adult.  I have been there a couple of times and it is well run and a great place to take the whole family.  They do have a cook shack and the food has been good and priced right.  Make sure to check them out this summer.

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The world of drag racing is very exciting and if you have never been to a drag race, by all means put it on your bucket list.  Hint: You may want to take some ear plugs with you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  It is really appreciated.  Remember to share the love.