Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jumping Doctor!

Monument Valley at John Ford Point

Wee-Sian Woon of Australia...
He recently completed med school and is doing his rotations, now on a trip exploring the west on his way to a marathon run in San Francisco, Ca.

He definitely qualifies as our best jump-shot ever!

Today we also visited dinosaur tracks in the desert just south of Tuba City, Arizona. Pictured here is an Allosaurus track with a toy dinosaur. In the photo, the small white dot on the right of the dino track is a nickel placed for size comparison. 
We drove to "Gump Hill." 
Found a few prickly pear cactus starting to bloom.

Sacagawea (1812) 200 Years Ago

Obit (Historical): Sacagawea
Sacagawea, the famed Shoshone interpreter who joined Meriweather Lewis and William Clark on their exploration of the American Midwest and Pacific Coast, died on this date 200 years ago. (Coincidentally, she passed away on the 9th anniversary of the transfer of Louisiana to the United States.)
The two men, sent by President Thomas Jefferson to lay out a route to the West through the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase, found Sacagawea and her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, living near what is today Bismarck, South Dakota.
Kidnapped by the Hidatsa tribe from the Shoshones when she was 12, Sacagawea (which translates as “bird woman”) was 16 when she met the explorers and had just given birth to a son, Jean Baptist Charbonneau. The teenager was purchased by Toussaint to be his wife - along with another woman known only as “Otter Girl” - from the Hidatsas when she was just thirteen
Sacagawea, her son, and her husband would remain with Lewis & Clark for the remainder of their journey to the Pacific and back. She is often misidentified as the guide but was, in fact, their expedition’s interpreter. More importantly, her presence with the group showed to other tribes that the explorers were not looking for conflict, since Native Americans in the region would not include women in war parties.
History also owes Sacagawea a debt of gratitude for her quick thinking when she rescued Lewis and Clark’s records and journals after their boat overturned on May 14, 1805. In return, William Clark named the Sacagawea River, in what is now Montana, in her honor.
Following the expedition, William Clark encouraged Sacagawea and Charbonneau to move to St. Louis, Missouri. Clark then convinced the couple to give him custody of Jean Baptiste and enrolled the boy in a local school.
Six years later Sacagawea gave birth to a daughter named Lizette. Not long after this on December 20, 1812 Sacagawea passed away from an unknown illness. She was only 24 years old. Clark would later adopt both of Sacagawea’s children.
The last mention of Sacagawea in any record is from Clark’s journals of 1825-1826 when he listed all the members of the western expedition and wrote, “Se car ja we au- Dead.”
Random note 1: Although most everyone agrees that Sacagawea died in 1812 there were rumors that she actually survived as a Comanche bride in Wyoming and lived until 1884. No evidence was ever discovered to support this story.
Random note 2: Sacagawea was given a river and historical recognition for her work (as well as a gold dollar coin beginning in 2000) but at the time it was her husband who received $500.33 and 320 acres of land for his work.
Random note 3: Her son, Jean Baptiste, would become a minor celebrity as the only child to travel with Lewis & Clark. At one point he was taken to Europe where he associated with royalty, learned four languages, married, and had a child. After his son died young, Jean Baptiste returned to the U.S. where he became a guide, a gold prospector, and a hotel clerk. He died in 1866 at the age of 61 looking for gold in Montana. Lizette died in childhood.
Sources: (check out their tumblr here) and Wikipedia
(Image of the 1994 Sacagawea stamp is courtesy of Stamp of Approval, which is a sister site of the the United States Postal Service’s tumblr. There were no images of Sacagawea created of her during her lifetime.)

Transformer 4 Movie Shooting at Monument Valley in June 2013

Transformers 4 Optimus Prime Western Star Truck
Autobots leader (and voice of reason) Optimus Prime, now set to be played by Wahlberg, headed to the garage after the last film as a Peterbilt Model-379, now reemerging as a custom Western Star truck, tri-color flames and all.
Transformers 4 Autobots Get an Upgrade Bumblebee 1967 Camaro
Bumblebee is looking meaner than ever, now seen as a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS all tricked out with a some seriously huge fender flares and awesome yellow-on-flat-black paint scheme.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wupatki Sunrise

A young couple from Tennessee shared a "panoramic" photo of yesterday morning's sunrise from Wupatki Ruins National Monument. This fun loving couple will go on my list of all-time favorites. He works at Nissan and she is a physical therapist. Lots of folks talk about wanting to catch a sunrise from a pretty spot... not many actually follow thru.

Great View, Thanks.

Friday, April 5, 2013

44 Years Ago My Imagination was launched into space

I was six years old, and it is the FIRST movie I truly remember seeing, opened in April of 1968. After doing some quick math in my head a realization occurred how I would be an adult in 2001... possibly visiting a space station, and exploring a moon base.

The reality hit me in 2001 while driving an 18 wheeled truck cross country and showering in truck stops, the closest I was going to get to space was listening to satellite radio. I was using satellite technology for GPS, and listening to stories of alien influence on the world on Coast to Coast radio with Art Bell.

Visualizing our place in the universe is still an exercise in imagination... every once in a while we get some help. A new Google Chrome Experiment called 100,000 Stars might help. While on the Arizona Highways, we get to spend a lot of time looking at the stars.

Staring into the Grand Canyon everyday makes me feel insignificant. This experiment from Google just adds to my feelings of insignificance.