Daily Archives: July 23, 2020

Bill Gates Agrees With Me . . .

I have said a number of times that I don’t think there will be a CoVid ‘vaccine’. Yes, we do have vaccines for some viruses. Polio and Smallpox are examples.

But we have never had a vaccine for a cold or flu virus. Yearly shots, yes. But a one-time vaccine, No. And even the yearly flu shots are seldom more efficient than 50%, and often as low as 25%. And only about 50% of the U.S population get the shots anyway.

And now it seems like Bill Gates agrees with me.

Speaking during an interview with Norah O’Donnell on CBS News, Gates said he had faith in the development of a coronavirus vaccine. However, he warned it could take an “unbelievably big number” of doses to beat the virus.

He said: “None of the vaccines at this point appear like they’ll work with a single dose. “That was the hope at the very beginning.”

However, he said the solution will “improve over time” even though there will be “a lot of uncertainty” about the vaccine.

Well I feel a lot better. How about you?

 

Today was a busy date in our years of RV travel, so you get 3, count’em 3 blogs in this post.


July 23, 2010

We’re 3 out of 4, but the iced tea was good…

Today started out at 10 am with Jan attending the Dog Talent Show and I hit the vendors area again. I bought a couple of things, and I’m looking at a few more, including a new PacBrake.

At noon Jan and I met for a lunch of corn dogs and French fries at the Food Court. What we didn’t realize at the time is that this would be the best meal of the day.

Then at 1 pm Jan caught a seminar on RV’ing the Pacific Northwest by Mike and Terri Church. A little late since this is where we were earlier this year.

I checked out a talk on RV Refrigerators, which I hoped would help with a problem I’m having with mine.  No luck.  But it was interesting.

About 2:30 pm we headed north into Indiana to Sam’s Club to pick up a prescription and some other stuff. Then it was off to the low point of the day.

Since we’ve been in Louisville, we’ve eaten 2 places that were on the Rally Tours: Mark’s Feed Store, and Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant. We also discovered Cottage Inn, a nearby local favorite. All three were excellent.

The 3rd restaurant on the Rally Tours was Kingfish Seafood. In finding the directions online, I also read a few reviews. Some liked it, but others said it had gone downhill, and wasn’t as good as it used to be.  Another said the food was “Bland, bland, bland”.

And boy, was he right.

Jan had a Shrimp and Oyster Platter with a Baked Potato and Glazed Carrots, and I had the Seafood Feast, with Tilapia, Catfish, & Shrimp, with Corn on the Cob and Onion Rings. Believe me, bland, bland, bland certainly described the meal.

Nothing had any taste or seasoning. Red Lobster is much better, and I really don’t like Red Lobster.

But as Jan said, “The iced tea is good, though”.  A ringing endorsement, indeed!

The view of the Ohio River was pretty, but it didn’t make up for the meal

Kingfish View 1

Kingfish View 2

On our travels we collected photos of a number of city mascots in last few years, including pelicans, mermaids, bears, bison, and now horses. We’ve seen a number of these around town, all with different paint schemes.

LouisvilleMascot

Getting back to the rig, we rested up and tried to keep cool for about a hour and then headed out for the high point of the day.

Tanya Tucker !  And just as a teaser here she is singing “Delta Dawn”.

And she was fantastic.

Tanya 1 Tanya 2 Tanya 3 Tanya 4 Tanya 5 Tanya 6

During the first part of the concert, I was impressed by the voice of the backup singer in the band. Turns out she comes by that voice naturally. She’s Tanya’s 21 year old daughter, Presley.

And boy, can she sing, too.

Tanya & Presley

Presley

Presley 2

Tanya ended the show with the first big hit she had, Delta Dawn.  When she was 13!

Tanya 7

Tanya 8

We got back to the rig about 8:30 after a long day. It’s nice to be home.

More tomorrow…


Thought For The Day:

At my lemonade stand I used to give the first glass away free and charge five dollars for the second glass. The refill contained the antidote. – Emo Phillips

 

July 23, 2011

Dinosaurus . . .

After coffee and bagels we headed over to Al and Adrienne’s a little before 10 am to pick them up at their rig. Then it was off for the 85 mile trip south to Thermopolis, WY.

Arriving there, our first stop was lunch at Lil’ Wrangler Family Restaurant. Al and Adrienne had eaten here a while back and said it was really good. And they were right. Hamburgers made with 1/2 pound hand-formed patties of fresh ground beef.

Really good.

After lunch we headed over to the object of our trip, The Wyoming Dinosaur Center, the largest privately-funded dinosaur research center in the world. And the only one to have excavations in progress on their own property.

Wyoming Dinosaur Center Sign

Wyoming Dinosaur Center

This is a cast of an ocean bottom containing hundreds of echinoderms, relatives to today’s sea stars and sand dollars. This fossil is about 300 million years old.

Echinoderm

This is a pterosaur, one of the earliest flying dinosaurs. Although this one is about the size of crow, other species had wingspans as large as 30 feet.

Pterosaur

A Dimetrodon.

Dimetrodon

Archaeopteryx is considered the first bird, since it had feathers. There are only ten specimens of this dinosaur in the world, and this is the only one in America.

Archaeopteryx

A cousin to the Stegosaurus.

Dinosaur 1

Two meat eaters in combat.

Dinosaur 2

A Protoceratops.

Dinosaur 3

A type of Ankylosaurus.

Dinosaur 4

Triceratops.

Dinosaur 5

Allosaurus, cousin of T’Rex.

Dinosaur 6

A nest of baby duckbills,

Duckbill Babies

And their mama.

Duckbill Mama

Albertaceratops.

Dinosaur 7

An Ichthyosaur, the ‘fish lizard’.

Dinosaur 8

This is Jimbo, so big I couldn’t get him all in one photo. A 106 foot long Supersaurus, he’s one of the largest fossils in existence.

Dino Jimbo 1

Dino Jimbo 2

At 2 pm we all loaded in a tour bus and were taken about 5 miles out in the country to an active dig site. In the last 20 years 17 dinosaur skeletons have been excavated from here.

Dig Site

These next two photos show the remains of an Allosaurus that they have been working on for 5 years, and it may take them another 15 years to remove it completely.

Allosaur 1

Allosaur 2

In the wintertime, this large excavation pit is completely filled in with dirt to protect the dinosaur bones from freezing and cracking.

Allosaur 3

Next we were taken over to a large open excavation under the shed. The bones, mostly of plant-eaters, are lying around on the surface.

Dino Bones 1

Because of the jumble of chewed-on bones, they think this was a kill-site where baby meat-eaters were fed.

Dino Bones 2

Outlined in red paint, this is the footprint of a large Allosaurus.

Allosaur Footprint

And this is the footprint of a large plant-eating dinosaur. This is the only known location where both dinosaur footprints and fossils are found in the same area.

Dino Footprint

We really enjoyed our time at the Dinosaur Center, and it’s well-recommended. The displays are all top-notch, and very well done.

Leaving the Center, we drove up into the country behind the Hot Springs State Park just admiring the many unique rock formations, and rich colors.

Round Rock

Thermopolis Scenery 1

Thermopolis Scenery 2

Thermopolis Scenery 3

The many hot springs in the area have been a tourist attraction since the late 1800’s, and are considered the largest mineral hot springs in the world.

Just how mineralized the water is can be shown by these ‘travertine beehives’.

A 8 foot pipe is stuck in the ground over a hot spring. The mineral-laden water flows out the top of the pipe and down the side, leaving the mineral deposits behind on the pipe. It slowly builds up and expands, creating these rock-hard ‘domes’. As the dome grows, more pipe is installed on top as necessary.

Travertine Dome

After another great day of exploring, we got back to Cody a little before 6, and after dropping off Al and Adrienne at their rig, we came back home, tired but having had a great time.

A little before 7 pm, we walked a few rows over to Lu and Larry Tillotson’s, readers of our blog who discovered we were in the same park and wanted to meet us.

We had a great time getting to know them and talking over some of our experiences in traveling fulltime. They’ve been on the road for 8 years now, still enjoying the RV life. Hopefully we’ll cross paths again soon.

And tomorrow . . . ?

Nothing, I hope. It’s time for a rest-up day.


Thought for the day:

“The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin

 

  

July 23, 2013

240 Miles Today and still Mooseless . . .

Since we had a lot of things to cram into today, we headed for Whitefish Point about 8:15. But our first stops were at McDonald’s for Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuits and a Holiday station for gas.

Gas prices here in Michigan are a little strange. Diesel is pretty much the same price that we’ve paid for the last several months, about $3.80 a gallon. But unleaded is through the roof. The last time we filled up the truck was in Sioux Falls, SD, and we paid $3.16 a gallon. Here it’s anywhere from $3.90 to $4.00 a gallon. They were even complaining about it on the radio today.

Our 70 mile trip to the Great Lake Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point took about 90 minutes with a lot of nice scenery, but no moose.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 1

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 2

 

After getting parked we started our visit at the main museum building. I was very interested in these lighthouse Fresnel lens. They’re able to take a relatively small light source and turn it into a beam that can be seen for miles.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 3

 

In fact this 9 ft. tall, 3500 pound lens could throw a beam over 28 miles. Made up of 344 leaded crystal prisms, it floated on a pool of mercury allowing for near friction-less rotation. In use before electricity, a grandfather clock-like mechanism with a 44 ft. long pendulum turned the lens, sweeping the beam across the horizon every 7-1/2 seconds. And the clockwork had to be wound every 2 hours and 18 minutes throughout the night to keep the light rotating.

No wonder lighthouse keepers had a reputation for being so grumpy. They were sleep deprived.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 4

 

The first commercial ship to sink on Lake Superior was the HMS Invincible in 1816, with over 300 more vessels to follow in the next almost 200 years. But of course the one that every one is most interested in is the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.

Launched in 1958, at 728 ft. it was the biggest ship on the Great Lakes. And to this day is the largest ship to ever sink on the Lakes.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 5

 

In 1995 a dive team recovered the Fitzgerald’s bell which now resides here in the Museum. At the same time, a replacement bell inscribed with the names of the 29 crewmembers, was mounted on the wreck in its place.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 6

 

In a nearby building another replica of the Fitzgerald can be found. This 1:60 scale model is made from over 18,000 Legos and has taken 9 years so far. “So far”, because it’s not quite finished yet.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 7

Looks pretty good to me. I’m convinced you can build just about anything with Legos.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 8

One of the things that fascinates people about the Fitzgerald is that to this day they still don’t know what happened on that November day in 1975. Did it capsize, take on water through broken hatch covers, or break in half straddling two large waves?

No one knows for sure.

One thing that seemed very apropos for our visit today is that when we left the rig in Sault Ste. Marie it was bright and sunny. But the closer we got to Whitefish Point the worse the weather got, ending with heavy clouds, high, gusty winds, spitting rain, and whitecaps on the Lake.

Just like it was on the Fitzgerald’s last voyage, bright and sunny when it left port, and then a unexpected storm rolling in.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 9

 

After spending about two hours at the Museum, we headed over to Tahquamenon Falls State Park. At least we tried to.

Heading to the Museum earlier, and passing though the small town of Paradise, MI, we had to go through a construction zone where the road was down to one lane because they had dug out a deep trench in the other lane.

But coming back they now had both lanes of the pavement trenched out and were directing traffic across a temporary roadway that they had created by piling the dirt removed from the trenching into the deep ditch at the side of the road. What they apparently didn’t think about was how this big tour bus was going to navigate this.

The answer is, not very well.

Although OK for cars and trucks, the unpacked dirt was just a sandtrap for the bus, which promptly sunk up to its axles as you can see in the pics.

Stuck Tour Bus 1

Stuck Tour Bus 2

Stuck Tour Bus 3

After about 30 minutes or so, they finally dragged him out with a front loader. Later, when we were at the Bear Ranch, I saw the tour bus and asked the driver about it. He said they told him it was well-packed and he wouldn’t get stuck.

He laughed and said, “It wasn’t and I did”. Glad I wasn’t trying to take the rig through there.

We got to Tahquamenon Falls State Park about 12:30 and made the 1/2 mile walk down to the Upper Falls to take a look. We noticed that the water is the same brown color as the Wisconsin River in the Dells, for the same reason.

The many swamps and decaying hardwood trees further north of here produce tannic acid that colors the waters downstream, though the acid level is not enough to hurt fish or other animals.

Tahquamenon Falls 1

 

Since it was now after 1pm we decided to have lunch at the Pub restaurant there. Turned out to be very, very good. I had the Beer Cheese Soup and a fresh Whitefish sandwich, and Jan had the Broccoli Cheese Soup and a Mushroom Pesto over Linguini. Made with fresh wild mushrooms, she raved about it the rest of the afternoon.

Tahquamenon Falls 2

 

She even got her one and only moose sighting there.

Tahquamenon Falls 3

 
On a weirder note, they even had this Moose Nativity scene for sale in their gift shop.

Tahquamenon Falls 4

For some reason, there’s something a little unsettling about this. They also had a Bear version, if you’re of that bent. Not that there’s any thing wrong with that.

Finishing up a delicious lunch, we headed for Oswald’s Bear Ranch, about 20 miles away.

Although it was OK, I think Jan and I were both a little disappointed, especially for the $20 a car that we paid to get in.

All of the bears are either rescues, or are born there. And they have four large  fence-in areas for them. One for the adult males, one for the adult females, one for the yearlings, and one for the cubs.

Bear Ranch 1

Bear Ranch 2

It’s hard to get a lot of decent pictures because in most cases you’re shooting through a double layer of chainlink fence. They did have access holes in some areas, and observation towers in others, but the bears were always somewhere else, so you still couldn’t get many good shots.

They did have have this area where, for $10, you and your family could have your picture taken with a bear cub. They give you a large spoon with Fruit Loops in it (apparently bear cubs love Fruit Loops) and one of you holds the spoon and distracts the cub with the Fruit Loops while you all smile and one of the employees takes several pictures with your camera.

I tried to get Jan to do it, but she smartly said, “What if they run out of Fruit Loops, or the cub decides he’s full? What am I going to do with an empty spoon?”

Bear Ranch 3

I thought maybe she could whack it on the nose while I ran away, but I wisely didn’t say that. I can see her point though. I wouldn’t want to fight off a snarling little fuzzball full of teeth and claws with a spoon either.

Our last stop was the Visitor’s Center in Newberry, the so-called “Official Moose Capital of Michigan” (Jan says, “Yeah, right”) to pick up our Moose Guidebook and find out the best areas to look for moose.

Jan says, “Yeah, right.

So after checking out some of the spots and remaining mooseless, we headed home, finally getting back about 6:30 after a really great day of exploring the UP.

Tomorrow, Oh Canada!


Thought for the Day:

Ignorance is not bliss,  it’s, well, ignorance.  Don’t be ignorant.

 

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