Category Archives: Jack’s Jaunts

Passing the Torch

article & photos by Jack Olson

 

wind effects near Dutch windmill

Melinda (L) & Amy (R) experiencing wind effects in Holland

What is even better than returning to a place you love? Returning with your wonderful, extraordinary, fun nieces. We did it, we really did it. In 1988 I traveled to Europe with Amy (age 21) and Melinda (age 18). Amy had one more year in college to finish; Melinda had just graduated from high school and was moving on to college. It was a perfect time to undertake our “trip of a lifetime”. I think we all know there are many trips of a lifetime, but this was their first one. Continue reading

The Best Place in the World

article & photos by Jack Olson

Alpine forget-me-nots

Alpine forget-me-nots atop the ridge

OK. Before we go further, think of your favorite place in the world. I doubt you will have to think very long. Think about the reasons it’s your favorite, the adventures you’ve had there, who you’ve been with. Time’s up. Continue reading

Valle Vidal ~ Graveyard of a Fascinating Culture

by Jack Olson

ruin in Valle Vidal

Door to… a ruin in Valle Vidal © Jack Olson

Back in 1989, Don and Barb Laine, along with the late Augie Schmuhl of Santa Fe, hosted a RMOWP conference in Red River, New Mexico. Among our many activities was a bus field trip to a relatively new addition to the Carson National Forest. Valle Vidal (The Valley of Life), unoccupied for decades, Continue reading

Relocation

Article & photos by Jack Olson

Sometimes a feisty creature, out of sorts, requires a more amenable habitat. It may no longer fit the environs where it has so long existed. Sometimes this otherwise noble creature needs a change of scenery. Official guardians of the peace might be forced to employ traps. In extreme cases, the innocent mammal is, as they say in the wildlife department, “put down”. Taken out. Kaput. Eradicated. On the wrong side of the flower bed.
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Surprise!

Article and photos by Jack Olson

Can you immediately recall the biggest surprise you have pulled off in your life? I couldn’t until last year. It was my sister’s 50th wedding anniversary and was going to take place at my niece’s house in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in late July.
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Up Where the Air is Thin

Article and photos by Jack Olson

Lupine on Shrine Ridge, Mount of the Holy Cross in background

Lupine on Shrine Ridge, Mount of the Holy Cross in background

Timberline. The most thrilling word in my severely challenged vocabulary. I didn’t even have a clue about this word until I moved to Colorado in 1965. I come from Illinois. We grew corn. We had flat. Timber was what we called woods.

Then I drove my old car out of the Midwest and settled in a Rocky Mountain state. A friend invited me to go on a backpack with him and some of his buddies. Gasp. Our elevation reached some twenty times higher above sea level than the Land of Lincoln. Worse than that, backpacking was uphill. With weight. What is this? Oh my, I only saw the receding backs of my friends. Huff and puff was all I could utter. Continue reading

North of the Zoo

Article and photos by Jack Olson

Grand Canyon Lodge offers spectacular views from large lobby windows.

Grand Canyon Lodge offers spectacular views from large lobby windows.

Many, perhaps most, of you have visited our glorious national park, Grand Canyon. If you haven’t, put this down and make a reservation now……I’m waiting. If you are like most visitors you’ve stayed at and enjoyed the South Rim. There’s lodging in and out of the park: the El Tovar at the top tier, cabins and lodges, and many motels just outside the park. You can come by car, or even train. It’s great in every way. But it’s also a zoo. Continue reading

Plan B: Custer State Park, South Dakota

Article and photos by Jack Olson

Billowing clouds loom beyond a lone tree

Billowing clouds loom
beyond a lone tree

If, by chance, the federal government, for some cockamamie reason, were to close all the national parks, monuments, and any place else they oversee, a traveler might want to find a worthy alternative, a surprising and brilliant alternative. In fact, South Dakota’s Custer State Park can stand on its own as a premier location for recreation, wildlife, and scenery.
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