To make way for new events, older pages are archived, which means that they are still available, but don't have a prominent space on the website.  The following are archived topics.  You can click on the links to see all the pictures and info.


The Great Canadian Train Trip  (Oct 2015). Canada's VIA train line took us from Toronto to Vancouver over 11 days, with 2-day stops in Jasper and Banff for bus touring in the Canadian Rockies.  Before getting on the train, we spent three days in Niagara Falls and Toronto.  For more details and lots of beautiful pictures, click here

Ladies to Wadena (Sept, 2015).  Carlene and Della made an 1800 mile round trip to Wadena, Saskatchewan to visit brother Carl and his wife Elsie.  The rainy weather forced them to  remain inside and prepare lots of good food and visit.  To see some pictures, click here.

Special Birthdays  (Aug, 2015).  Carlene and brother Mel celebrated special birthdays within a few weeks of each other.  Carlene wanted to celebrate her 80th birthday quietly at home with a few close friends.  Her special friend, Della, prepared lunch and presents were opened afterwards.  We visited Mel in Ridgeway to wish him a happy ninety-second birthday.  Dispite some physical problems he is doing well and has a great attitude.  Mel and wife Smiles made some major backyard modifications, partly to accommodate grandkids.  Click here to see some pictures

Birthday Celebration Trip to Ridgway  (August, 2014). We made a trip to the Western Slope to celebrate brother Mel's 91st birthday.  On the way there and back, we made a couple of nice lunch stops.  Going we stopped at the Collegiate Peaks Rest Area on Route 285, which had some great views of the Collegiate Range.  Comimg back, we had our picnic lunch in the Gunnison City Park, which had amazing wood sculptures.
  Click here for pictures.

Fire Mitigation (2014,2015).  After the 2013 devastating Black Forest wild fire, we did considerable fire mitigation on our property.  In our 2014 effort, we cleared more fallen needles, cut off lower branches, removed some trees that were too close together, and cut down some dying big trees, including one next to the house. Our  2015 effort included cutting down about 50 trees, 16 of which were over 15 inches in diameter.  In addition, we trimmed many overhanging branches of large trees.  We had help from an expert tree cutter, who traded his labor for the resulting fire wood.  He cut down the really big trees, while Leon cut down the smaller ones.  All of this resulted in over 100 loads of slash, hauled away in our little Toyota pick-up.

Europe Cruise (April 2014).  We chose this cruise because there were a lot of ports to explore and only a few days at sea.  Most of the time we sailed from port to port while we slept.  We flew to Rome and spent two days there before we boarding the ship.  The southern Europe part of the cruise consisted of stops in Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar (British territory) . From there we went to Normandy to explore areas associated with the World War II D-Day  invasion.  Lastly, we visited Belgium and Denmark before flying home from Copenhagen.  Click here for more details and pictures.

Cuba (January 2014).  In general, American citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba.  One of the few exceptions is a licensed “people to people” exchange of art and culture, which was the basis of our visit.  Click here for more details and pictures.

Canada And The Rockies (November 2013).  Last fall we took a long (and I mean long) auto ride vacation to attend a 100th anniversary of Carlene's high school and visit some of her relatives in Canada and western Colorado. The first leg was to Regina, Saskatchewan with one motel stop on the way.  In Regina, we attended some activities associated with the 100th anniversary of Luther College and stayed with cousin Myrna and husband Bob.  Next it was up to Wadena, SK for a visit with brother Carl and wife Elsie.  Carl and Elsie went with us for the rest of our journey back to Colorado Springs.  On the way,  we stopped in Calgary, Alberta and stayed with Carl and Elsie's son Evan and his family, then continued on to visit brother Mel and wife Smiles in Ridgeway, CO, with a stop at Yellowstone National Park.  To see some pictures we took along the way, click here.

Black Forest Wildfire  (June 2013).  A Devastating wildfire in Black Forest made international news because of its intensity and the number of homes destroyed (498).  We came very close to loosing ours - subsiding winds and heroic work by fire fighters made the difference.  The map on the right shows the burn area - yellow circles indicate hot spots and the blue circle is our house.

Several of our friends lost everything.  We were under mandatory evacuation for three days, staying at our special friend Della's townhouse in Colorado Springs.  During the evacuation period, we did not know if our house had burned or not.

When we made it home, we found our house and property was untouched by the fire. However, it was a close call - just across the road (Vollmer) that borders our property, there was extensive fire damage. The area across the road is a 40 acre forest reserve owned by the Audubon Society and not maintained.  As a result there are a lot of pine needles and dead branches on the ground. The fire fed on this debris and traveled along the ground, burning the pine needles and branches, as well as small trees and low-hanging branches of large trees.
To see some pictures and more information, click here.

Amazon Rain Forest  (February 2013).  We took and eleven-day trip to the upper Amazon rain forest.  There were 24 of us that sailed on a river boat from Iquitos upstream, observing wildlife and stopping at villages to meet the local people.  Click here for more details and pictures.

Legion of Honor  (November 2012).  Question:  What do Charles Lindberg, Thomas Edison, George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower, Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf, and Carlene's brother Mel have in common?  Answer: They are all recipients of France's Legion of Honor Oder of Merit. Instituted by Napoleon, it's France's highest award.  Mel, along with two other Colorado  World War II vets, were honored in a special ceremony at the American Legion Post in Colorado Springs to recognize their contribution to the liberation of France from the Nazis.  In the spirit of the Statue of Liberty gift, France has honored many WWI and WWII vets for their efforts and sacrifices.  For more information and pictures taken at the ceremony, click here.

European Tour  (Sept 2012). Over the years, we found that early fall is a good time to travel, and so it was this year when we went on a great 15-day tour of western Europe.  We visited seven countries and were in Munich during Octoberfest.  We travel through Europe by bus and were able to enjoy the scenic countryside of the region, especially the alpine areas of Austria and Switzerland.  We stayed mostly in smaller towns that gave us a sense of history, but spent time in larger cities such as Paris and Venice. To learn more details  and lots of pictures, click here.

Western Swing  (July 2012). We made a long (about 3,000 miles) motor trip across the western U.S., visiting Carlene's relatives along the way.  Our first stop was in Ridgeway, Colorado where we helped brother Mel and his wife Smiles celebrate his 89th birthday.  Next was the longest stretch to Vancouver, Washington, where we visited with stepbrother Bill and his wife Vickie.  On the way back, just over the Oregon border in Sandy, OR, we saw nephew Mark and wife Sunday.  Finally, in Billings, MT we met with brother Carl and wife Elsie, who drove down from Wadena, SK to visit with sister-in-law Laura and her son Bill.

On the way, we saw lots of beautiful scenery, a wild fire in Idaho, and Mt. Hood in Oregon, which was still snow covered.  To see some pictures, click here.

Garage Project (June 2012). We have been meaning to redo our garage for a long time.  The paint was pealing, wallboard seams were coming apart, and crude shelves containing boxes and other stuff lined the walls.  It wasn't pretty.  For more details and pictures, click here.

Early Spring In Black Forest (April 2012).  Temperatures were been way above normal in spring.  It's great to see the immerging blossoms and wild flowers, but it also means spring chores have to be done early.  The biggest chore is clearing the property of pine needles that have fallen over the winter.  To see some pictures, click here.

Carlene's Knee Replacement (April 2012).  Carlene's knee became progressively worse, and finally had something done about it.  For more info and pictures, click here.

Shoulder Surgery (December 2011).  In early September, Leon fell off a ladder while retrieving a golf ball from the garage gutter.  The fall was only about 3 feet, but the resulting falling and rolling caused a tear in his right rotator cuff.  Over a couple of months the pain became worse and surgery was necessary.  For more info and pictures, click here.

Hawaii Vacation (October, 2011).  We escaped to Hawaii and explored four islands - rain forests, volcanoes, and beaches.  Click here to see some great pictures.

Family Reunion (July, 2011) Carlene's family in America dates to the early 1800s, when Dr. Carl Peter came here from Germany and help found the town of Winesburg, Ohio.  Winesburg is in the heart of Amish country, and their neat farms and businesses can be seen everywhere.  Also, everywhere on the roads are their buggies, drawn by beautiful horses that trot at a steady quick pace that's a treat to watch.  The descendents of Dr. Carl are mostly farmers, and the center of activity for the reunion was one of their farms.  Mark, Merry Lynn, and Lucinda made it happen, and we thank them for creating the experience we all enjoyed.  To see some pictures, click here.

Baltic Cruise (Sept 2010).  We visited several major cities along the Baltic Sea and took train from the German port city of Warnemunde to Berlin.  The map to the right shows only the Baltic Sea tour.  Actually, we flew from Denver directly to London and spent a couple of days there before  starting the cruise at Dover, England and sailing to Copenhagen and returned to Dover after the Baltic cruise.  To see some pictues, click here.

Winter Break (March 2010).  It was a cold and snowy winter and we needed another break (even though we recently returned from Egypt) so we took a motor trip to Arizona and California, and on the way back, stopped in Las Vegas.  Except for some snow in northern New Mexico, the weather was great for the entire trip.  We visited our good friends Dick and Joanne in Sedona, where Leon and Dick got out on the golf course and Carlene and Joanne went to some of the local sites and attractions.  We went to a St. Patrick' s Day dinner dance at the local VFW, where we enjoyed some corned beef and cabbage and danced the polka (we remembered how).  To see some pictures, click here.

New England Cruise (Sept 2009).  The cruise took us to several ports in maritime Canada and north-east United States.  Before boarding the ship in Quebec City, we flew to Buffalo to visit with brother Buzzy and Joanne.  Buzzy then took us to Toronto, where we took a train to Quebec City.  To see some pictures, click here.

Spring Snow (April 2009).  After a very dry winter, we got hit with a 12-inch snowstorm on Easter, and then another 12 inches on the following Friday and again on Saturday.  It was a rather typical heavy wet snow that we often get in April.  To see some pictures, click here.

Canada (November 2008).  Our primary destination was Wadena, Saskatchewan, where Carlene's brother Carl and his wife Elsie recently retired from farming/ranching and are in the process of building a home.  Wadena is about 200 miles north of the U.S./Canadian border and in  the middle of the province east to west.  In this part of the country there are huge farms where grains (canola, wheat, and flax) are grown.  To see some pictures, click here.

Peru/Machu Picchu (February 2006).  One way to escape winter is to fly somewhere where it's summer.  That's just what we did by traveling to South America in February. To learn more about this fantastic adventure, click here.