Tag Archives: JB & Joyce

Camping at Squaw Lake

I met my Dad in southern Colorado for a week of horseback riding and general goofing off.  My brother-in-law Bill and a friend of his (Derald Glover) joined us for a camping trip to Squaw Lake.  It rained and sleeted as we rode into the wilderness, but the weather cleared and we had a great time.

Oh:  My dad is the one who looks like a cross between ME and a seventy-year-old version of the Marlboro man.  The guy in the Colorado Rockies hat is Ted Dooley, a friend of my Dad’s who owns the outfitter where we got our horses for the ride into the mountains.

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Oregon — JB and Joyce’s 50th Anniversary

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I love this story.  In 1961, my dad was “pipelining” (i.e., working on a crew burying pipeline pipe) in Oregon.  My then-teenaged mother hopped in a car with her soon-to-be mother-in-law (and sisters-in-law) and they all headed out for Oregon.  In my mom’s suitcase was the wedding dress she had sewn herself.  And the rest is history.

Anniversary parties aren’t exactly my Mom and Dad’s “style.”  So instead, we (JB, Joyce, Jana and Jeff) went to Oregon on the week of their 50th anniversary.  We visited the church where they got married, their first apartment (the white building with green doors and roof), and the beach where they spent their Fourth-of-July honeymoon.  We even found the pipeline.

I also posted a few great old pictures from that period in 1961 — the pipeliners’ honeymoon.  The pinup girl is my newlywed mom.  A few of the pictures show my grandpa, Joe Cotner (in the overalls) and my great-uncle Bill, all pipeliners in that era.

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Alaska with Joyce and J.B.

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My first post-retirement priority was to take a trip with my Mom and Dad.  Most Alaska tourists apparently spend their time on cruise ships.  I had raised this option with my Dad.  Predictably, his response to the cruise ship idea included a good bit of profantity and the word “prison.”  So we flew to Anchorage in mid-June, rented an SUV, and for two weeks traveled the majority of the relatively-few roads that exist in that section of Alaska.

Along the way, we chartered a small boat for a private glacier cruise, took a horseback ride in the Kenai peninsula, took a ‘flightseeing’ plane trip to McKinley (including a landing on the Glacier), and spent a day on those terrible old school buses that are the only way to actually go into Denali National Park.

If you get off the tourist-beaten path, you can really have the place to yourself.  One day, for example, we drove into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park — the largest national park in U.S. at 13 million acres.  There are only two roads in, so we picked one and drove 2 hours, which was as far as you could go in a vehicle.  In that time, we saw maybe one or two other cars of sightseers.  Meanwhile, most of the visitors to Alaska were sharing a boat with 2,000 other tourists, or at best sharing bus with 40.  I think my Dad was right.

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Ironman Texas

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In a moment of weakness and/or bravado a couple of years back, I claimed that I would do an Ironman on every continent.  So, Brazil 2008 (South America: done); Germany 2010 (Europe: done).   Last year they announced, for the first time ever, that there would be an Ironman event in Texas — right here in the Houston area.  I was bummed — on one hand, if they’re having one in your hometown, you can’t NOT do it, but I’d loved doing them as “destination events”  in cool distant places.  Worse, they scheduled it in late May — in south Texas where, you may already know, it gets really hot in late May.

And so we did it.  My friends / training partners all did great.  Scott exorcised his IronMan demons (his last attempt – in Germany – landed him in the ICU rather than the finish line).  Shane logged his fourth Ironman (his third within a 12-month span).  The one female in our group, Angie, kicked all our butts (in our defense, she’s a fitness “professional” and she’s about three age-groups younger than the Shane and me).  All good.  Me?  I had some unmentionable problems during the bike section, which set me back nearly an hour and gave me my worst Ironman time ever.  But hey, I finished, so who cares, right?  North America: done.

And my Mom and Dad even came down to watch.

That’s me in the black tank top (#2079).  [Update: I added some pics of Scott, too].  I’ll try to gather and add some pics of the others.  Here are a few for now.

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(Obviously, I didn’t TAKE any of these pictures).