Saturday, September 27, 2008

Valle Grande Tour

This past weekend Travel Schlepp went up to the Valles Caldera National Preserve and took the "Heart of the Valle Tour." It was a combo van-tour and hike, with the ten participants able to hike a little or a lot as they saw fit.

With an 8:00 start time, getting to the Valle from Albuquerque was a bit of a challenge but very worthwhile. Not only was sunrise in Jemez Canyon lovely, but the Valle Grande had a bowl full of fog. It had rained the night before and that's what triggers the fog.

The Valle was a chilly 38 at first but quickly warmed into the 80s. Beautiful vistas of the Redondo Border were everywhere. The final part of the tour took us into the Valle San Antonio in the far NW of the preserver and then through the center, past the History Grove, the old ranch headquarters, and back to the visitor center.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hurricane Ike Aftermath

Schlepp got Sunday off from hospicing Aunt Frances thanks to Cousin Kathie holding the fort. Got to go up to the Valles Caldera and tour back into the far NW reaches of the Redondo Border. Beautiful country, early fall, and wonderfully re-energizing.

Today we're back at it, but for perspective, don't forget that Hurricane Ike was a huge disaster despite the media's switch of attention to the financial situation.

For example, this just in from my old college roommate, J.C. He lives in PA but obviously took time off from work to help out in TX.

hi all,
I just got back form Houston/Baytown. Baytown is the site for the 2nd biggest emergency kitchen operation in history ( the first was the support operation at the twin towers site). I have to admit that the baptist men's clubs of North Carolina really do know how to do it right as far as supporting the emergency workers, they run the kitchens that supply the food we deliver to the clients, and they have both a couple of portable shower trailers and a laundry trailer that was parked outside of the staff shelter that I got a cot in last night.

this is an altogether different operation than what we did at Katrina, the need is more pressing. It is probably because I am here at week 2 instead of week 5 like Katrina. We have elderly people walking up to the meal lines at the shelter who have walked for a 2 miles or more. This isn't "helping the needy and meeting the greedy" this is bringing 500 lunches to the community of Anahuac and running out of food, then 4 hours later coming back with 750 diners and leaving just 30 extra meals in the shelter for people who walk up after we have to leave. You do NOT want to be the guy in the red cross vest who has to look a 3 year old in the face and say "Sorry, we're out."

we aren't resupplying warehouses like we sometimes did in Katrina. We are running supplies to where the generosity of America meets the desperate of America. The missions are long, very long! We operate the main warehouse and the head quarters up in Fort Worth because ....well for exactly the reason we are in now. There is Kyle churning up the Atlantic. If we were deployed closer we could be knocked out by anything that comes on shore.

well I've driven almost 900 miles in a box truck in the last 48 hours so I need some pillow time.

See ya all,


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hurricane Hanna

Big Schlepp just earned his Hurricane Merit Badge--Hanna came ashore on the NC/SC border this morning. He and the rest of Aunt Frances' critters and human friends stayed put, although when Hanna was thought to become a Cat. 2 storm, they were planning to evacuate inland to Whiteville, NC.

Here TS watches the Weather Channel for updates. The Sun News online (Kurt Knapek) reports,

Two awnings were damaged and four trees were toppled in Myrtle Beach during the night as Tropical Storm Hanna made its way through the area, according to city spokesman Mark Kruea.

The damaged awnings are located at Ocean Boulevard and Third Avenue South, and the other on Kings Highway and 65th Avenue North, Kruea said.

Myrtle Beach received more than 3 inches of rain, he said.

Most of the power outages in the city were repaired within 30 minutes, Kruea said.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hurricane Hanna

Tropical Storm Hanna is forecast to become at least a Category One hurricane in the next day or so and then head north. South Carolina is right in its crosshairs. Aunt Frances is getting ready to evacuate ahead of the storm 'cuz their too close to the ocean. Big Schlepp is taking special care that everyone is safe. The latest e-mail from Myrtle Beach said,
Don't worry about ... Middle Cousin Schlepp and Fido (Frances' beautiful stuffed doggie) - they're going in the car if they have to sit on the steering wheel. I've put all of Frances' other stuffed critters together on a shelf in the closet and told them to "hunker down cause a big wind might be coming."