July through September,
This has been a very busy quarter for us.
We began with a six-week trip to Africa and England then
entertained guests from Japan and Canada for two weeks.
That left us a little over 5 weeks of
Kendal and Arthur left on July 2,
arriving in Tanzania on July 3 to begin their climb up
Getting up the 19,341'
peak and back down required 7 days and 6 nights of hiking and camping.
Gary and Arthur have the advantage of living at 5,000' and Kendal spent
a week in Bozeman doing several
before we left.
They all coped well with the altitude,
although Arthur may have had a sinus infection and experienced some
difficulties during the climb.
The final part of the ascent is done in the dark;
the goal is to be at or near the summit at sunrise.
At the summit Gary and Kendal sealed empty disposable water bottles so
they could take fresh air from the summit down to friends at sea level
and show them what they missed.
It's a good way to demonstrate
what one is breathing at the summit
(where the air pressure is less than 50% of sea level).
See drafts of our Kilimanjaro pictures and videos at Gary's
There is also a rather lengthy prose entry in Gary's
Kendal and Arthur met Pauline and others in Durban,
then took a 7-hour shuttle ride to rustic
Mbotyi River Lodge
of South Africa on the Indian Ocean.
The geology of the Wild Coast and the consequent lack of roads makes
travel up and down the coast very difficult.
Even hiking the rugged 174 mile coast takes a strong hiker 25 days.
While the divers took in the
Greatest Shoal on Earth,
we toured some of the many waterfalls in the area;
pictured here is
along with Brandon and friend Evan
can be seen on the ledges near the bottom of the falls.
We also took a flight in a microlight to see some of the falls from the
we travelled to
where we stayed at the luxurious Selati Camp.
Sabi Sabi is a private game reserve that borders
Kruger National Park.
Through an agreement with Kruger NP,
there is no fence between the park and the game reserve,
so animals wander freely between the two;
under this agreement,
the animals in Sabi Sabi receive similar protections to those in the
On the safaris we saw a rare
“Royal Big 5,”
which is the
(elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, lion and cape buffalo)
including both the white and black rhinoceros.
One of the many exciting moments was when we accidentally surprised a
group of elephants.
The matriarch of the herd appeared to take exception to our intrusion.
The ranger told us
The spotter sitting on the left fender of the safari vehicle would have
been the first to feel her wrath,
but did a good job of looking non-threatening.
She ultimately decided we were not a threat,
calmed down and rejoined her herd.
After Sabi Sabi,
we parted ways with the others and began our own tour,
starting with 5 days in Cape Town.
There was a beautiful view of
out our hotel window at the
Victoria and Alfred Hotel.
The mountain is often covered with its own cloud,
even when skies are clear.
We finally made it to the top
(via cable car)
on the last day of our stay,
all other days being either too cloudy or too windy for it to open.
Our tour included
(where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned),
Cape of Good Hope,
Stellenbosch wine region.
From Cape Town,
for a 7 day train journey to Victoria Falls.
The Rovos train recreates the luxury of Edwardian England
(viz. the years leading up to
Each couple has their own private room and bath,
“dress for dinner.”
On the way we made several scheduled stops,
Kimberly Diamond Mine
and game parks in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
in Zimbabwe was
much in the news
both before and after our visit.
We stayed several days at
on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Since news from home had many stories of forest fires we were concerned
to see what appeared to be a large forest fire miles up the rail line as
we approached our terminus.
It soon occurred to us we were actually seeing the mist from Victoria
The falls is over one mile across,
so it is difficult to appreciate the magnitude of it except from high in
Unlike most falls,
one does not view it from the bottom since it falls into a deep,
Therefore one views it from across the chasm at the same level as the
For most of the year it would be suicidal to enter the chasm;
the remainder of the year it would unpleasant at best.
After 4 weeks in Africa
(5 for Gary),
we travelled to England to spend 10 days with family.
We spent several days on
and two days in
We were both more than ready to go home,
in spite of the good time we had.
On August 26 Gary let Rosie out at 7:05am and she immediately started
Looking to see what she might be barking at,
he saw that a house belonging to Bob and DeeDee Rasmus was
completely engulfed in flames.
An emergency vehicle was controlling traffic below so someone had
already called 911.
Bob had maintained
around the house.
that space is intended to protect the house from the trees,
Fortunately there was no wind to speak of.
Eight fire departments from the area soon arrived and started making
sure the fire did not spread into the forest
(since the house was already a total loss).
People in surrounding homes prepared to evacuate.
The fire soon subsided and no further damage was done.
Bob and DeeDee were awakened by their dogs once the house was well
involved and just managed to escape in their pajamas with the dogs,
sustaining some minor burns.
They had no money,
The source of the fire is under investigation.
It appears the fire started on wooden decks outside the house and did not
set off indoor fire alarms until it had encompassed much of the house.
Among our visitors were our friends Hiro and Akemi from Japan.
They had visited us before in
they hosted us during our
10 day trip to Japan.
We took them over the
then to Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks.
In this picture they are sampling a cowboy delicacy:
Rocky Mountain Oysters
at the restaurant in the
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