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Aggie71's Blog (56)


Did you realize there is a surreal, magical place right under your nose?  Did you know that Coolworks provides you an opportunity to go there every Spring?  Of course I am talking about Acadia National Park and "Downeast" Maine.  Considering how many folks apply at Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and other popular Parks in the West I am kind of amazed so few people attempt to go to Maine.  I have only been here a month and I just can't get over what a special place this truly is.  It is…


Added by aggie71 on June 18, 2016 at 6:21pm — 8 Comments

Maine Roadtrip Details

OK Fans .... here's all the details you have been waiting for :)  My Maine roadtrip itinerary:

Day 1, Saturday May 14 - Houston, TX to Brownsville, TN (726 miles)

Day 2 Sunday, May 15 - Brownsville, TN to Mansfield, OH (595 miles)

Day 3 Monday, May 16 - Mansfield, OH to Niagara Falls, ON, Canada (291 miles)

Day 3 - 5 at Niagara Falls, ON, Canada hanging out

Day 5 - Wednesday, May 18 - Niagara Falls, ON, Canada to Pittsfield, Mass (339 miles)

Day 6 -…


Added by aggie71 on May 1, 2016 at 6:30am — No Comments

Maine Updates

Just a minor update on my Maine adventure.  We leave Houston on Saturday, May 14.  First night will be in Memphis, Tennessee (BBQ & blues anyone?) ..... then on to Cleveland OH (I think).  We should arrive in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada on Monday, May 16 and be there until May 18.  Plan to visit some of the local vineyards (heard they had a ton of them there).  Heading to Bar Harbor next, plan to arrive on Friday, May 20.  I will be in the McFarland Hill Apartments (#4) with two room…


Added by aggie71 on April 24, 2016 at 7:43am — 1 Comment

Off to Maine I Go

All my scheming has paid off :) I have been hired as a VUA Ranger at Acadia National Park, and my Maine adventure begins on May 22.  I will be there right through the peak foliage in mid-October with my last day being November 5.  Honestly, I'm excited.  This is one of the few things left on my original bucket list and Maine is definitely a place I have wanted to experience for a long time.  One small regret is I can't seem to connect with anyone else who is traveling up there this Spring.…


Added by aggie71 on March 1, 2016 at 7:03am — 4 Comments

Mesa Verde - Year 4

Well my fourth year at Mesa Verde is just about in the books so to speak.  There is just something about this area of the USA that keeps calling me back.  My summer was largely outside the Park exploring various places .... some for the first time and other favorites for a repeat visit.  The big difference was I was able to find a friend to share these experiences with .... that was HUGE.  It is so much better than doing everything alone.  But in four years this was the only year I could…


Added by aggie71 on September 14, 2015 at 6:46pm — 1 Comment

Soul Mates

Are "Soul Mates" real?  Is there someone out there who is that perfect individual that complements you in every imaginable way? A person you feel like you have known your entire life even though you may have just met?  A person you simply can't be around too much, because you simply love to be around this person no matter the circumstances be they good or bad?  Does everyone get an opportunity to find their "Soul Mate" in this life or is it a rare and precious exception for a very lucky…


Added by aggie71 on May 11, 2015 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Abundantly Blessed

I woke up this morning, finally totally moved into my summer home at Mesa Verde, with this incredible feeling of blessing. I am working in a beautiful place, doing a job I love, with terrific people and I get to do this for the next 6 months. Wow. I am so lucky things worked out this way.  I also think back over the last few years (since leaving my first career in 2009) and have thought of all the incredible adventures I have enjoyed over those years.  How many get to do this? Not many.…


Added by aggie71 on April 23, 2014 at 6:25am — No Comments

Casting Off in 2014

I just love this famous Mark Twain quote ...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover."

I know there are lots of folks out there that have been frustrated and jobless in our not so hot economy.  Maybe this is the summer you quit just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring…


Added by aggie71 on December 28, 2013 at 6:39am — 2 Comments

Appreciating Hot Water

Now that I'm back in Colorado I've had a few days to begin reflecting on my Alaska experience.  Something really amazing has occurred to me that I really did not see coming.  After spending the last four months without easy access to hot water, toilets, dishwashers, TV's and many other modern conveniences I have begun to notice just how convenient our lives have become in today's society. Folks we live like Kings and Queens.  No.....we live BETTER than Kings and Queens did a few hundred…


Added by aggie71 on October 1, 2013 at 4:43am — 2 Comments

Denali Wrap Up ... another amazing summer

It is just a few days now before I leave Alaska, perhaps for the last time.  It's made me reflect on all the experiences I've enjoyed over the summer.  I asked myself, "Self.....did you make the right choice?" in coming to Alaska, and specifically Denali National Park.  When I think back over all that has happened this summer I am certain I did make the right decision.  Alaska is a tough, hard, rugged place at it's core.  Come visit it as young as you can ... as it takes extreme exercise and…


Added by aggie71 on September 11, 2013 at 9:28am — 8 Comments

Seward .... or Why I came to Alaska

It's true confession time folks.   Alaska for me was not a random choice or the next line item on a bucket list.  I came to Alaska because I was inspired by another Coolworker to do so.  Who? you might ask.  I can honestly say it was the blogs of (then named) Dawna Raven Sky that got me so interested in coming up here.   Her pictures were incredible, and her writing was inspiring (for me, at least).  So over the last couple of days I have been able to live out what I only thought was a…


Added by aggie71 on June 22, 2013 at 11:39pm — 7 Comments

How do They Do That?

I'm sure that for most of my loyal readers the title of this blog is conjuring up visions of brave Park Service Rangers repelling down a shear cliff to rescue a wayward mountaineer .... or perhaps a Ranger Pilot making one of those dangerous glacier landings. Well, actually I'm referring to communal bathing :-)  You see by the time I get down to my underwear my camp mate next door has...(1) arrived, (2) disrobed, (3) showered thoroughly, (4) dried off, (5) blow dried their hair and…


Added by aggie71 on May 18, 2013 at 6:27pm — No Comments

How is Working in Alaska in 2013 similar to the 10 Plagues of Egypt?

For all you Old Testament buffs I thought it might be fun to compare my current experience in Alaska with the 10 plagues of Egypt :-)  First, we would turn the Nanana River red as blood however it's frozen solid! Maybe we could conjure up a cherry icee rendition?  Next we have this incessant snow....please make it just hail fire for a few minutes....Please.  And what the f__k with the 16 deg temps?  It's really bad when you start layering your long underwear!  OK......eventually we will thaw…


Added by aggie71 on May 17, 2013 at 12:11pm — 4 Comments

The Alaska Marine Highway

First let me say that was the fastest 2 1/2 days of my life!  I also need to add what a way to travel!   I thoroughly enjoyed my trip from Bellingham Washington to Haines Alaska on the 50 year old Alaska Marine Highway.   Now, mind you, it is not cheap.  If you take your vehicle you will drop a cool $1,000 for the privilege of riding the ferry.   The only consolation is that the driver is "free" :-) It is expensive, but so is gasoline along the Alcan Highway. If you drive, you do the driving…


Added by aggie71 on April 22, 2013 at 9:50pm — 2 Comments

Mesa Verde Revisited - 2013

Have I got a hot tip for any of you near SW Colorado this summer .... you MUST visit Mesa Verde's brand new Visitor's Center.  What a gem!  I was there yesterday and was super impressed by the exhibits and artifacts on display.  Up until now the vast majority of Mesa Verde's 2 million artifacts have remained hidden in storage vaults.  Now the public will have the opportunity to view these amazing items in rotating exhibits continuing all summer :-)  After learning all the basics at the…


Added by aggie71 on April 7, 2013 at 5:35am — No Comments

My Great Adventure has Begun

So do you remember growing up there were always things you wanted to be sure you did sometime in your lifetime?  For me traveling to Alaska was always a fantasy of mine.  Not really sure why ..... heck it gets really cold in Alaska and I've been living in Texas for the last 40 years.  My wife and many of my friends frankly think I'm nuts.  Why travel 4000 miles, risking life and limb, so you can (1) cope with sub-freezing temperatures, (2) enjoy a communal bathroom at 2am, (3) haul water…


Added by aggie71 on March 31, 2013 at 5:52am — 2 Comments

Getting Ready for Denali

The excitement is building. My long awaited adventure North will start soon! So far I've taken care of a few preliminaries ... got my ferry reservation, bought a new pair of boots, picked up some non-cotton long undies :-) I contacted a few folks that have been to Denali and have gotten their advice and suggestions.   Oh and I've received lots of great details from my new boss at the Park Service. I think I've decided to bring at least basic camping gear to avoid motel bills (at least when…


Added by aggie71 on February 2, 2013 at 7:22am — No Comments

Summer 2012 Wrap Up - Exceeded Expectations

Although I have 8 days remaining as "Ranger Rich" I figured now was as good a time as any to make this summer a wrap.  All my big adventures are now behind me - and what a summer it was :-)   Hovenweep, Moab UT, Canyon De Chelly w/ an Annular Eclipse, San Juans/Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Arches National Park,  Aztec Ruins and Chaco Canyon.  Plus a super fun meetup with Q and Oliver.  What a special time in my life!   I lost some heros too ... Neil Armstrong, Andy Williams ... I guess the…


Added by aggie71 on September 30, 2012 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

The Chaco Phenomenon

On one of my last long weekends at Mesa Verde I had planned to begin taking stuff over to Pagosa Springs in preparation for leaving the Park in early October.  I woke up one morning and I had a feeling there was one more place I HAD to go before packing up the camping gear.  Chaco Canyon was calling me, as it did to others a thousand years ago.   So I changed my plans and headed South to New Mexico. First stop was Aztec Ruins ... a World Heritage Site along the way.…


Added by aggie71 on September 21, 2012 at 9:37am — 1 Comment

Arches is Awesome!

It was roadtrip time for me again last Friday.  This time my destination was Arches National Park just outside of Moab, Utah.  I had been holding a camping reservation for nearly 6 months so I was anxious to get there and get my tent setup.  After driving across the Montezuma Valley west from Mesa Verde you quickly see a dramatic change in the landscape.  You suddenly descend into an area with numerous sandstone formations jutting up towards the sky.  It takes only 45 minutes or so to…


Added by aggie71 on September 4, 2012 at 7:25pm — No Comments

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