las vegas area

No knitting content here today!

So the next stop was the Las Vegas area. Some folks went into the city to go to the casinos. Not us, we went to Valley of Fire, a Nevada State Park. WOWSA! It was pretty incredible. I think it may have been one of my favorites of the trip because even though we were on a tour bus, we saw most of the park, hit up all the highlights and got to get out and walk around. It was so very different than anything I’m used to. Very sandy, like a beach, lots of red rocks, hot, dry, a desert! And the coolest? Petroglyphs! Which we learned are carved into the rock face versus painted on (these are pictographs?). Oh, and the tour guide Bob (from Pink Jeep Tours) was kinda cute, and single, I told him I’d give him a plug on my blog. So, if you’re out west, look him up!

Bob, telling folks about Ephedra or Mormon Tea

what’s this say?

Nobody really understands these symbols (according to the guide…)

but Mike says they’ve pretty much figured out this panel, it tells how to get to water

Turtle Rock, check out the toes!

Elephant Rock, from the bus window

dry Nevada desert, on the way to Valley of Fire

Oh, and I know none of you all would do this…but tell everybody you might know. If you want to send your relative with dementia on a trip, send a chaperone/companion! The tour lost a man in Las Vegas. He was eventually found, and sent home! His kids had given him the trip as a present. And lied about his medical condition in the forms. Nice kids?

1 toe up done

Since I learned some new things with this sock, here it is again, before the pair is done! I learned the eastern cast-on, Priscilla Gibson-Robert’s short-row heel, and a sewn bind-off. The eastern cast-on took a few tries, then I got it but had the wrong number of stitches! So it was easy then to do it the right way with the right number of stitches. The sewn bind-off looks a bit sloppy in the unworn sock, but is nice and stretchy and looks fine when it is on.

they look too skinny, but they aren’t! (color is more acurrate in previous post)

Here’s an argh…

but in the pattern finishing, it mentions to use extra yarn to close up these holes on the short-row heel, maybe if I do more, I’ll get it so there aren’t any holes…

Back to the trip. We got on the train Saturday evening. This thing is 1/3 of a mile long! Two dining cars, three club cars, a bunch of sleepers, and some crew cars. In the big sleeper, the bench couch and the chair each converted to a single bed. Leaving about 6 square feet of floor space (the sink is out here) and a tiny water closet/shower. This was actually plenty of room, especially as we weren’t usually in the sleeper room. These are mostly all old restored pullman trains (except for the new ones with the big rooms where we were). Think carpets, dark wood panelling, Harry Potter, and the Orient Express! And you know how narrow the aisles are in airplanes? That’s about the hallway in the train, now think two people in the hallway going in opposite directions. When the train was zooming along on a bumpy track, well, it was fairly entertaining. I think I have a couple of bruises! At first it was disconcerting to walk over the plates over the couplings where the train cars connected, but after a bit you could get the hang of it. They asked that you not wear open toe shoes, because sometimes these plates lift up and smash down! It was pretty cool to stand in the vestibules between the cars and look at the world zooming by.

It seems that trains in the US are mostly for freight. We loaded up at the “trackside mall” (with grainery, silos, and stockyard-thankfully empty). Folks who had travelled by train in Europe said that it’s very different there, train travel is mostly for passengers. But I rather enjoyed seeing the backsides of America. Hmm….

Trackside Mall!

Annie played piano in the Seattle Club Car in the evenings. That’s mom smiling at me, uncle and aunt on the right

Sunday we were in Salt Lake City. Most folks went to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Reports are that it was just incredible. They were performing a mother’s day concert to be aired on tv next year. I went to Sundance for a long hike, but this turned out to be a short hike because of time constraints! Anyhow, we got a ski lift to the top, hiked around for a bit, and rode back down. Very beautiful. We didn’t see Robert Redford. That’s ok.

Stewart Falls, Sundance Utah

Monday we were in Las Vegas, NV (I’ll post about this later), by way of California. Not sure why, but the train made a big westward loop before coming back east. I totally lost track of what the time was, PST? PDT? MST (AZ has no daylight savings time)? MDT? We went through Caliente Canyon, very cool!

the New York Club Car! it’s at the end of the train and has great windows, you can see some of Caliente Canyon here

I’m just ahead of the NY car, and can’t see the entire train!

I was looking for something better on Caliente Canyon and found this! Some people knit, some people play with trains!

More soon!


and sick with the cold mom shared…but we’ll ignore that! Lotta pictures here…

a jetway never looked so good! Can you say land at A4 in Detroit (mile long terminal) at 8:55 and get to A56 (only 2/3 down the terminal this time, going out was ALL the way down!) by 9:01? Thankfully they held the plane until 9:11 and I was there by 9:07.

Look what was waiting for me at home,

I won Dottie’s contest at Yarn Floozies! Thanks Dotty!

So, the knitting before I left,

for mom, her birthday was while we were away

I made a similar pair for auntie, though the cuff was twice as high and the socks were a bit longer. Each pair was made from one ball of Cascade Fixation, and with a fair amount left over! Cast on 36, knit a 1 inch (mom’s) to 1.5-2 inch (auntie’s) cuff, do your heel and gusset, knit to length of foot. I used US 3′s.

Finished these,

Fiber Trends peak experience sock, the Mt. Hood pattern, in Fleece Artist Merino Sock, courtesy of the Little Knits gift certificate from v back in October!

Started these,

Toe ups! From the summer 07 IK. Oh, and yes, that is the grand canyon behind the sock!

Did you notice I’m wearing my bag? (that sounds odd…). I’m nearly done with the first sock in this pair, here it is again before I did the heel,

guess where? The yarn is from adam’s shop, yarn nerd, the sport weight sock yarn (with nylon). It’s very soft, and I love the colorway!

I have maybe an inch to go before casting off the cuff. I wonder if Adam has been to a peat bog? Are there peat bogs in New Mexico? Anyhow, he captures the color of the lighter Sphagnum centrale, the medium green of Sphagnum squarrosum, and the brownish of Sphagnum papillosum. He’s only missing the dark red of S. magellanicum, but I like the colorway the way it is!

The trip…was fun. Saw a little bit of a lot of things, like getting a taste sampler. This is already a pretty picture heavy post, so I’ll put up only a bit now, more later.

We started in Jackson, Wyoming. One night at the Teton Mountain Lodge, a ski resort. Spent a day on a bus looking at the Grand Tetons. Two nights at Jackson Lake Lodge. We were in cabins, but the view from the lodge itself was incomparable! Off to Yellowstone, saw Old Faithful (check it out, a web cam! maybe they shot us the day we were there!) and the Fountain Paint Pots, also a lot of bison and elk, but no grizzlies or wolves. We ended the day at Idaho Falls, Montana (don’t be fooled by the picture, the falls drop all of about 4 feet!) where we boarded the train.

the mt. hoods at the million dollar cowboy bar in Jackson. Oh, and, um, yes, it was very amusing to watch mom get herself up on the saddle barstool, and even more amusing to watch her get off!

a baby elk! its mom must have left it here for the afternoon. it was only 3 feet from the side of the jeep road behind the jackson lake lodge! uncle would’ve missed it, we watched a jogger run past, clueless…but i said we should watch in case the baby jumped up and gave the geezer a heart attack!

one of many wildly colored hot springs, pools, geysers, etc at yellowstone

baby bison! they are the color of golden retrievers!

I’ll put up more trip pics over the next few days. And stories about people, the train, etc. I probably won’t have much new knitting though!

eight random things

Hi! Caffeinated Knitter tagged me to tell you eight random things. Here we go (no links or pics, you’ll see why)

  1. I am right now on a train! We are sitting still, waiting for the day’s events. I keep telling friends on postcards that I’m hanging with the geezer gang, so things are a bit slow. But they are a great group and we’re having fun. The train is someplace between Harry Potter and the Orient Express. So cool….
  2. I have two syndactylous toes on each foot. This means webbed. But not all the way. Since I’m a Pisces, I tell people that this helps me swim better. In fact, this isn’t quite true. As a kid, my brother used to get me toe socks for xmas. Which I cannot wear!
  3. I do not like French Coloumbard. Must have been some incident in my young adulthood. I also do not like vodka or vodka drinks, but there was no such incident
  4. I collect odd things I find in nature. These often get passed along. Most recently was the lower jawbone of a porcupine. Perhaps the oddest thing, which I don’t think I still have, is the os baculum of a raccoon. (Since I can’t link quickly, that means penis bone!) The person I gave one of my two mummified mice to was not hugely appreciative. I thought it was a very cool gift.
  5. I can say hello, thank you, and count to at least three in several languages including Spanish, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and ASL, and I can say one or two words in Swedish, Latvian, Chinese. Enough to get me in some BIG trouble.
  6. Although my name is Lisa, for most of my life I’ve been mistakenly called Linda. This is somewhat understandable from my mom, whose sister is Linda…but it gets odd when non family members do this…mostly because there is a Linda nearby or part of that group. The oddest is when the person who calls me Linda doesn’t know one.
  7. I like to have my bed made in the morning. And the kitchen counter cleaned off. There is a lot of clutter in the rest of the house. Makes my mind eased to see the two largest, flattest spots (excepting the table) clear of clutter.
  8. I have too much yarn and cannot knit it fast enough! But this is no surprise or not so odd for most of us, eh? This wasn’t such a good random thing and a moment ago I had another, but I cannot remember!

This computer on the train is a bit slow…I may be able to check in on some of you.

Oh, now I remember. When I get tired I start to sound a bit like a Canadian, especially the word ‘about’. I met a man from Alberta while getting to the plane in Phoenix, who said I sounded familiar to him.

Speaking of planes…the trip out here was a bit stressfull….delayed flights, missed connections, 45 minutes to get a bag from baggage claim and get to the OTHER terminal…like that. But I kept telling people I wasn’t going to get upset, because what good does THAT do? I knew it would somehow work out, even if my plans ended up being different. And in the end? It all worked just fine. Of course, food and a beer in Denver helped!

The Tetons are stunning, Yellowstone so cool. Hiking today near Salt Lake City. Though with the gg (geezer gang), it may be more of stroll!