Stuff from 2013 about Which I Never Posted

2013 wasn’t much of a blogging year. Trying to make up for it I guess. Or, just, I’m going through my all-day allergy shot desensitization process and what else am I going to do? Besides research, I mean. Always research.

Posted a bunch of stuff about the ski trip to Tahoe in March already. Don’t think this one made it in, though.

As good a through-the-windshield photo as I took last year.

As good a through-the-windshield photo as I took last year.

In May, my brother and his wife came and visited with their daughter. I always feel weird about posting photos of other people on the blog (without their permission or their having done something stupid to deserve it), but I guess that doesn’t apply to people under three.

My niece, not impressed by Heinz Chapel.

My niece, not impressed by Heinz Chapel.

Or by the Monongahela.

Or by the Monongahela.

It was cool. More people should visit Pittsburgh. It’s underappreciated.

Some time in July I went to a symposium in Boston where I was the discussant for a hardcore economics modeling paper written by people of whom I’d heard. It rained most of the time and I didn’t take a lot of photos.

A photo of Boston that I took.

A photo of Boston that I took.

On the way back, I stopped off at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and took a short tourist hike to see a waterfall.

Dingman's Falls in the Delaware Water Gap NRA.

Dingman’s Falls in the Delaware Water Gap NRA.

So when you go there, there’s a main viewing platform at the base of the falls. On that platform, there is one prime corner that is the closest corner to the falls itself and the only place that affords a full view of the falls without full view of a bunch of other co-tourists.

So, of course, this delusional amateur has set up permanent residence in The One Corner.

So, of course, this obviously very important guy has set up permanent residence in The One Corner.

I’m sure his stunning photo of this walk-up waterfall is going to motivate gallery audiences to tears. Totally worth preventing anyone else from experiencing The Corner. Plus he’s got a vest on, so you know he must be a professional high amateur guy who wears vests. (He was camped out there for the entire half hour or so I was at and around the site.)

On the rest of the way home, I went to the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa. Here’s evidence:

It's unprepossessing.

It’s unprepossessing.

Not sure what I expected. More than this, obviously. That said, I’m not sure what else they can do with the scene of an air catastrophe. Flaming wreckage? Would have been nice. They actually do a good job of keeping things factual in their displays, rather than appealing to baser emotions. Still, there’s just not a lot to experience here that you can’t get from reading the Wikipedia article or watching the movie.

I also went down to Beckley, W.V. in September. I used my other camera for these. I still think I might write a whole post about the experience, but in case I don’t:

New River Gorge Bridge, with Clouds

New River Gorge Bridge, with Clouds

It used to be the highest bridge of some sort, but it isn’t any more. I was not there for Bridge Day either.

Then in November, after two months of appointments and waiting for appointments, I got tested for allergies.

Allergy TestTurns out I’m allergic to dust. I’d been trying to tell them I was allergic to dust, but thanks to this test, they agreed. The two dust mite pricks were itching after about 30 seconds, but it took the medical staff another 20 minutes to accept this particular reality.

Finally, one more picture from Milan that didn’t make it into the other article (and the story that goes with it!):

Always set to 25.

Always set to 25.

Every day, I’d come back to my hotel room in the evening and find that housekeeping had re-set the thermostat to 25 (about 77° Fahrenheit) at which point, every day, I’d turn it back down to 20 (68°). They never got the hint. Or, I guess, *I* never got the hint.

And then it became 2014.


Tourist Day in Pittsburgh

For Thanksgiving, my brother, his wife, his two kids, and two caged dogs came to visit. The day after Thanksgiving, we did tourist activities. This is the story of those activities.

“Story” is a strong word.

First we drove out to Fort Necessity, the place where George Washington inadvertently started the French and Indian War.

Things I learned there, the veracity of which having not been verified: the French and Indian War precipitated the American Revolution, George Washington accidentally signed a document accepting sole responsibility for assassinating a French officer, his time in the area made Washington a big proponent of the US’s eventual expansion into the Ohio Valley, and most 18th century North American forts aren’t very impressive.

We then stopped at the only restaurant on Highway 40, a Pizza Hut, where there was considerable confusion about what specials were or were not offered. Then we went to Ohiopyle to see the falls:

This is Mr. and Mrs. Telkontar, btw. And the Telkitos. I talked about the falls in a much earlier post in case you feel cheated by lack of additional photos or description.

Then we went to some guy’s house:

I’d never heard of it before moving to Pittsburgh, but it’s apparently the most famous-for-architecture house in the US (Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright). We didn’t have reservations, so we were not allowed inside and were treated like dogs. The waterfalls were nice and the use of stone was kind of cool, but the preponderance of pink concrete was perplexing. Definitely better than the Biltmore Estate, though.

Then we drove back through Ohiopyle and came upon the following waterfall:

It’s named Cucumber Falls due to the prevalence of wild cucumber in the area.

It was starting to get dark, then, so we did what comes naturally to tourists in the Pittsburgh area: ride the Duquesne Incline up to Mt. Washington.

There was probably a good photo there if I could have found something to which to attach my gorilla pod.

And then we went home and debated the relative utility of creche committees.





Glacier Lake Fishing (Beartooths, Montana)

It all starts looking the same. I should probably delay publication of this one for two weeks just to get a little air between this post and the last one. Fine, there, I’ve done that: an artificial two-week delay. Now maybe these photos will look exciting, fresh, or, whatever it is that they otherwise wouldn’t look.

So there’s a miraculous story here that explains how I ended up going to Glacier Lake at all. My cell phone (with Virgin) gets no reception between Minnesota and Spokane. That is to say, it doesn’t work in Idaho, Montana, or the Dakotas. When I was heading from Tacoma to Montana, I stopped in Spokane to call my brother in South Dakota to see if he wanted to join me for fishing in Montana. He said he couldn’t make it, so I figured I’d leave Montana Saturday after finishing the Lake Fork hike.

But then when I got to Butte or so, I checked my phone and it had received a text message. Somehow, *somehow*, despite being in coverage no-man’s land, my phone had gotten a text message from my brother saying he could make it after all. And then I found a pay phone and confirmed plans. Yes, they still have pay phones. Everyone who saw me using it was also surprised.

(And: I said the story was miraculous, not that it was interesting.)

Fishing at Glacier Lake was great. The guy at the hotel in Red Lodge recommended it. Good job, guy!

Garry crossing a creek.


Elevation: 10,000'.


Glacier Lake shoreline.

Fishing was, as said, good. Used dry flies trailing behind a plastic float. Mostly 12- to 15-inch cutts. Caught one 12-inch brookie. All were good fighters. Also caught this:

The largest trout I've ever seen.

Two pounds? Two and a half maybe? It was a big trout. Caught it on four-pound line and apparently my knots don’t suck. Took probably 10-15 minutes to get him ashore. He took a lot of line. Awesome fish, mad respect.

Gebrüder (I'm not really six inches shorter than him).

Emerald Lake (in Wyoming!), just below Glacier Lake.

  • This is a short hike, btw. Two miles each way.
  • But steep (ca. 1,500 feet in elevation gain).
  • And at high altitude.
  • Glacier Lake is a perfect fishing lake: no grass, plenty of shoreline, lots of places to sit.

Coyote Gulch Hike Featuring Jacob Hamblin Arch, An Overnighter

  1. We set off from the Hurricane Wash trailhead and did the hike as an out-and-back overnighter, camping near the Jacob Hamblin Arch.
  2. The most inspiring scenery of the hike (the series of high-walled amphitheaters that curve overhead) is hard to photograph.
  3. Hiking to the arch and back from Hurricane Wash would be very doable as a day hike (ca. 14 miles).
  4. The first five miles of the hike are merely pleasant; the good scenery picks up after the confluence with Coyote Gulch.
  5. Hiking past the arch, there’s some cool scenery for a couple miles, but after the petroglyphs, there’s not much else on offer (we didn’t hike all the way to the confluence of the Escalante, though, so there might be something great that we missed).
  6. The campsites were all pretty amazing with great views and soft sand for easy sleeping. Don’t know that I’ve ever slept any better on a backpacking trip.
  7. You have to walk through the water in several spots, but you never have to go more than ankle deep if you don’t want.
  8. We didn’t find the fresh water sources that I’ve seen referenced in other write-ups.
  9. The problem with Mountain House isn’t that it tastes bad, it’s that it’s too much of one thing; the JetBoil is still an amazing product.
  10. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah is where this is.



Origins: Family Photos from Before My Time

When I was back up in the Greater Seattle Area over Christmas, my dad was in the throes of a scanning-old-photos bender. So I ended up seeing a lot of old photos while I was up there. It’s interesting to see what your parents used to look like long before you ever knew them. Sort of makes the rest of the story to-date make more sense seeing what the beginning looked like.

(If anyone pictured doesn’t like having these out there, lmk and I’ll take this post private.)

Dad, Mom. I think she's putting his lieutenant bars on him, ca. 1960.

It’s weird looking at my parents like this. I mean, they just look like young, good-looking military newlyweds, right? Who knew?

My mom's family (Uncle Bill, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt Mitzie, Mom, Uncle Jim). David was probably on his mission or something and John was probably crime-fighting on the temple grounds. Maybe.

Four generations of Dunns (great grandparents in the middle, my grandparents at bottom left and right, Uncle Bill and Aunt Kay top-right, brother Garry and cousin Jeff at bottom right).

It’s also interesting to me how close my grandparents look to how I remember them. Heck, even my older brothers:

ca. 1964?

…still kind of look sort of like this. Their faces anyway.

My dad also scanned a photo of the house they lived in in Pensacola (1960-62?):

Which I took a photo of on my roadtrip:

It was probably nicer with the trees in the front yard.

So it turns out it’s interesting to see where you come from.