Sunday, April 26, 2015

Springtime in the Rockies :: Winter Sojourn 2014/15

Copyright 2015, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

We have been considering becoming residents of Colorado.  JUST KIDDING.

We are over the ickies.  We left Glenwood Springs and headed over the BIG mountain, passing through the Johnson Tunnel at well over 11,000 feet.

We stopped in Byers, just east of Denver to visit MOC friends Vicki and Mark A.

We are now near Livermore Colorado visiting MOC friends Ron and Terrie A.  They live on a mountain top in the Rocky Mountains.  Yesterday we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was fab. We saw wildlife, a few snowflakes and some rain.  Man got some new hiking boots, I got a new PURPLE jacket  (ya, purple.  LOL)

It was a great day.  Almost back to their home Ron spied a rainbow.

We hope to leave here Wednesday, Ron & Terrie A will let us tag along to Nebraska and maybe points beyond.

In the meantime, we have been blessed to spend time with these two wonderful couples.  Thanks again and again. Special times, special friends.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Flowers of the Southwest :: Winter Sojourn 2014/15

Copyright 2015, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Mostly I have photos of rocks and mountains and more rocks from our months in the southwest.

But, let's look at some flowers of the southwest taken over the last few weeks.  Some are the same kind of flowers, but, taken in different locales.

From near Hoover Dam, Lake Mead:

Valley of Fire, near Las Vegas Nevada. See that out crop of stone?  Center, near the curve in the road.  Standing up there by itself?  (I really should have put an arrow on this photo!  LOL)

Well, lookie what I saw about 30 foot off the roadway, yes, some type of barrel cactus, popping out of a little divit, give it a foothold, it will grow.  Look hard, it's there.  Really!

Also in Valley of Fire:

At Zion National Park, Weeping Rock area.

St. George Utah:

Also St. George:

Kanab, Utah:

Pipe Springs National Monument, I know, not a flower, but, just as pretty, eh?

More Kanab:

Page Arizona.  Buds, soon flowers.

Hike to Toadstools area of Paria, Utah:

Secret Slot Canyon, Page Arizona. By the way, this is akin to rheubarb:

Capital Reef Utah:

Capital Reef:

Capital Reef, flower on a cactus, a barrel type cactus:

Another from Capital Reef, just buds at this point:

Devil's Canyon, Utah, these are very small, maybe 4 inches diameter, at the most.  White, yellow and pale lavender.

Moab, Utah:

Also Moab, Arches National Park:

More from Arches:

Needles Overlook, part of Canyonlands National Park, again, this is rather small, maybe 8 inches diameter, and happy to have it's feet in a crack.

Spring flowers, spreading joy, all across the southwest.


Friday, April 17, 2015

A Horse, Err Fish, Of A Different Kind, Glenwood Springs, Colorado ::Winter Sojourn 2014/15

Copyright 2015, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Man and I have landed in Glenwood Springs Colorado.  We are waiting for Mother Nature and her brats to stop dumping *snow* up at Vail so we can cross the 10,000 plus passes and get to Denver.  It is looking like it might be a few more days.

See, this is what it looked like out of my desk window just about an hour or so ago.  Yep, Winter.

And, THIS is what it looked like when we arrived here in Glenwood Springs.

We arrived here wounded, having both had some snarky bug for days before we left Moab.  We are fine now, a bit weak, but, the worst has passed.  But, being wounded we have not done much.  Gone out to lunch a few times and had Jolly's oil changed.  One day on the way home, Man saw this road that went up "that-a-way" a bit, and announced as he turned,  "I just have to know what is up here."

So, up we went.  It was a pretty little road, with horse farms, one "knock your socks off" cute, cute, cute, log cabin home, and at the end of the road, a fish hatchery.

Well, now wasn't that a surprise?? It is an interesting hatchery.  We had not seen one like it before.  All the hatcheries we have been in have large "pools" or tanks.  This one has those too, but, the mountain water runs downhill through the tanks which are arranged in a stair step type set up. The tanks are not very wide.  It looks like they could just release the fish by raising the gates and let them travel down stream to the Colorado River.  I have NO idea if that is what really happens. We did not find any staff there that we could ask.  This is not a large facility, as far as we could tell.  But, we did find it fascinating.

And, yes, there were fish:

Some of them were labeled as Colorado River Rainbow.  And, yes, it is a bit difficult to get a good photo of them close up, all that wiggling and such.

You can learn more about this hatchery at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife web site.  When you click around and find the Glenwood Springs hatchery "fish" on the map near the bottom of the page, you will learn:

"The Glenwood Springs Hatchery, a cold water facility, raises Mackinaw (lake) trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee salmon fingerlings and brood fish. (Brood fish are mature females and males used to produce and fertilize eggs.) Subcatchable graylings are also raised here.

This is the third-oldest hatchery in the state, established in 1905."

Sometimes that little turn to see what is "up there" proves to be quite interesting.  A hatchery, up that hill.  Who knew??


Sunday, April 12, 2015

It Must Be Moab, Street Stuff :: Winter Sojourn 2014/15

Copyright 2015, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Really, it must be Moab, if you see these on the streets:


Thursday, April 9, 2015

150 Years Ago Today, The Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse :: Solomon Was There.

Copyright 2015, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Today, April 9, 2015 marks 150 years since the surrender at the Appomattox Courthouse, ending the horrific war between the North and the South.  Called the "Civil War" by many, this savage and sad event has also been called the War Between the States, War of the Rebellion, Great Rebellion, War for Southern Independence, War of Northern Aggression, Freedom War,  and War of Secession.

Here on Reflections, I have written about Solomon B. Eley and his family several times.  I have addressed his participation in the war effort.  I have several other veterans and Man does as well.  But, Solomon holds a special place in my researching heart.  Probably because I have been unable to locate his place of burial.  And, because, frankly, of the truth behind the family stories passed down and the reality.  The family stories were "enhanced", but, I found they held some basis in reality.

So, today, I am going to post a combination of my prior posts, with editing and new information, discussing Solomon and his participation in the events from April 22,1861 to April 9, 1865.

On Friday, September 11, 2009, I first posted Ancestor Military Battles, Solomon B. Eley.  I also published "April 9, 1865, the Day of Surrender, Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia" on at least two occasions, April 9, 2010, and again on April 9, 2014.  The disclaimer, I do not profess to understand all the documents surrounding war. So, I may have made some errors in my presentation.

To the left, is a "photo" of Solomon B. Eley, Captain of the 16th Virginia Infantry, Company D.

Solomon is my second great grandfather.  He was born around 1836 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Solomon was the son of Exum Eley and his second wife, Martha (Darden) Marshall Eley (she was a widow when she married Exum). Exum and Martha had 3 children, Solomon being the last born.

The uniform Solomon is wearing is not necessarily the same as he wore during the Civil War. Can we say, "pre-computer era enhanced image"?  The hat is not true to era, nor are those epaulets on his shoulders.  In a color version of this photo, those shoulder epaulets are painted "gold".  My belief is that a descendant "edited" the original.  As, in, painted the epaulets in!  LOL

Solomon enlisted in the 16th Virginia Infantry during April of 1861. He was "signed up" by M. H. Watkins. M. H. Watkins would marry Solomon's widowed sister after the war.

Solomon served with the 16th Virginia Infantry, Company D.  He entered the war as a Second Lieutenant, eventually was promoted to a Captain (per his compiled record cards, that promotion was March 13, 1862).  For a number of months he actually was the top commanding officer of Company D while his superior officers were indisposed.

During my research on Solomon, I was fortunate to be able to chat with some reinactors from the 16th Virginia Infantry. They do remarkable research and shared willingly. They provided me with transcripts of some war records that told of Solomon taking command of the 16th Virginia. There were at least 3 dates provided, October 31, 1864, November 28, 1864 and February 28, 1865. The following is a direct copy/paste of the worked shared with me, thanks to the 16th Virginia Reinactors.

"With this report we can see the effect of battle on the regiment; four days before this inspection the brigade was engaged at the Battle of Burgess Mill, October 27, 1864. At Wilderness Colonel Joseph Ham’s 2nd Manassas wound flares up, causing him to leave the regiment until early-October. He is again wounded at Burgess Mill. Days before Burgess Mill, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Whitehead was also wounded, and Major John Woodhouse was still recovering from a wound received at the Crater; leaving command of the regiment to Captain Solomon B. Eley of Company D."

Was Solomon in charge of the unit during the actual battles of October 31, and November 28, 1864? From the discussion with the reinactors, it appears he was.

Solomon was listed as the Commanding Officer on this Compiled Service record card (number 33 of at least 93 cards that I have copies of).  This is the February 28, 1865 date referred to by the reinactors.  In reviewing the compiled service record cards, I do not find another that states he was in "command" as does this specific card.

However, when I think of Solomon, (and I DO understand this), what I remember is that he signed the Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. On April 9, 1865 he was at Appomattox Courthouse, and signed the surrender papers.  Each officer of the unit had to sign the surrender papers, Solomon signed on page 2 of this document. And, I have a copy of the document! Here are two parts of the 4 legal sized pages document:

The printed portion of this graphic reads:

We, the undersigned Prisoners of War, belonging to the Army of Northern Virginia, having been this day surrendered by General Robert E. Lee, C.S. A., Commanding said Army, to Lieut. Genl. U.S. Grant, Commanding Armies of the United States, do hereby give our solemn parole of honor that we will not hereafter serve in the armies of the Confederate States, or in any military capacity whatever, against the United States of America, or render aid to the enemies of the latter, until properly exchanged, in such manner as shall be mutually approved by the respective authorities.

Done at Appomattox Court House, Va., this 9th day of April 1865.

Solomon's signature appears on this graphic, the last signature:

After the war, Solomon married Sarah (Sallie) Anne Darden, had children, we believe 2 girls and 2 boys, the boys dying young. Solomon himself died in Sussex County, Virginia on April 20, 1871 from consumption. His remains were taken back to Isle of Wight County Virginia for burial.  That burial place in Isle of Wight County, Virginia remains undiscovered.

Because the family had a photo (original format unknown) of Solomon and could prove he was at the Courthouse on the day of surrender, his photo has been placed on the Wall of Honor at the Appomattox Courthouse.  This photo was taken a number of years ago, and is slightly out of focus, but, there he is (lower left corner).

Solomon's photo, with that of his wife, Sallie, hang in my home, a constant reminder of my family and their stories.

* To learn more about the activities this week surrounding the 150th Anniversary of the Surrender, check out the National Parks Service page.  This link may not be available in the future.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Last Week Spent in the Red, the Marvelous, the Unbelievable :: Winter Sojourn 2014/15

Copyright 2015, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Man and I have been moving about Utah, Arizona for several weeks.  We have seen unbelievable beauty.  We have seen stone, rocks, shapes, mystery, surprises, colors of grey, black, white, cream, orange, multiple shades of red, burgundy, bright red, yellow, blue/gray, green, pink and some purple.

We experienced so much there is no way to record it.  We drove up to and over 8900 feet towing Tana.  We drove a lot of miles, paved roads, 2 lane high ways and a bunch of dirt/gravel roads.

We saw high desert, the Colorado River several times, canyons, vistas that go for miles and miles.  We saw horses, mostly domestic, but a few wild ones too.  Cattle, deer, sheep, bison, birds, and a few skittish little creatures, mammals and reptiles.  NO SNAKES!!!  YA!  We saw snow, just for the record.

We saw vehicles of every shape and form.  Camping equipment, dirt bikes, ATV's and who knows what else. Boats, trailers, rigs boondocking, rigs in campgrounds.  Variety counts!

We took a number of hikes, the last one in Capital Reef at well over 5500 feet with lots of inclines and steps.

We had some odd things happen, for instance, when we were preparing to leave Monument Valley, Cappy managed to get himself in the very back of Tana  with the slides closed.  No, I did not close the slides with him running around, as I always hold him in my arms during that process.  But, I did leave him in Tana with slides closed and went out to assist Man in hooking up.  I had never done that before, and I will never again.  SIGH. Retrieving him involved some climbing on a chair, laying on my belly on the table and a very long stretch, all the while he was talking, err, barking at me.  He did not like being stuck back there, I can tell you that!

We drove the 17 mile Valley of Gods dirt road.  It was dry.  I was happy.

We drove through Monument Valley in Jolly. Jolly got very red.  LOL

Then, there is this, which may now be one of my most fav photos, and it was not planned this way.  I was doing a panoramic photo and Man walked into the side of it.  I just kept going, figuring I could delete.  No deleting this beaut!

We drove Scenic 95 on our way to Capital Reef.  A very long day so filled with beauty I am still overwhelmed.

Tana and Jolly had a photo op in the Glen Canyon Recreation area:

The scenery changes constantly:

We visited Capital Reef, which may be one of the most beautiful National Parks we have.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone, or it will become too popular.

We drove out of the Capital Reef/Torey Utah area on Utah 72, another scenic route, the summit is 8975, yes, we found snow, not much, but, snow:

We are now at Moab, tired, worn out and exhilarated.

I have taken over 2200 photos since March 31st.

We were pretty much "disconnected" from the net from March 31st till April 7th.  Sprint did not like me trying to access the internet via my phone and roaming while we were in Torrey.  They froze my phone for a month. Just on roaming data, but, really??  SIGHHHH. We expected to be disconnected in Monument Valley, did not expect such horrible campground wifi in Torrey.  I screamed several times (poor Man) that I HATE HATE HATE campground wifi.  I always have, and apparently, still do, and always will.  Verizon (my iPad and our air card/modem) has never heard of the Capital Reef area.  No cell company has 100% coverage in the USA.  Verizon sure failed in this specific area.  At least the phones are Sprint and sorta worked.

The dry climate and the high altitude have had some affect on our bodies.  We are busy hydrating and resting.

It was GRAND!!

* I will undoubtedly share more photos of this last week at some time in the future.  It's gonna be a while tho.