Monday, November 10, 2008

Where else can you hear toucans and car horns at the same time? Why that’s Panama City of course! I knew I was home when I went on my morning walk up Ancon Hill located just outside my door at La Estancia Bed & Breakfast. The first bird I saw was a grey-blue tanager (out my bedroom window) and the second was a keel-billed toucan. Welcome home, Elaine! The walk was beautiful & as you can see, provides one of the nicest views of Panama City. I’m currently waiting for my friends Nina & Richard to fly into Panama. We’ll spend the next month together-- birding, hiking, kayaking & exploring.

If you are wondering why I’ve included some pictures of Yosemite on my Panama blog, it’s because I attended the 2nd “Employees of the 70’s Yosemite Reunion” at the end of October. Pictured are Karen von Kempf (my roomie), Walt Dabney, Mark Forbes, Dusty & me. The closeup is Karen & I. It was great to be reunited with so many friends from 35 years ago. I worked in Yosemite from 1975 (winter) to 1980. While there I got “permanent” status with the National Park Service (no small feat), joined the Badger Pass Ski Patrol (where I worked for 3 winters), got married to Peter Fitzmaurice, carried a 2” revolver to enforce the law, and supervised 15 (mostly women) fee collectors who worked in the Valley campgrounds and at the Ticketron Reservation Center. Since I was there, several of the Valley campgrounds have been washed away [flood of 1997 -- I just watched a YouTube video (search Yosemite Flood of 1997) that was pretty good if you are interested)]. Anyway, I had a great time (including hiking the 9-mile Panorama trail) and hope to return to the next reunion.

We’ll head back to my beach condo on Saturday (& hope that the condo has been cleaned). Since I wrote the above, our return was fine. We left Panama City at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and got as far as Santa Clara where we spent the night & enjoyed the white sand beach/gentle waves. The truck gave me some grief on the return, but we made it. I have an appointment at Nissan on Tuesday.

So good to be back home. We enjoyed a vegetarian dinner & retired early to sounds of the ocean. I'll talk about the 8:00 a.m. Monday turtle release on my next blog. Stay tuned.

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