I had the greatest plan to share the solar eclipse with the 1300 students at the school I teach at. I had acquired several ways to display the eclipse safely. However, I was informed today all students must remain inside for their safety. We will be able to watch the live stream from NASA. 
As a science teacher I’m a little disappointed in the decision made by officials at the district level. With that I guess I’ll fire up the projector and watch the life stream. 



Last night was back to school night. I had just about all of my new crop of students arrive and come visit. They were all very excited, as am I. This promises to be a great year. 

fast approaching 

Today is one of those crazy days for me. I want to be out scouting or sighting in my rifle to make sure everything is ready for my elk hunt in a few months. However, school starts in two days, just 48 hours, and I have a ton left todo. Tonight is back to school night and many of my new crop of students will be coming and will be excited for a year in fourth grade. 

Honestly, I too am excited for a great year filled with possibilities. I will be a basketball coach and a club sponsor. I have not done both of those in the same year so this will be a unique year. 
The board is almost ready to welcome my new crop of campers into my class. Now the anticipation begins in earnest. Wish me luck. 

Crabs in the water

Last night my wife and I were walking along the shore of Mission Bay in San Diego. We saw a few fish jump and then ran into a little blue crab. I have never seen a crab in the bay so I thought it was really fun to see one scurrying around the bottom. 

Not too easy to see as it was dark. The fun things you can see after dark.  Just another day in the life of this adult onset hunter. 


I had these great plans for getting out and scouting for my elk hunt this fall. Not that I think the elk will be in the same place in a few months, but that I want to refresh myself with the way the land looks. I have done my share of digital scouting and that is good. But, I want to get the boots on the ground.

I had the best of intentions to get out there and scout and take my hunting partners with me so together we could look at our unit and make a plan of attack for the fall. Well, one of them left for the Pacific Northwest soon after Memorial Day and the other is having some personal issues. So plans were thwarted.

For me, summer ends in about a week as I report back to school for the start of another year teaching fourth grade. With that I will also embark on a new adventure of being a basketball coach.

However, before I have to return to my classroom I will get one more summer adventure going. I’m taking the kids fishing in California.


Rock Art

Recently my wife and I were talking about activities we could do with our children to keep them active and engaged during the hot summer months in southern Arizona. Let’s be honest, when it is 110 degrees outside, indoor activities are the only solution.

We thought the idea of rock art would be fun. So we gathered up a few medium sized stones from the back yard and are in the process of painting them. Once they are all painted and ready for their public display we will go to different locations and place the rocks for others to find.

If you’re not a desert dweller, like me, then this might be a good activity for when it is cold outside? Whatever the case, take the time to teach your children the importance of being kind to others through random acts of kindness like this. Then take them out of public lands to distribute the rocks and teach them the importance of the federal public lands to their future as citizens and outdoor enthusiasts.


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Mesa Verde National Park

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to take my family on vacation to southwestern Colorado. We like to visit the Durango area with my in-laws. These camping trips are often miniature family reunions for my wife and her three siblings. We stay a little way out of town and it is a serene location.

This trip I ran into a friend of mine from home also camping with her family. We traveled over 450 miles and run into each other in a different state. I find that rather humorous.

This year, my wife and I decided, that we would take our children to experience more historic places so we could use that during our lesson in our respective classes. I think it is a much better way to connect to the students when I can talk about the history of our country when I have been to the sites.

Because we were going to Durango we decided to visit Mesa Verde National Park. None of us had been there previously and we had some major misconceptions, I expected it to be more along the lines of Walnut Canyon National Monument near Flagstaff, Arizona and my wife had similar thoughts. So if you go, understand that it takes the better part of an hour to reach the ruins from the main visitors center. I’m rather thankful we packed a picnic lunch for everyone.

We have three children, 10, 7 and 1, and babies are only allowed on the Cliff Palace tour in backpack carriers. So we selected this tour for our family. It is relatively short and not overly difficult, as my mother-in-law with her two bad knees was able to join us, but is not easy either and requires careful attention to foot placement at times. Our Ranger guide, David Nighteagle, was incredible. His knowledge and passion for the place entranced all of us there. However, what is by far the most memorable event from the whole experience, was his playing his flute for us in that majestic place.

We have made plans for next summer, an advantage of both of us being teachers, to return to Mesa Verde and camp at their campground and take turns taking the tours we could not do as a family because of the age restrictions at the park.

I know I was able to learn more about the history of the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited the area over 800 years ago, I hope my children learned something as well, and perhaps were as inspired as their mother and I were while standing in that sacred place listening to the ranger play his flute for us.



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Wildlife watching from the road. 

Last night after another fun filled day in Durango we went for a drive on a couple of lightly used roads with my in-laws looking for wildlife. 

I have never seen a bear in the wild and one is known to be in the area, so we went looking. We didn’t see a bear, but what we found was fun. 
We saw a small group of wild turkeys, a group of about 8 elk and three of them were calves, Canadian geese, a skunk, and a mule deer doe. However, for me the best parts were when it was my children spotting the animals. My daughter saw a  group of turkeys, a bunch of them born this spring. And my son the deer. 
Today we embark on a journey non of us have taken. We will take the narrow gushed train to Silverton, an old mining town, a place we have only traveled by car. 

after a trip to Mesa Verde, more when I have a ton of time, we are wrapping up our trip and headed back to the desert. 

We have learned a bunch this week and have had an amazing adventure. 
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Happy Independence Day!

Today, in the United States, we celebrate our hard won independence over a tyrannical king of England. Those bravo men and women are honored through the various fireworks displays across this great nation.  We have come a long way in those 241 years. 
Thanks to the great forward thinking of President Theodore Roosevelt we have millions of acres of publicly owned land for all of us to enjoy. 

To honor those great patriots I am going to take my family to a national park today. We are visiting southwest Colorado. So when we planned this trip my wife and I decided a visit to Mesa Verde National Park was a must do for us. 
How will you honor the great patriots that hade come before us? I will show my children how the past connects to the present. I will work to #keepitpublic
What will you do?
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Thank you for reading and happy Fourth of July and God Bless America.