Yesterday we drove up to Smith Rock State Park to say hello to some of the hosts and Josie who is the new Ranger 2. They were all working on the two new host sites that will accommodate large RV’s with 50 amp service. We’re going to need the extra hands during the week of the solar eclipse in August.
May 15, 2017
On Saturday Jerry & Maryln Howlett and Jeffery & Susan Wetzell drove over to Redmond from the Salem area to have lunch with us. We met at Oishi’s Japanese Restaurant where we have been several times. The food was excellent and seeing our friends was great. We will all meet again in July at Smith Rock State Park for our hosting gigs.
The weather here in Central Oregon hasn’t been great this past week with cloudy skies and temperatures dipping down into the low 30’s at night. I think the high yesterday was around 50. Last week we had some really nice weather with daytime temp’s getting up to almost 80 degrees. The local’s around here call it the “great Central Oregon fake out”.
Our new B-2 hosts arrived on Friday giving us a full complement of workers. They are the primary greeter’s and sell firewood everyday. They also close the day use park gate that I open in the morning.
May 24, 2017
A lot has happened since I last wrote anything so let me get right to it.
On Friday the 19th we got up at 3 AM so that we could be at the Redmond Airport by 4:30 to catch our flight to Portland. I don’t think that Joyce or I slept more than four hours that night.
After getting to Portland we jumped on an Alaskan Airlines flight to Newark Liberty International Airport, NJ., arriving there about 3:30 PM. Our next stop was at the Budget Car Rental to pick up our car. Joyce and I are enrolled in Budget’s Fastbreak service so we just went to the kiosk, grabbed our paperwork and the off we went. Well, not so fast there Crocker’s. When we got out to the car there was another gentleman that had his bags in the Chevy Cruse that we were supposed to take. We told the lot attendant about the mix-up and he quickly got us an “upgrade” to a Ford Focus.
We then started the 81 mile drive to our hotel in Stratford, CT. First, we had to navigate the New Jersey Turnpike up to the George Washington Bridge where we ran into total gridlock. After getting across the bridge we headed up through Yonkers on the I-87 then on up into Connecticut. All-in-all it took us nearly four hours to make that drive.
We finally got checked into the Homewood Suites hotel and then Justin, Adrian, Travis, Harold, Michelle, Abigail and Skyler came over to see us. Joyce and I were happy to see them all.
So, why in the world were we in Connecticut in the first place? Justin has been attending the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University for the past two years working on his Masters Degree and we were all there to celebrate his graduation.
We had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends and of course the graduation ceremony was amazing. Some really great things were said about Justin and you can rest assured that we are all proud of him.
This is taken from the commencement program:
“Justin W. Crocker attended Ohio State University from 2001 too 2005, graduated magna cum laude with a BA in criminology and was commissioned in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer. He served as a rifle platoon leader with the 4th Infantry Division from 2006 to 2009 and deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Justin later completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and served as an Operational Detachment-Alpha commander and company commander with the 3rd Special Forces Group from 2011 to 2015. Justin deployed multiple times to Central Asia in support of ongoing counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations as a Special Forces Officer. In 2015, Justin began his studies as Yale University as a General Wayne A. Downing Scholar through the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Upon completing his studies at Yale, Justin will assume command of a Special Forces company in the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His is married to the former Adrian M. Dauby of Tell City, Indiana. They have a son, Travis. He’s the little one running around the room right now".
Justin is 2nd from right.
Justin, "Focus Travis. Focus."
The Gangs All Here
The knife and scabbard were made by Ron Cutler of Payson, UT. 440 Stainless Steel and buffalo horn. The shadow box was made by Rick Stills of Rathdrum, ID.
Here is a couple of links:On Tuesday the 23rd we drove back down to Newark to catch our flight back to Bend.
Just a note about driving in the New York City area. Don’t do it!
Barry & Joyce