Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rimrocks and The Tree - Fri., June 9, 2017

Our third day of the AVA (American Volkssport Association) Convention started with a walk. Many Volksmarchers are early risers as evidenced by the fact that at 6:30 a.m., walkers were already lined up for the 7:00 a.m. bus that would take us to our starting point. 

The day was going to be warm and sunny, with no shade on the trail. An early start keeps you cooler in the beginning of the walk.

The Swords Rimrock Trail at Boothill Cemetery was the start point. The bus arrived, opened its doors, we zipped out, and we were on our way. Boothill Cemetery got its name because so many of its occupants went to their deaths with their boots on. This cemetery was the burying ground for Coulson, a Yellowstone River town existing from 1877-1885 on the edge of what was to become Billings. H. M. (Muggins) Taylor, a scout who took news of the Custer Massacre June 25, 1876, from the battle area to Bozeman, is the most famous person buried here.


Boothill Cemetery
Trail through the cemetery
From the cemetery, we hiked
up to the rimrocks that line Biliings.
View of the rimrocks that line the opposite
side of the Yellowstone River in Billings, MT
The rimrocks trail
We had a bird's-eye view of downtown Billings
The trail was essentially out and back along the bluffs. As you can see there is not a cloud in the sky. The early morning temperature was 74 degrees and it just got hotter as the morning wore on.

I always enjoy looking at wildflowers on the walks. Plants are so amazing. In the middle of the rocks, wildflowers grow out of cracks in the rocks.



A grand view
Walkers from Buffalo, WY
The instructions for our walk turn-around point were quite clear. After we went 1k past a parking lot with restroom (the only one on our walk), we were to go past a paved trail on the right leading to a concrete picnic area; just past the picnic table, turn around at The Tree. There was only one tree in that whole area. A number of walkers had gone way past the tree and other walkers were following along blindly, not bothering to check their instructions. 

A heated discussion broke out amongst some of the walkers who insisted we had to go farther. I, and a couple of other people, turned around and went back. I turned around and looked back after a while and some people were still 1k back discussing what they should do. Everyone eventually made it back, but some did way more walking than they needed to!

Back at the hotel, we had a little free time before lunch. At 11:00 a.m., they served us box lunches with sandwich, fruit, chips, and cookies. 

After lunch, we had time to bid on silent auction items. I had my eye on a gift basket from the Nebraska Volksmarch club with eclipse goodies in it. There was Eclipse gum, two bottles of wine (Morning Star and Moon Shadow), two bottles of Super Nova ale, Cheddar Rocket Crackers, Starburst candy, two plastic wine glasses with white stars on them, Shooting Star Cookies (sugar cookies coated in chocolate with pop rocks in the chocolate), gold star napkins, a gold star backpack, an eclipse walking weekend T-shirt, a pair of men's rocket man socks, a star scarf, and a candleholder with an L.E.D. light. All in all, a pretty clever gift basket. [More on this in another blog.]

The Convention General Session started at 2:00 p.m. with a speaker. Business included voting on a new roster of officers, selection of our 2019 convention city, election results, closing remarks, and closing ceremony. The final session ended about an hour early. That gave us time to get ready for the Out of Bounds Dinner Bash on Friday night. 

Silent Auction bidding wrapped up Friday afternoon. By the time of the banquet, results had been posted and I won the Eclipse basket. I intend to share it with Susan and Darren to thank them for driving their van on the trip. Susan Medlin also won her silent auction bid for lodging and walk package at this summer's IML (International Marching League) walks in Washington, D.C.

The banquet speaker was Christine Handy, a wife, mother, previous model, and breast cancer survivor who wrote the book, "Walk Beside Me." The dinner and the talk were good. We had a great showing of San Antonians at the Convention...I wasn't able to get photos of everyone.

Kathy and Mike
Darren and Susan
Susan and John
Ellen and Mike
Me (yet another Susan)
Some thank-you gifts were then given to our volunteers. 




Susan, Darren and I left when the music for dancing started. We plan a very early start tomorrow for our post-Convention Volksmarch in Red Lodge, Montana. 

Travel Bug out.






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