Wishing You All a Great Holiday…

Cartoon creation by Curt Mekemson.
Amid the craziness of the holidays, a primitive monster shows great ‘presents’ of mind.

We were down in Big Bend National Park in Texas when it came time to write our annual Christmas letter. The park features beautiful scenery, interesting culture, cacti, and lots of geology. It also features fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs, including a monster crocodile. The crocodile reminded me of one of the characters I created for Christmas Cards, Old Croc. He made it into my Christmas letter and today’s post.

You would not want to go wading in a lake with this crocodile swimming around. It was a common mistake of dinosaurs 35 million years ago. It’s a Deinosuchus skull which was originally found in Big Bend. In this early photo, scientists examine the skull at the Smithsonian. “My, what big teeth you have.” It was a Little Red Riding Hood moment.

There was also a large leg bone from a duck billed dinosaur. Bone couldn’t resist having his photo taken with it.

Bone has a thing for bones. He can never resist having his photo taken with them. Out of respect for the dinosaur, he took off his clothes.

Peggy and I celebrated Christmas in 1999 at Big Bend. Not having a Christmas Tree, we used a hanging macrame. Our visit to Big Bend was before Christmas this year, but Peggy was still fired up with her passion for decorating. We found some hand-crafted Mexican Christmas ornaments for sale next to the Rio Grande. Bone, of course, insisted on joining the party. As did Bone’s traveling companion, Eeyore. We visited Peggy’s brother John and his wife Frances after Big Bend. Frances, knitted a Christmas scarf for Bone and donated a ribbon for the donkey.

Peggy’s Christmas scene from right to left: Eeyore, Bone, the Rio Grande ornaments, stockings and a blooming amaryllis. Peggy’s sister, Jane, gave us the stockings and amaryllis.
Bone, dressed up in all of his sartorial splendor, wears his kilt and new scarf for Christmas.

Just in case you are new to this blog and have never met Bone, a friend of mine, Tom Lovering and I found him in a field of corn lilies when we were backpacking along the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail in 1977. He has been traveling with us ever since. In addition to Tom and me, a number of other people have carried him over the past 45 years on numerous adventures. He has visited over 50 countries. Among his many adventures are a 10,000 mile bicycle trip, a journey in the back of a truck the length of Africa, climbing mountains, and deep sea diving. He has travelled on the Amazon, attended a Presidential Press Conference, and been blessed by the Pope in St. Peter’s square. Four years ago he backpacked with me 750 miles down the PCT in celebration of my 75th Birthday, meeting numerous through-hikers along the way.

Peggy, I, Bone, and Eeyore want to wish you and your family a joyful Christmas and a great 2023.