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Photo: Face in the wall

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Metz, France. (c)1974 Roger D. Reinitz

 
An aside to the last post, here’s another photo taken in Metz, France, from my father’s archives.

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Photos: Flea Market, Metz, France, early 1970s

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Metz Flea Market, (c)1974 Roger D. Reinitz

 
Photos (c) 1974, Roger D. Reinitz

Metz, a good-sized city on France’s northeast border, has a beautiful cathedral, the oldest working opera house in the country and other historical buildings.

But one of my favorite memories was the flea market, where one could by rabbits from a guy in raincoat or pick up World War II surplus

Here are some photos taken by my father in the 1970s. They aren’t good reproductions, I just photographed glossy prints.

 

(c)1974 Roger D. Reinitz

  

(c) 1974 Roger D. Reinitz

  

I admire the belt-fed bolt-action rifle. (c)1974 Roger D. Reinitz

  

(c)1974 Roger D. Reinitz

 

Coins returned to Greece

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photo of Greek coins on tiny easels. Courtesy HSI

 SAN FRANCISCO – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) repatriated 10 Greek coins to the Government of Greece, Tuesday, during a reception at the San Francisco Greek Consulate.

The 10 coins were allegedly smuggled out of various Aegean islands such as the Island of Samos. The island of Samos is not covered by modern structures and has a lot of open, unprotected fields. These unexcavated archaeological sites are subject to the illegal use of metal detectors by collectors who remove artifacts, such as coins, for unlawful sale and profit.

In late August 2016, HSI detained a FedEx package with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the FedEx facility in Memphis, Tennessee. The shipment originated from a Munich-based, online coin dealer with previous violations for selling suspicious antiquities. This shipment contained five coins.

According an analysis of data collected by the Customs and Border Protection Laboratory in San Francisco, the coins were determined to be authentic Ancient Greek artifacts.

In September 2016, Keller interviewed the buyer of the intercepted package. During this interview, the buyer informed Keller that he made a purchase from the same seller a few months earlier for five other coins. Subsequently, the previously purchased coins were also evaluated and found to be Greek artifacts.

All 10 coins are estimated to be dated as early as 600 BCE and were minted in various locations throughout the Aegean Islands.

According to Greek Cultural Heritage Law, artifacts in the ground within Greece are the property of the Government of Greece and are not allowed to be removed for reasons other than Archaeological study. The lack of provenance documents and the low price of the coins were facts that supported the assessment that the coins were smuggled out of Greece.

In July 2011, The U.S. and Greece entered in to a Bilateral Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding with Greece to restrict the importation of carious cultural property from the Upper Paleolithic Period (approximately 2,000 B.C) through the 15th century A.D.

On May 10, 2019, the Office of International Trade-Regulations Rulings issued a decision to transfer the forfeited coins to HSI for the purpose of repatriation to the Government of Greece.

Always time for Silly Mountain

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Silly Mountain, Arizona

 

Two hikes I’ve always wanted to do in the Phoenix area — Camelback and Flat Iron.

But my schedule was tight, and after touching down at the airport, I only had a few hours before hitting the road the following morning. Flat Iron is a grueling day-long trek on the Superstition Range, and Camelback is best as a morning hike.

Luckily, there is always time for Silly Mountain, a park on the east edge of Apache Junction with a mile or so of trails and a 2,100-foot peak with a 400-foot elevation gain.

I got there shortly before sunset and had great views.

Superstition Mountains, view from a Silly Mountain. (C)2019 J.S.Reinitz

The view from Silly Mountain. (C)2019 J.S.Reinitz

Dashcam: Arizon drive

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This spring, I had the pleasure of driving from the Southwest to the Midwest, passing fantastic landscapes, rusting remnants of civilization and temperatures that ranges from searing heat to blinding snow.

Until we got to the Midwest, then it was mostly flat farmland. Luckily, this portion was at night.
Unfortunately, my dashcam failed to capture most scenery (apparently the “on” button isn’t the same as the “record” button). The one stretch of the journey it did record was the route from Apache Junction to Miami, Arizona.

Photo: Cold weather kayaking

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“Spring” 2018

After about 20 minutes of hard paddling, my glasses began to fog up, obscuring the swift water. The kayak’s nose was a red blur in front of me with two smaller red blurs cycling on either side of me, my paddle blades trying to keep up with the current.

The plan had been to put in at the park and head upstream under the railroad bridge and then play around just below the dam in a relaxing fashion before drifting back down to the ramp. But just after launching, I realized how quick the water was moving, and the fight was on.

It was early in the morning, and everyone was at home asleep. It was cold, overcast windy. Ice formations clung to the rail bridge piers. 

It was spring break in the Midwest. Time to get out and enjoy kayaking.
In light snow.
 

There is a certain amount of dread that creeps in when you strain to push against the current and after several minutes, you glance to the side and see the shore and notice that with all your work you are only holding ground — like a big water sports treadmill.

After inching past the rail bridge, I cut to the right bank where I spotted a small cove with calm water. A wave washed into the cockpit, the icy water freezing my hip numb. So much for my plan to stay dry.

I slowly inched across, mindful of the strainer — a large toppled tree with all of its branches intact hanging in the water — immediately downstream. If I collided with the strainer, I would likely be knocked from the boat, forced underwater and held down by the power of the water rushing through the branches.

A flock of geese watched me drift into the cove exhausted. They flapped around and walked over to the bank as I landed on a sandbar.  

Photo: River ice

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Photo: Lunch with the eagles 

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(c)2019 J.S.Reinitz

Bald eagles feasting on fish on an ice shelf in the Cedar River. Crows waiting for the leftover scraps. (c)2019 J.S.Reinitz  .

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(c)2019 J.S.Reinitz

Trip shot: Descending Seven Falls

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View of the lodge while descending steep stairs at Seven Falls.

 

June 2017, Colorado Springs area

For those who are interested, there are 224 steep steps leading up the 181 feet from the base of Colorado’s Seven Falls to the top.

That doesn’t count the .8 mile hike from the park’s entrance — through the canyon, along the creek — to the base. And once you get to the top of the waterfalls, once you get past the 224 steps, there is another mile of trails to explore, leading to a fantastic overlook.

My kind of place. I could spend an entire day here.

Other things to consider:

— Plenty of options for refreshments along the way, and there is a restaurant at the base.

— Parking (free) is at the Broadmoor resort five miles away with shuttle service (also free) to the entrance.

— Sign at the shelter above the falls warns of bears.

— Keep your ticket ($14 in 2018 currency) and return at night when the falls are illuminated with lights.

— For those who aren’t in to steps, there is an elevator from the base to one of the overlooks.

 

 

Trip shot: Tower memories

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(c)2016 J.S.Reinitz

 
Memory is a strange thing. 

My parents took us to the Devil’s Tower when I was in junior high school as part of a cross-country trip from the Midwest to the Pacific Ocean. And for decades, I have carried this memory of arriving at the park toward the end of the day, parking and walking around the tower, climbing on the scree, learning about the Native American significance of the site and the story about the bear’s claw marks. And driving off to camp elsewhere.

 So in 2016, as I was dragging my own kids, and my wife and my mother across the west, we took the right turn after Sundance to see the tower. And everything was different from how I remembered it. Not just the a few different roads and additional buildings that could be explained by normal development in the interceding years. The topography and layout around the site was totally different from my memory, stuff that couldn’t have changed. 

It must have been the memory that was wrong all this time. We did visit the tower all those years ago, but I just didn’t remember it right. I have been thinking back trying to find where this false recollection came from, and so far I have come up empty.

Even so, it was good to explore the tower again and make new memories with my family.

Everyday carry: Pocket pouch

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Vanquest Husky with loadout.

https://everydaycarry.com/posts/21716?embed=frame&view=list

Here is a quick look at the EDC pouch I keep in my all-purpose Swiss Gear 2-liter Dash Pack — 

Pouch: Vanquest Husky EDC Maximizer — plenty of room. I like the orange interior fabric, makes the items stand out, easy to find. Elastic bands keep everything in place.

Kershaw Shuffle 2 folding knife — a robust blade with a screwdriver/pry tool pomel and a bottle opener.

Gerber Tempo flashlight — durable, single battery, LED gives good light. 

Mini Bic lighter — always dependable.

Gerber Dime multi tool — plyers and a few other tools in a small package.

iPod 4th Gen with Otterbox case

Zebra F-701 pen — a solid pen.

Button compass

Piccadilly Pocket memo book — plenty of pages.

Bandage carrier

Lens cloth

Photo: Shadows

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Fishing trips aren’t good for catching fish when the river is out of its banks and sweeping past your campsite.

But as long as the current doesn’t start lapping at your RV, the outings are still good for catching up with family, relaxing with a beer and frying up some fish that your wife’s uncles had frozen from an earlier excursion.

So went last fall’s annual get-together on the shores of the Iowa River. Each year, the wife’s father and uncles and cousins carve out a weekend for casting sinkers monofilament and hooks and worms into the murky water and reeling out whatever bites. That summer was the first time women folk were included, and it just happened to be the first time I had the time and the ambition — not being a fish eater and not much of a fish catcher — to attend.

It was also the first time I realized the site was only about 90 minutes away from home. And it just happened to coincide with what Midwesterners call flood-nado season.

My teenage son and his friend soon got bored of casting into the rushing river from the shore and began to make noise about taking out the uncle’s flat bottom jon boat that sat dry docked on a trailer in camp. It was obvious the boat’s motor wouldn’t be able to keep up with the current. Or it should have been obvious.

After my son attempted to argue for a boat ride a few more times, it was time to teach him to art of reading the scene.

“These guy have been fishing since before you were born, heck, since before I was born,” I told him. “They didn’t haul the boat all the way up here to park it in the campground. They want to take it out. Really bad. But they know the water. And if they aren’t launching the boat, you know there is a good reason. How about we walk grandpa’s dog.”

I had seen an old corn crim a bit downstream, and the in-laws assured me the farmer wouldn’t mind. But you never really know. We set out with cocker spaniel, working our way around the mud puddles in the dirt road before we came to the building. 

It was empty, save a rusty filing cabinet and a few spent shotgun shells scattered about. My son and his buddy scaled the ladder to explore the upper level while I looked after the dog. A few minutes later they emerged having discovered a mannequin that someone had blasted with a shotgun.

Maybe not the most wholesome thing to stumble upon, but it beats getting washed down the river.

 

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