Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Grand Adventure Begins

On Sunday, September 14th, I met up with Sue and Fred at Chandler, Arizona where we reviewed and discussed the clothes and other stuff we were taking with us on the Raft Trip through the Grand Canyon.  We second-guessed ourselves on some things. Then I just decided to take whatever would fit into my duffel bag, then when the "dry bag" was being packed at Lee's Ferry, if a questionable item wouldn't fit, it didn't go. I ended up being able to take almost everything and also ended up actually usually almost everything!

Tuesday morning we left Chandler and drove the nearly 300 miles to the Marble Canyon Lodge (near the launch point at Lee's Ferry at the north-eastern border of Grand Canyon National Park). Once there, we got our rooms, had a nice supper at the little restaurant, met several of our soon-to-be fellow travelers, then attended and orientation meeting where we met the other travelers as well as the guides. There were 17 of us in the group plus the six guides. A group of strangers - soon to become friends.

We were given instructions in safety and camp procedures, issued splash jackets and life vests (which were adjusted to fit us properly) and given the black "dry bag" for our personal gear. Once back in our rooms we packed and re-packed the dry bag then tried to get some sleep. A combination of nervousness and excitement kept me up half the night but I did manage to get a few hours of sleep.

Morning came, none too soon actually. Then breakfast. Then at 8 o'clock we all got into the vans and rode the five miles to the launch area at Lee's Ferry.


The big blue tarp would become an important fixture in our lives the next 14 days. It is where our gear would be unloaded every evening and where we would put it every morning prior to loading it back onto the rafts before heading out for the day.

Almost ready to begin the Grand Adventure. 

There were six rafts - two were used for baggage (equipment, personal gear, food, etc.), one was a paddle raft with 6 passengers and a guide, two carried some gear as well as four passengers and a guide, and the other raft carried more gear plus three passengers and a guide.

Finally, the time came to cast off the lines and head on down the river!

Previous Posts in this series:
    ~ Prelude to The Grand Adventure
    ~ It was an Incredible and Amazing Adventure!

Note: I will also be linking to some of Sue's blog posts, as she publishes them, so y'all can read her version of the adventure as well as mine.
      ~ Sue Elliott posted 16 September 2014 ~ A “Grand” Adventure–Getting Ready

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "The Grand Adventure Begins," Kinexxions, posted October 14, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-grand-adventure-begins.html : accessed [access date])

Thursday, October 02, 2014

It was an Incredible and Amazing Adventure!

I cannot yet put into words what this Raft Trip through the Grand Canyon has meant to me. It was the most awesome thing I have ever done and I am so glad that I had Sue and Fred to experience it with (as well as all of the guides and other passengers). It was Absolutely Amazing!

It will take a while to "process" it all but I will be sharing more later. It will be 10 days or more before I get back to Indiana and internet access will be sporadic.

We arrived at Marble Canyon Lodge on Tuesday afternoon (September 16th), got settled in, then went for a short drive to Lee's Ferry where the rafts were already loaded and waiting for departure the next morning. Notice the clear, clean water? Six days later, the water would  start turning brown and then even more brown until it was a very, very muddy river.

Six days into the trip and I'm still smiling! The guide in this raft, K.J., is to my left. Nancy and Tom are the other two passengers on that day - they are 78 and 79 years of age and both have a great sense of humor and incredible sense of adventure. Photo courtesy of Sue Elliott.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "It was an Incredible and Amazing Adventure!," Kinexxions, posted October 2, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/10/it-was-incredible-and-amazing-adventure.html : accessed [access date])

Monday, September 15, 2014

Where Have I Been?

My apologies. I have not been keeping y'all up to date very well, have I? So far this trip I've had internet access just one day. It's been kind of nice being "disconnected" from the world for a while. I've been keeping to the "back roads" of America and not eating at 'that' fast-food joint...

Today is a prep day and a day of relaxing. Sorting through 'stuff' to make sure everything that will be needed in the next 17 days is at hand and hoping that what I've decided to take will all fit in the 'dry bag' that will be provided. Tomorrow we head up to Lee's Ferry for the night with departure Wednesday morning. Excitement is in the air!

Below are some pictures of the places I've been in the past week.  More to come later...

Great Sand Dunes National Park northeast of Alamosa, Colorado.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Colorado).

And there was more than cows on the road... poor Van Dora was in need of a bath after this stretch of highway...

A Ranger pointing out the petroglyphs on a guided tour at Hovenweep National Monument (in Utah, west of Cortez, Colorado).

Late evening in the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Where Have I Been?," Kinexxions, posted September 15, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/09/where-have-i-been.html)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Prelude to The Grand Adventure

In a few days I will be meeting up with Sue & Fred in Chandler, Arizona where we will be going over our final preparations for  a little excursion - a 15 day raft trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon!

This is something I have wanted to do since first hearing about it as a teenager. When Sue & Fred & I hiked into the Canyon in April 2010 we talked about it and then in August of last year they mentioned that they were seriously thinking of actually doing it. I said if they would, I would. And a few days later the deposits were made. At that time I knew I was having knee replacement surgery but the date hadn't been decided. We had scheduled the trip with a start date of September 17, 2014. A few days after sending in the deposit, I got the date for my surgery - September 17, 2013!

Sadly, the recovery from the surgery hasn't gone quite as well as I had hoped but it's not a serious issue and certainly is not going to stop me from going on this "Grand" Adventure!

I left home a week ago (September 2nd), driving leisurely on state highways, with night stops at Argyle Lake State Park on the west side of Illinois, Big Lake State Park near the Missouri River, Red Willow Reservoir in western Nebraska and Lake Boyd State Park in Loveland, Colorado.

Saturday I drove through Rocky Mountain National Park. Traffic through the park was pretty heavy considering it was supposedly off-peak season. Most of the parking areas at the "scenic viewpoints" were full but I did snatch a spot in the "Rock Cut" area (not far from the Alpine Visitor Center, the highest point on the road through the park at 12,183 feet) and took the short walk to the top (in the process confirming that I am woefully out of shape). It was much easier coming back down than it was going up! And, the weather couldn't have been better.

It was mid-afternoon when I left the park on U.S. 34 looking for a place to stay for the night. I turned off on a side road to check out the Sunset Point campground, alongside Granby Lake, in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. It was perfect - on the small side with only 25 sites, very peaceful and quiet - and most of the sites were along the shore of the lake with plenty of shade. It was so nice.

According to the campground host, there is a spring inside Rocky Mountain National Park, not far from the west entrance, that is considered to be the starting point of the Colorado River.  The river meanders out of the park, crosses under U.S. 34 then flows through Shadow Mountain Lake then into Granby Lake exiting at the Granby Dam just a little ways from the Sunset Point campground. I thought that was kind of cool. Soon I'll be traveling on that river!

 My campsite at Sunset Point Campground.

The view from my campsite, looking west.  Luckily, that big old cloud didn't hang around long! Sad to say, Sunset Point did not live up to it's name, there were no stunning colors this night.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Prelude to The Grand Adventure," Kinexxions, posted September 9, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/09/prelude-to-grand-adventure.html)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Questions... I have Questions!

I realize that I am publicly displaying by ignorance, but I'm pretty sure other people have encountered these situations, and I'd like to know... How Do You Handle Sources...

1. When a company changes the name of a database, do you add a new source using the new name or just change the name of the existing source?
  • Ancestry.com has recently changed the name of the "U.S., Social Security Death Index" to "U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current" but can be found at the same URL http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
  • In July 2012, the FamilySearch "Ohio, County Marriages 1790-1950" database was changed to "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994" but can be found at the same URL https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1614804
In both of these cases I don't think there was any change to the database other than the (ongoing) addition of new records. I'm fairly certain that the "Ohio, County Marriages 1790-1950" database contained images when it was first published.
2. How about when a database no longer exists on one site but is available on multiple other sites, such as the Social Security Death Index?
The SSDI is no longer available at RootsWeb, but I have about 900 individuals in my genealogy program with citations to that database. Do I still cite them as a RootsWeb source since that is where I got the data from?  http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ Or, do I cite one of the other sites?
3. What about when a website changes hosting services and the URL changes?
Do you simply update the master source with the new URL? Do you reference the "old" URL in comments about the source?
4. Or, similar to #3, if a volunteer provides data to one website then, for whatever reason, moves that data to another site... several times over a period of three years?
Do you create a new master source each time the URL changes? Do you cite the most recent location of the data or the URL at the time you obtained the data? Do you document all of the URL changes?
5. What if you got information from a website a few years ago and that website no longer exists and the data can't be located elsewhere?
Do you still include the URL of the website in your citation? Do you even used the information?
Is there a "standard procedure" for these kinds of cases? All ideas, suggestions, or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Questions... I have Questions!," Kinexxions, posted June 21, 2013 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2013/06/questions-i-have-questions.html : accessed [access date])

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You can call me Crazy

I've been called that as well as many other things in the past! This time, it is well-deserved. And if you've been wondering why there haven't been any posts here on Kinexxions since the first of June, read on...

If you recall, back in December of last year, I began "cleaning up" my Legacy database. By the time I left on my travels at the end of January, some progress had been made but not much was done on it again until I returned to Indiana five weeks ago.

In the process of moving information from notes into events and sourcing it, I came to the disturbing realization that my sources were an absolute mess! There was no consistency in how the citations were entered and none are even close to "the standard" or any standard for that matter. I could come up with several excuses for this sad state of affairs, but what good would that do?

I have so many documents from my several visits in the last two years to Salt Lake City that need to be reviewed, analyzed and entered... but I made the difficult decision to not enter any new data until the "old" source citations were reviewed and standardized. All of them. So, yes, I must be crazy. Especially after I found out how many sources I have entered and how many individuals use those sources. Rather mind-boggling actually.

The other "big" decision made on the first of June was to begin using Legacy's SourceWriter. I understand there may be some issues with transferring sources via GedCom but using that feature would (hopefully) force me into a standardized format. That and I finally purchased the digital version of Evidence Explained. I figured it might help me to understand why a source had to be cited in a certain way ;-)

As might be expected, I had a few questions. I had recently joined the Legacy Virtual User's Group Community (LVUG) on Google+ (G+) so posted a question there. You can find it as well as the responses by clicking on the "Sources" link on the left hand side of the G+ LVUG Community landing page.

Some good ideas and information was offered by JL Beeken, Tessa Keogh, Monique Riley, Marla Larson, Richard Hallford, Melanie Armstrong, and Linda McCauley, all of whom I would like to thank for their ideas, suggestions, and input. It really helped me make a few decisions as to how I wanted to do the sources.

With over 7200 people and more than 700 sources in the database this is a monumental undertaking. But it really needs to be done. The number of individuals using a source varies considerably. Quite a few (probably more than half of the sources) are used by under 10 people while about 35 are used by more than 200. The source used by the most people is the Social Security Death Index with close to 1500 people - and each of those individuals has 2-3 citations for the SSDI (birth, death, and the event). Thank goodness for the source clipboard and Legacy's tagging feature! It would be an impossible task without those features.

On June 1st I started working with the source citations from Ancestry.com and FamilySearch databases and have gotten about 2/3 of the way through that list, eliminating about 15 duplicate sources. I've been working on the SSDI source citations for most of two days and am about half-way through with it.

I will be holding off on updating sources for census records until the Legacy team releases version 8 sometime later this year. It seems they may be implementing a feature for "shared" events such as census records that sounds rather intriguing. I sure am looking forward to the new version of Legacy!

Blog posts will be few and far between for the next month or two, as if they haven't been already this year! Most of my time for the next month will be devoted to this project. I will be attending G.R.I.P. the week of July 21st and (very optimistically) hope to have much of it completed by then. And, sometime the end of July or first part of August I'll be moving into my new apartment! And then there is the FGS Conference in August, which I am also looking forward to attending.

I hope that when this project is completed (or as complete as it can be) that I will still have a few faithful readers left. Thanks in advance for sticking around... and wish me luck!

At the end of the day, what's done is done.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "You can call me Crazy," Kinexxions, posted June 18, 2013 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2013/06/you-can-call-me-crazy.html : accessed [access date])