Monday, July 13, 2015

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Grants Pass, Oregon to Bellingham, Washington

click here for a video of the trip

Thursday, May 28, 2015

North to Lake Superior

Fun, relaxing days were had moving north through Indiana and Wisconsin's center.  Stayed on smaller roads when possible.  Drove through farmlands of crops and dairy.  S.W. Wisconsin was really beautiful!
Pete, my rat terrier was often on his toes(well 'feet') when he saw cows or horses.  He just loves them.
The first cow he saw, licked his face and he's been in love ever since.
 Like...uh..."DAD!  CAN I GO PLAY?"  PLEASEEEEE!

In one campground, a number of geese were out training their young alongside a lake.  We motored up slowly for some photos.

My parents took me on a 6 week vacation when I was a kid, in a 15' red and white trailer that looked just like this new retro trailer being sold by Shasta company.  Wow did this bring back wonderful memories.

Kept heading north until I got to the western tip of Lake Superior.

 I had always wanted to get there, but you know how life is.  Anyway, I didn't really see much, just checked it off my bucket list while gazing on it for awhile, then turned west for Oregon.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Vincennes, Indiana

I just love staying off the beaten path.  Good roads, wonderful scenery, relaxed folks in country towns and history all over.

We forget sometimes...or at least I do, how much of our history I have forgotten or never knew well.  Yes, I knew about the Louisiana Purchase and some of what was going on in this central part of the continent before we were a country, but stopping and reading more and more puts things in a better perspective for me.

Vincennes, Indiana was French territory, until the French and Indian wars forced France to cede the lands east of the Mississippi to England.  Then of course England sailed home too after our revolution.

Most of the French citizens stayed on.  The town of Vincennes later on recognized it's history with a spectacular memorial along the river.  Nice what we can do, when congress can get down to simple business!

A cathedral's cemetery beside the memorial holds many of the the early soldiers and citizens but only a few are marked graves.

The cathedral is ornate.  Old style highly detailed stained glass windows depict the stories of the bible.

The organ area was open, as was all areas of the church for public viewing, including a crypt downstairs, under the altar.  Yes, unique.

The altar had a depiction of the Last Supper, in extraordinary detail, within it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Angel Mounds, Indiana

Trying to drive on secondary roads affords be the view of America forgotten by most who normally travel via Interstate Highways.
The west side of Ohio and central Indiana continuously caught my attention and had me pulling over for a look see.  This is what I enjoy.

Angel Mounds was a large sight along a river that had protected itself with 15-18' wood and mud stockades(walls) for defensive protection.
 The state had a very large and informative museum on site.  This was a wall mural depicting the village.
                                     A replica hut made of local reeds found along the river.

I took an hour to walk the area and relax.  Much better than a stop at MacDonalds for sure.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Natches Trace, Mississippi

After leaving the Panhandle of Florida, I drove north towards Tupelo, Mississippi to pick up the Natches Trace, the oldest road in that part of the country.
Todays road is alongside the old path shown in photos.  Americans moving west, for trade in wagons or folks on foot  between the cities of the east and SW Texas territory made this route famous.
Photos are of a unknown soldiers of the Confederacy, numerous Indian mounds and village sites, and the earliest known white settler homes and inns.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Natches Trace

On a previous trip, I lucked out and found myself driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway, that runs along the original Natches Trace foot and wagon trail from Nashville Tennessee to Nacodoches, Texas.  However on that trip a few years ago, I was driving from Tupelo, Ms. (Elvis birthplace) down towards the South West into Louisiana.

 On this trip, I began in Tupelo and headed North to Nashville, Tn. and took my time.  There are numerous historical stops and for the most part, they were all interesting.

One such site was of 13 graves alongside the wagon trail.  No names on the stones.

A major Civil War battle had occurred only a few miles north of here and it is presumed these soldiers died from their wounds shortly afterwards and buried while their forces were withdrawing south.

Monday, May 11, 2015

On the Road Again!

On the road again from the St. Petersburg Beach, Florida to Alaska.  I hope to be in the wine country of Oregon in late fall.  Photo is Applegate Winery, Grants Pass, Oregon.

Friday, January 23, 2015

January is Produce and Production

This month has been wonderful.  I've enjoyed the pleasure of travel and shopping local tiendas, flea markets, craft shops, antique stores....and some thrift stores too, chowing down in a variety of small local eateries and working physically part of the day as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity building homes in central Florida.
When I saw the hand painted sign above, outside a small vegetable store in Fellsmere, Florida I smiled at the connection between the production we are doing building structures and the word 'produce' in which those who farm, are building a food supply.

The month began for me in Dade City, a small town N.E. of Tampa, at a great affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.  They have fine tuned their operations using the volunteers for Habitat called Care-A-Vanners.  Mostly retired folks, but not always.... who travel in their RV's or motor homes part time or full time, building homes around the country.  A fun group to work with.

Now I'm down a bit further and over close to the east coast town of Vero Beach, but in a small town called Fellsmere.  A very small town with an evenly mixed population of white, black and Hispanic.

The homes HFH are building in Fellsmere and Dade City are really nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath models. The plan changes a little in different towns and states, but usually a basic 2 or 3 bedrooms.

 Not big, but well designed.  I wish a home like this was available for me when I was starting out...but it's great for the mostly young families who are working hard struggling to make it in today's world.

In Dade City, we worked on one special house with 6 bedrooms, 5 baths.  It was for a family that had 6 special needs children.  Six total; a couple of theirs and a few they adopted. 

These small towns have a flavor of their own.  Usually there are a base population that has  been there for generations and then there are the new folks in town.  Always a nice blend of old and new.

This little Spanish tiendita (little store) is typical.  Open 7 days a week, from 10-8, this young woman treats her produce as an art formPride of ownership!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Travels Other Than By Motor Home

Besides 'Land' travel, I continue to be connected to my life on the water.  The cruising on my sailboat has ended, but not my connection to the people we met along the way.  In this case............

I continue to be asked to explain the Ulu Sail Project so here goes...
 The sails of the Kuna Indians of Panama were mostly made of scraps they accumulate from old cruising sails given to them by cruisers, or even bed sheets, political posters, or any such old fabric.  Anything that can catch the wind.

From the beginning, I always took items to give away along my path, to those I found with needs. Usually, it was toys or something simple for children.  Clothing or simple fishing gear was also in stock for 'give away's'.  Generosity is not uncommon in the cruising community.  Some cruisers devote much of their time while cruising and while at home, to do good as they move across earths surface.  I have found cruisers delivering medical supplies, books and educational material or the gift of their personal time and skills.  The close contact cruising affords offers unique opportunities.
My 'cruising' has ended, but the connection to some of those we met, has not.
                                              The Indians use what they have..

For part of our continuing story, the "Ulu Sail Project", click on this web address.

The Ulu Sail Project has now made over 300 sails for the dug out canoes of the Kuna Indians, 2/3's of which have so far been delivered.
They are traded for a couple of molas, a hand sewn ornamental part of a garment worn by the women in their daily clothing.  It's an item they commonly used to sell, but this offers them a chance for barter.  Barter, allows them to keep their hard earned cash and still get what they need.

For a short YouTube video link on the Ulu Sail Project, visit:

The "next" delivery of sails to their Guna Yala region of Panama will be in March or April 2015.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Far North Morning

"This is my truck windshield this morning.
I could work for years to draw or paint this. I hope you enjoy."
-Tim Bennett, Alaska

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Habitat For Humanity, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Volunteering for the 1st time...

I've been wanting to gravitate into a part time effort for Disaster Relief, for some time.  However, all groups want you to have prior "build" experience. 

Habitat For Humanity needs folks to help build within their local affiliates around the country and a part of that is open for those traveling in RV's.  I signed up and had a great time, exercising my mind, body and my spirit actually got a free 'boost'.

Here are some photos.
Day 1 for me, I saw the outer walls had been framed, installed, braced and partially sheathed.   This work had been done in the prior 2 weeks before I arrived.
These 2 shots were taken at lunch time, day 1.
Day 3, all the outer walls were nailed properly and many other smaller details done so the structure could accept the Trusses(roof timbers).  All of them were installed in 1 day by the volunteer crew, with superior direction from the On Site Supervisor 'Pete' (dang good at what he does!!) and his assistant Dyana ( also Amazing!!!)
Gorgeous views here in Las Cruces, N.M.  the mountains are absolutely beautiful!
Once the Trusses were raised and secured, the framing of the Interior Walls began with help from Local Volunteers such as this college student in black, Pete the Supervisor in white and others in the background, often RV group that works at these projects around the country.
Details checked, then walls went up.

 And after 10 days with this crew and local volunteers, prospective families, here we see the results.  The house now has windows, doors, roofing shingles mostly installed and the property next door? well we began on that too!

Great bunch of folks and a wonderful experience.
I was extremely impressed with the 'quality' on every detail..  Not a mansion but a Quality Home.