Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hike-o-log



It started as just a short simple hike to a nearby waterfall.  I thought it would be a good idea to gauge my readiness on something simple before attempting a strenuous hike later in the week.   It all started off great.  Who knew Arkansas had so many types of fungi!?   I was fascinated by all the fungi & lichens on the forest floor.   It took me forever to get the .8 miles to the waterfall because I took so many shroom pics. When I made it to the waterfall ..  I was a bit disappointed to find a dripping ledge of a waterfall.  As I started to take a few pics, an ‘unscheduled’ downpour started and I took shelter under a large rock ledge a bit past the waterfall and its little stream.  When under the ledge I checked my weather app & sure enough they said it was partly cloudy with no rain .. nice.   As I waited the 15 – 20 minutes for the rain to slow down I noticed a few things.   The first being that I was on the edge of a huge overhang & the waterfall that I had seen was clearly not “the waterfall”  and in order to see “the waterfall” I had to move around the ledge & down.   This is how the “Thought-o-log” went once the rain stopped….

A little protection from the rain.
Hmmm …  the trail blazes stop here.. surely there should be a blaze beyond this little muddy stream.   Nope … no blaze… no trail….  Trails are overrated.   I think I can move through this brush and get down to where I can see the falls.  Oh… I think that might be poison something..   Ouch!!!  Dang these rocks are slippery when wet.  Its just a little ledge .. ouch, oh that’s a lot of mud!  Good thing I left my hiking boots IN THE CAR where they are nice & dry!  Oh oh! Jumping and flailing, jumping & flailing I hope that spider is not in my hair!    Oh that fall isn’t as pretty as I hoped, but if I hang off the this tree I might be able to get a pic of both… or not.   
Now how did I get down here?    Oh uh,  I feel itchy.. I think that might have been poison something. Don’t rub your eyes don’t rub your eyes.   Dang its so hot & humid I think my eyelids are sweating and its going in my eyes!!  Wow that little stream has sure grown from the run-off.  Sure wish I had worn those boots.  Oh good the trail!   I LOVE TRAILS!  Glad I  missed that web!   Crap..REALLY!?   How close together can spiders live?!  And how quickly can spiders build these huge webs anyway, I was just here an hour ago?   Oh thank goodness the car..  Pizza .. oh pizza sounds great…   Don’t judge me gas station pizza lady… yes I know I have leaves stuck to the mud on my legs ..  I am okay with that.  It’s the spiders I am concerned about.   Fine be a judger ..  I will take my dollars elsewhere.


And so went my first foray into the Arkansas forest.  I think I might have to rethink that strenuous hike .. this time!  For more pics see His Wonders FB page under "Fun in the Forest".


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Our Day on the Road


Kansas, Nebraska??  Nope New Mexico!
Left dear friends in North Texas with prayers & hugs.  Headed through silent oil fields and navigated a flock of tumbleweeds.  Got buzzed by a crop duster doing acrobatics as he dusted his fields.  Talked to an old friend.  Watched the oil fields give way to crops.  Pondered the differences between west Texas, north Texas & the Texas area designated “national grassland” but found non.  Saw some cowboys.  Honked the horn as I crossed the state line.  Which prompted loud singing of the Dixie Chicks “Heartbreak town”.  Made the change from the playlist of my mind to an actual playlist and did an awesome “Cowboy Take me Away” duet with the Dixie Chicks.  Pondered why New Mexico looked so much like grassland … even without the official designation.   Felt like I was on the Nebraska or Kansas plains. Saw lots of sunflowers.   Honked the horn when changed time zones too. It is sort of cool to get to redo an hour … plus I kind of just like to honk the horn. 



Always good to ck the rearview.
I took pictures through my rearview mirror, watched a thunderstorm cross the plains and as B.B. sang about the Thrill being gone, I decided the thrill of anticipating what is over the next rise in the road will never be gone.  Once a road warrior always a road warrior, you can change the size of the wheels but the thrill remains the same.

Passed through a couple gully washers & was happy to lose of some of the bugs on the windshield. 

Woo hoo Mountains!
Then we saw foothills! The terrain quickly changed from wide-open grassy plains to a winding, sunflower lined mountain road with a creek crisscrossing our path.  Deer grazed off the side of the road and a couple of blue birds raced us around a curve.  Big Daddy Weave’s “Overwhelmed” came up on the playlist  “Captivated by Your beauty, I am overwhelmed by you”.  Overwhelmed …  Overwhelmed indeed!  Being a mountain girl, there is nothing like the beauty of the mountains.

Mtns & sunflowers


With storms forecast for the evening, I opted to forgo any chance for drama and I dished out the extra dough to have a roof over our heads rather than the stars.   It was a good choice.  As I sit down to write on my little cabin porch, the air is crisp, the aspen are quaking in the wind, hummers are buzzing about, the sound of a harmonica playing softly fills the air and Dog is laying peacefully at my feet.  Couldn’t ask for a more perfect ending to our day on the road.

Any place run by Ducky's relatives is alright by me!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

FAQ #3: Where is the most favorite place you have been?

Rving in Canada
Canadian Rockies


People always ask me about money & mail and then this question (or a variation of it), always follows - "Where is the most favorite place you have been?".   I think this one is the toughest questions to answer as my most favorite place is usually wherever  I am at the moment.   Every place seems to have something special about it, whether you are in Barrow, AK , the tip of Texas,  Keywest, FL or anyplace in between.  The bottomline is that North America is an amazingly diverse and beautiful place to explore and I have been so blessed to have spent a decade on wheels exploring it.   I recently started a new company called His Wonders to highlight through pictures and gifts some of the incredible scenery that can be found throughout the US and Canada but much of the time even the best pictures don't do justice to a location.  My hope is always that my pictures will encourage you to go check a place out for yourself.  But back to my favorite place.   I can't pick just one, but some of my most favorites starting from north to south would be: the Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone, the San Juan Mountain area of Colorado, Southern Utah and the central coast of California plus about 20 other places that would follow close behind!  
RVIng in CA
California Central Coast
The important thing to remember is that what is amazing to me may not be the same as what is amazing to you.  So get out there and do some exploring and have some adventures and then come back here and share with me what your favorite places are!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

We were robbed by Masked Bandits!

 After a nice evening listening to some light Jazz and getting a few things accomplished, I took dog out for her midnight potty in anticipation of winding down for bed.  Normally I  just let dog out the door since she knows the routine and goes straight to the back of the rig to potty & returns for bed.  For whatever reason, this time I felt like I should put her on a leash and go out with her.  Something immediately caught her attention under the rig but I pulled her away and told her to hurry up.  She obeyed & we went in.  I turned out the outside light, closed the shade and walked over to close my computer and then heard a strange noise.  I attributed it to a wind burst that must have blown something around outside.  Then I heard something again.  This time Dog got up and headed to the door .. as did I.   It sounded like someone was tampering with my rig!!!   I am thinking WTH, I still have my lights on & was just outside two minutes ago, who could be so bold or stupid as to pick a rig to rob where the people were up!!?   I flipped on the light & opened the shade & simultaneously heard a loud thud in the cargo bay to the left of my door.  I didn’t see anyone out there so I started to open the door only to find a grey body and striped tail on my top step!!   I shut the door quickly & continue to hear loud noises.  Again I am thinking, or I may have been even talking out loud at this point, “WTH!!??”

So what do you do when masked bandits are tearing into your cargo bay??  I tried to call the office at the County park I am staying at, but no answer and no referral for after hours emergencies. There continues to be loud banging in my bay and dog is going nuts, wanting to get out the door.  I try opening door a little & slamming it to scare it away.  Its still there …   I call 911, I explain to him my rig is being broken into by raccoons and that there is even one manning the step!  Being a professional he doesn’t laugh or hang up on me, but instead says he will send a car.  




Eventually, the big clunking noises stop and I watch as a huge raccoon takes a drink out of my dogs dish outside of the door.   I only see one raccoon now, so I decide that I should sneak out my rigs driver-side door and try and shoo the bandit away.   It goes under the rig when it sees me.  I reach down & grab some seashells to throw (yes, seashells, this is Florida there aren’t rocks here just sand and seashells)!  It kind of plays chicken with me under the rig, until I actually hit it with a seashell.  I kind of felt bad when I hit it because I heard the thud and it paused and kind of looked at me like “Really? That hurt”.  Eventually I got it out from under the rig.  It headed for my water hose, where it stopped a took a drink out of a water leak (washing down its dog food buffet?) before trotting off towards the woods after one of my seashells actually got close to it again. 



With it gone, I went to open up the cargo door and check out the damage.  That is where Dog’s food is kept in a plastic bin, so I knew that was what it was after.  As I opened the cargo door, I was shocked to see 4 pair of eyes looking back at me!!!  In fact I was so shocked, I might have even let out one of those ‘little girl screams’ .. though quietly, as it was quiet hours!  This time I had no “WTH”,  I was just speechless.  After all in 10 years of full-time RVing,  I have never had 1 raccoon in a cargo bay much less 4!  Hello! Four, LIVE, WILD animals IN my cargo bay!  They happily munched away on dog food and didn’t mind me at all!  Finally the park security guy shows up.  He has a flashlight & shines it on the bandits.  They don’t move.  I ask him what he is gonna do to get them out!??  He just smiles and shakes his head … he had nothing.. !  Grrreattt!!   As we backed up a little bit, one of the bandits starts to head down the tire cover that they have draped down out of the bay like a curtain.  Two more follow, but one is pretty darn happy munching on the dog food buffet.  Eventually, it leaves too.   I send the dog food with the security guy.  We decides that I shouldn’t lock the bay as they may come back and just try and tear it open.   I wind down and get to bed about 2 am.  At 2:30 am they come back and I chase them away and decide to go ahead and lock the bin now that they had a chance to see the food was gone.  They come back again at 5:30 am., this time they leave quickly and finally get a bit of shut eye.   Tonight the dog’s food will be locked in the car; hopefully it is a less eventful night!   Note: as I publish this .. they are back!!  sigh


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