Grand Canyons – 1 and 2

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We   S T R E T C H E D   O U T    our trip for as LONG as we could! 8  3/4 weeks (61 Days) and 8,990 miles (a little over 1,000 miles per week); and yes, ONE of the main highlights of our trip was to get home!

From the Grand Canyon, Williams AZ , Barb and I both encountered some health issues that slowed us down; her vertigo came back with a vengeance, and my lower back went nearly “kaput” loading our generator.

When we did arrive home, both of us fell into the “tired pit” and the walls came tumbling down; we are just now able to dig our way to “daylight”.

Sorry for the delay in getting this blog report out to you; we appreciate your patience.  Both of us are recovering.

 August 12 Tuesday

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This morning we said goodbye to our dear friends, Dwain & LuAnn & left for Kingman, Arizona.. We left the beautiful mild weather of California for the Mojave Desert of Arizona with temps in the high 90’s. On our way to Kingman, we drove through the Mojave Desert We arrived in Kingman at the Ft. Beale RV park  (one of the nicest parks where we have stayed) late in the afternoon, so we had time to set up and rest for the night.

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August 13 Wednesday

 

This was a day of rest; we were so unaccustomed to the heat and we have been traveling 5 weeks straight so we just stayed holed up in the camper trying to recover from our journeys & exhaustion.

 

August 14 Thursday

 

This morning we rested and in the late afternoon when it was a little cooler; a “cold” front was coming in the evening.  We decided to visit the old Railroad Depot Museum there in Kingman and then check out the Route 66 memorabilia at the Quality Inn, where they displayed more items than many of the Route 66 Museums.

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We learned that Andy Devine, the actor who had played Roy Rogers sidekick, had lived in Kingman for many years and the main street was named after him. John also went to another Route 66 landmark, Mojave Cultural Museum  & learned about the Native American culture.

 

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This caboose was at the Mohave Museum . . .  a fascinating place to spend a few hours in Kingman, AZ.

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This painting sure looked 3 Dimensional
This painting sure looked 3 Dimensional

August 15 Friday

We left this morning for Williams where we would spend 3 nights at the Grand Canyon Railway RV park. We only had a short drive so arrived there in time to unhook our camper and drive 65 miles to the South Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon. We were only able to photograph Pipes Creek and Duck on a Rock before it became too dark.

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August 16 Saturday

 

We arrived at the Grand Canyon Railroad Station by  9am to board our train leading to the Grand Canyon. It was a 2 hour ride in a vintage 1920’s non-air conditioned Pullman car. There was even a staged train robbery so you can imagine the hardships that the people must have endured.

 

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The number 7 occurred “naturally”; God put His own stamp on the Grand Canyon!!!!

 

Natural Wonders of the World

In 1997, CNN announced a listing of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Grand Canyon
The Great Barrier Reef
The Harbor at Rio de Janeiro
Mt. Everest
Northern Lights
Paricutin Volcano
Victoria Falls

 

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August 17 Sunday

Following the 4 hour round trip train ride to and from the Grand Canyon and the nearly 4 hours on the bus tour combined with the high humidity and temperatures, we exhaustedly just plain rested all day. Whew!

 

 

August 18 Monday

 

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We left this morning for Albuquerque and stopped in Flagstaff for lunch at the Route 66 Galaxy Diner. Historic Route 66 memorabilia was everywhere in the Diner! After a delicious lunch of burgers, fries & a large chocolate malt (which we SHARED, you remember, the “two straws in the soda” thing), we headed for the Painted Desert.

On the way, we saw the picturesque San Mateo mountain range which seemed to extend for miles.

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We entered the Visitor Center there and really wanted to take the 25 mile drive around to see the Petrified Forest as well but time did not permit.

We finally arrived at our High Desert RV park in Albuquerque where we rested well for our next day’s adventure.

 

August 19 Tuesday

 

Later in the afternoon, we went to Albuquerque Old Town for a few hours, drove through and photographed the Coronado Statues  & an adobe hacienda.

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August 20 Wednesday

 

We left for Amarillo, Texas and stopped in historic Santa Rosa, New Mexico where John photographed a Route 66 restaurant and we toured the Historic Route 66 Auto Museum.

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Our next stop was in Tucumcari where we ate a delicious Mexican lunch at Del’s Diner located right on Route 66. Across the historic route was an restored Route 66 Texaco Station and just down the street the famous Blue Swallow Motel. John enjoyed photographing those historical landmarks.

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IMG_4439 Blue Swallow Motel Tucumcari NM web

We specifically planned to photograph the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM because of the life and testimony of Mrs. Redman.  From their website, here is a copy of her Benediction she placed in every room. RIP Mr. & Mrs. Redman and thank you for caring for so many folks.

 

Lillian Redman’s Blue Swallow Benediction

Lillian Redman Postcard When Lillian ran the Blue Swallow Motel, each guest was provided with a copy of this benediction.   A printed copy is in each room today.

Greetings Traveler:
In ancient times, there was a prayer for “The Stranger Within our Gates.” Because this motel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money-making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and motel be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be as comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you this way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From “birth till death,” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those you know and love best.

Sincerely yours,  Lillian Redman (owner of the Blue Swallow Motel from 1958-1998)

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We finally arrived at Palo Duro State Park in Canyon, Texas about 25 miles south of Amarillo. When we scheduled our visit here, we were not aware that this park is considered to be the Grand Canyon of Texas. We were really surprised when we entered the park & drove our camper to our campsite at the bottom of the canyon. What we saw was really mind-blowing. Although the canyon is not as deep as Grand Canyon, it certainly lives up to it’s name.  The Grand Canyon in Arizona is over 5,000 feet deep; the Grand Canyon of Texas is over 600 feet deep. Not everything in Texas is bigger; but the Palo Duro State Park is beautiful and very deserving of its nickname:  The Grand Canyon of Texas.

 

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August 21 Thursday

 

We left around 10am to drive the canyon so we could get some morning photos. As you can see, the park is filled with steep mountains warning of falling rocks & narrow ridges. Very much like the Grand Canyon but not as large. After we finished photographing as much as we could, we drove back down to our campsite. It was so hot that we just wanted to get cool.

 

 

August 22 Friday

 

We left Texas for our next destination in Ada, Oklahoma where we were looking forward to spending some quality time with Scott, John’s oldest son & his precious 10 yr. Old daughter, Rachael. We arrived at our Twin Lakes RV park in Ada that afternoon & set up our camper. We rested that night for we knew that the next 2 days would be busy.

 

August 23 Saturday

 

This morning, we met Scott & Rachel at a park in Ada, went for a late lunch at Appleby’s & dinner at Mazios’.

 

August 24 Sunday

 

We visited the First Baptist Church in Ada, which has an outstanding music program, 70 voice choir, full orchestra & dynamic pastor. We really enjoyed the service then left to meet Scott & Rachel for a drive to Sulphur Springs to see the Chickasaw Cultural Center there. We saw the film, ”Facing the Storm”, the history of the Bison in America. We learned that as long as they are in the boundaries of Yellowstone, the Tetons & private reserves, they are protected, but if they wander outside of the perimeters, they may be hunted down.

 

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August 25 Monday

We left for Eureka, Kansas to spend some time with John’s middle son, Jamie. John spent several hours discussing some of the technical points of photography with Jamie, who has taken an avid interest in the hobby in the past few years.

 

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August 26 Tuesday

 

We worked & completed our San Diego blog thanks to Jamie’s internet.  Lack of available internet and cell phone service proved to be the most severe handicap of our journeys.

 

August 27 Wednesday

Preparing to start the “re-entry phase” back into the real world, we paused at one of our favorite Quiet Spots . . . just to pause and come back into reality slower. IMG_4877

 

We left for Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Missouri , about a 4 hour drive. We stayed 3 nights here at this peaceful park at our campsite.

We asked Barb’s sister Susan & her hubby, Russell to join us on his day off work and they were able to stay in a nice cabin up the hill. When John & I were first dating, they brought us here and we have many fond memories of our time together. We arrived at our campsite in the early afternoon, set up our camper & then went over for a hot dog dinner with Susan & Russell.

A very dear friend of John’s, Dr. Paul Busiek, a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives, was influential in getting the conference center named: “Emory Melton Inn & Conference Center“.

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Dr. Paul Busiek at the sign.

 

 

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We are now home, in Branson, MO and our next adventure is some months away.  We will keep you posted when the cameras start clicking again.  We hope you have enjoyed our PhotoMural USA Travelogue as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you.  Please feel free to share this link with anyone you choose.

John and Barb Freed

http://fromseatosee.com

email:  info@fromseatosee.com

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San Diego and Beyond!

August 3, Sunday

We awoke this morning, another beautiful day to drive to Acton, CA, which was about 6 hours away. We arrived at our Californian RV Resort around 4:30 that afternoon and just rested for our next day’s drive to Lancaster, home of Lance Travel Trailer Company, not far away.

 

August 4, Monday

IMG_0125 Lance co webWe left for Lancaster early so we would be there at 8:15 for our travel trailer to be serviced. After eating a light breakfast, did our laundry & returned to Lance to check on everything. We learned that we needed to stay over one more day. The Lance people were so accommodating & we were able to stay on the property there so they could work on our camper early on Monday.

 

 

 

August 5, Tuesday

We left around noon from Lancaster and arrived at our All Season RV park around 3:30 that afternoon.  This was our view of the lake and mountains; even though it was an older park, with some full time residents, it was very peaceful and the folks here were just super.

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The park was only about 5 minutes away from our friends, Dwain & LuAnn who were renting a villa at nearby Tuscany Resort for 3 months. After setting up the camper, we were able to see them. LuAnn had prepared a delicious meal & the weather was so nice that we ate out on the beautiful patio overlooking the golf course there. We enjoyed our first afternoon together in several months. After dinner, we planned our itinerary for the week.  No question about it, just like all the other places we visited, there is not enough time to see all the great things about our country . . . and we only have one week in the San Diego area!!!!

 

August 6, Wednesday

 

This morning, we went to Old Town San Diego to buy our tickets for the two tours that we would take this week.

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Today, we boarded the Old Town Trolley which took us on a 2 hour tour of San Diego, where we saw San Diego Harbor, Seaport Village, Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, Coronado Beach,

 

 

Balboa Park, Zoo, Little Italy & other shops & restaurants.

We enjoyed our tour guide, Chris who told us about the history of the places we visited. We really enjoyed the beautiful weather but still needed a light jacket. As we traveled through this lovely & unique city, I found myself recalling the photos that had been taken when I was just a year old. My dad had been stationed there for the first year that I was born, so my mom & I went out to be with him at the Naval Base. It was so much fun to now experience this beautiful city again, as an adult.

 

After our tour, we walked around Old Town to an authentic Mexican Cantina; John was more fascinated with the FOWL than the food. The weather was so nice that we ate out on the patio & enjoyed the music & the delicious cuisine.

IMG_1171 (Copy)We even “lost” him for a bit while he strayed away to photograph the Historic San Diego Union newspaper museum.  When he was 19, he photographed a boat rescue in the San Diego area and they published his photo on the front page.  The photos in this slide show present pictures of the early days of printing.  The “California Case” where the handset type was kept and the large “letter” press.

 

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The sunset at Coronado Beach was awesome! Pelicans were diving straight down into the ocean for food.

 

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Pelicans diving straight DOWN to catch their dinner!!!!

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Ocean view of Hotel Del Coronado considered the largest wooden structure of it’s kind in America. It was also the location for the movie, “Some Like It Hot”. A fabulous hotel with a lot of history.

Dwain drove us up to Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma.

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Dwain struck a “Cabrillo” pose.

 

 

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We walked up to the Old Lighthouse which is on the Pacific Ocean. John climbed the steps to the top where he was able to get a few photos of the living quarters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We learned that a dedicated keeper of the lighthouse was on- duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no vacations. Finally in 1891, they boarded up the old lighthouse and moved it down the hill to it’s present location On the bayside of the Point, we walked down to the statue of.

 

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Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, who was the first European to set foot on the west coast of the United States. We were able to get some nice photos of the monument & San Diego’s beautiful coastline. We were able to photograph the military cemetery at Point Loma.  John commented, that it took the death of so many to bring America to her greatness and safety.

 

August 7 Thursday

Our day started around 11:30 when LuAnn & I had our hair cut while Dwain took John to get a haircut Later they took our faithful Dodge Durango to the car wash, and it looks brand new all over again. The guys met us at Soup Plantation for a delicious lunch which featured unlimited servings of salad, soup, bread, pizza and an assortment of other foods & desserts at a very reasonable price.

We drove on to beautiful Oceanside where we walked down the pier & spent several hours observing & photographing the surfersMVI_1380 hi res surfer girl pano web as they exhibited their exceptional abilities on the surfboard. IMG_1371While John was taking photos, we decided to walk a little further to Ruby’s on the pier for a light snack. We enjoyed our time there to just sit & relax a few minutes. When we returned, John had photographed & taken video of the surfers & a beach preacher, so it was a nice way to end the day.

 

August 8, Friday

Dwain & LuAnn picked us up that afternoon and we started our day at Seaport Villageseal tour boat where we boarded the amphibious “Seal”which is similar to Branson’s “Ride the Duck”. At first we were able to see the points of interest in San Diego, much of which had been covered on the Trolley tour, but what was so different about this tour was how we were able to experience this unique city by water. This tour was the most interesting way to experience the points of interest & viewing the seals, sea lions & seagulls in their protected environment.

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We were able to get close enough to photograph their whiskers as they were sunning themselves on a barge. We learned from our tour guide, Big Maddie that the dolphins and sea lions were so intelligent that they were trained by the military to search for explosive devices in the ocean waters.

 

 

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August 9 Saturday

This was a day of shopping, playing one of my favorite card games, Canasta & eating a delicious Chinese meal at Peking Wok in Bonsall to celebrate Dwain & LuAnn’s 53rd anniversary. That evening we went to the Welk Resorts; in their clubhouse we found some interesting items about the Lennon Sisters. We also drove up to the top of the resort roads and saw Lawrence Welk’s home.

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August 10 Sunday

Sunday we went to church with Dwain & LuAnn, along with their youngest son, Dirk & his family.

 

The pastor, John Ettore had an inspiring message & we really enjoyed hearing about the teen’s recent Summer Camp. Several of the youth told of their spiritual experience with such enthusiasm.

After church, we all met to eat a light lunch. .We had a chance to meet Dana, Dwain & LuAnn’s middle son for a few minutes but had some time with their youngest son, Dirk, his lovely wife, Katherine & their two precious daughters, Grace & Abigail, a very talented young lady who plays guitar, piano & sings.

After we had lunch, we managed to have a photo taken with Dirk,IMG_2856 Our time together was much too short, would loved to have had more time to be with this family.

After lunch, Dwain drove us to Balboa Park where we enjoyed the Spreckles Organ concert on the largest organ in the Western Hemisphere.

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We arrived at the concert 10 minutes early, but by the time we found the best location , got our umbrellas to shield us from the warm 80 degree weather, the concert was upon us. The Spreckels Pipe Organ contains 4,518 pipes, comprising 76 ranks. (This year on December 31, there will be a special Centennial concert there at the Pavillion to dedicate the new pipes which will be webcast.. This will be the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ once the new pipes are added, 5000 total.)

Dr. Carol Williams is the Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society and she performed an hour long concert filled with some classical pieces for the organ as well as a fugue by J.S. Bach & some familiar selections, America, Greensleeves, a medley from “Phantom of the Opera & last, our beloved National Anthem. There was also a guest artist from Arizona State University who performed. At the close of the concert with the flag waving high & a plane in the sky, the National Anthem was heard throughout the park & I thought how moving it was to see people who loved their country & honored the American flag that we hold so dear.

 

August 11 Monday

We decided to use this time to work on our 6 weeks blog here in San Diego. On our final day here, we met with our dear friends, who had set aside time each day to spend with us, for our last meal together. We had a wonderful time here in San Diego and we hope to return someday.

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A Royal “Holiday”

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July 28 Monday

We arrived late in the afternoon at our campsite at the Modesto, CA Reservoir.  What a great, quiet place!

There were Canadian geese on the lake & John took some nice photos of a beautiful sunrise at our location. We never left our site, just enjoyed the 2 nights of rest at the reservoir before leaving the next morning for Santa Cruz.

July 29 Tuesday

IMG_5115 Santa Cruz Harbor rv park (Copy)  IMG_5117 Santa Cruz Harbor boats

 

We finally arrived at Santa Cruz Harbor around 3pm. How beautiful the weather was there, mild 70’s. We were overlooking the harbor where it seemed that millions of boats were docked. Our neighbors were so friendly & helpful that it was a real pleasure to be there. After we set up our camper & had a light lunch, we decided to explore Santa Cruz. IMG_9321 Santa Cruz harbor sign - Copy (Copy)We first went to the famous Boardwalk, lots of rides & just like at the carnival. We were able to walk to the beach, took our beach chairs & just enjoyed the weather.

 

 

 

IMG_9435 - Copy (Copy)We had to empty our shoes of the beach sand.

 

 

 

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John took several photos there & I experimented with several shots of the amusement ride, Pirates Jack.

 

 

 

 

We left the Boardwalk & went a short distance to the Mark Abbott Lighthouse, location for the Santa Cruz Surfer’s Museum.  Along the way we discovered the bronze statue commemorating the Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve.

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July 30, Wednesday

Today was our grandson, Tavin’s 11th birthday so we were able to talk with him. We left early for our drive to Monterey, which was about thirty minutes away from Santa Cruz.

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The sign appears BLURRY because it is a NEON sign photographed in DAYLIGHT rather than in the evening.

When we arrived in Monterey, we had a chance to talk with our friends, Kathy & Jim & they recommended a restaurant called Old Fishermen’s Grotto on Fishermen’s WharfIMG_9568 (Copy) so we parked our car and enjoyed the half mile walk to the wharf. We feasted on appetizers of popcorn shrimp, an entree of salmon & the most delicious sour & chiabatta bread. After we walked back to the car, we decided to go to Ghiardelli’s Chocolate Company on Cannery Row where we split a delicious hot fudge sundae, which is the world famous dish at the ice cream & candy store.

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We left there and drove to Carmel by the Sea, a short distance away.

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We stopped several places to take photos, especially driving the scenic route around the town. As John was driving, I saw Clint Eastwood’s place, Mission Ranch & realized that he had been the mayor of Carmel for several years. It was a beautiful drive from Carmel to Big Sur. We photographed several places along the Pacific Coast Highway, but the fog was still too heavy to provide good photo spots. After the drive to Big Sur, we decided to drive back to Santa Cruz to a McDonalds so John could upload our photos for the blog.

 

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July 31 Thursday

Today was our grandaughter, Hannah’s 5th birthday in Miami where she was celebrating with her family in Orlando at Universal Studio. Thanks to all of you who are hanging with us as we continue our travel.. It has been a challenge to try & get the blogs out without cell or internet. John has a hotspot on his phone to work on the internet but since we didn’t have any cell service, it became impossible for us to have access to it. This is our last day in beautiful Santa Cruz; we still have no internet but some cell phone service.

August 1, FridayIMG_0075 (Copy)

We left Santa Cruz this morning for our Yanks RV Resort in Greenfield. We arrived there in the early afternoon, checked in & had plenty of time to set up our camper & rest.

 

IMG_2027 (Copy)Our RV Park was really nice, surrounded by lovely mountains & each site had ample parking for our trailer & car. We learned that the wind was extremely gusty in the afternoons so we were advised not to put our awning out.

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August 2, Saturday

We left around 8am for San Simeon for our 11:30 tour of Hearst Castle.

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When we arrived, we learned that due to the severe water shortage, all the indoor restroom facilities had been closed, but they had provided plenty of alternatives.

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We had time before our tour bus departed to go to the Hearst Theatre & see the 40 minute video about the Hearst Castle.

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The tour bus took us up a steep mountain for a 10 minute ride. We noticed how hot it had become since we rode to the top, around high 90’s. I’m so happy we had taken a bottle of water with us to keep us hydrated. We followed our tour guide as he told us about William Randolph Hearst, who had the vision to see a castle built on this steep mountain which was part of the Santa Lucia mountains. It was truly fascinating to experience this amazing castle with all it’s grandeur. We noticed that none of the fountains were on, due to the water shortage & the Neptune Pool had to be drained due to a leak. We did get a photo of the pool without the water. After the 45 minute guided tour, we could just walk around the grounds which were not closed off to the public.We saw a lot of the beautiful flowers & fruit trees on the grounds. Our guide shared with us that Hearst had provided food for most of his staff by raising everything from fruits, vegetables, cows, chickens & beef. At one time, he also had a wildlife preserve on the grounds.

 

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We did NOT eat lunch here!!!!

We ate a light lunch & then drove back down the mountain for scenic Morrow Bay and then on to San Luis Obispo.

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581 foot Morro Rock rises out of the Pacific Ocean coastline in Morro Bay; just too foggy to photograph much else.

Due to the heavy fog, we were unable to get the photos we wanted; but we did take a few before we drove the 2 hours back to our park.

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Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; – Isaiah 44:24

Look out, San Diego, the Freeds are coming!!!!!!

 

 

Week #4 We’ve been TREED!!!!!

IMG_1890 (Copy)With inches to spare we drove THRU the Chandelier Redwood Tree!!!!! in Leggett, CA.

We’re Not IN the Woods, We ARE The Woods!!!!

. . . and now, the rest of the story!

July 19 Saturday

IMG_8238 cape Meares lighthouse (Copy)When we visited Tillamook, the kind cashier had given John a map to Cape Meares State Park, OR, an historic lighthouse which was about 15 miles away. We decided to take the time & explore that area. It was very chilly around 8pm but John wanted to get several photos here until dark.  We met Dave Cross, former keeper of the lighthouse. His wife, Heather is the youngest volunteer in the state park service and their grandson, Isaac, a youthful math wizard. We left our campsite the next morning.

 

IMG_8187 sunset Cape Meares Three Arch Rocks (Copy)Designated as the first National Wildlife Refuge west of the Mississippi River, Three Arch Rocks Refuge lies ½ mile offshore of the community of Oceanside. One of the Oregon coast’s best-known landmarks, the refuge consists of three large and six smaller rocks totaling 15 acres. The refuge is one of the smallest National Wilderness Areas in the country.

 July 20 Sunday

 On this morning, we left early for Crater Lake & decided to take the scenic Oregon Coastal Highway.IMG_8273 (Copy)

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We stopped at a coastal town, Seaside on the beautiful Oregon coast to have lunch.

IMG_5074 (Copy) IMG_5075 sams seaside salmon webJohn actually ate a grilled salmon sandwich!!!

IMG_8099 (Copy)We found out that this community was the end of the trail for Lewis & Clarke Expedition. John photographed the statue of Lewis & Clark there at the Prom circle which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.  The 18 month, 4,000 mile journey from Saint Louis to the Oregon Coast is commemorated by the statue.

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We left Seaside & continued driving down the coast to Depoe Bay. John had stopped along Rocky Creek to take a photo when Bob, a nice man who lived nearby came up to talk to us. He told John that we had a flat tire on our trailer. We were so grateful that we had a strong enough of a signal to call AAA. The traffic was so heavy in nearby Lincoln City that it took the service man from AAA about an hour to finally get to us. DJ, the AAA service man, from Lincoln City Towing, switched out the tire with the spare and we only lost about 2 hours out of our day but we were so thankful that we found out about the tire before we started back out on the road. We know that God was with us & he sent Bob to help us, especially being on a Sunday when everything was closed.

Due to the flat tire, we didn’t arrive until after 9pm that night, but we called to let them know that we were going to be arriving late. After we set up the electric for AC and the water, we were so tired that we waited until daylight to level the travel trailer.

July 21 Monday

The next day at our rv park, we decided to take a day to rest . . . much needed rest after driving the steep mountain roads the day before. Later in the day we drove to Klamath Falls, OR, to purchase a new tire from Basin Tire Service .  You will have to look all over the country to find nicer folks and better deals.  Thanks, Mike for taking such excellent care of us.

July 22 Tuesday

We left for Crater Lake National Park around 10am. We drove several hours to see as much as we could in a day. “Annie Falls” was John’s first photo stop; then “Vidae Falls”.  John snapped a picture of me photographing “Vidae Falls”.

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“Annie Falls” gave us our first look at the skinny, pointed trees.
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“Vidae Falls”, Photo by BARB !!!!
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Barb Photographing “Vidae Falls”

We chose to go to the Eastern side first, because we arrived in the morning and we knew the sun would shine best on the western side of the Crater. By the time we had driven around to the Western side, the sun illuminated the Eastern slopes of the Crater.

IMG_8441 (Copy)We stopped half way around the loop to eat lunch at a very windy & cold picnic area with Mt. Scott in the background, which is the highest peak in the park. Throughout the day, we stopped at beautiful spots to take photos.

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“The Pinnacles at Crater Lake”
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“Wizard Island” at Crater Lake, Photo by Barb She’s catching onto this picture thing!!!!!

Some of the cliffs were very steep where we wanted to take pictures, so we had to select safe locations such as this one, at “The Pinnacles” and the one of Wizard Island near the western side of Crater Lake lookout point.

Here’s a slide show of several other photos of Crater Lake and the beautiful drive up to the crater.

 

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July 23 Wednesday

On our way to  our new campsite, we learned about the Lava Beds National Park.

IMG_8715 (Copy)We drove about an hour out of our way to visit the park & photograph some of the huge lava rocks. They almost looked like deep, dark crevices that also appeared as large mountains of lava rock. We also visited their information center & watched a short video on the park. IMG_8735 (Copy)  IMG_8798 (Copy)

 

We continued on our trip, not realizing how mountainous & tedious of a drive lay ahead of us. It seemed like we drove for several hours in the dark up & down the mountains, but finally after being in the car for 15 hours, with the exception of the visit to the Lava Beds park, we arrived at the Redwoods River Resort in Leggett, California that night around 11:45pm. Needless to say, we were exhausted. Nearly 5 weeks into our journey, and this is the FIRST RV RESORT to live up to the title RESORT!!!!, of the other resorts we stayed in offered a few shade trees and a swimming pool and a few extras. Redwoods River Resort is an excellent place to put up the RV, especially if you have kids or you just want some peace and quiet. The park is absolutely bloated with large redwood trees!

The next day, we photographed One Log House and the Chandelier Tree, which was the drive through tree & the One Tree Log House near our campsite.

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“Tiny” John & “Ity Bity” Barb beside the Super Duper Redwood Tree just next to our Travel Trailer.

 

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Yes, we are IN the woods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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It was a real tight squeeze for the Durango as we drove through the Chandelier Tree, Leggett, CA.

 

 

July 24 Thursday

We rested at our campsite & took the day to work on our blog, although we had no cell or internet service. We found out that we could drive to Garberville at a Treats Ice Cream shop about 16 miles away. While we were enjoying our ice cream, we were able to catch up on missed calls & emails for an hour. We were not able to stay long enough to work on our blog so did what we needed to do at that time. We decided to come back the next afternoon for lunch so we could have cell & internet. We have been dealing with this problem for almost a month now, very little cell or internet, you almost feel completely isolated from the rest of the world.

 

July 25 Friday

We awoke this beautiful morning & decided to drive to Shelter Cove, near the Pacific Coast. What a long & winding road! It took us about an hour but it was worth the drive to the site. John met a nice couple, Mark & his wife, Nancy who had been at Shelter Cove for 10 years. They told us about the Lighthouse & Seal Rock where we saw seals sunning themselves on the rocks.       IMG_1767 (Copy)

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We also saw a family of deer crossing in front of us, you would think they live here and have free reign of the turf … oh, they do!!!!

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After the drive back to Garberville, we took in the One Log House, which was very interesting. In 1946, the tree was hollowed out for a home on wheels which traveled America as an exhibition before having a permanent home in Garberville.

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We arrived back at our campsite and packed up everything for our trip the next day to Yosemite.

 

July 26 Saturday

This is the day that we are driving to Yosemite. Our rv park, Yosemite Lakes is only 5 miles from the Western Yosemite entrance so we plan to leave early this morning knowing just how mountainous and long of a drive it will be. It took us about 9 hours to get there and it wasn’t easy pulling a trailer up the mountains with all of the hairpin curves, but John knew how to keep us safe. We finally arrived around 6pm which gave us plenty of time to set up.

IMG_1989 (Copy) IMG_1990 (Copy)When we arrived and checked in, we found out that due to the forest fires in that area, they had already evacuated a nearby rv park.

The lady at the desk told John that so far, Yosemite park was still open so we planned to rest that night & go to the park the next day. That night, John was able to get a few photos to show the extent of the smoke around our park. We prayed about it & decided to stay the night.

 

July 27 Sunday

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The smoke was pretty intense and too close for comfort to our camper and car!!!!
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Due to the heavy smoke and a ZERO contained fire nearly 15 miles away from our campsite, WE LEFT!!!!

 

 

The next morning, we learned that our entrance to Yosemite had been closed due to the Mariposa location of the fire. We would have had to drive 90 miles around the mountains to get to the next location. We were afraid that if we stayed much longer on the mountain, we would be caught having to evacuate with everyone else and be trapped there on the mountain. After talking with someone there, we decided it would be safer if we left that afternoon. We were disappointed that we didn’t even get to go into the park at all, but we felt this was the only decision that we could make at this time. When we left, the sky was filled with smoke & a 12 yr. Old girl had to be taken to a nearby hospital due to needing oxygen. After discussing our next destination, we decided to travel 58 miles to Modesto. It would free us from the threat of the forest fires & we could find a place to stay the remaining two nights before heading to Santa Cruz. We stopped at a McDonalds in Oakdale & were able to get on the internet. John called & found us a place outside of Modesto at a reservoir on a lake.

Now that we are in the “Land of WiFi” (close to the Silicon Valley California), we will have more info  coming your way!

Thanks for sticking with us.

John and Barb

 

Week #3, we are moving right along!

Approaching Mt Rainier …

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…  traveling through a curved tunnel and UNDER overhanging rocks!!!!

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July 13 Sunday

This morning around 11am, we departed Swinomish RV Park in Anacortes for Mt. Rainier. The weather was beautiful & we stopped along the way to see Snoqualmie Falls but there was no place to park the camper so we decided to move on. We have now arrived at our campsite, Cougar Rock, in  Mt. Rainier National Park. This is a new experience for us because we are in the woods & the place they assigned us is very difficult to get the camper straight. Finally after trying to get the camper in straight, John unhooked the trailer since we will have to drive the car through the park tomorrow.

 

July 14 Monday

Today, we are leaving our campsite to drive through the park to eventually reach the Sunrise Peak of 6400 ft. elevation. It took us several hours to drive the road due to construction, rough roads & hairpin curves. It was worth the drive & as you can see, John captured Mt. Rainier & other portions of the Cascades.

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View from Sunrise Peak, well worth the drive up!
View from Sunrise Peak, well worth the drive up!

 

When we arrived at the visitor center at Sunrise Peak, as far as we could drive by car, we learned so much about volcanoes & that Mt. Rainier is expected to erupt sometime in the future, hopefully not in our lifetime. It is beyond description, just how beautiful it is. It is unlike the Grand Tetons because you get to see Mt. Rainier up close & personal and you feel like you could reach out & actually touch the glaciers because they seem so close. John wanted to play in the snow on the mountain but we didn’t have the time. As we drove back down, it seemed like we reached our campground faster due to the fact that we decided not to stop & take more photos. We had taken so many on the drive up that we wanted to return to our campground before dark.

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We still had to figure out how we were going to get our camper & car out of the tight space. We were pinned in between trees & brush on three sides & finally after much prayer & patience working together, after 45 minutes, we finally accomplished our goal. We learned from this experience that we must request larger sites to accommodate our travel trailer & car.

July 15

 

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Sure Hope I Look This Good after 63 yrs of marriage!!!!!

On this day, we are looking forward to spending 3 days at John’s Uncle Riley & Aunt Clarene’s in Winlock, Washington, about a 3 hr. drive from Cougar. After stopping for a quick lunch, we finally arrived here & immediately, set up the camper on their acreage. We wanted to be here on the 16th to celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary.

I had been looking forward to finally meeting them & other members of John’s family for a long time & just enjoyed our time together so much. John’s cousins, Linda, Steve & Ralph & their respecitive families were great too We had a great time visiting with Linda, her husband, Ken, and their four dogs who reside near Clarene & Riley.

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Barb played Chariots of Fire on John’s Grandmother’s old pump organ.

Clarene was so gracious to prepare delicious chicken rollups for dinner & then we visited for a brief time. John & I returned to our camper for a nice night’s rest. The weather here is hot during the day but you don’t need ac at night, really pleasant.

July 16 Wednesday

This morning, we joined Clarene & Riley for a delicious breakfast of blueberry pancakes, eggs & sausage. It was so nice to spend more time with them.

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Since this was the celebration day for their anniversary, Riley’s sisters, Lorena & Stella drove in from Portland for their special day. It was so nice to finally meet them. I had heard so much about them & really enjoyed visiting with them. Later on, we celebrated their anniversary with a nice meal.

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Their stand-up comedian son, Ralph. grilled pork chops  smothered by a pineapple slice,for their special dinner.

Much thanks to Ralph,  who assisted John in installing vents for our camper.

July 17 Thursday

It is now Thursday around 11:30am, another beautiful day.  John’s uncle, Riley’s 83rd birthday is today so John & his cousin, Ralph prepared steak & all the trimmings.

Aunt Clarene fixed her special bow-tie salad and other goodies. We spent this day with them & left for Tillamook the following  morning. Looking forward to touring the Cheese Factory.

July 18 Friday

Ok, here’s what you’ve been waiting for:  The Tilamook chees factory tour!, sorry you missed the samples and the ice cream and the great milk, but we sure enjoyed it!

 

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Due to the lack of readily available internet this week, we had to leave out some info, we will give more details next week, as we head into California – King of the Internet!!!!! oh yeah!!!!!! – john and barb

Weekly Update Blog for Week # 2

Holy Smoke Rv Park bus card
Great RV Park NEAR Mt Rushmore.

July 5 Saturday

This morning, we left Holy Smoke Campground near Mt. Rushmore for Billings, Montana. We had reservations at Hardin, but John had to go to Billings to get the photos he had ordered for his aunt & uncle’s 63rd anniversary. We had to make a change in our itinerary & we were grateful to find an RV park in Billings, right off of the interstate. After a good night’s rest, we headed for Big Timber on Sunday morning.

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July 6 Sunday

We left early around 8am so we could meet our friends, Beccy & Dale in Big Timber for a brief visit.

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She met us at the Country Skillet cafe, right off of the interstate which was really convenient for us. We had such a great time with Beccy, Dale, her sweet daughter & granddaughters. After we took some photos, we left for our RV Park at Red Rock in Island Park, Idaho. One of the highlights of our 5 hr. drive to Idaho was the Gallatin Gateway Mountain Range where John stopped to photograph the beautiful mountains & rivers near Big Sky & the Yellowstone River in Montana.

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John went clear out of sight to get this photo along the Gallatin River.

 

We arrived at the Red Rock Campground around 5pm, weather was just beautiful in the 80’s. No sooner had we unhooked our trailer, set everything up for our 3 night stay, John found out about Sawtell Peak Lookout, elevation almost 10,000 ft. up and realized it would be a perfect place for a perfect sunset. I was a little tired from the trip, but I sure didn’t want to be worrying about him falling off the mountain so I rode with him up this narrow, gravel road all the way to the top. We left our campground with temps in the 80’s but by the time we had reached the top, we needed our coats. So glad I was prepared for the drop in temp. John finally got the sunset he wanted & thank goodness, we were able to return safely to the campground level before dark.

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Barb at Sawtell Peak, just “chillin’ out”.
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Double Sunset, after God provided a brilliant light show through the clouds, He then brought the sun out to provide a second setting behind the mountains.

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This was a far as we could drive UP!!!!

Continue to Sawtell Peak Rd (9886 elev.)!!!

July 7 Monday

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We went to Yellowstone National Park, about 20 miles away early this morning. We knew that we would only have one day to take in as much as possible. We were given a map when we entered the park & decided to drive to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone first. The map warned us of wildlife on the roads, we had no idea what that meant until we had been driving an hour or so, when all of a sudden we encountered a large bison on the side of the road. There were several folks who had stopped their cars to photograph him; I couldn’t believe it when he just walked by the cars and John pulled over to join in the photosession and we were “too close for comfort” as I could almost stare into his eyes. He was really not aggressive, but he was just much too close to my open window!!!!

 

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We paused to pose while “hiking” the North Rim Trail to view the Lower Falls.

We hiked ½ mile to the falls viewing area, sometimes a little rocky but we made it. We discovered that we were in better physical shape than we thought.

 

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We stayed there for at least an hour, taking photos of the falls & rock formations. The river gorge is quite lovely against the rocks & falls.

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John said it was almost like creating an oil painting with a camera!

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Yellowstone is one of God’s beautiful creations. How anyone could not believe in God & know that he created this beautiful world is beyond me. We drove the entire inner loop that day, taking photos, hiking to the Steamboat Geyser in the afternoon; taking in the beautiful multicolored rock formations& multiple geysers. Many stood out, like Mammoth Springs. We also hiked to the Emerald Spring & finally drove to Old Faithful around 7:30pm. God’s timing is so perfect, usually it erupts every hour but we only had to wait about 20min. & then John took a great photo as it was erupting. The photos of Yellowstone will reveal the beauty of it all.

 

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Steamboat Geyer spouted water nearly 6 feet while we were there.
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Emerald Spring Geyser comes from a really deep, hot hole.

 

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Old Faithful was true to his name.

 

July 8 Tuesday

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On this day, we awoke again to a beautiful day so we drove about 3 hours to see the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. As we drove through the National Park again, we encountered not one bison but a herd of about a 100 buffalo, so interesting that people were stopping to observe them as they were first on the side of the road grazing in a field. Within a few minutes, they had decided to cross the highway, thus completely shutting down both lanes of traffic. You have to see it for yourself, it was really awesome to watch. After about 30 minutes, the road was clear & John took photos of glaciers, snow-capped mountains that tower almost up to the heavens. We decided to drive on into Jackson Hole where we ate a nice lunch at Sweetwater Restaurant. It was downtown in the old section of town which overlooks the beautiful mountains.

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We knew that we needed to head back so took the western side of the Tetons, driving through Teton Pass. I think I prefer the Eastern Side because you get to see more of the glaciers but this was the fastest route back & we needed to return back to the campground before dark.

 

We still had to prepare our trailer for travel to our next stop, Swinomish Casino Lodge & RV park in Anacortes, Washington.

 

July 9 Wednesday

We began our trip to Washington but had to stay overnight at a Walmart in Spokane due to the long distance. We knew that we couldn’t make it to Anacortes, which is north of Seattle, by Wednesday night. We were very grateful that Walmart allowed travelers to stay there for 24 hrs. Upon arriving, we bought a few food items for our trip & then settled down & felt very safe there for the night. All we needed was a good night’s rest & then we would be on our way the next morning.

 

July 10 Thursday

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MT. Baker, Anacortes Washington

 

John noticed an eagle waiting for the early (4:30 am), pre-dawn sunrise to come an hour later.

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We arrived in Anacortes a little later than we had anticipated, due to the heavy construction on the interstate leading into Seattle, a holdup of about an hour. After we left the Seattle area, we decided that we would not go in on Saturday to tour the city. The traffic was a nightmare & we knew that Anacortes was really lovely & there was a lot to see & photograph. We set our trailer up & had planned to eat in the casino restaurant, but wasn’t too impressed with the selection. We walked back & I prepared French toast on our grill in the camper. It was nice to be able to prepare us something in our camper. We had been so busy everyday that we didn’t have time to eat at home. Right now, I am sitting here in Burlington, Washington at the Sparkle Laundromat writing this blog. John is doing the laundry so I can complete my part. He has to select the photos now for the weekly blog.

 

July 11 Friday

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We saw the tide coming in, swirling strings of water, and still, glassy spots where sub surface water would come to the top.

This morning, we verified our tickets for the anticipated whale watching expedition to the San Juan Islands. Our departure was around 1:30 & we were pleasantly surprised that the boat was so nice with seating for 12 passengers, comfortably. Many of the whale watching boats were all open, but ours had a passenger cabin with large windows so that we could easily view the birds and other aquatic wildlife.  There was a front deck and a rear deck that we could use to take better photos. It was really nice weather but when the doors were open on the boat, it became quite chilly so I was glad I had brought a coat with me.

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 Add Media Capt. Matt and First Mate, Mark, of the Outer Island Expeditions whale watching boat, Triton.

We had such an enjoyable day with our young captain, Matt & his 1st mate, Mark.

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A Seagull Snack
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Capt. Matt pointed out an eagle’s nest on the way back in.

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Everyone in our party was so friendly & we enjoyed meeting them. We first went to Williams Island where we saw several bird species & also a harbor seal ready to give birth. We took photos there for about 20 min. then went on to Swirl Island, where the water swirls around & gives birds refuge & provides a nesting area.IMG_7529 two orcas cropped web 300 res IMG_7672 close up of sea lions (Copy)

The highlight of our 4 hr. trip was getting to observe the orca whales as they frolicked in the water. We also saw Grannie, a 103 yr. old orca who was the oldest member of the pod. John was able to photograph 2 orcas swimming in the water who only surfaced momentarily. We learned so much about orcas & how they are identified by their dorsal fin & white saddle patch. It was so interesting. We concluded our tour around 5:30 & decided to go into the historical part of Anacortes & have dinner at the Rockfish Grill, which had the most delicious crab cakes. John really enjoyed them, even though he is not a seafood person. The downtown was really colorful with hanging baskets on each lamp post, a really neat place to walk & explore.

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Before we concluded our night, John & I drove a short distance to the bridge at Deception Pass, with a scenic view for some great sunsets.

July 12 Saturday

We had a very busy day today, drove into Burlington about 10 min. away to do a little shopping, bought a clothes bar for the car at Bed, Bath & Beyond, bought a generator for the camper & a few other items at Camping World. We had to do our laundry so as I mentioned earlier, we found the Sparkle Laundromat & completed that task. We are sitting here tonight resting & preparing to depart early for Mt. Rainier, about 4 hrs. away with our camper. We should be there tomorrow afternoon. Looking forward to our 2 day stay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 West Coast Trip: Weekly Update 1

Abilene, KS

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Our “First Night Out” was at the Covered Wagon Campground, a shady spot, very accessible from the highways and was an easy access, level pull through.

Abilene, KS is the birthplace of President Dwight D Eisenhower & the 1901 Parker Carousel .

We had such a great time with John’s cousin, Carol & her husband, Virgil Wenger. This was the first time that I had met them and  we enjoyed our time together. We had a good rest, and found we didn’t even need ac since the temp was so cool.

June 29,  Sunday

We left Abilene early in the morning to light rain, but by early afternoon when we entered Chester, Nebraska, it was sunny & lovely. We had a very long day, made several stops for gas & finally found a rest stop early afternoon. We opened our camper, got our food out of the fridge & found a picnic table nearby. After we ate, we cleaned up & left for our destination in North Platte, Nebraska.

Strang, NE

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A town we almost missed!!!!  caught sight of an old school building as we passed by the city’s welcome sign:  Strang: An Historical Town”. He pulled into the next available street and was immediately fascinated by a row of 1930’s automobiles getting ready for a Vintage car show.  As we entered the main street of this quaint, very small town, numerous buildings stood out with their National Registry of Historical Places signs.  Strang is an easy visit and well worth taking time to see. Sites for your grandkids include a Korean War Memorial and a school/church bell – an opportunity to bring a little history into their life.

 Along the way, I read about the Pony Express Station in Gothenburg which had been taken apart then moved to a new location & reassembled by the American Legion. John really enjoyed this little diversion, took a few photos.

Gothenburg, NE

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Gothenburg is the Pony Express Capital of Nebraska. The Pony Express Station is open from 8 a.m-8 p.m., 7 days a week! Stop in to hear the amazing story of riders that were “willing to risk death daily” and the admission is always free!

After the visit there, we headed to our Holiday Trav-l Rv Park & Campground, North Platte, set up our camper around 7pm.

June 30,  Monday

North Platte, NE

 Thanks to our friends, Al and Illa Kamp, of the Branson Scenic Railway, we learned about  Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard in North Platte. which is the largest railroad classification yard in the world.  The massive yard covers a total length of eight miles  and services 8,500 engines per month.  And, YES, we did climb the 192 steps to the top observation area because the elevator was being repaired; we did, however, ride the elevator down after it was serviced.

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John took a lot of photos & then we left for Keystone, SD, near Mt. Rushmore. We arrived late, near dark and set up the camper at Holy Smoke Camp ground in very windy and chilly conditions.

 

 Wall Drug & Badlands, SD

July 1, Tuesday

We decided this day that we would drive to the Badlands, about 2 hrs. away from our campsite. So many of our friends suggested that we take the time to go.

Prior to getting to the Badlands, we toured the famous Wall Drug Store in Wall, NE. The Hustead‘s purchased the pharmacy in the town of 600 poor people and to bring in new business during the depression era of the 1930’s, offered FREE ice cold water to dry and thirsty travelers heading West in search of a better life.  Barb and I had our “picture made” here with some of their unique tourist props.

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Badlands National Park

The towering geological rock formations of the Badlands National Park are absolutely phenomenal. John took so many photos that he had to recharge both camera batteries. We drove throughout the park, just couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.

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By the time that John photographed the sunset, we knew it would be late before we returned to our campground. We got home around 11pm, didn’t take long to fall asleep. We knew that this had been a perfect day with lovely weather & so much beauty in God’s world.

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Custer State Park

July 2,  Wednesday

I prepared a delicious breakfast before we headed off to Custer State Park for a few hrs. John photographed the beautiful Sylvan Lake.

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We drove the famous Needles Highway within the park, it has a very narrow tunnel where only one car can enter at a time. It was quite an awesome experience to be surrounded by that much rock being that close to the car window!!!! John was able to get some interesting photos as we drove the highway, but the one we like the best was the adorable, little “pika”, who posed for him.

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Crazy Horse Memorial

We drove 11 miles down the road to the Crazy Horse Memorial. What a place this is, words cannot describe the immensity of it. The memorial is funded through private donations and is dedicated to the Native Americans to remind the white man the red man has heroes too.

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We enjoyed 7 hrs. there, learning about the history of the memorial sculpted on the mountain and hearing the United States Air Force Academy Band perform and Little Bear, a Lakota Indian and very gifted flute player.

We stayed for the laser light show, 3 hrs. after the special musical program. We returned to our campsite after 11pm. Again, God blessed us with a beautiful day.

Mt Rushmore

July 3,  Thursday

This morning around 11am, we left for Mt. Rushmore. What a beautiful monument.

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Today was a great day to be there, the park had special activities going on all day. John & I first heard an actor portraying Abraham Lincoln, each of the presidents presentations were 45 min. long & so interesting. We had time between each one so went to the movie, Making of Mt. Rushmore. All in all, we got to see all 4 of the presentations. John even had a photo made with Fritz Klein as Abe Lincoln. We had time for a light lunch before hearing the last 2, Presidents George Washington & Thomas Jefferson. Washington was a man of great faith, so good to hear Carl Closs portray him in such a strong characterization: We NEED another George Washington!!!

The highlight of tonight’s amphitheater program was the Air Force Academy Concert Band, all are  professional musicians, such a great concert, played a lot of patriotic, some country & a few movie themes. At the close, as our National Anthem was played, the 4 President’s images were illuminated on the mountain & it was glorious. The amphitheater was packed & you could just feel the patriotic spirit of all the audience. What a great night.

July 4, Friday

Well, today we celebrate the 4th. Since we celebrated at Mt. Rushmore yesterday & spent 11 hours there, today we have to work on photos & John’s blog so these photos can reach all of you soon. So far, I have packed up everything & secured anything breakable. We are going to take it easy, prepare the camper for tomorrow’s trip to Billings, MT & later on, hook the travel trailer to the car for early morning departure.

This concludes the end of our first week; our second week includes Yellowstone & whale watching in Washington plus a few surprises!!!

1st week map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Countdown: 10 Days until departure!!!!

“All my bags are packed I’m ready to go” . . .  well, almost.

The travel trailer is in the driveway and my grandson, Tavin and I washed it last night. Barb has begun to collect the necessities; I have stockpiled the photo equipment and computer stuff.

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Barb and I will be staying in at least 18 different locations as we expand our West Coast journey for the U.S.A. PhotoMural project.

While we can still offer a free subscription to our Weekly Updates, please sign up on our home page http://fromseatosee.com

Here are a two of photos from my trip to Louisiana a couple of weeks ago.  Plaquemines Parish

Director Coastal Zone Management, P.J.Hahn directed a boat tour of two islands in the Barataria Bay waterways; I am very grateful to have been able to join him.  More about the plight of the disappearing islands, but for now, the Lousianians are losing a football field size area of land into the overcoming Gulf of Mexico water.  There are several complex reasons for this landloss; I first learned about it by reading the book:  “Bayou Farewell”. 
 
While there, I was able to photograph an infant nephew of our Mascot, Petey, a brown pelican.Image

 

Our first trial run began in Feb. 2014 and now it is already the middle of JUNE 2014:  This project has taken  considerable amount of preparation and travel to put together; but we are finally ready!!!!

Welcome to our first BLOG about our U.S.A. PhotoMural journey, beginning in just 2 weeks!

Sunrise_at_CB_Jackson_MS

Our FIRST Cracker Barrel Stay Pearl, Mississippi

Barb and I are crawling out from under a mountain of maps, google searches, Good Sam Club campground searches and are starting to prepare for the physical departure into the great unknown!!
Our first two stops will be at Cracker Barrel Restaurants on our way to Mt Rushmore; they are generous enough to let us spend the night in their RV parking area overnight at no cost and we get a great breakfast to start our day.

Our U.S.A. PhotoMural journey officially begins June 28th; we have made several “work out the bugs” trips to the Florida Keys, Louisiana and Washington, DC.

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African Queen, Key Largo, FL

Here are a few photos: The African Queen from the Bogart/Hepburn film, AFTER a $70,000.00 restoration project to make it look like it did in the movie. What a thrill to stand aboard this unique vessel and touch a bit of history. (Click Here) for our Weekly Update2 article.Also you can read Weekly Update 1 and 3, click on the number)

MVI_1563 National Anthem drill seargent Helicopter   IMG_1447 Thomas jefferson Memorial statue   IMG_1576 capital and white flowers web   IMG_1565 g Bible close up web

International Military Tattoo, Norfolk, VA;  Jefferson Memorial; Capital Building and Guttenberg Bible in Washington, DC

We hope you will join us on our West Coast journey, part of our U.S.A. PhotoMural,  as we head to Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota; Orca Whale Watching, Orca Island, Washington; catching several National Parks along the way; then toward San Diego, California by way of Giant Redwoods and Pacific Coast waves; and make our way home as we begin winding down this phase with a trip to the Grand Canyon and tagging as much of the “Mother Road: Route 66” as possible. Our Journeys all start and end in Branson, Mo. It is great to be out, but greater to be HOME!

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Barb and John at Blue Key RV Resort, Key West, FL

Be sure to check out our website http://fromseatosee.com and sign up for our Weekly Update newsletters.  Special benefits for our subscribers include a FREE photo download every issue & and 50% discount on the purchase of any PhotoMural from our online store.  As we are now finished with the “travel-planning” portion; I will focus this week on preparing the online store and accounting process, so UNTIL THEN, the newsletter subscriptions are “ABSOLUTELY FREE”.  Anyone who signs up BEFORE I get the “Pay Here” button installed will have a FREE subscription with ALL the benefits of those who pay.   Please share this link with your friends: http://fromseatosee.com  We look forward to hearing from you.  John and Barb john@fromseatosee.com