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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Swamp Search, Part Three

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 2:36 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

Right then, I do not consider myself a tourist, yes I end up in some places where there are many tourist but for the most part I am wandering, I don’t have so much a plan or have a list of sites I must see, I just happen upon what I happen upon.

I had a friend in Colorado who was very concerned indeed about my and my Mothers welfare on this trip, every evening I would give them a call have a chat about the days events and possible options on the morrow.  This friend of mine one evening  said “You should find an air boat ride.”  So I thinks to myself, if I could find a more personal kind of deal as appose to the herd sorted thing perhaps I would be willing to have a go. Mom of course is up for about anything..Air boat is it.

The problem were against was either far to much water so the boats were not running or no water, no boats. After much conversion and chatting with folks we happened upon an air-boat adventure, dang, I am looking at the map and have no idea where that guy was.  Maybe it was close to Laplace cause we had dinner on Lake Pontchartrain, best crab cakes ever!

On to the pics…

Not with the herd..woohoo!

See him, mid pic? He prolly thought he was sneaky or maybe just patient.

Then, his patience vanished,  he is between  shore and the boat.

Less swamp, more bayou. The guide/driver was a dude by the name of Eric, yeah should he not have been Billy or Billy Joe or..  nahh dudes name was Eric.  It is hard to know if they take on personas to entertain the tourists or if he really was part rowdy bar brawling, drinking loon. Either way the guy was fun.

I should tell you if ever ya have a chance to ride an air boat..it is one of those things you will never forget. The ride is glass smooth and FAST!  Yeah ok, it is loud as well but with the right head gear… twas fun.

This deal is part education, part intro to alligators, NOT crocodiles, they are a whole different can of worms. and part go fast.

The first stop was a bump out to the main water track where several alligators collect. I heard the guy behind me say “I count six.”  I replied with “They get feed here what , twice a day? looking at Eric.  He nodded. Little did I know they are not feeding these gators chicken or beef or any other thing you would figure a carnivore to eat.  They feed the gators marshmallows.  Now, come on, if you were an alligator, roaming about for a meal would you hang around a pool were some dude feeds you marshmallows. Makes no kind of sense to me.

Dang, client just called, she managed to get out of her house so I gotta shift again.

I will get back to this soon.

Swamp Search, Part Three

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 1:30 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

As I said before I job was to drive, ok occasionally I would say lets do this or just turn somewhere, this would throw Mom, she would have to re figure her route. Anywho, in the process of trying to stay off the major roads we ended up zipping along a levee. When Katrina hit the news was always talking about levees. I understood it was some thing that kept the water where they wanted it to stay..it didn’t occurred to me it was miles and miles and miles of man made dam-ish miles from the normal edge of the water.

I tell ya people  travel ya learn all kinds of things.

The road we were on was to the right and down the hill, many of the homes were sand bagged and empty.

From what I understand the normal edge of the water should be on the other side of the green bushes to the right. We had a chat with the gentleman and his family just coming home from Sunday services. They had stopped to check the water levels as well. We gathered it was going to get worse before it go better, the water was rising four inches a day.

Krac des Chevaliers

Filed under: Educational,Syria — she_travels at 2:48 pm on Sunday, May 16, 2010

From Wikipedia:

“Krak des Chevaliers, transliterated Crac des Chevaliers, is a Crusader fortress in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world.

The castle is located east of Tripoli, Lebanon, in the Homs Gap, atop a 650-metre-high hill along the only route from Antioch to Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of many fortresses that were part of a defensive network along the border of the old Crusader states. The fortress controlled the road to the Mediterranean, and from this base, the Hospitallers could exert some influence over Lake Homs to the east to control the fishing industry and watch for Muslim armies gathering in Syria.

The original fortress at this location had been built in 1031 for the emir of Aleppo.”

There is oodles of info about the web on this huge castle.

Think ramp as the one Gandolf rode the white house up in the second Lord of the Rings film.

The light was a bit funny for  the camera but I wanted you to see curve of the wall and ceiling.

The grand hall.

The Canadians and I did not decide what this space was about, perhaps just look out tower…look at the carvings in top of the pillar, never mind how the thing flows into the ceiling.

I was confounded my the ceilings.

Moat at the bottom of the slanted wall.

Several levels of space.

Can’t forget the view. One has to be able to see one’s enemies approach if one is going survive.

Back down the ramp…

And the pic everyone who has ever goggled Krak des Chevaliers has seen, the only difference is… I snapped this myself. The place is HUGE to say the least.

Day Tour From Hama

Filed under: Syria — she_travels at 8:59 pm on Sunday, May 2, 2010

There were several stops on the itinerary..I was not really paying much attention to anything other than Krak des Chevaliers,  the premiere castle in the country. Anything else,  along with seeing some county side,  was going to be icing .

Citadel of Shayzar was first on the list. By the by ~ I had come on the journey with a couple from Canada and a driver in a  car, no mini van chock a block full of folk and bonus! I was the lucky gal in the front seat.

“Shayzar is built along the banks of the Orontes River just northwest of Hama, the Syrian town of Shayzar was, for much of its history, a strategic prize for the Muslim and Christian forces who battled for control of the region at the turn of the first millennium.”

Front gate.

I am on the other side of the moat.

Moat from the other side.

and the view!

Some rebel has a pink house.

The fruit trees are thinking it’s spring.

I think maybe Apamea was next…

“Apamea is especially distinguished for its high walls and the main thoroughfare surrounded by columns with twisted fluting. The street, known as the Cardo Maximus to the Romans, is 1.85 km long and 87 meters wide, running directly from north to south. It was lined on both sides with civic and religious buildings.”

Different rocks, different ages.

Can ya believe the arch is still standing?

Citadel at Masyaf was next on the list…

From the pamphlet I was given:

“Masyaf Citadel is one of  the best preserved castles of the Syrian Coastal mountains, it was once the headquarters of the Islamic Nazari Ismaili state. The origins if the fortified site and town date back at least to the 8th century BC. Traces of the Greek,  Roman and Byzantine eras still remain. ”

This place has four levels.

and let us not forget the view!

Look at those razor rocks they are building around.

Most of town is on the opposite side of the hill.

On to Saint George Monastery..

“It is said that the monastery was built over remains of an ancient statue of the god Homerus by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I sometime in the 5th century. The monastery occupies a 6,000 m² land and was built entirely from Byzantine styled stone. The modern church was rebuilt in 1857. Most of the older monastery’s items are preserved and displayed in the monastery. Its entrance features a triple arch and two central supporting columns of Byzantine origin.”

The newer part…cool ceiling.. huh?

Three arch doorway.

The original older part.

Bit of a view from the courtyard.

That is Krac des Chevaliers in the distance.

I am whipped gang..I have been at this all day. I might still have time to finish before I go to Washington next week.

Krac the castle is next…next time.

Day 12/13 ~ Feb 12th/13th

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 9:57 am on Saturday, February 13, 2010

It was cold and pouring rain yesterday so I took some quiet time away from the world to chill and do darn near nothing. One needs such days from time to time while traveling in this manner.

Today I was hailed on in a place called Ephesus, it was not so bad the temps were up thank goodness so when the back of my legs were soaked I was still smiling. I am SO loving my new rain coat.

From Wikipedia :

Ephesus (Ancient Greek ??????, Turkish Efes) was an ancient Greek city on the west coast of Anatolia, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, it was for many years the second largest city of the Roman Empire; ranking behind Rome, the empire’s capital. Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it the second largest city in the world.

The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BCE), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The temple was destroyed in 401 CE by a mob led by St. John Chrysostom. Emperor Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected new public baths. The town was again partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614. The city’s importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River.

Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written here. It is also the site of a large gladiators’ graveyard.

With a bit of history out of the way, on to the pics.

They grow perfect Christmas Trees in this place.

We came around a bend in the turn to see this…I pretty much stood there with my mouth open for a bit.

Cool huh?  The people are a group if Asians off a couple buses.

The Library of Celsus, the facade of which has been carefully reconstructed from all original pieces, was built ca. CE 125 by Gaius Julius Aquila in memory of his father and once held nearly 12,000 scrolls. Designed with an exaggerated entrance — so as to enhance its perceived size, speculate many historians — the building faces east so that the reading rooms could make best use of the morning light.

Various materials were used in the rebuilding after war and fire.

There is a section one must pay additional to see, it is called the Terrace Houses, Austria paid for a roof so the many people helping put the puzzle of a place back together  are out of the weather.

Original Paintings

The lion is small 1×1 tiles placed on the floor, I was on a catwalk above looking at him upside down..so the pic looks a bit funny but ya get the idea.

I was told it is so hot in the summer here, the heat from the rocks is almost unbearable and the foliage is burned up and brown. I may be dealing with weather but at least its not hot and chock a block full of people.

See  the bands of hail? Man! did I get wet!

Do not fall.

After all that I was hungry so I had a visit to the Friday Market.

The Egg Man.

This is where the battery in the camera died. I got what I came for though, two yummy oranges and a banana.

Tomorrow a 3 hours bus ride to a spot called Pamukkale,  famous for white limescale pools of water.

Day Ten ~ redux

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 2:42 am on Friday, February 12, 2010

Not being any sort of a history buff nor being from the UK, New Zealand or Oz, I had no idea the National Park I was looking for off the coast of Canakkale is actually a WWI War Memorial.   I was on this tour with a Kiwi, a Brit and three Ozies, all of them in turn said “America, what are you doing here?”

The Gallipolli  was the British fighting the Turks and Germany for the land to control the only water ways from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea during WWI. I understand the average age of  the Turks was 21 and the average age of the Allies was 23,  many lied about their age so..this was children fighting children. Shezz!

Interestingly enough no one could tell me where the Americans were during all this….elsewhere fighting another front I suppose.

We had lovely weather for the Troy part of the day..sadly, not so much for the Gallipolli part, the weather was getting increasing colder with a biting wind and rain pelting your face. Not at all nice.

View from the War Museum. They had all kinds of artifacts on display, clothes, shoes, pocket watches, tools for digging, guns and would you believe they found bullets that had collided with bullets which were fused together.

I had never been to a beach were there was an actual war landing.

This is a land mark the Allies were calling “The Sphinx”.

Ataturk is much beloved by the people.

The trenches of the Turks and the Allies were all of eight meters apart. When not actually fighting the  two sides were sharing food, cigarettes and songs.

At some point after the sound of guns had died down there was a cry of help from a British soldier who was outside the trench. The Allies were far to frighted to go get him, everyone listened to the man call for help. One of the Allies saw a white flag from the Turkish trench..when it was completely raised a young Turk came out of  the trench, picked the British guy up and took him to the Allies trench.  This is his memorial.

The Lone Pine was the name given to a solitary tree on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, which marked the site of the Battle of Lone Pine in 1915. Pines which are planted as a memorial to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in Gallipoli are also known as “Lone Pines” or “Gallipoli Pines”, referencing the original tree.

The original “Lone Pine” was a sole survivor of a group of trees that had been cut down by Turkish soldiers who had used the timber and branches to cover their trenches during the battle. The tree was obliterated as a result of the battle; however, pine cones that had remained attached to the cut branches over the trenches were retrieved by two Australian soldiers and brought home to Australia. There are now pines trees from the original tree’s cones planted at many of  the memorials in New Zealand and Australia.

The Australian Memorial..at Lone Pine… the walls are covered with names of men who died.

This is a memorial to the many men who died in this spot from a single blast, the guide gave us the number but I do not remember…it was alot.  In the distance, Lone Pine.

The Turkish Memorial.

Hmmm there must have been one for the Kiwi’s and the Birt’s…maybe I decided the wind and pelting rain were far more than my camera and I could take.

By the by ~ During the Gallipolli bit if WWI New Zealand and Oz were under Britsh rule. Gallipolli was the final straw which made both Oz and NZ fight for their independence from Britain.

I still have yesterday but..I was on a bus from 9am til 5 pm..I have not seen the pics yet..they can’t be good.

Day Ten ~ Feb 10th

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 1:22 pm on Thursday, February 11, 2010

K then, I hopped a bus bound for the south, whew! 7 hours, stepped off that bus and hopped on a mini bus for another hour. I am now in Selcuk, the home of Ephesus.

I learned many things yesterday, one was Troy is not some made up story Hollywood did so Brad Pitt could show off his six pack.

It has been found that at least nine cities were built on the site, ranging from the original Troy, c. 3000 B.C., to Roman New Ilium, c. 600 A.D. Most interesting are Troy VI (c. 1700 – 1250 B.C.) and VIIa (c. 1250 – 1000 B.C.). Troy VI was greatly damaged by Schliemann’s expeditions, but researchers have found that it was built after Troy V was destroyed by fire. Troy VI was a major reconstruction and renovation of the original settlement, much larger and more magnificent. The people of Troy VI probably spoke Luvian, and Indo-European language, and hunting and fishing were major sources of food. Troy VI was destroyed by earthquake, but due to the lack of human remains, archaeologists believe the majority of the people escaped. The survivors built Troy VIIa, whose inhabitants prepared for and were destroyed by war. Troy VIIa is the best candidate for the Troy of Homer, which is dated somewhere around 1250 B.C.

From what I understand it was all about location, Troy sits in a hill over looking a great plain which was a harbor.

Pics of the ruins…

You can sorta see the difference between the rocks on these wall, one is sandstone from a different Troy then the one with gray rocks.

The power went out last night, the whole of the city was out. So, here I am finishing this in the morning,another wet, cold morning. I was hoping it would be warmer so far south.

All the Marble is from Troy nine.

Let us not forget the horse from Brad’s movie. It was shipped here, after the Turkish Gov asked or it.

I will get to Gallipolli later..breakfast is on.

Full Circle

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 11:25 pm on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Did I ever mention my parents live on 80 acres with all manner critter? Mom’s husband pretty much names them all, though he didn’t get a chance to formally introduce me to…

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Glenwood Springs

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More greens and reds.

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At some point I realized I have many pics of the space along I70 but none between Vail and traffic..here ya go.  Mind you it was a bit moist out (late-June).

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Yeah, it’s fuzzy, that happens when you are traveling at 60 miles an hour.

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From the top of Vail Pass looking toward Copper Mountain.

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Copper from the top of Vail Pass.

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Part of Copper Village, not much there but it is my favorite place to ski. The range of mountains to the left of the pick is the “Ten Mile Range”, Breckenridge is on the other side.

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The one above and the one below are taken between Copper and Frisco. Notice the brown beetle killed trees.

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Dillon Lake ~ this one and the next two.

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A bit of Frisco in the distance.

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Traffic…yuck, it started just past Frisco, Dillon Lake is to my right.

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Loveland Ski Area

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Oh yeah, it only takes one someone to do something silly when everyone on the road has to pay for it.

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I figured since we were stopped anyway I could snap this. Old Mine, Colorado is full of em.

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More traffic.  At this point I had to get on the phone to let people know I was going to be late. Twas a grand trip, 14 days, great fun was had by all.

There ya have it, road trip done….whew! that took awhile.

I did a house sit in Cali in Sept or October, had a quick stop in Vegas. I will get those pics up in the next few days, just as soon as I find them.

North from Glaicer is…Canada

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 11:10 am on Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just as you think you are moving in to a flat-ish area…


Bit O the cloud and rain today.




Ya just know there is something huge under there.




The bit of Glacier National Park in Canada is called Waterton Lakes National Park.


I should have taken more pics with signs, would help me remember.  Ahh well, next road trip.

Some one should have prepared me for the complete lack of humor the boarder guys suffer from. Whew!!

He asked me several questions in rapid fire, while I was running through  my head exactly what I did have in my car he continued “Why are you here?

I looked right at his mirrored glasses and said “I came to see it, ya gotta see it don’t ya?”

His reply was “I don’t know do you.”

What the heck?  I was in a National Park for gosh sakes not doing some sneaky end run past the boarder shack in the dead of night with no passport.





If only the clouds would find another home you could see….


All these mountains.


Beyond this bit of  lake at the base of the mountains lives the small summer town of  Waterton.  It was an interesting thing I did not have to pay to get in to the park but I did have to pay to get in to the town.



Mountains all around the lake, the town is just over the hill in the right of the picture.


This one is closer …see the building on the hill to the right? That is a hotel, the town is just down the other side.  The pic below shows you much better.


Can you imagine being surrounded my mountains that huge?  The tough bit is with so much wilderness about the animals don’t know what to do with them selves.


Mountain goat? Sheep?  Deer… house. Yes right in the middle of town, the gas station is around the corner.  and a few houses down I saw this….


I have been riding about the hills of the states for years and never seen deer this young.  It’s sad but cool.


Fair amount of open land farther up the road.


I do love a good view, even in the rain.

2009 Road Trip ~ Day Three

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 10:05 am on Thursday, August 20, 2009

I figured I have Teton National Park and Yellowstone behind me, it can’t be all that far to Glacier. I had never seen Glacier, heck never been farther north than Yellowstone, wait I have a photo of a sunset in MT I took ages ago so I musta been there as some point.

A stop in Bozeman while traveling north on highway 919 was in order, I had decided I needed a sleeping bag and even though I thought it was cheating a map may come in handy.

While waiting at  the check out  the gentleman behind me said “Looks like someone is going on a trip.”

“Actually, I am already on it, left Colorado two days ago.

“Where ya headed?”

“North, maybe west.”

“Best way to be, follow the wind, enjoy your time on the road. ”

“Thank you.”

I tossed my brand new sleeping bag in the back and the small 2010 road atlas in the front then went looking for a gas station. By the by ~ should I mention the prices I paid for gas…holy hannah. The folks in Twisp, Washington were paying$3.25 for a single gallon of petrol…eeek!  I didn’t buy any in Twisp but I did end up paying that price a few times. It was mostly hovering somewhere between $2.57 and 2.97.

As I was driving through Bozeman trying to decide what road to take north,  I happened upon a Highway 287 sign. I had lost 287 some where in Yellowstone,  I was down right excited it was still going the same direction I was. Nevermind,  it keep me off that huge blue road Interstate 90.

287 into Helena to spend the night. I do not remember what time it was. Still day light but did ya know the farther north ya go at this time of year the longer is stays light? It had to have been 9pm anyway.

I asked the lady at the gas station the next day the best way to get to Glaicer. She suggested I take 287 north, she showed me on a Montana map then, offered to give me the map for free. This just after I bought an atlas.

While the gas was pumping I reviewed her offered route.  287 traveled north over mostly white on this map, this meant lower elevations. The Rocky Mountains are east of 287 and on the other side of the mountains was a road called 83, it was mostly in green space. So, I decided not to take 287 but instead 83 with the higher elevations.

I had a bit of rain so the pics are some fuzzy.


Just outside of Helena was not so interesting,  wait for it.



Yet another hill to get a decent view.


I was enjoyed watching the mist travel along the valley.


I know, trees are dying the world over.


Look at the colors though!!


This is why they call Montana “Big Sky Country”.  Talk about ranch land!


This was one of the several times during my adventure I was feeling like I was the only one on the road. One of  the perks of riding two lane nothing roads.


There are many places in Montana and Washington where they harvest trees and replant. Or this many have been about beetle killed trees.swan11


One of the many and I mean stacks and stacks of ponds and lakes in Montana. I sat here watching the clouds try to lift off the mountains while having a chicken sandwich. Three cars pasted.


Crazy white flowers were only growing where the trees had been cut.


Just me, the trees and the road.

So, the speed limit in Montana is 70 and only 70.  It was all kinds of nutty blowing though little towns, no reduce speed signs. No signs to suggest you take a turn a bit slower….nothing. And the only time I saw a speed limit sign was just past an intersection.  It was a  free for all, take your life in your hands deal.

God forbid you need to get gas or anything else cause getting back on the road, whew those little blue haired ladies coming out of their drives dealing with people flying down the road at 70.

I could not do it, two lane road even when I was alone I was sticking to 60, 62.


Many breeds, many colors, some dying.


Swan Lake Valley, this valley is bordered on both sides with mountains like this. Sadly, my camera can not do it justice.

Alrighty, next up the beauty and power of Glacier National Park.

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