Explore Discover Inspire

Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Swamp Search, Part Three, Redux

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 11:37 am on Saturday, August 20, 2011

We motored through a few very shallow waterways off the main bayou… the sun was off and on but I think the pics are passable.

Whoo-hoo the sun came out.

If there were a bit of sun the reflections would be more interesting.

Mr. Eric had us zipping down the bayou, he started to call  a name my brain could not sort over the noise of the boat. He was slowing down and seemed to be looking for something. I was trying very hard to understand what he was calling, I thought perhaps there was swamp guide guy in the forest or maybe an animal on shore. Eric started muttering something about a place to tie the boat when I saw an alligator coming at us with some great speed, his huge tail sweeping back and forth pushing him forward. Then it occurred to me Eric was calling the gator (Thibodaux).  Come on, I had learned not two hours before alligators  only predators are man and each other. Now! you tell me! why the heck would a carnivore at the top of the food chain come when called?  Marshmallows. That crazy gator came to get a few marshmallows and believe or not a pat in the tail by Mr. Eric.

Alligators and marshmallows..I still don’t believe it and I was there. I am telling ya people, travel more learn crazy things.

Thibodaux just before he decided he would like a  taste of my shoe. Thank goodness Eric was paying more attention the gator than I was.He  hissed “Get down”,  Thibodaux hesitated then slid back in to the water.

At one point we scared the birds up.

It was great fun to say the least.

Gotta love cropping pics.

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.

Swamp Search, Part Two

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 1:03 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

Somewhere along the line it was suggested we have a look at a place called Avery Island they said the beauty of  it was overwhelming.  I had no idea at the time Tabasco was a brand name..silly me. Anywho, we were going for the flora not the hot sauce.

They call is bird town for obvious reasons, the green stuff in the water looks nasty from here but ..

If ya get close enough you see it is itty bitty leaf shapes of some sort of plant.

This gets a bit closer to my idea of swamp.

This may be my favorite tree of the trip, and believe me I had plenty to choose from.

I don’t remember where this one was taken. There was much talk from people about the water levels being so low the swamps were not so swampish now. See the dry dirt to the right just past middle of the image? that should be wet puddles with water water everywhere.  The whole thing was very odd being the news the world over was talking about Louisiana being flooded..danged if we were having any luck..yet!

If memory serves by this time we had hit Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, Avery Island  and various national parks we came across the brown signs for. Doubtful I could ever get back to some of them, I remember heaps of craw-fish farms, never did get a pic of  the feeding stations.

It was suggested more than once we stay away from Atchafalaya Delta State Wildlife area cause if and when  it was decided to allow more of  the upper dam open it would be flooded. Mom had heard Morgan City was either under water or would be soon but I didn’t want to go way north to get across the Atchafalaya Delta so we compromised on taking a major road instead of the back country roads. Come to find out people in Morgan City were mowing lawns and shopping, no one there was the least bit concerned.

Some where along the way we decided a visit to Grand Isle was a good idea. I had no idea how I got through life not knowing there were places on the planet that were connected to the main land by bridge, yeah I have never been to the Florida Keys, maybe it does as well. I am thinkin the photos are not truly going to show the scope of this thing.

I was on the bridge.

There was one right angle and one left angle..so I am on part of the bridge coming up on a hard left turn, once the project is done that left turn will be an intersection. On a bridge..who knew!

There ya go, hard right.  Wacky!  I had no idea they made bridges/elevated roads like this.

Couple random shots from down that way…

Mom loves this one.

I have a fondness for this one. I was told Katrina did in most of the trees in that area.

Just for giggles on we snapped shots of signs.

I don’t know if I should laugh or be concerned.

Swamp Search, Part One

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 8:58 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mom and I managed to avoid big snow in Colorado, most of the flooding in Louisiana, crazy hail in Texas and a tornado on Interstate 40 in Oklahoma which passed a  scant few hours behind us.  We pretty much giggled our way through ten days of 4763 miles over seven states. We chatted with many a local, saw a just this side of endangered bird called a Roseate Spoonbill  and met a wild, bayou residing, marshmallow eating, alligator by the name of Thibodaux. That wacky gator comes when called, I had no idea a critter at the top of the food chain would give a care about such a thing.

All in all fun was had. I  had my first taste of catfish much to the entire establishment’s amazement, noted by their repeating “Where y’all from? I never met anyone who didn’t eat catfish.” The waitperson, told the bus person then we heard giggles from the back. Indeed, I was pleased to be able to entertain. If I could remember the name of the town I would tell you to stop in at Francis’, they have been feeding families for 65 years. By the by, the cat fish was very tasty.

I didn’t happen upon the swamp image I have in my head, perhaps another adventure is in order, Mississippi or Georgia.

Right then, on to a few photos….

Mom was the navigator, I  the driver. She has a pretty good handle on the south west bits of Colorado so I pointed the car. If I remember correctly we went… Montrose ->Ouray ->Silverton ->

This pass I do not remember the name of  and on into Durango, Colorado.

The idea is to stay off the main roads. Over the years I have spent a fair amount of time on what I call “Blue Roads” four lane divided interstates. When I am not actually driving  to get somewhere I prefer the out of the way, seems to be going no where, kind of roads. One is far more likely to come across Mom and Pop hotels and restaurants with a bit of flavor. I tell you this cause I am not all that sure of the route Mom had us on, though I am going to do my very best.

There is a fair amount of nothing between Durango and…Hmm I remember Mom saying something about Roswell, NM. I can’t imagine anyone being that close to the place and not having a look. It was getting dark by the time we were close, there were many a radio tower with red blinking lights about but not once did we see an alien. Not on a road sign, not on a billboard, not in the hotel… nothing. I was so disappointed.  Who goes to Roswell, New Mexico and doesn’t see an alien.  Shezz!

I do remember several truly dead towns, it was so very sad to see.

Once across the state line in to Texas things started to feel a bit more happy. Plenty of oil rigs pumping away, cattle, cattle every where and occasional a rest stop but the oddest  thing.. no rest rooms. What is up with that?

I gotta say the flowers out there…

Nice color huh?

Then there was this stuff…

It took some amount of time and thought before we realized it was young cotton plants. Cool Pic they make don’t ya think?

This musta been a beach area near the Port Arthur, Louisiana.

I had a bug in my bonnet to see the Creole Nature Trail in the south eastern part of Louisiana. So we did just that.

Come on laugh a little.  Gator crossing indeed!

Tracks O the gator?

I know it doesn’t so much look real, Mom suggested the wildlife people put decoys in the water to entertain the tourists…then his eyes moved.  My first gator outside of a zoo.

We were a bit concerned about the fire, it could be seen from Texas. There was not a soul around, not a fire truck, not any kind of news van. I finally called a friend to check the news about a huge fire in the area..nothing. In the end we decided it was a controlled burn, thus the reason for no one but us to be worried.

I know it is a very bad photo but these things don’t much cotton to having their image captured. Mom thought it was a flamingo until I zoomed in on the pic to see the spoonbill. He was beautiful when he flew away, sadly the camera and  were not fast enough.

Tis a very flat, very wet place..goodness knows what happens when big storms come in. Anywho, every building we saw was elevated. One of the trailers was in huge brackets about either end, we guessed this prevented the wind coming from underneath to flip the building.

Lots of flat, lots of water.

We all know I can’t go any where without snapping a few pics of trees.

Ya can’t tell me they are not the coolest things!

I don’t remember where this magnolia images were taken.

This must be early on in the opening of the flower..then

This is later… seed pods maybe. I had no idea the inside looks like this.

Dang, I must sort and pack for yet another shift in my world.

I will attempt to get back to this tomorrow.

Deep South Bound

Filed under: Road Trip,Travel Plans — she_travels at 8:35 pm on Friday, May 6, 2011

Or at least deeper than I have been in the past. For all the flight time I log I have never been to the southern shores America.

Mom and I are considering a bit of a road trip to the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuges. From what I understand there are eight separate refuges in the area. Seems a grand time of year to go, not to hot and sticky, maybe the water levels will be higher than  mid summer.

Figure I will hop in the car with  a camera and a credit card, start south and see what happens.

I have never been to a swamp…why not  give it a go,  huh?

Not to worry, Mom is a good egg, she copes pretty well with my no plan, plan.

She Flew Back to Colorado.

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 9:16 pm on Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I left the Olympic Peninsula at 8am. I was not tired so I kept driving…stopped at 6am, napped in the car til 8am then drove the last 4 hours to Longmont. It was kinda interesting driving all night with only the occasional truck about for company.  I fail to understand why I was not tired.

Anywho..pics..

Big Arse Bridge!

Lots O yellow!

I was digging the neon white windmills.

Hmm,  have any idea what gets water and what doesn’t. I wondered if there was reason for the tree lined pasture looking bits.

Now,  that is a view! It was snowing and dark when I was traveling west.

And then, there was hill.

Idaho mountains.

Another for the “What is in Annette’s side view mirror” series.

And then there was snow! Wyoming I think.

Sure enough, it not even spring yet here.

There ya have it, 2010 Washington Road Trip.

Olympic Peninsula, Washington.

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 7:56 pm on Tuesday, May 18, 2010

For those of you who have not been following me for the past few years… I took a 14 day road trip June of 2009.. I decided it was high time I found out just exactly where  Highway 287 goes from Longmont,   Colorado.  I hit Yellowstone, figured Glacier was not far, rolled into Canada turned left to zip along Highway 3…decided I had seen plenty of mountains, turned left again when I noticed the map showed Highway 20 would take me all the way to the ocean in Washington State..little did I know the Cascades were between me and the sea. Following Highway 20 put me on a ferry across a bit of water..I still had not a clue as to where I was going I just knew 20 would get me to 101 where I could go south to the Redwoods and then back to Colo.  (if interested in this trip scroll down to June 2009, the posts should be there)

Imagine me,  having had a potty break and a walk,  sitting in the car with the door open, playing with my computer when an older lady with two small- ish dogs come in to view. I knew one was a Pomeranian the other was the same size but dude looked like a miniature Akita to me.  I ripped the earphones out of my ears to say “Goodness, he is cute..what is he?”  She smiled and said “He is a Pom too, he gets a lot of attention.”  We chatted about  this and that, she told me to pack up the computer and join her with  the dogs for a walk.  When we got back to the cars she said “I would like you to come home to meet my family.”  I shrugged replying  “OK”

The ferry came,  we all boarded, when we were let off on the other side I followed her home. I stayed three days.  Why not, we were having a grand time cleaning/freezing strawberries, making bread and cinnamon rolls..they are delightful people and easy to be round.

I was not out the door last June before they said “Come Back, Come back” and have been saying “come back” intermittently since.

I tell you this cause….. They live on the Olympic Peninsula, a place I had never heard of until I found myself there from random left hands turns last June. I returned in May of this year (2010).  To early for strawberry season but never fear some of the berries we packed away last time were still on hand for strawberry waffles and strawberries over angel food cake. This year I was introduced a new yumminess, seven minute frosting with coconut on a chocolate cake. Oh my, divine comes to mind!

The Olympic Peninsula  is truly a beautiful, wondrous place with a bit of everything, if ya want ocean they have it, if ya want lakes and streams, waterfalls and rivers they have it, if your more into mountains, by gum it’s there.  Stacks of wildlife and plenty of moisture to keep it all green, heck there are three rain forest areas that I know of..hmm should go find that map I was given. Phooey, I went looking for the map last night, no joy.  I have faith it will turn up.

Lake Crescent. It was sorta a green-ish blue color.

Another one of those glorious  places on  the planet where you can stand at the sea’s edge looking at  snow capped mountains.

I was told the name of this bay twice..Needle Point comes to mind but I could be wrong…perhaps someone will happen by to correct me.

Walks are always good with me!

The lighting was too good to pass up.

My friend’s husband has pictures of whales in this cove rubbing  on the rocks. Truly a sight I would like to see, a whale.

This may end up on the Favs of 2010 file. I do like it!

My friend’s family calls this tree Twisted Sister. Seems an apt name.

This is hard to see but the big vertical tree and the smaller one to the right are growing on what is called a “nurse log”. It is a fallen tree seeds land on and nurse to full growth.

Middle of no where, though this time I was not alone.

The family calls this one “Big Brother”. He is the worlds largest red cedar,  178 feet tall and 19.4 around. The old boy is workin hard to stay alive.

Another beach a bit farther south…it was considering raining.

The flora in this place does not disappoint.

It just makes me giggle I like it so much.

Well phooey, I don’t have a pic of the top of this tree.  Anywho, it is the largest Spruce at 191 tall and 58.11 around. I am lookin pretty small sitting up there.

Water of all kinds abound including falls.

We found the Elk.

Is this not amazing? Moss,  moss everywhere!

I am thinkin Bilbo and his band of hobbits should live in a place like this.

I have little doubt this one will end on the Favs 2010 file.

I am not sure this translates on film… this green ferny stuff was growing both in an out of  the water…so part of what you are looking at is fern through water.

Holy buckets! I dig this one!

The blue-ish stuff you see is the bottom. Wacky huh?

Remember the nurse log I was talking about? All four of these tree grew on a nurse log.

It was getting dark…. more elks!

Randy,  the bit of a fluff ball who started it all.

Did I mentioned FOOD, FUN, good company and HAT making were the order of  the week? It was good fun, I am will attempt to make a yearly trek to the Olympic Penn.

Next up..the mad dash back to Colorado

This and That, Road Trip 2010 start

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 11:40 pm on Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spring Break was a bit easier this year than last, one less barn and eight inches less of snow.

April was rough..I decided to give up sugar…the stuff is like heroin to me, imagine the withdrawal symptoms. Not only did I have a nasty headache for 10 days but all I really wanted to do was go back to bed..can I please please just go back to bed.

I started seeing an acupuncturist…the gal is a god send, my body understands and appreciates what she can do for me.  I am eating far better and far less than in the past, and no sugar, no carbs…. fruit, veggies and protein. I am not feeling nearly as good as I will but things are improving.

I have friends in Washington who asked me to come visit.  I had a client who needed to get her almost famous mastiff  show dog to Salt lake City.  I hopped in the car the 5th of May, dropped off Cedric- the almost famous and headed north west.

Mind you…I was not dawdling about so many of the road pics are from the car.

From a distance I thought this was a very cool tree on a hill in the middle of no where WY…when it decided to be a buffalo I had  to have a shot.

Wyoming..when there is nothing, there is truly nothing and then suddenly..something.

I was under firm instructions not to open the window far enough so Mr. Almost Famous could get his face out…no getting the show dog bug pelleted in the eye.

Even the almost famous have to sleep.

The more I travel the more I see windmills…yet not so much in my mind.

Seems to me those snow fences are doing their job.

Road construction amunction…shezz! It totally messes with  the timing of a road trip.

His Highness awake. Dude was a barrel of fun!

Wacky white stripes.

I so wanted a shot of only road up and over the hill but the silly trucks were everywhere, stopping was not an option..I was on a schedule, well more of a deadline.

I don’t ever remember being in Park City, Utah. I dropped Cedric off not long after this. I was missing him not 30 minutes later…dude was GREAT company.

Finally, after all the time I have been through Salt Lake, I get a shot which shows…..flat! Mountain!!

Another for the what is in Annette’s Mirror Series.

Where did all the trucks go? Sunset must be dinner time.

I am headed for an Idaho sunset.

Dang, now I am the only one out here.

I stopped and got out of  the car for this one..nearly froze my socks off in the process.  The colors are nice..yes?

Clouds can be cool too.

The eastern part of the Columbia River Gorge.

It was a monster from this distance…when  you get closer….

The river is to the right but I was digging the cliff-ish to the left as well.

Mt. Hood…what a nice day for a photo.

Bad photo but it’s a bit greener cause wait just another few miles,  a whole different world.

And then it was GREEN!!

HorseTail Falls.

I love this one!! Love it!

I arrived in Port Angeles, Washington at about 5pm the day after I left Colorado.

Olympic Peninsula pics up next.

Squeaker and Back.

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 2:53 pm on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Squeaker…

Vegas09 17

He was a hoot, we went out walking every morning for about an hour. He lived in a area where all the roads were loops back to the main road. I managed to misplace us one day, had to call a friend in Colo. She got on Mapquest to unloose me. It was pretty funny.  Mr. Squeak and I played fetch in the yard and tag in the living/kitchen area. Dude was CUTE!

Vegas09 16

and his Coy, I went to sleep every night to the sound of the ponds water fall.

Then back to Colorado, by way of Vegas. I am not near the Vegas hater I was before this trip..it has its uses as long as one does not stay more than 72 hours. I saw two shows, The Blue Man Group, it was interesting and fun. I wanted badly to see Bette Midler but she was gone that week so I opted for Donny and Marie cause, after all,  didn’t we all watch them as kids. It was also a very fun show.

Vegas09 26

Vegas09 24

I was loving  the Vegas skyline reflected in the Encore windows.

Vegas09 25

Desert, mountain.

Vegas09 27

Vegas09 28

Inside Wynn.

Vegas09 29

Vegas09 30

New York, New York

Vegas09 31

The intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Blvd. New York, New York on one side and the MGM on the other. You can see Paris in the back.

Vegas09 32

I was loving my camera’s ability in the dark.

Vegas09 33

Was this not the machine which made Tom Hanks “BIG” ?

Vegas09 34

Cool Colors!

Vegas09 35

Vegas09 36

Vegas09 37

Vegas09 38

Road to Vegas

Filed under: Photos — she_travels at 2:27 pm on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let’s see,  I got back from 14 days of road trip to July, wow what a rough month that was, it must had something to do with my loosing my mind..I was feeling very odd, not at all myself. I was far to easy to hurt emotionally, I was not sleeping, I thought I was having hot flashes but everyone said  “not possible you are to young.”  Shezz, what a rough go it was. Finally it occurred to me maybe the surgery in April tossed me in to Menopause early. They did take out my right ovary which left me with one half of my left cause of a surgery 20 years before.

I chatted with several friends who know stuff about natural remedies, it was suggested I take Black Cohash and Primrose oil to stave off the hot flashes and maybe get my emotional state back in control.  Whew, within a few weeks I was feeling more myself.  I called the doctor for blood-work just to make sure my mind was intact. We were right my hormone levels confirmed Menopause.

I survived July, spent August with Scruffles and Jackson the wonder dog.

In October I landed a house sit in Southern Cali. I managed a couple days on either end to drive out, with a stop in Vegas. Did ya know it is spot on 12 hours driving time from Vegas to Boulder?

I always thought  there was a WHOLE lot of nothing between Grand Junction and Vegas… perhaps I was wrong.

Vegas09 1

While I was snapping this shot an older gentleman stopped to make sure I was ok. I was on a section of road just over 100 miles with zero services.

Vegas09 2

Interesting rock.

Vegas09 3

Holy hannah, do you believe that blue?

Vegas09 4

Vegas09 5

Cool colors!

Vegas09 6

For those of you who have never been in the middle of no where, the ranches need exits off the highway to get home.

Vegas09 7

The gray-ish stuff is screen to keep rocks from falling on the road, or cars.

Vegas09 8

The various colors are the Scrub Oak leaves changing.

Vegas09 9

Vegas09 10

Vegas09 11

Yet, another burned hill, no one can escape fire.

Vegas09 12

No sun…

Vegas09 13

Some sun…

Vegas09 14

Some nothing.

Vegas09 15

Vegas09 20

I had seen three of these signed and finally had to snap a pic.

Vegas09 21

Toward the airport, the big gold looking place in the Wynn Hotel in Vegas.

Vegas09 22

This is looking across I-15 from my Circus Circus ($27night) room.

Vegas09 23

Construction Junction.

Next Page »