Goose Heaven

We’re staying in Indiana now for two days at New Lisbon Family Campground in Staughton. It’s a beautiful area – very rural. I70 has been the pitts to travel – some of the worst road in the country. The kind of road that takes everything in your cupboards and shuffles them upside down. Not the most fun. It takes a lot out of you!

But we are staying here two days so we had a chance to drive around and see some local scenery. We visited Warm Glow Candles and spent about 2 hours looking at everything. Way overpriced for the most part, but still a couple of deals to be found.

It’s always an adventure seeing how our GPS is going to get us from point A to point B. Today she took us on Goose Heaven road and South Woodpecker road. All in all a pretty day!

The picture of the road is Goose Heaven road. The picture of the field is across the road from the campground. Lots of highway noise, but that also means convenience to get back on the road again in the morning. Still can hear the frogs singing and people still have petunias in blossom here.  This is a very nice site – and we have Internet!! That works! With speed! Oh, and we picked up 55 channels with our antenna last night – even though it is damaged. Hopefully we won’t lose it on the rest of our travels. One of the batwings bent and rides straight up. We need someone who can climb up on top of the RV to bend it back. I asked for an angel to fix it, but he was at least able to keep it from getting worse so far.

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Back on the road again!

After being at Mom’s for the summer and fall, we headed south again to beat the cold.GettysburgBattlefieldResortGettysburgBattlefieldResort_2

First we stopped at Gettysburg, PA. It was miserable there! viewfromcampsiteStoneyCreekBlueRidgeMountainsindistance drivingdowntoStoneyCreekentrance ducksonlake ducksonlake_2 enteringVA mallards_5 sassafras statueofliberty

Then we stopped in Greenville, VA it was SO nice. It felt like home. We could have easily lived there except that it gets too cold in the winter. Then we moved on to Concord, NC and spent some time with family there. Wonderful! But it gets cold in NC too, so it was time to head further south.

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Next we stopped in SC and caught up with more wonderful family.

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Then we traveled to Georgia and Alabama. We spent Christmas and New Years on the gulf coast, but it was quite rainy.

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We then moved on to Old Pavilion RV park in Perry, FL – it was gorgeous! We camped right on the edge of the water – still gulf coast. Then we moved down to Crystal Isles RV Park in Crystal River. It’s where the manatees come in for the winter. We couldn’t find any manatees as they pretty much stay near the springs and in the deeper water – or so we’ve been told. But the beach – again gulf coast – is only 4 miles down the road. CrystalIsles FortTrailKidsScaredBirds FortTrailBoatTailGrackle CrystalIsleBewareAlligators boatsonCrystalRiver3 birdsonFtTrailbeach2 sunsetfttrailbeach

We went for a drive over near the lake, pulling over, turning the truck off and just sitting and looking at the beautiful sight. Ray said “A fish jumped”. I looked and saw the ever widening circle in the water. I’d missed it.  Such a beautiful day. I tried to discern what all types of ducks were floating on the water. “It just jumped again!” This time I was determined to watch until it happened again. Then it did, and it was just like someone had skipped a stone across the water! Fish don’t usually jump like that. And then a little mallard popped up out of the water, gently floating along making very happy mallard-like sounds.

mallards_1If you’ve never watched mallards feeding, bobbing under the water with their bottoms pointing straight up, you’ve truly missed something.  But this little guy was doing more than feeding, he was frolicking.  He bobbed under again, bottom up, little feet pumping like crazy. Then surfacing right-side up and quacking away. Next he started flapping his wings and dancing on the water. Then he dipped under the water again, swimming under, going across the end of the lake and back up. Then dancing on the water again. He was purely having fun, living in the moment, glad to be there as the others continued to bob downwards and upwards, quacking back at him.  What a special thing to have witnessed. Pure happiness. You can’t tell me that animals are not capable of emotions.  We ourselves were filled with the lightness and grace of the moment, amazed yet again at the world our God has created.
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We were also blessed with other beautiful sights here. We saw a pair of shovelbills and at least 8 buzzards soaring over our heads. The sandy bank was covered with oak, sassafras and a tree resembling a hickory nut. Will have to investigate that one further.  I stole a couple of twigs of sassafras and we bent and twisted them to release that special scent like nothing else. I resisted the urge to dig some up for tea! Oh, and I almost forgot the statue of liberty with her light aglow as the shadows overtook her.
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Delight in the special moments….

On The Road Again

It was starting to get too cold in Upstate NY, so we’re heading south again.
We stopped at the Gettysburg Battlefield Resort for our first stop.
This is a Coast 2 Coast resort. We were pleased that we didn’t have to pay an upgrade fee, but we were escorted to our site and then left, and were very surprised to learn that there was no septic hookup.
But we were only here for four days, so we got through that ok. We were just surprised that we weren’t told about it or asked if we wanted to upgrade. It’s a nice campground with fairly level sites and quite pretty. It’s also on the edge of the south end battlefield. We were looking forward to going to the Battlefield, but it was rainy each day we were there and road construction everywhere, so other than our customary trip to Wal-Mart we didn’t do much. We couldn’t run the washer, so our laundry started piling up. The biggest problem that we had when there were several large dogs all around us who liked to bark.  At times they all barked for over an hour. We were ready to scream! We would like to visit there again, but we couldn’t take that again.  We would have thought that someone would monitor that kind of constant noise level. Being homesick just added to the misery.

beautifulmarestailswbird_2So after four days we moved on and gradually drove into beautiful weather. If you haven’t seen the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s something to add to your list of must-dos.  My brain cued up John Denver’s Country Roads as we traveled along. Beautiful skies with mare’s tails and soaring birds – mostly buzzards but think one or two were eagles.

potomac riverIt was a beautiful day to cross the Potomac River. Lots of lovely scenery along the way – beautiful farms/barns and tree lined highways. Virginia is such a beautiful state.beautifulbarninVA

This time we stayed at Stoney Creek Resort – Lakeside Camping and RV Resort. It’s nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and just a beautiful place to stay. We were again pleasantly surprised that there was no upgrade fee, and this time we got a full hookup with 50 amp and septic, water, electric. And the wifi works! You can even get on the internet with it.
The sites aren’t very level, but they’re working on that. We had to leave the first site they sent us to as one side was off by about 7-8 inches. Just too much for comfort. We moved to a spot close to the clubhouse, but it wasn’t really that bad considering they had a big to-do for Halloween. We saw they had trick-or-treating and there were lots of kids, so we headed out to Wal-Mart to get another 95 piece bag. We had bought a 120 piece bag before leaving NY, but we knew that wouldn’t last long with all the kids here. We got back just afdrivingdowntoStoneyCreekentranceter the costume judging, and when the trick-or-treating started – still broad daylight. The little (and big) ones trooped right on by even though Ray was outside with our bucket of viewfromcampsiteStoneyCreekcandy. Not one stopped! We figured they only stopped at places where they knew people, and the truck might have hidden us some. When we were kids, we scoped out every possible stop! Well they probably realized that we had unhealthy candy like Reeses and Hershey. That’s ok – Halloween isn’t really until next week. There might even be some left by then!
And we’re able to do laundry again – yahoo! Amazing how it piles up so fast. We won’t do it all because the site is a little rocky, but at least we got the important stuff washed!


Back Home

Since we became full time RVers back in February of this year, we have traveled a long way and have seen a lot of beautiful country. I’ve got to say though that going back “home” is wonderful. It’s done me good to see other areas and then come back and see “where we’re from” with new eyes. It’s beautiful in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania. We’re in the Finger Lakes and Endless Mountains areas. The views are nothing like South Dakota, but are unique in their own way. God has truly created an amazing world. And we’ve only see a small part of it.

It’s also great being back within close reach of our families. Mom repaved the driveway and in the process added a large area where we can park the RV. We had to get a longer electric cord (just an extra 5 feet!) and put in an electric hookup, but it is well worth the investment. It’s really nice having our house so close to Mom’s. We can share meals, tv and sitting outdoors. And road trips.

And we can reconnect with friends. We stopped in to see Jim Wagner, my hand specialist (from when I fell a few years ago). Jim (or should I say “The Hammer!”) worked wonders with restoring my hand. I would not be able to type this now without his knowledge and help, and I will be forever grateful. He is also a fellow Christian and became a friend. We hope to see him again some time, possibly even in our travels.  He’s going back to school in Utah to get his doctorate – yay Jim! Not so far from South Dakota.

We have several other friends and family yet to stop and see. I have a class reunion in August (40th!) and will enjoy catching up with some people whom I haven’t seen since high school; some over the last several years. Time does go marching on. Sometimes it’s not until you look back that you see how far you’ve come.


Today we went to Belle Fourche, SD – to the Center of the Nation – or CON. It is very interesting (more on their website).  It’s the closest town to the actual Geographic Center of the United States, which is located on private land.  This is also where the TriState Museum is located (more on their website) which is also very interesting. We really enjoyed visiting here.  Their museum focuses on the early pioneer, rodeo, and old west history of the Tri-State region of Western South Dakota, Eastern Wyoming and Southeast Montana. The museum houses over 5,000 artifacts, rodeo memorabilia, historical records, antiques, collectibles, fossils, and other items.
BelleFourche_CON BelleFourche_CON_1 Ray_CON Rob_CONBelleFourche_Museum_2 BelleFourche_Museum_3a BelleFourche_Museum_3b BelleFourche_Museum_4 BelleFourche_Museum_5 BelleFourche_Museum_7 BelleFourche_Museum_8 BelleFourche_Museum_9 BelleFourche_Museum_11 BelleFourche_Museum_13 BelleFourche_Museum_15 BelleFourche_Museum_19 BelleFourche_Museum_19a BelleFourche_Museum_20 BelleFourche_Museum_25 BelleFourche_Museum_26 BelleFourche_Museum_27 BelleFourche_Museum_28 BelleFourche_Museum_29 BelleFourche_Museum_30 BelleFourche_Museum_31 BelleFourche_Museum_32 BelleFourche_Museum_33It was neat to see Three Toes, a (stuffed) wolf who terrorized the area. There were exhibits on barbed wire fence, dinosaurs, fashions, military history and even cowboy boots.  Well worth your time to stop in. Also a great gift shop!!
Oh yeah, we were both briefly in jail too 🙂RayinJail_1 RayinJail_2 RobNJail

Spearfish Canyon Revisited

It was another beautiful day in Belle Fourche! We decided to go back through Spearfish Canyon today, this time from the other direction. We got another 250+ photos, and have included some here. Afterwards we stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. Looking back in the direction we just came from, there were some storm clouds. We just missed the bad storm again!  Most of these shots were taken as we were driving down the road. You can see my reflection in the side mirror a couple of times, and there are one or two where the camera focused on a subject as the tree branches were going by in a blur. I thought it made for some interesting shots 🙂 Our girls were waiting for us when we got back – they had had good naps. Even though the storm was in the distance, it was beautiful out so we left the door open (with the screen) and they loved it. Nice to see them happy!
Kent has been doing a lot of work here at Wyatt’s Hideaway and it shows. Looking really nice!
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A Day In Spearfish Canyon

Yep, another beautiful day! It started out partly cloudy but around 60, and later the sun came out. We saw some more of South Dakota’s beautiful scenery – this time in Spearfish Canyon. There are also some neat waterfalls to be seen. Up by Roughlock Falls was another place where they did some shooting on the film Dances With Wolves. We ate a great lunch in Savoy at the Latchstring Inn. You know it’s a great place when you walk by a couple of tables of ladies playing bridge as you’re being seated. The walls had some of the local (stuffed) animals – like a bison, golden eagle, mountain lion and some bighorn sheep, white tail deer, mountain goats and elk. It also came with a beautiful view of the mountainside. Golden eagles are quite common in Spearfish Canyon. I saw at least 10, but didn’t get a picture of one. The sides of the canyon are very high and steep, and close to the road – makes it difficult to photograph – at least with the lens we had today. This was an area where there was some early hydroelectric activity in the canyon. The road going through the canyon by the way was originally the old railroad bed and was a stop on the way to or from Yellowstone. We plan on going back through again, from the other direction!
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Devil’s Tower

viewFromBelleFourche(The photo on the left is the view from Belle Fourche.)
We started out from Belle Fourche this morning planning on going to Spearfish for some sightseeing. The owner of our campsite, Kent Wyatt, had told us about a route where we could see part of Montana as well as Wyoming. We decided to take the longer route and took off that way instead. As usual, it was a beautiful ride. Except when we got into Montana there weren’t many mountains (as I had expected) and the more we rode the more it was the same, the same, the same, zzzzz…..wait, we went too far. Kent had told us to turn onto Route 112 and we missed it.  So we turned around and quite a bit later we found the correct turnoff. And also a gas station that thankfully had a restroom.  This was a much more scenic route, and after a little bit we were in Wyoming, and a little after that we saw Devil’s Tower. It is an amazing site to see!01_DevilsTower 1_DevilsTower DevilsTower DevilsTower_2 DevilsTower_3 sideofDevilsTower

It was also beautiful from the other side and along side of it going in 🙂
Another blessed day!! We were pretty worn out when we got back and both took naps 🙂 So nice to have the time to do so!