Tag Archives: #Travel series

America’s North Country Trip~Part 5

11 Oct

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

 

 

 

Day 5 (Tuesday)

This morning I headed west again on I-94 a short distance, to visit the Fort Lincoln Trolley Co. located in Mandan, ND. This is an attraction that utilizes 1890s open-air trolleys that travel from the old Third Street Station in downtown Mandan to the Fort Lincoln State Park and back. Since they weren’t open and I didn’t have the time to wait for the next trolley (1:00pm), I saved that ride for another trip.

 

 

While I was there in Mandan, I decided to check out the North Dakota State Railroad Museum. This turned out to be another small museum which was also closed. Their website indicates the museum displays mostly local railroad memorabilia; however, they do have several nicely restored items of rolling stock outside.

 

 

On the way to my next museum, I saw a sign for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and decided to stop in and see what it was all about. The park is located in western North Dakota where the Great Plains meet the rugged Badlands. There wasn’t much to see from the Visitor’s Center, and I didn’t want to take the time to drive around the “Loop” which would have passed the Maltese Cross Cabin where President Roosevelt once lived.

 


After using the restroom there at the Visitor’s Center, I continued west for a visit at the Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum located in Medora, ND. This museum tells the story of the northwest plains horse and cattle culture which is a unique way of life in western America, and includes the Native Americans of the area, Western Ranching and Rodeo history.

 

 

 

 

In the Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductees area I saw several photos mentioning the “North Dakota Six Pack” of Rodeo champions spanning the 1850s-1960s, when North Dakota rodeo riders ruled the National Rodeo Circuit. When I asked the curator where I could find additional information about these men, she directed me to the “Cowboy Café down the street, where the wife of one of the sons of a “Six pack” was the owner.

 

 

 

So I walked down to the Cowboy Café and ordered one of their special Buffalo Burgers. I asked the waitress if the owner was there, and she said she would get her from the kitchen. It turned out that she was the daughter of Thomas J. Tescher, who was one of the “North Dakota Six Pack” champions. His family had been cattle ranchers there in North Dakota for generations. She was very nice and gave me a quick run-down of the family history and their involvement in the National Rodeo Circuit. Her father, Tom, one of 15 Tescher children, entered his first rodeo at age 17 and went on to be ranked in the top 10 saddle bronc riders from 1955 to 1958, and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in Dallas in 1959.

 

 

Note: “The North Dakota Six Pack” was a group of North Dakota rodeo competitors who dominated the national rodeo scene during the 1950s and 1960s. They included (L to R Below) Tom Tescher, Duane Howard, Dean Armstrong, Joe Chase, Jim Tescher, and Alvin Nelson.

 

 

With a full tummy, I now headed west again, crossing the border into Montana, to visit the Wibaux Railroad Museum located in the little town of Wibaux, MT. This museum turned out to be one train car (the museum) one caboose, and a monument sign telling about Pierre Wibaux, the founder of the town of Wibaux.

 

 

Heading west again, I next visited the Frontier Gateway Museum located in Glendive, MT. This was a small museum that was a mix of displays including fossils recovered from the local area, Native American artifacts, homesteader’s items, settler’s tools, cattlemen’s paraphernalia, and Northern Pacific railroad information.

 

 

Located just down the street was the Glendive Dinosaur & Fossil Museum. This museum has more than 23 full-sized dinosaur and fossil exhibits. It claims to be the largest dinosaur and fossil museum in the United States to present its fossils in the context of biblical history. This unique museum also sponsors “Dig-for-a-day” fossil digs in the badlands close to Glendive, which gives participants an opportunity to experience paleontology first hand as they learn how to identify, collect and interpret fossils from a Biblical creationist’s perspective.

 

 

While I was in Glendive, I stopped by to check out the Makoshika State Park. The word Makoshika (Ma-ko-shi-ka) is a variant spelling of the Lakota phrase meaning “bad land” or “bad spirits.” The park was closed and from the map at the visitor’s center, there didn’t seem to be much to see. So I headed for the motel, to get checked-in and look for a place to eat.

 

 

The motel clerk recommended CC’s Family Café down the road, so I headed that way and enjoyed their delicious Ground Beef Steak dinner which included green beans, mashed potatoes & gravey with Apple Crisp for dessert. Very satisfying!

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

Circuitous Travel~Part 5

10 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

After a wonderful breakfast at the St. Valery Guest House in Edinburgh, we loaded up the car and headed to Wales.

Looking at the map, it is quite a distance from Edinburgh to the Eastern border of Wales. It has been so many years since we made this trip, that I honestly don’t remember all the towns and villages we passed through getting to Wales. I have a “log” where I wrote down where we went each day, and what we saw, but there are only two entries for this particular day.   I guess those two cities, with castles, were the main focus of our day.

And so, I will tell you what we saw that day. It was so awesome…and we enjoyed ourselves so much. I have not mentioned before that one of the things that has interested me and thrilled me so much on this trip – is all the castles and ruins that we have seen that were built by the Normans! And they are still standing! Many years ago, Fred and I made a trip to Greece, and the feeling of awe that I experienced there is much the same as it was on this trip to England, Scotland, and Wales. All these structures have been in existence for hundreds and hundreds of years – and are still standing! I remember Fred sitting on the stump of a column in Athens, on the Acropolis, and knowing that those buildings were there when Jesus walked the earth…and they are still standing! We stood on Mars Hill, where Paul preached his sermon. Yes, some structures or most are in ruins, but they are still there, to remind us of what was. Amazing!

 

Fred sitting in the priests seats in Dionysus Amphitheater at the foot of the Acropolis

In any case, our first stop in Wales was in the town on Conwy. It is on the north coast of Wales. From a website on the castles of Wales, I learned:

Jeff Thomas, author:

Words cannot do justice to Conwy Castle. The best, simple description is found in the guidebook published by CADW, the Welsh Historic Trust, which states: “Conwy is by any standards one of the great fortresses of medieval Europe.” Conwy along with Harlech is probably the most impressive of all the Welsh castles. Both were designed by Edward I’s master castle builder James of St. George, and while Harlech has a more storied past, Conwy’s eight massive towers and high curtain wall are more impressive than those at Harlech.

 

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas – Conwy Castle

 

 Unlike Harlech however, Conwy Castle and town are surrounded by a well-preserved wall lending an additional sense of strength to the site. Conwy’s well-preserved wall helps the town maintain a medieval character lost by other Welsh castle-towns over the years. Construction of Conwy began in 1283. The castle was an important part of King Edward I’s plan of surrounding Wales in “an iron ring of castles” to subdue the rebellious population. The highly defensible wall Edward built around the town was intended to protect the English colony planted at Conwy. The native Welsh population were violently opposed to English occupation of their homeland.

 

Conwy Castle entrance and bridge

 

Mr. Thomas continues:   Conwy is a town that time has simply chosen to pass by. Despite a few modern shops, Conwy still looks very similar to the town Edward envisioned some 700 years ago. The ancient town walls, castle and simple streets offer very little to remind the visitor of the modern world. Conwy is something of a paradox. Originally a symbol of English domination of Wales, in time the Welsh managed to reclaim the town, replacing English oppression with its own medieval character. Only at Conwy and St. Davids did we get the feeling of being transported back to ancient Wales.

 

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

 

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

 

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 4

3 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 As an aside about Loch Lomond: Many years after this 1983 trip, Fred and I took a bus tour of England/Scotland with Fred’s parents and one of his sisters and her husband. I remember, as we passed by Loch Lomond, Fred’s parents were singing together the lovely song about the Loch, which was published in 1841. Here is the familiar chorus:

 

Oh, ye’ll tak the high road, and I’ll tak the low road,

And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye;

But me and my true love will never meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

 

As Fred read this post (he’s my first reader and gives suggestions and catches any mistakes or quirky stuff I do), he asked that I mention to you that, when he and his sister heard his parents singing this song, they both had tears in their eyes. It was a beautiful and memorable moment for them. One neither of them have forgotten.

Leaving Loch Lomond, we began our way back to Edinburgh. We passed through Luss. Of interest to me, I found on Google Search and Wikipedia:

Saint Kessog brought Christianity to Luss at some uncertain date in the ‘Dark Ages’. A number of early medieval and medieval monuments survive in the present churchyard, including simple cross-slabs which may date to as early as the 7th century AD, and a hogback grave-cover of the 11th century. A well-preserved late medieval effigy of a bishop is preserved within the modern church. The present Church of Scotland place of worship was built in 1875 by Sir James Colquhoun, in memory of his father who had drowned in the loch in December 1873. The church is noted for its online services as well as for holding over one hundred weddings per year, most from outside the parish. Luss is the ancestral home of Clan Colquhoun. [Remember – I mentioned recently that my ancestral history is the Colquhoun clan! Wish I had known that when we were on this trip!!]

Here is a picture of the Luss Parish Church. Beautiful!

 

Credit: Luss_Parish_Church_By wfmillar, CC BY-SA 2.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=14350248

 

Still within the Loch Lomond area, is Tarbert. There is a castle there, as well. Here is some information I gleaned from Google Search and Wikipedia:

The castle at Tarbert was originally an iron age fort and was subsequently fortified by Robert the Bruce. By the 18th century it was in disrepair and most of the stone was re-cycled into expanding the port and the local houses.

 

 

From Tarbert, we drove through Crianlarich. Here’s some info on it, again from Wikipedia:

Crianlarich has been a major crossroads for north and westbound journeys in Scotland since mediaeval times. In the 1750s, two military roads met in the village; in the 19th century, it became a railway junction on what is now the West Highland Line; in the 20th century it became the meeting point of the major A82 and A85 roads. As such, it is designated a primary destination in Scotland, signposted from as far as Glasgow in the south, Perth in the east, Oban in the west and Fort William in the north…. Crianlarich is very popular with hillwalkers….In 2001, the village had a population of 185.

From Crianlarich, we drove through Callander and back through Stirling, and finally back to Edinburgh and a peaceful night in St. Valery’s Guest House – our final night’s stay in that lovely B&B.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

White Mountains, New Hampshire~Covered Bridges and Waterfalls

29 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

It was peak fall colors in Lincon, New Hampshire. We arrived at Rivergreen Resort right on the Pemigewasset river. Our home for 2 weeks. It was breathtaking. We set out on the Kancamagus Highway to see the beauty of the White Mountains.

 

 

 

We set out to photograph the fall colors, covered bridges and water falls. Being from Florida this was breathtaking beauty. It was cold, rainy and overcast. A disappointment to most, but perfect for photography.

 

One of the first places we explored was Sabbaday Falls.

 

 

The falls were spectacular. There was much more to the park. It was all amazing. We spent most of the day there.

The next day we went to North Woodstock to see Clark’s Bridge.

 

 

 

Clark’s Bridge

Location: East of U.S. Route 3 in Clark’s Trading Post on Clark’s Short Steam Railroad

Clark’s Bridge was originally built in Barre, Vermont, in 1904 as a part of the Barre Railroad, to span the Winooski River. In 1960 the railroad line and the covered bridge were abandoned. The bridge was dismantled in East Montpelier and taken to its present site. The bridge was reassembled on dry land next to the Pemigewasset River. It was positioned over the river in 1965 and is still used as a part of Clark’s Short Steam Railroad. It appears to be the only Howe railroad bridge left in the world. Howe Truss; 116 feet long.

Our next covered bridge is the Saco River Bridge

 

Saco River Bridge

East Side Street

Conway, NH, 03818

Location: 0.4 miles north of the junction routes 16 and 153 on east side of road. In Conway Village go north on Washington Street and turn right at the fork; this is East Side Road.

This bridge, built in 1890 by Charles Broughton and his son, Frank, carries East Side Road over the Saco River a short distance north of Conway Center. In 1850s, Jacob Berry and Peter Paddleford built a covered bridge to replace a crudely framed log bridge that had collapsed at this site. The 1850 bridge stood until the Swift River covered bridge crashed into it in 1869 after that bridge was swept from its abutments. The bridge was rebuilt by Allen and Warren of Conway but it was destroyed again by a tannery fire in 1890. The existing structure replaces the one destroyed by the fire. Paddleford truss with added arches; 224 feet long. There is a small parking lot on the northeast side of the bridge.

Next is the Swift River Bridge

 

 

Location: One-half mile north of N.H. Route 16 at Conway Village

The first bridge at this site, crossing the Swift River, was built in 1850. In 1869, it was swept off its abutments by the raging Swift River and it rode downstream into the Saco River, where it crashed into the Saco River bridge. Debris from both bridges was salvaged and used in rebuilding this bridge. In 1974, the bridge was bypassed in favor of a new concrete and steel structure. Paddleford truss with arch; 133 feet long.

We visited a very interesting town called Bath.

 

 

 

The Bath Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge over the Ammonoosuc River off US 302 and NH 10 in Bath, New Hampshire. The bridge, built in 1833 by the town of Bath, has a span of over 390 feet and a roadbed that is just over 22 feet wide.

The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The bridge was closed to traffic in October 2012 for safety, structural, and cosmetic reasons. After 21 months and $3 million in repairs, it re-opened in August 2014.

There is a famous place in Bath called The Brick Store, believed to be one of the oldest continually-operated general stores in America. Unfortunately, I believe it may have closed since I visited it several years ago.

 

 

 

Another beautiful place to visit it the Rocky Gorge scenic area. 

 

 

There is a foot bridge over the gorge. The foot path on the other side of the bridge gradually ascends a small rise to Falls Pond. Located eight miles west of Conway on the Kancamagus Highway.

 

 

We are the World’s People. That was the Shakers’ name for everyone not a Shaker.

Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury

You can visit the village. It’s a unique architectural and historical treasure nestled in the rollling hills of New Hampshire, with plenty of crafts, foods and gifts to buy.

One more place I would like to share is Echo Lake State Park .

 

 

 

 

One of the popular activities here is mountain climbing. There are eight mountain climers in this picture above.

From the scurrying chipmunks to magnificent water falls, the white mountains are a place of Gods beauty.

 

 

 

Please join me next week to parts unknown.

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Circuitous Travel~Part 4

27 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

After another good nights rest and breakfast at the St. Valery Guest House in Edinburgh, we took a bus tour of Edinburgh. We usually like to do that – take an official tour of whatever city we are in, then later, explore it on our own. The tour might take us to places and areas that we might not find on our own.

The tour took us to the Edinburgh Castle,

 

                                   The castle from the street below

 

                                    Main Gate to the Castle

 

                                   Battlements

 

Palace Holyrood,

 

 

St. Giles Cathedral.

 

                                  Credit Google Search

 

We were fascinated by it all. We were impressed to find a soldiers dog cemetery on the grounds.

 

 

While Fred’s ancestral family is from near Perth (actually Forgendenny in Perthshire), I’ve recently discovered that my ancestral family is from the southwest part of Scotland, Galloway. I didn’t know that then, or we might have made a special trip to that part of Scotland.

After the bus tour, we got in our car and did a driving trip around. We left Edinburgh and drove by the Firth of Forth bridges to Stirling. From Google search I found:

Stirling is a city in central Scotland. At the heart of its old town, medieval Stirling Castle is on a craggy volcanic rock. On the Abbey Craig outcrop, the National Wallace Monument is a 19th-century tower. It overlooks the site of the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge, where William Wallace defeated the English. The Battle of Bannockburn Experience has interactive 3D displays on the history of the 1314 conflict.

 

Here’s a picture of the Stirling Castle:

 

                          Stirling Castle – Lt.Wikipedia.org – Google search

 

We drove through Thornhill. From Google Search, I found:

Thornhill lies on the main A76 road from Dumfries to Kilmarnock as it follows Nithsdale north through the Southern Uplands. Its broad streets meet at a small roundabout on which you find the focal point of the village, the Mercat Cross [Scot for Market Cross].

The origins of Thornhill might date as far back as the Romans, who built a road through Nithsdale and a fort a little to the north at Carronbridge. By the 1600s there was an established settlement here, complete with a mill, though a wooden bridge over the River Nith built in the 1400s to provide a route to the west had already been lost in a flood.

I also found that there is a monument there to the explorer Joseph Thomson (after whom the Thomson’s Gazelle is named).

From Thornhill, we drove through the towns of Aberfoyle, Dryman, Balloch (where there is a castle situated at the southern tip of Loch Lomand), and Jamestown (which is rapidly becoming part of Balloch). Unfortunately, we apparently didn’t take any pictures of these towns.

We had wanted to see Loch Lomond, and we did, stopping only to take a few pictures.

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Circuitous Travel~Part 3

20 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL – PART 3 continued

And so we left Edinburgh, went through Queensferry

 

Credit Google Search

to go over the Forth Bridge which goes over The Firth of Forth, an estuary of several Scottish rivers, and on to Dunfermline. Here are a few pictures we took of the Forth Bridge (for trains),

 

the bridge for trains and cars,

 

 

and the bridge for cars.

Again, from Wikipedia I gleaned: Dunfermline – The town was first recorded in the 11th century, with the marriage of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, and Saint Margaret at the church in Dunfermline. As his Queen consort, Margaret established a new church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, which evolved into an Abbey under their son, David I in 1128. Following the burial of Alexander I in 1160, the abbey graveyard confirmed its status as the burial place of Scotland’s kings and queens up to and including Robert The Bruce in 1329.

 

We found it to be a fascinating place to see. The ruins are beautiful, as is the current church, which is still in use.

 

The Church yard

 

Abbey & Palace – credit BikELove

 

Abbey & Palace – credit Historic Environment Scotland

 

Credit Google Search and TripAdvisor

From Dunfermline, we drove to Falkland Palace and Garden. Here are a few pictures we took there.

 

Palace entrance

 

Falkland Palace

 

From the Falkland Palace website, I found: Falkland was the country retreat of the Stewart kings and queens of Scotland, located within easy reach of Edinburgh, yet far enough distant to provide a welcome escape. Here the royal court could indulge in hawking and hunting, plus more genteel recreations like archery. Falkland boasts the oldest real (or ‘royal’) tennis court in the world, built in 1539 for James V.

The Falkland Gardens are quite beautiful, but are relatively new, being laid out in 1947.

From Falkland Palace and Garden, we finally arrived in St. Andrews on the coast.

 

 

After wandering around the golf course and the original golf club house, we purchased some goodies for ourselves as mementoes. We purchased a cashmere scarf; I purchased some Gunn Clan pins (Fred is a direct descendent of the Gunn Clan);

 

Credit Google Search

 

Fred purchased a Gunn Clan tie, which he still wears proudly. Here is a swatch of the Gunn Clan tartan. We think it is quite beautiful.

 

 

We were told there, that when a Scot female marries, she is not allowed to wear her husband’s tartan. She is always associated with her father’s tartan. Interesting.

We returned to Edinburgh, where we walked around the town a bit and shopped, as well. I purchased a Gunn Clan book; a Gunn Clan pin and necklace; and one meter of the Gunn Clan tartan. I intended to make some garment for our daughters. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t get that done until this past Christmas. I made a long scarf for each of them, with self fringe. They are delighted with it.

Also in all of this shopping – especially for the tartan, I discovered that I have a family tartan, as well. It is the Colquhoun Clan – very similar to our American word/name of Calhoun. The tartan is very similar to the Gunn tartan, with similar colors. I think it’s pretty, as well.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Florida Travel~Blowing Rocks Preserve

1 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Blowing Rocks Preserve    574 S Beach Rd, Hobe Sound, FL 33455

Blowing Rocks Preserve is an environmental preserve on Jupiter Island in Hobe Sound, Martin County, Florida. It is owned by The Nature Conservancy. It contains the largest Anastasia limestone outcropping on the state’s east coast.

 

 

 

The dark, jagged rocks are a specific type of sedimentary rock called Anastasia limestone.

 

 

Scientists disagree on exactly how far inland the limestone extends, exactly when it was formed (most likely around 120,000 years ago, in the Pleistocene Age) and whether it was formed by a single event or by multiple changes in sea level.

A few things scientists can agree on:

Anastasia limestone extends along Florida’s coast from St. Augustine to Boca Raton, and

Blowing Rocks Preserve harbors the largest outcropping on the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

The exposed rock at the preserve is unusual, not because Anastasia limestone is particularly rare, but because it is commonly found either underground or underwater.

 

 

Also known as coquina, from the Spanish for cockleshell, Anastasia limestone is composed primarily of shell and coral fragments, fossils and sand. Small fossils are clearly visible in the rock faces, most commonly the shells of small clams and oysters or pieces of a large snail called Busycon.

Why is so much of the limestone above ground at Blowing Rocks? No one knows. The land here might have once been part of an exposed sand ridge or the top of a reef, or for some other reason higher than surrounding areas.

At their height in winter, the Blowing Rocks are worth a visit in every season. The wind- and wave-carved limestone forms chimneys and shelves, burrows, blow holes and rocky pools. These offer great opportunities for exploration and imagination, as well as a rare window into Florida’s natural history.

 

 

You may want to check the tide schedule for Jupiter Island.

When the tide is high the water shoots up holes in the rocks. It can be a spectacular sight.

 

 

It is also beautiful to visit at low tide when you can walk the beach and explore the rocks and caves.

 

 

There are some great places in this area to enjoy. One of the places I liked was

Coral Cove Park    19450 County Hwy 707, Tequesta, FL 33469

 

 

This beach also had rocks at low tide, but it also had a nice sandy swimming beach. Coral Cove Park is a waterfront park located in Tequesta, Florida, right outside the city of Jupiter at 19450 State Road 707, Tequesta, FL. Excellent park with beach access. Facility has restrooms and a shower to wash the salt and sand off after a day at the beach. Lots of parking.

​​​​​Carlin Park 400 S. S.R. A1A Jupiter, Florida was another very nice beach park.

Carlin Park is a great place to spend the day. It has many amenities including a beach that has lifeguards. There are pavilions for picnics, a nice small restaurant with good food, a playground for the children. I have been taking my family there for years and it is always well maintained; a very pleasant place to bring the family.

There is a beautiful lighthouse and museum that is a must.

Jupiter Lighthouse and Museum

If you love to beach hop, take a beach tour on your way back home. Start from Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse A1A to S. Beach Rd and follow it north to SE Bridge Rd back to I-95, stopping at all the beautiful beach accesses and explore each beach along the way. Most of them are uncrowded quiet beaches.

 

 

Please visit next week as we leave Florida and go to Savannah and Tybee Island Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Florida Travel~Sanibel

18 Jul

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Oh Sanibel. I love this place. The white sand beaches and beautiful clear water are spectacular.

 

 

We so enjoyed our stay there.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34481-Activities-Captiva_Island_Florida.html

Sanibel is a city on Sanibel Island in southwest Florida. One of the features on the island is a beach with a fishing pier called Lighthouse Beach.

 

 

The Causeway Beaches are a water-sports hub and have picnic facilities.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge covers about half of the island. Popular for wildlife enthusiast and bird watching.

The Sanibel Island Light or Point Ybel Light was one of the first lighthouses on Florida’s Gulf coast. The towering, 19th-century Sanibel Lighthouse and a boardwalk winds through marshes.

 

 

The light, 98-foot above sea level, on an iron skeleton tower was first lit on August 20, 1884 and has a central spiral staircase beginning about 10 feet above the ground. It is located on the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, and was built to mark the entrance to San Carlos Bay for ships calling at the port of Punta Rassa, across San Carlos Bay from Sanibel Island.

 

 

The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

 

 

The northern part of Sanibel is a little quaint town of Captiva. Different than the lower part. Colorful shops and restaurants. The beaches seem to be even better.

 

 

Below is a list of things to do.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34481-Activities-Captiva_Island_Florida.html

One of my favorite events was the Sanibel Thriller boat ride. If you love dolphins you will be delighted to see them riding the boats waves and jumping out of the water. It’s a bit of trouble to get there, but so worth it.

 

 

Join me next week for a trip to the Keys.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Florida Travel~Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

19 Jun

A Time to LIve

Melody Hendrix

 

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a Florida State Park located near Palm Coast, Florida, along A1A just a short distance north of Ponce Inlet .

 

 

 http://www.washingtonoaks.org/

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd.

Palm Coast, Florida 32137

(386) 446-6780

 

The park is most famous for its formal gardens.

 

It also preserves the original habitat of a northeast Florida barrier island.

 

The park has such amenities as beaches (on both the Matanzas River and Atlantic Ocean), bicycling, fishing, hiking, picnicking areas and wildlife viewing. The original residence has been converted into a visitor center with interpretive exhibits.

The Park’s eastern boundary holds  outcroppings of coquina rock , creating a picturesque boulder-strewn beach. It is full of swirling, sculptured coquina rocks piled along the beach, some sporting circular holes, others forming bowls that create tide pools for snails and anemones.

This unusual beach in Florida is a well-kept secret, hoarded by the locals who refer to it as “The Rocks”.

 

 

One quick stop just before Matanzas is Marineland. Hurricanes Floyd and Irene in 1999 forced the park to close for two months. In 2003, all of the park buildings west of Highway A1A were demolished leaving only the original structures along the Atlantic Ocean. In 2004, the park closed completely for renovations, and reopened on March 4, 2006. In January 2011, Marineland was sold again and is currently being operated as a subsidiary of Georgia Aquarium. The facility, now named Marineland Dolphin Adventure, offers several dolphins encounters, educational programs, and conducts research to help care for marine life in human care and in the wild.

The park has a nice boardwalk and restrooms. The beach is also strewn with outcroppings that appear at low tide.

 

 

A little farther north on A1A is Matanzas Inlet. 

It is a channel in Florida between barrier islands connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the south end of the Matanzas River. The inlet is not stabilized by jetties, and thus is subject to shifting.

 

The above picture shows the inlet at low tide and across it is the Matanzas Monument location. It was designated a United States National Monument on October 15, 1924.

Below is a link to the forts history

https://www.nps.gov/foma/learn/historyculture/the_massacre.htm

Hurricane Matthew caused damage. Below, shows (Sept. 6, 2014) and after (Oct. 13, 2016)  the damage hurricane Matthew did to this area. The storm cut a new inlet between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River near St. Augustine, Florida, stripping away a 12-foot dune and carrying sand into the estuary and altered a part of the northeast Florida coastline.

 

Matanzas Inlet is still a beautiful place. One of the treasures that draws me to this place is the sand. With the changing of tides and blending of the swift moving bodies of water, the patterns in the sand are truly master pieces that are sculpted everyday. Tide pools trap interesting creatures to explore. Lots of birds dine on the abundant food available. This area is loved by fishermen.

 

The rocks that add to the unusual look for a Florida beah appear and disappear with the tide.

 

You must be aware of the tides on the south side of the inlet. You can be trapped by incoming tides and forced to exit through private property.

 

There is beauty in all sides of the bridge. The inlet side, and the beach side. There is also a long boardwalk and parking on both sides.

If you love beach walks, photography, birding,  beaching, hiking or just exploring, this would be an enjoyable little trip.

Please join me next week on our last northern stop along A1A to St Augustine before we head west to the Suwannee River and some visit some springs.

 

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Peru and the Amazon River~The Final Episode

23 May

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

I hope you have enjoyed sharing this journey with Melody on the Amazon River. I certainly have-Onisha

Sights of the Rainforest

For the last post of the Amazon series, I have included some random sights of the rainforest and land excursions and a little more information about this extrodinary place. Unfortunately, I only have a handful of the wildlife pictures here. We could only view from afar unless they were domesticated.

Behaviourally, Oropendolas are very interesting birds. They make long hanging nests which may provide protection from snakes.

 

 

The birds feel their hanging nests aren’t enough to protect their young, as they often nest around highly dangerous wasps. The wasps offer protection from parasitic species such as cowbirds, which lay their eggs in the nests of others. These parasitic birds often kill the nestlings and force the host-bird to care for their young.

 

 

Below, the Hoatzin (stink bird) is an herbivore, eating leaves and fruits, and has an unusual digestive system with an enlarged crop used for fermentation of vegetable matter.The alternative name of “stinkbird” is derived from the bird’s foul odour, which is caused by the fermentation of food in its digestive system.

 

 

This is a noisy species, with a variety of hoarse calls, including groans, croaks, hisses and grunts. These calls are often associated with body movements, such as wing spreading.

 

 

Water buffalo have been introduced, especially in the flood plains because they can thrive in a wet environment where cattle cannot.

This buffalo was in the water but quickly approached  me to find out what that strange noise was coming from. It was the camera clicking. It was a little nerve racking, but I came out alive.

Below, many sloths were pointed out to us as we explored along the river by boat, but all were a distance away. There is one sloth hanging in this picture.

Sloths are actually lazy with very low metabolisms.

 

 

Sloths sleep from 15 to 18 hours each day! Some even stay in the same tree their entire life. They spend most of their lives upside down.

Sloths are amazing swimmers. They are known to sometimes simply let go from their tree branch and drop into water below for a quick swim. They can move three times faster in water than they can on land.

Capybaras.

 

A constant source of water is important to capybaras, who retreat into murky waters to escape from predators. People eat capybara meat and produce leather from their skin. We often saw them in the villages along the Amazon.

Back to Lima where we spent our first and last day, I walked around a bit to record some of the life in Lima. Quite a large city. This was our hotel view.

 

 

 

Using every bit of space possible, rooftop living is common.

The city was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535. He called it ‘La Ciudad de los Reyes’ (the City of the Kings). It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. And after the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru.

 

 

The buildings are adorned with great history and art.

 

 

Artisans line the streets with their talents.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed your trip to Peru and the Amazon. Thank you for visiting.

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody
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