Grand Canyon and Grand Panic

I try to have all the stuff I put up on this blog be from one week ago… meaning it is old news by the time you read it.  That hopefully gives me a bit more time to sort through stuff and  get it ready to post. (I know it may not look like it… )

But I have to mention the Coronavirus and our travels.  Back a long time ago, (Last week), we were still traveling, and spent time at the Grand Canyon.  Already people were somewhat afraid of each other, so we kept our distances, but there were still lots of people around.  We hiked most all of the South Rim of the canyon, and took tons of pictures.  There were places the dirt/mud trail was only a foot from the edge, and it was hard not to think about how far down the bottom was!  Here are a few of the resulting photos…

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I can’t remember when we were here last, but it was too long ago!  The views are literally breathtaking!

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The first afternoon we were hiking along (Can you call it hiking when the trail is pretty much flat??) and a storm quickly rolled in from the west.  We got a bit of rain, then some very tiny hail!  It passed pretty quickly too, and left us a beautiful rainbow! If you have good eyesight, you might notice a second rainbow too. It was also interesting that the rainbow seemed to be the edge of a bubble – with darkness excluded from the bubble. (Maybe that’s where we should live now… in a bubble with the darkness excluded!)

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Have you ever been fortunate enough to stand taller than a rainbow?

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The bright blue of this beautiful bird doesn’t show up too well here.

 

More odd birds…

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Speaking of odd birds, check out these insanely fearless folks literally living on the edge!

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A brightly colored helicopter flew up from the bottom of the canyon and pretty much right over us, carrying a long skinny parcel at the end of a long line.  From a distance it looked like it might be a stretcher, like maybe it was a rescue of some sort.  But if a sick person was in that basket, instead of inside the nice helicopter, he’d be getting sicker yet, because the basket was spinning slowly.  We decided it was lumber or building supplies.  Then the ‘copter dropped his load somewhere on the South Rim, and flew back for more.  We watched several trips, sometimes with a box, sometimes a bag or two.  We figured that’s how they take the trash out of the bottom of the canyon!

 

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On the day that we were planning on driving out of the Grand Canyon area, we woke up to find two inches of snow everywhere!  Snow sneaks up on you very quietly during the night, so we were certainly surprised.

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We’ve never seen the canyon in the snow, so we decided to drive the almost an hour trip back to the canyon and check it out.  Turns out there really wasn’t any snow in the canyon, but we did see another rainbow!  You will have to look closely at the next two photos to find it.

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Only the end of a rainbow in this one. (Good eyes, Ashlyn and Bryan!)

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Crazy photo man… carrying a tripod 10 miles in hopes of a tiny bit better picture!

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So back to the world now… I know all you have seen grocery stores looking like this.  I’m putting these pictures up to document the craziness of this pandemic world.  I’ve never seen stores like this.  These were a few days ago; it will probably get crazier before it gets better.

 

So from the Grand Canyon we went to Death Valley (I hope that’s not an omen!) and an old ghost town that I fondly remember visiting as an 11 year old.  So next week you will see Death Valley, and the week after that – who knows?  Pictures of us hiding from viruses?  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Kitt Peak

Tucson, Arizona

Our “campground” in Tucson was literally a small city of aluminum and fiberglass homes.  Some with wheels, some with the wheels removed or hidden… in other words, lots of “mobile homes” that aren’t really mobile anymore.  But there were still tons of RV’s: there were more than 1,000 units total in this place. It was all very nice, but a bit too much like a city!

There was even a large scale model train setup!

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Brauers

The Tucson SDA church is pastored by long time friend Jim Brauer. A really wonderful “Grace Filled” church!

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Jim and Janell came to our “house” Saturday evening.  We had a nice dinner and a great time catching up.  Jim told me about the Kitt Observatory, so we headed up there next…

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Kitt Peak National Observatory

Space exploration was all the rage in the 1950’s… and the need/desire for telescopes to investigate the heavens was huge.  All the country’s telescopes were held by universities or privately.  Many European nations had national telescopes, so it was time we (the USA) got one!  This mountain peak about an hour outside of Tucson, Arizona was chosen for the dry weather, high elevation, distance from light pollution and many other reasons. The first telescopes were built here in the late 50’s and early 60’s.  Now there are twenty some telescopes on the peak.  We spent a whole day touring the fascinating telescopes!  There are great night tours, where you could see more than just pictures of what these scopes record, but the tours are booked up quite a ways out. On our next trip through this area we will reserve long ahead to include some super star gazing!

The only sad note is that I seem to have lost all my “real camera” pictures of Kitt Peak.  Sigh.  So you get a few iPhone pictures…

This is the view from the 4 meter telescope.  It is currently attempting to create a 3D map of the visible universe!  It can run a spectral analysis on up to 5,000 stars every 15 minutes; this would previously take individual astronomers years! With this analysis they can decide the composition of the star, and its distance from us and the direction it is moving. The goal is to have all the stars in the northern hemisphere mapped in a 3D model within 5 years… and then to continue with the same apparatus in an observatory in Chile to do the southern hemisphere.

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The names of all the telescopes are on this map… too bad you can’t read them!

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Inside the massive dome of the 4 meter telescope.

 

This is inside the 2.1 meter telescope, the first major optical telescope on Kitt Peak.  One fascinating thing about this instrument is how they “fine tuned” it: they shoot a laser light into the night sky, and create a “false star”. They then analyze its image.  Since they know what it should look like, any interference from the atmosphere that distorts the image can be corrected, giving more accurate images of everything else.  Pretty cool.

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The most unusual telescope is the McMath-Pierce Solar telescope.  Its design is quite unique – one of only a few in the world.  It was created for spectroscopic measurements of the sun, and can see farther into the infrared than any other scope in the world.

Below is a model of its construction: a tall pillar holds three mirrors.  These mirrors reflect the light down a long shaft; two hundred feet long above ground, and three hundred feet below ground.  The light is then bounced back up to the mid point, where it is sent sideways through prisms to create a spectrograph 70 feet long!

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This is looking up at the junction of the tower and the 200 feet of above ground shaft.

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This is from the midpoint, looking up and out to the sky.

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This is looking down from the midpoint, to the mirror on the bottom of the shaft.

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This is the control room for the Solar telescope.  There are some computers that help align mirrors and things… state of the art, for 1960.  All of 64K memory!

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Here is a spectral image just displayed on the wall.

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This massive Solar telescope is now decommissioned.  It will soon be converted into a museum.

 

This is taken through a heavily filtered scope looking at the sun.  You can see a solar protuberance on the top left.

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Our last night in Tucson we had dinner in a cute little Mexican cafe called Seis.  Yes, six.  The name came from 6 very special dishes they are proud of.  Or something like that.  Anyway, the food was really great and the open air dining a lot of fun.

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Next stop: The Grand Canyon.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

To Roswell and Beyond!

Caprock Canyons

This Texas State Park has so much red in the canyons you might think you’re in Colorado!  You can drive or hike – plenty of areas to explore.

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Some ancient Indian artifacts are on display, including this arrangement of Bison skull and many mandibles.

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In the early 1800’s, North America was home to between 3o million and 60 million bison!  Professional hide hunters began “The Great Slaughter” from 1874 to 1878, almost eliminating the whole number!  Mary Ann Goodnight urged her husband to rescue some of the few that had missed extermination, and they grew that herd to over 200 head.  That herd has grown, and is now the Texas State Bison Herd.  They roam the Caprock Canyons, including the campgrounds.

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A bit hard to see, there are six bison behind our motorhome on the lower right.

 

Here is a poster from the 1920’s encouraging people to “Cut Straight thru the heart” of the fertile South Plains…

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Bison aren’t the only critters around; we saw several sharp looking Road Runners.

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Adjoining the campground is a prairie dog village.  Dozens of the little squeakers pop in and out of their holes.

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Ending our time at Caprock with beautiful sunsets.

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Roswell, New Mexico

The “Roswell Incident” occurred in 1947, when a whole host of folks say they saw a saucer-like craft crash land outside of town.  Many people claimed to have picked up scraps of strange metal and other debris.  When taken to the authorities, all the samples vanished, and were replaced with scraps of weather balloons.  Many claim they were threatened with death if they told what happened that day.  Some mysteriously disappeared.

Roswell is now a focal point for all things UFO… with the centerpiece perhaps being the “International UFO Museum.”  (Should we be concerned about the U-Haul in front of the UFO Museum?  Are U-Haul trucks really alien spacecraft in disguise?) (Just getting in the spirit of things here…)

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Inside are scads of reports from those who saw or were involved in evaluating the wreckage.  It’s enough to make you believe in the whole UFO thing, if you are the type to believe in it… whatever…

There are also lots of props from UFO or other science fiction movies.

 

This large exhibit played spooky music, flashed colorful lights, and blew fog from the spinning disk.

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This is a replica of an ancient South American tomb lid.  There is a legend that describes possible nav systems, braking and acceleration controls, oxygen system, and symbols for planets and space travel.  The Mayans seemed to have it all figured out.

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Big Blade!

If you ever want to make your motorhome feel like it’s not so long… watch one of these huge windmill blades going around a corner!  Three blades, about six support cars blocking the highway intersection as they SLOWLY crept around the corner.  These blades are about 120 feet long, making some corners very difficult.  I’ve always wondered how fast the tips of these blades travel when in operation.  Turns out at a typical 10 – 20 rpm, the tips speed along at about 120 mph, but in heavier winds may hit 180 mph!  That explains the frequency of bird strikes… some studies say that wind turbines kill about 300,000 birds annually… but the same study says cats kill over 2,000,000,000!  That’s two billion!

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Faywood

Faywood Hot Springs in New Mexico has several fabulous soaking pools.  It was a popular stage stop in the mid 1800’s, at time even sporting a 50 room hotel.  It burned down, (Very Hot Springs?) and the site has gone through many more changes, resulting in a very rustic “back to nature” feel now.  For privacy reasons I didn’t take pictures of the pools, but there were other interesting features.  Below is a “Stone Circle”, which certainly won’t steal tourists away from Stonehenge, but is still interesting.  I couldn’t find out about its origin – Native American or Cowboy?

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Another puzzle is the Labyrinth, just a path spiraling around and around till it arrives at a rock in the center, where people have donated lots of little treasures.  Or junk.  No clue as to the origin or point of this feature either.

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We had no Bison here, but there were a few crazy loud Peacocks.  This one walked between our car and motorhome, and around the front.  There is a mirror-like panel in the front of the motorhome, placed at just the right height for peacocks to admire themselves in.  And boy did he!  After a while there, he walked down the length of the coach looking at his reflection in the chrome trim strips at the bottom of all the storage doors.

 

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After the sunsets, the stars were absolutely incredible!  I had to try some night photography, and now you have to look at some!

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Oklahoma Again!

Leaving Lincoln

On our last weekend with family in Lincoln, Nebraska, we ate well… maybe even too well for a few here…

 

Cherryl and Casey making music… and a farewell breakfast was fabulous at Green Gateau!

 

Orphan Train Museum

As we headed south (Where we hoped it would be warmer!) we saw signs for the Orphan Train museum, in Concordia Kansas.  If you note the hours on the sign below, it’s closed on Sundays and Mondays.  We didn’t feel it was worth the wait till Tuesday, but we looked around and read up on the Orphan Trains.

In the mid 1800’s, railroads were building lines across the country, and advertisements were sent all over the world, especially Europe, promising “free land” and a chance to start a new life.  Millions arrived in New York and Boston, and could not find work or decent housing.  Work that was found often involved very dangerous machinery, crippling or killing many.  Disease ran rampant and took an amazing number of parents.  With no family system for support, the children became wards of the court.  Many cities, but primarily Boston and New York, had thousands of orphans to deal with.  They arranged for children to be placed on trains headed west, and a different stops they would line the kids up and see who was willing to adopt them.  Many families felt sorry for the poor children, and many wanted children to be workers on their farms…

The Orphan Trains ran from the mid 1800’s till the 1920’s.  Numbers of children involved are hard to document, because records were spotty, and I think no one involved was really proud of what was going on.

Since the museum was closed, we just wandered the grounds, and looked at statues representing children that were adopted in this general area.

 

As we continued south, we decided to drive past Oklahoma City, our original estimate of a stopping spot.  A ways past the city is Ardmore, Oklahoma.  I have a good friend who I thought grew up in Ardmore, (Yep, Darrell, that’s you) so we figured that could be a good stopping spot.  Outside Ardmore is Lake Murray, and we found a very nice campsite here.  We’d thought of maybe two nights here… but it was so nice we extended it to a week!  Right on the lake, almost empty campground, very quiet and nice.

 

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Lake Murray CCC

In 1929 the massive stock market crash precipitated the great depression.  Thousands were out of work, so President Franklin D. Roosevelt came up with federal works programs.  The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) were programs to get people work, and build cool state and national parks.  What a concept!… working for your country and your paycheck, instead of just a governmental handout…

They built in a style called “National Park Rustic”, very strong and fitting naturally into the environment.  Lake Murray has many of the CCC and WPA structures to explore.  Most of the following buildings were erected in 1933-35.

This water tower and pump house was used till the mid 50’s, when it was replaced with a new facility.

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This little building (the pump house?) is locked up and empty.  At least Cherryl thought it was empty… The window on the other side has no bars or glass.  It is very dark inside, and Cherryl stuck her head in to see inside.  The occupant of of the house rushed to the window from the inside – and she screamed dramatically as a huge buzzard stopped a few inches from her face!  When she got out of the way, her new friend perched on a neighboring tree.

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Lots of old cabins are in one large area, close to the original office building.

 

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Tucker Tower was originally built hoping to be a retreat for Oklahoma governors, but that never worked out.  It is now the park’s nature center.  It has a beautiful view of the lake.

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Many of the CCC buildings are made of huge stones, and really do blend in well with the natural environment.

 

This bridge and adjoining shelter is named in honor of E. J. Johnson, CCC project director in Lake Murray from 1935 to 1942.  A beautiful bridge that is not even noticed unless you get off the road and hike through the brush.

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Icing on the Cake

To top off the week, we were going to an awesome vegetarian restaurant we found in Ardmore (Veggies) when we bumped into a gal we’ve known since she played with our daughters in grade school.  So she invited us to dinner at her house – and we had a very nice dinner and time with Chelsea and her great family!

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Plans Change Again!

Well, last week I PROMISED that I’d have lots of good pictures up from our South American trip.  Then we made a last minute decision to make a trip from Houston to Denver and catch the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention… So a lot of the time I thought I’d spend sorting pictures was spent relocating!  But Dear Wife Cherryl did a lot of the driving so I did get to spend some time sifting through pictures, but I’ve had the last two days in meetings so I’m no where near done.  But if you’d like to see the partially done work, it will be in a special page for the whole South American Adventure.  Click HERE to jump to it.  Maybe next week I’ll have it done!

This blog is just for the trip up from Houston.  We broke it into a few relatively reasonable drives-  Monday we drove to see our Son-in-Law’s parents in Keene, Texas and had a good evening with them.  Then a couple more hours down the road and spent the night in a rest stop.  When we opened the refrigerator first thing in the morning, a large glass casserole dish (Full of yummy enchiladas), fell from the top shelf to the bottom glass shelf and the glass exploded!  Not the dish, but the glass cover over the bottom drawer.  What a mess!  It is obviously safety glass, and shattered without leaving huge jagged glass shards, but little pieces went everywhere!  Took quite a while vacuuming and sweeping repeatedly.  Have you every vacuumed out the inside of your refrigerator?

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We spent another night in a little almost abandoned campground in New Mexico.  The sunrise was pretty in spite of the spartan landscape.

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Every once in a while we have to put fuel in our moving house, and it’s easiest at the truck stops.  Here we are playing with the big guys:

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As we drive, we can keep an eye on our “Toad” vehicle through the rear video camera.  With the son coming up directly behind us, I thought the view was nice, so I’m sharing it here:

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Here is a view of our present campsite.  Cherryl took this after a short hike up to the top of a little hill in the park.

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Here is the famous “Peeping Tom Bear” looking into the Colorado Convention Center.  Some of the meetings were fun and others barely tolerable.  That’s the way it goes!

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Then we got to have dinner with longtime friends (and former hygiene team member) Debbie and Mike.  It’s been a good, but busy week!

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Ushuaia

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in South America.  So everything is the southernmost… the pizza place, a pub, whatever, is billed as the southernmost.

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This city is so close to the south pole that the curvature of the earth makes the horizon veer down to the left.  Ha!

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You might notice these were taken from our balcony on the ship… a nice view, inspiring a bit of sailboat envy.  But some of the waters we’ve traversed lately erase small boat envy, at least in this part of the world!

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Airport with a nice backdrop.

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This is Lago Acigami, way south in Argentina.

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So here is the southernmost post office in South America.  If you didn’t get a postcard from us, don’t feel bad.  Nobody else did either.  It was closed.

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Absolutely Amazing Antarctica

We’ve  been blessed with an amazing adventure in Antarctica!  In the Antarctic Peninsula the sun comes up at about 2:15am and goes down at 11:55pm. (At the South Pole, they have one sunrise and one sunset per year!)  The whole time the sun is up is stuffed with awesome vistas!  (As are the other 3 hours… it never gets dark in this summer; only a bright twilight)

The snow is so perfect it looks almost edible… like it may be marshmallow cream (Is that edible?) or frosting.  Icebergs go slowly past our view, sometimes with penguins perched on top.  One berg had a dozen on its flat top – a hundred feet off the water level!  I’m told they climb up using their toenails (Webnails?) and beak like crampons and ice axe.  They like it up there because they have no predators while resting up there.  I think they must have an elevator up the center of the iceberg.

Speaking of Penguin Predators, we’ve seen tons of whales.  Yes, tons.  Mostly Humpback Whales, but I saw a couple of Orcas without a camera to prove it.  And there are birds closer to land who enjoy a Penguin lunch… I met a guy who saw one snatch a Penguin and play tug-of-war with another bird over the meal.  And he showed me the pictures to prove it!

The hardships we have had to endure are plenty…

  1. How can you sleep when it is so beautiful outside?
  2. It’s really cold outside!
  3. How can you take time out to eat when it’s so beautiful outside?
  4. Sometimes it’s really windy outside!
  5. How do you sort through 3,500 some pictures (And counting…)
  6. The Internet is either nonexistent or extremely slow. (You’d think we were at the end of the earth or something!)

Ok, so all of these “hardships” are meaningless… as to the cold and wind – no problem.  I just wore long johns, jeans, a T-shirt, a sweater, two sweatshirts, a jacket, hat and gloves. Simultaneously.  I felt like the Michelin Man.  And while many times we’ve had 60mph winds, many times it has been extremely calm, and the captain and others have repeatedly said they haven’t seen such great weather in the last 3 years.

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The Internet problem is real, however.  So I am trying to put up a couple of pictures, chosen almost at random, and when we get back to the U.S. of A. I will try to pick out my favorite 3,000 or so 😉 and either post them here or print out a book.

 

 

Argentina!

Buenos Aires

We flew to Buenos Aires… a ten hour red-eye flight.  We’ve been spoiled by getting almost automatic upgrades to economy-plus seating, with its extra legroom, on most all flights with United.  But not this one! The flight was really overbooked.  They kept asking for two people booked in first class to give up their seats, in exchange for a first class the next day or economy ON THE SAME FLIGHT, and a $5,000 credit on future flights and 250,000 miles on their account!! And NOBODY wanted to step down. After trying to sleep all night in that cramped seat maybe I understand. If you could afford first in the first place 😎

Getting through immigration took forever, customs was no problem, changing money was even longer (1.5 hours?) and then to get official taxi was a wait too… from touchdown to leaving the airport was over 4 hours. Some kind of record for us!

We had a very nice little hotel in Buenos Aires, and the desk folks were very nice and helpful. We checked in and immediately checked out (as in a nap for 2-3 hours).  When we woke from our nap we walked around the neighborhood and ended up having a fabulous dinner at an Indian restaurant.

Iguazu Falls

The next morning we were back in a different airport, to fly to the Iguazu Falls.  This felt short, being only a 2 hour flight instead of the 10 the night before.

Here is the new airport in Iguazu- it looks like they haven’t bothered to remove the old tower yet.

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There are multiple walking trails leading over, under and around the falls.  I was prepared for amazing, but was not ready for HOW AMAZING these falls are!  “Best in the World” does not do them justice!  There are something like 275 separate falls, but all combine to make an effect that is stunning!  They extend so widely there is no way to see them all at the same time, let alone photograph them.  So you just take 350 or so photos and sort them all out later.

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Some vantage points get you VERY close to the falls – with the result of getting pretty wet.

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We hiked over 7 miles of trails to see these magnificent falls from as many angles as possible.  Below is a very wide angle shot from a distance, but it still only gets 73.4% of the falls. (I measured)

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We were blessed by seeing lots of interesting birds and animals, too.

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There were many beautiful butterflies too…

 

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This one loved Cherryl’s backpack.

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There were coati all over – they apparently get very aggressive and can do a lot of damage to a person trying to feed them.

 

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Wednesday we boarded the Zaandam – one of the “Dam Ships” in the Holland American line.  Just in case we hadn’t seen enough animals, we were greeted with a lobster on our bed!

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Our balcony overlooks the busy commercial harbor – interesting to see the huge cranes shuffling containers around.

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More of Buenos Aires and beyond coming in the next blog…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plethora of Plantations

We spent a couple of days with good friends Jeff and Marilyn in Gulfport, Mississippi.  They have lived out of their RV for about 3 years now!  We had a great time with them – camped side by side: (OK, I was really taking a picture of our rig.  But theirs is next door!)

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I was really hoping we could dine in this elegant establishment, but the timing never worked out…

 

Jefferson Davis Home

We enjoyed a nice long walk 😉 to the last home of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy.

 

This carriage is the last he rode in… posthumously.  It is decorated with rifles and cannon.

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Inside the house is restored to as close as they could to the period.

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A ways behind the house is the cemetery, complete with the tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier.

 

A sign announcing “Snake Crossing” got my attention!

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St Michael church

This church in Convent, Louisiana has been there a while… we were told many slaves and their babies were buried there.

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Poche Plantation

Just down the street from St Michael’s is the Poche Plantation, which just happens to have RV sites on the back of the property.  So now we have lived on a plantation! (for a couple of days…)

The “Big House” was built in the 1870’s, after the civil war, so no slaves toiled here.  It faces the Mississippi River, but there is a huge levee between it and the river.  In 1929, the government was going to build the levee to control the river, and told all the homeowners along the river that they would have to move their homes or demolish them… at the homeowners’ expense!  The owner of this home fought it because of the beauty of the home, and the government paid to have it moved back a safe distance from the new levee!

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Again, it is furnished to the period, with many original pieces still remaining.

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I enjoyed the kid’s rocking horse in the playroom.  (Enjoyed LOOKING at it… they wouldn’t let me try it out)

 

The crystal balls on the bottom of the chandeliers were very popular… ask me sometime for a couple funny stories regarding these.

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The wallpaper in the dining room was very unique, and in bad shape.  The owner talked to manufacturers all over the states and Europe, looking for a similar pattern.  Finally a French company said they didn’t have a similar pattern; they had the original!  They had been the original supplier to the mansion!  They recreated the wallpaper, and that now adorns the walls. It is unusual in that the pattern does not repeat… and there are unique colorful birds here and there, but only one of each bird in the room.

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Poche Plantation at night:

 

Oak Alley Plantation

This is a magnificent antebellum plantation on the other side of the Mississippi.  It is justly famous for many reasons, but most obvious is the namesake walkway through the oak trees to the entrance of the “Big House.”

Ironically, the owners were told they would have to cut away many of the oaks when the levee was to be built.  Power or Prestige prevailed, however… they moved the bank of the river so the Oak Alley would remain undisturbed!

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Photography is not allowed in the house, but this is from the front balcony looking out through the Oak Alley.

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All along the levee were preparations for bonfires, a Christmas tradition along the river.  This one is just opposite the gate to Oak Alley.

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There used to be 20 slave cabins… now there are 6 that have been reconstructed and furnished.

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A tour guide said that the half-moon cutout on the outhouse door indicated it was for the women.  A complete circle, a full-moon, was for the men.  I’d never heard that before.

Lake Charles

A nice lakefront walk houses a small marina and a large park, including a kid’s playground with a climbing house that looked three stories tall!

This represents Captain Johannes Goos, who settled here in 1855 with his wife and seven children.  He was a lumber miller and shipbuilder, and used some of his ships to run the Union blockades during the Civil War.  He built a hospital, and took care of both the Confederate and Union soldiers.  A very good guy, so he gets his statue in the park.

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A walk further along the lake revealed many beautiful homes… maybe today’s version of the plantation “Big Houses.”

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Just in case you think all homes in this part of the world look like plantation “Big Houses”, here are a couple of structures near our Poche Plantation grounds, complete with “ladies room”…

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OK, here is the second picture I’ve posted from inside a Wal*Mart.  This little robot thing was slowly sliding down the isle, with a bright light shining on the rack adjacent it.  It must have been recording shelf content for restocking or inventory purposes.  So what would happen if it approached a person? (Me). It stopped, and turned around and headed elsewhere.  Funny thing; it encountered me again!  I had the poor thing moving all around trying to avoid me.  If this Wal*Mart is poorly stocked, it’s my fault.

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Houston, Texas

So here we are in Houston.  We have a nice site, with the nose pointed right at a little lake.  From inside the motorhome you can’t see any land in front of us – just water.  We can pretend we are still living on a boat.

We’ve seen a heron, many coots, and a couple of turtles enjoying the lake.

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You may notice we have sun covers over the wheels and tires, and over the windshield and front windows.  We are planning on leaving Fudge Ripple here for a bit, while we explore some places we’ve never been before.  We have a huge adventure planned, starting Sunday evening.  I’m hoping we will have sufficient internet coverage to keep posting at least a few pictures for the next few weeks.  So come back next week to see where a ten hour flight south can get us!

 

(The sunsets on our little lake have been fabulous!)

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