Posts Tagged With: photo

Backroads Across America: Squeezing in Our Campground

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We’re spending the night in southern Virginia where spring is just beginning to show its colors.  Our campsite was surrounded by trees, but there was barely a leaf to be seen.  It looked quite winter-like.

A good night for what Reg calls “Comfort Food.”

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Although he rolled his eyes when I dropped this in our grocery cart the other day, we thoroughly enjoyed our Deluxe Kraft Macaroni & Cheese dinner, incredibly easy to make with the enclosed packet of squeeze cheese!

And what better way to dine on this gourmet delight than from good old fashioned TV trays!  Bon Appétit!

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Backroads Across America: Georgia offers State Park stay

 Yesterday we managed to reserve Saturday (tonight) and Sunday night in FD Roosevelt State Park in the beautiful state of Georgia.  I suspect we may have snagged the last spot available for the weekend.  After I checked us in (and realized we had lost yet another hour when crossing the border into Georgia), I was handed a yellow tag and sent in search of an empty campsite with a matching yellow, tag-free pole to stake our claim.  


What a surprise to have found this site so easily.  We quickly set up camp and sat down to enjoy the view.  Knowing we have two days here allows for some much needed R&R for Reg.  We’ve come over 3,500 miles and in another week will meet up with our son Chris and his girlfriend Gail.  After that, we’ll begin to think about the return trip.  Until then, we have much more to see!


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Backroads Across America: Historic Natchez, Mississippi

Perched on the bluffs above the Mississippi River is the historically rich town of Natchez.  The area was home to the Natchez Indians when the French arrived in 1716.   Soon after, with the arrival of English and Spanish settlers, the inevitable territorial tug-of-war began.

In 1797, the first American flag was raised and the Mississippi Territory was established.  Statehood followed in 1817.

Natchez is proud of its history and a great number homes and buildings date back to the late 1700’s and early 1800’s.  Its proximity to the Mississippi River and fertile, cotton producing land created great wealth for landowners in the early days.  However, it’s important to remember the riches came at a great cost.  Slavery allowed the landowners to become rich beyond their wildest dreams.  By 1860, Natchez had more millionaires per capita than any other U.S. City.   Life for most came to a screeching halt with the end of the Civil War.  Fortunes were lost, plantations were returned to the banks and the cotton markets never completely recovered.

By chance, we arrived in Natchez during the annual Spring Pilgrimage month when many of the historic homes are open to the public.  Above is Brandon Hall, dating back to 1856.  This dapper gentleman on the right greeted us as we began our tour, filling us in on the history of what used to be a working plantation.  The home currently operates as a bed and breakfast. 

Below is a view of the pond from the front yard.

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Backroads Across America: Texas’ Tallest Peak

Texas’ Guadalupe Mountains National Park commanded our attention today.

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Backroads Across America: Apache Territory


We hadn’t planned on spending so much time in Arizona, but after a chance conversation with another couple several days ago, we found ourselves exploring the Chiricahua (Cheer-i-ka-wa) Mountain region of southeastern Arizona.  As the U.S. expanded westward, establishing a southern route to San Francisco brought the U.S. Army into direct conflict with the Chiricahua Apaches (including such famous figures as Cochise and Geronimo) who claimed the land as their own.  Chiricahua National Monument and Fort Bowie National Historic Site were  both well worth a couple extra days in this wind blown part of the state.

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Chiricahua National Monument offers early morning rides to the top of Echo Canyon from the Visitor Center. We took full advantage of the opportunity, enjoying a leisurely 4 mile walk back through towering pinnacles that seem to defy gravity.

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A short drive up a dirt road led us to the trailhead for the mile and a half hike to the remains of Fort Bowie (Boo-y) where we would learn the history of the 20 year fight for control of Apache Pass.  Markers along the trail told the history of the tumultuous times.  Both Americans and and Apache are memorialized in the small cemetery.

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Backroads Across America: Icons of the Southwest



With time to fill between stops in Arizona, we took a short detour toward the Rincon Mountain District and Saguaro National Park (East).  Unfamiliar with what the park offered, we once again found ourselves leading the trailer along a narrow, scenic 8-mile loop through a historic cactus forest.  It felt a little bit like a ride at Disneyland as we slowly followed along, single file behind other park visitors.  We were pleased to find a number of pull-out spaces roomy enough to allow us to stop and take in the views.



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Backroads Across America: Driving with confidence

As I paid our entrance fee at Jerome State Historic Park in southern Arizona I heard the couple behind me asking Reg if we were driving the truck and trailer they saw winding along up the road in front of them.  They just may have thought we were nuts!


The old copper mining town of Jerome is literally perched on a mountainside high above the Verde River Canyon and accessed via a steep, narrow two-lane road.  However, the State Park, with its rich history of the local mining industry and the family who owned it all, was well worth the white knuckle drive.

In 1914, the Little Daisy Mine in Jerome produced $10 million dollars in copper, silver and gold. Owner James S. Douglas built his mansion (pictured above) in 1916.  It has been refurbished and now serves as a museum for the park, featuring photos, artifacts and more.

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Backroads Across America: One last look back

As we said goodbye to the West Coast yesterday and drove south toward warmer climates, I had to share one last look at what we left behind.  Mt. Shasta rose magnificently above the clouds as we sped down the interstate. 

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A different kind of change in Chico

Can you spare some change? These machines in downtown Chico, California, ask passersby to reduce panhandling and help the needy. Feed the machine a few coins or a donation from your credit/debit card. A green light blinks for a time, depending on the amount of your donation. The money goes to local agencies that help those in need.

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Portland…after the storm

Portland got dumped on Tuesday and Wednesday. The expected 3-4 inches of snow piled up into a good foot of the white stuff, sending the city to a screeching halt for the rest of the week.
We stubbornly refused to postpone our scheduled trip, and arrived yesterday (Friday) to icy roads and slippery sidewalks…but beautiful blue skies Saturday morning. Cold, but otherwise perfect weather for a little urban hiking.

A beautiful, but cold day along the Portland waterfront.

I spot the telltale signs of past benchwarmers.

This woman has the right idea!

Enjoying the brilliant sunshine on a cold winter day.

 

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