Archives for category: Baby Boomer

Yup! I drove FIVE hours roundtrip to try out B’s Cracklin’ BBQ after seeing CBS’s pre-Super Bowl coverage on them and Bryan’s backstory. This young man’s history of smoking meat and cooking goes back generations as he learned how to cook from his family  on a self-sustaining North Carolina farm. He opened his first restaurant in Savannah, Georgia in 2014 which became a great success and tragedy when it burned in 2015 just after being named stone a “Top 50 list of The South’s Best BBQ by Southern Living magazine” and “featured in the June/July 2025 issue of Garden & Gun.”

Be sure to check out their website: http://www.bscracklinbbq.com to check out their menu and follow their journey!

However, undaunted, he moved his family and his smoker into my old neighborhood, Riverside in NW Atlanta to work his magic in an area where I lived twenty plus years ago.  I hear that amazing things are getting ready to go even bigger for them! I’m so excited to follow their journey as I travel some old and new backroads.

When I parked in the back of the restaurant, I saw a ramp and thought it was a handicap entrance so I walked to the two huge white front doors. I knew they were already open because my older brother was inside waiting for me. However, when I found those doors to be locked, I was somewhat baffled. Then I heard the rattling of keys and both doors opened like in a movie and there stood Bryan, the owner! He said he was glad he happened to be in a meeting or else no one would have heard my useless efforts to get inside!

I only mention this so you know not to go to those front white doors! Follow the ramp between the two smokers! It’s a lovely smell of all the goodness which awaits you inside!

Once seated, we met Dennis, our Server. He’s a lovely young man who obviously loves where he works as it shows in how he takes pride in working there. We wanted for nothing!   Thanks, Dennis!

2019-02-13_BsBBQ-1

Love their signage!

2019-02-13_BsBBQ-2

Loved our Server, Dennis!

2019-02-13_BsBBQ-3

Love the whole place!

Now, for the food. A picture is worth a thousand words!

2019-02-13_BsBBQ-4

I had three ribs, Brunswick Stew, Collard Greens and a Cracklin’ Bread like I ain’t never seen before! It was a flat bread with cracklin’s inside! I’m not sayin’ that’s a bad thang. I’m just sayin’ ya’ gotta try it! Everything we ate was so yummy! My friend had the Brisket, Slaw and Mac N Cheese and my Big Bro had…well…I honestly don’t know because I was up to my elbows trying out their three BBQ sauces!

Next time I get a hankerin’ for some good BBQ, guess I’ll drive five hours to my old hood! Thanks, Bryan, for giving my old hood some life!

Happy Trails…til we meet again!

Advertisements

Yesterday marked my first 2019 local adventure! I’d seen this salvage place few years ago on my way home from Cashiers, NC heading toward Highlands, NC hidden down in a niche in a valley on the right side just before the hospital. You won’t see it driving North from Highlands, NC until you’ve passed it. If you miss it, it’s okay because there’s a neat little turn around space just passed it. It’ll be worth the adventure! It’s called  RECLAMATIONS (99 Cherrywood Rd., Highlands, NC 28741, Tel. 828-787-2299).

A pleasant young man greeted me as I pulled in the driveway and assisted me in my adventure. As I walked around the huge lot, I was drawn like a moth to the flame toward   all the wonderful salvaged items from cars, Airstreams, trailers, doors, windows, fire pits and oh so much more! As a picture is worth a thousand words, here are thousands of words describing their outdoor facilities.

2019-01-16_reclam 1

A mighty plethora of treasures of all kinds await your exploration!

2019-01-16_reclam2

Don’t rush through this! You’ll be sorry you did! Stroll, ponder and imagine the possibilities!

I meandered toward every nook and cranny of the outside portion of this wonderland of salvaged treasures. It was as I was exploring the outdoor covered space that I froze in total amazement at the sight of the word “AVA” (my daughter’s name) being spelled out in a rusted metal 18″ square vintage stencil! So embrace the DIG!

2019-01-18_ava stencil

2019-01-16_reclam3

Half of Outdoor covered section

2019-01-16_reclam4

Other half!

The inside is even more exciting and fabulous and, even though some of their items are priced beyond my budget, don’t hesitate to make a reasonable offer. I did and was happy with both my purchases of the “AVA” stencil and an old oak desk which will work well for an outside workbench!

2019-01-16_reclam5

2019-01-16_reclam6

2019-01-16_reclam7

2019-01-16_reclam8

2019-01-16_reclam9

2019-01-16_restore-10

If you’re in this area, don’t go past it!

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

The book, from a Friend, has been in the making for about 25 years when it was first predicted to me that I would write a book with my two children to tell the world a truth and that there would be no shame in telling that truth. It was confirmed to me several more times over the years which inspired me to write on it again and again. After finding of my son’s murder after his fifteen year absence, and the later suicide of my daughter, I wondered how this would ever happen.

It was on my first 2017 adventure West when my paternal grandmother “rode” with me through deserts to get to my favorite place, Glacier, when she “told” me it was time to go to the desert to write the book. I knew then she was right about what I needed to do but it was her thing, not mine, to write in the desert! I was going to write where I wanted to write! Hmmph!

As I drove back from that 15,000 mile junket, I conjured up the next steps. Travel trailer, pack, visit family and find the right RV park. In my head, it sounded pretty simple. It was until I learned just how many Snow Birds from ALL US northern states & Canada flee to the desert…any desert…for their winter retreat or permanent residence! They book a year in advance which meant I had slim pickings! Hurricane, Utah was wonderful in November and I got quite a bit done, but finding an equally beautiful and weather friendly place was going to challenge me, landing me to be in the middle of what I later deemed to be the ugliest part of the Mojave Desert with only one spot left where I wanted to be…close to the Office.

I planned to stay there through February but the constant high winds and ugly surroundings and isolation took its tole on me. By the end of December, I’d written 8-10 hours most every day for months in an alien environment and was ready for green, rain and comforts of home. The proof in the pudding was the day I actually got “car sick” from the constant 60-mile an hour winds while sitting at the table writing on the book! That was it! I planned my exit for the end of January. I counted down the hours until I could head home! Driven like the mad woman I was, I made it in two and a half days dragging that 4000 pounds behind me.

I slept in front of my woodturning stove through all of last February and March only waking at first appearance of sun on April 1st!

2018-11-20_firegood

My brain is always writing. When I “woke’ up on April 1st, I realized my brain had stopped writing. And, at first, I wasn’t concerned as I understood that my brain needed a break. My concern reared its ugly head when a couple more months passed it was still silent.  I kept waiting. But, in the meantime…this happened while I was making other plans!

After returning from my trip to Florida May/June, the summer proved to be one challenge after another which included three river floods, a burst outside water pipe, snakes around my house looking for dryer digs, in-house ant invasions for same reason, illness, anxiety, horrid combo of heat/humidity, a meltdown on my daughter’s birthday, all to be topped off with being bedridden about a month with sciatic nerve back pain.

2018-6-22 263 citywtr-1 copy

Water Pipe repair

2018-5-25 flood1

Flooding river

2018-08-06_watermoccasin-2

SNAKES!

The good news is that all I needed was a reminder from Ava’s oldest and dearest friends who texted me during her own health battle, “I wonder what it is the Lord is wanting me to learn from this.” Her reminder triggered the question about all the summer/fall battles I’d had. God immediately answered with my own Donna’ism: “FEAR is a four letter word that starts with F that we do to ourselves!” I also received the word “Faith.” I started praying for release of the pain and, literally, felt the muscles in both my neck/shoulders and lower back unwind like a released tightly wound rubber band. The pain was totally, instantaneously and miraculously GONE! And, it was and still is! Call it what you will but I’m telling it true!

It was then that I started embracing the Holidays with a rejuvenated spirit not present for a decade! I planned a Thanksgiving meal for one with joy where in days of old it was for no less than twenty! On Thanksgiving Day, I celebrated my passed parents and children with our decades old traditions of black/white Christmas movies, decorating the tree and decking the halls! I was joyful! What a blessing! The extra blessing was that it continued all through the rest of the year and now, for the first time in a year, my brain is writing again! My only challenge is to get to the computer fast enough to remember what I wrote in my head!

Friend Family 1949 Upstairs LivingRoom by Fire

from days of old Christmas Fire

Friend Christmas 1950

and Christmas Morn celebrations

2018-11-21_wonderwomancmastree copy

to my $5.00, 18″ Wonder Woman Christmas Tree decoration celebration

2018 was quite an adventure with many hidden blessings. I’m still processing it all, but in the meantime, I’m happy to announce that “it” is coming back to me and I’ve started on the Prologue!

Happy New Year! And, Happy Trails…until we meet again!

First Merry Christmas in a Decade. I’m overdue for sure but I’ve also gone through the test of many fires and now that I’m on this side, I’m happily reflecting on those days of old when the magic was still there in the joy of the Reason for the Season, family and friends. So, in honor of that, I submit this rhyme.

Twas the night before Christmas and all kept quiet, except the activity upstairs out of our sight.

There were sounds of machine clanking and bustling around, with the promise of surprises on the morrow which did abound.

We really weren’t sure of what it was all about, but we knew it’d be exciting and kicked off with a shout!

Once the porridge was consumed and the dishes done, we’d scamper ever so quickly hoping the festivities hadn’t yet begun.

We ran outside to get to the living room upstairs, knowing Dad had a roaring fire welcoming us with closely placed chairs.

The tree was all glowing and bright, and underneath, full of presents to our hearts delight.

For my brothers, train billowing smoke, a caboose and track, a Teddy Bear for me, doll for sister…oh, how it takes me back.

The smell of the cedar Christmas tree cut from our field, with an abundance of food and cheer this day would yield.

Later on, my kids and I would create our own stories to tell, in that same room with the freshly cut tree with wood fires to smell.

Now that Mom, Dad, Carl and Ava are all gone, it’s finally nice to recall those times of merriment and song. 

Friend Christmas 1950

1950 Christmas Morn

Friend Christmas first train -Murray Gordan helping 1950s

1951 Christmas Train

Friend Family 1949 Upstairs LivingRoom by Fire

1949 Christmas Fire

A very dear friend of my daughter’s, Beauregard, sent me a PM on FB about this event and encouraged me to come have some fun. I’d met the owners of Hatch Camp & Art Farm a couple of years ago when they hosted other musical events where Beau (of Beauregard & The Downright) was performing when Mama & Daddy Hatch were awaiting their blessed event. The timing was perfect as I’d been on the computer in my office for days doing research and working way too hard for a retired woman. So, armed with water, camera and excitement, I jumped in my truck and headed  East toward what promised to be a fun day at Hatch Camp & Art Farm!

HatchScreen Shot 2018-07-27

Yes, I cheated. I took a screen shot of their FB page to post what they are doing, who was there and was quite surprised at many things. Firstly, they plan to have one of these monthly! Secondly, they have spaces for booths available for people to share their art! Thirdly, they have a lovely place for exploring on a good sized stream, which I hear is good for fly fishing, where people can camp for the weekend and do the kumbaya thang all weekend long if they want or just hit and run like I did.

As an aside, Mama Hatch was busy with orchestrating the whole event while looking after Baby Hatch who was exploring everything! Turns out that Daddy Hatch is a master fly fisherman who loves creating flies so much so that he explores his creek regularly to see what larvae are in the water so he can mimic just the right fly de jour! He has turned his garage into a shop and fun place for you fly-fisher-persons to explore!

2018-07-28_Hatch5

Another interesting aspect of venturing out in this area is that you never know who you will run into! I saw one of the waiters who always took care of Mom and I when we went for our traditional Sunday Brunch at the Lake Rabun Hotel! But this time, Tolvin Stiles wasn’t waiting on tables, he was sitting at one making the most delicious copper wire jewelry!

2018-07-28_Hatch2

Tolvin’s works of art!

2018-07-28_Hatch3

Tolvin creating new ones!

I meandered around the pathways and byways of this lovely retreat meeting a variety of local artists along the way whilst musicians played folk music. It reminded me of the many times my daughter, Ava of avascorner.org, and I went to events similar to this. Those, however, were much larger. I like the more intimate variety where you actually have a chance to connect with people instead of getting lost in the crowd. This was lovely and I will go back again!

Now, for what I really came for. I could hear Beau getting ready on stage. It was time for me to have some Beauregard! Not only do I love seeing him but also having the chance to  listen to one of my favorite singer, songwriter, musicians who really puts his heart and soul into his music like few do these days of cheating with canned music, tricks and screaming. Bearegard & The Downright are Down Right! Personally, I love his most personal touch to all his ukulele songs. Something very beautiful in his soul is revealed each time he plays it. Don’t get me wrong, when you hear his band, you will be moved…but to the dance floor! I’ve been known to dance the night away the first time I went to see them play a few years back. If he is in your neighborhood, go see him! Follow him on FB! It’s a funky Jamaican Mountain Country City boy sound unique just to Beauregard!

2018-07-28_Hatch4

As he makes his living doing what he loves, he always has hats and albums for sale a his events!

2018-07-28_Hatch1

Beauregard singing solo and so good!

If you are up this way for their next event, maybe I’ll see you there! Y’all come on up, ya’ hear!

HAPPY TRAILS…until we meet again!

I do love Atlanta because of its Southernness and history; my history there; varied trees,  plants and flowers; backroads; special places to visit; and Ava memories. I had a blast giving one of Ava’s dearest friends and mentor Phase 1 of Donna’s Atlanta Driving/Some-Walking Tour.

As always, I start in my home area of Sandy Springs which is in Northwest Atlanta which used to be a sleepy little area of farms (including ours) and quiet country living. Now, it’s all that and more. It’s THE place to live! Do those rich people know that a tenement farmer raised pigs on that property and that’s probably why their grass is so green? Or that the multi-million dollar house sits in our cow pasture of yesteryear? It’s definitely hard to recognize and my brain gets all tangled up in reality and my memories of horseback riding over to the Chattahoochee River and riding the old timber roads or milking the cow or playing in the creeks or happily padding along barefooted chasing after someone or something. Awww. The Good Ole Days!

MeGreenDragon1950s

Me “driving” our tractor I called “The Green Dragon!” Looks like I got stuck!

Anyway, here’s some of which I included in the Phase 1 Driving/SomeWalking Tour for Ava’s friend and one of my Chirrens yesterday. Yeehaw!

2018-6-11 Atl-2

Swan House is in an area we call Buckhead because it was there was a General Store at its old crossroads with a Deer Buck Head over the door. The Swan House is a part of the Atlanta History Center. One Ticket at the History Center gives you access to Center’s fabulous Exhibits, the Swan House, and, in October, to the relocated Cyclorama which used to be at the Atlanta Zoo!

2018-6-11 Atl-3

Fox Theater’s outstanding acoustics have been recognized all over the world!

2018-6-11 Atl-4

When we used to go to the movies here, each side of this area was where the latest, finest lady’s fashions were exhibited. It was saved from demolition in 1976 by locals. YAY!

2018-6-11 Atl-5

I’ve been wondering where they moved the famous CocaCola sign to and there it was in all its glory right over the building at Five Points in the heart of Downtown Atlanta on top of the old Wormser Hats Building!

2018-6-11 Atl-6

2018-6-11 Atl-7

Brand new Mercedes-Benz Atlanta Stadium! Quite impressive!

2018-6-11 Atl-8

On to my favorite restaurant – No Mas – in the Castleberry Arts district across the street from the old GE Supply Building where I used to work a hundred years ago!

2018-6-11 Atl-9

Whoever created this place, needs a gold star for doing it right! Plus, the food is amazing!

2018-6-11 Atl-10

Got a hankering for outdoor seating?

2018-6-11 Atl-11

So many interesting things going on inside with the old and new structure being married with Mexican artifacts and art!

2018-6-11 Atl-12

Ohm yeah! I want one of these for my front porch!

2018-6-11 Atl-13

Before you leave, go into their Artisans Market store just to the left of the restaurant patio for more stimulation of the purchasable kind! LOVE this place!

2018-6-11 Atl-15

Our State Capital Building is crowned with none other than Gold from our very own Dahlonega! I remember when they brought the gold to the Capital in wagon trails from there to refurbish it.

2018-6-11 Atl-16

And, last but not least, Ava’s love – Little Five Points. She loved living here and felt safer here than anywhere. Junkman’s Daughter was her favorite place to shop; The Vortex was her favorite restaurant; and the Brew House was where she’d go for libations.

I modify each tour according to the wishes of my passenger, their age, the heat/humidity index and my energy. Most of this was a driving tour but we’ll hit the streets next time she’s in town and do it right! This was just the tip of the iceberg tour!

HAPPY TRAILS…until we meet again!

The minute I read about an outdoor market being open today, it was immediately declared my day off from writing. I’ve been to a million of these markets over the years and even sold my hand painted shirts and jewelry at functions very similar to this trying to find enough money for food, shelter, clothing and the likes for my daughter and I during my self-employment years. It was always fun meeting people and seeing what others were doing so I jumped at the chance especially knowing I could see some great red rocks in the mix!

2017-11-11 TuacahnMkt1

Tuacahn Market sits at the foot of the Amphitheater.

2017-11-11 TuacahnMkt5

Flowing Water divides the walkway. Nice toucht!

2017-11-11 TuacahnMkt2

Mother Nature’s version of Mount Rushmore!

2017-11-11 TuacahnMkt4

Mother Nature’s own carvings.

The layout was very nicely done, not crowded and had some boring stuff and some interesting things as well. Yeah. There were a couple of those venders who said, “My family makes these” but stopped short of “in China.” But, all-in-all, it was so worth the views, meanderings and entertainment!

And, as I was about to turn back toward the car, a Southern accent over the microphone stopped me dead in my tracks. I’d heard the young man singing and thought he was good but it was his story about how he was inspired to write his next song when he was invited to try some homemade peach moonshine! And, seein’ as how I happen to be familiar with that southern nectar, I had to turn back to hear more.

Turns out Tom Bennett hails from Conyers, Georgia, and is a young man who writes and sings a sweet southern blues! If you look closely at the picture of him below, you’ll see he plays a suitcase drum with his left foot, tambourines with his right, has a harmonica around his neck and Lord only knows what else he does up there that I hadn’t witnessed yet. He and his wife travel around doing gigs. He also writes a travel blog. I bought his album, “Tom Bennett One Man Band,” produced by Sweet Salt Records. Check him out at http://www.tombennettonemanband.com!

2017-11-11 TuacahnTom1

Tom Bennett One Man Band!

2017-11-11 TuacahnTom2

If you like the blues, you gotta buy this album!

Still hungry for a decent hamburger, I dug around on my cell Chrome and found a place called “Painted Pony” in historic St. George, Utah. And after driving around and a’ hollerin’ out at folks next to me at redlights about its whereabouts, I finally parked and started walking in the general direction they was a’ pointin’ to. Even that wasn’t easy because the reflections on the glass doors kept me from being able to read their sign but I barged right on through…tired, hungry and fed up. I done the right thang! It was all worth it.

2017-11-11 St.GeoPaintPny1

Painted Pony Menus

2017-11-11 St.GeoPaintPny2

Their Grilled Tenderloin Burger hit the spot and so did their ambiance.

Back to writing again. Had enough of that getting lost stuff for awhile. Now it’s time I got  lost in this book!

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

As I traveled through the middle of northern Oklahoma’s wheat fields into the lush mountains and valleys of northeastern New Mexico to finally stop in the arid terrain of Santa Fe in such a short period of time, is always exciting and underlines why I do what I do…the backroads of our wonderful, diverse country.

As an amateur geologist, I LOVE to see the result of millions of years of erosion which  emphatically defines the dynamics behind the peak formations of mountains…striations of different rocks forced in vertical, instead of horizontal positions. The drive from Albuquerque to Las Vegas is one of the finest areas to experience this natural phenomina.

The driver from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, however, defines a vastly different natural occurrence of underwater ocean beds of the dryest terrain varying from vast salt beds and desert to arid mountains and valleys.

2017-6-10 Cali2

This what greeted me as I left the desert of Nevada and crossed over into California!

2017-6-10 Cali42017-6-10 Cali6

2017-6-10 Cali7

And this is when I knew LA was near!

2017-6-10 Cali82017-6-10 Cali92017-6-10 Cali10

I knew I was getting close to LA when a pack of about thirty motorcycle gangers went whizzing between lanes on the expressway going about 90 MPH! That, and the insane expressway traffic of $200,000 cars pulling Speed Racer tricks in and out of lanes to get five feet closer to an exit lane confirmed (as if there was any doubt) that I was approaching LA.

As I neared my destination (45 miles outside LA), I was abducted by aliens. I’m sure that could be the only reason why my phone stopped working, my Bluetooth didn’t recognize  my phone, my GPS (Tom) sent me around in circles telling me to go in a direction only to have me immediately exit to go back from when I came and never got any closer than that same 45 miles to Rachel (my LA daughter-by-another-mother)! Tom never adjusted the distance to Rachel nor did my gas gauge change from a quarter of a tank during this time warp.

In all fairness to Tom (my GPS) has taken me close to 150,000 miles of backroads and interstates since I started in 2009 and this is a first. Finally, after being on every interstate, state road and street between me and Rachel for over an hour, I called her to find out what roads I needed to take. I admit to surprising the urge to throw Tom (my GPS) out the window. But remembering that he has a 99.9% success rate and I do love Tom, I realized his malfunction wasn’t his fault at all but the result of an alien abduction. After I told on him to Rachel, he straightened right up and got us on the right road.

When I finally got on the right road (I-10 W), Tom kept saying, literally every miles and a half, “stay in the left lane” over and over and over again like I was the one who screwed up! Humph!

I got to Rachel’s and my phone worked but my Bluetooth never recovered but I certainly did the minute I saw my special angel, Rachel. I’ve loved her from the first moment I met her at age eleven. I walked into her home full of angels! Rachel, her wonderful husband and baby are very special people to me. It’s a safe haven of acceptance, love and respect.

2017-6-10 CaliLA1

Rachel, Noah and Itty Bit

2017-6-10 CaliLA2

A loving daddy!

2017-6-10 CaliLA3

My angels! See us in the mirror?

2017-6-19 CaliLA4

The three of us!

I am truly blessed! Thank you, my loves, for being you!

Next? I go back to Vegas, Baby to pick up the Queen of Electra Brass (Jenni Lee) to take our annual trip to new and exciting places!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

Yesterday, my sister and I met a nice owner (C. G. Higgins) of a confectionary of the same name in Historic Santa Fe who convinced us to come see him for great coffee and quiche. Well, he was right! It gave us the much needed energy to absorb a wonderful permanent exhibit in the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

2017-6-7 SantaFeGaHm1

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Home in Abiquiu, NM

2017-6-7 SantaFeGaHm2

At home

2017-6-7 SantaFeGaHm3

Shown with one of her abstracts

 

2017-6-7 SantaFeGa1

Georgia O’Keeffe Research Center

As we complex women are, we have many shades to our many colors. She was a hardy outdoors woman and a femme fatal; an artist and a horticulturist; a brilliant artist and an adventurer. The parallels between Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo were brought more into focus by seeing their exhibits back-to-back! WOW!

2017-6-7 SantaFeGa2

Georgia O’Keeffe on the back!

2017-6-7 SantaFeGa32017-6-7 SantaFeGa4

2017-6-7 SantaFeGa5

Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting “Bella Donna!”

2017-6-7 SantaFeGa6

She loved to study the bones of animals she found in the desert and take those shapes found in them and nature to create her abstract art.

2017-6-7 SantaFeGa7

2017-6-7 SantaFeGa8

Georgia O’Keeffe’s “mountain.” She said that if she painted this mountain outside her cabin enough, the it would be her’s forever…and it is here and at Ghost Ranch!

As we meandered along the wonderful, flavorful streets of Historic Santa Fe, we talked of how we really had hoped to find an authentic Mexican restaurant. As luck would have it (or greater Devine intervention), we happened to go down Burro Alley to find just what we were looking for…Los Magueyes! Lovely people and great food!

2017-6-7 SantaFeBrurroAlleyRest

We departed Santa Fe to find new adventures along the Turquoise Trail (NM Highway 13) towards Albuquerque, NM.

2017-6-7 TurqHwy1

Turquoise Trail (NM Hwy 14)

2017-6-7 TurqHwy2

Turquoise Highway

The first little town on the Turquoise Highway large enough to make a stop to explore was Madrid.

2017-6-7 Madrid1JPG

Of course there’s a cowgirl there!

2017-6-7 Madrid2

Great little village

2017-6-7 Madrid3

Sandia Crest National Park with an elevation at it’s peak of over 10,000 feet is just off the   Turquoise Trail on Highway 536. It’s worth the drive for sure! It has a great little gift shop at the top where we met another transported Atlantan!

2017-6-7 TurqHwy3

Sandia Crest Nat’l Park (10,000+ feet) off the Turquoise Hwy

2017-6-7 TurqHwy4Sandia

2017-6-7 TurqHwy5SandiaVirga

These “fingers” of rain which evaporate before reaching the ground are called “Virgo.”

2017-6-7 TurqHwy6Sandia

First on our agenda was to get the feel of Historic Albuquerque and we, of course, were greeted with lots of red chili peppers!

2017-6-7 AlbuqHist1

Historic Albuquerque (Covered Wagon)

Eat? Heck yeah! Locals recommended Church Street Cafe. Great choice!

2017-6-7 AlbuqChchStCafe1

Church Street Cafe

2017-6-7 AlbuqChchStCafe2

Inside Church St. Cafe

2017-6-7 AlbuqChchStCafe3

Inside Church St. Cafe

We were so very fortunate to meet other southerners, artists and kindred spirits on our “Friend Traveling Sisters Hauling A$$ Great Adventure,” We drove over 3,000 miles in a week and it’s been life altering for us both…something to embrace with laughter and BIG smiles forever. We have so many new friend from this trip who will be in our hearts and prayers forever! We are truly blessed.

I hope to stay in touch with each of you through email, travels, phone or telepathic communications forever! Each of you touched our hearts so there you’ll reside until we meet again.

Tomorrow? VEGAS BABY!

HAPPY TAILS (found Montana hair in the truck today), TALES OR TRIALS! You’re pick!

Last year before I left on that Great Adventure, I’d prayed for healing and to trust in God to show me the path it. It was, from the beginning, an amazing journey of trust and healing. As I contemplated this years Great Adventure, I prayed for Spiritual healing. And it has been just that.

As my sister and I drove through northern Arkansas to get to Branson, Missouri, she kept telling me that she had had a recurring dream of this very drive along the Buffalo River and seeing rock structures. Everywhere we went there were rock houses and buildings. It just kept reaffirming to us how the miracle of her being able to join me on this trip (our first alone in 22 years) that it was going to be cosmic. At every turn, it has been.

We left Bartlesville, OK (in northeastern Oklahoma) yesterday across the entire northern  Oklahoma panhandle about ten hours to get to Eagle Nest, New Mexico! It was worth the sacrifice because of the magnificent views which greeted us and the wonderful people we met upon arriving.

2017-6-3 OKWheat1

Thousands of acres of wheat framed by gray clouds and rich green vegetation

2017-6-3 OKWheat2

Amber Waves Of Grain in northern Oklahoma

The pictures above pretty much sum up the cross-state adventure of Oklahoma accentuated with rolling hills of enormous pasturelands with cows and horses. We had the best time laughing over childhood stories and other adventures. We’re sitting here still trying to believe that was just yesterday (and not a week ago) when we were in the car that long!

2017-6-3 NMCimCanStPk1

Cimarron Canyon State Park was the prelude to Eagle Nest.

2017-6-3 NMCimCanStPk2

These kind of rock outcroppings always make me brake for a photo

2017-6-3 NMCimCanStPk3

The trees aren’t bad either!

The payoff was Eagle Nest, New Mexico and the incredible Spiritual Healer we met and all the welcoming, lovely citizens of that precious gem of a community we now know we want to visit. Eagle Nest, NM.

This morning, we wandered around this lovely western village meeting new friends and hugging kindred spirits we’d met last night. We hiked down a trail to sit on a picnic table to soak up the vast openness of this valley, inhale the healing peace and air around us and tap into God’s wonders all around us like the beautiful wild flowers.

2017-6-4 NMEagleNeset4

Magnificent wildflowers of this kind and delicate purple irises!

2017-6-4 NMEagleNest2

This lake is huge!

2017-6-4 NMEagleNest3

More snow capped mountains surrounding this valley

2017-6-4 NMEagleNest5

Big sky

2017-6-4 NMEagleNest6

More contrasts

We tore ourselves away to head for a light day of driving to Taos, New Mexico. What a beautiful town full of northern New Mexico adobe structures and artistry. We walked around the shops and couldn’t resist capturing some of its magnificent culture in local native music, weavings and garments. We ate at Doc Martin’s. We were immediately informed by our bustling waitress that this Doc Martin had absolutely nothing to do with the TV show or the shoes as she dropped our menus on the table! After we ordered, she then instructed us to read the history of the restaurant’s origins on the back of the menu. She kinda reminded me of my fourth grade no-nonsense teacher I had.

We had put our hotel address into my GPS which promptly took us 12 miles in the opposite direction to find the Rio Grande River Gorge! It wasn’t really my GPS’s fault because this small town has way too many similar names! Anyway, my brave sister walked out onto the overlook in the middle of the bridge to take these pictures!

2017-6-4 RioGrande1

North view of Rio Grande River Gorge north of Tao, New Mexico

2017-6-4 RioGrande2

South view of Rio Grande River Gorge north of Taos, NM

Tomorrow, we head for Santa Fe, NM to see the Georgia O’keeffe art gallery, a church with a suspended staircase and more!

HAPPY TAILS (in loving memory of Montana, the best Service Dog ever), OR TALES OR TRAILS! Reader’s choice!

 

MeMontanaMinnihahaFalls3-23-16