Archives for posts with tag: camping

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!

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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!

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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!

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Tolvin’s works of art!

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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!

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

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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!

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WOW! I left Green River, Utah at 9:30 AM today headed West on I-70 to drive 237 miles which, under normal driving, would have taken just a little over three (3) hours with the speed limits generally ranging from 75-80 MPH past the major inclines.

I did decide as I took off from Green River that I’d take the time to turn off on “Scenic Views” if and when I saw something interesting. The name “Black Dragon Canyon” pulled me right in. I didn’t have the time or inclination to hike the trail to see the drawing but if you Google the name, you’ll see an interesting pictograph painted on the walls of the canyon by ancient ones of what looks to be a flying dragon, which, by the way, isn’t black! The view, however, was marvelous!

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Now, go back in time a couple of days to recall that horrific 40-60 MPH wind gusts I faced going through Denver toward Boulder? Well, I guess somebody upstairs wanted to prepare me for today because it took me 6 hours to drive that 3 hour distance because of that same situation except include 8000′-foot elevation mountains (up and down), dust flying from undeveloped prairies and NO gas stations for a hundred miles on a tank that’s only gave me 7-8 MPG today! The good news is that the only cows I saw were in holding pins and not in front of me in cattle trailers!

After driving almost a hundred miles without the whiff of a gas station, I broke my normal rule of easy on/off gas stations at the exits and decided to exit at Emery, Utah  as the next town was 35 miles away. It was one of those gut instinct moments because only after exiting the expressway was there a sign that read “Next Gas 35 Miles.” Needless to say, I gladly drove the 24 miles roundtrip to get to the sleepy little one-gas-pump (literally) town to fill up.  I would have been so screwed if I hadn’t!  All these years of driving the back roads (and especially this summer’s adventures in Canada) reinforced my instincts to fill up at every chance.

The few times the winds weren’t beating me up, I was able to catch a few shots that were so magnificent that I just had to try and capture some of the wonderment of this region. It feels like “home” to me except for all the winds!

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I finally made it to my next stop for the night glad I booked in advance because all these RV parks fill up quickly! I need the rest from those blowin’ winds. I got this baby anchored down for the night which is something I don’t normally do on hit-and-run stays. I don’t normally mind being rocked to sleep but I’ve had enough of that bucking bronco rodeo for today! I need a trophy that reads, “Buckin’ Bronco Road Warrior Rodeo Champion!”

So, Happy Trails…until we meet again!

Remember the part in my last post where I talked about this nice guy from Tennessee (now living in Oregon) who stopped to look at the same trees in the redwood forest where God lives who took a picture of me and Montana? Well, if I forgot to tell you then, I’m tell you now! Well, as I was meandering along, stopping hither, thither and yon and missing turns, lo and behold there is a car in front of me that looks a great deal like his with Oregon tags turning down the same trek I’ve been shooting for the last hour! I’m talking to myself saying, “Naw. Can’t be. This is cosmic or something…but what?” So, there’s this really cool place where we both pull off and I’m determined to see if it is him or not. Yep. It’s the same guy. I say “Hello” and “What are the chances of this happening, like a bazillion to one?” and he just smiles and goes on his way as I do as well.

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I’m now thinking Celestine Prophecy and start wondering what the message is as I keep driving ahead of him now. Next think I know, he’s passing me from the opposite direction on a road that is a one-lane dirt road. Third time is a charm or just another coincidence? We’ll never know because that’s where it stopped.

But it’s also where I totally came unglued. Still don’t know what charged the eruption other than the horrific loss of my gypsy belly dancing opera singing best friend daughter and how she was supposed to make this trip with me this summer but why at this moment. And maybe the lack of sunlight for the last few days. But why at this place? I’ve held it together so many weeks. Was it because I’d finally made it back after fifteen years of longing to see this beautiful place again and to show her?

Sorry, I digress but it’s what I do best these days.

So, back to the yellow brick road story. This road I was taking this afternoon was called Prairie Trail because it was used by the settlers on their wagons as they settled the west and, when you think about it, most of our major highways and byways are animal trails followed by Native Americans followed by settlers now permanently carved into history with asphalt.

OOPS. Did it again, didn’t I?

I finally screamed and cried enough out to settle back down to driving the redwood forest back toward Crescent City as I’d strayed about 35 miles south to Klamath where Prairie Trail Redwood Forest is located.

I’d been told earlier today that the drive up Pebble Beach Road was pretty awesome in Crescent City so I followed my normally straight nose down a very crooked path but ended up getting where I wanted to be…driving up the coast toward the city’s first lighthouse about six miles off shore. See, the coast is so riddled with huge, hidden boulders that the lighthouse needs to be six miles away to warn sailors of their impending doom! There’s also a smaller, closer version (probably for looks) near where I ate dinner.

BUT, before I even get back to Crescent City, on Hwy. 101, cars are pulling off the road like crazy! Then a pack of motorcyclist pull off like an emergency vehicle is coming from outer space because I can’t see why they’re doing this. People are walking into the right-of-way! Then, I see it!Image

A MOOSE IS CAUSING THIS TRAFFIC JAM? REALLY? These crazy people are just a few feet away from this male moose who is horny and hungry! They obviously didn’t read the precautionary information about wild animals! LOL

Now for the journey down Pebble Beach Road:

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And the Crescent City Lighthouse on the Bay (not the one six miles out):

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As I drove back toward the heart of Crescent City I realized I hadn’t eaten since those pancakes this morning and all I could think about was finding descent seafood. There, in her front yard, was a woman about my age. I pull over and introduced myself and she directed me to eat at the Chart Room off Anchor Way at Crescent City Harbor. It was a lovely Mom and Pop restaurant with reasonable portions for reasonable prices and well prepared food. For dessert, I had seal. “What,” you say?

This is what I had for dessert!

ImageThe whole time I’m seated at the table either waiting for food or enjoying it, I’m thinking about seeing a sunset not even noticing out in the water is a floating dock full of seals! I overhear one of the waitresses saying they’re quite lazy and wait for the fishermen to come in and throw food overboard. What a life! I just had to take Montana (who had been patiently waiting in the truck while I ate) down to see them! She shivered like she’d just seen that moose again! Poor dog. I’ve tortured her terribly on this trip. She didn’t really like sitting down on that damp ground in front of all those redwoods today either. I’ll have to give her some of my pancakes in the morning to make up for it.

Well, that’s it for today except I won’t be using this method of posting again. It’s queer.

Happy Trails!

It’s been so much fun staying off the Interstates (when possible) and keeping to  the  back roads to get in touch with the towns like I remember doing when I’d  travel  Georgia with my father as a child in the 1950’s. He was the Public  Relations Photographer for the numerous Governors for the State of Georgia over 25 years. When  the current Governor told Dad to cover a specific  event, Dad went and, when possible, I went with him. I sat on the laps of  Governors and knew many important State Legislators; that’s how it was  being his daughter. But, the most   impressionable part of it all to me was traveling those  country roads. I’d sit quietly in his car, imagining what the life was like in the  house we’d just passed where the people were sitting on the porch next to the  old wringer washing machine; the lights inside  barely glowed and looked more like candlelight than like Edison’s invention.

It was  all mystical and alluring but unsettling all at the same time to this little  girl  who was as young as 5  on her first great adventure with her dad. Who were   these people? Where did they work so far away from civilization? Did they play  Checkers? What did those children do during those long, hot, South Georgia  summers? Did they have a swimming hole like we did or a lake?  A million and  one questions raced through my young mind formulating stories, lives yet all the while trying to keep a very low profile so my dad wouldn’t quiz me with words to spell  in rapid fire fashion. Not only was I supposed to know how to spell words at 5  like “kudzu” but also remember the history of it in our state, etc. Needless to say,  I wandered off into their world to avoid answering his questions wrong!

Yep, it was then that I fell in love with country roads and their stories. And, I  guess, it was the hope that the ambiance of the small town still existed almost  60 years later that sent me on the first Great Adventure in 2009. I’m happy to tell you all that it does exist. The rapid rate of technological advancement has NOT deleted this wonderful attribute of our country. Thank you, God!

It’s the back roads I take, the Mom and Pop places where I sleep at night, fill up my truck and buy my food that keep me feeling alive. No big chain stores for me… except for the Truck Stops  (aka Welcome Centers) when the Interstate can get me where I  really want to be mo’ faster so I can spend more time off ’em!

As the weather has been unpredictable with high winds, rain and snow, I really haven’t even been able to pop-up the pop-up as yet. You just can’t fold up a wet pop-up without ruining your bedding and probably the particle board underneath. So, it’s been motel-ville for me. Not what I wanted, but as a friend of mine reminded me, “It’s what’s NOT planned that’s the most fun!” Thanks Big Ed-2 (not to be confused with Big Ed-1, my bro).

So, it was the Mom and Pop in Chugwater, WY and the Mom and Pop near Bryce  Canyon that tell the stories of how families stick together for the greater good of  all. Nice stuff.

At Buffalo Lodge and Grill in Chugwater known to serve the famous “Chugwater  Chili” (307-422-3463), the owner of the facility had become too sick to run the  place so the family stepped up to the plate… not just immediate blood-type  family but in-laws and out-laws alike doing the cooking, cleaning, managing  and baby sitting for those working. There was the cutest little 4-year-old girl  chirping around the small lodge. She ran back and forth between her grandma  in the restaurant to her mom/or aunt behind the desk. I really liked seeing that  part of Americana that appears to be lost in the big cities like Atlanta.

At Harold’s Place (435-676-2350) near Bryce Canyon (at the junction of Hwy.   89 and 12), I met Christy (sp?/Kristi/Christie), the daughter of the Mom and Pop   establishment. She rattled off her duties in rapid fire succession… manager,   landscaper, gardener, security, cook, waitress, bottle washer and overall get ‘er   done lady. When a Brit came into the restaurant and asked her what they   served, she replied, “Food” in the driest of British humor that totally went over   the Brit’s head! It was all I could do to keep from throwing out one of my   spontaneous, turrets like guffaws at her wonderful, Utahns British dry humor.   Thanks, Christy/Kristi/Christie! And, also, a special shout out to  Marty/Mardi (again sp?)  who had recently been hired to help with the hotel part of Harold’s. She’s   following along with me on this Great Adventure. Christy/Kristi/Christie   doesn’t touch computers and doesn’t even want to because they lock up, freeze  up or just go crazy when she touches them. She leaves all that to her dad   (harold@color-country.net).

And, as in the past few days, I woke up to more snow! So, off I went from   Harold’s to explore Bryce Canyon. Boy, was I glad I’d gotten my Senior Lifetime   National Park Pass in Georgia for a whopping $10.o0! It saved me the $25.00   fee to see the small but impressive park.

It snowed all the way through yet another aptly named “Red Canyon” (this one  in Dixie National Forest) to get to an overcast, snowy Bryce. Here’s what it  looked like going through Red Canyon on the way to Bryce.

going through Red Canyon to Bryce

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Now, finally, at the famous Bryce Canyon:

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Natural (?) Bridge

At Bryce Peak

coming back out of Bryce

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Now it was onto Zion National Park going west on Hwy. 9. I had no way of  knowing the magnificent views and white-knuckle driving waiting me around  the bend.

Entering Zion

no stopping for pix... this is on-the-go photo ops

right before the white knuckle driving started & battery in camera ran dry

Ava and I will be driving through Zion (going east this time) to camp there (if  space is available) on our way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Four  Corners and other points east on our way back to Atlanta. Even with bad weather, I saw lots of tents and bicyclers in Zion. They must all be young!

As for now, I’m settled in at Ava’s home for the next couple of weeks in Vegas- Baby. I will keep you posted on our adventures here and photos when they can be  published! Just kidding. We’re not all that rowdy any more! Really. Why don’t  you believe me?

See you all soon and thanks, again, for joining me on this Great Adventure. I am  so truly blessed to have this opportunity of combining the three things I love  most in life: my daughter, writing and travel.

Happy trails!

What a day it’s been with the nasty weather rolling across Wyoming. It forced me  to make some painful decisions about what to do today. My plans were to visit  Laramie and drive the scenic route through the Medicine Bow National Forest  but bad weather in both areas pushed me westward into the loving arms of Flaming  Gorge, Utah. Anyone who  followed my 2009 trip knows how painful that decision really  was (not). I fell in love with Flaming Gorge then and couldn’t wait to get back.  The bad weather in Laramie did the trick and off I went. I arrived at Hwy. 530 around 3:30 today and spent the next four hours in bliss… pure, unadulterated bliss.

Here. Let me just show you what I’ve been talking about! The last picture is from my 2009 trip. Like I say, it’s all about the light!

Sheep Creek Geological area

Sheep Creek area

 Leaving Red Canyon

 Green River at Red Canyon in Ashley National Forest, Utah

2009 picture, same view of Green River

Last two pictures are the same shot but different year, time of year and  weather. The one immediately above was taken on my last trip to Red Canyon  in 2009. The one above it is from yesterday. Remarkable  lighting made it look  like a different place!

leaving log cabin

What did I learn today? “No significant snow” means something altogether different to people in Utah! Look what I woke up to!