No, we didn’t fall off the earth…

Just a quick memo as to what in the heck we have been up to this year.

We returned to Ohio in December, if you remember from our last blog entry. It was a long but uneventful drive from Arizona to Dayton, Ohio. We saw a quirky Road Runner statue made out of trash in Las Cruces, New Mexico and we stayed at our first Army Corps of Engineers campground outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. That was a real treat.  Too bad we only stayed one night. After that, we found ourselves having to adjust to a new reality which involves taking care of family as part of our normal day-to-day life. So we parked Beau, our RV, caught up on some repairs, then skirted him as we settled in for the winter. As the temperatures dropped, the wind picked up, and snow fell we received some news that entailed starting a new adventure.

What’s that new adventure? Well the exciting news is Bev has been hired as an Interpretive Park Ranger for the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park! It is a six month appointment and fulfills a childhood dream. We have always thought it would be pretty cool to be a Park Ranger. Now Bev will have first hand knowledge and experience. We visited this particular national park a year ago and wrote about it on my Facebook page. Due to space concerns, I was pretty light on the history side of the post.  Now, with Bev working there, expect to have fun reading about the history of the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Dayton, Ohio as we explore in our blog all she is learning from her work.  Stay tuned for those posts.

Big travel plans are off the table for the near term, but we are still planning on visiting national park sites in Ohio. The Hopewell Culture National Monument is not too far away as well as the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument. After that we plan on visiting other sites in Ohio and neighboring states. So stay with us as we work on a new schedule to fit our current situation. As always, “Happy Trails,” till we post again.

 

A Sonoran Sojourn

After our visit to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, we headed a bit further south to Tucson. Our goal here was to visit the Saguaro National Park. While here, we started learning a lot about the Sonoran Desert. It was pretty interesting to discover. Some of what we learned related to the places we visited earlier in the year. And we found that the next stop, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was also in the Sonoran Desert. Continue reading “A Sonoran Sojourn”

The Big House

While we were in Ohio for the month of October we used the time to do a few minor repairs on our RV. When we had the RV in for service, we were told (and shown) the ignition electrode for our refrigerator was in need of replacement. But it was going to take the shop 3 days just to get the part. They were nice enough to give us the part number and we ordered it online. After looking at YouTube videos on refrigerator repairs, we got the tools out and in 15 minutes, had the part replaced. Yay! Continue reading “The Big House”

Lake Michigan and Sand Dunes

Our last stop on the way to Michigan was the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore which is on the southern edge of Lake Michigan. There is also the Indiana Sand Dunes State Park in the middle of the national park. It is not a contiguous park as there are several parts that are separated from the main section. This park encompasses a variety of habitats to see and learn about. The eco systems represented here are: lakes, beach, dunes, interdunal, marsh, swamp, savanna, prairie, rivers, bogs and fens.

Continue reading “Lake Michigan and Sand Dunes”

There Be Tallgrass in Them There Hills

As Bev mentioned in the last post, we decided to revisit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City, Kansas on our way back east. The first time we visited was in July 2017.  The grasses were only about 2 feet high. So, like many, we asked the rangers, “Where’s the Tallgrass?” They patiently explained (seems everyone asks that question) that the grass grows during the summer months and reaches its full height during the September/October timeframe. Then you can see the grass at around 5-6 feet depending on the amount of rainfall during the summer. Continue reading “There Be Tallgrass in Them There Hills”

Wandering Through Washington, Part VII

Finally, after 6 weeks in the beautiful state of Washington, we made our way to the last stop, Mount Rainier National Park. It lived up to its fame.

“Of all the fire mountains which like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.” – John Muir

Continue reading “Wandering Through Washington, Part VII”

Wandering Through Washington, Part VI – Mount St. Helens Rebirth and Today

The devastation brought about by lahars and the pyroclastic flow was extensive. Besides the 230 square miles of forest destroyed, animals were also killed in large numbers. It is estimated that 1,500 Roosevelt elk, 5,000 deer, hundreds of bears, coyotes, bobcats, rabbits, etc. were killed that day. The monument was made into a very large observatory to examine how nature recovers from such a disaster. Where they could, the mountain and surrounding areas were left as they had been after the explosion in 1980.

Continue reading “Wandering Through Washington, Part VI – Mount St. Helens Rebirth and Today”

Wandering Through Washington, Part VI – Mount St. Helens Devastation

The day after arriving in Castle Rock, we hopped into the car for a drive to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. We wanted to take a look at the mountain that blew its top in 1980. As we drove along, we kept expecting to see the mountain. We stopped in at a few viewpoints and visitor centers, but still no view of the mountain. It was hiding in a low cloud bank. The devastation was easily visible in the valley below us, but not that mountain. We finally decided to turn around and return another day to take it in.

Continue reading “Wandering Through Washington, Part VI – Mount St. Helens Devastation”

Wandering Through Washington, Part V

After exploring the Olympic Peninsula for 10 days, we finally pointed our RV south and made our way to our new hub town, Castle Rock. From this point, we would get to visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. This blog post will cover the Fort Vancouver site which is located on the north shore of the Columbia River.

Continue reading “Wandering Through Washington, Part V”