Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Swinging Bridge Park, Jackson, MS

Three days later, we moved to Jackson, MS. We stayed two nights in the Swinging Bridge Campground on the south side of the city. We chose the area so that we could square dance with the local club. Curious about the name of the park, we began asking about the ‘Swinging Bridge’. Many of the ‘locals’ didn’t know if there really was a bridge or not, but a cable repairman told us how to find it.

A one lane road led to it.

The bridge, no longer in use, spans the Pearl River.

The old bridge was impressive, with steel cables as large as my wrist.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge has been very neglected, (obviously, from the graffiti) a local meeting place for youth.
Fires had even been set on its surface, burning large holes complete through. It's sad to see a piece of history deteriorating so.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lincoln Parish Park, Ruston, LA

On Saturday, we moved eastward into northern Louisiana. We chose one of our all-time favorite parks, Lincoln Parish, to spend our 29th wedding anniversary, April 27.

Occasionally while traveling, you happen onto that perfect little park, hidden away from the hustle and bustle, that seems like it was made just for you. Lincoln Parish is one of those parks for us.

We found it quite by accident several years ago, and return for a few days anytime we’re in the area. Located just 2.5 miles from Ruston, LA, it feels like a hundred miles away from anywhere. No traffic noise, just you, the birds, fish and a few other campers. Even motorboats are not allowed on the lake.

The camping sites are tucked in amongst the pines, overlooking the lake.

One of the offerings of the park is the Mountain Bike Trails, a 4 mile beginner trail and a 10 mile advanced, rated as one of the top trails in the country. For us, the bike trails provide excellent hiking.

A shorter, paved 1.25 mile path around the lake is just perfect ....

for that evening stroll,...

and catching the sunset.

Click here for a few more views throughout the park. (To return to blog, click your "back" arrow)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Beauty of Texas Wildflowers

Texan natives have told us this year that the wildflowers are not as plentiful or showy as usual but we have been delighted by the roadsides. The popular Texas Bluebonnets were abundant.

Can you see why they are called Bluebonnets? I have not had internet access to research all the names of the flowers, but wanted to share some of the beauty.

Click on this photo
to see some of the many varieties
blooming this spring.
To return to blog, click your "back" arrow.

Our next planned stay was to be a C.O.E. park on Whitney Lake. When friends, Donna and Glenn arrived a day before us, they found the campgrounds nearly full, with only small sites still available. As an alternative, they checked us into the park where Donna’s uncle lives, Lake Whitney RV Park, a combination RV/Mobile home park.

It was not on the lake, as the name implies, but was a comfortable place to park for a week’s visit.

We took a drive around Whitney Lake before leaving the area. The campgrounds, for the most part, have gravel sites, and at least currently, a rather unkempt appearance. The area between lots had not been mowed, and weeds were getting knee-high. Downed limbs from a storm during the week made us glad we had not been parked there as originally planned.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reynold's Creek, Waco Lake, Texas

Our next stop was Reynold’s Creek C.O.E. on Waco Lake. This park is trying to recover from last year’s devastating floods. Of more than 90 original campsites, only about half remain open. It appears the more scenic sites on the water’s edge have been closed permanently, and parts of the former campground has become a day use area for picnics and fishing.

We planned a stop here so we could attend the local square dance in nearby Speegleville. The club members (The Shooting Stars) could not have been more welcoming. We thoroughly enjoyed the night. Note the large yellow rock outside the hall – in square dance language, “yellow rocking” means hugging.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cedar Breaks and Live Oak Ridge C.O.E.s

April 9 –

We arrived in Kerrille on Wednesday Morning, and stayed 3 days to visit with good friends, Donna and Glenn.

Saturday morning found us on the road again, through the scenic Hill Country. Texas is famous for its spring wildflowers, especially the bluebonnets, and the roadsides were alive with color.

The price of diesel fuel continues to alarm us. Since leaving Yuma, we paid $4.09 per gallon once, our first time to pay over $4.00. As we passed through Marble Falls on Saturday, we spotted this gas station price of $4.15, the highest we’ve seen yet.

We like to stay at Corps of Engineer parks (C.O.E.) and have found some beautiful parks throughout the U.S. The next three nights were spent at Cedar Breaks Park on Lake Georgetown. Aptly named, the cedar grove provided a welcome respite from the wind.

A 28 mile hiking trail surrounds Lake Georgetown and the community of Georgetown. While not in shape for a hike of that length, we did enjoy a 2.5 mile hike along the trail while at the park.

It wound through a wooded area, with an occasional glimpse of the lake.

On Tuesday, we moved a short 35 miles or so northward to Live Oak Ridge C.O.E., a small, but attractive, park on Belton Lake.

Here we were pleasantly surprised to find they are offering wireless internet access on a trial basis, which is enabling me to make this update.

The first thing you notice on arriving at Belton Lake is its mural, the largest we have seen. (Texas doesn’t do anything small).

Painted on the dam walls, the impressive mural stretches over 800 feet on its east side.

Depicting scenes from Belton’s history, the panels cover everything from covered wagons to its military installation.

Painted in the late 70’s by the local art students of University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, it provided an attractive solution to a growing graffiti problem on the wall.

Although not quite as impressive, a colorful mural also decorates the west side of the dam

Although Live Oak Ridge boasts no hiking trails of its own, just across the street is Miller Springs, an arboretum, with several winding trails. We hiked on one leading to the edge of the mural wall.

The trail also looked out over the canyons once cut by the Leon River, before the creation of Belton Lake.

We’ll enjoy another day here, then move on tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Balmorhea State Park, Texas

Davis Mountain foothills

We overnight in the Balmorhea State Park in Texas.

The park is small (46 acres), located in the foothills of the Davis Mountains.

The park's main attractions are created by the San Solomon Springs. The springs fill a 'cienega' (desert wetland) and the canals of a refugium (a protected aquatic refuge), home to an endangered species of fish, assorted invertebrates, and turtles.

The springs also feed a large pool differs from most public pools in several respects: the 1 3/4-acre size, the 25-foot depth and the 72 to 76 degree constant temperature. It also has a variety of aquatic life in its clear waters, and ducks fishing from the surface. With a capacity of more than 3 1/2 million gallons, the pool has plenty of room for swimmers, while offering a unique setting for scuba and skin diving.

As we walked around the rim of the natural bottom pool, we spotted large catfish, multitudes of tiny fish, and an occasional turtle. Wonder if a turtle ever tries to dine on a bare swimmer’s toe?

Another unusual feature of the park is it’s observation windows to the underwater life. The endangered Comanche Springs Pupfish live nowhere else except in the refugium here. Another protected species is the Pecos Gambusia, which are excellent mosquito population reducers. This tiny fish is found only in a few places in Texas and New Mexico. Click HERE for our photos of the refugium, pool, and the aquatic life.

Although the small park does not hold enough attraction to warrant a future visit, it is an interesting overnight stop.

The next morning, we were on the road again, headed for Kerrville, TX and a visit with good friends, Donna and Glenn. The drive is scenic, even though we are on the interstate.

It is interesting to note that only in this small area of the country is the speed limit 80 m.p.h.