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

Friday, May 23, 2008

Liberty ViewChurch Picnic and Visits - Back In Indiana

After the festival, it was time to head for Indiana. We were up Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m. and on the road by 7:30. We arrived at Buffalo Trace Park, just east of Palmyra, with just enough time to park and hook up to the electric.

Then it was off to Spring Mill State Park for the annual Liberty View church Day in the Park.

The Geltmakers provided music for the day, as they have for several years. Click on their photo for more shots from the day.

. We had made day trips to Buffalo Trace many times, but this was our first time to camp there.

The campground is scenic, laid out amongst the trees, but we found the sites a bit tight.

A mile and a half paved trail circles the lake

making a nice path for early morning hiking.

We were surprised to see Cyprus trees growing in the water—we had thought it a more southern variety.

While walking, we met a family out for their morning hike:

On Monday evening, my cousin Esther and her husband David had us over for a delicious family meal .

Tuesday was spent visiting family, friends and former neighbors.

Wednesday, we visited the family who now live in our former home and had a wonderful visit with all of them. It was fun to see the changes they have made to the house since purchasing it last summer.

Thursday we moved north to McCormick’s Creek State Park, where we will be for the month of June.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dancing at the Derby City Festival

The Derby City Festival dancing was on Thursday evening, Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening. Headliner for the weekend was national caller, Dee Dee Dougherty-Lottie, from Minnesota.

Here are some shots from the Festival:

One of the many callers:

There was also lots of round dancing:

There was dancing Thursday evening through Saturday evening:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Palomino Record Company - Shepherdsville, KY

We spent a week at Grandma’s RV Park in Shepherdsville, Ky with friends, Jim and Helen. Fellow square dancers, they sold their house to become full-timers at about the same time as we. We enjoyed the week with them.

Two more couples from our Bedford, IN, club, Stone City Squares, Merian and Wanda, and Ives and Carol joined us on Thursday for the weekend festival.

Friday, we all visited Palomino Records, the company which makes 98% of all square dance records. The owner, Tom Dillander, who is also a caller, was a very entertaining host.

He walked us through the entire procedure of making records, from the melting of PVC pellets to the finished product. Click on this photo of the warehouse for a slide show of pictures taken during our visit:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bailey's Point C.O.E., Barren River, KY

After a good visit on Friday morning with friend, Juanell, we moved north to Bailey’s Point on Barren Lake in Kentucky. Friday and Saturday had gorgeous weather, low seventies, lots of sun.

We walked on the park’s nature trail and through the campground, and then just enjoyed the afternoon outdoors in our lawn chairs. We planned to move to Shepherdsville on Sunday morning, but awoke to 40 mph winds and rain, so we stayed the extra night on Barren Lake.

Today, May 12, we are in Shepherdsville, KY, with friends, Jim and Helen. We will attend the Derby City Square Dance Festival here this week.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

McFarland Park, Florence, AL

A good friend lives in Florence, Alabama, so our next stop (2 nights) was in McFarland Park, one of two city parks.

Another of our favorites, McFarland sits on the banks of the Tennessee River, affording a great view of the many riverboats passing through.

While there, we danced with the Quad City Squares.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tishamingo State Park Hike

We stayed 6 nights at Bay Springs, and during that time, made a day trip to nearby Tishamingo State Park.

The park, named after a Chickasaw chief, preserves Mississippi’s only real rock canyon. 13 miles of foot trails were built in the park during the 30’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

A swinging bridge, also built in 1939 leads the way to one section of the trail.

As we crossed the bridge, we were enjoyed watching the many large turtles sunning on available logs and rocks in Bear Creek. These turtles were huge, at least 12” across their shells, and we continued to spot more of them all day.

A rocky outcrop on the creek bank afforded us the ideal setting for our picnic lunch.

The woods contained several blooming bushes of mountain laurel and bush honeysuckle.

The trail was moderately rugged as it left the creek’s edge and began to climb, often over large rocks and roots.

The park is the only location in the state suitable for rock climbing, and our path wound along many of the huge outcroppings.

One of the highlights of the 3+ mile hike was the small waterfall we found, obviously originating from one of the many springs in the area.

The day was beautiful and the hike just the right length.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bay Springs C.O.E. Park

Originally planning on making the next stop Florence, AL, we changed our minds and decided to check out Bay Springs C.O.E. just north of Tupelo. Once again, we were very glad we did. The campground has definitely won a place on our list of favorites.

Normally a very quiet peaceful park, the peace was threatened our second night there when a severe storm outbreak moved through the area. At one time, local radar was tracking 5 tornadoes at one time in northern Mississippi. We kept a close watch on the TV throughout the evening.

One tornado touched down 30 miles west of us, doing considerable damage. A lesser twister touched down just five miles from us, but we had no damage in the park at all.

Bay Springs has more amenities than any C.O.E. park we’ve visited. Attractions include a sand beach swimming areas, nice visitor center, laundry, numerous playgrounds, an amphitheatre, and attractive campsites.

Each asphalt site has a gravel patio complete with grill, grill side table, fire ring and picnic table, and usually a view of the lake.

There is also a three quarter mile nature trail along the lake.

We were surprised to find an observation area at the lock and dam, unusual considering the tighter security measures since 9/11.

Natchez Trace Parkway

Whenever we find ourselves in the vicinity of the Natchez Trace Parkway, that is the route we take. We love the “laid-back” feel of driving through the countryside with no commercial traffic and a 50 mph speed limit. The trace runs over 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, TN. We have run the entire length 4 times. This time, we would only be on it from Jackson, MS to Florence, AL.

There are numerous historical sites on the Trace. We try always to make a stop at French Camp.

Located within the small community is a boarding school started over 100 years ago. The students earn their tuition and keep partly from scholarships and partly from working in the reconstructed village. A trip on the Trace is not complete without a stop at the Council House Café.

There are two desserts available. Ron favors the Bread Pudding, while I always have the Mississippi Mud.

In the adjoining building is a small two room gift shop filled with crafts created by the students.