Swamps, Bayous, Rivers, Lakes

February 12th, 2023

There is water everywhere and where there is water there are snakes, alligators and tour companies that will take you deep into the woods! We found Captain Caviar who had small tours and Teddy could ride along! The only problem is his tour was 3 hours long and the restroom facilities were nonexistant! I survived and it was a beautiful day. Our original plan was to go on Saturday afternoon but it was cold, rainy and the sun never came out! So it’s off season and Captain Caviar was very happy to reschedule to Sunday.

We have been on Airboat Tours, large boat swamp tours, small boat tours that actually can ride in 2” of water (that was the most upclose tour). Captain Caviar is right on the Idlewild Plantation property on the Atchafalaya River . His boat can hold 5 passengers and he keeps it small and simple! His boat goes fast and not right into the swamp but we cruised along and he knew all sorts of things about the area. It was a beautiful day and the ride was lovely.

The wildlife is just starting to show up but we did spot this guy! He was sunning himself along with several turtles. When we got too close they all disappeared into the water! Glad I wasn’t swimming.

We even got to go through a lock on the river. Right now we were only going up about a foot but you could see the waterline where during the spring runoff the lock raises about 6 feet

Opening up
More wildlife
We saw mostly birds, including 2 Bald Eagles.

Captain Caviar was a great story teller; he wanted to tell us about the ghosts on his property and in the Bayou. I’m not really a believer but that could be because I’ve not seen a ghost yet. His family home, Idlewild is supposed to be haunted, infact as he tells it his previous girlfriend would not come back after she saw is dead wife following her! We had a great time listening to him tell stories about his territory. Another fun fact is he is called Captain Caviar because he is the creator of Cajun Caviar and sold it in 2019 to Emeril Lagasse’s Wife and her two friends. The caviar is hand harvested from the Choupique fish in the fresh waters of the Atchafalaya Basin.

We saw many camps in the bayou. No one lives there in the winter but they do use them for recreation and hunting/fishing. The camps use water from the Bayou and return the water to the Bayou!!! Perfect place for the kiddo’s to play and swim in the summer heat.

A view of the swamp, forest, bayou.
Not sure which is which
Teddy finally relaxed after about 30 minutes and actually seemed like he enjoyed the wind in his face

We picked a perfect day to get out on the River, Swamp, Bayou and Captain Caviar was very entertaining. We didn’t see enough turtles and alligators but that is fine by me. The lock’s were a treat for Paul and it was such a small lock that the operator stood on the bridge and chatted with us while we waited for the opening of the gates.

And we were done just in time to miss the kick off of Super Bowl XLVii. We enjoyed watching the game, not really interested in the halftime show and I kept forgetting to pay attention to the commercials (usually my favorite part). I was rooting for The Chiefs but felt like the Eagles had it in the bag! Some fun plays.

That is a wrap for Louisiana, tomorrow we head towards Alabama.

Down in the Bayou

February 11th, 2023

We are going to spend a few days enjoying some downhome cooking and resting. Lake End Park in Morgan City will be very comfortable.

Sunset from my patio
Sunrise from my porch
Sunset from my patio

Lakes End is a very nice county park in Morgan City which is definitely not a tourist stop. We are about 60 miles from New Orleans and it’s Carnival season! All the little towns have parades leading up to Mardi Gras. We missed the parades because it rained but we saw several party buses around town and many homes and businesses are decorated.

Ready for the Party!

We found the cutest local restaurant, 4 tables inside it appeared to be her living room! Rita Mae’s Kitchen was definitely my style of restaurant when visiting these places. Her shrimp Poboy was amazing! Paul had gumbo which had so much seafood. We topped lunch off with a slice of homemade Pecan Pie. This cooking is like Mom’s! No website but easy to find. We are only in Morgan City a few days and I had a hard time not returning for more of her foods!

Rita Mae’s Kitchen

We did take a few drives to explore the area with a ride to Cocodrie which is a fishing village on the edge of Louisana, actually appeared to be at the end of the land. We saw lots of damage from the huricane from over a year ago.

Plantations have a special place in Louisiana with many restored and used as tourist spots. We found one in Houma that only the gift shop was open but you could walk around outside and enjoy the grounds. Southdown Plantation was beautiful on the outside; the caretaker and the gift shop guy were very talkative – I think they are ready to reopen. Its been over a year and they are very close to reopening.

Southdown Plantation
Non functioning light house across the river from Morgan City

This was an interesting find near our campsite. A family donated the land and a bell tower was installed along with a short trail. We saw a small family taking photos of the mom pregnant and a 2 year old. They looked odd being dressed up and we were basically in a swamp. Dad and the photographer looked much more prepared for a swamp!

Cemeteries seem to attract us especially when we are in the south. Louisiana has many and the graves are mostly above ground so they won’t float away during floods.

Love Louisiana but definitely would not enjoy living here as the summers are brutal; mosquitos, snakes, alligators and humidity!

Texas Hill Country

February 5th, 2023

I made it to San Antonio, a day late but I only missed the freeze! Paul and Teddy spent two days inside the RV with a 1/2 inch of ICE!!! Glad I waited, it was 70 degrees the day after I arrived.

This is what Paul had the day I was suppose to arrive!
Too cold for me

Glad the weather in Texas decided to get back to normal so I could join Paul and get on our way to another adventure~~

Great weather to get out and enjoy Hill Country. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimberley,_Texas, Wimberley is just outside of Austin and we had not been there yet. Hoping for some exercise but we mostly found some cute boutiques, boots and of course BBQ! Paul had his first taste of Texas BBQ from a food truck that was really good. I had Brisket Taco’s and they were definitely not on the diet but soooo good.

These Boots….
Or just lazing about!

Wimberley is kind of an art community and the public art was lots of fun to find. Just outside of town is Jacobs pond but after driving there it was closed and no pets allowed. So we tried another spot. Old Baldy Park, said to be 250 steps to the highest point in Hill Country. Ok,

The base of the staircase
The top, view of Hill Country
Going down

Time to move east! Next stop Houston, dinner with my sister and her family and then we are off to Louisiana!

Sometimes you just have to see!

October 2nd, 2022

Driving from YNP to Boise is a a very long drive but sometimes you see something that might just need to be looked at. Craters of the Moon National Monument is right on the road we were taking and we have a pass, and it was a good time for a potty break. Well I’m not sure how I feel about this one; it is unique but the lava goes way beyond the park. So if you are just casually interested in lava like us you probably do not need to see it unless you are passing by then take a look. If you are into geology I’m sure its a must see.

That’s it! The last photo of the giant mountain of lava is so powdery but I did climb the .4 of a mile to the top! The other photos show how different the lava looks- some of it looks like giant cow patties.

Another NP off our list. The road was way too long so we will probably not have an opportunity to revisit this site but we did!

Can’t ever get enough of this beauty, Yellowstone NP

October 2nd, 2022

We love this park and always feel like it is the first time seeing the geysers. This trip we did notice a lot of new changes; ie. the Mammoth Hot Springs area is definitely receded from our first trip in 2012. It is still beautiful but in 10 years the beauty has changed.

View of the wall coming from the east
up close, the flow is about 1/3 of what it was 10 years ago

Always a favorite, Old Faithful a must stop and wait for the eruption that comes about once an hour.

There is so much to see here you definitely need at least a couple of days. The Yellowstone River flows thru the park and there are several waterfalls (always a favorite of mine). If I hear water I’m going in that direction.

Just one of the many streams in YNP
Fishing at the base of a waterfall. Looks cold but so cool if I liked to fish!

The pools are all so different and amazing to see. The boardwalks get you right up close to some very cool sites to see. The smell often is very strong.

We saw many wildlife. Our first site was a mama Elk with her offspring. They were along the side of the road eating from the trees. No pictures cause they were too busy eating and the trees were in the way. The Elk above looked like a statue; he was just hanging in the shade right in front of the Mammoth Inn, a popular spot for the Elk herd in the afternoon. The buffalo was one of many. If you go to Yellowstone and don’t see a Buffalo you are going way too fast! Slow down, they are in every part of the park. This one was right outside our campground.

We spent 2 nights in the park with snow predicted the last morning. We woke up to wet roads but no snow. Upon leaving we came into the snow! It snowed overnight at the higher elevations and it was still snowing when we came thru.

The roads were slightly icy sometimes but mostly very safe. We just drive slower!

That was a bonus, seeing snow in Yellowstone. I am sure it is very beautiful in the winter but I hope I don’t get caught up in it! Burr.

Wow, just WOW!!!

September 22nd, 2022
Right at the entrance to the state park

We spent the day in Glacier NP and I am always looking for wildlife. We haven’t seen much on this trip but once we left the park yesterday on our way home we spotted a huge Buck and Deer in a field just off the highway and then we are pulling into Wayfarers State Park where we are spending the week this huge guy runs across the road right behind our car! Paul stops, I grab my phone and roll the window down and grab this quick shot! Teddy is barking at him and growling! The bear could careless about us, he was just trying to get back into the woods.

Then we are driving down the road to the campground and a small deer is right on the side of the road! Paul wouldn’t let me get a photo because we weren’t in a safe place to stop!

That’s a lot of wildlife when we haven’t seen much of anything so far in the past 5 weeks.

Another Been there spot!

September 22nd, 2022

We are starting to recognize odd things in our travels. We were on our way into Glacier NP yesterday and saw a Starbucks at an intersection that was definitely not there last trip. Then we are driving up the road and Paul says “I’m recognizing all kinds of things” You anticipate remembering but usually things change. We were here 2 summers ago and not too much has changed. There are a couple of closed up businesses and a couple new, fancy resorts but most of the things are the same from last trip.

Trying to find new things to see in the same places sometimes can be a challenge, especially this trip because I am not able to do the hikes. But, we always notice new stuff. We are driving the main road thru the park and I am marveling at the road. The Going to the Sun Road was built in the 1920’s. How did they do that then? and then taking care of it! They are working on part of the lower road and delays are expected as well as a very bumpy ride. The road does not fully open each year until July because of the massive amounts of snow. The road is one of the most difficult roads in North America to snowplow in the spring. Up to 80 feet (24 m) of snow can lie on top of Logan Pass, and more just east of the pass where the deepest snowfield has long been referred to as the Big Drift.  Wow! Just think in September there is hardly a trace of snow from the road.

Mostly built where they carved out the mountain. The road is narrow and very windy
If you zoom in and look very carefully you can see the road across the canyon
Glacier has the coolest tour buses. They also use very old , wooden boats for their tours on the lakes
No snow but some very beautiful mountain side flowers and colors.
The leaves are just starting to change.
New bathrooms right in the side of the mountain.

The park is making lots of improvements but they can’t improve the beauty! It is just spectacular here.

At the top of Logan Pass, we took a short walk up the mountain. Lots of stairs
The tour vehicle

We had a beautiful afternoon in the park and saw some things that we hadn’t before. Logan Pass is always so packed and there isn’t any parking. There are several hikes that leave from here and I’ve always wanted to go so today we get a parking spot and actually walked the nature trail and the Hidden Lake trail – we only went about 1/3 mile up the hill. It’s a very nice wooden walkway but there are lots of stairs as there is quite a bit of elevation gain. Maybe next year because from what I could see it is a beautiful hike/walk.

Been here, done that but you always find something new

September 18th, 2022

We decided to spend the weekend in Spokane rather than moving to Coure d’Alene mostly because its only 15 miles to the next dealer for Paul and its free and very quiet at night here at the dealer.

Spokane Valley has a very nice river walk along the Spokane River. We have walked it many times and ridden our bikes along it. One of the trailheads is very close to where we are staying so one evening we decide to take a walk; drive down to the parking area and proceed. As we are starting down the trail to the river another couple is dancing around and come towards us telling us there is a snake! Nope, I don’t do snakes and the lady told us they saw 2 on their short walk. We have never seen snakes on this trail. I know it is very dry here but this is so close to town. There was no way I was walking this trail today, besides we had Teddy and who knows how he would handle a snake! So we take a nice walk on the sidewalks and when we are returning to our car I offered that we walk up to the overpass so we can at least see the river! Just as we are approaching the overpass I look to my left and in the weeds is a giant snake stretched out! Are you kidding me. So much for an evening walk. We found a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed a margarita and a full Mexican dinner complete with rice and beans and LOTS of cheese.

The weather is spectacular so we spent Saturday in Historic Spokane enjoying the Riverfront Park. We have enjoyed is several times before and the waterfalls right in town are beautiful. They are doing a lot of improvements so seeing the falls is tricky right now but they have lots of other things to see. Today they were having a car club show. Not too many cars but it was fun to look at how nicely they care for their hobby.

I just liked the flag that was lowered in the background. Not much wind so you couldn’t see it from this angle too well
My favorite because of the mini truck on top with M&M guys

They had an area that was a sister city park garden. Small but they have a lot of sister cities, Ireland, South Korea, Japan and a couple others.

Native America A Salmon

They also had a harp from Limerick, Ireland but it was inside glass and a photo just wasn’t possible.

Garbage Goat, for real

The Garbage Goat serves a real purpose although they have him sort of hidden in the park. He has been eating garbage from visitors for more than 40 years. He was installed as part of the 1974 Worlds Fair after a lot of flak from the Goat Association. He actually vacuums the trash right out of your hand. This little boy stayed for my photo after he was trying to get the goat to eat a grande plastic cup from starbucks. The goat couldn’t do it – his opening is small. (I think its so you don’t get your fingers swallowed).

My favorite Art in the Park was the Giant Radio Flyer Slide.

Poor Teddy! He had a lot of trouble with the stairs – they are for 2 legged children
Never thought I would see this
Teddy wants down! NOW!

It was a nice day and I got some walking in. It’s been a struggle trying to get my body back in shape. Some days I hurt in way too many places but then I’ll walk and feel better – Got to get my head into it.

When in the Islands

September 13th, 2022

Anacortes is near the San Juan Islands, in fact it is known for it’s ferry’s that take you to the different islands. You can reach it from land north of Seattle or by Ferry which we did. Anacortes has a very nice harbor area and a downtown with lots of restaurants and fun little shops.

Love the watering can

We have been here several times and with all the shopping I did while we were in Sequim I did not need to get inside anymore gift shops so we took a ferry ride to Friday Harbor. This was also just a boat ride and lunch. Of course it involves Ice Cream.

After leaving Teddy for so long the last boat ride I wanted him to come along and I knew we could find outdoor dining. He is suppose to stay outside on the ferry

Teddy doesn’t think that is a good idea! It’s cold and windy out there and besides there is a perfectly good chair right here in the front so we can see where the boat is going.

Friday Harbor is pretty small and has a small downtown right where the ferry drops you off. Plenty of eatery’s, ice cream and trinket shops. I did find a very nice gentleman that allowed me to try his wines without paying the tasting fee! It was good but too expensive. We wandered awhile, found ice cream and wandered some more. The ferry was a long way off as they are having trouble with staffing. We thought we would go back on the 4:30 boat but there was no 4:30 boat so 6:30 was our time. Dinner on the harbor was very nice. I had a crab BLT that was amazing although it could have just been a Tomato sandwich as the tomato’s were to die for – tasted right out of the garden. They were from a local farm but still!!! It wasn’t cheap $34 but it’s only money and we probably won’t eat out at least for the rest of the week!!!

Teddy was so good. He has been a bit skiddish about noises and things but he slept on the ferry and while we had lunch he slept under the table until someone said something about “going”.

The ferry before ours
The view of the harbor during our dinner

Our 6:30 boat was late and we did not leave Friday Harbor until after 7 pm. I am so happy we brought Teddy along.

Another successful trip to Washington State. There is a lot of beauty here and the weather in August and September is perfect.

Moving on to Annacortes

September 10th, 2022
Wooden boat festival

We have been having beautiful days. Yesterday afternoon the sky started changing and we could smell smoke in the air. This morning we woke to very hazy skies. Today we boarded the ferry to Anacortes and in Port Townsend they were having a wooden boat festival and there were lots of boats cruising and lots of people arriving by ferry – glad we were going the opposite direction. It would have been fun to attend but I’m not a big fan of crowded venues anymore.

We made it safely to Coupeville and to our RV destination for the next 3 days. Paul has a bit of work to do on Monday and then we will head towards Spokane. I’ve been seeing lots of news about fires so hopefully we can avoid too much smoke.