Ennis RV Village
After leaving Warren Bridge we met up with friends Audrey and Ken whom we met last year while camping in Grand Teton NP. They are now summer residents in the cute little town of Ennis, MT on the west side of Yellowstone. It was great to get caught up on travels adventures over the past year and they showed us around the region including a trip up to the nearby historic towns of Virginia City and Nevada City. Virginia City, the former Montana state capital, has been designated a National Historic Landmark District, and was as a gold rush boom town. Many of the original structures remain and are open for viewing. Nevada City, only a few miles away retains some of its original buildings but over 108 others have been moved to the area from nearby, creating a large outdoor living history museum. Continue reading
We’re heading north but first a stop at Lewis and Clark Caverns SP near Bozeman, MT. Here we met up with our friends from Florida, Steve and Diana who are in Montana for the summer and Leonard’s cousin David and wife Dottie, whom we will be traveling with this summer.
We thought we would be smart and tour the caves early in the day since the tour involves a strenuous 3/4 mile uphill hike to the cave entrance and it was quite hot. You must be able to get there in 1/2 hr or you won’t be allowed to go on the tour and you can’t go unescorted. We were about to pay for our tickets when tragedy struck, a phone call from a frantic guide at the top reporting a medical emergency. We saw it all unfold before our eyes, a person had a heart attack at the top and there was no way to get up there quickly, only walking. An EMT who happened to be there went up and tried to help and eventually an ambulance arrived and they walked with their gear and a stretcher up the hill. Then they all slowly started walking back down the hill with the body on the stretcher. It was all very sad. But did that deter us, no way. So instead of being able to hike in the cool of the morning we chose to go up in the hottest part of the afternoon. (Whose idea was that?) But we did it and survived to tell about it! Continue reading
Warren Bridge BLM campground
Heading north from Flaming Gorge we settled into a beautiful little BLM campground about an hour south of Jackson, WY. Located at 7500 ft, it was in the 70’s during the day and dropping into the 30’s at night. With snow-capped mountains all around us, and at $5/ night, this was dry camping at it’s best. Leonard got to put his new solar panels to work and everything worked like a charm. Continue reading
The Green River and dam for Flaming Gorge reservoir.
We spent a week at Lucerne campground in the high desert of Flaming Gorge Nat Rec Area on the border of southern Wyoming and northern Utah. The campground was nearly deserted during the week , we shared it only with the numerous pronghorn antelope and the ubiquitous prairie dog which seem to be everywhere we go. Continue reading
Defuniak Springs, a once thriving town situated in the panhandle of north Florida off of I- 10 has sadly seen better days. We spent a couple of nights just north of here on the first leg of our 2018 cross country trip and one night we ventured into town to see what we could see. The town unfortunately is like so many that we have traveled through, with the downtown almost completely deserted, boarded up and only a few hardy businesses surviving enough to make a living. There are perhaps hundreds of gorgeous Victorian houses in various states of decay surrounding a lake in the center of town. We did find the one restaurant in town, Bogeys, that seemed to be getting all the business and had a lovely meal out on the balcony overlooking town. When we were leaving we drove around some side streets and to our amazement we discovered not one but 5 Tesla charging stations. Unbelievable, like something from Back to the Future. There were empty buildings all around and a large crumbled parking lot nearby and a proud sign proclaiming “Where the past meets the future”. I can only hope Elon Musk has plans for this town.
In the vicinity are Falling Waters State Park, Ponce De Leon Springs State Park and Morrison Spring. All worth exploring.
Ponce De Leon Springs State Park
Falling Waters SP, Florida’s highest waterfall. It falls 75 feet down into a sinkhole.
The funny little Cattle Egret with all his beautiful colors.
I’ve lived in Central Florida almost 30 years now and am just now discovering some of the fabulous locations we have for bird photography. Gatorland, a small family owned theme park near Kissimmee, is one of those perfect places to go in the spring months when the rookery located over the alligator swamp is filled with breeding birds. The rookeries are a photographers paradise as the birds display vivid breeding colors. The lore (the skin around their eyes) become vibrant and they acquire long, elegant feathers. So I set off with a couple of other photography enthusiasts and we set out to practice our skills. What a lot a fun, I will definitely be back. Continue reading
The beautiful courtship display of the Great Egret.
We visited the St Augustine Alligator Farm which is one of the oldest zoos in America, having been founded in 1893. This is a fun little attraction at any time, but in the spring it becomes spectacular when the rookery comes alive with thousands of mating birds. Native herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills and woodstorks seek the security of the alligator swamp to roost and raise their young because the alligators swimming below keep the tree climbing predators at bay. Continue reading