Traverse City, Sleeping Bear NP

August 1, 2018 Leave a comment

After leaving the Akers, we drove to Traverse City, where we stayed at the Indigo Bluffs RV Resort. It is located some 20 miles west of TC, and is convenient access to Sleeping Bear National Park. This park has some nice hikes, some of it in canopied forests, some on the dunes. We even climbed the Dune Climb. If you want a great workout, try some of the hills in the Dunes. We got to see a great horned owl and some sand cranes on our walks.

At the north end of the peninsula is a Rescue Station, dating back to the 1800’s. Using rather crude boats, they rescued many sailors from Lake Michigan. Later this became better known as the US Coast Guard. It’s interesting to see how those people lived and worked in difficult conditions.

We’ve been to Traverse City before, and elected to spend most of our time at the Commons. This was originally known as the Northern Michigan Asylum, started in the 1880’s. It later became the Traverse City State Hospital and grew to over one million square feet of space. It served the mental needs but also diseases such as tuberculosis.

In the 1950s use of the facility declined to where it was closed. Some of the buildings were demolished and the main building was gutted with fire. It was rebuilt according to the original plans and is now a senior home as well as some very fine shopping.

First stop, the Akers..

Dick and Nancy Akers were kind enough to offer us the use of their RV pad next to their house in Michigan. We were more than happy to accept, so drove to their house after our Spartan steering adjustments were finished.

They have a beautiful home, looking over the lake. Lots of greenery and scenic roads!

Looking over the lake from inside our motor home

Categories: Traveling

Traveling the MidWest

July 24, 2018 1 comment

For the past month and a half, we’ve been traveling in the MidWest (with stops in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana) with our friends of the Traveling Supremes Travel Club.  Since I am webmaster for the club, i posted a series of blogs of these travels.  The web site can be found by clicking here.

Because of the posts on that web site, I have not posted anything here for quite a while.  However, we are traveling on our own again, and have quite an ambitious schedule until we get back to Dallas in September.  This is to include Michigan, the UP, over to Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Mt. Rushmore.  So expect my posts to reappear here soon.

 

 

Carlsbad Caverns, NM

30 years ago we visited the Carlsbad Caverns with our kids.  We finally decided for a revisit, and although the cave hasn’t changed much,  the path system has been greatly improved.  We walked the entire open area and were awed by the size and scenic impact of the caverns.

Early explorers had a hard time, using only torches and rather rickety ropes and wire ladders to visit the various rooms and chambers.  And the ground was rough and rock strewn making for difficult explorations.

Until 1932, visitors to the cavern had to walk down a switchback ramp that took them 750 feet (230 m) below the surface. The walk back up was tiring for some. In 1932 the national park opened up a large visitor center building that contained two elevators that would take visitors in and out of the caverns below. The new center included a cafeteria, waiting room, museum and first aid area.

The park contains over 119 caves.  Three caves are open to public tours. Carlsbad Caverns is the most famous and is fully developed with electric lights, paved trails, and elevators. Slaughter Canyon Cave and Spider Cave are undeveloped, excepted for designated paths for the guided “adventure” caving tours.

 

 

Cruise to Ireland

We had been planning a cruise to Ireland since last fall.  We were going with our friends the Shireys, but they had to cancel for medical reasons.  Hopefully they will recover but we missed having them with us on our cruise.

Shipboard:    As is usual with Celebrity, this was a well run cruise.  Probably the most on board activities we’ve ever had on a trans Atlantic cruise, we were so busy we only got to the hot tubs twice!  And of course we ate too much.

The Azores:  Our first landfall after leaving Miami 8 days before.  We had an overnight stay, so we had lots of time to visit the many scenic locations, including Ponta Delgado, the capital city.

Cobh:  Our first Irish port, formally known as Queenstown.  Last port for the Titanic, and final destination for the Lusitania, which was torpedoed in 1915 just off the coast.  We had much better luck, and visited Blarney, where I kissed the Blarney Store.

Dublin:  As always, lots to do and see in Dublin.  we visited Trinity College and the downtown area on foot.

Galway:  We rented a car and drove to Galway, where we stayed at the most excellent Glenlo Abbey.  We drove to the east coast and visited Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful castle surrounded by trees and lovely gardens.  It would have been better without the strong winds and rain, but it was a nice visit.

Kilkenny:  We then drove to Kilkenny where we had a short visit to a very scenic and historic city.  The castle was fantastic.

I’m keeping the descriptions short, there are some summary images are below.  Our full photo album is at laninga.com, click on 2018, then cruises then the place name.

 

Dallas Arboretum

March 25, 2018 Leave a comment

We always like to visit the Dallas Arboretum, and today was a nice spring day. A bit overcast, but that helps bring out the colors. I know we’ve posted many arboretum photos before, but here’s a few more.

Categories: Traveling

Change of plans

March 17, 2018 1 comment

Well that didn’t last long…. after we decided on the Tiffin motor home we went back to Dallas to re-organize our storage to get ready for the big move.  It quickly became obvious that if we wanted to move our “stuff” into the new Tiffin we’d have to throw a lot of stuff away.  So we did the obvious…. we bought a larger motor home.

This one — a 2015 Entegra Aspire — took us back to our roots as the forerunner was the Travel Supreme we owned a decade ago. This one was low mileage, only 17,000 miles, and appeared in good shape.  We had a chance to talk to the owners and decided this was the one.  It has been a somewhat rocky beginning with some unexpected problems but its getting whipped into shape and we like it!

We’ve also started a blog about our experiences with this coach.  It can be found here 

Categories: Traveling