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Natchitosis Light Festival

January 2, 2014 Leave a comment

At 300 years old, Natchitosis is the oldest city in Louisiana.  It is a popular tourist destination, with a lot of history in both the civil rights movement and the slave emancipation.  At Christmas time, they have a very popular light show, enhanced by its placement on the Cane River.  The combination of lights and reflections off the water makes for some very scenic sights.

The city itself is situated on the Cane River, and has a very active main street right on the river.  Restaurants and specialty store all contribute to a great afternoon visiting the city.  Below are a few of the sights of the Light Festival, taken at dusk as it darkened into night.

A new site for birding

February 20, 2012 2 comments

We moved from Mission, TX to Harlingen, TX and were pleased to find a very active birding park nearby.  This park has a lot of wetlands, so there are more shorebirds.  Some of these — such as the Pink Spoonbill — are large and graceful in flight.  Here are some pictures.

A female redwing blackbird

Green Heron

A turtle basking in the sun

Baby alligator, catching some rays

Northern Shoveler duck

Roseate Spoonbill

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On the Rio Grande River

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

The RV Park we are staying at is right on the Rio Grande river, border between USA and Mexico.  They have a boat tour of the river which is quite interesting.  There is surprisingly much to see here, ranging from birds to historical buildings.  Here are some highlights:

There is a huge house, which used to be owned by the drug cartel.  I guess this fancy building gave pretty direct access to the USA for those so inclined.  This is now taken over by the Mexican Government, which now patrols this area heavily.

River view of the Cartel house.

Some heavy Mexican guard duty

And this is our side of the border, keeping a watchful eye

This very fancy building is the home of the Mexican water ski team.  This is where they train for international competitions.

Three years ago, a major hurricane caused serious flooding along the Rio Grande.  Evidence of the damage is still very obvious.

Clear evidence of how high the water got

This fancy resort was started but never finished after the flood

This used to be the very Pepe's restaurant and night club

And finally, some of the birds we saw

A nasty (and painful) experience

January 14, 2012 3 comments

Yesterday, I was doing some work on top of my motorhome.  My normal method to get back down is to face forward, grip the top of ladder (which is attached to the motorhome), step down with my left leg, then continue on down.  Never been a problem.

Until now.  The top step was wet and slick, and my shoe slipped.  So my left leg and entire left side slid down until it was wedged between the ladder and the back of the RV.  Meanwhile, my right leg was sticking out straight in front of me, on top of the motor home.  I had absolutely no leverage to remove myself from this awkward and painful position.

Fortunately, I was able to attract Romola’s attention, and although she tried she did not have the strength to push me up.  Fortunately, a few passersby saw my predicament and together they managed to push me up so I could get out of the ladder space and back on solid ground.

This could have been much worse.  Had I lost my grip, I may have fallen over backwards, essentially leaving me hanging, upside down, from a possibly broken femur or a displaced hip.  I shudder to think of that!  I feel fortunate this ended the way I did; only some serious bruising and pulled muscles.  It could have been much worse!

Next time I will be more careful.  I’ll also added some traction material to the top step!

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Lap of Luxury, MH style

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently a new, luxury motor home resort was opened near Bay Harbor, MI.  Surrounded by gated yacht clubs, gated golf clubs, and gated resorts, this new facility was beautifully landscaped, and well equipped.  The club house includes swimming pool, hot tub, saunas, card rooms, billiard room, party room, and more, all done with an eye for those that are well off.  Nights here cost $85 for a full hookup pad.

Just down the road is a house for sale: 9,000+ sq. ft., 6 baths, 5 bedrooms, and voted 2010 Detroit Home Design award as “Best Vacation Home of 2010”.  Not to shabby, for a vacation home.  Check out http://www.penthouse56.com.

But wait, in an effort to popularize the facility, there were on line coupons giving two nights free!  Just had to take advantage, so we’re parked here for the weekend.  Probably the most luxurious RV spot we’ve ever been at!  Across from us they have an “Open House” on a $1MM Newell motor home.  Ahhhh, living the life we’re (un)accustomed to, or at least, wouldn’t mind!  Too bad it all ends Monday.  Here’s a picture taken out our front window:

A view out of our windshield

And out the back, with club house, tennis courts, and pool

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Mackinaw Island

August 6, 2010 1 comment

In 1901, a law was passed on Mackinaw Island forbidding motorized vehicles.  That law still exists, so no cars on Mac Isle… only horse drawn carriages.  So a visit tothe Island means lots of walking, cycling, or horse carriages.  But it is a very interesting pace, with a lot of history.

Originally, it was a US fort, with a commanding view over the north end of Lake Michigan.  In 1812, during the British war, it was a British stronghold.  When the war was over, the US got it back, and the fort was abandoned.  The railroad built a very fancy hotel (Grand Hotel), and the migration as an exclusive vacation resort was on.  But now, it is accesible only by boat (or private plane) and is a popular tourist destination.

A view of the bridge from the boat

Residential street scene

Downtown street scene, with horse drawn carriage

A downtown hotel

View of the Grand hotel

Grand Hotel gardens. Note the horse and carriage shaped shrubs, lower left.

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Yellowstone: water falls

July 12, 2010 1 comment

Yellowstone has some terrific waterfalls.  Also, it has the Yellowstone Grand Canyon — maybe not as big as the one in Arizona, but certainly noteworthy.  Here are some pictures taken on a recent walk, featuring Upper Falls.

Upper Falls, taken from far away with a telephoto lens

Looking up river from the falls

Here the water goes over the falls, and down it goes...

A rainbow decorates the bottom of the falls

A look further down the river, and Yellowstone Grand Canyon

Obligatory bison photo, laying in the flowers

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