On the Road Again ….

Cue the Willie Nelson music…Tango and I are on the road again.  We are headed out on our second transcontinental trip, from East Coast to West with a few stops along the way.

Today we finally made it out of Florida after driving for close to eight hours.  Florida is a long state, we all know that. But it is also a wide state when you turn west on I-10 and head towards Alabama.  We arrived in Daphne, a bit east of Mobile and are settled in for the night.

For the next few days we will continue west with a few stops on the way.  We need to be in Pueblo, Colorado by Friday…plenty of time before then for some fun and a few pictures with my new Selfie Stick. Stay tuned. 

Image #286 – Family Portrait

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This mother cow and two calves were willing posers this morning as Tango and I took our morning walk around Wilderness Lane.  It was a bright, clear morning and the sun was warming as we took time to consider each other.  When I was growing up in Sarasota there were many, many cows but now it has become a city and there are fewer of these bucolic scenes.  More’s the pity. ❧

Side-tracked in Florida

Hello faithful readers,

I’ve been away. My last entry, September 3rd,  is almost two months old. I’ve been in Florida campaigning for Amendment 2, the medical cannabis initiative. In the past five weeks I’ve made about 15 appearances, written articles that appeared in The Sarasota Herald-Tribune and The Orlando Sentinel, and talked to a few reporters. Today I attended a previewing of a new documentary, Pot Luck.  I have been immersed again in medical cannabis and it has been a good experience. For those who are unfamiliar with my medical cannabis activism I invite you to visit www.medicalmarijuanapioneer.com.

But I have missed my Alice’s WanderLand blog and today, after viewing the movie, I took some time to return to my cameras and visit the world around me. I’ve been so fortunate in my life and that good fortune has continued. I have a wonderful garret apartment over a garage and at my doorstep is 5+ acres of old Florida land. It is owned by my friend Mary and I am so grateful that she has extended our friendship into hospitality. I’ve always wanted to live in a garret. 🙂

Mary bought some bromeliads a couple weeks back and she recently noticed that some small frogs were inhabiting them. It was easy enough to find them and they were posers.

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I think this one may actually be looking at an even smaller frog or perhaps a spider that it plans to eat for dinner.

 

I counted at least six frogs but there may have been more.AOL_1169

 

It is good to be back.  ❧

Image #249 – The Badlands

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One of the first pieces of art that I bought was a woodwork-reduction painting of the Badlands by Gordon Mortenson  entitled “Cattle Country.”  I have loved that piece of art and yearned to visit that exotic part of the world. Today I got my wish. It was a spectacularly beautiful day and the Badlands were all I had hoped for. The area has received a lot of rain this year and the grasslands that surround these unusual geological formations were lush and verdant. Wildflowers were everywhere and, just for fun, prairie dogs and buffalos.  All in all one of the best days ever.  ❧

Image #248 – South Dakota

Downtown Deadwood today

Downtown Deadwood today

Okay, quick! What’s the first thing you think of when someone says, “South Dakota”?  Deadwood?  Well, maybe so if you are an HBO enthusiast… or a weekend gambler … or part of a motorcycle club.

As fate would have it I have been staying in Deadwood for the past three nights, using it as a base to visit Devil’s Tower (in NE Wyoming) and the Mount Rushmore area.  I am a fan of the “Deadwood” series on HBO and while I did not purposefully set out to stay in Deadwood because of that, it was kind of fun to see the site of the Gem Saloon, the Bullock Hardware store and more. The “Deadwood” series was, sadly, short-lived. It ran three seasons and portrayed, at least somewhat accurately, the founding and early years of Deadwood, the town. Surely Deadwood’s greatest claim to fame is the fact that Wild Bill Hickcock was murdered here, shot in the back while playing cards.  It is commemorated to this day and referenced throughout the town.

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For anyone who followed the series “Deadwood” you will undoubtedly remember the raw portrayal of a wild west town. The street scenes were particularly vivid with dozens of extras who all seemed to have some commonality — a sad sense of urgency, a mild degree of paranoia, and a taste for the “earthier” things in life.  Remarkably many of those characters still seem to be here, dressed in more modern clothing but with the same look.  Deadwood is mainly a gambling town, with casinos in every storefront.  We arrived on Saturday and the town was in full swing. It was packed and while many did seem to be enjoying themselves there were many others who were exceptionally sad. Sunday morning brought an exodus and new peace.  Families replaced the gamblers and the town resembled a Disney theme park.  All in all a curious place to be…another part of the adventure.  ❧

Image #247 – Off the Grid — Drifting in Clouds

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Highway 130 near Laramie, WY. Thunderheads form over the Wyoming hills.

I’ve been off the grid for a while.  The past sixteen days were spent in Trinidad, California (thank you Bunny and Ed!).  Remarkably laid-back, Trinidad is a seductive kind of place. The ambiance of Trinidad/Arcata/Eureka just sucks you in and soon the rest of the world slips away. The ocean, the redwoods and sequoia, the wild bursts of wildflowers and ocean fogs all contribute to its mystery.  I have a backlog of photos to share.  Stay tuned.

I’ve been on the road for about six weeks and turned back eastwards on May 29th. I passed through Lassen Volcanic N.P. in California, across the Nevada desert, back up into the Rockies and across the Snowy Mountain Range highway, which was closed under six feet of snow when I passed by in early May.  Now all the snow is melting and the rivers are swollen downstream. In Saratoga, Wyoming the town was sandbagged against the rising North Platte River.

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North Platte River rising in Saratoga, Wyoming. The river crested at the top of the sandbags and then receded.

I stopped and spoke with some National Guard troops who had been helping the community fill and pile sandbags. The told me the worst was over and the town was spared.  I thanked them for their good work and wished I had added, “It’s good to have you home.”

As we came out of the Snowy Range and down into the town of Laramie I watched thunderheads form, great huge thunderheads that made the great huge hills in front of them seem very small.  They were forming in the north and would  move on to pummel north Wyoming and the Dakotas but my trip back into Denver was sunny and smooth.  All is well with Tango and Alice. ❧