http://www.blogger.com/html?blogID=4316350785635987648 Cave Dwellings: November 2011

March 2, 2012

March 2, 2012
Georgetown, TX

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oak Alley Plantation..A Reminder Of Turbulent Times…

  Yesterday we toured Oak Alley Plantation in Southern Louisiana along the Great River Road..one of my dreams ever since I watched “Gone With The Wind”….This grand lady made me feel like we were back in the days when sugar cane was king.  The big house is an antebellum mansion and was built in 1839 by Jacques Telesphore  Roman, a wealthy Creole sugar planter.  It was built for his young wife..Actually the magnificent trees were planted first.  In the early 1700’s a settler built a small house on the site of the present mansion.  He was the one who planted the 28 Live Oak Trees in 2 well-spaced rows, reaching from his house to the Mississippi River…

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….We took these photos before we toured inside the Mansion…We arrived early on a Tuesday, and there were only 10 people in our tour group…There were NO photos allowed to be taken inside the house….WHAT???? So…I took photos with my memory, and channeled some serious Southern history by touching the walls…

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These were taken on the 2nd story balcony.  Notice the panels on the ceiling between the columns.  Lower right is our tour guide, who has lived in Calif, IL, SC, and Louisiana…He says he is considered a true Southerner as long as he resides South of I-10..

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Right photo was taken from the back of the mansion.  There is a huge parking area way beyond this and you pay ($18.00 per) at a little ticket booth before you enter the grounds.  I actually got goose bumps as I looked down this walkway toward the “big house”…The grounds are extremely well kept…

 

 

 

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Talk about goose bumps…Above is one of the few remaining lists of slaves owned by one of the plantations, and what they were worth monetarily  ..This record was recorded by the owner for tax purposes…I felt a twinge of shame reading this list..Note that the price you were worth went accordingly to how important your job was to the plantation owner….Sad smile

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Above is an old photo of the slave quarters….all housed behind the big house where we stood.Crying face

 

 

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This wooden structure once housed the kitchen…They kept the kitchen well away from the main house in case of fire, which could burn everything in a few minutes…Now this is used to house a couple vintage cars…

 

 

 

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Left is the levee we followed down the Great River Road, holding the Mississippi River back..Middle is a typical Louisiana cemetery, all above ground… and right is one of the many sugar cane fields.  King Sugar Cane still rules down in this part of the South…

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What a eye opening trip we had…It was an honor to walk among the ghosts of a past that was wrought with fabulous opulence…. and such sorrow.. at the same time…

THANK YOU, OAK ALLEY PLANTATION…FOR STIRRING EMOTIONS I HAVEN’T FELT BEFORE….

Monday, November 28, 2011

Four Virtual Eco Systems…Now I Get It!

  This park is really amazing. 

It has four ecosystems on over a mile of boardwalks.  You get the sights and sounds of a cypress/tupelo swamp, a bottomland hardwood forest, a mixed pine/hardwood forest and the Tickfaw River.  We took and extended walk around the park this morning.  It truly is an amazing place.

On occasion, (according to the brochure),  the park site serves the region by holding back the floodwaters when winter and spring rains overflow the banks of the Tickfaw River. They explain that this occasional flooding offers an opportunity to educate visitors, such as ourselves,  on the importance of periodic flooding in the cycle of life.  This makes wetlands an invaluable habitat and breeding ground for wildlife (aka alligators) and fisheries.

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They have hiking trails , and they even have cabins you can rent that sleep 8 people. They also have a  Nature Center, which was closed today, but we will explore that later in the week . In the Nature Center, they have an 800-gallon aquarium stocked with fish found in the Tickfaw River, and also have displays featuring the animals, history and culture of the area and of Louisiana, which I love!

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Above photos are of the cabins… I got this pic of one of the screen porches through the door….very nice!

If you are feeling brave/adventuresome (or, I would say stupid),  you can take a “fun-filled” trip in a  canoe on this section of the Tickfaw River. Visitors can bring their own canoes or rent ones at the entrance station.  Darn!! I just knew we forgot something..I sooooo wanted to canoe with the Gators and look for Captain Hooks’ clock… They also actually have a “water playground”  for kids (and those who will never grow up, as moi)..Looks like it would be really fun when the hot summer months occur .  We must come back in the summer sometime so I can put my squirt gun collection to good use!

 

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Den is standing at the canoe launch, which we will NEVER, EVER be using…..

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Saw this sign on the road beside a trail and, as Den led the way, we followed the trail into the woods to see the “Grandma” Bald Cypress Tree…Every time I heard a noise I almost wet myself….and McGuyver laughed…

 

 

 

 

 

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“Here is “The Grandma Tree”..(the biggest one in the picture). She is a bald cypress estimated to be between 400 and 800 years old. She has survived many natural disasters as well as the logging of the forest in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Why would the loggers leave her untouched? She was no worth to the loggers because she is hollow and her top is broken out. She is a monument to longevity – she could have been here when Christopher Columbus discovered America.”  We didn’t linger long in this trail to gawk at the tree…Man, it was soooo quiet in that thicket…TOOOO quiet for me.

OK, that was our tour for today…We are staying here at the park today…Partly because we cannot find our way OUT of the park, and partly because it’s too chilly to go plantation touring.  Tomorrow the sun is supposedly coming out and it will hit a balmy 59 degrees…Perfect for our drive to Vacherie and down The Great River Road…Now, if McGuyver and our GPS can just get us outta here…..

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Please Key Up the Dueling Banjos music from “Deliverance”…

  I wanted to let all of you who were worried about us know that we survived the wind and rain yet one more time up in Twiltley Branch campground….and we have landed the Hiker at Tickfaw State Park, in (well, near, Springfield, LA)…Thanks to all of you for your concern.  You obviously now know how McGuvyer and I roll…very wobbly.

For those of you who have seen the movie “Deliverance” , with Burt Reynolds, you  will recall how very far in the backwoods those men were  hunting…like…REALLY OFF THE BEATEN PATH!!…Well, that just about sums up Tickfaw State Park, LA.  Don’t get me wrong, I really like this park…They only have 30 RV spots, and they are all pretty deep in the swampland.  We had to do some scouting to find one that McGuyver could site a spot through the trees for both satellite dishes…Did I mention that what we do is NOT considered camping???…It IS considered RVing.

  Last evening before we left Mississippi, we decided to try our luck at the little “restaurant” just behind the Gas Station/Mini Mart in beautiful downtown Collinsville,…population about 200.

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BEHOLD…CATFISH PLUS…”PLUS WHAT?”, YOU ASK?…WELL, PLUS CHICKEN TENDERS, SHRIMP, OYSTERS, POPPERS, FRIES, …AND A DOZEN OTHER THINGS…ALL MADE BY 2 LOVELY LADIES, WHO ARE BUSILY DEEP FRYAAIN’ EVERTHANG…

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I NOW GIVE YOU THE ENTIRE MENU…WE HAD OYSTER DINNERS…TO GO.. THEY DID HAVE ONE TABLE OUTSIDE…WE DECIDED TO FORGO SITTING OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN AND TOOK OURS HOME…OH, AND CHECK OUT THE “MENU PLATTER” ON THE UPPER RIGHT…VERY TEMPTING…

Alas, my brain was so set upon wolfing down the oyster dinner that I totally neglected taking a photo…Hey, I have my priorities!!..It was quite tasty…but….I have to say that the oysters Den and I  had at Pop’s little joint, in Rockport, TX were slightly better….Maybe it’s because we attended Oysterfest there…Trust  me though, the Catfish Plus dinners went down extremely fast!

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Here is our new real estate for the next 5 nights…It’s about a 60 mile drive to Plantation Road ( by Vacherie, LA) from here.  Since the weather won’t be cooperating tomorrow, we will put off the drive until Tuesday, and I am really looking forward to “channeling history”  from the early 1800’s.  I want to feel the vibes by walking some of the old plantation grounds.  Some even still have the remainder of the slave quarters… Hopefully, we will be touring the Oak Alley Plantation mansion on the inside….WAHOO!!!

  So, we are here, safe and sound.  There are, of course, alligators here too.   On the drive into the campground, we crossed a bridge over some very creepy, swampy, dark and wet , nasty looking water….very ominous looking.  I will get photos tomorrow… Is it me, or does it seem like we are deliberately gauging our parks to include dangerous reptiles??  So don’t any of you kids think you can just wander off.   No sticking your toes in the water, and no playing around the water’s edge!!..and I want you to count of all of your digits before we leave and report back to me.……More from Deliverance tomorrow….

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quick blog..more bad weather moving in!

OK…I was cleaning the Hiker, cause I like to give her a good inside clean before we travel, then I heard the weather…McGuyver was going to wait and take down our internet dish until this evening, but it looks like the weather is gonna make it earlier.  We have more severe storms moving through Southeast Mississippi….and it is clouding up as I type this….

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  …”the stockings ( overalls) were hung by the cupboards with care”….

 

 

 

 

So, we are getting some pretty strong wind gusts off the lake right now, enough to shake the Hiker…No, kids, you CANNOT go outside and run through the rain in your underwear!!!

Tomorrow AM, we are heading for Springfield, LA and Tickfaw State Park, complete with more alligators….But, we hope to cruise Plantation Road and tour Oak Alley Plantation from there….Last night we went to the Meridian Moose lodge and I have never gotten so many sincere Southern hugs and welcomes….What a nice group of peeps..and the fact that we won the war didn’t bother them at allLaughing out loud !!   Found out they have RV hook ups there, complete with W and E, sewer..and an Olympic swimming pool…for $7 a night if you are a Moose…No, a Deer, Elk or Bear won’t get ya in…

OK…weather radio is beginning to squawk a few watches….Last time we “watched” from the Hiker….this time we might take some action!! Hang on , group….It could be a very tight squeeze for all of us to get into the brick “kybo” house …Watch for spider webs and snakes….HMMMMM>….Maybe riding it out in the Hiker will be a better plan….Time will tell…LATER!!!!Storm cloudFingers crossed

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for MANY things…Having known an Angel on earth…..

Dennis and I have very heavy hearts today after hearing news from our daughter, Chris, that a dear friend has lost her long battle with breast cancer at 38 years old…Sandi Thurman McCool, you were an Angel on earth, sent by God, and now have been called back…God probably needed someone to keep a close eye on all of this group from above…(and you WELL KNOW, our dear Angel, how hard this group is to keep a close eye on )….Sandi and Chris came to visit us in our camper in February, 2008 at Rockport, TX….What fun we all had…what memories.

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…..YOU WILL BE MISSED, DEAR FRIEND……Broken heart

  

And so, it puts things into perspective for us…and are thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving Day .  Dennis and I wish you all blessings to you and yours this this day of thanks.   I also want to welcome Jenny Johnson and Lauren Miller aboard the GMC for our Winter trip.  I hope you are of strong constitution, as our toilet issue continues to be a little “sketchy”..but it still WORKS so far.  Something about the waste ball seal (we need a new one???)…sounds like something you’d find in the Arctic Ocean to me.

We  had a little excitement the other night…Lots of red on the radar coming at us…We are on that little blue lake in the center …to the right of the monster storm…just great.

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The wind blew lots, and we gave a thought about going to the little block bathroom just outside our door, next to us. But, by the time our thought process was complete, (brain cells are lazy as you get older), the storm was upon us, and we rode it out in the Hiker…It was a little windy (understatement), and rained sideways..but we held firm and lived to be stupid another day.

 

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..I’m thinkin’ this is a Heron, but he isn’t very blue…..              Look close and see the 2 turtles on this log….Turtle

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COULD SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT MAKES THESE HOLES IN THE GROUND AROUND OUR SITE..

OR IF I NEED TO CURTAIL MY WALKS AND CALL THE GAME WARDEN??Surprised smile

We  I am planning a  yummy Thanksgiving dinner for two..I am trying to be traditional, somewhat, without making too much work for my lazy self…

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Hey!…I got crockpot chicken (I really wanted turkey thighs, but there were none to be had), stuffing, mashed taters, the stuff to make green bean casserole….oh, yes, and for desert we have some delicious sugar free frosted oatmeal cookies …BOOYA!!!  This oughta be pretty easy…(I guess it’s not really “traditional” home cooked, but it’s how I roll today..slowly…)

Our weather here today is 70 degrees…and Dennis has the toilet on the kitchen floor again..Something about a toilet as a Thanksgiving centerpiece goes against my grain…He discovered he put the seal on upside down last time he worked on it…but…we are still in need of that Arctic seal eventually…..Hopefully “la pooper” will be back in the “throneroom” by dinner time..Fingers crossed

So, on this day of reflection and thanks,  The Cave Dwellers would like to wish everyone a Blessed Thanksgiving..Hug your family tightly, keep them close… and make every darn  damn minute count…Sun

“In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.” ~Robert Ingersoll