Cave Dwellings: March 2016
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Saturday, March 26, 2016

More photos from Grenada, MS…

A short blog to show some more photos I took here at North Abutment Campground…


Left..I had no idea Canadian Geese perched…and on the right, this is a root ball from a tree that went over in a storm a couple years ago…

Our weather has been great today…sunny and warm..Our days are dwindling and we will be on the last leg of our trip home Tuesday and Wednesday. Dennis and I have discussed it, and we are not making any big plans for next Winter…FYI, if you plan to go to Florida,  you need reservations..and you need to start making them in June. Since we have some family obligations back home that are really liquid right now, we think it best to just do a “wait and see” plan.  If we are able to go anywhere, we can always pick up and head to Texas, which is much easier to just wing it..except in March for Spring Break. It is our plan right now NOT to have a plan for this Winter…Who knows, we might just have to stay home..but that remains to be seen. We sure have had a good trip, but not our BEST trip ever!..


I firmly believe I need a Jane Hathaway bird watcher outfit..yep, I will look into that.



It just doesn’t get any better than this, right??? Or….maybe it does…


Our new favorite morning coffee spot…perfection!


What are the chances I would get a Great Blue Heron and a pair of Canadian Geese in the same photo…and they were THAT close!!


The Bluebirds are here too…This park has a gazillion Bluebird Houses all over the place!


And here we have the rare Green Capped Wood Hunter..a rare species of “old bird”, spotted nosing around downed trees for shelter…and firewood.

OK, that is enough of my drivel for now…I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter with family and friends..We will have another Cave-A-Palooza later in April upon returning to Illinois…Don’t eat too many of those nasty marshmallow chicks!!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Set up here at Grenada, MS..and a question for the “Bird Lady”.

We are all set up here at Grenada,MS, North Abutment Campground..Here is our spot..



Not too bad…and with our “old age card”, it’s $10 a night!! Here are a few more pictures taken in our park…



We have had some beautiful sunsets here, and I took these from our back window of the Hiker!


None of these sunset photos have been edited..and yes, I’m still using Picasa to edit photos.

When we headed up here from Natchez, MS, we drove about 50 miles on the Natchez Trace Parkway..It was so beautiful…The speed limit is 50mph and there is very little traffic. Also there are historic markers along the way. The Trace is 444 miles from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. The "trace" was first created by animals like bison to reach salt licks in the Nashville (French Lick) area, and their grazing areas near the Mississippi River. American Indians, developed the trace further for trading mostly, and also as a warpath. An unknown Frenchman was the first European to write about traveling the full Natchez Trace in 1742 .


They don’t allow roadside advertisements and billboards, and there aren’t many homes along the Trace.   “In 1801 the United States signed a treaty with the Choctaw Indians allowing construction of a mail road by the side the the old footpath. The new road soon became important to settlers. Eventually inns known as "stands" were built every few miles to offer travelers a room and refreshment.Midwestern farmers called Kaintucks often used flatboats to float their agricultural goods, coal, or livestock down the Ohio-Mississippi River to market in Natchez, or New Orleans. Once downriver, their boats were of little use, so they often sold them as well, and the boats were dismantled for their lumber. One of the ways they could return to Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, or Indiana was by way of the Natchez Trace. An estimated 10,000 Kaintucks used the Natchez Trace in 1810.  However, because their pockets were loaded with money they were frequently preyed upon by gangs of robbers along the trail.”

“Meriwether Lewis, Governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory, and a former leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was traveling on the Natchez Trace in 1809 when he died at Grinder's Stand [near Hohenwald], TennesseeDuring the War of 1812 the ferryman at the Tennessee River, George Colbert, charged Andrew Jackson $75,000 to ferry his army across the river.The rise of steamboats that could easily return upriver, and rival roads such as Jackson's Military Road, built during the War of 1812, resulted in the decline of the Natchez Trace after 1816.”

..And you thought you might get through this without a history lesson…WRONGO!!

The day before we left Natchez State Park we went to town for groceries and fuel..(you RV’ers know the routine the day before you travel..). When we came back to our loop road in the park, this is what we saw…


This poor guy missed the corner, went too wide…and ended up off the road into the very soft mud..and he had to get a tow truck pull him out…


“DON’T HURT US CURTIS” showed up and it took him a bit, but finally he pulled the RV out..I love the name of this Wrecking Service..very catchy, Mr. Curtis!

So, before I close this blog, I need to ask The Bird Lady of Blogland, Judy, a question..I think I’m right, and am very excited if this bird is what I think it is..I heard him first, he does a chit,chit chit chit noise…and when I saw him my mind thought “Is that a Kingfisher?”…It was just about sunset..and I took a few photos in the dimming light..AND..I saw him dive down and get something from the lake…amazing!



Belted Kingfisher, am I right oh great Sensei????

Sunday, March 20, 2016

On our way home…via Mobile Bay and Natchez, MS

I wasn’t sure if I could publish photos from OLW for my blog…So, I guess I can. Anyway, I know it’s been a while since my last blog at Big Lagoon State Park in Florida..I just cannot seem to get my mojo going this trip. I have bouts of depression where I just want to pack it up and go home..and THAT is very unlike me. I am definitely having anxiety I never have  had..I am a nervous wreck when pulling the Hiker, I have “night terrors” (bad dreams), and my BP is pretty high again. I go see my Endocrinologist and the surgeon to schedule another surgery in late April or early May. I am hanging all my hopes on that surgery, that it will make me back into my obnoxious, but life loving self after they pull that parathyroid adenoma out..At least my Endocrinologist says she is 99.9% sure that is my entire problem.OK, enough about my creepiness, I have some photos to post~~



We stayed one week at Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort, AL. It was right on Mobile Bay, a great view. Above right is a bar called Traders on Battleship Parkway. You know for sure that the only reason this place has survived here are those stilts it sits upon!!


From our site #9, we had a fantastic view of the sunsets..We also  had winds every darn day…so we didn’t put the awning out. FYI, there is an awesome Pro Bass Shop right of I-10 in Spanish Fort..LOVE that store..

After our week on Mobile Bay, we headed to Natchez State Park, 8 miles North of Natchez. Last time we were there was in December of 2008 and it was only for 2 nights. I was anxious to get back and see some more of the Antebellum homes. We got to the state park, got started to set up and … electricity…In about 10 minutes, Ranger Rick came by and said we wouldn’t have any electricity in the entire loop until the next day.  They had to wait for the state to send an electrician. OK, no problem..We have propane and can do one night without the electric power. We had a plug in nightlight that was just barely on, so Dennis figured we had some electric voltage,but not enough to run lights or our refrig..and he was a little worried about this low power not being good for many reasons. So, we sat outside (it was 80 wonderful degrees), had cocktail hour outside, ate an early dinner and went to bed.

The next morning I went to get my ice trays out of the freezer that I had filled the night before…and they were water. WHAAAT?? So Den took the cover off the back of the refrig and the pilot light for propane wasn’t lit..CRAP! something must be wrong with our Hiker refrigerator.. McGyver and I immediately went to the office and now Ranger Rick told us it might be one more day without electric, and THAT couldn’t happen.. We told Ranger Rick about our plight, thinking we had to leave and head up to Grenada so we could get some power to our refrig before everything thawed…Then, the ranger told us he could move us into another loop in the park that DID have electric..and that is where we ended up..Whew! When we got all set up in our new site WITH  elec, Dennis switched our refrig to propane to see if it was now working..and it was. His belief is that the low power voltage fooled our refrig into thinking it had enough power to run, so it never switched over to propane. At any rate, when we leave here Tuesday, Dennis will see how the propane is. Well now, that took a while to explain, and I’m pretty sure nobody really gets what I just wrote…Here are some photos of the flooding we saw driving to Natchez…


Thank God there was no bad flooding right IN and around Natchez..These poor people!! After seeing this, I need to thank my lucky stars I have problems I can get fixed and quit complaining!! Here are some of the photos I took here by the park ..


We visited Emerald Mounds, the second largest temple mound built in the United States. It was built and used from 1300-1600, probably by the Mississipian Indians. As you can see, I wasn’t too excited to be at this historic mound!  Our campground is only a couple miles from the Natchez Trace Parkway.  This began as a buffalo trail, then used by the traders and Indians 1800-1820.  It runs 440 miles from Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS..I am standing at the terminus (end of it) just on the edge of Natchez.


There is a little abandoned ghost town of Stanton right outside the entrance to our park… It made for some great photos! I tried and tried to find out more about this little town and why it died..There is a beautiful old home in Natchez called Stanton Hall (more later about that), and I have a suspicion there is a connection, but couldn’t find anything online….Darn!


We also did a driving tour of some of the great antebellum homes in Natchez…

Auburn Mansion circa 1812The Wigwam, circa 1790

Above left, is The Auburn Mansion, circa 1812…Right photo is The Wigwam, circa 1790..and no, I could find no info on why it is called that..but it is now a B & B.

The Towers circa 1798Stanton Hall 

Left is The Towers, circa 1798…and on the right I am standing in front of one of my fav’s, Stanton Hall circa 1857.

Stanton HallStanton Hall

Azalea at Melrose MansionFence surrounding Stanton Hall..

Here a couple more pics of Stanton Hall…I love the iron fence around it and the ironwork on the portico!!

We also visited a more “seedy” side of Natchez, called “Natchez Under the Hill”.


Here is the Under The Hill Saloon from the street. Historic research shows that this place has been used as a brothel, bar, warehouse and general merchandise store. Back in "the day", Natchez was one of the chief resorts of the riverboat men, headed to New Orleans. When they arrived here they knew their journey was almost over, therefore they indulged in one last fling before entering the wilderness on their way home. Drinking, gambling and ladies of the night were readily available and the travelers were anxious to indulge them all. Here are some photos of the inside of the saloon…


Built in the late 1700s or early 1800s, the building that now houses Under-The-Hill-Saloon has experienced a lot of Natchez history. The date of its construction is unknown due to a courthouse fire that destroyed most of the records. Cocktails for me weren't cheap (Cuba Libre $6), but Den's Bud Lite bottle was only $2.75...SAY WHAAAAT???

So we are here until Tuesday..Our weather this trip has been just OK..We had our best 2 weeks the last part of December when we were at Ortona in LaBelle, FL..80 degrees everyday. After that we had tornado watches, warnings..torrential downpours and flash flood warnings almost every week…BUT.. is still beats Illinois weather.. I will try to do a blog from Grenada next week, but with my mood swings, it might amount to one photo…JUST KIDDING!!