Pictures from Louisiana to New Mexico

Sam Houston Jones State Park, Louisiana

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The bayou. The air was actually a lot cleaner than I would have guessed from the pictures.

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At night it’s a bit spooky here as the bugs make a good bit of noise, and you can hear the other wildlife calling out. Alligators maybe?

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I was in the middle of the woods and saw this sign. Had to take a picture 🙂

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The fastest we saw all trip.

 

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They kind of have their own special way of getting their point across here. I checked “James 1:15” and it doesn’t really jive with what the sign says (personal opinion of course).

Cedar Breaks State Park, Austin Texas

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These little beetles would work so hard to try and roll these balls. Maybe dung beetles?

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There is no excuse here for going into the wrong side when you have a three foot by two foot sign right in front of each door. There is another funny element to this photo, but I’ll let you figure it out.

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Some of the lava rock along the trail

Birthday Bash With Cousin Jake

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A morning walk with my cousin Jake. Great to catch up with him and Jamie on the trip.

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Penguins in dark-light mini golf.

The Alamo San Antonio Texas

 

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Monument outside the Alamo

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The River Walk (just across from the Alamo) was awesome! Highly recommended. I wish we had more time there.

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More River Walk pictures…

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Abilene State Park, Texas

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“Feet they hardly touch the ground, walking on the moon” – The Police

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Jesse in the Bluebonnets. There were lines of cars off of the freeway with people jumping out and getting pictures with the blooming Bluebonnets. Dangerous off of a 75 miles an hour freeway? Yes!

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Texas and California have this in common? What is no water.

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The clay soil pools into tomato soup looking mud baths.

Somewhere between Abilene TX and Roswell NM

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Acre after acre after acre of wind farms. We drove for about 30 minutes before we finally reached the end. Definitely gives me hope for things

 

Ropesville Texas

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Yep, another slow day in Ropesville.

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Except for the house going down the highway. LOL.

The International UFO Museum And Research Center, Roswell New Mexico

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Hey that was in the Fallout 3 Alien Abduction expansion pack.

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Trippy alien artwork everywhere. I love this stuff.

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Every hour the light show runs, the aliens sounds start blasting over the speakers, and the flying saucer starts to spin. Good times for sure 🙂

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Alien autopsy.

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Cool alien swag.

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More cool alien swag.

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A lot of people come here from all over the world. They clear this board every month!

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And they even let dogs in… Jesse was a little concerned by the aliens, but she liked the light show.

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Jesse with Alien Autopsy.

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More aliens guarding the door.

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K with Alien

Cool buildings in Roswell. This is actually a government building (go figure).

Nice architecture in Roswell. This is actually a government building (go figure).

Bottomless Lake, New Mexico

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K and I have been training Jesse on the paddle board. We throw the ball and she waits on the board ready to snatch it out of the water when we paddle over to it.

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Overview of Bottomless Lake

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The water is nice and cool, in the middle of the desert. A real oasis fed by a spring. Would love to go back there some day.

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Kimberley figured out a way to hook a golf bag cart to the paddle board so that we can tow it around.

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Here’s the mechanics of it.

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Cool paving stones. They work even on non-flat surfaces such as a hillside.

Valley of Fires, New Mexico

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Miles and miles of volcanic rock formations. They have a nice nature trail that runs for a bit less than a mile.

National Parks Vacation Continued

It seems like a long time has passed since my last post, yet it’s been less than two weeks. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster, with good, bad and everything in between.

From Needles NP, we headed to Northern Canyondlands and Arches NP. Staying again in a great BLM area, we found lots of excellent back country hiking as well as the chance to tour the National Parks. Arches was magnificent, while Island in the Sky Canyonlands was a bit of a dud – it’s all along a grassy mesa top with the occasional glimpse into the canyons below. I bet that if you are hiking in or have ATV/4×4 it would be a different experience. The car tour was nada so impressive. From there, we’ve come into the Salt Lake area, staying at a State Park right near Sundance.

Sadly, we got news that my cousin Steve Tilley, who has been battling leukemia for the past two years, passed away. His was a fierce and courageous battle against cancer and it is heartbreaking that cancer won. He is the third of my cousins to be taken by this horrible disease. His funeral was yesterday, and my thoughts have been with his wife Nancy, their kids, and my family as they gathered in Toronto to celebrate his life. Sadness continued this week as we also heard that Dan’s cousin, Shawn, had passed away as well. It is a terrible sad thing to say goodbye to your family, and to experience two in a week has left us a bit buffeted.

Unfortunately, my cold took a turn for the worse while camping, and I am writing this post from the health clinic, which I’m visiting for the second time this week. I was diagnosed with bronchitis, and after a run of antibiotics I’m still not running smooth. It seems a bit epidemic, as the doctor the other day said practically every other person is coming in with it in the past few weeks. At least I’ve got company. Am guessing I’ll be on another round of antibiotics before I’ll be up and running again.

Not all times can be good times, but I’m very grateful to be with Dan, and have Jesse with us. To be together and to support each other during tough times and the good means the world to me, and I count my blessings every day.

On to a happier note, our tenants have decided to continue to rent the property, so we are going to look at renting something in CA, but perhaps in location a bit out of the way. I have a vision of a little cabin on a mountain somewhere… We’ll see where we land, but it’s fun to be coming back to CA and feel like the adventures are continuing. We’ll be in the Tahoe area in a couple of weeks, then on to family 4th of July celebrations and to see friends in Santa Cruz area. Looking forward to spending time with friends and family!

My spot for contemplation and reflection in the morning

My spot for contemplation and reflection in the morning

 

Bridal Veil Falls trail

Bridal Veil Falls trail