We drove home last Saturday from our vacation on the Gulf Coast. My wife and I shared the driving duties and so she drove the middle third of the distance, much of it in the delta country of Mississippi and Arkansas. There was lots of weather during much of the drive especially early on in Alabama. The rest of the time we dodged the rain and got see some great clouds.
So Heather drove and I snapped pics of the sky and country. The above two are in Mississippi.
I snapped this as we crossed the Mississippi River.
And this was in Arkansas.
And so was this. I am not sure just where but I really liked it. And no, we didn’t drive into that storm. I’m not sure where it went.
And this is Oklahoma. I was driving and I confess I took the photo while driving. Lock me up officer, throw away the key!!!
Anyway we got back safe and sound from a great vacation.
I hope that everybody is being safe, while also enjoying life. Please find that balance.
Here’s my toes during our recent vacation. I didn’t actually get a photo of them actually in the water.
Here’s a beer in my hand, cans only, no glass allowed on the beach.
We just got back from ten days at the beach. Orange Beach, Alabama. We spent almost every day on the beach. A couple rainy days we read in our condo and went shopping and stuff. We had a really good time and got recharged. I got hundreds of photos. Most of them skywatch type, sky and water photos so I’ll be posting lots of those as time goes by.
This song is like twelve years old or so but I noticed just this year. Best lyrics ever.
Come join the fun over at Our World Tuesday. Lots of great bloggers linking up over there.
During our recent mini-vacay to the Branson, Missouri area we were looking for outdoor stuff away from people and the standard Branson faire such as shows and shopping. We did kayaking, swimming, and walking. We found a beautiful little beach area on Table Rock Lake called Moonshine Beach.
It’s a Corps of Engineers facility that has clean restrooms, a sizeable roped off swimming area, and a beautiful sand beach. It also has a boat launching area separate from the swimming area. It also has a geocache for those who are interested. (Yes, of course I found it). Check out the Corps Website for all the details.
There is a $5 fee per car access fee, or the take Federal passes that some of us old retired guys have. It’s well worth it. The grounds are clean and picked up and the bathrooms are immaculate. We went on a weekday and there was enough people there to provide a good vibe but one could definitely socially distance at least 50 feet from people. Alcohol is not allowed which contributes to the vibe. It’s open until 8 pm. At 7:30 a very polite Park Ranger showed up and reminded us of the 8 pm closure.
And on top of all this, you get great views of the lake especially as the sun was going down.
This week I didn’t know if I was going to be able to post a Skywatch Friday post. Our son is going back to school soon and we wanted to give him some sort of vacation after his summer of taking Spanish classes online (three hours a day, four days a week of Zoom, ouch, I hate zoom), working hard at Loews Hardware, and socially isolating during this resurgence of Covid in a state that is not doing anything it about in order to maintain “freedom and justice for all.” (Yes, literally the state is doing nothing at all.)
So we said goodbye to our worthless cats and incredulous dogs.
Loaded up the car like the Okies we are and headed to Branson, Missouri. (Aka, the “Baptist Las Vegas”) to stay at a cabin for fun and social isolation. No shows, no, Silver Dollar City, no elbow to elbow jostling with anybody, cook most of our own meals and go at off times and eat outside when we do go out to eat.
This cabin had some strict rules. Most cabins have don’t type rules, this cabin had “do” rules. We liked these rules, what about you?
The first day we went kayaking. It doesn’t get more socially distant than this.
So we went here, there, and everywhere in the cove of the place we were staying.
So we have done a ton of reading, hanging out at the swimming pool, and just kind of in general chillaxing.
We made one trip into the “Belly of the Beast” Branson Landing which is pretty much deserted. Taney County, which includes Branson has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the county, about 30% according to the state. I’m like wow! A city so dependent on outside visitors is doing everything they can to discourage travelers. Their brand new mayor is actually proud of their anti public health stance. What are we doing here!! We walked up and down the deserted area without entering any of the places that were open. Personally, I think they would be smart to get ahead of the issue instead of sticking their head in the sand.
Back in our bubble!! They skies are pretty cool. I tried to fly my drone but the cabin in in a no fly zone for some reason. Probably because we are so close to the lake.
Cabin internets are highly variable and I didn’t think that I would be able to post from there so I set Skywatch Friday up in advance and thought well I’ll just post when I get home but it turns out it is blazingly fast. So I am linking up with Skywatch Friday. Come join us!!
Some beach trips I get early every morning and go running or walking on the beach. This trip I mainly slept in and got up in time for the first dolphin run of the day. It was pretty amazing watching them cruising along parallel to the beach anywhere from maybe 50 yards to the show to maybe 300 yards. Just cruising along in a widely dispersed pod, some of them had a smaller dolphin with them. They come and they go on down the shore. A few hours later they come back the opposite direction and generally a lot further out. So we got to see them twice a day generally.
But being a dedicated skywatcher I got up one morning and got a good shot from the balcony. Most days were cloudless, but this one day they formed and went marching along the shore. I love the morning light on the cloud above.
We had a really good time. We ate well, we went kayaking and stand up paddleboarding, lots of walks on the beach, read a lot of books, played some board games and didn’t turn the television on once!! So we are back at work now and son is getting ready to go away to college and we are very excited about that.
We are towards the end of our vacation this year on the Alabama gulf coast. The highlight so far was Heather riding a paddleboard in the open water. She teaches a pool based paddleboard class but had never ridden a paddleboard before this trip. Logan and I went kayaking during this outing.
I have been taking lots of photos. The water and surrounding area are always a rich source of images for me.
Here is a shot of Heather just starting out on the paddleboard. I am in my kayak so I guess this is a “kayakcam.”
We have been out on the beach a lot. Both sitting on it, in the water, and walking the beach.
I have fair skin so stay covered up but my feet really got burned on this trip.
We went on our first ever family bike ride. Logan has never learned to ride a bike so we rented him a three wheeled version. He did quite well. Heather and I tried it and agreed that it was a lot harder to ride than the two wheeled variety. Steering in particular was hard. The bike had a mind of its own.
We passed this sign. Lots of alligator habitat in Gulf State Park where we were. It inhibited by geocaching quite a bit.
We cooked a shrimp dinner one night. We have our shrimp place, so we boil them, and Heather prepares the sides.
Why are lifeguard towers so darn cool? Most places I have been I have hardly ever see lifeguards in them. They are very beachy though like this example from our recent vacation to the Gulf Coast of Alabama. We had pretty good weather and great skies while we are there and a pretty good time.
Friday, we ended our vacation by making the 13 hour drive from Alabama coast to Tulsa. I am always amazed by the drive.
Everybody loves the Transylvania, Louisiana water tower.
I am amazed about how big our country is and how empty of people it is in many sections. As we travel through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas one can see how the countryside has become depopulated. I am not sure that is good or bad, it just kind of is.
I am also amazed by how beautiful the country is.
And the wealth it generates. And I wonder how come it doesn’t translate to the people live and work on the land. Especially in the south. You can see a deep rooted poverty. How come we don’t see that so much in the northern midwest? Both areas are primarily agriculture based.
Anywho, I just love the drive.
Especially when we get to Oklahoma and are greeted by red skies.