Monday, April 10, 2017

Perrot Praises

Vultures greeting the morning sun
Just wanted to share the beautiful weekend we had at Perrot State Park. Early April temperatures were in the 70's making it a perfect time to get HaRVey out for his first time in 2017. Since it was early in the season not many sites were open but we still happened to find the perfect one for our needs. This time of year we saw plenty of wildlife and guess what no bugs!


Walking on the Riverview Trail
Site 22
Sunset over Trempealeau Bay

Turkey trot at the Refuge
Shy Sandhill Crane

Refuge Backwaters

Refuge Backwaters
Eagles at Refuge
A side trip to the Trempealeau Wildlife Refuge is always a must when in the area.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring into Action

It's an exciting time of the year when plants begin to appear, birds return, and everything starts waking up.

If you like to be outdoors and enjoy nature, you may want to consider joining a Citizen-Based Monitoring Program.

Check it out at www.wiatri.net , it's a Wisconsin Citizen-Based Monitoring Network. You can see what other groups like Audubon Societies, Prairie Enthusiast or Friends groups are doing. Regardless of your skill level, often free training is available.

Whether your interests include birds, bugs or beautiful flowers there's a need for volunteers to help gather data. I just got involved with Rare Plant Monitoring. Sorry that's all I can tell you about it, because I'm sworn to secrecy.    

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March Madness

 This is the time of year you are either glued to the TV watching basketball or trying to find something to do.

Pretty much, in the upper Midwest, it comes down to home improvement shows and RV open houses.

We were not inspired by the ideas for sprucing up the house since our domain pretty well satisfies our needs and who knows how much longer we'll be around for Wisconsin winters.




This little vintage trailer is so cute.



So we were off to check out the local RV dealerships as they all had open houses.

The coordinated refrigerator and d├ęcor is charming.
What this means is free cookies and snacks, registering for prizes and then looking at all the newest stuff in Recreational Vehicles.






Lots of people were out and about, sharing that dream of hitting the road to adventure. We toured trailers and 5th wheels. Dismissing this feature and pointing out design flaws that a novice might not notice. As seasoned veterans of weekend camping we know what we like and more importantly what won't work for us.



By George, I think we got it right the first time. From layouts and lavatories HaRVey is still out first love. We happily spent some dough on a new rug for the entryway. Just a little something for his 3rd birthday. Are we mad or what.





Thursday, March 2, 2017

Alls Well That Ends Well

My new magnet from Tybee, very handy
We've survived our first extended getaway.

Coming home did feel good. Maybe it was the familiar surroundings, maybe our own bed. How can we miss it if we don't stay away. You can gain a new appreciation for your home when you're not cooped up in it all day.

Well it's probably not enough to make us want to stay in the north country year round.

We came home to a snow covered driveway. So first thing to do is turn up the heat in the house, turn on the water so I could do 7 loads of laundry and clear the driveway to get the truck up and start unpacking.




Valentine's Gift-Fun fish measuring spoons


After several days of paying bills, catching up on emails, blogging and refiling the hot tub I can now say the trip was a success.

Although I did leave my cell phone at Swamp Rabbit Inn, they are sending it to me thankfully.


Our Feral Friend Bunny returns too!





The beginning of March, is coming in like a lion. Blanketing us with several more inches of snow. Maybe spring will be just around the corner.

We missed the record warm temperatures in the Coulee Region, we heard the golf courses opened up for a few days in February.

Not it's time to savor the memories and start planning the next trip. Hopefully we'll be ready to take HaRVey along.

 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Greenville to Asheville

New Belgium Brew Co. along the river walk.
Just when you think things couldn't get any better. Then there was Asheville.

We stopped in Asheville, North Carolina to visit friends who have found their bliss. They've been retired for a few years and discovered Asheville as their new home.














Brewery with it's own food truck-what luck.
I can definitely see why they chose Asheville, now this is foodie heaven. Plus you have so many microbreweries your head will hurt trying to decide which one to stop at next. And if you have a hard time making choices avoid the River Arts District. Yowza.










Our band of merry marauders started out with a hike on Haywood Street. From fresh oysters to a pig and fig pizza, we noshed our way past dozens of unassuming specialty restaurants and music lairs. We could see why our music aficionado friends found this street meets their needs.



The next day we were roamed the River District where artistic talent flows along the French Broad River.  There's a 50 page booklet to preview before you set out on the mile long stretch of industrial buildings converted to studios showcasing Asheville's greatest treasures.


Daniel McClendon



Two artists that I just have to share.

Having a chance to meet the artist and see there work was very inspiring.

Daniel McClendon
Really fun, vibrant paintings that keep you entertained. www.danielmcclendon.com


Matt Tommey








Matt Tommey
As he claims, every basket begins with a walk in the woods. His sculptural basketry takes advantage of local resources such as the invasive kudzu. www.matttommey.com


Green Man Castle upscale








Between shopping we refreshed ourselves at a few Breweries. Thank goodness for beer flights, we shared many tastings at truly unique venues offering tours, food trucks and a real casual upbeat atmosphere.


Freshest Donuts at Hole on Hayward







This area sure beats batterfried cheese curds and Friday fish fries. We had the tastiest tacos, donuts made right in front of you, and bone marrow appetizer to go along with a little stout.





Our leader Bandit the Brew Hound



Plus as we strolled along, around the town, we where accompanied by our very own mascot Bandit. The area is very dog friendly, another reason our friends chose Asheville.


I think we shall return here for another visit.

Many people in Asheville are referred to as halfbacks.  Because they came from the north moving all the way to Florida to retire and came back half way. Probably because of too many old people down there. Just thought you'd like to know if it comes up on "7 Little Words" (great app for exercising the mind)








Ceasar's Head State Park SC



I can't forget the mountains. They stole my heart.




Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Going Green?

Our travels in South Carolina included a stop over in Greenville, rated one of the top places to live.

In our travels we are trying to explore these options for relocation. The winter cold and the Midwest mediocrity is really getting to us.

We fear the cure for cabin fever is near.



Kitchen and Eating  Areas








We chose a nice little B&B in the downtown area to stay. To be more specific the West End. The Swamp Rabbit Inn, was a delightful surprise.





Lounge




Very playful modern design with unusual amenities. Like full kitchen privileges stocked up with breakfast do it yourself items, a honor bar at $5 a drink with top shelf selections, weber grilling, games and library, electronic locking devices that they can be remotely change and good wifi and a Kerig coffee machine in our room.

One of three patios/decks to hang out.





The Owl Room
We always enjoy meeting other travelers and this type of hostel was very amicable for visiting.


Falls Park on the Reedy in heart of downtown


Located within walking distance of the beautiful downtown park and just off the Swamp Rabbit trail for biking.



We loved the spring blooms in Feb.







We noticed right away the smell of good food and flowers everywhere. It was a very enchanting experience.




Sculpture everywhere you walked.












We also found an exceptional amount of sculpture and galleries.

Carver/Sculpture Grainger McCoy













The Greenville County Museum of Art has the largest collection of Wyeth artwork. We also were pleasantly surprised by their visiting artist exhibition.

Downtown Distillery



Smoke on the Water restaurant
















 For rest of short stay in Greenville, SC we went to a the Dark Corner distillery for a tasting tour and delighted in the variety of BBQ options at Smoke on the Water for dinner.


We certainly could see ourselves here. Everyone we met greeted us and were enthusiastic about living there.




Our list of must haves for our next home:

Feel like we are on a foodie tour.
Inspiration by artists and music all around.
Exposure to learning new things and taking classes.
Access to walking places, bicycling and nature.
A international airport close by.
Good medical care.
Reasonable cost of living.
A place all our friends would like to come and visit us.

If you know of a place, please share we will put it on our list to visit.










Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tybee to Santee

Carolina Jasmine
View from cabin 10
Another cabin, this time in Santee State Park.















Pier cabins offered surrounded views of Lake Marion. Opportunities to fish and catch views of birds.

Saw Herons, Coots, Mallards, Osprey and Snakes, Turtles and Alligators.









Santee State Park-Cabins on the Dock




A nice stopping point to reflect and rest.





Bald Cypress knees








A day visit to Congaree National Park.

Largest remaining old-growth bottomland forest in North America.



Congaree National Park







Did the boardwalk tour plus a few extra miles. Fortunately the mosquitos weren't out in full force.

Lucked out on the meter scale today