Tom Wilby: Blog https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C)Tom Wilby tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) Mon, 10 Aug 2015 00:34:00 GMT Mon, 10 Aug 2015 00:34:00 GMT https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u821538640-o637756830-50.jpg Tom Wilby: Blog https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog 120 118 JULY 2015 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/july-2015 Bemidji is north of the Itasca State Park and a good place, we thought, to stay over July 4th. This area is dotted with lakes for fishing and recreation and because summer is so short in northern Minnesota the parks fill up on the weekends and holidays, so we had to make sure we had a reservation somewhere. After trying a few places with no sites available, we found the Fox Lake Campground. We stayed there a week and were delighted to learn they put on their own fireworks display for the 4th.

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   Our campsite at Fox Lake Campground.

 

 

 

_DSC0148-Edit_DSC0148-EditBeach at Bemidji State Park

  Lake Bemidji at Lake Bemidji State Park.

 

 

 

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  Carnivorous pitcher plant, grows in peat bogs.

 

 

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   Campground fireworks.

 

 

 

 

 

We were pleasantly surprised by Duluth. We stayed at a marina campground at the port and we were in the middle of the action. We could watch the ships enter the port under the lift bridge and walk to shops and restaurants.

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   View of lift bridge from our campground.

 

 

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   Ship coming into port under the bridge.

 

 

 

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   Night view of the bridge and Duluth from our campground.

 

 

 

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  This dining and shopping area near the bridge is always busy with tourists.

 

 

Most of the ships travel the great lakes, but some, called salties, carry goods overseas. 

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   This saltie, registered in Cyprus, was anchored, waiting to come in to port.

 

 

 

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  High School in Duluth. Looked like it was still in use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

North of Duluth is Grand Marais. The city RV park is on the lake and within walking distance of the shops and restaurants. We reserved 3 nights and stayed a week.

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   View from our campsite.

 

 

 

Grand Portage-_DSC0649_July 15, 2015-EditGrand Portage-_DSC0649_July 15, 2015-EditGrand Portage Falls On the Pigeon River

   Waterfalls at Grand Portage State Park.

 

 

 

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   Naniboujou Lodge north of town.

 

 

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   Lunch at the Naniboujou Lodge.

 

 

 

 

We had plans to meet some friends in Houghton, Michigan. Our route there followed the shore of Lake Superior, so we stayed a couple of nights in Ashland, Wisconsin, at yet another city park on Lake Superior. Ashland is a city of murals. Here are just a few.

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   This mural takes up the entire building.

 

 

 

 

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   Another mural in Ashland.

 

 

 

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  Three stories tall and wraps around the side.

 

 

 

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   This old hotel in Ashland is on Lake Superior.

 

 

 

 

We stayed in Houghton a few years ago and loved it, so we decided to go back and stay a month.  This area is known for its copper mines and people of Finnish heritage.

Houghton, MI-_DSC1117_July 26, 2015-EditHoughton, MI-_DSC1117_July 26, 2015-EditOur Rv Park right on the Houghton River

  The campground is on the canal that goes right through town, from Portage Lake to Lake Superior.

 

 

 

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   Houghton has its own lift bridge.

 

 

 

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  Where the canal meets Lake Superior.

 

 

 

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  Driving up the Keweenaw Peninsula, the tourists enjoy seeing this reminder of why they don't live there.

 

 

 

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   Friends, Stephanie, Jeff, me, Ruth, Jerry, Carol and Roger.

 

 

Next Month: More of Houghton.

 

 

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/july-2015 Mon, 10 Aug 2015 00:33:46 GMT
JUNE 2015 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/7/june-2015 We finally made it to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Eureka Springs is in the northwest corner of the state in the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks. We've visited here before and wanted to return to see if this area would be good for the RV rally we'll be hosting in a few years. 

 

We especially like the Victorian charm of the downtown area. The entire area is on the National Register of Historic Places as the Eureka Springs Historic District.

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   The town is on several levels.

 

 

 

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   The streets wind around and no two streets intersect at 90 degrees.

 

 

 

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   The Crescent Hotel built in 1886. The stone blocks are so well laid, no mortar was used between them.

 

 

 

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   Lobby of the Crescent Hotel.

 

 

 

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   Stairway in the Crescent Hotel.

 

 

 

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   Eureka Springs has many natural springs believed by many to be healing.

 

 

 

 

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   Tom in downtown Eureka Springs.

 

 

 

 

Near Eureka Springs is the tiny town of Golden, Missouri. There you'll find the Golden Pioneer Museum. It consists of hundreds of collections the owners have purchased over the years and put on display. The collections include arrowheads, guns, glass, dishes, tractors, quilts, toys and on and on. You won't find a more interesting museum. I especially enjoyed the glass and pottery.

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   Golden Pioneer Museum.

 

 

 

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   Golden Pioneer Museum.

 

 

 

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   Collection of glass baskets.

 

 

 

 

 

From our campground in Eureka Springs we drove a few miles to Turpentine Creek. Turpentine Creek is a big cat rescue sanctuary that has cabins and a few RV sites.

 

The preserve takes in animals that can no longer be cared for by others, mostly people who tried to raise them as pets. (Hmmm, what could go wrong.)

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   Tiger at Turpentine Creek.

 

 

 

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   Cooling off in the heat.

 

 

 

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  A beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

Our next stop was Topeka, Kansas. We wanted to visit the Arabia Museum in Kansas City and our friend Walt invited us to stay in his driveway. Normally this would not work for us, but Walt is an RVer, so we knew he could handle a rig our size.  _DSC1127-Edit_DSC1127-EditOur Friend, Walt let us park in his driveway!

   Our rig and Walt's in his driveway. This is his side driveway, he has another driveway in front of his house.

 

 

 

_DSC1195_DSC1195Walt was a great host!

   Walt and Jeanie.

 

 

 

 

Walt gave us a great tour of the capitol in Topeka, the Arabia and The Plaza in Kansas City.

_DSC1402-Edit_DSC1402-EditVisited the Kansas Capitol Bldg in Kansas City.

   The capitol at Topeka.

 

 

 

_DSC1264-Edit_DSC1264-EditVisited the Kansas Capitol Bldg in Kansas City.

   The building is beautiful, inside and out.

 

 

 

_DSC1302-Edit_DSC1302-EditVisited the Kansas Capitol Bldg in Kansas City.

   You can take a tour of the dome and climb up to the roof. Lots of steps, some people couldn't handle the heights.

 

 

 

_DSC1445_DSC1445The Plaza...Kansas City

   Tom and Jeanie at The Plaza.

 

 

 

 

In 1856 the Arabia left St. Louis, with 200 tons of cargo and headed up the Missouri River. A week later it sank after hitting a tree snag. Over the years the course of the river changed and 132 years later it was rediscovered 45 feet underground and a half mile from the river's present channel. Today, after careful restoration, the cargo is on display at the museum.

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   The Arabia.

 

 

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   Digging up the Arabia.

 

 

 

 

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   Part of the cargo recovered.

 

 

 

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   Cargo.

 

 

 

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   More cargo. 

 

 

 

_DSC1458_DSC1458Walt & Renee and Renee's daughter.

   Walt, his friend Renee, and her daughter after dinner at Brio at The Plaza in Kansas City.

 

 

 

 

We made a quick stop in St. Louis to visit my college friend, Karen and her husband Don.

_DSC1493-2-Edit_DSC1493-2-EditSpent a couple of days visiting Jeanie's college friend Karen and husband Don.

  Karen and Don.

 

 

While we were there we found time to meet up with Teton friends, Bob and Lorena. We had a great lunch and topped it off with a visit to a local Route 66 landmark Ted Drewes for frozen custard.

_DSC1483-Edit_DSC1483-EditFamous Ted Drews ice cream.

   Bob, Lorena, and Jeanie at Ted Drewes.

 

 

 

 

With all the rain in the midwest, the rivers were rising and a few roads were flooded in the St. Louis area. They were expecting even more rain as we pulled out and headed up the river to Hannibal, Missouri. Hannibal, of course, was the boyhood home of Mark Twain (Samuel Clements).

_1387853-Edit_1387853-EditView of Hannibal, MO

   Hannibal.

 

 

 

_1387800-Edit_1387800-EditView of Mississippi River.

  View of the Mississippi River from Lover's Leap.

 

 

 

 

Next stop was Dubuque, Iowa, incorporated in 1833. We found a city park on the Mississippi River with a campground. Notice how the river is getting narrow. We enjoyed seeing the city of Dubuque, one of the few large cities in Iowa with hills. 

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  Our campsite on the Mississippi River.

 

 

 

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   Pedestrian elevator in Dubuque.

 

 

 

 

We took a day trip to nearby Galena, Illinois. It's another old town with a lot of history. Named for galena, the natural form of lead sulfide, it was once the largest steamboat hub on the Mississippi, north of St. Louis. It was also the home of Ulysses S. Grant.

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   Downtown Galena.

 

 

 

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   Galena.

 

 

 

 

On our way up to the Mississippi headwaters, we spent a couple of nights at Owatanna in southern Minnesota. My cousin Dorrie lives there, so it gave us a chance for a quick visit. Dorrie is related to the Searl line on my mother's side and in addition to her other talents, did all the genealogy for the Searl family.

_DSC1801-Edit_DSC1801-EditSpent an evening with Jeanie's cousin & her husband, Steve.

   Dorrie and her husband, Steve, and Jeanie.

 

 

 

 

_DSC1816-Edit_DSC1816-EditMet up with Jeanie's cousin at the farmers market! bGreat farmers market in Owatonna Town .Square

   Dorrie and her handiwork at the farmer's market.

 

 

 

 

Dorrie told us about the National Farmers' Bank Building right in the center of town designed by Louis Sullivan. Built in 1908, it's certainly a nice looking building but we were amazed at the interior.

_DSC1827-Edit_DSC1827-EditArchitech Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright protege, designed & supervised construction of this bank in 1909.    National Farmers's Bank, now a Wells Fargo.

 

 

   

_DSC1839-Edit_DSC1839-EditArchitech Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright protege, designed & supervised construction of this bank in 1909.

  Bank Lobby.

 

 

 

 

_DSC1849-Edit_DSC1849-EditArchitech Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright protege, designed & supervised construction of this bank in 1909.

  One of 4, each weighing 2 tons.

 

 

 

 

We stumbled across a country auction and within 10 minutes I had a bidding number and won an auction. Dishes, of course.

_DSC1802-Edit_DSC1802-EditStumbled on a local auction...Jeanie made a great find...more dishes!

 Country auction.   

 

 

 

 

Finally made it to Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota, where   the Mississippi River starts its journey. The park claims that where the river starts its flow, which it does here from Lake Itasca, it is officially the Mississippi River.

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   Mississippi River starts here as it ripples over the rocks from Lake Itasca.  Lake Itasca in the background, Mississippi River in the foreground.

 

 

 

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   Marker at the mouth of the river.

 

 

 

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   Lake Itasca.

 

 

 

 

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   Our campsite at Itasca State Park.

 

 

 

 

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   The Minnesota State Flower, the lady slipper.

 

 

 

 

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   Douglas Lodge in the park.

 

 

NEXT MONTH: Northeast coast of Minnesota and the upper peninsula  (U. P.) of Michigan. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/7/june-2015 Sat, 04 Jul 2015 01:27:32 GMT
MAY 2015 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/may-2015 We spent 2 weeks in Amarillo visiting my dad. Dad will be 97 this August and still lives alone and drives. (For those of you driving through Amarillo, look out for a grey car.) Actually he does pretty well, doesn't drive at night and stays close to home.

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   Our RV site at Ft. Amarillo RV Park.

 

 

My brothers John and Steve, and Steve's wife Vicki, came in for a few days also. 

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   Steve, Hubert and Jeanie

 

 

 

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   John and Jeanie

 

 

 

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   Vicki, August, Troy, Lanta, Hillary and Steve (Troy is Steve's son).

 

 

 

 

All the time we were in Amarillo we were nervous about hail. It's a common occurrence there and we were right in the season for it. Tornadoes, flooding, hail were all around us, but we managed to get away unscathed. Little did we know what we were in for and it had nothing to do with the weather.

 

 

After a night in Oklahoma City, we were passing through Springdale, Arkansas about 40 miles from our destination of Eureka Springs. Stopped at a red light, at the edge of town, a car pulled along side of us and motioned to roll down the window. We did and the guy told us our rig was smoking. We immediately pulled in to a bank parking lot and removed the smoking tire.  Tom could tell we had blown the bearings and now there was no way to even put the tire back on or be towed with a missing tire. Did I mention it was Sunday afternoon. We called roadside assistance, but we knew there wasn't much they could do on Sunday, so we arranged for them to come out first thing Monday morning.

 

Now what? We were near a Wal-Mart, but we were afraid to drive on 3 out of 4 tires. There was a paved area behind the bank we thought we could back into, so Tom tied up the axle for a little support and we carefully backed up about 100 feet, unhooked and spent the night.

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   We were lucky to be near a paved lot where we could spend the night.

 

 

 

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  The end of the axle, the spindle, was ruined, so we couldn't replace the tire and had to drive on 3 wheels.

 

 

 

We thought the worst was over and, though there was more bad news to come, we were in a safe spot and had averted a fire that would have destroyed our home in minutes. If you have a fire in an RV there is no saving it. 

 

 

 

On Monday morning we learned the spindle on the end of the axle was beyond repair and we would have to get to a shop. We couldn't put the tire back on so the mechanic chained up our axle as best he could and we limped to a shop about 3 miles away on 3 wheels. (Don't  try this at home.)

 

They assessed the problem, determined we needed a new axle and started making calls. Of course they don't make that axle any more, so Dexter had to make a new one. Two weeks if we're lucky. We couldn't stay at the shop and couldn't drive far so we found a mobile home park a couple of miles away and felt we could make it there.

 

You know the saying "when it rains it pours"? Here it comes, Tom put the tire, that had come off, on the tool box behind the cab, as he didn't have any other place to put it. When we were turning around in the parking lot to leave, the front cap of the rig didn't have enough clearance behind the truck and squeezed the tire into the rear window. Now on top of everything else we had a broken rear window and damaged fiberglass on the rig. And we were only worried about a little hail a few days ago.

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  Even though only one section was broken, you must replace the entire window including a new motor for the center section. 

 

 

 

But, at this point we knew we were safe and everything else could be repaired. We got the window replaced the next day, taped up the fiberglass and eleven days later we had our axle replaced and we were good to go. 

 

 

Yes, it was a pain in the neck and expensive, but we were really lucky. We found it before the rig caught on fire; we were still in town, not on the highway or on the rural roads with no safe place to pull over and spend the night; and finally we were close to a shop that could do the work. Still not sure why the bearings failed as we repack them regularly, but stuff happens, I guess. Tom and the mechanics think a loose nut on the wheel could cause the wheel to wobble and eventually wear the bearings. Can't say for sure, but we'll be checking those nuts regularly just in case.

 

 

 

All together we spent 2 weeks in Springdale. We visited nearby Fayetteville, home of the Razorbacks.

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   University of Arkansas stadium.

 

 

 

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   Old Main, the original building at the University is from 1875.

 

 

 

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   A University tradition is to record the names of the graduates on the sidewalk.

 

 

Friends Walt and Renee were visiting nearby, so we met them for lunch.

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  Met Renee and Walt at AQ Chicken in Fayetteville.

 

 

 

We drove to nearby Bentonville and visited the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. It's a beautiful museum and we really enjoyed it.

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  The museum surrounds a pool and is interesting in itself.

 

 

 

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   Jeanie at the museum

 

 

 

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   Statue in the museum.

 

 

 

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   This guy didn't have much to say.

 

 

Next Month: Eureka Springs!

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/may-2015 Fri, 29 May 2015 22:58:05 GMT
APRIL 2015 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/april-2015 We'd been looking forward to visiting New Orleans, so after a stop in the Florida panhandle to visit with friends, Jerry and Ruth, we finally made it. There is a gated RV Park just a few blocks from the French Quarter, so you can leave your vehicle and walk everywhere. 

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   RV park within walking distance to the French Quarter.

 

 

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   St. Louis Cathedral.

 

 

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   St. Louis Cathedral.

 

 

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   New Orleans is on the Mississippi River.  Musicians were everywhere.

 

 

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   The world famous Cafe Du Monde, known for beignets.  Notice the line to get a seat.

 

 

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   A busy street in the French Quarter.

 

 

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   Tom thought a photo of me in front of an antique shop was appropriate.

 

 

 

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   A typical scene in the French Quarter.

 

 

 

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   Canal Street with the trolley tracks.

 

 

 

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  Above ground cemeteries are the norm in New Orleans.

 

 

 

From New Orleans we were heading west toward Amarillo, so we decided to go north to I-40. That would give us a chance to stop in Vicksburg, MS and visit with Tom's cousins.

_1386298_1386298We visited my Aunt Sarah, 95, and cousins Mary, Chris, Marquita and Herb!

   Mary, Chris, Tom, Sara, Marquita, and Herb. Mary and Herb were visiting from Tampa.

 

 

 

My cousin Richard lives only an hour away, so he and Tom met up to do some photography.

_1386402-Edit_1386402-EditMet up with Cousin Richardfor some picture taking

   Richard at the Vicksburg Military Park.

 

 

 

We found an RV Park in Little Rock on the Arkansas River which runs right through town. We were surprised at how much we enjoyed the area and especially the nightly light show on the river.

_1386600-HDR-Edit_1386600-HDR-EditWe were camped on the Arkansas River in North Little Rock

   Two bridges on the Arkansas River light up at night providing a beautiful light show.

 

 

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  We really liked this park in North Little Rock looking out over the Little Rock skyline. It was an easy walk or bike ride across the bridges.

 

 

 

_1386635-HDR_1386635-HDRLittle Rock Central High built in 1927 at a cost of 1.5 Mil! It was the first significant test of the 1954 Supreme Court ruling "Brown v Board of Education".

   Little Rock Central High School, where the integration of nine African-American students made national news in 1957.

 

 

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   The Clinton Presidential Library houses millions of presidential papers.

 

 

 

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   A recreation of the Oval Office.

 

 

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  Clinton Presidential China made in the U.S.A. by Lenox.

 

 

 

We spent a few nights in Oklahoma City. The weather was rainy, but we managed to get to the memorial between drops. (This was a week before the tornados and flooding thankfully.)

_1386746-Edit_1386746-EditNational Monument at the site of the 1995 Oklahoma City terrorist attack.

  Oklahoma City bombing memorial.

 

 

_1386749-Edit_1386749-EditNational Monument at the site of the 1995 Oklahoma City terrorist attack.

   Chairs at the memorial honoring those who died.

 

 

 

We'd read about the Cattlemen's Steakhouse in the stock yards and decided to give it a try. Wow, best filet we've ever had. Definitely worth a stop. 

_1386753-Edit_1386753-EditCattlemen's Cafe, the best corn fed beef ever! Opened in 1915!

   This famous restaurant in Stockyard City is 100 years old.

 

 

The Capitol of Oklahoma is Oklahoma City.

_1386765-Edit_1386765-EditOklahoma State Capitol.

   Notice the oil well, there are several on the grounds.

 

 

 

_1386772-Edit_1386772-EditOklahoma State Capitol.

   Inside the Capitol.

 

 

Oklahoma City has a nice river walk.

_1386795-Edit_1386795-EditRiverwalk through "Bricktown"

   Boat rides and lots of restaurants on the River Walk.

 

 

 

_1386822-Edit_1386822-EditCastings dipicting the Oklahoma land rush.

   Also along the River Walk are sculptures depicting the Oklahoma Land Rush.

 

 

 

We made a quick stop at Rolling Retreats RV in Elk City, Oklahoma.  We needed an appraisal of our rig and they helped us out.

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   Rolling Retreats is the new dealer for Continental Coach made by Forks RV. Forks RV is the company now sponsoring the Teton club.

 

Next month: Amarillo.

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/april-2015 Sat, 09 May 2015 21:52:57 GMT
MARCH 2015 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/march-2015  

Neither Tom nor I had been to the Florida Keys in many years, so we were looking forward to spending some time there.

 

Working our way south, we first stopped in Ft. Myers to have lunch with a college friend, Lou. Lou grew up in St. Louis, but recently decided it was time to relocate to Florida. Can't blame him. 

_DSC4580_DSC4580    Louie.

 

 

On to Lake Worth for a quick visit with the grandkids.

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   Like father like son, Tommy and Colton.

 

 

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   Finn, 14 months old.

 

 

 

Finally on our way to the Keys. Our plan was to get lots of sun, beautiful scenery and fresh seafood. We succeeded. 

 

Our first week was in Key Largo. The second week in Geiger Key (Key West) and on the way back, Tavernier (near Islamorada). We didn't spend any time in Key West as it was too crowded.

_DSC4717-Edit_DSC4717-Edit    Beach at our campground in Key Largo.

 

 

 

_1385036-Edit_1385036-EditNo D Light

   View from our campsite in Key Largo.

 

 

 

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   Picked up stone crabs at the fish market. They were good. Also enjoyed fresh dolphin, lionfish, yellowtail snapper and hogfish.

 

 

 

_DSC4699-Edit_DSC4699-Edit

   Kayaks at Pennekamp State Park (Key Largo).

 

 

 

 

_DSC4632_DSC4632

   Tom enjoying a beer at Mile Marker 88 in Islamorada.

 

 

 

_DSC4672_DSC4672    We stopped at the Tiki Bar in Islamorada to have a pina colada with a view.

 

 

 

_DSC4771_DSC4771

   View from our campsite at Geiger Key (Key West).

 

 

 

_DSC5015-Edit_DSC5015-Edit

   Our rig at Geiger Key.

 

 

 

_DSC4922_DSC4922

   Kayaking in the mangroves.

 

 

 

_1385308_1385308

  Geiger Key is near the Boca Chica Naval Air Station, so we were treated to an air show every day.

 

 

 

_1385591-Edit_1385591-Edit

   Iguanas are common in the Keys.

 

 

 

_1385163-Edit_1385163-Edit

    Ibis.

 

 

 

_DSC5085-Edit_DSC5085-Edit

   Our campsite at the Elks Lodge in Tavernier.

 

 

 

Sunset 1Sunset 1

   Sunsets are the entertainment in the Keys.

 

 

 

Moonset1499-EditMoonset1499-EditMoonset at Tavernier Key

  Moonsets can be stunning, but you have to get up early to catch one.

 

 

 

]]>
tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/march-2015 Sun, 12 Apr 2015 02:08:16 GMT
FEBRUARY 2015 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/february-2015 We spent February at two Thousand Trail parks - Orlando (Clermont) and Peace River (Wauchula, a couple of hours south of Orlando). While in Orlando we attended the TCI East Region Luncheon.

_1384526_1384526

  Thirty-two TCI members met for lunch in Orlando.

 

 

In Wauchula, the Pioneer Days festival was being held nearby, so in spite of the poor weather, we visited several times. the festival featured one stroke engines and old farm equipment. Friends, Phil and Connie had a booth there and they finally gave in to the weather and closed up early.

Acadia4603Acadia4603

  One banger.

 

 

Acadia4563Acadia4563

  Is it a combine?

 

 

Acadia4566Acadia4566

   We should all have one of these.

 

 

Acadia4576Acadia4576

  Colorful tractor seats.

 

 

 

We've stayed in Wauchula several times, but never got around to canoeing on this section of the Peace River. When the weather cleared up we got the opportunity and enjoyed a beautiful cruise. 

_1384683_1384683

  Water was high and the current steady.

 

 

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  Peaceful!

 

 

 

_DSC4561_DSC4561

  Tom and his camera.

 

 

 

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  Yes, there were a few alligators.

 

 

Next Month: The Florida Keys

 

]]>
tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/february-2015 Thu, 19 Mar 2015 19:29:56 GMT
JANUARY 2015 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/january-2015 Before Orlando, we spent a few days at Ft. Desoto. This is a popular state park, south of St. Petersburg.  Even though we made our reservations months ago, we could only get in during the week. Of course, this is fine, as everyday is a weekend for us.

Fort DeSoto_6484_-EditFort DeSoto_6484_-Edit

   View from our coach.

 

 

_1384422-Edit_1384422-Edit

   Sites at DeSoto are somewhat private.

 

 

Fort DeSoto_6464_-EditFort DeSoto_6464_-Edit

   In addition to dolphins, we watched flocks of pelicans from our back window.

 

 

We stayed in Orange City (north of Orlando) for a month as we caught up with our annual doctor visits. That kept us busy but we had time to spend with friends Andy and Faye, Dave and Carol, and Roger and Sue.

 

We'll be moving around Florida for a few months before leaving in April.

]]>
tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/january-2015 Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:13:14 GMT
DECEMBER 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/1/december-2014 We were very happy to get back to Florida and warmer weather. Our first stop was in Orlando where we had a quick visit with friends Andy and Faye. They have moved out of their motorhome and back to a stick house.

 

Our next stop was Ft. Lauderdale where we visited with my brother Steve and sister-in-law Vicki.

 

Finally we spent a week in Lake Worth visiting with Tommy, Jee-Won and grandkids, Colton and Finn.

2014 Christmas _6401_2014 Christmas _6401_

Colton (4 years old) and Finn (1 year old)

 

 

 

2014 Christmas_61462014 Christmas_6146

Finn and Tom

 

 

 

 

2014 Christmas _6240_2014 Christmas _6240_

Tommy

 

 

 

 

2014 Christmas _6416_2014 Christmas _6416_

Tom and Jee-Won having breakfast at the beach

 

 

 

2014 Christmas_61522014 Christmas_6152

Finn and Tommy

 

 

 

 

2014 Christmas _6410_2014 Christmas _6410_

Colton

 

]]>
tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/1/december-2014 Mon, 05 Jan 2015 20:01:20 GMT
NOVEMBER 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/november-2014 We left North Carolina heading for Luray, Virginia.

We chose Luray because it's near the Shenandoah National Park

_1381543-Edit_1381543-EditOur site at the Outlander RV Park in Luray, VA

   Outlander River Camp in Luray, Virginia. 

 

 

Shenandoah_6146-EditShenandoah_6146-EditViews from Skyline Drive, Shenandoah Nat'l Park

  Beautiful views in Shenandoah National Park.

 

 

 

The weather was cold, but we managed to get a few hikes.

Shenandoah_6159-EditShenandoah_6159-Edit

  Tom on one of our hikes.

 

 

Shenandoah_6148-EditShenandoah_6148-Edit

  Nature shot.

 

 

 

While in Luray we got a nice surprise. Trevor, Kate and the kids drove out from Annapolis to join us for the weekend. We moved to a nearby Yogi Bear park so they could stay in a cabin. We all toured the Luray Caverns and The Maze.

_DSC3355_DSC3355Luray Caverns

  Stalagtites reflecting in a pool.

 

 

LurayCaverns_6188LurayCaverns_6188Trev, Kate & grandkids joined us in Luray for a fun weekend

  Keegan, Morgan, Kate, Tyler and Trevor in the cavern.

 

 

LurayCaverns_6191LurayCaverns_6191Tom & Jeanie at Luray Caverns

   Jeanie and Tom.

 

 

 

Eventually we made our way to Abingdon, Maryland and the reason we were still in the cold weather. The eagles. Tom had been reading about photographing the bald eagles at the Conowingo Dam. Seems photographers come from all over the country to photograph the bald eagles in November.

Conowingo Eagles6665-EditConowingo Eagles6665-EditHundreds of photographers are drawn to the Conowingo Dam Nov 1st thru Jan 1st!

   Some days it's wall to wall photographers.

 

 

Conowingo Eagles6287-EditConowingo Eagles6287-EditMature Bald Eagles looking for a meal

  Bald eagle.

 

 

Conowingo Eagles6698-EditConowingo Eagles6698-Edit

  "Oh no you don't"

 

 

Conowingo Eagles6772Conowingo Eagles6772

   Looks like he has a jet pack.

 

 

I thought Tom would have regrets after getting up at 5:30 a.m. in 22 degree weather and driving 20 minutes to the dam just to see eagles. (Seriously, we have eagles in Florida.) But noooo, he loved it and did it for nearly a week.  I, on the other hand, stayed in my cozy RV enjoying the water view at the Bar Harbor RV and Marina.

_DSC3649_DSC3649

   Love the view.

 

 

 

We spent Thanksgiving in Annapolis.

_DSC3712_DSC3712

   Morgan and Keegan decorating a Christmas tree.

 

 

 

_DSC3714_DSC3714

   Pappy and Tyler on a project.

 

 

 

_1383846_1383846

  All dressed up for Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

_1383906_1383906

   We ate well.

 

 

We caught a little snow one day, but it didn't stick on the roads. Our RV park was closing for the season on November 29 so we finally left for Florida.

 

]]>
tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/november-2014 Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:54:35 GMT
OCTOBER 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/11/october-2014 We started October in Nashville where we attended a TCI rally. We toured Studio B and the Country Music Hall of Fame and found the best BBQ in town at Jack's.

_DSC2493_DSC2493

  The Everly Brothers, Connie Francis, Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and many more recorded here. 

 

 

 

_DSC2568_DSC2568

  Order the brisket if you go to Jacks.

 

 

We saw a show at the Grand Ole Opry and walked around the Gaylord Opryland Hotel next door.

_DSC2855_DSC2855

  The Opryland Hotel is a destination in itself. All enclosed with lush foliage and boatrides.

 

 

This hotel is so large with so many meeting rooms, it's easy to get lost. Somewhere in there we ran across a group that was displaying the Heisman Trophy.

_DSC2866_DSC28662014 Heisman Trophy

  Heisman Trophy on display.

 

 

One of our fellow Tetoners, Dave, told us about a nice RV park on the Mississippi River near Memphis, so we made that our next stop. The park is Tom Sawyer's Mississippi River Park and located on the west side of the river in West Memphis, Arkansas. It's right on the river and we loved watching the barges day and night. The word was out and we were soon joined by fellow Tetoners,  Bill and Sherry and Jack and Sandy.

Tom Sawyer RV A_5993_Tom Sawyer RV A_5993_Our site on the Mississippi River!

  Front row on the Mississippi River.

 

 

 

Tom Sawyer RV A_5996_Tom Sawyer RV A_5996_Our site on the Mississippi River!

  Fun to watch the barges travel the river from the comfort of our home.

 

 

 

Tom Sawyer RV_5999_-EditTom Sawyer RV_5999_-Edit

  Many barges were six container across and seven long.

 

 

 

Of course we toured Mud Island and the Peabody Hotel. 

_1381317_1381317State Park at Mud Island boasts a scale model of the Mississippi River that extends from St Louis to the Gulf

  Scale model of the Mississippi River on Mud Island.

 

 

 

Memphis A_6012_Memphis A_6012_Daily duck walk at the Peabody Hotel In Memphis, TN

  Famous Peabody ducks take the elevator down from their penthouse to spend the day in the lobby fountain.

 

 

 

Memphis A_6038_Memphis A_6038_Daily duck walk at the Peabody Hotel In Memphis, TN

  The crowds come to see the ducks swim in the fountain, but the real show is the beautiful Peabody hotel.

 

 

 

 

We hit a few BBQ places and our favorite was Rendezvous. (Memphis style BBQ is a dry rub.) Then we read some great reviews for fried chicken, so why not. So glad we did, don't miss Gus's Fried Chicken if you get to Memphis.

 

Memphis A_6074_Memphis A_6074_Best ribs in town!

 

 

 

Bill and Sherry had visited Memphis before, so they made sure we saw the sights.

Memphis A_6089Memphis A_6089Our friends Bill & Sherry

  Sherry and Bill.  

 

 

 

We were there for two weeks, so we hit Beale Street a couple of times. So much music in two short blocks.

Beale St A_6161Beale St A_6161Beale Street, Memphis, TN    Beale Street by day.

 

 

 

Beale St A_6185Beale St A_6185

  They close Beale Street to traffic at 8 pm, then it's all about the music.

 

 

 

Beale St A_6180Beale St A_6180

  We had dinner (ribs, of course) and entertainment at BB Kings.

 

 

We eventually made our way to Morganton, NC (east of Asheville) for a visit with friends Dave and Juanita. The autumn leaves were gorgeous and Tom was in photography heaven.

_1381427-Edit_1381427-Edit

  Our RV site at Dave and Juanita's. Their house is up the hill.

 

 

 

NC Colors_6167-EditNC Colors_6167-Edit

  Beautiful foliage along the road.

 

 

 

_1381436-Edit_1381436-Edit

  Functional art on Dave's driveway.

 

 

Next month: The Shenandoah Valley in Virginia 

]]>
tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/11/october-2014 Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:44:20 GMT
SEPTEMBER 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/september-2014 People often ask us how we decide where to travel. While we were in Bar Harbor, someone told us about Sunset Point Campground in Lubec, Maine. It's on the Bay of  Fundy and the easternmost point in the US.  (The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world reaching as high as 53 ft.)  We were able to get reservations, so we headed there.

_DSC2103_DSC2103Our Campsite At Lubec

   Our view in Lubec at high tide.

 

 

Lubec is a tiny town, but gets tourists because it's an entry point to Campobello IslandNew Brunswick, Canada.

Lubec_5063_Lubec_5063_West Quaddy Light

   West Quoddy Lighthouse near Lubec.

 

 

Lubec_5008_Lubec_5008_Beautiful hikes along the coast!

   Beautiful views from trail near the lighthouse.

 

 

Lubec A_5260_Lubec A_5260_Great place for lobster rolls in Lubec!

  Restaurant in Lubec.

 

 

The tiny island of Campobello is the site of the East Quoddy Lighthouse and Campobello (FDR's summer home).

Lubec A_5066_Lubec A_5066_West Quaddy Light

   East Quoddy Lighthouse. Sandbar is underwater at high tide cutting off the lighthouse from the mainland.

 

 

Lubec_4949_Lubec_4949_FDR's summer home on Campobello Island, New Brunswick.

  Roosevelt Campobello International Park maintains the Roosevelt summer home. 

 

 

We were scheduled to be in Nashville at the end of the month, so we needed to head southwest. We decided to spend a couple of weeks with friends in Ohio, so drove west through New York.

 

I learned there was a pottery museum in Syracuse, so why not stop there. Syracuse China is out of business, but a big part of the history of the town. When Syracuse China closed, they donated truckloads of dishes to the museum. The museum has a nice display as well as a private tour of many of the donated items. We were able to get the private tour and I was thrilled to see so many beautiful examples of Syracuse China (originally Onondoga Pottery).

Syracuse A_5285_Syracuse A_5285_

  Our tour of the private collection.

 

 

Syracuse A_5282_Syracuse A_5282_

   Early Onondaga Pottery was porcelain and marked Imperial Geddo.

 

 

Syracuse A_5284_Syracuse A_5284_

  Syracuse China produced a pattern called Blue Plum that was only available for purchase by employees during the Christmas holidays.

 

 

Syracuse A_5298_Syracuse A_5298_

  Syracuse China produced restaurant ware. This style is call shadow ware.

 

 

Syracuse A_5309_Syracuse A_5309_

   Syracuse city hall.

 

 

Syracuse A_5323_Syracuse A_5323_Erie Canal weigh station is now on Erie Blvd

   Last of the weigh stations on the Erie Canal in its actual location. The canal is now a road through town.

 

 

We spent 2 weeks in Springfield, Ohio with friends Jerry and Ruth. Then on to Nashville for a TCI rally.

 

 

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/september-2014 Thu, 09 Oct 2014 21:51:49 GMT
AUGUST 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/august-2014 It's been 20 years since our last visit to New Hampshire. We had good memories of the White Mountains, so we were anxious to see if this return visit would live up to our expectations. It did. We stayed in Twin Mountain at the same RV park we liked in 1995. We found some good hiking trails and, of course, the scenery was amazing.

White Mountains _4197_White Mountains _4197_

   We were rewarded with this view after a mountain hike.

 

 

 

We had nice dinner at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods. Opened in 1902, today it's one of the last "grand hotels" in the White Mountains.

MtWash Hotel_4294_-EditMtWash Hotel_4294_-Edit

   Mount Washington Hotel is a sight to behold.

 

MtWash Hotel _4359_MtWash Hotel _4359_

   Inviting lobby of Mount Washington Hotel.

 

 

MtWash Hotel _4355_MtWash Hotel _4355_

   Hotel veranda looking out to Mt. Washington.

 

 

Tom's cousin Peggy and her husband Wells have a summer camp on Long Lake in Maine, so we moved on to Naples, Maine to be close by. Peggy and Wells spend the summers at their camp along with a steady flow of family and friends. Our timing was great as Tom's cousin Phil (Peggy's brother), his wife Madelyn, and family were staying at another camp nearby. We had a wonderful visit with cousins we rarely get to see. 

Long Lake_4409_Long Lake_4409_

   Peggy and Wells' summer camp. (Camp refers to a house not winterized.)

 

 

Long Lake_4408_Long Lake_4408_

   Peggy and Wells getting the ski boat ready to go.

 

 

Long Lake_4415_Long Lake_4415_

   Peggy heading out for a ski.

 

 

Long Lake_4437_Long Lake_4437_

   Phil getting some sun.

 

_1389620-Edit_1389620-EditWhile boating on Long Lake, ME with our cousins, Wells & Peggy, we observed a couple of Loons fighting for territory!!

   Tom got some rare shots of loons fighting for territory.

 

 

_1389698-Edit_1389698-EditWhile boating on Long Lake, ME with our cousins, Wells & Peggy, we observed a couple of Loons fighting for territory!!

   Loon posturing (called the penguin posture).

 

 

We joined friends, Phil and Connie, in the Bangor area for a few days. Weather was sketchy, but we did a little sightseeing before they had to move on.

Bangor A_4488_-EditBangor A_4488_-Edit

   Jeanie, Connie and Phil in Bucksport.

 

 

Bangor A_4482_-EditBangor A_4482_-Edit

   A shop in the country.

 

 

We went on to Bar Harbor where we spent two weeks hiking and sightseeing (and eating lobster rolls). There is so much to see on Mount Desert Island and the Acadia National Park. Around every bend in the road is another breathtaking view.

Acadia Nat'l Prk_4508_-EditAcadia Nat'l Prk_4508_-EditViews for Bar Harbor from Cadillac Mountain   View of Bar Harbor from Cadillac Mountain (1530 ft.).

 

 

Acadia _1508-EditAcadia _1508-Edit

   A view from the cliff walk.

 

 

Acadia4580Acadia4580

  A beach in the park.

 

 

Acadia _1494-EditAcadia _1494-EditSeal Harbor

   Lots of boating.

 

 

Acadia Nat'l _4617_Acadia Nat'l _4617_

  Hiking in the park.

 

 

Acadia Nat'l _4607_Acadia Nat'l _4607_

   One of the famous carriage roads in the park.

 

 

Acadia Nat'l Prk_4543_Acadia Nat'l Prk_4543_

   Maple leaves turning red in August!  Fall is just around the corner.

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/august-2014 Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:29:28 GMT
JULY 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/july-2014 We wanted to visit Manhattan and our friends told us about Liberty Harbor RV Park in Jersey City, just across the Hudson. It's little more than a parking lot with RV sites, but the location can't be beat. For about $85 a night (water, 50 amp electric and a view of the Statue of Liberty), you can leave your vehicle, hop on the PATH subway ($5 round trip) and be in Manhattan in minutes.

_1388614-Edit_1388614-Edit

  Manhattan skyline at night.

 

 

Lady Liberty_3513_Lady Liberty_3513_Lady Liberty up close

   We took an evening cruise and got this shot of the Statue of Liberty.

 

 

We love to walk so we covered most of the sights on foot. 

NYC_3270_NYC_3270_Jeanie is checking her map for directions.

   Somewhere in Manhattan.

 

 

NYC Central Park_3310_NYC Central Park_3310_Central Park

   We were surprised to see so many granite outcroppings in Central Park.

 

 

NYC_3359_NYC_3359_

  Street performer in Times Square.

 

 

NYC _3371_NYC _3371_

   Farmer's market at Union Square is handy as we didn't see any supermarkets.

 

 

NYC_3293_NYC_3293_

  Mobs of people all the time.

 

 

NYC_3235_NYC_3235_Engine Co 10 at Ground Zero

   Stylized photo of NYFD near ground zero.

 

 

 

The Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) were on our must-see list.

Guggenheim_3078_Guggenheim_3078_Guggenheim Museum

   The spiraling floors of the Guggenheim designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

 

MET_3126_MET_3126_The MET

   The MET.

 

 

MET_3114_MET_3114_There is a large collection of American made pottery displayed at the MET. Jeanie recognized many pieces that she has in her collection!

  I was surprised to find a collection of early American made porcelain at the MET. There were several cases on display.

 

 

MET_3122_MET_3122_

  Breathtaking painting of Washington crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze in 1851.

  (Yes, that's me looking back at the photographer.)

 

 

 

Next stop was Norwich, Connecticut. Norwich was settled in 1659 and was the birthplace of Benedict Arnold. We loved seeing the old homes in Norwich which looked grand to us even in the poorer sections of town.

Norwich CT A_3554_Norwich CT A_3554_Grand old homes of Norwich

   One of the beautiful houses, now split into condos.

 

 

Norwich CT A_3561_Norwich CT A_3561_Grand old homes of Norwich

   Interesting design.

 

 

Norwich CT A_3548_Norwich CT A_3548_Norwich, CT City Hall, built in 1870

   Norwich City Hall built in 1870.

 

 

Norwich CT _3573_Norwich CT _3573_Ponemah Cotton Mill 1866-1972

   Ruins of the Ponemah Cotton Mill built circa 1866.

   The mill, including several additional buildings, once employed over 1600 workers.

 

 

 

The old mansions of Newport, Rhode Island are amazing and set in a beautiful area. I can see why people flock to this coast.  The local Preservation Society owns and offers tours of several of the homes.

Breakers_3688_Breakers_3688_The Breakers Mansion

  The Breakers, 1895.

 

 

The Elms_3642_The Elms_3642_

   The Elms, 1901.

 

 

Newport Harbor_3710_Newport Harbor_3710_Newport Harbor

   Beautiful coastline.

 

If you go in an RV, stay at Paradise Motel and RV Park in Middleton. The motel is no more, but the RV sites are roomy and so close to the mansion tours.

 

 

 

On to Cape Cod. I wanted to visit Martha's Vineyard, so we took a passenger ferry over to the island for the day. Only having a few hours we thought we'd book a bus tour around the island. Hmmm, turned out to be a rickety old school bus that was too big to get off the main roads. We were not thrilled about that, but spent our remaining time enjoying walking around Oak Bluffs.

MarthasVineyard_3851_MarthasVineyard_3851_Marthas Vineyard

   Victorian homes in Oak Bluffs.

 

 

MarthasVineyard_3876_MarthasVineyard_3876_Gingerbread houses built late 1800's

   Gingerbread houses in Oak Bluffs.

 

 

MarthasVineyard_3853_MarthasVineyard_3853_Marthas Vineyard

  If you lived on Martha's Vineyard, you could have a view like this.

 

 

 

Tom wanted to go back to Boston as it had been 20 years since our last visit. We walked the Freedom Trail and had dinner in a 1780's tavern that was frequented by Paul Revere and visited by George Washington (that guy really got around, didn't he).

 

FreedomTrail A_3913_FreedomTrail A_3913_

   Jeanie waiting for the commuter train to Boston.

 

 

FreedomTrail A_3935_FreedomTrail A_3935_The Old North Church

  Old North Church on the Freedom Trail.

 

 

FreedomTrail A_3970_FreedomTrail A_3970_

  Street performer flipping over audience volunteers.

 

 

FreedomTrail A_4111_FreedomTrail A_4111_Boston Harbor

   Boston skyline.

 

 

FreedomTrail A_4141_FreedomTrail A_4141_Charlestown

   Bunker Hill.

 

 

 

Tom, the grill master.

HiddenAcres A_3518_HiddenAcres A_3518_

 

 

Next month: New Hampshire and Maine.

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/july-2014 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 21:52:28 GMT
JUNE 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/june-2014 We spent some time in Annapolis visiting with Trevor, Kate, Morgan, Keegan and Tyler. Morgan and Keegan stayed with us for a few days, so we had a lot of fun with them. We're looking forward to having Tyler, also, when he gets a bit older. 

 

Annapolis 2014_1754-EditAnnapolis 2014_1754-Edit

    Smores party.

 

 

Continuing our tour of the northeast, we traveled two hours to eastern Delaware. This was our first time there so everything was new to us. We were very impressed with the farmland and beautiful beaches. No sales tax is pretty attractive also.

Rehoboth Beach_DE_2385-EditRehoboth Beach_DE_2385-EditRehoboth Boardwalk

  Rehoboth Beach.

 

Rehoboth Beach_DE_2380-EditRehoboth Beach_DE_2380-EditRehoboth Boardwalk

   Rehoboth Beach boardwalk on a Saturday.

 

Cape Henlopen St Park_DE_2262-EditCape Henlopen St Park_DE_2262-EditCape Henlon State Park was once Fort Miles during WWII. Guarding the entrance to Delaware Bay.

   Cape Henlopen State Park

 

Assateaque Nat'l_2516_Assateaque Nat'l_2516_

   Wild horses at Assateague Island National Seashore (south of Ocean City, Maryland).

 

 

New Jersey is across the Delaware Bay. We took the Lewes-Cape May Ferry and saved a couple of hours of driving time.  

CapeMayFerry_2635_CapeMayFerry_2635_

   It costs $80 for us to take the ferry to NJ.

 

 

We stayed in Port Republic which is near Atlantic City and spent several hours on the famous Boardwalk, peeking in most of the casinos. The Boardwalk was active and vibrant, but several casinos have recently closed and I think the locals are concerned.

AtlanticCty_2663_-EditAtlanticCty_2663_-EditBlack & white images seem appropriate for Atlantic City Boardwalk.

   Atlantic City.

 

AtlanticCty_2673_-EditAtlanticCty_2673_-EditBlack & white images seem appropriate for Atlantic City Boardwalk.

   The Boardwalk at Atlantic City on a weekday.

 

AtlanticCty_2685_-EditAtlanticCty_2685_-EditThe Annual Sand Sculpture World Cup was in progress. Sculptures from all over the world competed.

  One of many spectacular sand sculptures on the beach at Atlantic City.

 

 

We took a drive to Trenton to see the Ellarslie Museum, which has a small collection of pottery made in Trenton.

_1388236_1388236We visited the Ellarslie Museum in Trenton to see a collection of American made Trenton pottery.

   Made by Ott & Brewer prior to 1893.

 

_1388244_1388244We visited the Ellarslie Museum in Trenton to see a collection of American made Trenton pottery.

   Made by American China Co. prior to 1894.

 

_1388249_1388249NJ State Capitol

   Capitol in downtown Trenton.

 

Next Month: New York City

 

 

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/june-2014 Fri, 04 Jul 2014 20:08:30 GMT
MAY 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/may-2014 After the rally at Stone Mountain, we went to northern Georgia with friends, Dave and Juanita. This area of Georgia is mountainous with lakes everywhere. 

Hiawassee_1653-EditHiawassee_1653-Edit

   Beautiful scenery near Hiawassee.

 

Hiawassee_1646Hiawassee_1646

  Juanita, Dave and Jeanie.

 

 

We stayed at the Hiawassee Fairgrounds where the Rhododendron Festival was in progress.

Rhododendrom Memorial Garden _1494Rhododendrom Memorial Garden _1494

   Rhododendrons on the hillside.

 

Rhododendrom Memorial Garden _1513Rhododendrom Memorial Garden _1513

  Rhododendron Festival.

 

Rhododendrom Memorial Garden _1510Rhododendrom Memorial Garden _1510

  Rhododendron. (Azaleas are a subgroup.)

 

 

Juanita has started "turning wood", so we visited the John C. Campbell Folk School in nearby Murphy, North Carolina, to see what classes they offer. 

 

John C Campbell Folk School_1468John C Campbell Folk School_1468

  Dave speaks to the teacher in the blacksmithy class.

 

John C Campbell Folk School_1488John C Campbell Folk School_1488

  Dave and Jeanie smile for the camera as Juanita asks questions about the woodturning class.

 

 

Our timing was perfect, as our friend Becky had just returned to her Murphy home from her Florida home.

Hiawassee_1642Hiawassee_1642

 Becky and her friend Ray.

 

 

We had to drive back to Orlando for a follow-up doctor's appointment for Tom. While we were there we got to see some friends at an Enterprise Preservation Society function in Enterprise.

Enterprise_1654_1-EditEnterprise_1654_1-Edit

   Old Enterprise schoolhouse that will become a museum. 

 

 

Since we were in Florida, we thought we might be able to lend a helping hand to Tommy and Jee-Won and watch Finn for a few days.  It was fun, but quick and we were soon on our way north.

20140607_125632-Edit20140607_125632-Edit

  Tommy, Colton, Jee-Won and Finn.

 

T&JW_May_2014_1707-EditT&JW_May_2014_1707-Edit

  Gammy and Finn (4 months old).

 

T&JW_May_2014_1685-EditT&JW_May_2014_1685-Edit

   Colton and Charlie.

 

Next stop: Annapolis

 

 

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/may-2014 Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:47:24 GMT
APRIL 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/april-2014 Leaving Florida, we had about 3 weeks before we had to be in Atlanta for the TCI East Region Rally. We spent a couple of nights in Thomasville, GA and were thrilled to see the azaleas in full bloom.

Thomasville, GA_702-EditThomasville, GA_702-Edit

   Azaleas in full bloom in Thomasville, GA.

 

 

Friends told us about a nice Corp of Engineers (COE) park on Lake Eufaula on the Alabama/Georgia border. We reserved a week there and liked it so much, we stayed another week. COE parks are all over the country and, as seniors, we only pay half price (whoo-hoo). 

Hardridge Creek Eufaula_750-EditHardridge Creek Eufaula_750-EditOur Campsite At COE Near Abbeville, AL

   Our campsite at Hardridge Creek COE overlooking Lake Eufaula.

 

 

We took a quick trip to Americus, Georgia, to visit nearby Andersonville, the notorious Confederate Civil War Prison. Operating for only 14 months, nearly 13,000 Union prisoners died there due to the poor living conditions.

Andersonville Civil War POW Camp_4-EditAndersonville Civil War POW Camp_4-EditThose Prisoners Caught Between Posts Were Shot Dead. Area Became Known As The "Deadman Zone"

   The prison was only a field of 26 acres surrounding by a stockade.

   These posts mark the deadman zone, 19 forbidden feet where you would be shot on sight.   

 

 

Andersonville Nat'l Cemetary_17-EditAndersonville Nat'l Cemetary_17-Edit13000 Union Soldiers Died At Andersonville. The First To Die On Feb 27, 1864

   The Andersonville Cemetery, still an active military cemetery.

 

 

Americus was a neat town with many old mansions and the grand Windsor Hotel.

Windsor Hotel Downtown Americus, GA_838-EditWindsor Hotel Downtown Americus, GA_838-EditWindsor Hotel In Historic Downtown Americus, GA

   We had dinner at the the Windsor Hotel, built in 1892.

 

 

When we were at the COE park, another camper happened to mention there was an even better COE park, Cotton Hill, on the Georgia side of Lake Eufaula, so we drove over to check it out. It was beautiful, so we make arrangements to meet friends, Jerry and Ruth, there for a week. We found great spots, right on the beach, and it was hard to leave when our week was up.

Lake Eufaula_2Lake Eufaula_2

  Can't beat that view.

 

Lake Eufaula_4Lake Eufaula_4We met up with friends Jerry & Ruth

   Jerry and Ruth.

 

Lake Eufaula_37Lake Eufaula_37

   Sunset on Lake Eufaula.

 

 

Eventually we made it to Stone Mountain State Park for the rally. The park, on the east side of Atlanta, is huge. Lots of water, golf courses, hiking trails, and of course, the big granite rock with a carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.

 

Stone Mountain_857-EditStone Mountain_857-EditWe hiked Stone Mountain with friend Stephanie Engel

   Stone Mountain.

   

Stone Mountain_1179-EditStone Mountain_1179-Edit

   View of Atlanta on the 1 mile hike up Stone Mountain.

 

 

We enjoyed a tour of Atlanta, CNN and Coca-Cola.

TCI East Rally 2014_947_1-EditTCI East Rally 2014_947_1-EditThe roof of the Georgia Capital is gold leaf.

  Capitol in downtown Atlanta.

 

 

We had a chance to visit with my long-time friend, Bonnie, who now lives in Marietta, near Atlanta

Lake Eufaula_1-2Lake Eufaula_1-2We visited Jeanie's long time friend, Bonnie, from Marrietta, GA

  Jeanie and Bonnie.

 

 

The rally ended with a laser/fireworks show on the mountain.

Stone Mountain_1444_1Stone Mountain_1444_1Some shots of light show at Stone Mountain

   Laser/fireworks show on Stone Mountain.

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/april-2014 Thu, 08 May 2014 19:37:28 GMT
MARCH 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/march-2014 We finished up our doctors' appointments in March and visited with friends and family. Staying back at Thousand Trails in Clermont (west of Orlando), we were near our Teton friends.

 

We couldn't resist a quick trip to Lake Worth to see the grandkids. 

St Patrick Day Parade 2014__356-EditSt Patrick Day Parade 2014__356-Edit

   Colton at the St. Patrick Day parade in Delray Beach.

 

644Grandkid Fix__03-14__-Edit644Grandkid Fix__03-14__-Edit

   Finn at 3 months old.

 

Green Cay Park 2014__589-EditGreen Cay Park 2014__589-Edit

  Tommy, contemplating something.

 

 

On the way back from Lake Worth we stopped in Ft. Pierce and stayed at the Savannas Recreational Area. Tom's sister, Meg, lives nearby so we got to see her. 

_1386152_1386152

   Lots of birds and the occasional alligator.

 

Meg 03-2014__673Meg 03-2014__673

  Meg and Tom.

 

 

Back in Clermont, we parked next to Teton friends, Bill and France. France introduced me to Pickleball which seems to be growing in popularity. It's played on a court one half the size of a tennis court with paddles and a whiffle ball. Maybe we'll take it up.

Bill & France Moriarty675Bill & France Moriarty675

   France and Bill.

 

Bill & France Moriarty679-EditBill & France Moriarty679-Edit

  France preparing their rig to leave the park.

 

Next month: Georgia

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/march-2014 Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:43:03 GMT
FEBRUARY 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/february-2014 We spent February in Orange City, not far from our former residence. This allowed us to catch up on our annual doctors/dentists exams. This year we also spent the month making minor repairs on our rig.

 

Another benefit of staying in this area was visiting friends. Longtime friends, Andy and Faye, who also RV, stayed in an RV site directly behind us.

 

February went by quickly, but we also met up with local friends, Dave and Carol and Roger and Sue. Friends, Dave and Juanita, from North Carolina, joined us in the RV park for a few days. 

 

My photographer took the month off, so I could only find two photos for February. They were taken at the Volusia County Farmers Market in Deland.

Dave found something at the flea market!Dave found something at the flea market!Dave found something at the flea market!

   Dave at the Farmer's Market.

 

  Vendor's wares at the Farmer's Market.

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/february-2014 Wed, 12 Mar 2014 19:16:47 GMT
JANUARY 2014 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/1/january-2014 We spent New Year's Eve at the beach and stayed at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral. We like this park because you have the beach on one side and Port Canaveral on the other. We could watch the cruise ships come in and out through our back window.

We stayed at Jetty Park at Cape Canaveral. Surf was up and the big ships come & go.We stayed at Jetty Park at Cape Canaveral. Surf was up and the big ships come & go.We stayed at Jetty Park at Cape Canaveral. Surf was up and the big ships come & go.

   Our view of the Disney ship going out to sea.

 

 

We stayed at Jetty Park at Cape Canaveral. Surf was up and the big ships come & go.We stayed at Jetty Park at Cape Canaveral. Surf was up and the big ships come & go.We stayed at Jetty Park at Cape Canaveral. Surf was up and the big ships come & go.

   Surf was up at the beach.

 

 

SpaceX launched a satellite with it's Falcon 9 rocket whil we were at Jetty Park!SpaceX launched a satellite with it's Falcon 9 rocket whil we were at Jetty Park!SpaceX launched a satellite with it's Falcon 9 rocket whil we were at Jetty Park!

   SpaceX rocket launched while we were there.

 

 

We went on to Ft. Lauderdale to have a quick visit with my brother Steve and sister-in-law Vicki. There we picked up a gift from my sister who had ordered a personalized blanket for us. I thought it turned out very nice, dad's family on the left, mom's on the right.

Clockwise: Hubert.....Jeanie and Tom.....Teletha.....Harold and Teletha.....Wm Harold and Verna.....Sharon, Steven, Hubert, Teletha, John, Jeanie.....Fred and Nellie.....Carl, Irwin, Fred and Hubert.   

 

 

We were anticipating the birth of our 5th grandchild, due anytime. Luckily we were headed to Lake Worth to visit Tommy, Jee-Won, and Colton when we got the call. Imagine our delight when we got to stay with Colton for a few days while Tommy and Jee-Won drove to Tampa to receive their new baby boy, Finn Harrison. All are doing well.

Lindsay_Chris_8-26-16_13_47_16_53Lindsay_Chris_8-26-16_13_47_16_53

    Jee-Won and Finn.

 

 

Finn Harrison Wilby, born January 13, 2014, 9:35 AM!!Finn Harrison Wilby, born January 13, 2014, 9:35 AM!!Finn Harrison Wilby, born January 13, 2014, 9:35 AM!!

   Tommy, Colton and Finn.

 

 

Finn Harrison Wilby, born January 13, 2014, 9:35 AM!!Finn Harrison Wilby, born January 13, 2014, 9:35 AM!!Finn Harrison Wilby, born January 13, 2014, 9:35 AM!!

   Finn and big brother, Colton.

 

 

Though the park in Lake Worth is on a lake, the heavy rains the day before our arrival flooded the park. We were lucky to have a dry site as many did not.

Lake Worth experianced 22 inches of rain just before our arrival.Lake Worth experianced 22 inches of rain just before our arrival.Lake Worth experianced 22 inches of rain just before our arrival.

  Across the street from out site.

 

 

Tom had a chance to visit his uncle Sam who lives in the area.

Visited Uncle Sam Clark while in Lake WorthVisited Uncle Sam Clark while in Lake WorthVisited Uncle Sam Clark while in Lake Worth

   Tom's uncle Sam.

 

Our next stay was the Peace River Thousand Trails in Wauchula. We also visited nearby Arcadia and with local pottery friends, Howard and Linda.

Street fare in historic Arcadia, FloridaStreet fare in historic Arcadia, FloridaStreet fare in historic Arcadia, Florida

   Street fair in Arcadia.

 

 

Howard & Linda Richardson joined us for dinner one night. The evening's topic wsa, of course, pottery collections.Howard & Linda Richardson joined us for dinner one night. The evening's topic wsa, of course, pottery collections.Howard & Linda Richardson joined us for dinner one night. The evening's topic wsa, of course, pottery collections.

   Howard, Linda and Lotus Ware.

 

We visited the Tampa RV Show and saw a bunch of Tetoners.

   Dori, Jerry and Jeanie

 

 

  Ruth, Connie and Jerry at their booth at the RV show.

 

Back to the Orlando Thousand Trails and lots of fun with a bunch of RV friends who winter there.

    Ruth, Joe, Jeanie, Jerry and Darlene playing tiles. 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/1/january-2014 Fri, 31 Jan 2014 21:55:08 GMT
DECEMBER 2013 https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/12/december-2013 We stopped in the Dallas area to have our window shades repaired. It took longer than expected so we were nervously watching the weather for an snow/ice storm moving in our direction. We finally got away on Thursday and the storm hit on Friday and what a storm they had! If you remember the news reports, it was a major ice storm.

 

We thought we could keep ahead of it and we did, making it to Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. We decided to stay at one of our favorite RV parks for a week before going on to Pensacola as the weather was cold and rainy. Well, okay, maybe the good cajun food in the region influenced us a bit also.

Our View from our rig at Pouche's RV ParkOur View from our rig at Pouche's RV ParkOur View from our rig at Pouche's RV Park

   Our site at Pouche's Fish-n-Camp in Breaux Bridge, LA on one of the sunny days.

 

We stopped in Pensacola so Tom could renew his driver's license, as Pensacola is our legal residence. Though we stayed on the western edge of town, we were struck with the traffic in Pensacola. We quickly learned to stay off the roads at rush hour!

 

Tom wanted to explore the Panhandle coastline, so we found an RV park in Carrabelle (south of Tallahassee) on the bay. Called the Forgotten Coast, it is pretty isolated. 

Great RV Park on the bay in Carrabelle, FLGreat RV Park on the bay in Carrabelle, FLGreat RV Park on the bay in Carrabelle, FL

   Nice, quiet park on the bay.

 

   Out site at Ho-Hum.

 

   Sunset on the bay.

 

 

Apalachicola is about half an hour away and a nice town to visit. Founded in 1827, the town was once the third busiest port in the Gulf of Mexico, behind New Orleans and Mobile. Today they are known for their oysters, but at one time they had a flourishing sponge trade.

 

   Shrimp boat in Apalachicola.

 

 

On our way to south Florida, we stopped at the Thousand Trails park in Clermont (Orlando) and had a nice visit with some Teton friends. 

 

 

 

 

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tom@wilby.us (Tom Wilby) https://tomwilby.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/12/december-2013 Sun, 29 Dec 2013 19:46:52 GMT