Tuesday, December 31, 2013

                       Happy New Year

Sunday, December 29, 2013

    Day two and three have been both wet and wonderfully warm. Yesterday we ended up staying in a little Mom & Pop campground outside of Severeville TN . We got caught up in some really slow traffic that blew and hour of travel time so we took the first sign for camping we saw it and it worked out OK. Besides it had started to rain and we had had enough travel by then. Tonight  we are just inside the Mississippi border off Interstate 59 at a really crappy KOA. OH well stuff happens. I'm really starting to not have much faith in that national chain. The only reason I keep that membership is that most of them stay open in the colder areas of the I 81 areas of Virginia . I can definitely say with out a doubt that none of the highway stimulus money has been put to good use yet. We have traveled on I 78, 81, 75, and 59 so far and they are terrible. I must admit that Alabama has resolved their road problem. They just put up a lot of signs that say Rough Road Ahead. No kidding, that's and understatement. In sections there was really no road surface at all, just lots of what could best be called rumble strips. Enough for now.                                              G

Friday, December 27, 2013

Back on the Road

 We are back on the road and are currently sitting in Staunton VA at a KOA that we had looked at several years ago while exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway and several Cavern's that the area is loaded with. It's amazing how the price of fuel changes from region to region. Stopped for gas and it's $3.09 and diesel is $3.59 . I hope it keeps going down. Less spent on fuel is more in the bank. We will miss all the Family and Friends but when we set up this afternoon it was 51 degrees here.   G

Friday, December 13, 2013

Back in the Cold

    Well I though I would have nothing to write about while we are back in PA but as usual I was wrong. Here we sit waiting for our third snow storm since Turkey Day and it's just way to cold. The days in the 20's and nights in the low teens are just not exciting any more. If I wanted to be this cold we could have stayed in Wyoming , at least there we would be seeing thousands of Elk and Bison. Oh well , bitch, bitch. We have had time to see Family and a few Friends since getting back and the visits have been really good but it seems like doing all  of the Medical check ups at the same are such a bother. We will correct that in the future . We have noticed that after you have been away from the Great North East for a bit that the pace of life here is going 100 miles an hour as where we seem to always be is doing 45. Not so bad when we drove about 10,000 miles this year and  all the close misses have been in the last 3 weeks within 20 miles of here.. To many people with too much to do with out enough time. It really is sad as all the ones we care for are here. I believe in the future we will try to come back during warmer weather as I am not doing well with the cold this trip. Maybe the short days and frostbite have a major role in these thoughts . After you have been warm for 10 strait months it really is a shock. We will miss everyone here but in 3 weeks we will be back in the 50's and 60's down in Texas. We will be getting there a little sooner than we though as we will need a couple of days of training on how to handle and band the big migrating birds, really looking forward to doing it. We missed it last year as we arrived to late. Been looking at all the Refuges in the US and there are so many really cool places to Volunteer at, places with Turtle Rescue and Ocelot breeding here in the US, who knew . When you travel with the best weather in mind all the time you get use to T shirts and shorts as the dress of the day. It really make a body feel good all the time. It also makes the people around you have a better attitude towards life . Maybe being surrounded by happy folk makes us all better people ? With Xmas so close and another New Year on the door step ,old traditions will fade away and  new ones and with the new generation taking the reins, all will be good. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all, we love all of you.               G & L
I was getting the camera ready for Xmas and forgot that I had pictures from before we left Pea Island so here we are with are. This Sail boat and what's left of the second one are two more victims of the Cape Hatteras Diamond  Sholes area.
From what we read in the local news the boats were bought at auction in New York and they were being transported down to Florida by just one person who fell asleep during  the night and he drifted into  the beach. the next day we has a north blowing storm and that was the end of the smaller of the two and we don't know what became of the larger one.

Another shot of the White Pelicans in the pond behind the Pea Island Visitor Center.

One of the big Snapping Turtles along the boardwalk behind the VC

One of the local Brown Pelicans

The Pea Island VC shot from the Sound side overlook

The Cape Hatteras Light House

A few of the Island Deer in the NPS campground in Cape Hatteras.

Our Christmas Tree. Merry to all and Happy New Year

Sunday, November 24, 2013

        We finally had the pleasure of meeting our new Grandson yesterday and what a joy to see him. Our Son and Daughter are looking great for new parents. They are weathering parent hood so well, good baby and a good approach to their new life. How lucky can a family be. We also had the pleasure of seeing our Granddaughter and her Mother at the same time. A really good day and to top it off there was a light dusting of snow in the evening that makes the world look all sparkly for the moment. This all made the trip back to PA a good reason. The weather here is just awful with high winds and temps in the teens. Woke up this morning to 17 degrees and the cold just goes right to the bone. In the ten months we were away my allergy's were barely noticed and three days back in the Valley and I'm back on the allergy meds. Such is life. Our family Doctor always said that if I wanted to cure the allergy's I would have to leave the Lehigh Valley. Now I'm sure she was very correct in that thought. While we are here we have a number of Doctor's visits and need to take care of vehicle registrations and inspections. Lifes little pains . We will get it all done with some time to see old Friends and Family. Will be back on the move right after Christmas and heading back South to Texas and much warmer temps. Unless some thing really outstanding happens here this will be our last Post for awhile. Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas to everyone and to all a great New Year. Who knows what 2014 will hold for us all.                                  G

Friday, November 15, 2013

      Just a few words to let you all know we have left the Alligator River Refuge and are now in Virginia Beach with Laurens Family for a few days and should be back I  PA next Tuesday. We are already missing the warm weather. It was 33 here last night but should get warmer over the next few days.                                                                                                                  G

Saturday, November 9, 2013

      We are Volunteering at the main Visitor Center today and we though it would be very quite. Much to surprise there is a Marathon going on in Manteo on Sunday and all the support people for the runners are looking for some thing to do until tomorrow. So we have been busy. It has finally gotten cold here, 38 this morning and had to turn the heat on to keep the kitty's warm and us of course. Not looking forward to the cold in PA in a couple of weeks. But with new a new Grandchild to see and family for the holidays we will brave it for a couple of weeks.                      G
We took a drive over to this Refuge and ran into another RV couple that we worked with at the Refuge in Wyoming. A really small world.

This building started out as a water pumping station and ended up as a hunting club before becoming part of the Refuge.

Just enjoying the day

Hanging out with his friends.

The Tundra Swans have arrived at Alligator River Refuge.

The Swans have family units and this picture shows a large group in the center.

This field was covered with soybeans two weeks ago and now it's being flooded for the migrating water fowl.

Beautiful Birds.

Monday, November 4, 2013

        We have been in low gear the last few days. We went to Virginia beach last week to Visit the family there and as always it was pleasant. We also visited one of the other Refuges up in that area, Mackay Island and it was OK, more wild life on the Marshes. We went there because the Refuge Manager we meet in Texas used to be in charge of that Refuge.  It has been real windy here the last couple of days so no beach time unless you wish to be sand blasted. It's OK as we spend more time bear watching. We have several large bears and a good number of the small ones. We never fail to see one on each trip out so it is fun just to sit and watch as they feed and move about . They have harvested about half of the five thousand acres they have planted here and are starting to flood some of them now to make ponds for the migrating water fowl that will start to move through the area here very soon. We have also been involved just a little in the Turtle watch on the beach and the baby turtles are really cute when they hatch out but they need some help from us to protect them from the ghost Crabs and the Gulls who think they are a good and easy meal.  As the number of nests decrease every year  they are trying to help rebuild the population by saving more of the hatching's and so they collect them and are releasing them right into the ocean to by pass the predators.                                                                                          G
Did some tourist stuff yesterday and went to the site of the first English settlement in the New World. The Roanoke site at Fort Raleigh.

This is where they do the play the lost Colony during the summer season. 

Some civil War history

The story of the Sea and Land Battle that took place here.

We love Bear watching on the refuge.

He was too tired to eat any more soy beans .

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wright Brothers Monument in Kitty Hawk

A side shot of the Wright flier. Had the long lens on the camera and that was as good a shot as I could get.

Manteo Lighthouse

The reproduction of the first Queen Elizabeth

Our little home at the Refuge with our evening fire.

Our Halloween Kitty

Sunrise the other morning from the Manteo Bridge

Shot through the truck wind shield

And it's up
No hurry
A bear  but leaving the road
Some fall colors

One of the local bears.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We went searching for Eagles at a local fish farm and found this one .

They are all Eagles from adult to juveniles.

Another lone Eagle.

Some local history.

And a very well done replica of the CSS Albermarle

The Roanoke river at Plymouth NC
Some White Pelicans on a still pond on Pea Island.

I love the reflections on the still water.

One of our local Bears.

Hard to see the Bear Cub in the sorghum field. Those are the ears sticking up. The plants are only 18 inches tall.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Missed this picture with the last group. This is the boiler of the USS Oriental that sank just off shore across from the Pea Island Visitor Center. She was a Civil War era steamer and was carrying Pennsylvania Troops from Florida back to New York when she went down in a storm. All made it to shore and the boiler and stack still survive to this day.

       We have been busy the last few days as the Refuge is running their Wings over the Water Event this week and it has been a lot of fun being part of it. Of course things have been hectic due to the government shut down ending only a few days before the whole thing kicked off but it is going well with over 100 different programs going on, not just Birding but Wolf and Bear walks and kayaking the back canals of the Refuge and Canoe trips and many other kid programs going on at the Gateway Main Visitor Center. We are doing our best to do our small part and once again meeting all kinds of diverse people and as always the Refuge Staff is just great to work with. The weather here is finally changing and the temperatures are becoming fall like with nights in the 40s and in the day time in the 60s. Perfect sleeping weather. We are still alone out in the Alligator River section of the refuge and it looks like we won't be on the beach this trip but we have visited the Beach RV Pads and they are just on the other side of the dunes. Looking forward to being there next Summer. One of the Staff  Rangers took a picture of an 11 foot alligator several days ago at the end of the road where we are parked. It was awesome.               G
The invasion of the little green guys after the rain two nights ago.

Where we have been Volunteering the last couple of days.

Some history of the area.

You may wonder why a picture of a Grakle.

Lauren is sitting at a table full of coffee and donuts to be given out to the Birders who are doing walks in the Refuge and the Grakles would like to eat the donuts.

A look at the beach across from the visitor center.

Some Pelicans right behind the visitor center.

A ship wreck that was moved off the beach in 1978 and put in the parking lot of the Nags Head government Building.

Last Nights Sunset

Love the Red Sunsets