We are in Florida with one more travel day to Barberville Pioneer Settlement.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
While our coach was being worked on we visited two interesting houses with fascinating stories.
Helen lost her sight and hearing at age 19 months, probably from scarlet fever. At age six, the family hired a recent graduate of Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. Anne Sullivan moved to Alabama and became Helen's teacher. This is the bedroom that Anne and Helen shared.
Anne was so successful teaching Helen to communicate that Helen got accepted to Radcliffe.
This image reflects how Braille takes a lot of space. Helen is reading a book from her bible. The rest of her bible is stacked behind her!
The house has a fascinating organic design with rich woods, clerestory windows and miles of book shelves. No interior photos are allowed. This is a photo of a photo from the Visitor Center. Wright designed the furniture as well.
Monday, October 24, 2016
After the Plantation and some afternoon retail therapy we attended the Grand Ole Opry. Here's the huge theatre filling up. A great show and we have since downloaded albums from two of the acts.
Back at the campground the turkeys came to visit. Every time the little boy reached out to wave to the turkeys, they ran to him expecting to be fed!
Thursday, October 20, 2016
We are in Nashville for a few days to take in the sights and country music. There's a lot of music in the "Music City" but there' also a lot of city!
Downtown Broadway is lined with bars featuring almost continuous live music. The bands play for tips and they are remarkable. Here's the seven piece "Slingshots".
We never got this young woman's name but sure enjoyed her show. One of the older patrons took a liking to her and bought the whole band two rounds of drinks!
The Country Music Hall of Fame has exhibits covering the whole history and scope of country music. This wall displayed over 400 gold records.
A fascinating exhibit covered the time Bob Dylan spent n Nashville and his relationship with Johnny Cash. Of course, that was before Dylan was a Nobel Laureate.
The rotunda displays bronze plaques for each of the Hall of Fame inductees from Minnie Pearl to Charlie Daniels.
Monday, October 17, 2016
In the spring we have seen thousands of sandhill cranes migrating north through Nebraska at the Platte River. It turns out they take a different route south in the fall. One spot where they rest and feed is in NW Indiana at the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area.
Goose pasture is where the birds gather before dispersing throughout the area's cornfields to feed during the day.
At sunrise there were only three other people on the viewing platform. At sunset there were over 50!
In the hour around sunset over a thousand birds settled into the pasture. Here are two in silhouette.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
We took a rest day in Rock Island, IL. We decided to visit the little tourist town of Le Claire along the Mississippi River.
Lots of excursion boats do trips along the river.
History Channel viewers may have seen "American Pickers". This is the location of Frank & Mike's shop, Antique Archaeology.
Mike Wolfe is a serious motorcycle collector. How about this six cylinder land speed record BSA motorcycle!
Thursday, October 13, 2016
We spent five delightful, though exhausting hours touring the Henry Doorly Zoo today, our final day in Omaha before moving on. We ran out of energy long before we ran out of Zoo.
The newest exhibit and residents are African elephants. A game reserve in South Africa was suffering a severe drought and was considering euthanizing 18 elephants. Three US zoos worked together to transport the animals to the States and make a series of annual payments to the reserve to continue their rhino conservation work. This is one of the six in Omaha.
The Zoo does a lot of conservation work in Madagascar and has an extensive exhibit dedicated to this giant island off the coast of South Africa. This ring-tailed was one of many lemurs.
This guy looks pretty menacing- even though it is a girl. The males looked more intimidating but were less photogenic. When we got home, Carl read on the BBC News that a gorilla had escaped at the London Zoo!
And finally, this stunning orange bishop weaver bird flying free in the Desert Dome exhibit.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
We are spending a few days in the Omaha, NE area for Yom Kippur.
Today we toured Desoto National Wildlife Refuge. When the Army Corps of Engineers was "channelizing" the lower Missouri River in the '50s they cut off a large oxbow to straighten the river. The resulting lake was incorporated into a refuge in 1958. It is pretty quiet here in October but 100,000 ducks and 500,000 geese spend the winter.
Desoto also has a shipwreck!
Thursday, October 6, 2016
We toured some local sites of interest today. First stop was the Wyoming Territorial Prison built in 1872 to house "over a thousand evil doers of all classes and kinds". The most famous inmate was Butch Cassidy, before he hooked up the Sundance Kid.
Next stop was the Laramie Plains Museum, housed in the 1893 mansion built by Edward & Jane Ivinson. There "cottage" was only 11,700 square feet!