Congaree National Park

December 2, 2021

The Congaree National Park was formerly known as the Congaree Swamp National Monument. But, repeat after me…Congaree is not a swamp, it’s a floodplain.

That’s the first thing I learned.

The gift shop at the visitor center was open, but the museum portion was not. The restrooms were, thankfully, also open.

Before you head out to explore the park, make sure you check the Mosquito Meter…

Mosquito Meter

As you can see, we visited on the rare All Clear day. Woohoo!!

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Guildford Courthouse NMP, North Carolina

November, 26, 2021

There are several ways to enjoy this park. One is to attend a ranger-led walking tour. Another is to take the driving tour or to walk the trails along which the fighting occurred. Finally, you can spend some time in the visitor center and museum. As usual, we did everything, spending much of the day there.

Shortly after we arrived a ranger-led walking tour was about to begin. The tour took about an hour and covered much of the battlefield.

The battle took place on March 15, 1781. Although outnumbered by more than two to one, at the end of the day the British Army under General Cornwallis held the field while the American Army under General Nathaniel Greene had retreated 15 miles. Because they held the field this was, technically, a British victory, but a very costly one. A little over six months later, Cornwallis would find himself trapped at Yorktown, VA.

General Nathaniel Greene’s Statue

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Colonial Fredericksburg, VA

November 21-22, 2021

I lived in Fredericksburg, VA from 1974 until 1978. But at that time, as a newly minted enginerd, I wasn’t too interested in its history. Forty-three years later, I spent a week exploring the town and the surrounding area, enjoying its restaurants, and learning quite a bit about its Colonial and Civil War history. This post focuses on the Colonial period.

Hugh Mercer Apothecary

Hugh Mercer Apothecary

Want to learn about the latest advances in Colonial medicine? Want to learn more about Scotsman Hugh Mercer and his descendants? Then this living history spot is the place to go. Two staffers dressed in period costume spent quite a bit of time talking about Colonial era medicine, surgery, and dentistry.

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Civil War Fredericksburg, VA

November 17-20, 2021

Fredericksburg NBP Visitor Center

Fredericksburg, VA linked the Union’s capital, Washington, DC, to the Confederate’s capital, Richmond, VA. During the Civil War that made Fredericksburg a target. Four major battles were fought in and around this town between 1862 and 1864.

All these battles were fought between the Union’s Army of the Potomac and the Confederates’ Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Robert E. Lee.

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Amana Colonies, IA

October 14-16 2021

Downtown Amana

We spent several very busy days exploring the Amana Colonies which are comprised of seven separate, but closely related villages: Amana, East Amana, Middle Amana, High Amana, West Amana, South Amana, and Homestead. The colonies were one of many self-sufficient communities that sprang up in the 1800s.

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Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

October 6, 2021

Minuteman Missile NHS Visitor Center

South Dakotans, knowing they would be at ground zero during a nuclear war, had varying opinions about the missiles in their midst. Some objected to being targets. That’s understandable. Others enjoyed the boost to the local economy. One resident said, “These silos are here to preserve peace. At worst, they’re a necessary evil. At best they help our local economy…” That’s understandable too…I guess.

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Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS

September 11, 2021

While traveling to our Phoenix Cruiser Travel Club reunion in Spearfish, SD, we stopped in the little town of Deer Lodge, MT. That’s where you’ll find the little known but fascinating Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site.

Grand-Kohrs Visitor Center
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Notice – Batch Posting 11/6/2020

We are still working on catching up. Here’s the latest round.

Cape Henlopen State Park & Fort Miles Historic Site

Shenandoah National Park

Kings Mountain & Cowpens National Battlefields

James Island County Park

Best Laid Plans – Holly’s Elbow

Volunteering – Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

Deep South Texas

Sea Turtle Inc.

Palo Alto National Battlefield

Two Weeks on the Road – aka Covid Cruisin’

Whidbey Island

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Batch Posting

October 13, 2020

Here we are again, dumping a load of blog posts that are seriously past due (and we have a bunch more to type up that are also seriously past due). It seems we prefer to be volunteering, playing, exploring and even doing household chores to blogging but we eventually get there. The latest batch is from last summer. We’ve included links so you can jump to them easily.

Summer with the Granddaughter – 2019

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary – again

Grand Canyon – North Rim

Mesa Verde – Wetherill Plateau

Spearfish, South Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park


Knife River Villages, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, Fort Mandan, Garrison Dam and Fish Hatchery

Fort Michilamakinac

Susquehanna State Park (Maryland)

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Excelsior Trail

October 5, 2020

Blueberry-Filled Slopes and Mount Baker

Excelsior Pass can be reached by Excelsior Trail (which has your feet carrying you up the entire elevation between Highway 542 and the pass) or via the Damfino Lakes Trail (where your car carries you up a good bit of the elevation BUT it isn’t a good road). We chose the easy(ish) way and bounced our way up 8 miles of ragged road in the Subaru. We hiked up past Damfino Lakes to Excelsior Pass then headed left on a bit of the High Divide trail to a spur that took us right up to the top of Excelsior Peak. John now has a new favorite view! Even with clouds hanging on the mountains like fluffy white bicycle helmets the views were stunning. Check our pictures and see if you agree.

Those red bushes covering the ground? Blueberries. Yum, yum and yum. John had to keep stopping to find Holly. She was picking blueberries! Sadly none made the trip back to the car. They were picked and consumed in minutes. A few here, a few there… Continue reading

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