Home, Home from the Range

The night’s storm died away, but that Tuesday morning afterwards began still cloudy and was the coolest of the extended holiday weekend.     Fortunately, it wasn’t so cool that I changed my mind about visiting Evans Plunge Mineral Springs in Hot Springs.  I entered the small town around 7:30 a.m. and was able to …

A Day in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Memorial Day started partly sunny and cooler after the heavy thunderstorms of the night before. The forecast was for more stormy weather; the question was whether it would come during the day or later in the evening. The down side of a mostly outdoors activity is that one is affected by weather conditions.  Fortunately, the …

Oh, the Rocks and the Mountains

Ten years ago, I decided to bypass the Badlands National Park.  Bad decision, but fortunately, I had the opportunity to see it this time. The route along I-90 regularly passes by several South Dakota historical sites.  I made a quick drive through of this one:   I got off to an early Sunday morning start …

The More Things Change…

A lot has happened since I last posted.  Most significantly, my mother passed away in March, and I admit I’m still touchy about her loss.  Still, I’m very grateful we had the last chances we got to spend time together, including the drive through North Carolina to see the Outer Banks last July. As for …

Black Hills Revisit

It’s hard to believe that next summer marks the ten year anniversary of my first big trip since I moved to Iowa “four score and seven years ago.”  So, instead of making the Utah national parks trip I missed last summer, I’ve decided to retrace most of the route one of my nieces and I …

A Family Fourth,… A Wedding,… and the Outer Limits… Well, Banks

When I visit home, it’s not unusual for me to stick close to the house for R&R. That was pretty much true this trip, too. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday were pretty restful and quiet, much needed down time. On Tuesday, the Fourth of July, we went to my aunt’s house where the family was taking …

Smoky Mountain High

It’s been a while since I’ve visited my home state of North Carolina because the family has tended to gather in Washington, DC, for the Christmas holidays these past several years.  And I had many reasons to look forward to this return visit. First order of business was a stop at Great Smoky Mountains National …