'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, finding my way, friends, fun, go with the flow, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Ups and downs…

The last time I drove Skyline Drive I popped the pop-up off the hitch when I drove over railroad tracks in Front Royal. Fortunately two very nice gentlemen appeared out of nowhere and jacked up the now bent front support and got me back on the road. So I drove the whole way preoccupied with the camper, worried it would pop off again. I know I took pictures and enjoyed the scenery to a degree, but not like I did on this trip down Skyline Drive. The fact that I wasn’t the only driver was both a blessing and a curse because we both really would prefer to be the driver, but we managed to share the driving duties peacefully. But driving that road with its ups and downs, and hairpin turns to the right, and hairpin turns to the left, and stopping at every overlook to take pictures, can wear a girl out.

And when you come to the end of Skyline Drive you immediately begin your drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with more ups and downs, and twists and turns. So we stopped for the night in Hillsville, VA. Which my son may remember from an infamous trip we took from FL to upstate NY, dragging a uHaul, and he said, looking at the map, “Mom, there is a road that’s a shortcut from the road we are on to the one we are going to”, and we took it. Much to our dismay we found it had twists and turns, and ups and downs, and we groaned when we saw that we had been driving, however appropriately, through Hillsville! I asked him if I had been driving him nuts by driving too slow over that road and he said no, I was driving him nuts because he thought I was driving too fast! I never imagined I’d spend four days driving that sort of road willingly, and calling it fun!

My first trip to Florida was in 1988 and I came away with the impression that it was entirely too flat. At this moment in time I think that Florida’s flatness just might be its best feature.

'scene' along the way, adventure, bucket list, exploring new places, following the rules, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Assateague State Park..

I don’t know if getting to see the wild ponies at Assateague Island was exactly a bucket list thing for me, I’m not sure I even knew about them until I lived in Maryland. And for 30 years or more I gnashed my teeth when I saw the pictures of the round-up, when the ponies are herded across the water and then some are sold. The monies collected are used to fund the fire department, if I am remembering that correctly. I never seemed to see an announcement of the round-up ahead of time, only after I’d missed it. My friend was stationed in VA with the Air Force years ago and he says he always wanted to go there and never did either. For some reason the GPS said it couldn’t give us directions, so I just drove south from where we were staying and counted on seeing signs. And it worked!

This was all the view I expected to see. Ponies off in the distance.
This is why I love my 18-400 lens so much. I’m ready for anything.
I’m also ready when ponies suddenly cross the road from the opposite side and surprise me.
By this time the traffic had been held up as they wandered across, and cars were pulled off the road in each direction so people could watch.
We watched for quite a while and then moved on, but when we headed back in this direction these ponies were still grazing in this same spot.
They made such a pretty sight. And they completely ignored the people jostling for position to take their pictures. But people kept some distance at least, possibly because of the signs that warn that ponies bite and kick!
Of course this foal captured my attention.
Isn’t he cute?

I don’t know if I ever read Misty of Chincoteague or not, or if I ever bought it for my daughter, but I bought a copy for myself in the gift shop at the state park yesterday. I am in my second childhood after all…

'scene' along the way, adventure, bucket list, exploring new places, facing facts, friends, fun, learning, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Cape Henlopen State Park…

Riding the Cape May ferry has long been on my bucket list. And since I lived in MD for over 30 years you might assume I had gotten around to it. But I never did, and our attempt to do it yesterday didn’t work out either. Planning ahead was required, or buy a stand-by ticket and then wait and see if you get to go at all. That didn’t sound like fun, so instead we went to Cape Henlopen State Park to see what we could see. And we immediately found two lighthouses. Sometimes you just get lucky.

This is the Harbor Rescue Lighthouse off in the distance.
The red one is the East End Breakwater Lighthouse. This is the view from the beach.
Our view was from the very long fishing pier where we got into a fun conversation with a fisherman who suggested that we come back for sunset from the pier. We didn’t, and that was lucky because it wasn’t a great sunset last night.
That wasn’t the Cape May ferry as I first thought. Just a water tour boat.
There was a lot more to see also, when I could tear myself away from more shots of the lighthouses.
You didn’t have to bring your own kayak.
I might bring my iPhone on a kayak, but not the big camera I was carrying.
,We found that the beach was full of colorful umbrellas. And there was a virtual parade of people heading onto the beach loaded down with their own beach paraphernalia.
I was surprised to notice the lighthouse in the distance.
This is where they keep track of boat traffic in the area.
Big boats require big boys.
This is the lightship Overfalls. A portable ‘lighthouse’ of sorts.

So while I didn’t get to ride the Cape May ferry, I can’t say that I was disappointed in the day and how it turned out. Someday I will learn to plan ahead a little better.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, black and white, exploring new places, family, friends, fun, grandchildren, kids, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Dewey Beach sunset…

We arrived in Dewey Beach and found our accommodations included a short walk to view the sunset. And family to boot! How great is that?

Should I sit, or should I kayak? Or just take pictures…
The requisite Great Blue Heron joined us, just like back home!
I loved the row of seagulls. They were making a racket.
The sky was pretty in both directions…
My granddaughter and her friend wandered onto the beach and I asked them to strike a pose. I don’t think they minded one bit.
They gave it their all!
I like people in my shots.
Another day ending, but more days of fun ahead!
'scene' along the way, adventure, connections, family, finding my way, friends, fun, grandchildren, life goes on, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Stops along the way…

On Friday we were headed to the Heritage Gardens, which I posted about. But I forgot about our stop to see this pretty gristmill along the way.

We purposely looked for this grist mill to take a few pictures, but it turned up right on the route.
It was prettier than I expected.
It was a quick stop, but so fun to see it.
This church was equally pretty but an unexpected find. St. Patrick’s in Falmouth.
We came across this church while we were driving around, and when we parked to take some photos we found a vendor setting up in advance of an event of some kind.
Here he is, the proprietor of Reid’s Real Baking. He was fun to talk to, and his bread and blueberry handheld pies were great. Stop if you see him, okay?
We stopped again when we saw these quite small cottages on stilts. They were cute, but I’m not sure I’d like to be inside looking out the window at a raging storm.
This is the Nobska Light, the same lighthouse that’s in the feature photo. With only a few parking spaces we felt lucky to snag one for a closer look.

I’m a lucky woman. Not only have I had someone special to enjoy this journey with me, and spent time with old and new friends, and family, but I’ve also spent the last couple of days with my daughter and family. So I’ve spent more time face to face with people than on the computer. And all the while I’ve been taking pictures, but I’ve lost track of all the places I’ve been and photos I’ve taken. But I’ll find them, they are in this computer…somewhere.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Amazing artwork, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, life, life goes on, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

It’s all about the bees…

Heritage Gardens was supposed to be about the hummingbirds. I was there two years ago and came across a shrub that was just off the walking path and the flowers there were making the hummingbirds very happy. And the hummingbird moths too. So in my usual way I totally expected them to be right there waiting for me to take more pictures of them this time. So much of life has changed in the last two years, why should I expect the hummingbirds to be carrying on in the same way? I’ve certainly chosen a bit of a different path for myself these days, I guess they can too.

I was attracted to the intense blue and purple colors of this hydrangea.. The bee was a bonus.
Gorgeous hollyhocks.
The charming windmill.
Chipmunks are so cute, and we don’t see them in Florida.

Wait, I said this was about the bees, didn’t I?

Orange bee…
Pink bee…
Purple bee…
Oops, this is a butterfly!

Lego sculptures were found throughout the gardens.

Same picture from this angle…
And then from this angle.
And now we see how this was done…

We had such a nice day. And when we got back my friend got to reunite with two close friends from childhood for the first time in over 20 years. After all my travels and reconnections these past few years I know just how great that feels. What a very nice day.