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|We visited the amazing Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado (near the Florissant Formation where many dinosaurs have been excavated). Link to the Virtual Tour of this Museum on Fossils page 11:|
OF THE GODS
National Park, Colorado Springs, CO
Pike's Peak, and the Kissing Camels, among other peaks and passes described on the chart at the gift shop:
rock hill, a precursor of what would be a beautiful journey of iron red
Halfway through the loop of the Park, we came upon the gift shop. Lovely items for sale, and very educational as well. A trip to Colorado would not be complete without seeing GOLD, and Fool's Gold.
Made especially for this gift shop, these aspen wooden vases are made from standing dead aspen trees. Of course, we purchased one!
The view from the parking lot of the gift shop
Pike's Peak behind Heidi
and the rest of the loop through the park back to the highway, where Heidi is photographed next to the entrance rock
TUCSON, PHOENIX & APACHE JUNCTION
|Glenn and Frank, brothers reunited after 24 years, and met his delightful wife Diane, first in the hotel room, then a visit to Goldfield, and then their home. We also met Darian their grandson.|
|QUARTZSITE & TUCSON GEM SHOWS|
|Friends and new business
owners Dale & Renee on their way to their first Gem Show, also first
|Enough rocks to satisfy any rock hound at the Quartzsite show||A great turquoise chunk||Glenn trying on a goofy hat|
|A very large ammonite from Canada, called Ammolite, the Canadian national gem||This is what strawberry quartz glass looks like in the rough, made in Australia||This figurine is carved of pure ivory, the fire in it was beautiful but does not show in the photo||A rare species of fish fossil|
|Fossil gharial crocodile skulls from Morocco|
|Fossil jellyfish||Fossil rhino heads & skeletons||What a fuzzy woolly mammoth Glenn found!||
A huge fossil turtle shell
|An incredible collection of lingam stones, including the LARGEST we have ever seen|
|Okay, when we pronounced this, we laughed our heads off||A beautiful crystal formation||Who's growling more, the
carved tiger, or Glenn?
|Taking a load off, in a carved burl wood chair|
|The African Market - metal works, blankets, beads, woven baskets|
|Cube pyrite in matrix, from Spain, some of the best in the world||Large quartz crystal formations||An extremely large
quartz crystal skull
|Dreadlocks hair style are VERY common in Tucson|
|So many amethyst cathedrals, more than one person can imagine|
A tourist Old West town
Glenn probably telling Dale he is a wuss about something (smile), all just having a good time
Dale, panning for gold, he couldn't resist:
Oops, a goofy Saguaro cactus formation, you can draw your own conclusions of cactile dysfunction
|SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS, THEODORE ROOSEVELT DAM|
|The scenic drive around the Superstition Mountains to the Salt River, Canyon Lake and the Theodore Roosevelt Dam, the largest masonry (brick) dam 300' tall built in 1911|
|A small graveyard near Apache Junction, where Frank found several small gourds for Renee to use. We all had a good time.|
|APACHE TEAR HUNTING|
Frank took us to an area with plenty of apache tears, we all got the
fever. This area is no longer open to the public. The apache
tears are a form of obsidian that is created within the perlite
matrix. We have these for sale on Rocks,
page 6 . Even the huge light-colored boulders you see were FULL of
How can I get this on the plane?
Okay, so Heidi photographed lichens brave enough to grow here too:
A beautiful view of the setting sun over the mountains, a fitting end to the fruitful and fun day:
|A nasty mesquite tree with hard thorns the size of ten-penny nails, in Frank's front yard||Ocotillo cactus, also VERY thorny||Typical Joshua Tree|
|A sumptuous and colorful Southwestern meal in Mesa Arizona at the Rancho de Tia Rosa Restaurant, with a great Mariachi Band:|
Superstition Mountains, Frank and Glenn
Our last breakfast together the next morning, off we fly! What a memorable and long overdue visit.
GOURD SHOW, February 2007
Wuertz Farm, Casa Grande, Arizona
Pinal County Fairgrounds
Link to info on current gourd show dates:
PHOTO CREDITS to our friends Dale & Renee Lee, who experienced the show themselves, we regret we were not with them! Enjoy the fantastic amount of creativity, color and themes using gourds as the medium
ALASKA (October 10-21, 2006)
This group of photos is SO comprehensive that we have opened a new category just called "Alaska" to view this trip and the June-July 2006 trip, here is a link to it:
TRIP TO FLORIDA TO DR. GORDON HUBBELL'S PRIVATE MUSEUM OF SHARKS
Here is a link to the full page needed to display his incredible collection, on Sharks page 15:
Andy Griffith town, note this car dealership featuring the police car made famous from this television series, what a hoot!
JUNE 21 through JULY 8, 2006
This group of photos and description is also so large that we moved it to the "Alaska" category starting on page 3 here:
1105 S. Ocean Blvd. and 12th Avenue South,
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Shown from Ocean Blvd., and from the ocean side. Young friend Josh is digging to China, it appears:
Yes, you read that right. This "Latest Travel" is just 20 minutes away from our house. Yet, because we live here, we rarely visit the beach unless friends come to visit (Frank and family from Virginia):
we experienced this family beach resort and were impressed by the 10 pools
& hot tubs including a Lazy River. The first pool is just
outside their room (they chose the first floor for this
Frank's youngest son Noah posing here near one of the pools...
indoor fun room for kids
pinball and arcade games. On a subsequent visit with friends, we played till we were hoarse and they closed the arcade for the night. Worth every penny we played there.
outside (and inside) restaurants
and those to-die-for views of the 60 miles of perfect beach that we love so well...
Frank's family had a full suite with kitchen that was quite affordable...
|Back at our house, final photos of the family with Glenn and with Heidi. What is that strange headdress you're wearing, Frank?|
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
|North of Charleston, SC,
you will see small roadside stands where the famous Sweet grass baskets
are sold. They are truly works of art. They used to be made
from South Carolina grasses, though development has paved over many of the
areas they used to collect. Most of the sweet grasses now come from
Florida. We are proud to have a collection of these from several
weaving artist basket makers. Here is Ophelia Betty Burch and her
husband from Mt. Pleasant, showing off her work:
Billed as the "Smallest Church in America", a pleasant place to stop. I believe this was in Florida:
Here's something you don't see every day...man rides steer!
|March 3, we visited the
new Georgia Aquarium exhibit in downtown Atlanta.
The most humorous thing we saw was the entry signs forbidding knives, guns, lighters, or FISHING POLES. The guard confirmed that indeed, since Day 1, people have been trying to get in with fishing poles, evidently thinking they could catch fish, and have them cooked to order.
The huge viewing tank with two whale sharks, hammerheads, sawfish, guitarfish, stingrays, Port Jackson sharks, and countless other species of marine life was a real treat. Here are the whale sharks and hammerheads:
and a hammerhead with a whale shark in the background:
|Here are the stingrays
flying in squadrons, you can get a sense of the size of the tank from the
silhouette of the crowd:
and looking like a kite flying contest:
And one flying solo:
|A view of the tunnel
through the large whale shark tank which was spectacular, including the
swarming of the yellow fish that was delightful:
and the groupers that were often flanked with the yellow fish:
|Two views of the sawfish
in the whale shark tank:
and of the Japanese spider crab tank:
|The other treat was to see the second large tank with the five white Beluga whales. They enjoyed ogling us as much as we did them. Plus, their graceful movements in the water were truly an underwater ballet that we could have watched all day.|
|Here is a view of the entry to the gift shop with their mascot Deepo the orange fish, and an interesting wave photo we took for you:|
|We recommend a visit there, on a weekday, at 9:00 a.m. to skip the largest crowds. Otherwise you must go online to get tickets to be sure of getting in on the weekend, and the crowds are large. Here we are in 6:30 p.m. traffic on Friday night on the Atlanta 285 circle trying to get on to 85 north towards Helen, lest you think every trip is a dream come true:|
|On Saturday March 4 we visited Helen, GA north of Atlanta as we were looking at properties in the area of NE Georgia in the mountains, a lovely area indeed. However, the number of chicken farms and rendering plants we found there, in view of the bird flu issue, made us think twice.|
|This German themed town would not have been complete without a Heidi sign which we found:|
|Picturesque homes, horse-and-carriage rides:|
|Hurricane Katrina did not stop at Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. It came north and created a horrific freak tornado here in northern Georgia that flattened a third of the trees on this hill, swooping below to demolish a series of gift shops that are even now trying to rebuild. The prestigious home on the hill now has little forest cover:|
|A historic Nacoochee Indian Mound outside of town:|
|A surprise Rock & glass shop outside of town, we bought a few chunks of brightly colored glass for window decorations:|
|On Sunday March 5 we found a large antique store near Clarkesville that had an incredible find: a 180 year old five piece display shelving & mirror mantel piece set that came from a pharmacy in Louisiana. The center mantel piece is 16 feet tall. It is the kind of item that we would find a house to fit it, or build a house around it. No kidding. This place is earmarked in our come-back book.|
busy trip first to Maryland to purchase a great white shark jaw from a
private collector on Thursday Feb. 16.
Then we found out about an International Gem show in Chantilly VA starting the next day (Friday), so we spent the day there and found a knock-dead Boulder opal-gold-diamond ring for Heidi:
Saturday we visited with third-generation customers Frank & Kathy and their two boys Josh & Noah, and learned more of the Civil War landmarks in the area. It happened to be George Washington's birthday weekend, so there were fireworks at the Ferry Farm Home we happened to see while at a restaurant. Make your own fireworks here!
Sunday we surprised our fossil guide friends in Aurora NC with a visit,
and snapped a few photos while we were there. If you've read on
Fossils page 9 about the phosphate mine there, you will know about the
pile of phosphate in the center of town that you can dig for sharks teeth
& other fossils and keep what you find. Here's Glenn on top of
the pile, across from the Museum:
and near Chocowinity is another pile we visited again, though the best tooth was found right next to the car!
A nice ending to an eventful four days.
|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER photos are on the About Us page of our visit to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving, and Christmas at home. We were too busy shipping packages to travel otherwise!|
stop in Rockingham NC where we found some great Kudzu overgrowing an old
mill, with the sound of a river away in the distance:
One formation even resembled a woolly mammoth!
visit to Seagrove NC (one of the most concentrated towns for pottery
artists) brought us to Uwharrie Crystalline Pottery. Heidi's had her
eye on this style of pottery for some time, because crystals literally
grow on the vases during firing! Here's the two Heidi started with:
Crystalline pottery is the art of growing crystals in the firing process. They use 25% zinc, add ground natural quartz to make it a glass, and a third mineral for color such as nickel, copper or cobalt. Mixed with water, glazed, fired at 2300 degrees, the glaze melts down the sides of the vase. Zinc crystallizes at 1850 to 2150 degrees as it cools, the same way crystals grow from molten rock as it cools, so the kiln is set at 2000 degrees for 6 to 15 hours (a LONG time compared to other pottery glazes) during which time they peek in to see the crystals grow and spread over the surface of the pottery. What fun, you never quite know how they will end up!
is a spectacular, rare occurrence of a single crystal growth on one vase
that artists William & Pamela Kennedy have been unable to
duplicate. It is on display at the North Carolina Pottery Center
there in Seagrove:
View some of their other exquisite work here in their store:
and on a website showcasing their work:
They also shared with us a specimen of "propolite" also known as "cotton stone" because of similar crystals that grow within the rock. We still need to research this further, as there is very little on the internet we have found. This mineral is found only in a few places in the U.S. - and this county in Seagrove is one of them! Here's a photo of a specimen:
Here is William with a new face pot we like, we'll have to see when it's finished:
Speaking of face pottery, we have been thinking of collecting it for some time .. evidently that time has COME - because here's a link to the new collection! Face Pottery
We continued on to Virginia where we made a Virtual Tour of the Fairy Stone State Park, hunting for fairy stones thanks to our friends Dale and Renee and digger Pete:
and Renee drove us "20 miles" - more like 50 - (smile, Dale!)
from their home to the Blue Ridge Parkway where a historic Mill is
located. The 2nd picture, thanks to Dale, of Glenn, Heidi and Renee:
Heidi found the fencing and sluice photo-worthy:
And the picturesque Philpott Dam on the way back:
of the more humorous stops in Roanoke was when we saw the billboard
"Home of the Trunk Monkey" shortly after leaving Dale and
Renee's and telling them about these humorous video clips:
So we found Berglund Used Cars and spoke with Darrenn Clark, who gave us 2 souvenirs (we added the "Trunk Monkey" necklace):
Darrenn directed us to the dealership in Salem, where we got the rest of the story...this dealership bought the East Coast rights to use this ad campaign. They put Trunk Monkey decals on a new Ford Mustang car, filled the trunk with these stuffed monkeys, and made a contest of guessing how many were in the trunk.
Skip Larrington of Roanoke, Virginia, a chemistry and computer science teacher at Hidden Valley High School, mathematically calculated the capacity of the trunk at 403 - there were 404 in the trunk. So he WON the car on September 2nd! CONGRATULATIONS!
He kept the decals on the car to teach kids that applied math does pay!! and drives it to school every day. He kept 40 of the trunk monkeys - one is always in the car with him, of course.
Here's his story:
Back in early June, there was a
"teacher appreciation night" at a Salem Avalanche game. Teachers
received free tickets to the game. We enjoy going to a couple of games a
year at the park, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to go. The
weather was very comfortable, so we were looking forward to a very
We paraded onto the field, and
waved at the crowd. Brett Sharp of 94.9 Star Country explained that
we were to be eliminated in groups, and the last person remaining would be
the winner. The first two groups eliminated were groups 20-29 and 40-49 .
the two groups closest to me. They proceeded to eliminate groups until
there were only 4 of us left. Two of them were eliminated, leaving just
two of us standing. The rest of the world no longer existed. Time stood
still. The crowds were gone, the players were
picked the car up on Tuesday evening, and I drove it to school on
Wednesday morning. The car was parked in front of the school all day
(starting at 7:00 AM). The car was the talk of the student body all day.
An announcement was made in the morning about the car, stating that a
teacher had won the car and encouraging students to ask their math
teachers about how the car was won. All the math teachers had a Trunk
Monkey in their possession, along with a description of the mathematical
process followed to come up with the winning number.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Trunk Monkey, and sorely in need of a belly laugh or two, we suggest you check out the official website. Click on the KATU Report on the making of the videos, and the Windows Hi Res versions of "Thrown off the bridge", "Want a Donut", and "Throwing Eggs 1 or 2":
FEST, Chilhowie VA
The smell of apple butter permeated the fairgrounds from a bubbling cauldron of apples, the sound of Bluegrass music filled the air here in Chilhowie, near the western tip of Virginia, close to the Tennessee & Kentucky border, the furthermost stop for this trip.
Of course we walked away with Virginia apples and apple butter enough to last us awhile.
roadside sign in western Virginia:
Hungry Mother State Park? Watch out, kids!
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