For Email Marketing you can trust
FOLLOW US FOR SPECIAL DISCOUNTS
You Are On: Latest Travels Page 4
Click To Go To:
Latest Travels Page 1 Page
2 Page 3 Page
5 Page 6 Page
7 Page 8 Page 9
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:
Tour Dinosaur Resource Center
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
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.
& 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
|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
gharial crocodile skulls from Morocco
||Fossil rhino heads &
|What a fuzzy woolly
mammoth Glenn found!
A huge fossil turtle shell
incredible collection of lingam stones, including the LARGEST we have ever
|Okay, when we pronounced
this, we laughed our heads off
||A beautiful crystal
||Who's growling more, the
carved tiger, or Glenn?
|Taking a load off, in a
carved burl wood chair
Market - metal works, blankets, beads, woven baskets
|Cube pyrite in matrix,
from Spain, some of the best in the world
|Large quartz crystal
||An extremely large
quartz crystal skull
|Dreadlocks hair style
are VERY common in Tucson
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
MOUNTAINS, THEODORE ROOSEVELT DAM
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
graveyard near Apache Junction, where Frank found several small gourds for
Renee to use. We all had a good time.
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
|Typical Joshua Tree
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
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:
Gordon Hubbell Shark Museum
Andy Griffith town, note this car dealership
featuring the police car made famous from this television series, what a
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:
Alaska Page 3
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...
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
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
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:
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.
German themed town would not have been complete without a Heidi sign which
homes, horse-and-carriage rides:
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:
historic Nacoochee Indian Mound outside of town:
surprise Rock & glass shop outside of town, we bought a few chunks of
brightly colored glass for window decorations:
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.
discovered TOM'S CYPRESS in Waldo Florida that had driftwood & swamp
roots of cypress and cedar GALORE for sale! (yes, they
ship). Notice the width of some of the boards and slices of the
trunks and whole trunks. Okay, so we did buy a cedar trunk
root and strapped it to the roof for the rest of our 5 day trip to Ocala,
Tampa, Titusville and home to South Carolina. It sure drew a lot of
laughs from other drivers!
You can see the cedar trunk root on the top of our van here
|What we didn't expect to
also find there was this incredible stash of vintage soda bottles, all
brands, still with the liquids inside. They will be selling these on
their website and on Ebay soon, they told us. What a fortune!
This was only a little of the inventory that was out for public view:
|And beautiful pocket
chests they make right there too from the wood, lovely stuff. This
one is about 3 feet long x 14" tall, a beauty with an expectedly high
also traveled on to Tampa to see "Bodies-The Exhibition" exhibit
at the Science Museum, certainly worth the trip! (No photos allowed,
so here are two photos of the book we purchased afterwards, and a link to
their website). The real human bodies were not behind glass so they
could be inspected at close range.
We marveled at the human body and at
the technology that made this display possible. The bodies were
preserved through "polymer preservation". Tissue water is
removed by submersing in acetone. The acetone is then removed in a
vacuum chamber. At this time the tissue spaces formerly filled with
acetone are filled instead with liquid silicone rubber. Lastly -
curing - the silicone rubber is treated with a catalyst and
hardened. There is now no chance of deterioration due to natural
Then to the Atlantic Coast to Titusville to visit friends there.
We'll have a virtual Cape Canaveral tour on another travel for you.
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!
visit to the colorful Dixie Crossroads Restaurant while visiting
Titusville FL was a must. The seafood was great!
an unusual "Dogs R Us" Restaurant there too:
lovely mural and painted overpass near Titusville:
Seafood Restaurant in Titusville, we recommend it!
a visit to one of our gator sources, we discovered some wonderfully
unusual items Dale and his wife make. Photo of Dale and Kathy, a
sweeter couple you could not find:
gator skute mats are weird and they WORK to scrape the mud & sand from
they collect all things gator, this piece of tree bark was ideal for their
well as this remote controlled gator - note even the REMOTE is a gator:
A gator hide with head, drying on their garage
gator skin belt and buckle (using the skutes):
foot handle knife
Gator skin axe sheath
superior quality gator purse
made bone handle knives
A horn knife with
gator skute end
A barracuda head, the perfect home decor (?)
gator dragon - Dale loves combining body parts to make fantasy
the other gator products and photos, navigate from the left to the Gators
pages 3 and 4
This is our 2nd visit to Metropolis.
There's a great memorabilia store, cut-outs where Glenn did a little
cross-gender playing, and there's a great big statue in the center plaza
Let's not forget Big John at the grocery
store, a great attraction in itself:
family in Metropolis went all out for Halloween, from aliens to monsters
to graveyards to skull edging!
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
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:
Fairy Stone Crosses
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
And the picturesque Philpott Dam on the way
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
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.
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
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
Our two daughters listen to the 94.9 Star Country radio station, along
with one other station exclusively, so we were well aware of the Trunk
Monkey promotion that was going on. It just so happened that the car was
going to be at the game so this was our opportunity to enter the contest.
Of course, we never imagined that we would win the Mustang, but it was a
fun thing to participate in anyhow.
My training is in software engineering, a fancy term for computer
programming. I left the computer field a few years ago and am now a
teacher of Computer Science and Chemistry at Hidden Valley High School. As
a teacher, and as a software engineer, I decided to put my skills to use.
I got on the internet and determined the cubic footage of the trunk;
however, I had no idea how large a trunk monkey was, so I was no closer to
an answer than I was before.
We arrived at the game a little late and the 94.9 crew was packing up, but
they still had a Trunk Monkey on display. Based on that one Trunk Monkey,
I was able to estimate how many one could pack into a cubic foot. I then
multiplied that number by the number of cubic feet in the trunk.
Now came some "seat of the pants" estimation. They would not let
you look in the trunk to see how full it was, or how tightly they had
stuffed the monkeys in. I surmised that the trunk might not be stuffed
full since when you opened the trunk, many Trunk Monkeys would fall out. I
also surmised that the monkeys had been thrown in randomly instead of
placed in to maximize density. For this reason, I removed 20% from my
calculated number. I wrote down that number, and went in to enjoy the
game, never expecting to hear another word about my guess. My wife, whose
guess was about 150, told me that I was crazy to have guessed such a large
number. "Oh well", I responded, "It is turned in now."
I think we might have been the last people to enter the contest that
Fast forward more than two months to late August. School was again in
session, and we received a phone call from 94.9 Star Country inviting us
to attend another game on September 2nd. At that game, the top 94
finalists would be invited onto the field to learn who the lucky winner
was of the car. Wow, it was down to 94 people, and I was one of the last
94. This would make a great story for my students at school, just making
it to the last 94 people out of all the thousands of entries they must
have had for the car. Using math really does pay off.
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
gone. There were only three people in my world at that moment . the other
contestant, Brett Sharp, and myself. After shaking hands with the other
contestant, the time was upon us. The other contestant was eliminated, and
the car was mine!
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.
Each day the car is driven to Hidden Valley High School and parked in the
teacher lot. The stickers remain on the vehicle, and hopefully will remain
there for a couple of months to remind the students of what math can
possibly do for them. (We do not know how long the glue will hold them
The following is a link to Star Country, where there are a couple of
pictures of the actual give away at the game.
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
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,
Click To Go To:
Latest Travels Page 1 Page
2 Page 3 Page
5 Page 6 Page
7 Page 8 Page 9