On the Road USA: Pic Post — Out and About in North Carolina Pt. 2

May 2020 I've been out and about enough to have material for a second pic post, so here we go again.  When I got to North Carolina I decided to start east and work west, so my first hangout was Winston-Salem.  Since then I've spent time in Lexington (just south of Winston-Salem), Conover/Hickory and Asheville.  They're all smaller places than Winston-Salem, which is a proper city.  Asheville thinks of itself as a mini-metropolis but [...]

2020-10-05T17:06:25+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Pic Post — Out and About in North Carolina Pt. 2

On the Road USA: Boone’s Cave Park and Eagle Point near Lexington, NC

May 2020 Since all state parks in North Carolina are closed at present due to the pandemic my go-to has been county parks, which remain open.  It's been a blessing, believe me.  After spending some time in Winston-Salem I moved a tad south to Lexington, NC, the county seat of Davidson County.  Poring over the map revealed two excellent prospects: Boone's Cave Park and Eagle Point Nature Preserve down near High Rock Lake.  The [...]

2020-04-30T06:21:55+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Boone’s Cave Park and Eagle Point near Lexington, NC

On the Road USA: Pic Post — Here and There in North Carolina

April 2020 I usually do posts on a single site -- a park, a garden, whatever it may be -- but I've been tooling around North Carolina just for the fun of it and taking pics as I go.  I see lovely things and get lovely pics but they're not a full set for a single post.  Consequently, this post is a catch-all of pics of various places I've been to on the fly.  [...]

2020-04-30T00:16:27+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Pic Post — Here and There in North Carolina

On the Road USA: Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, NC

April 2020 Clemmons is just a smidge south of Winston-Salem so we're well within the geo-ambit of the city, not out in the boonies somewhere.  Far from it -- Tanglewood is as much a class act as you could hope to find in a county park.  It has not one but TWO carefully manicured golf courses, full-on stables with horseback rides, tennis courts, a posh aquatic center and a historic house built in 1859 [...]

2020-04-25T10:45:03+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, NC

On the Road USA: Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, NC

April 2020 Winston-Salem is a very pleasant place.  It's very leafy and green and gives the impression of being fairly well-heeled.  It does well to remember that North Carolina was one of the 13 original colonies with all the historical baggage that entails.  There are standards to live up to when you're one of the original 13, after all.  You have to know your way around Federalist architecture, you have to be able to [...]

2020-04-25T10:35:55+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, NC

On the Road USA: Trip Debrief From Haven Point

April 2020 Just so it's clear, Haven Point is North Carolina.  There will be a couple weeks spent tooling around Virginia, which is also dear to my heart, but North Carolina offers the nomad traveller much better home-away-from-home options than the bottom half of Virginia, so I'm a temporary Tarheel.  During the years I spent in North Carolina I lived in Raleigh, Durham and Salisbury.  I had friends in Cullowhee (in the mountains) I [...]

2020-04-19T19:17:15+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Trip Debrief From Haven Point

On the Road USA: Some Good and Some Bad in Arkansas

April 2020 As I mentioned in the last post, Hot Springs is nothing to write home about.  That point proved itself meteorologically the day after my arrival when it started to piss down rain.  You win some, you lose some.  Fortunately I'm a veteran indoorsman so I kept myself busy with this and that for the day and a half the clouds let loose.  The rain finally stopped and the clouds thinned out enough [...]

2020-04-17T23:38:30+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Some Good and Some Bad in Arkansas

On the Road USA: Out of the Plains and Into the Mountains (Finally)

April 2020 When last I wrote I was in the desert.  Since then a lot of road has hit the rear view mirror so let me bring things up-to-date.  After a suprisingly pleasant stay in Gallup, NM my next stop was Amarillo, TX.  It was a matter of necessity more than anything else but I had a passing acquaintance with the place from a trip taken many years by bus from Idaho to Mexico [...]

2020-04-12T15:59:42+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Out of the Plains and Into the Mountains (Finally)

On the Road USA: Barrelling Through Arizona and New Mexico

April 2020 When the going gets tough, the tough hit the interstate.  After my exercise in agenda flexibility in California's Central Valley I decided it was time to shorten the trip across the country and make a beeline for the hardwood forests of the East.  Where's that transporter when you need it?  Scotty, WTF?? Since only one option remained I hit the road.  Having modified my itinerary to make the drives longer but not [...]

2020-04-04T22:44:00+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Barrelling Through Arizona and New Mexico

On the Road USA: Taking the Hindmost in Central California

In point of fact, I did rather well.  Considering I entered California just as the peak of the pandemic was coming to bear, things could have been much worse.  Fortunately my agenda was to explore the various and sundry natural delights the State has to offer.  Had I been pitched on exploring its urban delights I'd have been cancelled in a heartbeat.  But pandemic or no the redwoods still hold forth in their damp [...]

2020-03-29T22:15:03+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Taking the Hindmost in Central California

On the Road USA: Sea and Trees in Arcata, CA

March 2020 If you want to know why Arcata, blame Google Maps.  If you look for the major redwood parks along the northern California coast, Arcata sits approximately equidistant between them.  Since it has plenty of places to stay and has Humboldt State University, it seemed as good a place as any for setting up base camp as I explored trees and sea.  After driving around the area for a couple days I realized [...]

2020-04-01T02:50:53+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Sea and Trees in Arcata, CA

On the Road USA: Oregon and Northern California

March 2020 It's great to be on the road after cooling my heels in the wintry North.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my agenda for the trip was to be warm before the month of June, something unlikely to happen consistently in my neck of the Bitter North, so I upped stakes and headed south.  And oh boy am I glad I did.  I knew that the gods were smiling upon me [...]

2020-03-22T15:27:36+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on On the Road USA: Oregon and Northern California

Close To Home: Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille

March 2020 In a couple weeks I'll be heading out on a long road trip.  As I prepare to launch myself toward parts unknown I've become aware of just how good I have it in the home territories with regard to landscape and the natural world.  My old stomping ground has, unfortunately, one fatal flaw: winter.  It's long and brutal here.  We're through the worst of it now that it's the end of February but [...]

2020-03-08T19:01:34+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on Close To Home: Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille

Warm Winds of Winter

February 2020 Having spent the greater part of the last 10 years either in the Middle East or in the tropics I've managed to escape the rigors of winter for a good while.  That's exactly what I wanted, since winter is no friend of mine.  I grew up with it in my corner of the Bitter North and remember only too well below-zero temps in January and snow so deep we had paths between the [...]

2020-03-13T05:44:52+00:00By |USA|Comments Off on Warm Winds of Winter

A Day in the Orchards

August 2018 One of the pleasures of summer in my old stomping grounds in the States is the coming of fruit season.  After the long winter months when the freezer is the only thing that produces fruit Nature cuts loose and all manner of things come to ripeness over a period of a few months.  I know on which side my bread is buttered, or to use a another equally trite phrase, I'm smart [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:09+00:00By |USA|0 Comments

A Spot of Summer in the Bitter North

July 2018 It's high summer in the Bitter North now, when for those few brief months a magical transformation comes to forests that spend much of the year under deep snow.  A few years ago on a visit home I betook myself to an area within an hour's drive of where I grew up in the Pacific Northwest.  I have the good fortune to come from one of the areas of [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:10+00:00By |USA|0 Comments

Lessons from the Backwoods

The story I have to tell here goes back nearly 15 years now, which astonishes me.  My memories of that time are still razor sharp, time has had no power to dull them, but I must say they are not much in the front of my mind now, lurking rather nearer the back part of the mental storage unit.  Since developing the idea of doing this blog the intent to write about my experience [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:40+00:00By |USA|0 Comments