Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sweetgrass Baskets

Highway 17 has been designated the Sweetgrass Basket Makers Highway. This road takes us from Charleston to Bulls Landing Road where we are parked for the summer.

All along the road are these little places where the Gullah Geechee set up the baskets to sell.

This is was time to get my basket and she was kind enough to let me get this photo. My basket was priced at $40.00 but you can go as high as $500.00. This custom was started by one little lady who sat out a chair and sold them...then one by one it turned into this.

This is Julia's stand. You can see another on down the road.

She was in the process of making another basket that she is holding.

There is a historical on the picture to enlarge.

This craft was brought over from West Africa where the baskets were used in winnowing rice.

The basket sewing is viewed as a gift from God.

These people, the Gullah Geechee, have made a good business for themselves. It has given them a sense of purpose, meaning and belonging.

I love my basket!!!

Until next time...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lighthouse Island

Tricia, volunteer  coordinator, is back and we spent some time working with her on Lighthouse Island.

This picture was taken inside the tall lighthouse after our work was finished. She was giving us more information about the refuge and its surroundings.

There are two lighthouses on the island as you will see.

There were 9 of us working together with loppers, weed eaters, brush hog etc.

A really neat place with a lot of history.

Here are the two lighthouses in this photo.

After disembarking from our boat, the guys start weed eating the trail.

We docked the boat at low tide, causing us to walk on oyster beds and through the muck, I almost came out of one of my boots.

Did you notice...the tall lighthouse is leaning. It tilts several degrees out of plumb.

The shorter one to the right was built first. It was too short, thus being ineffective.

The tall one (the second one) was built in 1857 with 212 steps to the top, and it is 154' tall.

Tricia showed us this old buoy that was used during the Civil War. She is the one who discovered it. What a find!!!

You can see the condition of the metal stairs. For this reason we can not venture up to the top.

Work is being done to replace all those 212 steps!!!

I can only imagine the beautiful view from the top.

Our first three years out, we gave tours of a lighthouse in Winchester Bay, Oregon.

You can see the work we got done. The grass was up to our knees.

How about that old ceramic sign!!!

It was a really HOT day, but we all pitched in and gotter done!!! Lighthouse Island is in the Wilderness Area where all motorized tools are off limits, but in this case it has been approved.

There will be lighthouse tours coming up done by concessionaires. We have done our part to spruce it up for the public.

I need to correct a mistake on the last post...there have been over 2000 Loggerhead turtles nesting on Cape Romain this year.

Until next time...

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Week Thoughts

Things are a little confusing as the volunteer coordinator is gone to take care of her mother. Tricia will be back this week so we will find out what's what. It seems a little overwhelming right now.

Our first week was spent learning the area. It seems like we will be spending our time at the visitor center/ee building at least until Wallace has had his 2 week check up...not our favorite place, but with this heat, it may be the best place. Here he is pressing a button that lights up the floor which shows a  map of the area.

We enjoyed some time on Bullls Island. It was great to be on a beach again. We drove around on an atv experiencing some of the area.

The refuge is made up of islands. It stretches for 22 miles along the coast (66,287 acres).

We live near Awendaw, a small town seen here on the map.

This is Garris Landing. We are in walking distance of this area, just to the left of the picture. This will be handy for Wallace to wet a line as the pier is a great place to fish and crab.

Back to Bulls Island.

This was the first permanent European settlement of South Carolina. On March 17, 1670, they arrived on the ship "Carolina" on their way to establish Charles Charleston. The remaining "Old Fort" was used for protection of pillaging pirates, and the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. What is left is this round base made up of oyster shells.

There are two lighthouses on Lighthouse Island. They remain as historic landmarks only. We have not visited there yet.

This beautiful two story house was used as a hunting lodge, and it with the land was donated to the Fish & Wildlife Service in 1932.

A concessionaire rents it out for $450.00 a weekend with all meals included with the ferry ride thrown in, per person.

The Loggerhead sea turtles nest on the refuge here and they have had a banner year with over 1000 nests.

The maintenance shop is nearby. I haven't counted all the boats yet, but you get some idea of how many. This is the way we reach the island where most of the work goes on.

More later as we learn more about this refuge.

Welcome to our newest follower, Glenda Ramee!!!

Until next time...  

Saturday, August 27, 2016


So much has happened on our travels to South Carolina.

It took us a while to get here, but we are now settled and finished our first week. We were not given much time to set up before we were expected to go to work, but much of it was spent getting to know the place...but we are hot and tired!!!

It was hard to leave Horicon, but someone was coming in for the next shift to take our place.

We stopped for a week at the same COE near St. Louis where we stayed going up. We got to relax a bit in our chairs, a gift from Horicon. Things were going fairly well.

Our next stop was at another COE in Tennessee where we have stayed in the past. Wallace had been experiencing some chest pains off and on which began to be more on than off!!!
We finally decided on the day we were going to leave that we had better have things checked out. We went to the hospital in Carthage where they immediately sent him away by ambulance to TriStar Medical Center in Hermitage, about 40 miles away. Divine intervention...a wonderful doctor (Hoda) fixed him up.

He had one artery that was completely plugged where a stint was put in.

Next morning, he was cleared to go home.

I thought I was going to be next. You can not imagine what all this stress did to me!!!

Wallace is now feeling GREAT. We thank the good Lord for His guidance...a great doctor, a great hospital and great nurses. Pretty good for a strange place, not knowing anyone!!! But things like this makes one wonder if it is time to get off the road.

Here we are now. We spent the night in Newberry, S.C. at the, hot, hot, but we survived after a meal at El Poblano at our front door. A short distance of 169 miles more and we reached Garris Landing where we will be until November.

Lots more to tell but it will have to wait...

Until next time...


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Scenes of Wisconsin

Mike parked "my" tractor right behind our rig...hum. Left me with this view!!!

Sandhill Crane family enjoying a meal in the marsh.

This is one of my favorite scenes...corn as high as an elephants eye.

Packer Country!!! This was taken from the ceiling of a restaurant.

A prison right in the town of Waupun...a historical building built on solid limestone...can not dig their way out...El Chapo!!!

An interesting mural.

View of visitor center from county road z.

Beautiful church in the town of LeRoy.

Road signs on the Kettle Moraine drive.

Made from rebar, taken at the southern end of the marsh owned by the state.

Wind turbines abound.

So many beautiful farms!!!

A church built in 1861.

An advertisement for pumpkins???

The welcome sign.

I love those cupolas!!!

I fell in love with this round building.

Of course their State House.

This painted turtle showed his colors.

Not the typical black and white. The cows have come home!!!

So many of these "Rustic Roads" to drive.

Will end with The End of the Trail sculpture. Waupun is known as the city of sculptures...this is the only one we have featured.

We have certainly enjoyed our time at Horicon, but it is the end of the trail for us here in Wisconsin.

Until next time...

Monday, July 25, 2016

Winding Up

This is our last week here at Horicon NWR, so, I will go over some of the other things we have accomplished while here.

The vc needed a few things done for them. This defunct station with these buttons did not work any longer. We took all the buttons out which left we needed to come up with a plan as to how to cover up the holes.

Another display they wanted disassembled that did not work.

This was quite a large display. We took most of it apart, then rolled the bottom half out the door and down the stairs at the back deck.

Now look at that top part...perfect to fill the holes on the first display I showed!!!

This piece was the answer as to how to fix this display.


Now we are taking the back screen off of this airboat so the motor can be replaced. Our job was to remove all bolts, hoses and tie wraps so Mike could remove the motor.  Wallace also took off the radiator, which was not an easy job, but he got it done.

We drove into town to purchase two hoses, then Wallace replaced them since there was a leak in the hydraulics.

Now I can go to work.

There were all these old floats spread out, some were good and some were full of water (no good).

Wallace separated them and marked the bad ones while I picked them up with the skid loader.

I was told to deposit them off to the side of this trailer. I had them stacked neatly only to find out they had to be counted for replacement...they got spread out. Oh, well, so much for that! I had fun and practiced how to work the clamp and stack them.

In this photo, I am using the miter saw to make eight of these supports to go under two more wrought iron cattail panels for the front entrance which we hope will get done this week.

I finally got to mow with this ag tractor. Wallace used the fecon to chew up the trees...he really liked doing that.

I mowed three different plots while he took out some trees.

The fecon at work.

The way it looks now, after the mowing.

I mowed high and left a few of the wildflowers along the entrance at and down the trail as per instructions.

This field is at the parking lot on the tour route. I finished mowing here, Wallace is coming down the field with the skid steer with the fecon tool attached.

This area had many ditches and it was a little scary as the sweet clover was so high I could not see what lay ahead and it caught me off guard at times.

Saying Goodbye to the Marsh

One of the many beautiful sunsets out our back window.

I used to think the rays were where God was...maybe He is!!!

Until next time...