Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Visit to Jackson

Whenever we are in the area, we always pay a visit to this place.

The Casey Jones Village.  The Old Country Store Restaurant is a great place to eat.  Some call it soul food, others call it good ole country cooking.

My first helping consisted of meat loaf, greens, cornbread, okra and tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli casserole and a sliver of ham.

The waiters greet you when you enter and say bye when you leave.

There is an old timey soda fountain...

and big barrels of different kinds of candies.  These are my favorite and I have a hard time finding them.  They had to replenish the stock because there just weren't enough RED ones.

These are the barrels of candy, and now there is a very long line for the buffet.

AHA...some more fried pies.  There are only two peach left and we hurriedly get in line to purchase them...they are ours!!!  These are by far the best other than the ones my mama used to make.

Across from the restaurant is Casey Jones home and museum.  We took the tour this time.  Casey Jones was a train engineer, and there is a famous song written about him.  He was known for being ON TIME.  At the age of 15, he left home to work with trains.  He died in his early 30's in a train wreck that was not his fault.

Because of a stalled train on the tracks, he met his death.  Many of you know the song "Casey Jones."  His name was John Luther Jones but called Casey...the town in Kentucky where he was from.

It is an interesting place especially if you are into trains.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Journey Toward Maine Part 2

Crossing the HIGH Mississippi River into Memphis, we are now in Tennessee.  We drove 438 miles on the 25th but it was all on the interstate making things go a little faster, our destination being Natchez Trace State Park east of Jackson.  We have stayed here several times in the past...it is a very nice park right off I 40.  It is a great birding spot with bird song filling the air!!!

There are these cabins by the lake and there is a lodge nearby.  The bathhouse is very clean (where you go if there is a tornado on the way) and there are three loops for rv's with full hookups.  It is really a beautiful place.

But, this year we arrived in our new 5th wheel.  We pulled into the usual site, had finished setting up, then realized we had no electricity.  The host, John, along with the park staff worked feverishly trying to fix the problem.  

It's now late...I start to have a melt down!!!  Nobody can figure out what the problem is, but John says it has happened before to other campers.

Mark McClelland to the rescue.  He and Teri have a sister 5th wheel to ours.  I called him to see if he had ever experienced this problem.  He suggested we turn the SURGE PROTECTOR OFF.  Voila...you learn something new everyday.  We traveled for nine years without a surge protector and never had a problem.  But since this rv has one, we will turn it back on when we leave.  The park has given us a free night for all our trouble...thanks to John.

On the 26th, we got out and birded a little this morning with a total of 40 birds in an hour.  Had a Chuck-wills-widow calling this morning at 3:47...so neat!!!  This is where you can find the beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker.

That afternoon, we had a mighty rain storm...hopefully the rv got a good rinse off from the road grime.

The 27th, it is still raining...with temperature 54 at 10:15.  It was another day of rest and relaxation until we got the message we were under a tornado warning until 3:00 am.  We had a restless night with our weather radio going off, keeping us informed.  We made it.

The 28th...what a beautiful morning...the birds are singing...the air smells fresh...with temps in the 60's.  It's time for another adventure.

Until next time...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Journey Toward Maine

The past three months, we were volunteering at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge near Eagle Lake, Texas.  We usually leave our volunteer jobs in South Texas by the first of April.  However, this year we hung on a little longer because of the festival at the refuge...wanting to help out there.

We left the morning of the 17th and drove to Madisonville where we made our first stop for fuel at a Buc-Ee's on I 45.  We stayed on the interstate for about 40 miles before turning east on 79.  At Marshall, we got on 59 to Wright Patman Corps of Engineer Park.

It is  a 33,750 acre surface area lake 9 miles south of Texarkana.  On day two, we had a terrific storm and it was nice to be stationary during that time to sit back enjoy it.

My quest for fried pies, took us to 

in Texarkana, Texas, just off New Boston Road.

They are not cheap at $2.99 each, but we bought 2 peach and 2 apricot...and slurped them all down.  Who knows when I will get those again.  My mama used to make them.  We also had their barbecue lunch.  Very good.  The pies were not as good as I remember my mama's though!!!

There are more Orchard Orioles in this park than any other place we have been.

We found this Green Heron by the water and it flew up in this tree.    We have been birding and hiking around the park when weather permitted.  We stayed eight days, waiting out the weather as well as waiting for a new jetpack to be mailed to us.

There were spots of color among all the green with this buckeye tree.  I have carried a buckeye seed with me for many years as it is a good luck piece.  Really, I think the seeds are just neat.  You can even purchase buckeye candy in Ohio...looks just like the seed.

I will leave you with a sunset over the lake at this park.

Safe journey to all travelers.  

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Books

David and Marianne, friends we came to know while at Santa Ana NWR, came by for a visit on their way back to Vermont.  I won't say their primary purpose was to see us, but we had a wonderful day with them.  No, they wanted to see an Attwaters Prairie Chicken and SEE they did!!!  We got killer looks as "Samson," came right up to our vehicle.  David got some great photos of him.  That chicken entertained us for quite some time with his thumping, booming etc.  We also say three hens in the distance.  They got to see it all...up close and personal.

After our tour of the refuge, we drove back to headquarters where we introduced them and watched the short video.

Next it was lunchtime.  We took them to the Kountry Bakery in Eagle Lake and introduced them to kolaches.

The sausage roll kolaches are my favorite, of course, jalapenos!

Here are the guys goofing around.  David made a shishkabob out of some extra things he found on his plate.

After talking with a fellow there, we learned of a nice little walk that followed a creek where we did a little more birding.

Then it was back to our rig where we planned on having pot roast with homemade pecan pie, but that was interrupted because a bad storm was headed our way...with baseball size hail, we did not fool around.  David just requested the pecan pie, and they left.  Here is what y'all missed out on.

With my homemade brown gravy...David, I bet you are slobbering right now.  Well, the hail went around us but we did have a storm.  Thanks for stopping by and we will see you in Vermont in the summer.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On Our Way North

We are in Texarkana, Texas...got here on the 17th.  We planned on staying for 4 days, but we have encountered computer problems.  Seems our jetpack went whacky!!!  Another one was FedExed to us and we got it today.  Still having problems, so will keep it short.

Will be back on the blog as soon as possible.

Until next time...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Certified to Operate

With all our time spent on tractors getting all three food plots plowed, planed and then planted, came the days to get certified on the other "Big Boy Toys."

We sat through four hours of classroom for each implement before we could go out and play in the dirt!!!

Wednesday, we played on the dozer and wheel loader...no pictures... YET!!!  I forgot my camera!!!

Thursday, we played on the excavator.

With Darrell Peterson ever present...he certified us.  Ferris, our supervisor, reviewed.

Friday, we got to play on the skid steer loader.  I really enjoyed this one...it's FUN.

We had to circle the building while carrying this full bucket of water using the fork and palette, trying not to spill too much of it.

Then we had to lift it and keep it level or spill it right on top of the one in the seat!!!  Happy to report...it did not happen, but we had a good laugh anyway.

Next we learned how to pick up material.

We managed to get both pipes on the fork.

Then we tackled the dirt pile using the multipurpose bucket.

We learned how to change the work tool and how to hook it up using the hydraulic hoses, and how important it is to relieve the hydraulic pressure when removing the tool from the implement. 

Then we drove it back over to the pipes.

You can see I am using the clam to grab hold of the pipe.  This implement has about 25 tools which you can attach to use for different jobs.  

Next week, we will get more seat time in the implements.  Darrell wants us to go out and "play."  We will definitely get more photos then.

Until next time...