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Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A long over-due update…

Well, we have been stalling…maybe it’s because we don’t want to admit it, but for now the great big cross-country adventure has come to an end.  Of course, there is adventure in everything we do whether we are traveling or in our day to day routine, isn’t there?

We are in Vermont.  That little state with a big heart way over on the East coast, sandwiched in between NY and New Hampshire.  Chef Marcus is back to work teaching at the New England Culinary Institute, I have continued my photography (we are in the mist of making a coffee table book “Sea to Shining Sea”, a photographic journey across the country.  It will be available soon so keep checking this site, if you are interested.)  And Chase has started school in Colchester and just LOVES it!  He is in Mrs. Anderson’s half day Kindergarten class and so far his favorite “game” (which he admits isn’t a game) is reading.  It’s great to be home. 

That being said, our 7 plus months “On the Road” were purely amazing.  We have countless untold tails…some of which I will continue to share with you periodicly.  We have many many wonderful new friends from all over the country, and just as many glorious memories.  There really is no way of seeing it all in 7 months time, or a year, or two…This may be the end of one adventure, the last chapter in a part one series, but it’s just the beginning.  Thank you all for sharing in our trip.  Your support has given us the freedom to travel!

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 10:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Arkansas Diamonds

There is only one public diamond mine in the US and it is in a very obscure place called Murfreesburo, Arkansas.  We arrived just after 10pm when the Crater of Diamonds State Park closes, so spent the night set up in a pull-off (the only time on our trip we had done this) a few miles from the park entrance and waited ’till morning.  We dug enthusiaticly for a few hours at the mine (which is a huge open field with rows of dirt mounded up for as far as the eye can see) got completely covered with a thick grey-green clay, and left with some neat looking rocks, but no real diamonds.  Oh well.  It was fun, and something we’ve always wanted to do.  I did purchase several plastic souvenir diamonds so if you see them in our gold viles…and hear us tell you we got them at the diamond mine…well, we’re just having some fun.  That’s what it’s all about, after all.  www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com

Published in: on February 25, 2008 at 10:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Texas

From the first moment our trip began, Chase has been asking when we were going to Texas…It’s a cowboy thing.  So, after leaving Arizona, we drove straight to the Lone Star State.  It was Cold and very Windy.  So much so that we opted for a hotel room instead of the RV we’d called home for so long.  It was a nice change, actually.  Like we were on vacation, or something : ).  After a day of swimming and soaking in the hotel pool, we dined out in the well-known “road-side America” restaurant the “BIG TEXAN”.  This is one of those you’ve-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it kind of establishments.  A cowboy (7ft tall Texan doning a 10 gallon and huge boots) picked us up in a limo with a full spread of long horns attached to the hood and drove us to the restaurant for dinner.  This is the home of the big eat the full 72oz steak in 60min or less and get it free meal.  (No, Chef didn’t try…)  We were plenty full after our much smaller meals (or at least Marcus & I were).  Chase exchanged phone numbers with the young Southern girl who served us (I think she asked him to come back and be her date for the HS dinner dance), ate every bite on his plate (a 10oz and mac & cheese served in a straw cowboy hat lined with a red bandana) and finished dessert.  We got another ride back to the hotel with another real cowboy.  Don, an older gentleman who used to work on a Million Acre ranch in his years.  He invited us back to check it out if we were ever in the area again.  The moment we entered the room, my tummy all-to-full, Chase gave me that look…and said his most common 3 words…”Mom…I’m Hungry”!  I can’t believe him!  What are we going to do when he’s a teenager?  I guess maybe he’s training to eat that big 72ozer when he goes back to the Lone Star state.   www.bigtexan.com

Published in: on February 10, 2008 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Viva Las Vegas!

2 days in the sin city!  We ate and ate and ate some more, there were just too many choices…We decided to restaurant hop and try an appetizer and a beverage at each place until we were too full to go on.  We walked the strip at night and checked out the shows and the lights, then took turns at the casino while the other stayed with Chase in our room at the Luxor.  The “inclinator” ride to the room was amusing…especially for those who’d had a few drinks…My first night paid at the slots for our second day there…We went to the M&M store, saw 2 3-D IMAX movies, played at the “kiddy” casino (aka the arcade), got a massage, opened some oysters and got pearls, and generally had a whole lot of fun!  We all want to go back and endulge some other time.   

Published in: on January 21, 2008 at 8:27 pm  Comments (2)  
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Prescott National Forest, and GOLD!


We’ve  been into the Prescott National Forest, AZ 3 times on our trip so far, all in search of a little adventure and some gold.  And each time, successful!  Yeah!  Our first visit, I picked up some grass on the side of a stream, cleaned it off into our pan, and voila, a tiny little picker!  Our second visit was far more adventurous, though we didn’t get “lost” as on the first trip.  We drove 20 or so miles off the main road and off the beaten path to a friend’s log cabin, no electric or water, 3/4 mile hike in.  It was amazing!  We cut wood to keep warm and cook by in the enormous 2 story stone fireplace, and admired the tributary of the famed “Turkey Creek” (with it’s great history for gold) which ran actively through the front yard.  We hiked the 2″ Keene dredge in and Marcus & Drew dredged in the cold water for 2 days.  Color was good, the trip fun.  Enough color and fun, that the following weekend, we decided to venture into the forest once again.  This time, however, we opted for the scarcely used “Trail 83” over which we labored for the better part of 4 hours to traverse a mere 2 miles with the truck in order to drive to the cabin instead of hike.  14 two-foot thick fallen trees later, we arrived in one piece.  This time we spent cutting out the road turned out to be well worth it, as this gave us more time to run the dredge.  Day one, good gold, day two bigger gold, and with just a little move up the river, day three much bigger gold.  We were just getting into it as the time came for us to pack up.  But, we hope to go back for the month of January next year to chase that streak!  The pitures of the gold are only of days 1 & 2, as we were too excited on day three and forgot to take a picture before splitting it up.  Yup, GOLD FEVER has definately set in…

Published in: on January 19, 2008 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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That Great Big Hole in the Ground…


While here in Arizona, we visited that great big hole in the earth, the Grand Canyon, twice. Our first trip, we approached the edge, looked down, and were surprised to only be able to see about 6 feet down. Chase asked if we’d come to see the world’s largest pit of fog? Cute. Our second attempt was much more rewarding, and the snow around the rim framed the view nicely. As an added bonus, on our walk back to the truck, a few elk showed interest in amusing the people for a few minutes.

Published in: on January 11, 2008 at 9:17 pm  Comments (1)  
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Happy New Year 2008!

Each year, the LDMA hosts a New Year’s Eve party in the desert in the ghost town of Stanton, Arizona. And, each year, they kick off the party with a commemorative play honoring the years of past, and the founder of the gone town of Stanton. This year, I played the part of “Froilana”, the Mexican sister of the Lucero Brothers, and ultimately the demise of Charlie Stanton. What a fun way to start the New Year! We all (including Chase) danced, sang, and enjoyed the company of new and old friends ’till 1am. 2007 has been full of special memories. Thank you for being part of it and Happy New Year to all of you!

Published in: on January 1, 2008 at 4:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stanton, Arizona LDMA camp (part 1…the Desert)

Desert Fun! What an amazing place, this desert. Every few yards, the vegetation and rock formations change…One side of the mountain has cacti, the other huge rusty colored rocks. One side of the desert trail (aka roads) has “soft” looking cacti and jack rabbits, the other side lightning struck “two armed” cacti and free range cattle feeding on prickly pear cacti. Even in this oh-so dry environment, we were lead to a river running through a canyon, an oasis, if you will. We dug for gold in each of these different terrains…not so lucky, this time. We did, however, add some lovely “Arizona Pin-stripes” to our truck. Each and every plant out here is prickly. Even the so-called trees with leaves. Screeeeech…was a common sound as we traversed the Stanton backcountry on trails meant for 4 wheelers and cattle.

Published in: on December 28, 2007 at 3:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Montezuma’s Castle


We spent the day visiting and hiking around some ancient ruins in Verde Valley, Arizona. Both Montezuma’s Castle and Montezuma’s Well were dwellings of the Sinagua Natives some 1100 years ago. An estimated 400 people lived in these cliff-side apartments.

Published in: on December 26, 2007 at 2:44 am  Leave a Comment