Category Archives: Travel

The Little Places

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The Old Lady likes the little highways best of all.

That’s where she finds the cool stuff.

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Along a stretch of CR200 in the community of Sparr, Florida, stand several metal sculptures. DSCF6166DSCF6167DSCF6168

The place appeared deserted.  Only the roadside signs bore silent witness.DSCF6171

Further south, in a field along the highway through Anthony, the Old Lady spotted an orange kitchen trailer.DSCF6172Smokin Swamp BBQ features a brisket sandwich that tastes smoky and savory and simply superb.  Try it with the Carolina Tangy sauce.

You can find Smokin Swamp BBQ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smokin-Swamp-BBQ/633927720034371  and see a map of the location.

Slow down and take the small roads.  Adventures await in the little places!  Listen to the Old Lady!

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WWW at CCC

Citra

The Old Lady occasionally takes part in a Women Writers Workshop at Crones Cradle Conserve in Citra, Florida.

The Workshops are fun… a communal dinner, followed by writing exercises and discussions of good writing, among other things.

And CCC is a lovely place to visit.  The Conserve is a wildlife refuge and land preserve surrounding an organic, sustainable farm operation.  Vegetables are grown in raised beds with natural fertilizers.DSCF6156DSCF6146DSCF6150DSCF6149

The organic produce is available for sale along with local honey and grass-fed beef.  The store stocks various pickles and preserves and art by local artists.

Art is also displayed throughout the Conserve.DSCF6161 DSCF3837

CCC hosts various activities and events, and is available for group retreats.

Contact them at (352) 595-3377, see their website at http://cronescradleconserve.org/, look for them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Crones-Cradle-Conserve-Foundation or just drop by at 6411 NE 217 PL, Citra, Florida.DSCF6144

Journey: A Place Oddity

Sometimes the Old Lady stumbles on the strangest things out there in the wide wonderful world.

For instance, this oddly twisted wooden structure.DSCF5939

Chewacla State Park in Alabama hosts a lot of mountain bikers.  They pedal the trails, up and down hills, but for the more daring there are several wooden rampways in the woods.DSCF5937DSCF5938

And since it was Halloween while the Old Lady was there, appropriate decorations had been created.DSCF5936

But the Old Lady’s favorite was the Flamingo Grove adjacent to the campground hosts’ site.DSCF5948

Next to the beauties of God’s own Creation, the Old Lady has a fine appreciation for the oddities of humankind’s creation.DSCF5950DSCF5951DSCF5947DSCF5945DSCF5946

TO BE CONTINUED…

Journey: A Word About Camping

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The Old Lady likes camping in state parks.

But she certainly has her preferences.

A word about gravel: UGH.  A lot of state parks now have gravel pads for tent campers, and signs forbidding placing a tent anywhere but on the gravel pad.

If you’ve ever slept in a tent on gravel, you know what this means.  If you haven’t, don’t try it.  Listen to the Old Lady!

Kudos to Rickwood Caverns State Park just north of Birmingham, Alabama, for its tent area.  No gravel, just a lovely leaf-covered landscape.DSCF5962

Oh, and the other thing the Old Lady prefers: weekday camping.  Fewer campers, less noise, more solitude.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Journey: A Beginning

The Old Lady embarked on a journey.

She did have a destination in mind; she wanted to get to Memphis, Tennessee, to see her late sister’s children.

But she didn’t know how long she would be gone, or what route exactly that she would take.  She started up through Georgia with the intention of doing some mystery shopping jobs in Columbus, Georgia and Auburn, Alabama.  She knew she would camp along the way, and that the first campsite would be at Chewacla State Park just south of Auburn.DSCF5932What fine fall weather for camping!  Warm enough to enjoy days outdoors, and cool enough at night to make a campfire both pleasant and needful.DSCF5934

Just sitting in a campsite during the daytime has its delights.  The Old Lady heard a rustle.  Something skittered.  Then another.  CHIPMUNKS!DSCF5940

A whole scurry of chipmunks came through the woods, apparently foraging.  They were spaced among the trees, each little hunter-gatherer on his own track as they moved from north to south.

A while later, the scurry moved back south to north, and each chipmunk looked as though it had the mumps.  Their cheek pouches were full of their findings and they were headed back to the den.DSCF5944

These are some of the things the Old Lady loves to find while traveling, woodland creatures and natural wonders.

But she likes to find man-made wonders, too… oddities along the journey.

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TO BE CONTINUED…

Okefenokee

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There is no wilderness left in the state of Georgia; about the closest you can come to it is the Okefenokee Swamp.  Even the Swamp is more woods than wilderness.  Having been thoroughly logged out in the early part of the 1900s, what is now seen is regrowth from that harvest.DSCF5842DSCF5830

The Old Lady prefers to enter the Swamp at Stephen Foster State Park, 17 miles up a lonely highway from the nearest town (Fargo).  Once in the park, you don’t have to go far to see wildlife!DSCF5814DSCF5815DSCF5861However, a short canoe ride reveals more                                                                                                              of the Swamp’s beauty.DSCF5836DSCF5824DSCF5828DSCF5831DSCF5833DSCF5847

The Swamp is healing well from the logging, proving that the damage done by humans can be repaired by nature and by time.DSCF5840

For more information about Stephen Foster State Park go to http://gastateparks.org/StephenCFoster

Mickee Redux

The Eclectic Acoustic Band, playing in the back yard of the Mickee Faust Club on a fine fall evening.
The Eclectic Acoustic Band, playing in the back yard of the Mickee Faust Club on a fine fall evening.

The Old Lady made a return visit to the Mickee Faust Club in Tallahassee (see http://www.oldladyandpurpledragon.com/the-mickee-faust-club/ ).

And found it just as bizarre the second time around.

The performance this time was a “Ratrospective” of existing material.  In some of the skits the music was recognizable from the group’s CD (i.e., “Hypocrisy in Democracy”), but some of it was new to the Old Lady.  The writing is political satire and parody, the humor is edgy, and the music is catchy.  A lot of the political references are Florida-specific but you’ll get the gist even if you do not hail from the Sunshine State.

Again, “The Trouble with Andre” broke the Old Lady’s heart.

Find out more about this long-standing topical humor musical performance group at http://www.mickeefaust.com/

And go see a performance, if you can possibly get to Tallahassee.

Ears to the Mickee Faust Club… may they continue to QUESTION AUTHORITY.DSCF4191

Fox Mountain Festival

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The Old Lady and the Elf took to the woods for a weekend of camping and music at Fox Mountain Camp and Artist Retreat near Cherry Log in the mountains of north Georgia.

And what a fine weekend it was!

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Drying wet boots and socks

                The campground is a lovely place to be, even in the rain. DSCF5748DSCF5767

Friendly people...
Friendly people…
... and friendly dogs
… and friendly dogs

It rained off and on but mostly at night, and not at all during the music.  Arrie Bozeman, Barb Carbon, Hollin Gammage, Carly Gibson, Kato Estill, and special guests Jesse Hamilton and Jason Beaudreaux played far into the night, and as the hour got later the music just got better!

Hollin Gammage
Hollin Gammage
Carly Gibson
Carly Gibson

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The Old Lady sends big THANK YOU to Jana Cargile and Sherrie Kelly who run Fox Mountain Camp and organized the festival.  These wild women of the woods have worked tirelessly (or maybe they do get tired) to make the Camp a welcoming, comfortable place and to make this festival special.

Sherrie & Jana
Sherrie & Jana

If you are interested, find Fox Mountain Camp and Artist Retreat on Facebook or on the web at http://www.foxmtncamp.com/ DSCF5747

RoadPix – Mystery at the Marina

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The Old Lady camped at Florence Marina State Park, on the northern tip of Lake Walter George, about eight miles west of Providence Canyon in Stewart County, Georgia.  She put up her tent on the far wooded side of the campground, as far as possible from the metal-box people.DSCF5429

Then she went for a stroll in the woods near the lake.

And what do you suppose she found?DSCF5385

A black canopy hung over the trail, waving trailing streamers of dark fabric in the soft afternoon breeze.

Spooky.

And around the next bend…DSCF5388

… a shallow grave, with a wooden cross placed at one end.

In the bottom of the scooped-out hole, the Old Lady found these bones:DSCF5430

Whose bones are they?  Who put them there?  Was it the same ones who erected the funereal canopy?

It’s a mystery.

The view from the Old Lady's campsite.
The view from the Old Lady’s campsite.