Saturday, October 29, 2016

Big Hill Pond State Park

My poor husband is still under the weather. (We have tested just under 1000 people over the last ten days, a good portion of whom have been hacking and coughing, sniffling and sneezing, all over our trailer. It is difficult to withstand this kind of assault to the immune system, even with a gallon-sized jug of hand sanitizer and dozens of containers of Lysol wipes.) Anyway, this will be another quiet weekend spent at 'home.' I am going to spend part of today scouring Pinterest for Thanksgiving recipes using the Instant Pot as well as starting to figure out this year's Christmas card. And I'm going to drink iced pumpkin spice coffee while I do it, too. 

Big Hill Pond State Park is in Pocohontas, TN and we took ourselves there one afternoon about three weeks ago. There are lots of riding trails, both for horses and mountain bikes, but we had neither, so we just used our feet :)
There is a mile-long boardwalk winding through part of the park that is (inappropriately, we think) called Dismal Swamp...
There is also a 70-foot tall observation tower...
...and a big pond :) 

Sunday, October 23, 2016


We had our very first job in our very own trailer at the end of September in Memphis, and have been traveling around the western part of the state ever since, which means we've been Tennesseans for just under a month. And...we like it here! Our schedule says we'll be keep meandering between Memphis and Nashville at least through the end of November, and we're glad for more time to explore.

Yesterday we'd planned to visit Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum, but we both seem to be fighting off the creeping crud, so decided to lie low instead. We're keeping quiet again today, so I will use the time to plunk myself down with vitamin C and share some pictures.

I mentioned a few posts ago that it's been a neat experience to see fields and fields of new-to-us things growing everywhere, and in Tennessee that means cotton. This might be our favorite field yet :)
We have a friend who grew up in Memphis and told us that picking cotton by hand is tricky business. Now we've seen for ourselves what she meant; yikes!

The Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge is an area of swampy bottomland covering thousands of acres, and we spent an early morning there while staying in Brownsville. We were so taken with the perfect reflections on the water; I told Jan Michael it made up for the absence of alligators :)
We enjoyed it so much that later in the evening we went back to a different area of the refuge for more peace & quiet and oohing & ahhing. 

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center was across the parking lot from our motel - we could see it from our window, even - and somehow we didn't figure this out until the afternoon before we were set to leave Brownsville. It was closed for the day by the time we made our way over, so all we managed was a quick look at the outside of Tina Turner's old elementary school building, which now houses a collection of her memorabilia. The center also houses museums about the Hatchie River, cotton production and the music of west Tennessee; we'd like to visit all of it if we're ever in the area again. (Bonus: it's free!)

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Louisiana and Mississippi

First of all, on this, the first day of October, I would like to express my delight in the fact that I wore a sweatshirt today. Fall comes to the south, y'all!

But back to September, when we spent a day in Louisiana and then a few more in Mississippi with Derek and Sara while we worked at a shipbuilding company. (I've not really mentioned the actual work portion of this new gig of ours, but there is work, yes indeed.)

Derek and Sara have recently traded hotel living for RV dwelling, and as such, they are able to stay in some really incredible state parks. In Louisiana this means being surrounded by swamps and alligators.
We were tooling around on Derek and Sara's bikes when we rounded the bend to see Derek standing on a bank, motioning for us to pipe down because...
Meeting an alligator in the wild is not something that happens in the PNW, and watching him sit in the sun was my favorite experience yet. BUT THEN. Jan Michael and Derek had wandered across the road and I turned back around to admire him one more time when he stood up, slipped into the water, AND SWAM STRAIGHT AT THE BANK. I nearly collapsed in excitement, and it was no easy feat to scream silently in order to alert my husband and brother as to what was happening, but I managed it. And then the three of us stood together while he floated three feet away. Amazing.

And then in Pascagoula, MS there is a road (Beach Blvd) that runs right along the water, with beautiful houses. I know very little about architectural style, but these seem like a (fun!) mix between southern plantation, farm and beach house. 

While we were in MS, Derek and Sara stayed at a campground in the Gulf Islands National Seashore and this was the view not long before the sun said goodnight. I am certain there were gators in this water, but they must have been too shy to come say hello :)