On our New Year visit to North Carolina to see my daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Steven, we spent an afternoon taking a hike up Crowders Mountain. It is nice to do that in January in North Carolina, something we couldn’t do in Michigan, at least not in our shorts and working up a sweat.
On the next leg of our journey we spent 3 nights in Bangor, Maine with two full days of visiting Acadia National Park. Well, almost two full days, minus the time it took to head back on day one to Bangor to have our rear brakes fixed.
On day one in Acadia we did the park loop trail with lots of short stops here and there. Especially nice was the ride up to the top of Mount Cadillac and the stop at Sand Beach.
Day 2 in Acadia was nicer than day 1 for a couple of reasons. The first being that the car felt much better with the new brakes. The second being that we went on the west side of Mount Desert Island (where Acadia National Park is located) which had much less traffic and people. First we hiked to the top of Acadia Mountain.
Then we did another two mile hike on the Ship’s Harbor Trail at the southern shore of Mount Desert Island.
After the hikes and a quick stop to see the Bass Harbor Light Station we ended our day in Bar Harbor checking out the shops and having some lobster rolls.
Sunday morning, upon leaving Bangor, Maine, we first stopped to see the big statue of Paul Bunyan in the downtown area of Bangor. Then we went and worshiped with the folks at Essex Street Free Baptist Church, founded in the 1850’s. This was a very small church currently looking for a Pastor, with very friendly people who made us feel right at home. The church was founded in the 1850’s so it has been around a long time.
Day 3 we spent driving through the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.
We stopped at a lot of sites and even did about a mile or so stretch of the Appalachian Trail near Hanover. The pictures below are from the trail. Another couple thousand miles and we could have done the whole thing.
Spent the night in North Conway, New Hampshire. On day 4 we went to Mount Washington (the highest peak on the east coast) and rode the Cog Railway train to the top.
The view at the top was spectacular. The Appalachian Trail actually goes to the top of the mountain on it’s way to Maine.
After the trip to Mount Washington we made our way to Maine where we will spend day 5,6 and 7. But before Maine I present a sample of our selfie’s along the way.
Spent a day visiting a couple places in Michigan’s thumb that I had never visited before. We spent a few hours at the Octagon Barn (https://www.thumboctagonbarn.org/) just outside of Gagetown. Did not take any pictures there but the website can fill you in.
Then we traveled about another ten miles and spent some time at the Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park. Just a small place with about a 2 mile hiking trail and the site of Michigan’s only known native American Indian rock carvings. You can visit the DNR website here for information on this state park: http://www.michigandnr.com/ParksandTrails/Details.aspx?id=490&type=SPRK
The website has the better pictures, but here are a few I took along our walk:
We were able to spend a few hours (between raindrops) taking a small hike in the Hocking Hills State Park which is about 45 minutes southeast of Columbus Ohio. This area is rated #1 or #2 for the best hiking trails in all of Ohio. We only saw a small portion of the trails available. There are seven major hiking areas and it would take many days to see them and travel them all. I am not in the shape needed for a hiking trip like that.
Below are a few pictures of the area we visited, which included a short hike to Cedar Falls and part of a hike to Dead Man’s Cave. If you want to see more then head over to https://www.thehockinghills.org/
Traveled today from Billings Montana to Casper Wyoming. Beautiful ride all the way and the weather was great. We stopped at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument about an hour outside of Billings. Was very educational and worth the visit. Not a lot to see in pictures. You are best served to come and visit in person.
They have about a 5 mile self guided tour, with informational stops along the way. You can look out over the fields and just imagine the battle going on, including all the markers where the various soldiers and warriers were killed.
From Montana we made it to Wyoming with a quick stop at the visitor center.
Once we got to Casper, we looked up on my Alltrails App for a good hike and ended going to the “Garden Creek Waterfall Loop” which was rated as easy. If this was easy I sure am glad we did not try the two hour moderate hike. We would have never made it without our trusty guide Mark who we met at the site and went with us all the way. It was quite wet and slippery with some fresh snow from a day ago, and even some logs to cross to get across the stream. In fact, Mary even had a little spill, but thankfully not down the hillside.
And here is a short video Mary took with her camera.
On to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Birthplace of my famous brother Thomas Davenport and also where Hank Aaron first started playing baseball for the Eau Claire Bears. Not sure which person is the most famous.
We started the day at the public library and dug up some good information. We have a copy of the birth announcement of Thomas. Along with that we got the address at the time of 136 1/2 Niagara Street. We also found an address in the city directory from 1954 for Frank and Gloria (Tom’s parents) on 2594 Birch Street.
Ted was born in Sacred Heart Hospital. The buildings that he was born in are now the Eau Claire Academy. There is still a Sacred Heart Hospital but it is in a different location and much larger and newer.
Our father was in Eau Claire to finish his education at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. The campus appears to be growing and vibrant with most buildings that we could see probably new since he went to school there. The school is only a few blocks away from where he first lived on Niagara Street.
All in all, we had a great day in Eau Claire. Eau Claire is a beautiful city with lots of bike paths and walkways everywhere we went it seemed. I would recommend it as a place to visit (ahem, Ted??).
Who knew in February that I could get a walk in 75 degree weather! We went to a park called the Highbanks which is on the north side of Columbus, Ohio and had a great walk with myself, Lia and my granddaughter Emma leading the way. There were many trails to explore and we took the overlook trail. Will have to hit some of the longer trails on another day. Here are a few pics of our walk, which I am sure will be much prettier once the leaves and foliage turn green.
Final hike of the year with Brian and Sam to see their deer hunting location north of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Off we go on our hike after parking the truck. Beautiful chilly day with a hike that was about 3.5 miles long.
Sign with information about the land we took the hike on.
The view looking south from their hunting spot. I see at least one wild animal.
The view looking west with Sam keeping watch for the all elusive squirrels.
Made a short visit to For-Mar Nature Preserve in Genesee County. Had a nice walk of about 4 miles, even though a third of the trails were not accessible due to construction. And I was able to visit the barriers free tree house that was featured on the “Treehouse Masters” TV show back in January of this year. Not to mention a sighting of a wolverine and some OSU fans.