Exumas – Pipe Creek and Staniel Cay

For some reason we never anchored in Pipe Creek when we were cruising.  It could be that the cruising guides warnings about strong currents and using 2 anchors kept us away.  Or maybe it was the shallow depths and the boats we traveled with were over  6 ft draft.  At any rate, we finally got to explore Pipe Creek with Calypso.

Rick found an anchoring spot in a deep hole with room for only one boat.  Once the anchor set, it was perfectly situated, still in the wind and current but without any chop or swell.

Pipe Creek view

At low tide there are large sand flats, perfect for finding sand dollars.

I made 15 dollars plus one small sea biscuit
I made 15 dollars! (and one small sea biscuit)

Pipe Creek

Starfish and live sand dollar
Live starfish and sand dollar

Hermit crab living in a conch shell
A hermit crab masquerading as a conch

Finding sand dollars
Shopping at the sand dollar store

We hiked over to the Exuma Sound side of Thomas Cay to look for shells and sea glass.

Beach on the Sound side of Thomas Cay
The beach was beautiful but we had to survive a trial to get there

Yucky mud pit
A yucky mud flat where your feet sank in above the ankle and it smelled like poop!

Cairn
One of Rick’s creations

What?!
Want??!!

Victor and Gigi
On the way back to the boat we visited Victor and Gigi on Salty Turtle

Calypso in Pipe Creek
Still a pretty boat, even with the cruiser paraphernalia

One day we dinghied over to Compass Cay Marina to have lunch and hang out with the pet sharks.

Kalik goes well with sharks
Kalik goes well with sharks

Having fun at Compass Cay marina

Having a beer and solving the problems of the world

Pet sharks

Tucker's famous burger
Tucker’s famous cheeseburger

I'd like some of that please
I’d like some of that please

Feeding leftovers to the sharks
Sharks get the leftovers

Compass Cay beach
Compass Cay Beach

Dave's Planetarium
Beach art – Dave’s Planetarium

As far as we will go

Sunset glow
Okay, one sunset. I saw a bit of a green flash one night. Could have been the rum!

My Women Who Sail shirt
Sailing back to Staniel Cay sporting my Women Who Sail T-shirt. It’s a great Facebook page, you can join if you are a woman sailor or boater.

Staniel Cay Yacht Club
Beautiful Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Some parting shots:
Pipe Creek
Pipe Creek – One of those boats is Salty Turtle!

Compass Cay
Compass Cay. We anchored in front of Pipe Cay in the foreground

Cambridge Cay off to the left
Cambridge Cay is on the left

In case you’re wondering about Bailey, he had no idea we left him to re-visit some of his favorite beaches.  Our friend, JoAnne, stayed with him at our house.  She said they had fun after he got over the trauma of us leaving him.  He sent this email via JoAnne the first night:

Dear mom and dad, surprise. It wasn’t you that came back yesterday. I was ready to greet you but it was that stranger.  So I ignored her. I wouldn’t go outside.  I hid and she thought I was lost.  Finally she just put my leash on ( 4 hours later) so I just stood in the driveway..
She did feed me and I ate when she wasn’t looking.  I went out but just stood.
But she’s okay and I’m cuddled next to her now.  When I barked at 0300, she kindly took me out.  We are now best friends.  
And I’ll be kinder to her tonight.  I like sleeping in her room.
Bailey

We had such a great time visiting Rick and Eva.  I miss having our boat but am so thankful to have such great friends invite us along on their adventures!

Exumas – Back to Paradise

Sailing in the Exumas with Rick and Eva on Calypso for a week was like coming home for us.  It’s just as beautiful and unspoiled as the last time we sailed there 3 years ago.

Swimming hole
Swimming hole on Cambridge Cay

Getting there was a piece of cake.  After an easy 2 hour drive to Ft. Lauderdale, we parked right in front of the Watermaker airline hangar in the Executive airport.  A short flight on a little airplane (we sat right behind the pilot) and we were on Andros Island to check in to the Bahamas.  It took all of 10 minutes and we were off to Staniel Cay.

Leaving Ft. Lauderdale
Leaving Ft. Lauderdale

No, he's not texting!
No, he’s not texting! I think he’s eating lunch.

Near Thunderball Grotto
Anchorage near Staniel Cay

We spent the first night anchored in Big Majors off the famous pig beach.

Swimming porker
A porker swims out to eat our moldy bread. We could never get this close with Bailey in the dinghy!

Piglets on the beach
Piglets on the beach

Eva and Rick
Our wonderful hosts, Eva and Rick, looking a little less corporate these days

We spent the next 2 days at one of my favorite spots, Cambridge Cay. Rick took me snorkeling at the Coral Gardens. I was happy to see that the elk horn coral was still looking good.

Elkhorn coral

Diver Rick
Diver Rick

Brain coral

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Snorkeling inside Rocky Dundas
We also went into the cave at Rocky Dundas

Inside Rocky Dundas cave

Inside the cave
Looks like the dragon’s throat!

Brilliant corals and matching fish
Brilliant corals and matching fish

Rocky Dundas
Cave entrance

Honeymoon beach is my happy place. There are shady trees and a deep swimming hole just off the beach.

Happy

Toes match sea
Toenails must match scenery!

Conch
There’s no shelling in the Park so I collected photos instead.

Selfie at the beach

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The guys hanging out
The guys are chilling

We snorkeled near those rocks
We snorkeled out towards those rocks

So true!
So true!

Cambridge Cay mooring field
Cambridge Cay mooring field

I spy a bananaquit
I spy a bananaquit!

Bell Rock
Bell Rock

Climbing up for a better view
Climbing up for a better view

Indescribable water colors
Indescribable water colors

Cambridge Cay Mooring field
View of the mooring field

Enjoying Cambridge Cay

Captain Rick and Chef Eva
Captain Rick and chef extraordinaire Eva

Kayak view
I kayaked to the beach from the boat

Getting a SUP lesson
Rick gives a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) lesson

Fun but hard to turn around in the current
Fun but hard to turn around in the current

clear water
Clear water

Lined sky
Stripy evening sky

Morning Squall with 45 kt gustsWe awoke to a squall with 45 knot gusts – time to move to a more protected spot!

We left Cambridge Cay after 2 perfect days and motored to Pipe Creek to wait out a front coming though. To be continued…

Vieques – Part 3

The sail to Vieques was mostly downwind and a bit rolly. Jeff put out the fishing lines and we got pretty excited when a fish was spotted. Alas, it was only a big barracuda (which can’t be eaten because they carry a nasty disease called ciguatera.)

As we turned around the southern point of the island we made our way into the anchorage at Bahia de la Chiva.  Only one other boat was anchored there.

Bahia de la Chiva
Bahia de la Chiva – quiet and unspoiled

Warning Signs - Better learn your 3 R's here!
Unspoiled – except for maybe a few unexploded bombs

Nice sail shape
Nice sail shape

Fish On!
Jeff reels in a fish

Big Ugly Barracuda
Barracuda :-(

Stumped

Bahia de la Chiva
There were only a few people on the beach, mostly visitors from nearby resorts

Crabby
Ghost crab

After the rockiest night of our trip  we pulled up the anchor and traveled the short distance to Esperanza – the main town on Vieques.

Esperanza has little shops and restaurants.  We had lunch at Duffy’s where the sign at the bar says “No wifi – Put down your phone and talk to somebody.”

Lunch libation

Through the palms

For dinner we ate at El Quenepo where it was like entering a world of fine dining. The food and service were outstanding. I had the special – mofungo that was made into a bowl and filled with a lobster mix.

A peek of sun
A peek of sun ends the evening. No green flash…

On our last day of vacation we sailed to Paliminos, a small island close to where we started. The island has a beach used by the El Conquistador guests and is a popular spot for Puerto Ricans enjoying their weekend.

Joyce at the helm
Joyce at the helm as we sail to Paliminos

Palaminos
Palaminos is packed with locals competing for the ‘my music is loud and obnoxious’ award. We didn’t get too close!

Thankfully, they all left at sunset (some with the assistance of tow boats.)

Sunrise over Palaminos
Sunrise over Palaminos

Next morning we headed back to the marina. Fuel up, clean up and taxi to the airport.

Arggh
Pirate ship used in Pirates of the Carribean lives at the marina

Ship ancored near Fajardo
This ship was anchored near the marina: Eos, the largest private sailing vessel in the world – 305 ft

We stopped in Pinones for lunch.  It’s a beautiful beach near the airport that’s mostly visited by locals on the weekends.  It was practically deserted on a Monday.

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Lunch at Pinones

Pinones
A final shot ends a lovely vacation!

Sailing to St. John – Part 2

The sail to St. John was mostly up wind, about 30 miles away.  After looking at the cruising guides, we decided to stop in Caneel Bay.  Skip and I visited there after our first sailing charter in 1995.  We sailed around the British Virgin Islands and then stayed a few days in St. Thomas.  We took the ferry over to St. John and rented a jeep to explore the island.  I remember Caneel Bay had the cleanest, clearest water I had ever seen.  (I also remember having a brutal hangover most of the day–too many Painkillers!)
sailing to St. John
Sailing to St. John

The Caneel Bay resort has private beaches.  The public beaches are part of the National Park and are a favorite spot for cruise ship passengers (the pasty white people with striped towels.)

Looking for a mooring
Looking for a good mooring

Ahhhh...
Ahhhh…we have arrived!

We enjoyed swimming and kayaking by the beach followed by a dinghy ride to Cruz Bay, the next bay over.  Cruz Bay is a touristy spot with many shops and restaurants.  We quickly found the nearest beach bar.  I asked if they had anything rummy and was quickly informed that the place was called The Rum Bar.  Duh!!!
Caneel Bay beach
View from the beach

Relaxing on the bow
Relaxing on the bow

First stop, the bar!
First stop, the bar!

Painkillers!
Painkillers!

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Sunset – looking towards St. Thomas

The next day was spent exploring Cruz Bay.  We had a minor adventure there.  While Joyce was climbing out of the dinghy she accidentally dropped the key to the padlock.  It quickly disappeared in the sand.  A walk to the grocery store, pharmacy and hardware store solved the problem.  Limes, antibiotics (for Jeff) and bolt cutters! (Meanwhile, Jeff had taken a taxi back to Caneel Bay, swam to the boat, retrieved an extra key and kayaked back to Cruz Bay.)  After all that we were all ready for a beer or 2!

morning rainbow
Morning Rainbow

Joyce and I took shelter at the resort beach during a rainstorm. We were accosted by security as we were leaving. No boat riff-raff on the beach! What happened to ‘any port in a storm?’

Rainstorm
Pretty surf
Pretty surf

Never get tired of the water colors
I never tire of the water colors

After a relaxing morning, we dropped the mooring and headed to Leinster Bay, a secluded spot on the southern side of the island.

Heading to Leinster Bay
Leinster Bay
Moored in Leinster Bay. No development here, just beautiful water.
Leinster Bay
We kayaked over to explore this little island. The island across the way is Tortolla.

Snorkeling here was spectacular. Lots of colorful coral and fish.Sea fan
Sea Fan

Elk horn coral
Elk horn coral

Coral
Coral Valentine
A coral valentine
Handsome bird
This handsome bird was very patient while we took his picture

Happy Hour
It must be happy hour!  Joyce was expert at preparing fruity, rummy blender drinks.
Sunset
Evening sky over the BVIs
Cruise ship passes nearby
A cruise ship passes nearby
Morning evidence of a good time!
Morning evidence of a good time

Next part, Vieques…

Sailing in the Spanish Virgin Islands, Part 1 – Culebra

When our friend Joyce invited us to sail with her and boyfriend Jeff on his boat in the Spanish Virgin Islands, we didn’t deliberate very long.  We chartered there with friends 2 years ago so we were already aware of the beautiful sailing and uncrowded beaches.

Jeff has a year old Lagoon 45 catamaran in the Sail Caribe charter fleet out of Fajardo, PR.  They run an excellent operation with plenty of new boats and excellent service.  Staying on a Lagoon 45 is a lot different from living on Moondance.  The boat is very roomy with 4 separate cabins, each with their own head.  The helm sits above the main cabin.  The view is very different from high above the water.

Our boat - big and boxy!
Batubara – Our home for the week

We arrived in San Juan a few hours before Joyce and Jeff so we opted to get a rental car while waiting for them to arrive.  When we finally made our way back to the airport to pick them up it was already dark.  Driving in Puerto Rico is a real experience.  We floundered about making several wrong turns before we were headed for Fajardo, about 30 miles away.  For the record, if you’re going to drive after arriving in PR, I recommend doing it in daylight!

We decided to spend the first day in the marina so we would have enough time to visit the rainforest.  While Jeff and Skip checked out the boat, Joyce and I bought provisions for the week.  After lunch, we drove to the nearby El Yunque National Forest.  It’s the only rainforest in the National Forest system.

Rain Forest flower
Rainforest plumage

Ferns reaching to the sky
Ferns reaching to the sky

Hanging roots
Hanging Roots

I don’t know if I should feel ripped off that we didn’t get rained on as we walked one of the trails down to a waterfall.

Waterfall

On the way back to the boat we made a few more provisioning stops, including the local Walmart (which was a whole new level of Walmart experiences!)

Sunday morning we departed for Culebra with the goal of watching football games at the Dinghy Dock bar.  At least that was Jeff’s goal and he’s the captain!

Sailing up high
Sailing to Culebra

Morning in Ensenada Honda, Culebra
Morning in Ensenada Honda

Strange warnings
Cryptic warning near the helm – “Alert, don’t flip the boat over, read the manual” Guess the lawyers came up that one!

The next day we went a short distance to the island of Culebrita, an uninhabited island that’s a nature preserve.  Normally there wouldn’t be many people there but it was a holiday and the locals were doing what they like best – hanging out on their boats and listening to loud music. At least they left us in peace and quiet before nightfall.

selfie
Fun being on a boat again

Shadowed sail
Shadows on the sail

Joyce and I kayaked to the beach and explored the jacuzzis, small pools created by the water flowing in from the ocean.Pretty water
View from Tortuga anchorage. Tortuga means turtle in Spanish and we saw plenty of them. No photos, though. They dive pretty fast!

Love this clear water!
Enjoying the water

Skip enjoying the view from above
Skip enjoying the view from above

Paddling around
Jeff on the paddle board. I tried it and it’s a lot harder than it looks!

Cooking up lunch
The barbecue master cooks up lunch

The jacuzzi
Jacuzzi pool

Joyce and Jeff
Joyce and Jeff

Jacuzzis
Jacuzzi is the greenish pool in the center

Ocean beach
Beach on the ocean side

I will continue in another post…

Blog update…long overdue!

The blog is getting a little stale because there’s not much to write about when we’re not traveling.  We’re just enjoying life in paradise!

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I took some time to update my links and get rid of ones that are no longer active. I recently joined a Facebook group called Women Who Sail and am having a lot of fun seeing posts from other women sailors.  I even met a bunch at the last happy hour at the Vero marina.  I hope my blog still has useful information for new cruisers and people heading to the Bahamas.

Around Thanksgiving we had plenty of visitors.  Most were cruisers passing through Vero.  It was great seeing everyone and catching up on their adventures. Our sailing buddies, Rick and Eva (Calypso), were in town for about 2 weeks getting ready for their first crossing to the Bahamas.  We had fun helping them get ready and providing our ‘expert’ advice!

Thanksgiving at our house included Rick and Eva, Joe (Onward) and Ed and Tina (Merlin).  I still can’t believe that we said goodbye to Joe last year in Myrtle Beach and never caught up with him.  A whole year passed with lots of (good) changes for us…

ThanksgivingThanksgiving – we are thankful for having good friends!

Joe and Skip renew their bromance
Joe and Skip renew their bromance

We also got to see Al and Arlene (Blue Heaven), Vic and Gigi (Salty Turtle), David and Catherine (Solitaire II), Dennis and Vivian (Aliva), John and Cathy (Makani) and so many others I can’t remember!

We took a short trip last week to visit Disney World.  Might as well take advantage of the Florida resident discounts!  We stayed at a dog-friendly hotel outside the park.  It’s not as convenient as staying in the park.  We weren’t inclined to visit after dark since it’s difficult finding your way out at night.

Epcotting today
I didn’t take many photos in Disney (been there, done dat!)

It was fun to see Epcot and Hollywood Studios again.  Our first stop in Epcot was a trip to Mars..not a good idea.  It’s an intense simulation ride with plenty of warnings about motion sickness (that we didn’t heed.)  We both got off feeling sweaty and queasy.  After that, we headed for the more sedate country exhibits.  We enjoyed a lovely lunch in France (preparing for our first trip to France next year!)

The second day we met my friend Debbie for lunch at the Yacht Club.  Our trips happily coincided and it was great to catch up.

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The day at Hollywood studios was relaxing.  We agreed that the best show was the stunt cars making a movie.  After getting home I caught a cold.  (Must remember to take lots of hand sanitizer next time – too many germy kids!)

We’re still working on our house.  With most of the big projects done, we’re working on little updates.  Skip’s workshop is shaping up nicely.  He just bought a lathe.  Bowls for everyone!!!

Rearranged furniture
Still rearranging the furniture. We got a neat driftwood lamp and panels for the sliding door.

New Cabinet
New cabinet in the living room

Whale (and window shade)
The whale and roman shades are new

Plantation shutters
Plantation shutters on the dining room window

wine cooler
The wine fridge is in. Skip is building a pantry cabinet for above.

replanted
I replanted the pool containers because they were looking shabby. We still need to replace the broken tiles in the pool.

Holiday front doors
Holiday front doors

I’m still having fun with watercolor painting. These are some of my completed exercises.
My first iris
Palm trees and birdsIMG_3813IMG_3814

Life of CLODS

Now that we sold the boat we are officially CLODS (Cruisers Living on Dirt)!  It’s still in the 80s every day with just a slight chill in the morning.  Not hard to take at all.  We joined the local gym and I signed up for a watercolor painting class at the art museum.  Skip is busy fixing up his wood shop in the garage.  All he needs is a small refrigerator and sofa to make it the perfect man-cave!

Bailey playing the pool game
Bailey loves playing his ‘pool game’ – running around the pool while I’m swimming

We had our first visitors last week, friends Mike and Angie (Lady of Lorien).  It was fun showing them around Vero.  We took them to the McKee Botanical Garden.  I can’t believe we haven’t taken the time to go there yet, it’s beautiful.

Skip, Angie and Mike
Visiting McKee Botanical Garden with Mike and Angie

Single lotus

Largest single board Mahogany table 38 ft long!
38ft Mahogany table built from a single board

Watch out for the sausage tree!
Watch our for low hanging sausages

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Baby pineapple

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I don’t know when we’ll see Mike and Angie again.  They’re planning to bring Lady of Lorien back across the ocean on the 2014 ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) with the goal of sailing in the Bahamas in 2015.

Skip flew north last Friday to help our friends Rick and Eva (Calypso) bring their boat from Annapolis to Charleston.  They’re going cruising for the first time and plan to spend the winter in the Bahamas.  Skip, Rick and Michael left Annapolis on Sunday planning to sail overnight to Norfolk.  The weather got the best of them and they pulled into Solomon’s Island last night.  Today’s journey was much better and they made it to Fishing Bay near Deltaville.  Michael is leaving them in Portsmouth so Rick and Skip will take the boat to Charleston.  Bailey and I will drive up to meet them.  Make sure you check out Eva’s blog for the real story!


I don’t think I’ve posted a video (but everyone seems to be doing it!) This is Bailey playing his pool game

New toys are fun
Bailey’s new eye-ball (it lights up)

Koi fish 1
This is Koi Fish #1 – an exercise in my painting class to learn about color

Koi fish 2
This is the second attempt. We learned how to use masking to make the scales.  I’m having a lot of fun.  I’ve never done watercolors before, only oils and pastels over 30 years ago!

We Sold the Boat

I’m sure many people are just as horrified as I was every time I read that a cruiser decided to sell their boat.  It’s really hard to imagine until you actually reach the point where you don’t want to cruise any more.  We’ve been on our boat most of the past 5 years.  It’s been fabulous but we’re ready for a change.

Moondance
Moondance

The last trip south was not fun.  We had hurricane Sandy, Skip’s infected hand, cold weather and got stuck in Vero all winter.  It all turned out well with a life-changing move to Vero Beach.  We love it; however, it’s not so easy to keep a sailboat here.  It was challenging to find insurance and a good place to keep the boat.  Not to mention, there’s no place to sail nearby!  We talked about going to the Bahamas next winter but after a heart-to-heart discussion, we came to the conclusion that neither of us have any desire to live on the boat again.

Moondance is such a great boat that it would be a shame not to use her and let her just bake in the Florida sun.  We listed the boat right before we left on our road trip.  The second person that came to look at her made an offer that we accepted.  The sea trial and survey went well and the deal went through last week.

We are so happy that the new owners plan to take the boat cruising.  They also have a dog and knew all about us from my blog.  How cool is that?!  They are moving Moondance to Alabama sometime next month and plan to keep the name.  Moondance cruises on!

As for my blog, I will continue writing about our new home, travels, sailing and anything else I feel like saying.  After all, it’s a blog and I can do whatever I want with it!  I understand if people who are only interested in my cruising stories don’t want to read it any more.  I don’t know who most of you are anyway so I won’t even notice!

Almost Home

After 5 weeks of driving around the country (almost 7000 miles!), we’re on our way home.  We spent a wonderful weekend with friends Rick and Eva on Calypso, their Sabre 402.

To backtrack, we drove from Dayton, OH to Cumberland, MD.  I have never been to Cumberland…not sure I’d ever go back.  It’s a shame but the town is really dead.  The hotel was full of railroad workers.  We walked through town and checked out the C&O canal trail along the Potomac river.  The canal ends in Cumberland.  The Potomac is a tiny river, nothing like the several miles wide entrance that we’ve crossed on the Chesapeake.  We happened to find a really nice Italian restaurant that must be the most popular place.  It was busy and service was sketchy.

We arrived at Rick and Eva’s house in Laurel around midday.  After settling in and a brief hello to Eva arriving home from work we left Bailey with her so we could meet our old neighbors Ronny and Maureen for dinner.  It was strange to drive into our old neighborhood and see the house where we lived for 14 years.  No regrets other than missing our friends!

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While we were gone Eva caught Bailey on her living room couch. He’s a bad, bad boy…

We went to Annapolis on Thursday and brought our stuff aboard Calypso.  It felt strange being on a boat again.  Eva and I did some provisioning and we got to visit and have dinner with Bob and Phyllis.

Friday was a glorious sailing day on the Chesapeake.  With 2 long tacks, we made G1 on Eastern Bay and sailed all the way to just outside MT and Julie’s cove on the Wye River.  I actually can’t remember the last time we sailed.  Must have been on the Neuse River last October!

Glorious day for sailing
Sabres at the dock

Saturday was the annual Chesapeake Bay Sabre Association crab feast at Michael and Julie’s house.  We didn’t make it last year as we were trying to get up the Delaware Bay.  I’d rather not remember that trip!

Captain Rick
Captain Rick

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Calypso Eva

We had a great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  I also got a good crab fix.  It’s going to have to last a while!

Enjoying the ride
Enjoying the sail

Sunday, Skip and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with great friends.  We didn’t do much, other than help clean up from the crab feast.  The guys (minus Skip) went out sailing and the girls (plus Skip) chilled by the pool.  We had a great meal along with lots of drinking.  That’s all I’m going to say!

Our trip back to Annapolis on Monday was the typical motoring with no-wind and  choppy seas that I hate.  It was hot too.  We got back in time to meet my sister and niece for dinner.

It was really hard to fit everything in one weekend and I apologize to everyone that I didn’t have a chance to see or call.  We’ll be back again!  Better yet, come see us in Vero!

We left today after having breakfast with Bob and Pam.  Stopping in Florence, SC for the night, we’ll make it home tomorrow.  It’s been great but I’m looking forward to eating at home and sleeping in my own bed!

Driving East

We left Rapid City early on Sunday morning so that we’d have time to drive through the Badlands National Park.  What a neat place!  You’re driving along rolling prairies and suddenly, when you turn into the park, you’re at the top of a vast canyon.

Bailey in the Badlands
Our first stop in the Badlands

Yellow mounds
Yellow mounds

First view of the badlands
Can you imagine trudging across the country in a covered wagon and coming upon this?!

The drive is 30 miles long and full of changing scenery.  I’m glad we got there early because by the time we reached the end it was really hot!

Our first view of the badlands - amazing!
Moon setting over the Badlands

Badlands

Hello Grace!
A curious goat says ‘hello’ to Grace

Oh yeah
Okay!

Deep gorges in the Badlands

Badlands - Georgia O'Keefe style

Us with camera shadow

The rest of the drive to Sioux Falls was long and boring.  We passed miles and miles of nothing but corn and soy fields broken up with a few sections of lovely sun flowers.  It’s nice to see beautiful farmland but it’s a little scary to see that there are only 3 cash crops.  Now I see why we are inundated with high fructose corn syrup, ethanol and corn-fed beef.  Where do all the soy beans go?

Our drive yesterday took us further east to Madison WI.  I have nothing notable to report other than Wisconsin has really bad drivers.  It’s funny how you notice things like that but once we crossed the border we saw so many stupid drivers and all had WI license plates.  Hmmmm…..

When we arrived at the hotel in Madison they didn’t have a clean room of the class I booked so we were upgraded to a small suite.  It was nice to have more room.  It was a nice hotel and we even got in the hot tub and pool after dinner!

Today was the longest drive so far.  There was a lot of construction and the drive through Chicago was harrowing.  We had planned to make it to Columbus OH but bailed out in Dayton.

I have to say that this part of the road trip is my least favorite.  I can’t wait to get to Baltimore and see our friends!