Friday, January 22, 2016

13 Hours; The secret soldiers of Benghazi

If a blood and guts shoot-em-up is your thing, this one is for you.

It did a reasonable job in reflecting the valor of the defenders.

But, it failed miserably in explaining this was an act of war in yet another Muslim attack.

It failed to even mention the White House's silence-to this day-in explaining why no response was made in an effort to save our ambassador and his woefully meager protection detail from this horrendous slaughter.

It failed to shine any illumination whatsoever on the then Secretary of State and current democrat presidential candidate, Ms. Clinton, and her role in abandoning her employees to this slaughter then sputtering a cover-up that the attack was the result of some video that was disrespectful to the attacker's religion.

Then the movie, near its conclusion, made a giant Hollywood nod to being politically correct by casting Muslim's grieving over their dead on this field of battle when it was them who launched the attack in the first place.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

WILDFLOWERS; Florida Style 

These botanical eye-candies are Lantanas.  The individual, fluted blossoms are about 3/8" across and were found growing in scrub land in the 94 acre George LeStrange Preserve just southwest of Fort Pierce, FL.

We were geocaching along a mile long trail surrounding the park's 37 acre, catch-and-release fishing lake when I encountered this visual delicacy smiling merrily at me in a scrubby field.  The plant was a skinny bush about 3 feet tall.

Mother Nature triumphs again!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Along the back roads of America

For the sixth year in a row we have succumbed to snow-birding fever and are now firmly implanted in Vero Beach, Florida.

This year our route of travel avoided suffering the mayhem of  using the interstate highway system as much as possible.  Right from the start we trundled through Mt. Vernon, Granville, Lancaster and joined US 23 near Chillicothe thus entirely avoiding I-71 and the chaos of Columbus.

Beyond the obvious mellow comfort of back road's travel you actually see things--like this well executed memorial in Greenup, KY along US 23 just a chip shot south of Portsmouth, OH.  That's Sue, the white speck in the lower center of the picture behind the tank, reading about the memorial's history.  As we left this memorable experience I offered a sincere salute to the commemorated veterans and a tip of my hat to the local folks who made this tribute possible.

Just prior to this memorial, brought to our attention as a virtual geocache, we enjoyed an Earth Cache entitled Anvil Rock.  Earth Caches celebrate locations of geologic interest, this one with a rock displaced from its apparent original location by some long-ago seismic event.

Imagine; a comfortable rate of travel, an inspirational memorial and some learning here and there besides with the experience of geocaching.

We wandered on down the road following US 23 the whole way to Asheville, NC where we could not avoid a brief collision with the tumult of the interstate system until our escape along US 25 to Greenville, SC where we spent our first night.

This compared surprisingly favorably to our usual first night stop in Columbia, SC when we used to endure the interstate highways, specifically I-77 south from Ohio.

The next morning we rambled on down US 25 through Augusta, GA (think the Master's Golf Tourney) to US 301 and ultimately US 1 into Jacksonville, FL where we had ample time to get comfortable in our second motel room of the trip prior to a nice evening dinner with my daughter TJ and grandson Eli.

Since the next morning's rush hour traffic was northbound into Jacksonville and we were headed south, we hopped onto I-95 and rumbled south.  It wasn't long until we were seeing highway messages warning of an accident ahead.  As we were approaching a Daytona exit we could see three lanes of dead stopped traffic. 

That prompted a quick exit and a short detour onto US 1 southbound where we regained the sanity of back-roads driving and eased about 20 miles south until we re-encountered I-95 and could see it was flowing at highway speeds once again.

We survived the high-speed insanity of the last 100 miles or so to our destination being rewarded with our thermometer advertising temperatures in the 80s.  I trust you can imagine my smile!

*            *            *

I'm already pondering the route home which will begin with a short jaunt west from Vero Beach to a town called Yeehaw Junction.  Yup, you read it correctly--where we will pick up US 441 and follow that north to Clingman's Dome on the Tennessee/North Carolina border just south of Gatlinburg.

That "dome" is the second highest mountain east of the Rockies.

There we hope to do a short hike along the Appalachian Trail which parallels those borders thus giving us experience on that historic trail in two additional states; bringing our state total to 7.

Marvelous life's experiences are readily available when you travel the often bucolic byways at gentle speeds.  Stay tuned.