Settling or camping?

Wagon on display at Wyoming Welcome Center

Isn’t it interesting how years ago when the western part of the United States was being settled, they had their share of camping. Do early settlers compare with modern campers?

Settlers must have been mobile campers for sure. Wagons filled with commodities, sleeping in the open wild; exploring ever-changing terrain, using gifts of strong and mild.

Camping display at Wyoming Welcome Center

Campers may come and go, explore on foot, motor – through heat and snow.

One is necessary to begin new life, the other for pleasure, to ease the strife.

Explore if we will, love the land, embrace life around, protect life with a zeal.

These thoughts were generated from visiting the Wyoming Welcome Center during a recent visit there.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

A large prairie place

Apparently a “large prairie place” is what the word Wyoming is based on – by the Algonquin Indians, according to Ben’s Guide to U.S. government Kids pages (and https://statesymbolsusa.org/wyoming/name-origin/wyoming-state-name-origin). 

Wyoming is the 10th largest U.S. state by area, the least populous, and the second most sparsely populated.  It became the 44th U.S. state in 1890. 

StatessymbolUSA also mentions that according to the Wyoming Secretary of State, “The name Wyoming is a contraction of the Native American word mecheweamiing (“at the big plains”), and was first used by the Delaware people as a name for the Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania.”

If one is traveling from Colorado to Wyoming, toward Cheyenne, I recommend stopping at the welcome center.  It has excellent information on Wyoming. 

Wyoming is a wonderful place to visit.  I’ll post photos and information during my next several posts.  I’m glad to have you along with me on the journey.  Let’s explore the area, shall we?  I’m amazed. 

Partial photo of mural in Wyoming Welcome Center

By the way, some of the history of Wyoming can be found at https://www.wyohistory.org/

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Fort Morgan along the way

While traveling into Colorado on Interstate 76, one of the stops for the night was at Fort Morgan.  We had dinner at Cables Pub & Grill.

I usually have to work around the menu due to staying on a gluten-free and yeast-free eating regimen.  It’s a challenge sometimes but one has to be creative.  Cables was a pleasant restaurant with ample variety. 

Trip Advisor has good reviews at https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g33427-Fort_Morgan_Colorado-Vacations.html

I always like to search for something unique wherever I travel.  We didn’t have much time to stay in Fort Morgan so I researched on Wikipedia. 

Fort Morgan began as Camp Wardwell, and was established in 1865 along the Overland Trail to protect emigrants and supplies going to and from Denver, and the mining districts.

The fort was renamed in 1866 by General John Pope for one of his staff, Colonel Christopher A. Morgan, who died earlier that year. 

During our stay I noticed a unique smell in the hotel during the night and wondered what it was.  I discovered we were across the street from the sugar factory.  I didn’t even notice the plant beforehand.  

Naturally, I had to research a little on the factory.  The “Great Western Sugar Factory” was built in 1906.  An early photo and more information is at https://www.cityoffortmorgan.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2185

I was confused a little as I read about the sugar factory; and then read about sugar beets.  So, does sugar come from beets?  According to Quora.com and Michael Shaw, a plant person, 😊 the typical red beet is certainly different from the white-colored sugar beet. 

Sugar beets are processed to make sugar.  They are not intended to be eaten as a vegetable.  However, they are the same species as garden beets.  More information can be found at https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-Beta-vulgaris-and-Sugar-beet

While leaving Fort Morgan, I just had to have a couple of photos of the processing plant.  I would have been interested in taking a tour if I had time along the way.  Still, it’s amazing what we can learn if we take a little time to check things out. 

Also, this I didn’t know: “Today, sugar beets account for HALF of all refined sugar production in the United States, and around 20% of all sugar in the world! Cane sugar and beet sugar are the two processed sweeteners that most of the world’s processed food industries are built upon, ” according to Healthy Home Economist.

The Healthy Home Economist website has additional information about sugar beets.  https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/beet-sugar/.  Do you have any further insight? 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Wild Horse BBQ

Okay, where is the horse? Actually, the name reflects a quaint, little barbecue (BBQ) place tucked away near Interstate 40 in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

The restaurant is nestled in the foothills of the Wild Horse Mountain range in eastern Oklahoma. Maybe there are some wild horses still in those hills.

Artifacts are displayed on the walls of Wild Horse BBQ – including these two with Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood in their younger years.

If you travel along this area it is worth stopping for tasty food with quick and friendly service in a rustic environment. The menu is limited and simple. I think the brisket sandwich is their most popular item. The plate includes some very tasty beans too.

Wild Horse Mountain BBQ sauce is excellent and has been over 50 years. It is available online as well. https://www.wildhorsemountainbbqco.com

I also liked the surrounding area with old relics that take you back in time.

Trip advisor also has reviews on the restaurant at https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g51633-d2392413-Reviews-Wild_Horse_Mountain_BBQ-Sallisaw_Oklahoma.html.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Different drum beat

Metal drum ends provide wall art at Hampton Inn, Mulvane, Kansas.

When I saw these metal drum ends with rust mixed with color in Kansas I thought of our Native Americans in North America.

Not knowing much about Indian culture, I have become more interested during travels across the United States. It is amazing how many various tribes were populated across this vast land. I suppose many of the generations are scattered now and it’s more difficult to determine pure tribes aside from reservations.

As I pondered these pieces of art I wondered if they were made and painted by Native Americans, or even if this artwork is indeed similar to the Indian culture in this area of Kansas. From my own simple analogy, this area is where the Kiowa Tribe was predominant, and a remnant still remain.

So, does the different type of “drum” that is painted trigger any particular thoughts with you?

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

“Our Place” to eat

Half Volkswagon at Our Place, Ozark, Alabama

If you’re traveling through Alabama, U.S.A., near Dothan I think it would be worth a stop at “Our Place” in Ozark, AL, for some good food, nice atmosphere and friendly service.

The pink Volkswagon half is a good eye-catcher as you travel along Highway U.S. 231 in Ozark.

The burgers, hotdogs and onion rings are delightful and tickle the taste buds. Apparently folks in Alabama really like the burgers too as they voted the “Big Bopper” burger as number one in 2018.

https://www.facebook.com/OurPlaceDinerOzark/

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

El Camino Real

Mission way-station along Florida’s El Camino Real.

From the time St. Augustine (capital of Florida at the time) was established in 1565, Spanish military and religious authorities began extending their reach beyond the town limits.  They developed various modes of transportation between widely dispersed settlements which eventually included forts, missions and ranches. 

Map placed at Ichetucknee Springs near Fort White highlighting part of the Camino Real.

During this period, many roads were established in Spain’s New World colonies, often following earlier Indian footpaths and trade routes. In La Florida, the Camino Real helped move people and supplies between St. Augustine and the more than 100 missions located to its west among native populations living on the frontier.

Rontittle.com photo of the drawing by Edward Jonas depicting movement of an oxcart along the Camino Real toward a mission.

In the 1680s, Florida Governor Diego de Quirogay Losado contracted the services of military engineer Enrique Primo de Rivera to build a formal road across north Florida that was suitable for oxcarts. 

Rontittle.com photo of drawing of oxcart by Edward Jonas.

Although there are no standing Spanish missions in Florida today, important clues found in historical documents, archaeological evidence, and the land itself have allowed researchers to reconstruct this royal road’s path.  So, come learn about, explore, and enjoy the places and stories of La Florida and its El Camino Realhttps://dos.myflorida.com/historical/explore/el-camino-real/

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Ichetucknee 2

Trees and wetlands embrace the nourishment and easy flow of the Ichetucknee River.

Ichetucknee Springs near High Springs and Fort White, Florida provides an abundance of life to the natural habitation in Florida’s northeast region, and is an oasis of sorts year round. 

A boat sit still along with the slow moving water flow from Ichetucknee River.

The Ichetucknee 1 post provides information and images of the head water springs and the north entrance to the Ichetucknee River.  The images in this post reveal the south end of the river where water travelers usually exit from the peaceful ride. 

The flow of the springs creates a beautiful river that was once a secret (somewhat) before 1970.  You wouldn’t know it today as thousands converge on the area.  The river doesn’t mind though.  It just meanders along awaiting new people to jump right in and ride along. 

Smooth water from Ichetucknee River allows reflection of the cypress trees.

Ichetucknee River flows about six miles through the shaded hammocks and wetlands before joining the Santa Fe River.  In 1972 the head spring of the river was declared a national natural landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

Crystal-clear Ichetucknee River flows toward the Santa Fe River in Florida.
The shadow from a cypress tree provides a clear look through the pristine water to see the bottom surface.

White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks and great blue herons can be seen from the river. Picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills, are available throughout the park.

Woods and swamp area between Ichetucknee River and the south exit to the store, restaurant and eating areas. Doesn’t it look like a Big Foot image in the photo?
Paved walkway between the Ichetucknee River and the concession area.

A full-service concession offers food, refreshments, and outdoor products from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Tubes plus snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented from private vendors outside the park. Located four miles northwest of Fort White, off State Roads 47 and 238. https://www.stateparks.com/ichetucknee_springs_state_park_in_florida.html

Ichetucknee General Store and concession area at the south end of the Ichetucknee River

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Ichetucknee 1

It’s quiet now, missing the laughter and squealing with the cool spring water. Serene, peaceful, where are the people?

Crystal clear headwaters at Ichetucknee Springs begin at the north entrance and flow southward.
Spring water bubbles up and flows downstream for all to enjoy.

It was a warm pre-spring day with a slight haze from clouds. We ponder, and imagine, that soon the echoes erupt through the oaks; ripples with the splash of the crystal clear flow. It will soon be Ichetucknee’s prime time.

Ichetucknee – Indian word meaning “beaver pond” and is one of Florida’s 33 first-magnitude springs. (Wikipedia) The springs are located close to High Springs, Florida.

To me, prime time is whenever I can be there, taking in the beauty around. I enjoyed the quietness and stillness without all the laughter and splashing – because it was a good picture day – even though vegetation was still dormant.

The soft flow of the springs allows a slight splash now and then but their flow is without effort, abiding within natural barriers. A leaf falls from the tree and you could almost hear it land in the woods, or softly touch the smooth, clear water.

This is a beautiful place. Observe with me the beauty even in the after-affects of winter.

Egrets and turtles continue their daily routine regardless of coolness or warmth.

Soon, the people will arrive, the green abounds and the sun bakes. The springs refresh. Below is a nice video from Trips to Discover.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron


Thursday Doors at High Springs

Wall art on old building in High Springs, Florida

Here is a combination of street art and emphasis on Thursday Doors. Did it catch your attention? Do you notice the door?

https://highsprings.us/

High Springs is a town in North Florida with around 4,000 in population. It is not far from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Since we are getting close to spring, here is another take on it – High Springs. Visit Florida provides a little additional insight, stating it’s the casual tempo of High Springs that entices travelers.

High Springs tempts visitors with diverse and unique offerings of art, antiques and outdoor adventures that make it a refreshing getaway.

Surrounded by natural attractions, the town attracts canoeists, cave divers and campers heading to the nearby Santa Fe River. High Springs is a place for snorkeling, diving, tubing or swimming in natural springs that flow at a steady 72 degrees all year long. https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/high-springs.html

If you are in the North Florida area it’s worth a little trip to High Springs and enjoy the small town flavor along with the beautiful springs and oaks.
https://highsprings.us/ More about the springs later.

This is my first post for #ThursdayDoors so I copied the following information from an excellent blogger, Dan, at https://nofacilities.com/2019/02/28/closing-februarys-door-thursdaydoors/. He also links to Norm’s blog and #ThursdayDoors information.

“If you don’t know about the list, it’s worth checking out. It’s even worth the minute or two to sign-in, if you haven’t already. Having your door on the list means that more people will see them. I’ve been on the list and off the list, and I can tell you that being on the list puts more eyeballs on your page. How do you get on the list? I’m glad you asked. Follow this link to Norm’s doors. Check them out and then look for the link to the list. Fill out the form, and your doors are in the gallery of doors for this week. ” Dan Antion

Blessings along the Way!

Ron