The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Moon’

Weekend in Ohio – Days 3 and 4

September 7th was our last full day in Ohio.  Bob and I were showered, dressed and standing on “Top -o- World” by 6:50 am.

Top -o- World at
Whispering Hills Jellystone Park Camp-Resort
(photograph taken the day before)

We watched the sunrise together at 7:01 am.

The humidity and cool temperature (49 degrees!) added fog to the air.
The sunrise with fog was very pretty indeed!


Bob and I ate breakfast at the campground cafe. We ordered 2 egg cheese omelets with diced ham, home fries, toast and sausage. Orange juice and tea/coffee were complimentary. Breakfast was reasonably priced and very good.  After breakfast Bob and I walked to the West Terrace to say goodbye to our VROC friends. Everyone, except Mike, had already departed. Mike said we missed everyone else by 10 minutes. We said goodbye to Mike. Then we hopped on our motorcycle and went for a ride.

What beautiful countryside to ride in!

 We rode to Mohican State Park, near Loudonville OH.  We saw a fire tower, a covered bridge, a gorge overlook and a memorial shrine to Ohio’s deceased veterans.

According to the Mohican State Park website,
this is one of the last remaining fire towers in Ohio.

The Mohican Covered Bridge crosses over the Clearfork River.

Clearfork River

Clear Fork Gorge
The view from this overlook would be spectacular in the Autumn!

Memorial Shrine to Ohio’s Deceased Veterans

This shrine houses records of all of the names of Ohioans who lost their lives in all wars and conflicts. Printed books are available to look through, and hand written books containing all of the names are displayed under glass.

Leaving Mohican State Park we rode west and ended up in Bellville OH.  We ate lunch in Bellville at K.C.’s Steak & Ribs. Bob ordered a steak salad. I ordered grilled chicken. For dessert we shared a chocolate chip Cakie (a cookie and cake combination).  If we are ever in the Bellville area, we would definitely eat at K.C.’s again.  The food, service and ambiance were very good.

After lunch we began the ride back to the Whispering Hills Jellystone Park Camp-Resort . We made two stops on our way back to the campground.

Nice-looking barn!

This barn is located about half way between Bellville and Butler on Ohio State Route 97.  We passed by the barn on our way to Bellville.  When I realized that we would be passing by the barn again on our way back to the campground, I watched for it.  I asked Bob to stop so that I could take a picture.

Before we departed Bellville, Bob had programmed our route into the GPS.  He must have forgotten to instruct the GPS not to take us on dirt / gravel roads.

Riding Down Crooked Road, south of Butler OH

On Saturday, during the group ride with our VROC friends, I caught glimpse of a covered bridge. I made a mental note of the location,of that bridge. Bob and I found the “Bridge of Dreams” covered bridge during our ride.

Bridge of Dreams
located near Brinkhaven, OH

The Bridge of Dreams is 370 feet long and spans the Mohican River.  It is the second longest covered bridge in Ohio after the Smolen-Gulf Bridge, and third longest covered bridge in the United States.

The Bridge of Dreams is closed to motorized traffic but is often used by Amish buggies.  In fact, while we were at the river’s edge looking up at the bridge, we heard an Amish buggy crossing overhead.  I would have loved to capture a photograph of an Amish buggy crossing this bridge!

We planned to eat dinner at the campground cafe, same as the night before. Our plans changed, though, when I discovered that the kitchen and camp office/store closed at 4:00 pm. We ate dinner at East of Chicago in Shreve, located about 3 miles from the campground. Bob ordered a buffalo chicken salad. I ordered a personal size pizza with pepperoni and a side salad. The food was good.

The moon was almost full our last night in Ohio.
We were able to see it from our cabin’s porch swing.


The next day we departed Whispering Hills Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, en route home, at 7:20 am. Our first stop was an hour later on U.S. Route 62 near Canton OH.  We stopped for breakfast at Bob Evans Restaurant.  We made it home around 1:30 pm.   What a wonderful weekend we had!

Easter Vacation – Day 4 of 5: McConnells Mill State Park

On the fourth day of our Easter vacation we drove from Waynesboro VA to Grove City PA.

Approximately 20 miles before we reached Grove City, we stopped at McConnells Mill State Park.   The gristmill for which McConnells Mill State Park is named sits along Slippery Rock Creek.  It was one of the first rolling mills in the country.  The gristmill processed corn, oats, wheat and buckwheat for local customers.

We walked through the covered bridge to the other side of Slippery Rock Creek.

McConnells Mill

I like the view of the mill from across the creek on the far side of the covered bridge. I wish someone would trim the tree branches that cross in front of the mill!  I would love to take a photograph of the mill without the tree branches obstructing the view.  I considered jumping over the guard rail and climbing down to Slippery Rock Creek,  but I decided the climb down was too treacherous for me.  I do not walk well on rocks, being very unsteady on my feet.

We did follow a trail to the right of the covered bridge, which led to the rocky bank of Slippery Rock Creek.  With Bob’s help, I was able to walk on some rocks into the creek basin.

While standing on a rocky ledge, I was able to capture a photograph of the covered bridge from a new (to me) perspective.

With my confidence at a high, owing to the fact that I was able to walk on some rocks, we climbed back up the hill and crossed through the covered bridge to the other side of Slippery Rock Creek.  We followed a trail on that side of the creek, until we found some rocks that I thought I would be able to walk out on to.  Again, with Bob’s help, I walked across some rocks to the creek basin.

Bob took this picture of me photographing the covered bridge.

Here are a couple photographs of the covered bridge that I captured from this side of Slippery Rock Creek.  Again, these photographs of the covered bridge were taken from a new (to me) perspective.

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge

We followed the trail back to the gristmill.

This was the last photograph that I took before leaving the state park en route to our hotel in Grove City.  It was not, however, the last photograph that I took at McConnells Mill State Park while on our Easter vacation.
The next morning, after checking out of our hotel, we returned to the park.  The morning light provided more photo opportunities for photographing the gristmill and covered bridge from the dam side of Slippery Rock Creek.

It was approximately 7:30 AM, when we returned to McConnells Mill State Park.

For the next hour or so, while waiting for the sun to get higher in the sky, I entertained myself by taking photographs of the moon, of Bob and of the reflections in the water.

The Moon



The Moon



At 8:51 AM my wait paid off.

My next blog post will continue what I began sharing here — day 5 of our Easter vacation.

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 5

Bob and I visited two lighthouses on Thursday, September 19th.  Before sharing photographs from our visit to the lighthouses, though, I have to share these two sunrise pictures.

Sunrise South Nags Head Beach

Sunrise South Nags Head Beach

What a gorgeous sunrise we had that morning.  I had never personally witnessed such a beautiful sunrise!

The first lighthouse we visited was Bodie Island Lighthouse.  This lighthouse was located only 2 miles from the beach house at which we were staying.  In fact we could see the lighthouse from the south side of our ocean-front deck.

We hadn’t seen Bodie Island Lighthouse since 2007.  Scaffolding covered the lighthouse during our Outer Banks vacation last year.  The lighthouse looks brand new.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

A new-to-us boardwalk (the boardwalk was laid in 2009) provides great views of the lighthouse.

Bob and I at overlook at end of boardwalk

Bodie Island Lighthouse and Boardwalk

The second lighthouse that we visited was Currituck Lighthouse.  This lighthouse is located north of Nags Head, about an hour’s drive from where we were staying.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

After “lunch”, which was a peanut buster parfait at Dairy Queen, we stopped at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head.  The park contains the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States.

A boardwalk is located near the parking lot.   Interpretive displays along the boardwalk offer information about the plants and animals in the area.


We walked to the end of the boardwalk, where we found a deck with a bench with a great view of the dunes.  From the deck there were steps that led to the sand.  Bob climbed the sand dune to Jockey’s Ridge, where he enjoyed a wonderful view of the surrounding area.

Bob walking to Jockey’s Ridge

jockey'sBob took this picture of the view from atop Jockey’s Ridge.

Bob took this picture on his way back to the boardwalk.
See the deck in the distance?

I opened this blog post with two gorgeous sunrise pictures.  Not to be outdone, the moon put on a spectacular show in the evening!

Full Moon Shining on Ocean Waters

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 4

We did not wander far from our Outer Banks vacation home on Wednesday, September 18th.

That morning Bob and I went to Roanoke Island.  We stopped along the waterfront in Manteo.  I walked along the waterfront, taking photographs of the lighthouse and other points of interest, while Bob waited at the gazebo.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
and the gazebo where Bob relaxed while I was taking pictures

Spirit of Roanoke Island

Elizabeth II 16th Century Representative Ship

This ship is anchored at Roanoke Island Festival Park,  located across from the Manteo waterfront.  We have not visited this park during our three Outer Bank vacations.  It doesn’t appear that an opportunity to visit the park will come anytime soon, as we are not planning another vacation at the Outer Banks in the near future.

The Sea Gypsy IV provides a pirate adventure for children.

From the Manteo waterfront we continued along Route 64 to The Elizabethan Gardens.  The Elizabethan Gardens was created to honor the first English colonists who lived on these shores.  We spent a couple hours there exploring the gardens, statuary and fountains.

The Gatehouse was designed to resemble a 16th-century orangery.  It was built with handmade bricks from the Silas Lucas kiln in Wilson, NC.

Pineapple Fountain

Queen Elizabeth I Statue

American sculptor Maria Louisa Lander carved this statue in Rome, depicting how Virginia Dare may have looked as a grown woman.

The Colony Walk honors the famed lost colonists who trod these same sandy shores.  The walk ends at a Water Gate.

This 16th-century Gazebo replica was constructed with period tools and techniques.  The reeds for the thatched roof came from Norfolk, England.

the Sunken Garden

Jupiter, ruler of all gods

This is one of four statues in the Sunken Gardens.  The other three statues represent Apollo, Diana and Venus.  All four statues are from the Whitney collection.  I didn’t take pictures of the other statues, as their faces have fallen off.

The central focal point of the Sunken Garden is the ancient Italian fountain and pool with carved balustrade from the Whitney collection.


A closer look at the ancient Italian fountain

These four statues were in Woodland Garden.


In the center of Woodland Garden was this fountain.


We sat and listened to the falling water for several minutes.  It was very relaxing and peaceful in Woodland Garden.

The Lion Couchant Birdbath sits atop a column with a reclining lion at its base.  Cherubs and other decorative elements adorn the bowl.


In the afternoon, back at our vacation home in Nags Head, I went for a walk on the beach.  I met a nice young man by the name of James.  He is a lifeguard who rides a 4 wheeler up and down the beach.  I took a picture of him a ways down the beach.  He saw me taking his picture.  He turned around and asked if I had taken his picture.  I said yes and showed the picture to him.  He asked if I would take a picture of him by the no swimming sign and email it to him.

This is the picture that I took of James, which I did email to him.  The “no swimming” sign was up for several days during our Outer Banks vacation.   No swimming was permitted as the sea was rough.  You will see in a later post, though, that the sign did not deter surfers.



Full Moon shining on ocean waters

The moon was so lovely this evening.  Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to see the moon light shining on the ocean waters.

Ocean waters lit up by full moon

Stay tuned; more posts about our vacation in the Outer Banks will be forthcoming.

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 3

Bob and I spent Tuesday, September 17, in Nags Head, at the beach house.  It was a very windy day.

I enjoyed watching the waves crashing on the beach.

The pirate flag at the beach house next to ours was fully extended in the gusty winds.

The strong winds blew the sand onto our beach access.

I took a chance with my camera, taking photographs outside with the wind and blowing sand.  I got lucky, though.  The sand wasn’t blowing at me in the morning hours, and I was able to capture some photographs and video from the beach access.   Later in the day, the sand was blowing so badly that I didn’t go anywhere near the beach with my camera.

The wind knocked down the beach chairs.

The wind knocked down Ed’s fishing poles too.

Ed  and Scott, who was visiting for the day, braved the blowing sand to secure the fishing poles.

As the sun began to set, it cast a golden glow on the ocean waves and dune grass.

The almost full moon

Sunset over the Sound

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Getting There

Our Outer Banks vacation got started at 12:15 pm on Friday, September 13.  Bob came home from work at noon.  Fifteen minutes later we were on our way to pick up Pam, who accompanied us to the Outer Banks this year.  Our friend, Denise, who coordinated the plans for our week stay in the Outer Banks, graduated high school with Pam.  Pam and Denise were best friends in high school.  They lost touch after high school and found each other recently on Facebook.  Bob and I had not met Pam until we picked her up for our drive to the Outer Banks.  I had been corresponding with Pam, though, on Facebook.

It was a good travel day.  Traffic wasn’t bad.  What traffic there was kept moving.   The steady conversation among Pam, Bob and I made the 6+-hour drive go by more quickly than otherwise.

We spent the night at the Best Western Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  We arrived at the hotel around 7:15 PM.  Bob and I stayed at this hotel last year, on our way to the Outer Banks.  It is a very nice hotel, and we had no qualms about staying there again.  This year, however, we requested two rooms that were not in “pet alley”.  The Best Western Fredericksburg allows pets.  Last year we were accommodated in a room in “pet alley”.  Although we enjoyed a quiet night’s rest last year, we were awakened the next morning around 5:30 AM  by barking dog(s).

We checked into our rooms and ate dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant, which was located on the hotel grounds.  We returned to the hotel at 8:30 PM and spent the rest of the evening in our respective rooms.

Neither Bob nor I got much sleep from 2:15 AM and on.  Both of us experienced irritable bowels.  We thought perhaps it was something that we ate at Shoney’s that didn’t agree with us, although everything tasted good.  When we met Pam for breakfast, we learned that she experienced an irritable bowel during the night as well.  The common food all three of us ate was Tilapia, so we blame the fish for our distress.

We ate breakfast at the hotel.  As always, Best Western’s complimentary breakfasts are good and filling.  We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and were on the road en route Nags Head, NC by 8:30 AM.   We made one photo stop along the way, in Tappahannock, VA.

Tappahannock, VA
Essex County Courthouse and Civil War Monument

Motorcyclists were gathering for a poker run, when we arrived in Tappahannock.

All proceeds from the poker run would be donated to Special Olympics, according to one motorcyclist to whom I inquired what was going on.

We arrived at A Whale’s Head Inn around 3:30 PM.  Denise arrived about an hour after we did.  Accompanying Denise were the other five people who would be vacationing with us for the week.  Denise’s two adult children and a friend arrived a little later.  The three young people spent one night with us.

Bob and I went for a walk on the beach that evening, as the sun was setting.

I loved seeing the moon shining high above South Nags Head Beach!

The sun had almost slipped below the horizon when we returned from our walk on the beach.  This photograph of the setting sun was taken through the stilts of our beach house.


Michigan Vacation – Day 3 of 6: Part 3

The purpose for Bob and me to go to Michigan earlier this month was to attend the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) motorcycle rally at the Cycle-Moore Campground in Interlochen.  We knew very little about the scenic attractions in Northwestern Michigan before departing for the rally.  We discovered that Northwestern Michigan is bountiful in scenic attractions.  The best part of the rally was being able to ride with other VROC’ers on such wonderful scenic roads.   Add camaraderie, friendship, a campfire, food and beverages to the scenic roads, and you have the makings of a good time.

The campfire area is where tall tales are told and riding adventures described.  It’s a kickback time, too, after a day of riding.  Passing a variety of drinks around the campfire circle goes a long way toward kicking back!  Today’s blog post showcases photographs from Friday night’s campfire (August 9th).

Our campfire!


It was a beautiful night for a campfire!

Stay tuned; more details of our Michigan vacation to come!

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