Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Additions to My Blog

My apologies, I am very far behind in my blog.  My hope for the next two weeks is to get it all caught up.  At the moment I am at least trying to get all of the photos up for each state I visited, then go back and add the text, notes, links to the photos.

8/2/2011-all photos are now up.  Adding text and links.

Here are the latest additions.

13th State: Aug. 14, 2010 – Wisconsin paddle and visit to Bayfield. Bayfield.

14th State: August 30(?), 2010 – First attempt. Sept. 5, 2010-Detroit River Paddle.

15th State: Sept. 25, 2010 – New York State near Niagara Falls.  10/3/10 - Visit with Vandweller Cuzzin’ Dick.

16th State: Oct. 16, 2010 – New Hampshire, slide show… text to follow later.

17th State: Oct.19, 2010 – Maine – Acadia National ParkFriends-Jackie and John MorganFryeburg Faire – an other worldly experience.  Some of the BEST of Maine.

18th State: Oct. 19, 2010 – Vermont

19th State: Oct. 21, 2010 – Massachusetts – with vandweller Kay (oldmapsne).

20th and 21st States: Oct. 25, 2010 – Rhode Island and Connecticut.

22nd State: Oct. 27, 2010 – New Jersey and Mike (Hillwizard).

23rd State: Nov. 2, 2010 – Delaware.

24th State: Nov. 2, 2010 – Maryland.

25th State: Nov. 5, 2010 – Virginia

26th State: Nov. 10, 2010 – North Carolina (with Judith)

27th State: Nov. 13, 2010 – South Carolina

28th State: Nov. 15, 2010 – Georgia

29th State: Nov. 26-Dec. 31, 2010 – Florida (three paddles)

30th State: July 18, 2011 – Tennessee

31st State: July 23, 2011 – West Virginia

32nd State: July 24, 2011 – Pennsylvania

33rd State: July 28 and 29, 2011 – Ohio. Ohio (continued).

A couple other topics added:

An interesting trailer

My life transition

I am willing to do a 8.5" x 10.5” pencil sketch for anyone who donates a minimum of $15 plus $5 for postage and handling to my PayPal Gasoline account.  See my artwork.  Or on my old website… digroots.com.

A neat trailer… a prototype!

I saw this on my travels… and thought some people might really like this set-up.

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Probably seen in Oregon.  I think this is the company, but I don’t see this trailer on their site. http://www.trailersplus.com/Oregon/Eugene/

I don’t see this trailer listed on the site.

Why, why am I kayaking the country!?

I just ran across this set of photos clustering in a folder by themselves.  I realized they told a story all by themselves.  I don’t know why they were in the folder together, or if that was my intent so I am putting them here… because I think it is an important story.

In the Spring 2001, I met my second husband-to-be.  We planned to be married in June 2001… but we married in the hospital in May 27, 2001 and he died in surgery June 4, 2001 (now I don’t write that to make anyone sad).  I cried for almost a year. I was suicidal.


To get my mind off my grief and try to reclaim my life, I took my little granddaughter, Tori, on a cruise to Alaska.  Somehow that didn’t quite do it for me… but this photo kinda kicked me into gear… realizing I am only happy when I’m outside.  The above photo and the one in the raft below were only taken about ONE month apart.  Yes, hard to believe.


So after the Alaska trip, I began working on my plan to downsize and become mobile.  The process can be painfully slow, especially if it involves two knee replacements, a car accident, two shoulder surgeries, and misc. other uncontrolled events (like trees falling through the roof of your storage unit in Washington state when you are in Califonia, or a month later after you moved your stuff into a new storage unit and returned to California, the new unit floods and you have to return to Washington again… this time buying a trailer and hauling what’s left away from there)  but I just kept the goal in mind and kept plugging away.

Eight years later, there I am camped in Quartzsite, AZ awaiting the arrival of other vandwellers… with everything I own is in tow.

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Bob Wells took the below photo a month or so later… and it sums up the transition for me… I hope it does for you.  The moral of this story, is if it is your dream to live a mobile life – just keep plugging away at it.  Keep the dream in sight.  I think it saved my life.

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(story of the name Swankie… my mom was a Bevis, she married a Beaty, and I married a Bailey first time – oh someone has got to change this pattern Bevis, Beaty, Bailey… so it was nice to finally get a swankie name – and that was really his name David Swankie – the love of my life)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ohio Visit Continued… (August 2011)

When you don’t have a garden to really appreciate going out to one, digging up your potatoes and then making dinner.  


Cheryl’s husband, David, digging up potatoes.

We all went out to the garden together…. to gather!  These potatoes had volunteered themselves from the year before.  We also gathered an armload of tomatoes, green beans, strawberries, and green peppers.  Then we sit down to this wonderful meal… all fresh from the garden.  Really, does it get any better than this?  I know, where are the photos.


And there’s the Fluff again.  What a marvelous cat.  Come on folks, he needs a new home.  He can’t go on the road with his peoples.  He is about six years old… well trained and understands so many words, plays… loves to rough house like a dog.  Would be a good pet for kids/teens.


O.K. the chair.  The other day David brings this chair down from the attic in pieces with a number of coats of paint on it.  He thought it might be oak and decided to strip it.  Turns out it may be black walnut or some other very nice wood.  He did a marvelous job of putting it back together.  I should have gotten some before photos.  Look at the cross pieces of the back of the chair.  And the curved cross piece on the front under the seat.  It is really a wonderful piece of furniture.


More beauty at Cheryl and David's.

Oh, and David and I took a bike ride on a converted railroad track trail – The Little Miami Scenic Trail.  We rode from Beatty, OH to Young’s Dairy. It has 140 miles of paved, well maintained multi-use recreational trails.  David said one day he rode it all the way to Cincinnati.  Wow!  I’m impressed.

Wonderful ride but my legs are terribly out of shape from all my computer work and sitting while driving.  I MUST do better. I could only do about four miles.  Again no photos.  

Then we went to Young’s Jersey Dairy for ice cream, forty flavors of homemade ice cream and gelato.  They also have miniature gold, two restaurants, heated driving range, batting cages, petting zoo, two gift shops, and a seasonal corn maze.  Just north of Yellow Springs on U.S. Route 68.

Leg cramps prevented me from riding the four miles back, so David road back alone and got the truck and came and picked me up. I felt like such a wimp.

There are a number of other local sites I hope to see before I leave, Clifton Gorge State Park, a historic house-Piatt Castles, Hartman rock garden… and I promise to take my camera.

Things I want to see before I leave OH:

Yellow Springs, OH – One of the “ten coolest small towns in America” - a unique experience, one of a kind shopping, dining, hiking, biking, exploring, art, theatre, cinema, music, etc.  A place were “unique” is the key work of the day.

Piatt Castles - Like the Mecoche division of the Shawnee people who occupied the land before them, the Piatts treasure the resources and the spirit of the valley they call home. In the 1820's, Judge Benjamin M. and Elizabeth Barnett Piatt moved their family from Cincinnati to the rolling hills of Logan County. Two of their children, Abram Sanders and Donn later built their own homes, Mac-A-Cheek and Mac-O-Chee in the country-side they knew as youths. These unique structures have become a private, family-owned museum that interprets over 200 years of history of the Ohio land and Ohio people.

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve – a spectacular example of geological forces.  Limestone cliffs, waterfalls, rapids on the headwaters of the Little Miami state and national scenic river.

Hartman Rock-Garden –began as a modest concrete fish pond in H.G. Hartman’s back yard and is now revered as a folk art masterpiece.  And since I love rocks… how can I skip this?

Would love to see but won’t be here:

Barn Quilts of Champaign County – Oct. 8-9, 2011: designed to highlight the agricultural heritage of the county, as well as the important folk art of quilting, the Barn Quilt Tour brings artwork to the country and is sure to excite the farmer in you… me!

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on https://www.facebook.com/swankie.wheels. In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.