Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ran out of gas money.... got to Houston.

Will have to stay put until my check comes 5/20, unless a few good people can buy me some gas?? There is a donation button to the right. I will send a gift of a polished store that I personal sawed, cut, and polished for a min. donation of $25. Here are some samples, though it might not be one of these... it will be a surprise.
White one SOLD


If you have a preference, you can request it and if I still have that one, you will get it.

Thank you.

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See my current status.    Help me a little if you can.  I promise to pay it forward.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Index of States Kayaked by Charlene Swankie

I DID IT!  Finished the 50th State, Hawaii, on my 70th Birthday, almost a year ago now.
This is a work in progress… I will also add elevations.  I am also updating the state pages with more details.  (updated 5/7/2015)
Alabama 46 10/23/12 Justins Bay, AL (solo)
Alaska 49 8/20/2013 Holgate Glacier, Holgate Arm near Seward, AK
Arizona 2 06/2009 Watson Lake / Vickie Walker; Cibola NWR (N.P.)
Arkansas 43 10/7/12 Beaver Lake (solo)
1 3/2008


1) Monterey Bay(many times)
2) Morro Bay (fb)
3) Spooners Cove @ Montano de Oro State Park (fb)
4) Elkhorn Slough
5) Gold Lake (fb)
6) West Shore of Lake Tahoe(*maiden voyage) / Elle Beals (fb)
Colorado 39 10/11/11 and

Summer 2012
Jackson Lake State Park nr Orchard (solo) (*Pelicans)

Meadow Creek Lake nr Rifle (solo)
Connecticut 20 10/25/10 Put in @ Westerly, RI and paddled back and forth from CT-RI down to Little Narragansett Bay. (solo) (*Swans)
Delaware 23 11/02/10 Cape Henlopen @ Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge-put in @ Boat Ramp Access Rd. (solo)
Florida 29 11/26/10



1) Santa Fe River @ Columbia State Park, High Springs / Judy Luke family
2) Cedar Kay /Gary Lepak
3) Ichetucknee Springs State Park/Gary Lepak
4)   (solo)
Georgia 28 11/16/10 Tybee Island (solo)
Hawaii 50 5/16/2014 Off Maui /sons
Idaho 6 10/18/09 Upper and Lower Priest Lakes (solo), Priest River, ID Moose Family Video
Illinois 36 09/23/11 Lake Shelbyville (solo)
Indiana 35 08/19/11 Lake Monroe @very large boat launching area off Hwy 446 (solo)
Iowa 37 09/28/11 Clear Lake @ McIntosh Woods State Park (43.12237,-93.45856) (solo)
Kansas 41 10/02/12 Wilson Lake @ Wilson State Park – Otoe Launch (solo)
Kentucky 34 08/18/11 Fredericks Landing, Wilder, KY Boat Launch (solo)
Louisiana 47 10/25/12 Small unnamed pond/marsh nr Hwy 190 and Hwy 90(Chef Menteur Hwy) east of Slidell (solo)
Maine 17 10/12/10 Long Pond on Mount Desert Island, Arcadia National Park (solo)
Maryland/DC 24 11/02/10 Put in @ Ocean City Municipal Airport on Sinepuxent Bay… near Mystic Harbor & paddled across to Assateague State Park/Island (solo)
Massachusetts 19 10/21/10 Secret Lake in Athol / Kay Gleason
Michigan 14 08/31/10

1) Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary @ Alpena (solo)
2) Launched @ Gross Isle (solo)
Minnesota 12 08/03/10

1) St. Louis River @ Floodwood (solo)
2) Ely – Boundary Waters Canoe Area (solo) (write up BWCA)
Mississippi 45 10/12/12

1) Sardis Lake @ Engineer Point Public Use Area
2) Pearlton
Missouri 44 10/09/12 Coombs Ferry Public Use Area, Blue Eye, MO (solo)
Montana 7 10/19/09 Flathead Lake (solo), Lakeside, MT
Nebraska 38 10/10/11 Lake McConaughy, Ogallala (solo)
Nevada 3 08/25/09

1) Cave Rock, NV (solo)
2) Callville Bay Marina @ Lake Mead (solo) fb
New Hampshire 16 10/19/10 Harriman Reservoir in S.W. corner of state. Rt. 9, Molly Stark Trail.
New Jersey 22 10/27/10 Sandy Hook nr Fort Hancock @ Gateway National Recreation Area (solo)
New Mexico 40 10/15/11 Lake Caballo nr Truth or Consequences  on Rio Grande River (solo)
New York 15 09/25/10 Grand Island @ Beaver Point / Matt Beals
North Carolina 26 11/10/10 Jordan Lake / Judith Sookne
North Dakota 11 07/28/10 Langlier’s Bay on Lake Oahe (solo)
Ohio 33 07/28-29/11 1) Mad River / Cheryl and David Simmons (6.5 miles) (fb)
2) Buck Creek State Park lake (solo)
Oklahoma 42 10/06/12 Robert S. Kerr Reservoir @ Sallisaw Creek Park (Cherokee Nation) (solo)
Oregon 4 08/31/09 Siltcoos Lake, OR (solo)
Pennsylvania 32 07/24/11 Loyalhanna Lake. Camped @ Bush Recreation Area (solo)
Rhode Island 21 10/25/10 Put in @ Westerly, RI and paddled back and forth from CT-RI down to Little Narragansett Bay. (solo)
South Carolina 27 or 28? 11/13/10 Folly Beach (solo)
South Dakota 10 07/28/10 Missouri River on Lake Oahe @ Mobridge (solo)
Tennessee 30 07/18/11 French Broad River to Nolichucky River nr Newport / Leadvale @ Rankin Bottoms. (solo)
Texas 48 10/30/12 Mountain Lake nr Grand Prairie (fb)
Utah 8 11/02/09 Quail Creek Reservoir nr St.
George (solo)
Vermont 18 10/19/10 Harriman Reservoir, nr Medburyville (solo)
Virginia 25 11/05/10 Kayaked here. First Landing State Park @ Broad Bay N.W of Virginia Beach .(solo)
Washington 5




1) Elliott Bay @ Alki Point  (solo)
2) Wenatchee – Turtle Island @ Lincoln Rock State Park (solo)
4) Port Angeles / Gary Lepak
5) Port Townsend /Gary Lepak (fb)
5) Port Angeles / Gary Lepak
West Virginia 31 07/23/11 Sutton Lake (solo)
Wisconsin 13 08/14/10 Apostle Islands National Lake Shore, north of Bayfield, WI (solo)
Wyoming 9 07/23 or 25?/10 Big Horn Canyon Recreation Area @ Horseshoe Bend Lake(solo)
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Art Work (updated 5/7/2015)

I am no longer doing individual sketches but instead I am working on a set of sketches of the southwest, to make into greeting cards or note cards.


Below is the price list I have used in the past.  If a photograph is high enough resolution, I might consider doing a few more. 

Price Estimates (people, pets, or vehicles)
  1 subject 2 subjects 3 subjects 4 subjects
8 x 10” $55.00 $70.00 $80.00 $95.00
11x14 $75.00 $90.00 $100.00 $115.00
Shipping add $7.00 add $7.00 add $7.00 add $7.00
Photos of too low resolution will not be accepted.  Send your photo to for exact price quote.

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See my current status.    Help me a little if you can.  I promise to pay it forward.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Help Needed with Gas to Get to Florida (updated 5/15/15)

I am making one last trip to see my sister in Florida. I probably can't afford this trip, but then I can't afford not to go either. It will be the last time I see her and it's something I have to do. Family matters, even if they don't act like they even like you. I was born in Florida but overall I don't like Florida or the East Coast... so I'm making this my last trip.

I currently have enough $ to get there, and only five days to go before payday, thanks to some friends who have send money for gas. Right now I'm in Biloxi, MS and will be in FL, where I was born 71 years ago tomorrow, tomorrow.  Yes, I will have cake and ice cream somewhere.

There is a donation button on the right here... if you can help me.  Or if you could donate a minimum of $25, I will send you a cut and polished lapidary stone that I personal made.  See photos of various stones.

This trip is important to me... but mind you, I don't intend to pass up water if my boat feels like getting wet. Nope, the boat and I will stop and get wet.

Thank you, and thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my Amazon affiliate link.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

I Climbed a Mountain doesn't get any better than that, until tomorrow.

I have been pondering how to catch everyone up with all that I have been doing this past year, and it just seems overwhelming and I don’t know where to start… so I will just start with NOW.

The Rock Club season ended the last week of March, so I left Quartzsite, AZ and went to visit Cibola Wilderness Area, Oxbow Lake and met new friend Judy Crawford who is a camp host there.  She takes marvelous wildlife photos, and I’ve been wanting to visit her.

She also makes these wonderful beaded hummingbirds, and one day I must own one of them. Visit her FB page. Judy Gail's Creations – Gift Shop.  These are really wonderful.

While there I kayaked the full length of the Oxbow Lake and back.  Nice to be back on the water again.  I’ll write a blog post on that as well and update with a link here later.

Then I picked up a couple things in Quartzsite and headed Eastward, knowing I didn’t have the money to go too far. My goal is Florida to visit family and friends, and then return to AZ via Arkansas Diamond Minds by September or October.   Made it to City of Rocks and Rock Hound State Park.

A neighbor camper likes rock hounding as much as I do. We hiked both days together, he even slowed down to accommodate me.

We are headed up there…. and I believe we got to about the middle of the photo, just below the rocks/where the slope starts.

Ran into several of these... Greater Earless Lizard.

They are really neat.

And this is Yellow Bird of Paradise.

Another of the same kind, very tame.

It's that amazing?  I liked him so much, I designed and printed new business cards for myself, using his photo.  (Or should I call them non-business cards? Image at the top of this page.)

And rocks, found lots of rocks.  Way more rocks than it was sensible for me to collect.

Another Yellow Bird of Paradise.

Up is better.  Have you ever seen a nicer trail?

Poppies of some sort, everywhere.

The range of colors was amazing.

Orange  and ….

Golden yellow.

I accidentally uncovered a nest of baby mice... and then re-covered them as quickly as I could.

The purple flowers smelled really great.

Most wonderful Yucca plants.

We went a little higher than this and got into very rocky areas, where we had to actually climb up and down to go on.

The far white dot on the left in the parking area below is my big white SwankieWheels van.
Here I zoomed in on it for you.

This one really large rhyolite rock had inclusions of Jasper, Agates, Small Thunder Eggs, and other stuff.... amazing so many things could all be mixed up in one big rock.

Same rock, pink jasper.

Photo by:  Campground neighbor, Bill.

This was about as high as we went... I was pretty spent by then... and knew getting back down with 40 pounds of rock on my back would be a challenge, so I refused to go higher.

Another lizard, this one is a Collared Lizard.  "Collared Lizard is the probably Clark's Spiny Lizard. It looks like the ring goes nearly all the way around it's neck, where the Desert Spiny only goes across the top of the neck. I have the Desert Spiny out here."  (Thanks Judy Crawford for teaching me so much about the Desert.)

It was a really great hike for me, challenging me in prep for the AZ Trail Hike. Thank you neighbor, Bill, very much for your company.

While staying at Rock Hound State Park, I also visited the Visitor Center were there is a small Botanical Garden and a Labyrinth. I had a slide show here, but with the failure of LiveWriter, I had to remove it. I will post them separately. Photos of Visitor Center.

I believe I will be spending a lot more time in NM State Parks after this year.  I’ll get the Annual Camping Park Pass for Out-of-State is $225, and spend my Summers exploring NM until I tire of it… if such a thing is even possible.

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Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on 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.