Saturday, March 31, 2012

Work Needed–for gas money…

I am finishing up the last portrait that I have to do.  I now need more work.  Graduation presents.  Anniversary presents.  Below are samples of my art work.  If you email me the photo you want sketched, I’ll give you a quote. .

Pencil sketches begin about $40.00.

combo_braids copycombo_hair_david_sketch1 copycombo_lori_prayingcombo_redhead copycombo_tracy_dick_sketchdrummerg_c_r2g_drawngpegself-portrait_in_high_school

IMGA0115 copyIMGA0109IMGA0110IMGA0111IMGA0112IMGA0113


Pets: about $25.00.



Paintings like the eagle about $100.00.



Other samples:


For a quote, email me a high resolution image and explain what you would like to have –

Images on this blog page are copyright protected.

Copyright 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

State List

I thought an index of states might help followers who want to see where I have been.  Some state photos are only on Facebook at this time but I will try to get blog pages made for those as soon as I can.  Thank you for following along.
State / Location / Date / Link
Alabama - 2012?
Alaska - Will be my 49th state. 2013-4?
Arizona #2 - Watson Lake June 2009. Photos not on Blog yet, only on Facebook.
Arkansas - 2012?
California #1
1) Monterey Bay bef July 2009
2) Morro Bay-Photos only on Facebook for now.
3) Montano de Oro State Park. Photos only on Facebook for now.
4) Lake Tahoe 8/3/09. Photos only on Facebook for now.
5) Gold Lake 8/2009. Photos only on Facebook for now.
Colorado / #39
Jackson Lake near Orchard, CO  -  Oct 11, 2011 -
Connecticut / #20
Put in at Westerly, RI and paddled back and forth from RI to CT to mouth of Little Narragansett Bay.  Oct 25, 2010.
Delaware /23
Cape Henlopen – Nov 2, 2010

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Beach Access Rd. Nov 2, 2010.
District of Columbia
Florida / #29
1) Santa Fe River in Columbia State Park – High Springs, FL – Thanksgiving 2010 
2) Ichetucknee Spring State Park  - New Year’s Eve 2010.
3) Cedar Key, West Coast of FL – Dec 19, 2010 -
Georgia / #28
Tybee Island, Nov. 16, 2010
Will be 50th state!
Idaho / #6
Priest Lakes – Oct 18, 2009 
Illinois / #36
Lake Shelbyville – Sept 23, 2011.
Indiana / #35
Lake Monroe – Aug 19, 2011
Iowa / #37
Sept 29, 2011 – where was this???
Kentucky / #34
Fredericks Landing, Wilder, KY – Aug 18, 2011
Maine / #19 or 17?
Acadia National Park – Long Lake near Mountain Desert Island -
Maryland / #24
Sinepuxent Bay near Mystic Harbor @ Ocean City Municipal Airport – Nov 2 2010.
Massachusetts / #19
Kay’s Secret Lake – Oct 21, 2010
Michigan / #14
Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary, Alpena – Aug 31, 2010 -
Gross Isle – Detroit River -
Minnesota / #12
Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Ely – Aug 7 2010 -
Floodwood, MN  - St. Louis River – Aug 3, 2010 
Montana / #7
Flathead Lake – Oct 19, 2009 
Nebraska / #38
Lake McConaughy, Ogallala, NE - Oct 10, 2011
Nevada / #3
Cave Rock (east side of Lake Tahoe) July 2009 
Callville Bay Marina, Lake Mead – Dec 3, 2009 -!/media/set/?set=a.1166302649071.2021521.1573053507&type=3
New Hampshire / #16
Oct 5, 2010 – where is this???
New Jersey / #22
Sandy Hook  - Gateway National Recreation Area.   Oct. 27, 2010.
New Mexico / #40 or 39?
Lake Caballo near Truth or Consequences – Oct. 15, 2011.  On the Rio Grande River.
New York / #15
Grand Island – Beaver Point – Sep 25, 2010 -
North Carolina / #26
An unnamed lake – Nov 10 2010
North Dakota / #10
Langlier’s Bay on Lake Oahe,  July 28, 2010.
Ohio / #33
Mad River – July 28-29, 2011 -!/media/set/?set=a.1880713828904.2087534.1573053507&type=3

Buck Creek State Park Lake – July 2011
Oregon / #4
Siltcoos Lake – Aug 31, 2009 
Pennsylvania / #32
Loyalhanna Lake, Bush Recreation Area – July 24, 2011.
Rhode Island / #21
Put in at Westerly, RI and paddled back and forth from RI to CT to mouth of Little Narragansett Bay.  Oct 25, 2010.
South Carolina / #27
Folly Beach – Nov.  13, 2010.
South Dakota / #11
Mobridge, SD on Missouri River on Lake Oahe – July 28 2010.
Tennessee / #30
Newport / Leadvale – July 18, 2011
Utah / #8
Quail Creek Reservoir near St. George – Nov. 2, 2009 
Vermont / #18
Oct 19, 2010 – name of small lake???
Virginia / #25
First Landing State Park near Virginia Beach -  Nov 5, 1010
Washington / #5
1) Port Angeles – Sept 9-15, 2009 

2) Port Townsend Sept 12, 2009  -!/media/set/?set=a.1121698694000.2016126.1573053507&type=3

3) Port Angeles – July 1, 2010
Washington / #5
Elliott Bay @ Alki Point
Washington / #5
Wenatchee – Turtle Island
West Virginia / #33 or 31st?
Sutton Lake – July 23, 2011
Wisconsin / #13
Apostle Islands National Lake Shore – Aug 14, 2010
Wyoming / #9
Big Horn Canyon Recreation Area – Horseshoe Bend Lake – July 25, 2010.
   If you have suggestions for places to kayak in the states I have not yet visited, please email them to me at


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Parker AZ to Henderson NV

(continued from “Yes, there can be “too much quiet?”)


A child’s painting, hanging in the Aquatic Center.

OK, to follow up on my last post about Noise vs. Silence… I came “out of the wild” and first stop had to be to get a large coke from McD’s.  I walked up to the counter and as the boy said “Can I help you?” and I went to reply, a small child came in the door and let out this banshee-type blood curdling scream that just about made me jump over the counter and into the arms of that poor boy who wanted to take my order.  I mean the sound just about burst my eardrum and I was so nervous afterwards that I couldn’t speak for a minute and forgot all about why I was there.  And I thought, no… SILENCE is better  especially if you are trying to go to sleep in the Parker Wal-Mart and the parking lot sweeper keeps going by.


Parker was good. At Parker if you go to the Bluewater Resort and Casino on the north side of town... and then down to the Marina (for guests only) you can pull over on the wide open dirt area on the left... I spent the day there. Could easily have launched the kayak from there. Also in the main parking lot were boondockers I saw around Quartzsite all winter. It's a good spot.

I left Parker yesterday afternoon planning to just drive to Lake Havasu City, find a Laundromat, and then find a place to park.  It got dark before I got out of the Laundromat … and I couldn’t read the street signs.  Tried Wal-Mart and realized I COULD NOT overnight there… went to the next road north (London Bridge Rd) and drove a ways and just pulled off the side of the road.


So, don't count on parking at Lake Havasu City, AZ Wal-Mart! Not allowed.  Gonna stay dressed in case I get rousted and explain to officer that I don't usually drive at night... as my eyes don't work right and I can't read street signs. Hope he lets me stay til I can see where I'm going. Where I hoped to go was Rotary Park to kayak for the first time in six months, in Lake Havasu City.


The signs around town are scary... posted fees about all the overnight parking fines (went back but couldn’t find that sign to photograph).  Might have been at another business.  My policy is: if I see no other campers/ boondockers or vandwellers... I don't stay and I don’t spend. If others are risking it... I might. This is one huge parking lot, spick and span, and mostly empty at night.

Hey, there is also an aquatic center here that I plan to visit after my kayaking, and have a nice swim and good shower before heading deeper into civilization. Below are my impressions of LHC... and I like the backwardness of Quartzsite better than this high and mighty town.


The Rotary Park… lots of senior citizens walking, talking, laughing, playing baseball, etc..

Lake Havasu City Report: 1) Rotary Park – don’t count on going there if you have a trailer or an RV. They are not allowed in the park and there is no place to park a larger vehicle. Only small single spaces. I drove in any way to check it out and try to get to the south end of the park. It was chained off. There was plenty of space (looking at Google maps) to park there and launch. Nice park for the hoards of retired senior white folk that were swarming around. They even had a senior softball league, and a skate park???? A skate park??? So, if your kayak is on top of your van… and you can carry it (I can’t carry mine and must use a cart)… this location might work for you and it is free.


2) Aquatic Center – Lap Swim hours are limited and I couldn’t find my goggles. It was not lap swim time. So I paid $5 to soak in the Jacuzzi and then had a nice long hot shower with swim suit on. Pool is great, Jacuzzi is great, locker room/showers are shabby. Only two privacy stalls with no curtains. They did have changing stalls with doors which I made full use of. Two ladies got me talking about my kayaking and were floored/shocked that I had kayaked 40 states in two years ALONE. Wonder what they would have thought if they knew the rest of the story? As I was leaving the pool area I heard the one lady who had moved to an exercise class telling the other ladies about my experiences. I was the talk of the day. Geez their lives must be very boring. But it was worth $5 to have a nice hot shower that didn’t use salty water like the ones in Quartzsite. Each time I had a Quartzsite shower I itched for days.

IMGA0664Is that really me???


This was me in 2002!????

On to check out the Lake Havasu Museum of History in town and then head toward Vegas.  O.K. photo proves I was there… museum is in the background (of top photo).  Only open from 1pm to 4pm.  It was 11am.  So down the road I went.  It will have to wait.  (Mike Riddle… I stopped by!)

It's like all these senior white folk are living in prisons here. Many many walls, gated and iron-fenced townhouses, apartments, rv parks, etc. No I don't enjoy that. I've seen and learned more about the local desert area in six months then those folk will learn the rest of their lives.  LHC wants to corral everyone into a little box (called RV Campgrounds, etc.).


Funny thing I saw near the Museum.


Tried the State Park – multiple boat ramps, lots of parking, but I was not in the mood to pay and it was getting late in the day to launch.  They allowed me to drive through and look as long as I didn’t get out of the van.  How very nice of them.


Up the road a little ways was this sign so I stopped to check out Mesquite Bay II Wildlife Area.  O.K. they got rocks.  I walked a ways and decided there would be no way to get the kayak to the water, I couldn’t even get me to the water.  But a nice spot and rock hounds should stop and explore.  Found agate and jasper and fossils there.


Boat Launches… wish I had found this information before I went to Lake Havasu City:  (taken from

There are free boat launches on Topock Marsh at North Dike, Fivemile Landing (on County Route 1) and Catfish Paradise (on Oatman Highway/Route 66).

Local boat launches that allow access to the Colorado River include the Topock Gorge Marina, Arizona (exit 1, I-40), Park Moabi (located 11 miles south of Needles, CA on I-40), and Havasu State Park at Windsor Beach (on London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City). There are many other private and public boat launches along the Colorado River.

No Wake zones exist in the harbor of Fivemile Landing on Topock Marsh and the entrance and harbor at Topock Marina.

Anyway, I found a method to keep from collecting a lot more rocks… wear clothes that don’t have pockets, take no water, so you have to return to the van when one hand gets full of rocks (camera in other hand).


This is all I came away with.  Proud of me???  I am.

On up the road, more things to amaze me…


What is this bird… he makes the strangest sounds.


To deDucks… I kept saying your little burro prayer… but didn’t see any at all (pouting now).


Isn’t this just awesome????   I want it as my hood ornament.


Someone is really living in that… at Searchlight NV.


This guy passed me… five jet skis on that trailer????


Not sure what this is but I’m thinking very large solar farm???


Even hit a bit of the Old Route 66.  What a hoot.

Oh, and a new experience on the road today, I met my first Dust Devil.  I thought “Hey, look at that cute little th . . . . !” about the time it hit me.  It felt like a sand storm smashing into the van and felt like it might flip the trailer.  I’ll take those “cute little devils” more seriously next time I see one and slow down. Today I got my first “Dust Devil Whammy!”

Safe in Henderson, NV tonight and will touch base with family here in case they want to visit.  Also need to resupply since I WOULD NOT shop at LHC Wal-Mart.

Thinking about adding something new to my blog… an expense record for the day.  Might help others, might help me more!!!  Just thinking.  Someone is doing that??? RVSue???

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.