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Shasta-Trinity National Forest

On February 1, 2006, I left Eureka,CA on Route 299 towards Redding, CA. This is a beautiful drive across the Trinity Mountain Range. It was misting rain and the rivers were flooded. For more photos of Shasta-Trinity click here
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"Thar's gold in them there hills!" East of Scramento are the famous placer gold deposits found in the rivers coming out of the mountains. Gold discovered here on January 24, 1848 started the California gold rush. I just had to get in on it, even if I was a little late! For more photos of gold prospecting click here
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Sequoia National Park

Up in the mountains between Fresno and Bakersfield is this wonderful National Park. Well worth the visit to see the largest (by volume) living thing on the planet, the General Sherman Sequoia Tree. It was 500 years old when Jesus was born! For more photos of Sequoia National Park click here
From Sequoia, I drove to Laughlin, NV to stay overnight (again!) at the Edgewater Hotel/Casino before driving the next day (4-Feb) to Kingman, AZ to visit the grandchildren again. I have added photos from this visit to the family reunion page here After the lunchtime visit, I drove down to Phoenix to stay again at Judys until Thursday, 9-Feb. The highlight of this five day stay was the superbowl party on Sunday, 5-Feb and the visits with Susan and Keith, and David and Hope. I have added photos to the family reunion page here as well as photos of Judy's house here
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Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

This is one of my favorite places on earth! Organ Pipe Cactus NM is on the AZ-Mexico border in the Sonoran Desert. It is the home of 90% of the Organ Pipe type cactus in the United States. The area is especially beautiful after the winter rains which normally come in February and March. After the rain, the desert is a carpet full of yellow Mexican poppies and blue lupine. On this trip I was ahead of the season so the desert was dry, awaiting the refreshing rain. I camped here for two nights. This part of the desert is home to the Tohono O'Odham native Americans, a wonderful group of people who have lived off this land for centuries. For more photos of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument click here
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Kitt Peak National Observatory, AZ

For more photos of Kitt Peak National Observatory click here
From Kitt Peak I drove to Las Cruces, NM where I had dinner again at La Posta in Old Mesilla. This is really a great restaurant with a history going back to the Old West. Billy the Kid was in the same building when it was a prison! I stayed overnight in a motel (11-Feb) so I could make the drive to Guadalupe National Park the next day.
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Guadalupe Mountains National Park

In the Guadalupe mountains of Texas are on the border with New Mexico, there is this interesting park with great hiking trails and one of the largest fossilized Permiam coral reefs in the country. It is about a half hour drive south of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, so I camped here for two nights (12-13 Feb), using the day between to visit Carlsbads Caverns in the morning for several hours and return for a five hour hike in the Guadalupe's McKittrick Canyon. For more photos of Guadalupe National Park click here
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Carlsbad Caverns National Park

For more photos of Carlsbad Caverns National Park click here
Return to home page On 14-Feb I drove from Guadalupe to San Antonio, TX for a meeting with my friends at VNI (see here). I added a photo on that page. We had a wonderful day on Wednesday 15-Feb with prayer sessions and excitement about Adam's Global Worship Revolution. I will be helping Adam with web hosting and updating web pages for this inspired ministry to help end abortion. I stayed around San Antonio to visit Bob and Jean again as well (see here), and to update these web pages.
In Texas I added "HOWSDAVE.COM" to the back of the car to see what would happen to web site hits. The hits went up!
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Padre Island National Seashore

Located south and west from Corpus Christi, TX along the barrier islands, Padre Island has been well preserved. The populated areas of Padre are a favorite tourist attraction, while many folks have made this their retirement home. I took the opportunity of camping on the beach! For more photos of Padre Island National Seashore click here
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Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Located on the Gulf of Mexico in Texas is Aransas, a Wildlife Refuge managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. This is a birder's paradise. One of the most endangered species, the whooping crane, makes it's winter home here. Nursed back from near extinction, 200 individuals are now in the flock. For more photos of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge click here
The night after beach camping on Padre Island, I checked into a motel right across from the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. (19-Feb). The next evening I camped in the Atchafalaya Trace, a natural area that encompasses the largest river swamp in the country.
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Atchafalaya Swamp

The Atchafalaya Basin in Louisana is filled with bayous, baldcypress swamps, and marshes. The basin is susceptible to heavy flooding and is sparsely inhabited. The few roads that cross it follow the tops of levees. I-10, which crosses the Basin west of Baton Rouge, is a continuous 18 mile bridge. It represents to me a classic bayou, and I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to camp and hike there! I got lost at night, but finally found the Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, where I set up my tent by headlights. After making dinner, I read at the picnic table and kept hearing shuffling in the woods. I couldn't see any eyes in my spotlight so I just waited... It wasn't an alligator, it was a nine-banded armadillo! The stay in the swamp turned out to be very interesting and worthwhile! For more photos of Atchafalaya Swamp click here
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Mardi Gras

I stayed the next two nights in Covington, LA on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain with Stu and Sue, friends of Dennis and Dave. Dennis, Dave and I all worked as volunteers in Slidell, LA at the Hilltop Rescue camp (see here). I was helping Dennis work out a business approach to help provide wireless services to the region. One evening, Dennis, who is from this area, Dave and I went out on the town to "experience" Mardi Gras. For more photos of Mardi Gras click here
I moved on into Florida and stayed at a Holiday Inn in Pensacola 23-Feb. Close fly-by as the Blue Angels welcome me to FL! The next day, from Tallahassee, I took scenic route 19 down to Chiefland, where I stayed in an Holiday Inn Express, having arrived too late to stay at the Suwannee River SP.
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Sarasota, FL Area

Sun, beaches, and the Gulf of Mexico. Hard to beat. In addition, I was happy to visit with good friends and family. Here are Howard Millman and I at Howard and wife Carolyn Michael's home on St. Armands Circle outside Sarasota... For more photos of the Sarasota Area click here Return to home page