Friday, June 23, 2017

Clouds - Trees - Along The Way

We are about 18 days into our cross country trip. We are on the east coast, have been for a for about a week, GA, S.C. crossed through N.C. into VA through W.V. and now MD. We will be in Maryland for a while, this week I am teaching a workshop at Common Ground on the Hill at McDaniel College, Westminster, MD. Follow by Grand Opening of our friends Eric Rice and Lori Leitzel Rice new tasting room, Willow Oaks in Middletown, MD.

As we have been driving down the road, the highways, much of the scenery looks similar. It is green with trees lining the road, big billowy clouds and for the most part blue skies. Feeling the humidity now that we are east. It has been warm some days, hotter others. I have sketch some of the trees along the way, a few clouds too. I play with my camera as we drive, or while Rick drives. Some photos turn out pretty well, others, well, nice to have that delete button.

Here are a few byway pictures can you tell which state we were going through just by these pictures?

Fredericksburg, Texas

Austin, Texas

Along the road LA

Welcome to AL

Crossing into N.C.
Middletown, Maryland 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rolling Through Roanoke

June 22, Thursday, Rick and I had to go into Roanoke, VA for the afternoon. Roanoke has some interesting street art, public art. There are a couple pieces side by side in neon which you see better at night but not too bad by day. They are a Dr. Pepper cap and H&C coffee pot. They signs date back to 1946 and is on the historic landmarks listing. Off in the distance is the Roanoke Star high up on the hillside, it has been around since 1949.  Just below that on a wall in parking lot is Coke Cola mural.

There are interesting buildings, with trains running through the town, highways and byways near by and on weekends a farmers market in the square in town. Here are a few pictures from the rooftop of the Taubman Museum. To find out what was in the Taubman check out my art blog on Saturday at

Monday, June 19, 2017

GA for the Weekend

Crossing the southern region of the U.S. of A. It is very green, lots of trees along the highways. Lots of white billowing clouds and moisture.

We have passed through or stayed in N.M., TX, LA, MS, AL and spent the weekend in GA. We are 12 days into our adventure, so far, so good.

When the roads allow I have been sketching some, writing some and taking pictures through car windows. It has been harder to get photos posted and blogs written but I am trying. We have been visiting with family this weekend. Stayed with Beccy and Wayne in their new home in GA. Went down to the local square to check out the farmers market, have had dinner there one night and brunch on Saturday. Sunday we went to the Aquarium for Father's Day. Monday on the road to S.C.

Here are a few pictures from GA.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


We had breakfast in Dallas,Texas, lunch in Louisiana and dinner in Mississippi. We are rolling across this country. Stayed in the small town of Clinton. Heading out this morning for Birmingham, AL will be there by early afternoon. We may get in a little exploring today. Last night was a work night checking emails and setting up handouts for my workshop. We did have a short but wonderful visit with our friend Micheal Haid in Dallas. Driving across LA was green with farming, trees and rivers. Long couple days of driving in order to get to GA for the weekend.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Texas Stars

Our last day in Austin we spent walking the city. We went through the State Capital and around the grounds. The architecture in the city is somewhat of a blend of styles. The heavy Mexican influence, some German European  and a touch of Frank Lloyd Wright. State Capital grounds all around the country have sculptures generally surround by old trees and young flower gardens. Which was the case here too. Not going to get into the politics or history which is full of details.

We went to the Bullock Historical Museum which is just a few blocks down from the Capital. They had a special exhibit here a hint: "Pride and Joy". Did you guess who it is, think music...okay it was on The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan. His brother Jimmie put together the exhibit filled with music, videos of his brother playing in Austin. The pride of Texas he was born in Dallas and died too early at 35 in a crash. He left behind major influence in music. The city is filled with his sounds, all the old and new musicians played at least two of his sounds with each jazz club we went to while in Austin, which was four.

On our way out of Austin we will have his music to carry us on the road. Good-bye Austin, next stop Dallas to visit a friend, then moving on to our next state.


Batty in Austin

We drove all day Saturday to arrive in Austin, TX in time for dinner and a show. We dropped into the Elephant Room for a bit of jazz. Nice way to end a long day on the road. Sunday, we took a walk over to Lady Byrd Johnson Park. The water way was filled with boats of all types and a special area just for the dogs to enjoy a swim. Enjoy a picnic lunch watching wildlife, geese, heron, egrets, and turtles. Did a little people watching too, some new to canoes ended up in the water, which on a hot, humid day did not seem to upset them as they just hung in the water and a few others joined them.

After dinner we walked back over the Congress Street bridge to watch...BATS! Who knew, we would see another bat show. After the bridge was built the bats found the construction just right for sleeping. In the evening thousands of them come flying out in swarm behavior. The bats from the Carlsbad caverns did the same flying patterns, they come out swirl in a circular pattern before starting to fly up into clusters. There are mathematical algorithms to explain some of this pattern behavior but I am not going to research that, it is interesting to watch. I never thought that in less than one weeks time I would see so many bats. And by the way, it is very hard to get a picture of bats as they fly around and out. Between the dark background from the water the bridge, the speed in which they fly and the low light from sunset not a lot of opportunities for a good close up. I did get some distant pictures which look a lot like bird murmurations.

That I kind of hope is the end to our bat stories. We ended the evening going over to "Friends" and listening to a jazz jam. Austin does have a lot of music venues to enjoy. More on music another day.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Road Trip

Well, lost the last post I started so will just start over. Our second day we spent the afternoon in Carlsbad, N.M. We went to Carlsbad Caverns, a pretty amazing place. You can hike around the caverns on a self guided tour. You enter a large opening with switchbacks, cave swallows are zooming in and out making lots of noise. The sound gets more intense as you enter the cavern. Gives you the feeling you may be walking into a Hitchcock movie. Once you get into the dark the birds disappear but somewhere deep inside there are bats...more to come on that.

We did the hike down via The Nature Entrance trail, you can take an elevator. If you are okay with hiking about 1 1/2 miles down a steep incline I recommend taking the long way. You arrive at the Big Room. There are two sections again just a couple miles and pretty level terrain but the formations are worth doing it all. With every section the speleothems (stalagmites & stalactites) have something new see experiences.

Later in the evening we returned to see the Bat Flight. At the Nature Entrance the bats make their way from 4 miles deep within to come out at night to find moths (apparently their favorite) and other bugs. There are about 200,000 this year, in past years there have been hundreds of thousands more. It is one of those moment I just love nature. Watching the bats come out and circle at the entrance, slowly peeling off in groupings and curving one way then another before heading out to distance places. It is their own dance, strange and beautiful.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to Carlsbad to explore the caverns and need a place to eat, drink or stay check out Trinity. We did not stay there but went in for wine tasting, dinner and enjoyed it so much we went back for breakfast Saturday morning before hitting the road to Austin, TX.

Friday, June 9, 2017

crisscross part II

Day 2 - We made it to Texas but we are kind of crisscrossing into New Mexico too. We were in El Paso, today in Carlsbad, N.M. We are going to explore the caverns today and tonight. There is a special Bat Flight Program and there will be a full moon. Hoping to get some good pictures to share. This should be interesting.

Most of Day 1 was on Hwy 10 not a lot to see but a few interesting mountain formation and a sculptures along the road.

Giant road runner sculpture along the highway in N.M.
Hello Mexico from Texas


Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Day 1- Wednesday, Rick and I spent getting all those last minute things done before going on a trip. We are pretty good at the long distance thing. We have our house sitter all lined up, she has been helping us with our house in AZ for several years now. Plus, neighbors and friends check in on things for us, so all should be good to go with the house. Art is packed, materials for workshops check, enough cloths to get us through for a couple weeks before finding someplace to do some wash.

So - where are we - Texas is our first stop. We are still in AZ but on the road as this post will go live just as we head out the door. My hope is that I will write a little something each day that we are on the road. There will be places we stay a few days to check out the area or visit with friends and family. Now that the computer is back up and working I should be able to post a few pictures here and there. I will set up an album on FB to add to during our travels.

We will literally be crisscrossing the country. I am teaching my Birds in Art workshop end of June. July 1st-2nd we will be staying with our friends Eric & Lori Rice as they have the Grand Opening for the Willow Oaks craft cider and wine tasting room. To go along with that we are having a mini reunion of some of the artists from the Fine Arts in the Valley group. It will be a wonderful weekend with friends, great cider to try and art, art, art. If you are in the area we would love to see you. The tasting room is at 6219 Harley Rd., Middletown, MD. If you have been to one of the Fine Arts in the Valley shows same barn, just all finished now and with a beautiful tasting room bar. Can't make it while we are in town, just go by any Sat. or Sun. 11am to 5pm. Here is a link to their web site:

Okay, I kind of jump passed a lot of days but as we get there, pictures and information will be coming your way. On the road again!

Saturday, June 3, 2017


East meets west - the front door that lived for 17+ years in Frederick, MD now is retired in AZ. 

We had a few challenges finding someone that would take the challenge of removing two doors, building side panels and installing our custom door. With a little time the right people for the job appear.

A little piece of Frederick homestead now lives in Scottsdale. It's the little things that make me happy. Well, not so little but very special. 

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...