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It Has Been a Wonderful & Adventurous Year

Posted by Jackhal49, 04 August 2011 · 174 views

Well we have come full circle and are currently back in Maine where we started from last September. It is amazing how fast time seems to fly since we have retired a year ago. We have seen some really amazing parts of this grand country of ours and had some amazing experiences as well. We truly enjoyed wintering in Texas and really enjoyed our volunteer experiences at Goliad and Buescher State Parks and met some very wonderful people along the way. We have been so very fortunate and blessed.

We really enjoyed our volunteer time at Goliad State Park and Mission and learned so much about Texas history. The park is a wonderful place with great camping areas that have lots of shade and are well spaced. The park staff was so friendly and welcoming. This was our first volunteer position and it was so rewarding and enjoyable. We highly recommend this park for anyone visiting this part of Texas, I promise you, you will really enjoy the park and local area. There were lots of wildlife here and we saw our first armadillo and javelina here which was really cool.

Our second volunteer position was at Buescher State Park which is located about 30 miles east of Austin, Texas. This is also a great camping area with lovely grounds. The park is connected to about Texas State Park, Bastrop, by an 11 mile park road which is a great biking road. We stayed hear for five months and had a great time. The staff here was also wonderful and very welcoming. The park itself is in the piney woods with lots of trees and a great little lake for fishing. The really neat thing about Texas State Parks is that you can fish in them for free, no fishing license is needed. The lake at the park is stocked with Rainbow Trout in December and there is also great Large Mouth Bass fishing as well. There is plenty of hiking trails at Buescher and Bastrop as well as lots of great birding. Lots of wildlife live in the park including mule deer, rabbits, javelina, etc.

Red Rock State Park in Sedona, AZ was very incredible with all the awesome rock formations and the wonderful staff at the park that made us feel right at home. The area is a great place for hiking and mountain biking and we enjoyed every minute of our stay there. The park is not a camping area and is a day use park only so we were really fortunate to be able to have a host site at the park. However, for those who would like to camp in the area there is Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood which is located on the road to Clarksdale. Dead Horse has some really great campsites and the whole park is really great and well maintained. Red Rock has some great hiking trails with lots of views of the red rock formations and also a great hike along Oak Creek. We saw lots of wildlife here including mule deer, javelina, rabbits, and I even got to see four otters swimming in Oak Creek one morning. This is a great birding park with lots of species of birds both local and migrating through the area. There are lots of snakes here in the summer months but we only saw a few nonpoisonous snakes the two months we stayed there. Sedona is a real tourist mecca with lots of shops and restaurants. The area is known for all its great hiking and mountain biking trails which we totally enjoyed the whole time we were there. We really loved it there to say the least!

After leaving the Sedona area and Red Rock SP we headed to Colorado to visit our daughter and family which live near Telluride. We stayed about 30 miles south of Telluride at Priest Gulch Campgrounds just north of Dolores on route 145. What a beautiful campgrounds that has the Dolores River running right through it. This area of Colorado is extremely beautiful with scenery that is just breath taking! The mountains here are just incredible and amazing. Driving up route 145 to Telluride is such a beautiful trip with lots of mountain views and meadows which are sometimes filled with herds of elk. We stayed here two weeks and had a great time. For those who are fishermen, especially fly fishermen, the mountain streams have lots of trout and Trout Lake north of Rico has wonderful fishing. This is another area that has plenty of hiking trails and biking here is also very popular. When you visit Telluride be sure to take the gondola up to mountain village and check the village out. By the way the gondola is free which is a rarity these days.

It was sad to leave our daughter and family as we headed back to Maine to visit our son and his family. We took our time coming across country which took eight days right during the heat wave that was hitting the middle of the country. Traveling through Colorado was quite the trip especially traveling along route 160 and climbing up and down Wolf Creek Pass. The pass is really something else with an eight mile climb to the top and a long winding road over the other side which got pretty narrow in some places. However, it was very scenic and a beautiful trip though the Rockies.

It is nice to be in Maine for a change with its interesting weather. We hardly saw rain the whole time we were in the southwest and no fog except for some in the mountain valleys of Colorado. We have had quite a few days of rain showers and some thunderstorms with pea-size hail. It is taking us a while to get used to the humidity especially on cool days when it just feels plain damp. Several days we have had pea soup thick fog where you could not see the water from the beach. It is quite a switch from the dry climate of the southwest and I have to admit I like the dry climate better. However, we are surely enjoying lots of seafood and especially lobster! Nothing better than fresh Maine lobster right from the ocean! Yummy! We are very close to Popham Beach, which is one of the prettiest areas along the Maine coast, just totally breathtaking views.

We will be here in Maine until mid-September when we will start heading back to Texas, migrating south with all the birds. What a wonderful way to enjoy our retirement years! How Lucky We Are!

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