Archive for September, 2011

Mt. Rushmore

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the completion of the Mount Rushmore carving.  With more than 3 million visitors in 2010, it is recognized internationally as a symbol of freedom, patriotism and democracy.

There are lots of camping spots around Mt. Rushmore and I chose a KOA between the Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial.  I checked in, put up the tent and headed for the evening lighting ceremony.

I admit to many tears during the ceremony as it celebrated not only our freedoms but those that fought for those freedoms.  My dad stormed the beach at Iwo Jima in WWII and my brother was in Vietnam during the Tet offensive, both proud United States Marines.

“My plan is to make Rushmore a center in the heart of America so attractive, so comprehending, that the inevitable visiting world will assemble there with something more than curiosity, and go away with something more than wonder.”  Sculptor Gutzon Borglum


Our Great American Harvest

The fields are ripe with wheat, corn, soybeans and sunflowers.  Giant harvesters are working side by side bringing in the bounty of America.  Fruit and nut trees of all types are heavy with their summer labors.

I have visited third world countries where the people scratch the earth and depend on our bounty to feed their families.  We are so rich in land, equipment, soil, sun and rain.  Our farmers benefit from the best education and research systems in the world.  Our infrastructure of road and rails ships the products quickly all over the country bringing fresh produce to the cities.

Our food is safe and grown to nourish this generation and generations to come.  Our family farmers cherish the land and their animals and treat both kindly.  We are so blessed to live in a country where we can not only feed our people, but the world’s hungry.

Next time you eat a bowl of cereal, think of the farmer who grew the wheat. Visit your local Farmer’s Market and buy some fresh produce or a jar of homemade jelly and enjoy America’s bounty this fall.





On the Road Again

I love to drive.  The rhythm of the tires on the road, changing vistas and the sound of the wind with the windows down.

Driving across America on I-90 takes you through Ohio toward Chicago.  I stopped about an hour east of Chicago in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and tented at the State Park, a bargain at $17.50 per night.  The park was beautiful and clean and just a stones throw from the sand dunes created by Lake Michigan.

Indiana Dunes has several beautiful hikes that overlook Lake Michigan and the sand dunes.  Trail 10 is rated one of the best hikes in America.  Unfortunately, I twisted my ankle on an apple, go figure, before I left and had to settle for the 2 mile trail.  The trails are sand so wear appropriate footwear if you decide to try the hikes.

There is a beautiful beach along Lake Michigan.  Edgar was not welcome on the beach.





Rhythm of the River

Arriving in early July the river is full of life, the trees are in full bloom, the summer flowers sweet in the air.  Lightening bugs by the hundreds and a cacophony of sound from the cicadas, tree frogs, crickets and crows.

September 1st and the hummingbirds have all gone south, the birds are gathering in larger and larger flocks for their long flights.  The grinnies and squirrels are working overtime storing the bounty of summer.  Our property has chestnut, black walnut, apple, pear and peach trees which are all enjoyed by the large variety of animals that make their daily trip to feed.

I will admit to spending hours just sitting on the picnic table and watching the river.  Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Swift, Geese and Blue Heron fishing the river and cleaning up the debris have given me much pleasure.

The turtles come out and sun themselves on the rocks, scooting quickly into the river at any sign of danger.  The river is clean enough to watch the fish feed and I have seen carp being chased by walleye and pike.

The sun is setting sooner and the nights have a nip of chill dressing the leaves in their brilliant fall wardrobe.  Soon, the summer camps will be closed and snow will blanket the ground……