E is for Enjoy the Ride – #atozchallenge

One of my themes in life is to “Enjoy the Ride.” This is how I live my life, but it is especially true when it comes to my wanderlust and desire to travel the back roads of America.

The thrill that I get as I get on the open road with the windows rolled down and the music playing while looking at the trees and fence posts and telephone poles flying by me is amazing. I enjoy the ride every single trip!

A lonely tree decorates US Hwy 2 east of Culbertson, MT
Pine trees along US Route 2 between Floodwood and Grand Rapids, MN
Antelope on the Run in Wyoming

To “Enjoy the Ride” means to look at the trees and the clouds on the horizon, to see the sunsets and the sunrises and to witness animals prancing in the fields. It means to see the birds overhead and sitting on fenceposts along the way.

Looks like a cloud monster ready to fly down and eat someone…
Unique Clouds at 6:30 AM heading east on I-74 in central Indiana

To “Enjoy the Ride” means to witness the grandeur and majesty of the lovely mountains in the west or the rush of the waves in the Atlantic or the Pacific or the Gulf of Mexico.

I had to stop and get this shot of the pretty male Mountain Bluebird in Montana
Mountains near the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone
Sagebrush and Mountains in Idaho

Some people get bored driving through the desert and seeing all of the tumbleweeds. What they miss out on is the life that is out there in the desert and the scenery. The giant red rocks or the cactus or even the tumbleweeds. To see these is to Enjoy the Ride.

A Century plant in bloom with the scenic Red Rock country of Sedona, Arizona below. This was taken at the top of Schnebly Hill Road in 1983
Sumoflam at Monument Valley on Utah/Arizona border

To me, the destination is not the reason for the trip. It is all in the trip itself. That is the true defining point of enjoying the ride.

Living the Dream – Enjoying the Ride

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Going To California: Fun at Woodflock VI

Happy Me at Woodflock
Happy Me at Woodflock
Floyd
Sumoflam and Floyd at Woodflock VI

What a fitting occasion…it has been a busy month since I got back from California and Woodflock.  But, today is National Pink Flamingo Day…shouldn’t it be a great time to write my final California report…all about the famed Woodflock event in Red Bluff, CA.

The Memorial Day weekend event celebrated its 6th year in 2015.  Known to Antsy McClain fans (aka Flamingoheads) as a Summer Camp for Flamingoheads, Woodflock has grown from 60 participants in its first year to well over 300.  It is held at the Red Bluff Recreation Area on the Sacramento River in an enclosed area, all under Flamingohead control!!

DSC_2860The event includes evening concerts around a campfire, music workshops, games, guided meditations, crafts, etc.  Lots of good food, prepared for and eaten by a variety of Antsy McClain fans from all over the country was also a given.

My trip to California culminated in a three day adventure at Woodflock.  In fact, the entire purpose of my end of May trip was to attend Woodflock and to schmooze with my Pine View Heights cousins.

Sumoflam singing with Antsy McClain at Woodflock
Sumoflam singing with Antsy McClain at Woodflock

Some people reading this may be wondering “What in the world is a Flamingohead?” or where the heck is “Pine View Heights?” All of these and more are borne out of Antsy McClain music over the past two decades.  Antsy began his adventure with the Trailer Park Troubadours back in 1993 and has continued to inspire and humor audiences all over the U.S., Canada and even in Europe.  Pine View Heights is a fictional small trailer park in a holler in Kentucky. Everybody lives in aluminum, has big hair and collects pink flamingos.   And Woodflock brings it all to life in a unique natural setting, right down to the skeeters and chigger bites.

My Kind host Carla Lockwood in her Trailer Park Best flamingo hat at Woodflock
My Kind host Carla Lockwood in her Trailer Park Best flamingo hat at Woodflock

Many of the “cuzzins” as all are affectionately called, are dressed up in their “Trailer Park Best” for the celebrations. There is big hair, pink hair, and sometimes no hair…but nobody cares as they are all there to enjoy the camaraderie that has grown out of a love of Antsy McClain’s unusual and meaningful lyrics and songs (not to mention his amazing artwork, poetry, storytelling and more).

Flamingos everywhere at Woodflock
Flamingos everywhere at Woodflock
Some of the kids made their own t-shirts at Woodflock
Some of the kids made their own t-shirts at Woodflock
Photo ops with trailers (and even a MARDUP license plate from Kentucky - Married Up folks!)
Photo ops with trailers (and even a MARDUP license plate from Kentucky – Married Up folks!)
Crafts abound at camp...we all had fun being creative in music and art
Crafts abound at camp…we all had fun being creative in music and art

IRV2014My days were spent with friends and my nights were spent with IRV…short nickname for Ione’s RV.  Ione Snyder made sure I had a place to sleep while at Woodflock.  It had a good large bed in a conversion van.  And thank goodness the nights were cool.

Ione (L) and Carla (R)...kissin cuzzins!!
Ione (L) and Carla (R)…kissin cuzzins!!

Like Carla Lockwood, Ione Snyder is a gem. She has probably been to more Antsy McClain shows than any other person I know of…well over 100 and counting.  She is the resident Trailer Park Princess and most certainly deserves the crown!!

Dress up time at Woodflock was ALL THE TIME
Dress up time at Woodflock was ALL THE TIME

Though Antsy and the Troubs and their music was the cause for the gathering, once all were there, all the “adults” were like kids again, frolicking around in dress up, blowing bubbles, making tie dye t-shirts, and having a Way Cool World fun time.  Following are a few shots of the fun…

Hats were everywhere...better than the Kentucky Derby!
Hats were everywhere…better than the Kentucky Derby!
Blue hair?
Blue hair?
Flamingo gear abounds...
Flamingo gear abounds…
Pittsburgh Steelers Tattoos... (yes, from lyrics of a song)
Pittsburgh Steelers Tattoos… (yes, from lyrics of a song)
Inasion of the flamingo snatchers!
Inasion of the flamingo snatchers!
Sumoflam and Twyla - BIG HAIR!
Sumoflam and Twyla – BIG HAIR!
Blowing bubbles!
Blowing bubbles!
Yes, even I got dressed up!!
Yes, even I got dressed up!!

And then there were the arts and crafts.  Yes, just like camp when were kids…here are a few samples

Metal crafts
Metal crafts
T-shirt making
T-shirt making
Living the Dream tags...there were also Enjoy the Ride tags and Woodflock tags
Living the Dream tags…there were also Enjoy the Ride tags and Woodflock tags

There was a trailer/cabin decorating contest too.  And somebody even won!!  Lots of fun stuff…and did I mention that TODAY (June 23, 2015) is Pink Flamingo Day?

Trailer full of Love sign...yes, another lyric
Trailer full of Love sign…yes, another lyric
Groundhog dead in the flowerbed... (more lyrics!)
Groundhog dead in the flowerbed… (more lyrics!)
World's Largest Underwear...somebody needed it!
World’s Largest Underwear…somebody needed it!
Flamingo Whirlygigs
Flamingo Whirlygigs
The Party's Here (actually, it was everywhere)
The Party’s Here (actually, it was everywhere)
Decorated cabin at Woodflock
Decorated cabin at Woodflock
Flamingo ornaments abound at Woodflock
Flamingo ornaments abound at Woodflock
Flamingo Lanterns decorated the dining area
Flamingo Lanterns decorated the dining area
Flamingo biking
Flamingo biking
Antsy Fans
Antsy Fans

I enjoyed mingling with the Flamingohead family and seeing all of the fun t-shirts.

Over the years Antsy has designed dozens of t-shirts and many were to be seen at Woodflock among the followers.  Here are a few fun ones.

 

Official Woodflock photographer Ed in his "We're All Gonna Dye" t-shirt
Official Woodflock photographer Ed in his “We’re All Gonna Dye” t-shirt
Donning a Flockstar t-shirt.  All of us were Flockstars at Woodflock
Donning a Flockstar t-shirt. All of us were Flockstars at Woodflock
An oldie but a goodie...the "Everything's a Dollar" t-shirt (and yes, another song)
An oldie but a goodie…the “Everything’s a Dollar” t-shirt (and yes, another song)
There are even hand motions to "Everything's a Dollar"
There are even hand motions to “Everything’s a Dollar”

And there are a goodly variety of wonderful folk….

The famed Sue Butler...coordinator extraordinaire and tireless Antsy McClain helper, supporter and priceless friend
The famed Sue Butler…coordinator extraordinaire and tireless Antsy McClain helper, supporter and priceless friend
"Harry"
“Harry”
Uncle Fred singing songs around the campfire...yes THOSE songs (Like Old McDonald...)
Uncle Fred singing songs around the campfire…yes THOSE songs (Like Old McDonald…)
The Ferreira...another tireless couple of Antsy fans.  Always there to support him
The Ferreira…another tireless couple of Antsy fans. Always there to support him
Kevin brought his harmonica and joined with the band.  Always lots of fun
Kevin brought his harmonica and joined with the band. Always lots of fun
Troy came down from Washington.  He has been an Antsy Traveler
Troy came down from Washington. He has been an Antsy Traveler
Bobby Jack Miller is the Croquet King...Bobby Jack Bobby Jack (yes...more lyrics)
Bobby Jack Miller is the Croquet King…Bobby Jack Bobby Jack (yes…more lyrics)
Kathy...well, she missed the snow... (inside joke)
Kathy…well, she missed the snow… (inside joke)
Bob was the Camp Cook and BOY OH BOY....even the vegan food tasted sinful
Bob was the Camp Cook and BOY OH BOY….even the vegan food tasted sinful
Sumoflam and Bill...twin sons from Different Mothers...and boy were the mothers happy!!
Sumoflam and Bill…twin sons from Different Mothers…and boy were the mothers happy!!
Donna and Linda...the GOOD SISTERS
Donna and Linda…the GOOD SISTERS
Yes...even Santa paid a visit...I think he was Santa...
Yes…even Santa paid a visit…I think he was Santa…

DSC_2845I don’t want to neglect Hilary and Bruce, who did a wonderful job of morning meditation each morning.  What a nice relaxing way to start the day…  Bruce Wandmeyer, of course, is the sax player and slide guitar artist of Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours.  Hilary, his lovely wife, provided the meditation and soothed our souls.

Bruce Wandmayer played some soothing sounds from his dobro.  Relax....
Bruce Wandmayer played some soothing sounds from his dobro. Relax….
Hillary brought comfort to the souls
Hillary brought comfort to the souls

AntsyTroubs1And, finally, we enjoyed the music of Antsy McClain, the Troubs and a menagerie of others who brought their t-bones, mouth harps, ukeleles, stringed thingies and more.

This was why we were all here. We all share a love for Antsy, his music and his antics.  And each of the band members in attendance were also a delight.

We sat around the amphitheater one evening to hear the stories behind Antsy’s upcoming new album, we requested songs, we sang along, we danced.  It was time to be happy and relaxed. And we were.

Singing around the campfire at Woodflock
Singing around the campfire at Woodflock
Flamingos....even on guitars
Flamingos….even on guitars
Everyone's a fan of Antsy McClain
Everyone’s a fan of Antsy McClain
Antsy serenades us in an afternoon session
Antsy serenades us in an afternoon session
Pondering the meaning of an Antsy song??
Pondering the meaning of an Antsy song??
Aunt Beulah and her roadkill overcoat
Aunt Beulah and her roadkill overcoat
Antsy's songbook....
Antsy’s songbook….

And here are just a few more fun shots from my three days at Woodflock…I enjoyed the ride and now I have fond memories….

"Loose Bruce"
“Loose Bruce”
Kevin
Kevin
'nuff said
’nuff said
Enjoying Antsy McClain
Enjoying Antsy McClain
Enjoy the Ride
Enjoy the Ride
Finally got to hang with Pam
Finally got to hang with Pam
Lovin' on Bruce
Lovin’ on Bruce
Antsy McClain signature geetar
Antsy McClain signature geetar (and that is Edgar Cruz’s signature there too)
Smiles everyday
Smiles everyday
Flamingo Hats!
Flamingo Hats!
Hmmm....what's that lyric again?
Hmmm….what’s that lyric again?
Men with Hats...we can dance if we want to...but only at Woodflock
Men with Hats…we can dance if we want to…but only at Woodflock
Yes, Antsy Was Here
Yes, Antsy Wuz Here
Goofing around with Antsy McClain
Goofing around with Antsy McClain
Hanging with my good pal Uncle Fred, who kindly took me back to the San Francisco airport after Woodflock (and early in the morning)
Hanging with my good pal Uncle Fred, who kindly took me back to the San Francisco airport after Woodflock (and early in the morning)
Sleeping in IRV...yes, I just woke up...
Sleeping in IRV…yes, I just woke up…but I was a Happy Camper (notice the flamingo pillow case!)
Max plays a mean ukelele and sings a mean tune
Max plays a mean ukelele and sings a mean tune
Mike was the mustache winner (of course)
Mike was the mustache winner (of course)
Sumoflam doing his selfie thing...(photo by Ed Townsend)
Sumoflam doing his selfie thing…(photo by Ed Townsend)

The trip to California was amazing.  I loved every minute of it.  I want to make sure to once again thank Carla and Ione for their kindness, generosity and amazing flamingo hospitality.  Thanks to Ed…my partner in Men with Hats and good friend and photographer. Thanks to the other Flamingoheads for their familial friendship. Thanks to the Troubs for being the best musicians in the world.  And biggest thanks to my dear friend, long time pal and practically a brother…that sweet guy known as Antsy McClain…without him, Woodflock wouldn’t be.

Seriously living the dream with Antsy McClain...at Woodflock and beyond (photo by Ed Townsend)
Seriously living the dream with Antsy McClain…at Woodflock and beyond (photo by Ed Townsend)

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating the Wanderlust – 30 Years of Family Travel – Pt 3

Joselyn on the Beach - Hilton Head Island, South Carolina summer 2013
Joselyn on the Beach – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina summer 2013

This is the last in my 3 part series on “Creating the Wanderlust” through family travel adventures. (see the other two Part 1  Part 2 )

Autumn in Rhinelander, WI Aug 2012
Autumn in Rhinelander, WI  with the Hodag – Aug 2012

After three weddings in 2005 I was fried…and, to top things off I had knee surgery later in the year, so there was no travel the rest of that year.  In fact, I didn’t take any trips until 2007 when I had a couple of big ones.  These were with Solomon as Seth was off serving a Mormon mission in Utah.  Then, since that time many of the trips from 2008 thru 2013 have included grandchildren in one way or another.  It is wonderful to share these precious moments with my grandchildren as well as my now adult children….

Solomon in Toad Suck, Arkansas June 2007
Solomon in Toad Suck, Arkansas June 2007

In June 2007 my sister in Texas had an old car she wanted to give to my son Solomon as a reward for his obtaining an Eagle Scout (which my son Seth also completed).  So, we took a ride down to Keller to pick up the car and then the two of us drove back to Lexington.  Both ways we found fun on the backroads of America with the following route:


View Larger Map – Kentucky to Texas and Back

This would be a quick trip down and back, but we were determined to have a fun time.  We made our way to Memphis and into Arkansas and continued the drive all the way to Keller, about 1100 miles one way via the route we took.  Along the way we saw a few fun things…

Solomon at the Memphis Egg at the Memphis Visitor's Center, June 2007
Solomon at the Memphis Egg at the Memphis Visitor’s Center, June 2007
Solomon in two states - Texas and Arkansas, Texarkana, Texas June 2007
Solomon in two states – Texas and Arkansas, Texarkana, Texas June 2007

After an evening in Keller we joined my sister and her family for a day trip to Dublin, Granbury and Forth Worth for fun.

Solomon in Dublin, Texas home of the Dr. Pepper Plant in June 2007
Solomon in Dublin, Texas home of the Dr. Pepper Plant in June 2007

After our trips we then headed back home via Paris, Texas and then through Arkansas, Missouri and home.

Eiffel Tower with a Cowboy Hat in Paris, Texas - June 2007
Eiffel Tower with a Cowboy Hat in Paris, Texas – June 2007
Solomon with Popeye in Alma, Arkansas - home of Popeye brand Spinach June 2007
Solomon with Popeye in Alma, Arkansas – home of Popeye brand Spinach June 2007

The Texas trip was a fun short trip, but later in the year we took a second trip together.  This would be perhaps the biggest trip I had ever taken and it was going to be a fun with Solomon, who was 18 at the time. My daughter Amaree had her second child, my grandson Charlie.  As well, my good friend and musician Antsy McClain had shows in southeastern Washington state and I was heading out there to manage those as well.  Overall, the trip would take Solomon and me over about 6000 miles through fourteen states and three Canadian provinces and dozens of sites. We used almost 500 gallons of gasoline and I took over 2000 photos during the trip. (See entire trip post here)

Our Route to Washington and Back - September 2007
Our 6000 mile route to Washington and back – September 2007

The main purpose of this trip was to get to Montana to see my new grandson, but it was also a great opportunity to travel with my youngest son and truly Enjoy the Ride.  We started off early for the Chicago area with the first goal to see the famed “Spindle” sculpture by Dustin Shuler, better known as Cars on a Spike.  This was at the retro Cermak Shopping Plaza in Berwyn, IL.  It is a good thing we visited and got it captured on both photo and video.  In May 2008 it was demolished so a new drug store could go in.

Solomon and "Spindle" by Dustin Shuler, originally at Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, IL. Taken Sept 2007.
Solomon and “Spindle” by Dustin Shuler, originally at Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, IL. Taken Sept 2007

From Chicago we headed north into Wisconsin and then on to Minnesota.  We found lots of quirky offbeat things along the way!!

Solomon with a Big Orange Moose in Black River Falls, WI Sept 2007
Solomon with a Big Orange Moose in Black River Falls, WI Sept 2007
Solomon hanging with James Frank Kotera "JFK" the Twine Ball Man in Lake Nebagamon, WI.  Largest Twine Ball in the World. Sept 2007
Solomon hanging with James Frank Kotera “JFK” the Twine Ball Man in Lake Nebagamon, WI. Largest Twine Ball in the World. Sept 2007
Solomon has picked one of his favorite giant wooden trolls in Mt. Horeb, WI.  There are over 30 in town. Sept 2007
Solomon, an “American Picker”, has picked one of his favorite giant wooden trolls in Mt. Horeb, WI. There are over 30 in town. Sept 2007
Solomon at the Lake Superior Overlook near Duluth, MN
Solomon at the Lake Superior Overlook near Duluth, MN
Near Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota, Solomon found a deer to feed
Near Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota, Solomon found a deer to feed
Solomon riding the Big Fish at Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota - Sept. 2007
Solomon riding the Big Fish at Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota – Sept. 2007

Speaking of BIG FISH – we found the world’s largest Walleye in Baudette, MN

Solomon is dwarfed by the World's Largest Walleye in Baudette, MN Sept 2007
Solomon is dwarfed by the World’s Largest Walleye in Baudette, MN Sept 2007

From Minnesota we ventured into Canada and dove along the Trans-Canada Highway westward towards Alberta.  It continued to be a fun adventure for both of us….

Solomon at the Saskatchewan Provincial Border Sept 2007
Solomon at the Saskatchewan Provincial Border Sept 2007
Solomon at Indiana Head, Saskatchewan Sept 2007
Solomon at Indiana Head, Saskatchewan Sept 2007
Solomon visits with the World's Largest Moose Statue in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Sept 2007
Solomon visits with the World’s Largest Moose Statue in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Sept 2007

I had friends in Alberta and we got to spend a night with Crafty Jack, a guitar maker and joint friend with Antsy McClain.  We got to look at his custom-made trailer shaped guitars…

Solomon with the Trailercana Guitar hand-crafted by Crafty Jack
Solomon with the Trailercana Guitar hand-crafted by Crafty Jack

We also spent some time with Crafty Jack visiting some of the more “unique” sites in Alberta…venturing to go where no man has gone before…

Solomon and Sumoflam become part of the Star Trek gang in Vulcan, Alberta Sept 2007
Solomon and Sumoflam become part of the Star Trek gang in Vulcan, Alberta Sept 2007
A StarStruck "Starship Sol" with some new pals in Vulcan, Alberta Sept. 2007
A StarStruck “Starship Sol” with some new pals in Vulcan, Alberta Sept. 2007
Sol and Sumoflam live long and prosper with the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta Sept 2007
Sol and Sumoflam live long and prosper with the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta Sept 2007

We proceeded to make our way down to Great Falls to see my daughter Amaree and her family, including the newest grandchild Charlie.  During our visit we made our way into the mountains southeast of Great Falls to Kings Hill Pass.  We got a nice family photo high up in the mountains…

The family at Kings Hill Pass near Meagher, MT - Amaree, Charlie, Sumoflam, Kade, Julianne and Solomon - Sept 2007
The family at Kings Hill Pass near Meagher, MT – Amaree, Charlie, Sumoflam, Kade, Julianne and Solomon – Sept 2007

We also made our way north on US 89 to a nice waterfalls called Memorial Falls.  Solomon climbed way up on a cliff…

Climbing up to the top of Memorial Falls in Montana - Julianne, Aaron (son in law), Kade and Solomon - Sept 2007
Climbing up to the top of Memorial Falls in Montana – Julianne, Aaron (son in law), Kade and Solomon – Sept 2007
Solomon up high on a cliff near Memorial Falls in Montana, Sept 2007
Solomon up high on a cliff near Memorial Falls in Montana, Sept 2007

During the time in Great Falls we also visited museums and other fun places with Amaree, Aaron, their two boys and Julianne (who flew out).  But soon Solomon were continuing west to Idaho and Washington.  Along the way we stopped in Couer D’Alene to visit with legendary rock music radio pioneer John Rook.  John was a close family friend of rock guitarist Bobby Cochran (Steppenwolf, Flying Burrito Brothers, Trailer Park Troubadours, Bobby and the Midnites), who was also the nephew of the famous Eddie Cochran (The Summertime Blues and C’mon Everybody).  Bobby is a close friend of mine as well. John Rook was practically family with Eddie.  So, on the encouragement of Bobby we stopped by to say hello to John, see much of his rock and roll memorabilia, including photos with the Rolling Stones and Beatles (see article about his work with the Beatles), groups that he had a major influence in bringing to the U.S. in the 1960s while the Program Director at KQV in Pittsburgh.  It should be noted that Rush Limbaugh and David Letterman count John Rook as a mentor in their careers.

Solomon with Rock and Roll Radio icon John Rook at his home in Couer D'Alene, ID in Sept 2007
Solomon with Rock and Roll Radio icon John Rook at his home in Couer D’Alene, ID in Sept 2007

This was a fun and interesting experience for rock afficianados like Solomon and me.  We ventured further westward to Washington to carry out my work for Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours, which included some road management and logistics management.  After four days of performances in the Tri-Cities and Dayton, Solomon and I headed south into Oregon and a visit to the amazing Hell’s Canyon.

Solomon at the overlook of Hell's Canyon in Oregon - Sept. 2007
Solomon at the overlook of Hell’s Canyon in Oregon – Sept. 2007

From there we went south to Salt Lake City to drop in on my son Seth who was serving a Mormon mission there (yes, there are even Mormon missionaries called to Salt Lake City!!).  It was a great chance for us to visit and have a quick lunch with “Elder Kravetz.”

Visiting "Elder Kravetz" in Sandy, Utah in Sept 2007
Visiting “Elder Kravetz” in Sandy, Utah in Sept 2007

We then finally made our way home through Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and finally into Kentucky.  More unique stops were made along the way…

Solomon with a giant jackalope in Douglas, Wyoming, the "Jackalope Capital of the World" - Sept 2007
Solomon with a giant jackalope in Douglas, Wyoming, the “Jackalope Capital of the World” – Sept 2007
Solomon and his new friend at Ole's Big Game Steakhouse in Paxton, NE - Sept 2007
Solomon and his new friend at Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse in Paxton, NE – Sept 2007

After a long trip, we finally made it home.  This was to be the last of my trips with just my children.  All trips with family (other than with my wife), typically included grandchildren and I even had a few opportunities to be with the grandchildren on solo Grampz/Grandkidz trips.  I now had (and continue to have) the blessing of Creating the Wanderlust in the next generation of my posterity.

The family visits Jakeman's a working Maple Syrup facility near Woodstock, Ontario - July 2008
The family visits Jakeman’s a working Maple Syrup facility near Woodstock, Ontario – July 2008
Adam, Marissa and Joselyn at Lake Victoria in Stratford, Ontario July 2008
Adam, Marissa and Joselyn at Lake Victoria in Stratford, Ontario July 2008

Following are a few shots of my grandchildren as they accompanied me and, in most cases, their parents, on road trips over the last six years…places and dates included…

Autumn - Green Bay Packers in Pink - at Lambeau Stadium in Green Bay, WI Aug. 2012
Autumn – Green Bay Packers in Pink – at Lambeau Stadium in Green Bay, WI Aug. 2012

In August 2012 I joined my daughter Chelsea and my oldest grandchild Autumn on a quick three day trip to Wisconsin.  We planned out the trip for a number of fun adventures in Illinois and Wisconsin. (see my Trip Journal posts beginning here)

Spicing it up at the National Mustard Museum - Middleton, WI
Spicing it up at the National Mustard Museum – Middleton, WI
Chelsea and Autumn follow the Yellow Brick Road at Curtis Orchards in Champagne, IL - Aug 2012
Chelsea and Autumn follow the Yellow Brick Road at Curtis Orchards in Champaigne, IL – Aug 2012
Autumn tackles the “Beast” – a scrap metal sculpture by the late Wally Keller located in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin
Autumn and "Grampz" with the Hodag of Rhinelander, WI
Autumn and “Grampz” with the Hodag of Rhinelander, WI
Chelsea and Autumn know they love Kraft Macaroni at the Kraft plant in Champaign, IL
Chelsea and Autumn know they love Kraft Macaroni at the Kraft plant in Champaign, IL

On that trip we also visited the famed Jurustic Park, a chainsaw totem pole forest, the birthplace of the hamburger, Egg Harbor and the peninsula, and more.  See more here.

Autumn and Savannah (my niece) at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY in Aug. 2009
Autumn and Savannah (my niece) at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY in Aug. 2009
Autumn and Savannah with my sister Sherry and her husband Brian - Aug. 2009
Autumn and Savannah with my sister Sherry and her husband Brian – Aug. 2009

We have also taken Autumn to the Cincinnati Zoo, on a riverboat ride down the Kentucky River and to the Louisville Children’s Museum.

Grandson Kade at the Louisville Children's Museum - Dec. 2012
Grandson Kade at the Louisville Children’s Museum – Dec. 2012

I have four grandchildren living in Shelby, Montana and have not had as many opportunities to travel much with them.  However, their parents (my daughter Amaree and her husband Aaron) have taken my liking to travel and have introduce the wanderlust to their children through visits to California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Nevada, Idaho and even across the country on visits to Kentucky to see us.  I have visited Shelby on three occasions and each time take the kids collectively or individually on small road trips.  Here are a few scenes…

Kade and Charlie, with their Dad Aaron at Leaning Tree Cafe in Babb, MT at the base of Glacier National Park – March 2013
Kade, Charlie and cousin Autumn in the vacuum at Louisville Children's Museum - Dec. 2012
Kade, Charlie and cousin Autumn in the vacuum at Louisville Children’s Museum – Dec. 2012
Charlie at the giant wind farm near Shelby, Montana - Feb. 2012
Charlie at the giant wind farm near Shelby, Montana – Feb. 2012
Olivia at Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, KY - Dec. 2012
Olivia at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville, KY – Dec. 2012
My youngest grandchild Benson with his Dad Aaron at Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, Dec 2012
My youngest grandchild Benson with his Dad Aaron at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville, Dec 2012
Grandson Charlie is dwarfed by the giant penguin in Cut Bank, Montana
Grandson Charlie is dwarfed by the giant penguin in Cut Bank, Montana
Charlie at Jerusalem Rocks in Northern Montana
Charlie at Jerusalem Rocks in Northern Montana

My little granddaughter Joselyn is really quite the traveler and, even at age 6 she is always up for another long drive adventure, especially with Grampz, who she thinks is “funny.” This little girl has probably traveled more in this United States than most kids do by the time they are 18.  Jos has been to Niagara Falls in Canada, Tucson, Omaha, Hilton Head and a gazillion places in between.  Her little brother Landen has accompanied on a couple of trips as well.  Here are a few shots from the last couple of years, including some recent ones.

Little Joselyn hanging with Uncle Solomon at San Xavier del Bac Church in Tucson, Arizona - April 2011
Little Joselyn hanging with Uncle Solomon at San Xavier del Bac Church in Tucson, Arizona – April 2011
Joselyn with her mother at White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico, April 2011
Joselyn with her mother at White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico, April 2011
Joselyn with her cousin Autumn and Second Cousin Savannah at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2010
Joselyn with her cousin Autumn and Second Cousin Savannah at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2010
Joselyn and sister Lyla with Grandma Julianne on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean on Hilton Head Island, April 2013
Joselyn and sister Lyla with Grandma Julianne on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean on Hilton Head Island, April 2013
Joselyn runs on a sand dune at White Sands National Monument in NM
Joselyn runs on a sand dune at White Sands National Monument in NM
Running through the cement corn cobs in Dublin, Ohio July 2011
Running through the cement corn cobs in Dublin, Ohio July 2011
Joselyn makes a visit to Earth (TX) in April 2011
Joselyn makes a visit to Earth (TX) in April 2011
Jos with Grampz at rest area n North Carolina - April 2013
Jos with Grampz at rest area n North Carolina – April 2013
Cussling with an alien in Roswell, New Mexico - April 2011
Cussling with an alien in Roswell, New Mexico – April 2011
Jos and her mother Marissa at Stone Mountain in Georgia, April 2013
Jos and her mother Marissa at Stone Mountain in Georgia, April 2013
Joselyn at Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Sept. 2013
Joselyn at Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Sept. 2013
Holding a butterfly at the Butterfly House near St. Louis
Holding a butterfly at the Butterfly House near St. Louis
Joselyn and Landen at Antique Archaeology, home of American Pickers TV Show in LeClaire, IA - Sept. 2013
Joselyn and Landen at Antique Archaeology, home of American Pickers TV Show in LeClaire, IA – Sept. 2013
Jos and Landen at Gothic House in Eldon, IA - Sept 2013
Jos and Landen at Gothic House in Eldon, IA – Sept 2013
Joselyn as a baby at Niagara Falls with her parents in July 2008
Joselyn as a baby at Niagara Falls with her parents in July 2008

Of course, Landen is not totally exempt from all of this either…he is catching the bug!!

Landen with the Transformer "Bumblebee" at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis (told you he "caught the bug") - Sept 2013
Landen with the Transformer “Bumblebee” at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis (told you he “caught the bug”) – Sept 2013
Landen with a butterfly at the Butterfly House near St. Louis (caught the bug again!!)
Landen with a butterfly at the Butterfly House near St. Louis (caught the bug again!!)
Landen goes Dutch in Pella, Iowa - Sept. 2013
Landen goes Dutch in Pella, Iowa – Sept. 2013
Landen with the corn cobs in Dublin, Ohio, July 2011
Landen with the corn cobs in Dublin, Ohio, July 2011
Landen the beach bum at Cave Run Lake, KY in June 2013
Landen the beach bum at Cave Run Lake, KY in June 2013
Landen and Joselyn visit their Great Aunt Nicole in Cleveland, OH July 2011
Landen and Joselyn visit their Great Aunt Nicole in Cleveland, OH July 2011

Jos and Landen have a little sister Lyla who has also turned out to be a good traveler having gone to South Carolina and Georgia on one trip and then on a trip to Nebraska in September.

Lyla follows in the footsteps of her cousin Autumn by following the Yellow Brick Road Champaign, IL
Lyla follows in the footsteps of her cousin Autumn by following the Yellow Brick Road Champaign, IL
Lyla rides the old 1930s St. Louis Carousel in Sept. 2013
Lyla rides the old 1930s St. Louis Carousel in Sept. 2013
Sumoflam teaches granddaughter Lyla how to drive the backroads of America at an early age
Sumoflam teaches granddaughter Lyla how to drive the backroads of America at an early age

Only one grandchild has not really traveled much with us though he has traveled with his father Seth and his mother Holly.  That is little Rockwell, our blonde cutie….

Grampz and RockE
Grampz and RockE
Rockwell in West Chester, OH - 2012
Rockwell in West Chester, OH – 2012

Of course, as time goes on I will continue to Enjoy the Ride on trips on the backroads and will do it, not just as a good father, but also as a helluva grandfather!!

Sumoflam - Enjoy the Ride
Sumoflam – Enjoy the Ride
Sumoflam - An Okay Parent
Sumoflam – An Okay Parent
Sumoflam - Helluva Grandparent
Sumoflam – Helluva Grandparent

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