Author Archives: Mark

We interrupt this program…

#bethsdriver here. Just want to take a second to let you all know there has been an emergency that will affect the blog. We were in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula when there was a family medical emergency in California. We traveled 5 long days and are now in CA with the family. The emergency has been resolved but there will be some recovery and follow up issues. #explorerbeth has lots more to write about and will probably be back at it soon. As she has put out things like clock work I wanted to explain the hitch. Thanks so much for all of you who have been following and stay tuned as there will be more to come.

EB 1

#Bethsdriver here. I get a kick out of telling people “You know I really don’t like to travel.” I never have. But I always then follow up with “But I really like going places with Beth.” #Explorerbeth (too long to type so EB from now on) has always had her explorer heart. Travel and exploring has been a continuous passion since I have known her (married 43 years today!). So when it came time to think about retirement going on the road seemed a logical next step.

We have been on the road now about 21 months (643 days but EB likes months better). In that time we have seen and done a lot. We have taken over 36,000 pictures. I have gone through and looked at some of my favorite subject, EB. Me taking pictures of her taking pictures is a favorite pastime. So, I am going to post a few and hopefully they will be entertaining.

Her passion for this life we are living now is a delight. We both feel very fortunate to able to do what we are doing. Beth loves exploring and I love Exploring With Beth.

I’ll just put a few in no particular order. Can’t do too many because I constantly hound her to keep the articles short. But there may be more (You see the title is EB 1, to be followed by 2,3 and who knows?).

Banding humming birds in Arizona
On the Blue Riidge in Virginia
Well, Texas of course!
The desert
Sunsets,. one of her favorites
Waterfalls, another favorite
Saguaros, a favorite among favorites
Any danger for a good shot
My favorite. Frantically deleting pictures on her full phone to make room for the next.

I hope these have been fun. There are a lot more, I stopped at 100 in my album. Maybe I’ll post a few more from time to time.

We appreciate all you who take the time to check out the blog. EB puts a lot of effort, and really enjoys putting it out.

I have to hurry and get this out because she says she has one about ready to go and I can’t get in her way. Bye.

In the flight path

#bethsdriver here. The park we are staying at right now, and I think our space in particular is right in the flight path of both the local international airport and an Air Force base. We came to Tucson to visit and give a little more time for the Midwest to thaw out before heading that way. We were soon introduced to a constant stream of aircraft overhead. They are noisy, especially the military aircraft, but it is kind of a generic, almost pleasant noise.

I can almost hear the air-traffic controller…”That’s affirmative niner-one, just line up on that smaller travel trailer with the red truck next to it and bring it in straight and low.” What is interesting is that these Air Force planes (or more likely their grandfathers) actually played a big part in my life.

My father was stationed here at Davis-Monthan Air Base as a young man back in the 50’s. He got out and settled back in West Virginia. I have an older brother who had terrible asthma when he was younger and doctors told my parents that he would not survive unless they could get him to a better climate. My parents packed us up and moved back to Tucson as they were familiar with the area and the climate was favorable.

Is that a bomb?

So rather than growing up a proper hillbilly I grew up in the desert. I lived here until I was 19 years old and joined the army, right about the same time a young lady left her home in Southern California to join up. It didn’t take me long to realize what I had, so I snatched her up and have been driving her ever since.

Do we really need the name?

Some things are familiar, but Tucson has changed a lot since I left. We are staying in a “mega park” which is also interesting. I’m sure #explorerbeth will have more to say about that later on.

The planes really made me think about how events in our lives evolve. I think about how much different my life could have been if not for the planes. It also made me think about how glad I am it wasn’t!

I hope to pitch in and do an article or two in the future, and we are still working to learn videoing so you can see a little more of Beth. We set up a YouTube channel and actually have a short test piece posted. If you google expwithb FirstCut you can see it. It is pretty rough as I have a lot to learn.

So thanks again for reading! We have a little more time here in Tucson before we hit the road and head north. It would be great if you follow along with us.

Video Test 2

The dancing clip seems maybe too long. I found another and trimmed it down to about 10 seconds. I’ll give it a try. It is Beth taking an archery lesson, yes, you heard right, in Maine. Let’s see if it hits the target?

Again let me know if/how it works. Thanks. By the way it is slow motion. Wanted to capture her in all her glory.

Video Testing – It’s alive!

One of the things (I hope) we can do now is put video on the blog, so I want to give it a test. It is kind of a complex process so it might take a few tries and adjustments. This one is kind of wacky. It is a sample of flat foot dancing at a jam session in Appalachia. We haven’t done many videos so not much of a selection. This one is about the length I want to try, about 30 seconds. If it does seem to work I will leave it up. I’d appreciate it if you could give a quick feedback as to how it works for you. Plays ok? Has sound? Whatever? No comments needed on the dancing, I have my own thoughts on that.

Wish me luck.

Testing and a note

Hello there and Happy New Year. Mark here with a little test and note about some changes. We use a program called Word Press to put out the blog. It is probably the most used platform for blogs, They have jut made some big changes to the program. It will not change what you see much, but the whole back end we use to make the blog is now different. So, we will have to do some learning and growing. A glitch or two might sneak in and we may have to do some testing from time to time.

Thanks again for all who are following us as we explore!

Checking out a lighthouse

I’ll throw in a pic of Beth to test adding pics.

Thanks again for looking!

testing

Testing connection to facebook.  We are looking at how to connect Beth’s travel blog to facebook.  Please be patient while we fiddle.  Thanks.

The long lens.

Only one more day tomorrow in southern Louisiana!  The time is just flying.  Today we took a drive over to Lake Charles then down along the coast.  As it promised some possible birding I took along my (kind of) new long lens.

Beth is really the birder.  I can tell if something is a bird or not more times than not, but my knowledge doesn’t go much further than that.  I do like to take pictures though and birds make a fun challenging subject.  Small birds in the trees are tough.

We saw some pretty cool stuff today so I thought I’d put up a few pictures.

We still don’t have any editing software going so these pics are right out of the camera.  No edits, no crops.

This one I am pretty sure is not a bird, but I get a kick out of seeing them.  There weren’t many around Modesto.

Two shots for this guy.

And finally, still my favorite, a picture of Beth taking a picture. The rare Northern California Wanderer.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for the next episode in Beth’s Epic tale of exploration.

Welcome Tammy! Glad to see you here.

3 months Louisiana and alligators

Three months on the road! Our house closed on August 25 and we set out.  We have seen a lot in our three months and are now finishing up two weeks in Lafayette, Louisiana with two more (at least) to go.  It was a beautiful day today and we headed out to a garden and got a look at our first live, wild alligators.

I tried to get her in close enough for an action shot, but no good.  She turned down the walk earlier also through the angry buffalo?  Low impact travel I guess.

She is typing away on another article and has lots and lots to share.  We are having lots of fun and are glad you are along with us! Thanks for reading!

 

Goodbye Arkansas, Hello Louisiana!

Hello there!  I haven’t posted for a while so I thought I would put up a quick update.  I don’t want to steal anything from Beth’s epic tale of exploration and adventure so I will stay pretty general.  We are just finishing up a week in Little Rock and our third week in Arkansas (and winding up 12 weeks on the road).  Tomorrow we break camp and head for Lafayette, Louisiana.

Arkansas has been a lot of fun and as usual there are many more things here we’d like to see but it is time to move on.  Beth has been busy exploring and taking pictures to post.  We got a new set up so we can put our pictures up on a tv screen while she does her choosing.  She takes lots and lots of pictures so picking out a few can be a chore!

Her karma continues to hold up and things are still going smoothly.  Her biggest challenge is still her sometimes cantankerous driver.  Tomorrow’s drive will be our longest in a while and we have booked our first park in Louisiana for a whole month.  It should be interesting!

As always thanks for reading!  Next stop Cajun country!