What we saw in 2022

The year 2022 was a very unique time for Roadtirement and, frankly, the entire country. The pandemic fears had greatly decreased and in lots of ways daily life seemed to be back to close to “normal”.  We did have many enjoyable trips in 2022. Here is a quick snapshot of some of those adventures.

Mom says it is time to go

As we predicted last year in July, our travels were altered to include more trips closer to home, and of shorter durations. We did, however, truly enjoy these shorter jaunts and like many,  we discovered many interesting attractions close to home.

Round barn built in 1910

This barn’s Mail Pouch paint job is fading fast.

 

 

 

 

 

Maj really got into visiting historic covered bridges. Indiana is known for the large number of these beautiful structures. There are several different types of bridge truss systems, and we found several different ones as we ventured around central and southern Indiana an Ohio. Some of the old iron bridges are also interesting pieces of history, and they are disappearing quickly.

Beautiful white reconstructed bridge

The Burr-Arch truss system

Closed to road traffic in 1996, it is now open only to foot traffic.

Howe truss system

Abandoned iron bridge

We also enjoyed going to cemeteries. The history represented in both large and small cemeteries can be very fascinating. Some are part of church properties, others are on land not part of any structure at all. We came across several interesting cemeteries as well as many many fascinating monuments and headstones.

White Bronze metal monument

View through a gate

Hope you enjoyed this look back at Roadtirement’s 2022. We’ll keep you updated as 2023 progresses. 

My conversation with Crow

The other day I was in our daughter’s backyard (near Seattle) taking photos of some of the leather medicine bags that I have been making while Sher and I have been staying with her, her husband and our 8 year old grandson.

My personal medicine bag trimmed with the colors of the 4 directions, a silver feather and a gift from the sea.

While I was arranging another leather medicine bag for photos, I heard a loud “caw-caw” from somewhere up the street. Almost immediately a large black crow landed in a small tree about 15 yards away. Crow then began to “talk” to me with varying tones and volume. I responded to him, and thanked him for sharing his space with me.

Crow and I shared space and spirit together for several minutes. Sharing time with animals is so inspiring to me, and I consider them exceptional opportunities to relish the chance to be at one with animals, Nature and Earth.  I asked him if I could take an image of him. Crow did not want his image taken, and he flew off as we said our farewells.

My gift of an apple

I cut some pieces from an apple for me, and then I took the rest of the apple and put it in the tree where Crow had been perched while we conversed. It is always a nice gesture to leave a gift whenever you have contact with Nature. When I have been gifted by Nature with stones, feathers, shells or even a leaf or flower I always leave a gift in thanks for the find.

Black Onyx Crow figure from Peru is 2 3/4 inches tall

A couple of days ago we all went to a wonderful gem and mineral store in Snohomish. I needed to get some sage for cleansing and smudging ceremonies. In this store I was immediately drawn to a display of beautiful carved crows made of black onyx that had been imported from Peru. I was strongly drawn to one and he went home with me. My conversation with Crow to me reinforced that the black onyx Peruvian crow was supposed to be. Yes, I believe Crow joining me for a bit was indeed an omen.

Double rainbow

The double rainbow has been revered throughout history and by many cultures as a sign of good luck, prosperity, love, connection of Earth and Heaven and other Spiritual meanings. It is a remarkable phenomena of Nature and you are fortunate when you witness a double rainbow in the sky.

Some squirrel scenes

Here’s some squirrel action we observed on the tree in our backyard.

This nut tastes pretty good, glad I found it.

There must be something to eat around here

The squirrels were out in force this afternoon enjoying the sunlight, even though it was chilly and windy with a definite feel of fall in the air.

Indiana fall colors

Indiana has beautiful displays of changing fall colors. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fully changed trees are just stunning to see.


Fall is a most beautiful time of year in Indiana. My grandfather loved to travel and took trips several times a year. Granddaddy would never travel in October, thus would never miss the seasonal colors he loved so much.

Beautiful Snoqualmie Falls

One of the most popular attractions in the Seattle area is the Snoqualmie Falls, a 269 foot single drop waterfall. The falls are near the town of Snoqualmie, which also offers interesting attractions to tourists and locals alike.

View from the observation deck

The area became an active logging site in the 1870’s with logs actually floated over the falls. In 1889 a railroad was built, opening the logging trade further. The town of Snoqualmie was platted in 1889 as well, and by the 1890’s Charles Baker had constructed an underground hydroelectric plant at the falls. Some of the original generators still function today.

 

 

 

 

It is very easy to gain access to the falls. Free parking is available, and an easy walk on the pedestrian bridge leads to the concrete paths to observation decks. If you prefer, for $7.00 you can park next to the gift shop next to the observation decks.

Beautiful scenery from the deck

Salish Lodge, note the wedding tent

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Salish Lodge and Spa offers high end accommodations, spa, and dining. Many use the striking views as a place for weddings. It overlooks the river, the generating plant and the top of the falls.

We just liked this photo

The walk to the observation decks is easy with only a couple of places with widely spaced steps. There were quite a few people enjoying the sights, but we felt comfortable and not crowded. The layout was very nice, and all of the paved paths and safety fencing was kept in excellent condition. It is easy to see why Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington state’s most popular scenic attractions.

 

Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge and 1.5 million bats

Back before the pandemic we were visiting our family in Austin. We all took a day trip to San Antonio one Sunday, and planned to see the bats of Austin that evening. This is a recap of that adventure.

Who would think that a winged visitor from Mexico would make such a splash in downtown Austin, Texas. Such is the story of the Free-tailed bat. These critters migrate to Austin in March and stay through November. The colony spends each day under the Congress Avenue Bridge and emerges en-mass at sunset. This daily event has become a famous local attraction in Austin.

View of the watercraft waiting for the bats

Mexican Free-tailed bat

We planned to see the bats after a day in San Antonio. Because it was a Sunday, free street parking was available if you could find it. A ten dollar garage was well worth the cost. When we got there I needed a restroom and found one at a great restaurant a block away. The restaurant staff where we had supper knew exactly what time the bats would emerge. After supper we walked the two blocks to the bridge. Because it was Sunday the crowds were not large and we walked right up to the bridge rail for a great view.

The bat colony takes flight

A viewing deck was on the river bank for a look up at the bridge. A wide variety of tour boats, canoes and kayaks were in place on the water of Lady Bird Lake waiting to see the show. And what a show it was! The first bats started to fly about 10 minutes before sunset. It didn’t take long for hundreds of thousands of bats to fly out from under the bridge. The sky was filled with masses of bats! It looked like they were flying along the river. Before the Congress Avenue Bridge was built where did the colony of bats spend daylight hours?