Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Handmade Hiking Sticks

A couple of weeks ago we were hiking and geocaching at Kentucky Lake and we all picked up different sticks along the trail that we were using as hiking poles.  Go check out the story here.


We liked the cool shapes and colors of the sticks we had picked up, so we decided to keep them.  They were all very strong and sturdy, yet lightweight.  The bark had naturally peeled off of all of them and the wood was worn smooth.  We wiped them down and then simply applied a couple of layers of polyurethane to each one.  Now they are sitting at the lake house, just waiting for our next hiking adventure.


I like the way they look, sitting there in the old minnow bucket.

Friday, April 18, 2014

LBL Cache #3 - Edsel

Our recent geocaching trip to the Kentucky Lakes LBL region had us in hot pursuit of several good geocaches, two of which I highlighted here and here.  The third cache, and my favorite of the day, was named Turkey Bay ATV Series - Edsel.

My last post left off with us starting down this steep and rocky ATV trail....


 Is this a centipede?  Can you see it?  I've never seen a yellow one before....


There was a steady stream of ATV's and motor bikes zooming up and down the trails.  That really looked like fun.  Plus it had rained the day before so everything was rather muddy and they were kicking up mud everywhere.  You can just make out another ATV coming down the hill on the right side of the picture....
 

Then off and up the next hill they went....


Up ahead we spotted the remains of an old Edsel and the location of the geocache....


Isn't this crazy, out in the middle of nowhere?  There's a geocache hidden someplace in this vicinity...


Kyle playing mechanic....



Chablis pretending she is driving away with the car....


Ok, I had just misplaced my camera lens cover right before Chablis took this picture.  So I am smiling and literally thinking to myself "Where the heck did I lose that damn lens cap?  I can't believe I dropped it someplace.  What the heck."  I was so pissed off and then I found it in my back pocket.  Idiot!


The side door panel had this cool label imprinted on it...


Isn't the dashboard great?  I just loved this shot!  Look at all that rust....


After we found the cache and my lens cover, we had to decide which way to head back to the car.  I opted for back up the hill and retrace our steps the way we came.  Kyle and Chablis voted for hugging the shoreline and seeing if we could avoid the steep climbs.  I told Kyle to lead the way and off he went....


We almost made it all the way back and then ran smack dab into a marsh that we couldn't cross or walk around.  The parking lot is literally 100 yards across this bay, but the water was way too deep to walk across.  I think Chablis may have shed a tear....


Our only option, other than a complete back track, was straight up.  And I mean up!


Half way up the hill we found a random destroyed building.  Of course Chablis had to climb around on it....


Poor Kyle was starving.  I threw a ClifBar at him and he's sitting here thinking, "Yummmmm,  ClifBar.  This is so good."  LOL!


Chablis just sat and laughed at him.


Here we are headed back to the parking lot.  This was the original hill we had to climb at the very beginning of our journey on our way to the old tanker geocache....


I love the way these fungus grow.  Does anyone know if this is the kind that you can cook and eat?  What are they called?


Believe me when I tell you Kyle was hungry.  He practically ran the last block to the car.  It was a fun morning in the woods.  Total time was about 3 1/2 hours.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Norman Rockwell Prints

I'm a big fan of Norman Rockwell.  He was a famous 20th century painter and illustrator whose works graced the covers of The Saturday Evening Post Magazine, Look Magazine and the Boy Scouts of America.  I liked the simplicity of his work, and how he depicted the American culture at that time.

Last year I found a book at the library book sale about Norman Rockwell and it has dozens of prints of his illustrations.  It cost me a quarter!  That was a quarter well spent.  I've since carefully removed many of my favorite paintings and framed them to hang at the lake house.  Most of my favorites have something to do with water or the scouts.

"The Stay at Homes" is my absolute favorite print and I could never find a copy of it anyplace.  Imagine how thrilled I was to see this on the last page of that library book I bought.


This "No Swimming" print is a cute one and I especially like it because Norman revisited the idea many years later and did another illustration of the same boys, all grown up.  How cute is that?



I have these prints hanging in the lake house bathroom....


And here's the print of the boy scout that I liked so much....


These are just a few of my favorites that I have hanging around the house.  Are you familiar with Norman Rockwell?  Which ones do you remember and like?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

LBL Cache #2 - The Silo

On our recent LBL caching trip we did a couple of great hiking geocaches.  I told you about one of them here.  The next cache on the list was the Turkey Bay ATV Series - The Silo. 

The Turkey Bay area of LBL has 2500 acres put aside for OHV's (off highway vehicles).  They have almost 100 miles of trails in a variety of terrains and skill levels.  Talk about fun!

As we hiked to the cache area we passed a dozen people on ATV's and motor bikes, out enjoying the trails and having a great time.  Everyone slowed down when they approached us, giving us a wide berth and a friendly wave.  Once we reached the cache area, we came upon the remains of an old silo....


The silo made for a fun photo opportunity....


Then we split up and began looking for the cache....


The GPS pointed that-a-way....



I sat and pondered the view and the hike we almost had to make to the cache.  I counted my lucky stars that we approached it from a different direction and saved my legs and back from that brutal climb....


We made the find, signed the log, checked the GPS and headed off down this trail towards the next cache.  More to come....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Repurposed Cutting Board

Do you remember when I picked up this great, but extremely beat up, cutting board at an estate sale?  It was badly scratched and I could tell it had been used a great deal.  But that's not a bad thing.  Check it out...


 
The thing I liked about it was that it had good color, a great shape and it was super heavy.  A light bulb went off in my head and I decided to spend the 50 cents on it and take it home.
 
The very first thing I did was scrub the heck out of it with soft scrub and bleach, then I ran it through the dish washer and then I set it outside to dry really good in the sun.  After it had dried I took my electric sander to it and completely sanded down both sides and all the edges.  After another good scrubbing, I pulled out my wood burner and did this....
 
 


Afterwards I decided to tie some twine on it and now it's hanging in the kitchen at the Lake house.  Kind of awesome, don't you think?  I'll be on the lookout for more of these.




Monday, April 14, 2014

LBL Cache #1

When I look for caches to do, I'm always looking for ones that have something interesting about them.  Either they have to be in an historical location, have an unusual cache container or there might be something fun to see or do at the cache location itself.

We recently did a couple of caches at the LBL (Land Between the Lakes) area in Kentucky.  The LBL is a National Recreation Area that extends between Kentucky and Tennessee.  Rich in history pertaining to the Civil War, the area was then controversial with the development of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the subsequent condemnation of land and removal of area farmers in order to impound the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers so they could form Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.  The area then became known as the Land Between the Lakes and attractions were added such as the Nature Center, a buffalo range, The Homeplace farm, and hundreds of miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping.  Today it's a beautiful area dedicated to many different types of outdoors activities.

One of the caches that I chose was LBL Cache.  I picked this cache along with 2 others because they were in an area of the LBL that we had never explored before, it was going to be a strenuous hike to get to all three of them and there was something cool to see at each location.

First up was this cache and when we left from the parking area there was a nice wide trail leading to the top of a hill.  We started up the trail but my GPS quickly pointed off to the right, so we found a narrow side trail and began following that.  Within 300 feet we were directed off trail and started some serious bush-wacking up a steep incline.  I feel bad that I don't have any pictures to show you of this part, but I was too busy trying to stay on my feet, not slide backwards down the hill and follow the GPS.  Grabbing my camera was not an option at this point.  Let's just say it was treacherous and Chablis actually broke her aluminum hiking pole in the process  - it snapped right in half.  Man down!

Here's some photo's of what we just climbed up....




Once we scrambled to the top of the hill, we had a nice view of the lake and bay below us.  Since all the trees haven't leafed out yet, the view was pretty clear....


We looked around and quickly located the cache - I mean, first things first, right?  Then we turned our attention to this old, rusted tanker nearby.  It really makes one wonder how in the world an oil tanker came to be abandoned at the very top of an extremely steep hill.  We all took turns climbing around on it.



 My GPS was bouncing around like crazy up there, so I sat on top of the tanker and waited for it to settle down so I could determine which way to head for the next geocache.


We have to go that way.....


 
We gathered up all our stuff and headed west.  More to come.....
 
Land Between the Lakes is located in western Kentucky and Tennessee.  Check it out next time you're in the area.  There is plenty to see and do.






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