Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Featured Trail: Ft. Harrison SRA


  • Scenic and Shady
  • Both flat and hilly portions.
  • Wide & Paved portions.
  • Occasional benches.
  • Overlooks, shelters, & parking.


  • 4-5 dollar admission.
  • Hilly.
  • Parking at only one end [not at the Duck Pond].
Description of Hiking Trails***   [***from DNR literature ]
"Harrison Trace Trail: EASY — 2.5 mile loop via Duck Pond.This is an asphalt surface trail intended for walkers, bicyclists, and joggers. The trail begins at the Delaware Lake Picnic Area. After passing Delaware Lake, the trail follows the rolling upland above Fall Creek. Although the trail is graded and paved, it is not flat. Much of the trail is tree covered and wildflowers grow next to the walking surface all season long. This is the easiest route to Duck Pond. Fall Creek Trail: MODERATE — 1.1 miles to Duck Pond. Start this trail at the northeast corner of the Delaware Lake Picnic Area. The trail follows the lowlands along Fall Creek and then heads uphill as it nears Duck Pond. Overall distance can be shortened or varied by taking one of the three cut-off trails that connect to the Harrison Trace Trail. Excellent for birding, fishing access, wildflower and tree identification. Camp Creek Trail: MODERATE — 1.0 mile to Duck Pond. Pick up this trail at the northeast side of Delaware Lake as it branches from the Harrison Trace Trail. The trail follows a woodland ravine, then climbs to the upland forest. This is the choice for the earliest spring flowers, and a wide variety of trees."
For other trails south of Schafter Rd. check back here regularly or be sure to get a map from the ranger when entering the park.

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Several well mapped trails and traces: all cross each other so you can choose an unpaved circular [hiking] route or a paved circular [walking] route or a combination of both. The first time out I say my first 'peleated woodpeckers', there were two of them and they were huge! I had never seen woodpeckers like these or this big but when I first saw them all of a sudden the cartoon character 'Woody Woodpecker' made since to me.

If you take the paved Harrison Trace [blue] from the Cherry Tree parking lot around both the Delaware Lake and Duck Pond you have a 2.5 mile trek with an elevation of 75ft. By taking a counterclockwise direction you have a steeper rise with a slow decline; by going clockwise you have the opposite. You can add .91 miles to your distance each way if you start the Harrison Trace at its origin west [brown] of the lakes on Scafter Rd. This stretch is flat but with no shade.
If you take the full unpaved Fall Creek Trail [red] from the Delaware Lake Picnic Area parking lot and connect to the Camp Creek Trail [green] you will end up on the lower portion of the Harrison Trace Trail [blue] where you can return to the starting point via the Harrison Trace Trail. This route is shady and has a long flat area with gradual inclines and is about 2.1+ miles. It has timber overlooks along Fall Creek but does not encounter Delaware Lake. Washouts or 'runoffs' demonstrate natural erosions all along the route.
There are several other cutoff trails that connect the various trails. I haven't taken any of the trails south of Scafter Rd. yet, but these three are so nice it will be awhile before I finish exploring them.

[SRA: State Recreation Area]


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cruising: My Favorites

Best on shore excursion:

  1. Dunn's River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Phil Lafayette
  2. Zip-Line Canopy Tour, Roatan, Honduras
  3. Jet Ski, Coco Cay Island, Bahamas: Royal Caribbean [Sorry, no pictures.]
  4. Sting Ray City, Grand Cayman Island: Native Water Sports
  5. Stewards Cove Snorkeling, Bahamas: Swimming with the sharks
  6. Tubing White River, Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Phil Lafayette
  7. White Water Rafting, Limon, Costa Rica
  8. Panama Canal Excursion, Colon, Panama
  9. White Knuckle Thrill Ride, Key West, FL.
  10. Gatorland, Orlando, Florida
  11. Three Reef Snorkel, Cozumel, Mexico
  12. Mayan Cave Tour, Belize
  13. Port Calica, Mexico: Lagoon Snorkeling, Ceynote Snorkeling, Swimming with the Sea Turtles, Zip Line
  14. ATV Jungle Adventure, Cozumel, Mexico
  15. Jungle Queen River Boat, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  16. Ruins of Tulum, Cozumel, Mexico

Best Entertainment:

  1. Holiday [Carnival]: Multi talented Cruise Director was surprisingly talented. Great floorshow and comedians.
  2. Freedom [Carnival]: Great floorshow and comedians.  Big Screen TV on Promenade Deck

Best Food:

  1. Sovereign of the Seas [Royal Caribbean]: The buffet seemed to always be open, variety & flavor
  2. Shockies, Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Jerk Pork, Chicken and Festival Bread
  3. Jungle Queen River Boat, Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Chicken, Ribs, Cole Slaw [not to thrilled with the Shrimp though]
  4. Rays Rum Point, Grand Cayman: Hot Wings and Fries
  5. Freedom [Carnival]: But do you not have a burger on the room service menu?
  6. Triumph [Carnival]

Best Bingo:

  1. MS Holiday [Carnival]: c’mon Becka… When this girl inevitably makes Cruise Director the world of Bingo will suffer a great loss, and I’m not just saying that because We won on the first three days of the cruise.
  2. Freedom [Carnival]
  3. Sovereign of the Seas [Royal Caribbean]
  4. Triumph [Carnival]

Best Casino:

  1. Sovereign of the Seas [Royal Caribbean]: Live dealer at the Texas Hold’em table, daily hold’em tournament.  Carnival and their electronic ‘Poker Pro’ is more like staying home and playing on the internet than being in a Casino.

Best Ship:

  1. Sovereign of the Seas [Royal Caribbean]
  2. Freedom [Carnival]
  3. MS Holiday [Carnival]
  4. Triumph [Carnival]

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chicago and Los Angeles: Amtrak 2012


Take in the Grandeur of the American West on an Adventure between Chicago and Los Angelesimage

The Amtrak Southwest Chief runs daily between Chicago and Los Angeles, through the vast expanse of the fabled American West.

You'll be mesmerized by this region's beauty and allure. We'll take you across the mighty Mississippi through eight states—past wheat fields and ranches, missions and pueblos, mountains and deserts. Carving through curving canyon passages only a few feet wider than the train itself, you'll see spectacular landscapes and pristine vistas not visible from interstate highways.


2012 trip to and from Los Angeles for 2012 APWU National Convention.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bear Encounter: Behind the scene visit at the Indianapolis Zoo.

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Since these videos and pictures were taken both Kodiak bears have died.  Both were already advanced in age when the Indianapolis Zoo received them as in one clip you can hear the trainer talking about how one of them sometimes has bad days and doesn't want to leave the indoor enclosure.


    Be sure to visit our post from our ‘behind the scenes’ access to the Walrus Exhibit.