Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Back in Colorful Colorado

It's been an eventful week. We left Fort Myers early last Tuesday morning to begin our drive home to Colorado. On the way we made several stops.

The Disney Wilderness Preserve is just to the south of Orlando and we decided it was a good place to stop for a walk. There were dozens of wild turkeys near the entrance. This huge Tom Turkey was proud to show off his magnificent feathers.

These two Wood Storks were hunting for fish in a small pond along the trail.

The well-marked trail took us through a variety of habitats. The purple thistles were in full bloom.

The trail lead to Russel Lake with these beautiful old growth trees. Unfortun-ately, I didn't see any ducks.

It was quite warm and Bill stopped to sit for a moment to enjoy the view of the lake.

Further down the trail Bill took this wonderful picture of a Dragonfly. My close-up pictures usually don't turn out as good as his do.

There was evidence of a brush fire in one of the meadows - and the new life that springs forth afterwards.
At the end of our first day on the road, we stopped outside Charleston, SC for the night.

Further up the coast - still in South Carolina - we stopped at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge - and were eaten alive by all the bugs! This barn swallow was trying to keep the bug population at a minimum - but was not even making a dent. They were everywhere! Needless-to-say, we did not stay long!

It was Spring on Pawleys Island. The Wisteria was beautiful - as were the Dogwoods and the Azaleas.

While we were taking these pictures, a nice young man came by and we asked him if the near-by hot dog place was a good place to stop for lunch. He told us to go a little further down the road to the intersection of Ocean Highway and Archer Road and find the Litchfield Restaurant. We did - and boy was it good! Bill had the liver and onions and I had the fried chicken. I'm sure neither of our meals were on our approved diet list - but oh well.

Our destination on Wednesday was Kure Beach where my sister has a beautiful new home just a block from the beach. We took the Fort Fisher Ferry from Southport to Pleasure Island where Kure Beach is located.

The ferry landed near the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area. These trees looked like the wind was blowing 100 miles an hour!

Kure Beach is a beautiful residential community with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Cape Fear River to the west. The beaches have very few shells - but lots of nice sand and shore birds. The word is out and the older homes are quickly being replaced with expensive new ones.

This common Laughing Gull is in full mating plumage - his winter clothes.

We had a great visit with Beth and husband Warren, oldest daughter Lisa and their four cute furry cats. I can't believe I don't have any pictures of them!

On Friday, Beth, Warren, Bill and I went to the River Walk in Wilmington NC. Bill took this picture of a Coast Guard Ship as a tug boat lead it to the dock.

Across the river was the Battleship North Carolina. We went over to take a closer look and eat our picnic lunch.

While we were eating, the Jo Oak, a HUGE chemical transport ship came down the river. They had to open the drawbridge for it to pass.

Wilmington is a beautiful city - with lots to see and do - but we had to get back to Kure Beach. Bill cooked a delicious Gulf Shrimp dinner and we played a competitive game of dominoes.

Lisa arrived later that evening and it was great to spend some time with her. She has become a beautiful young woman. Sis did good.

By noon on Saturday we said our good-byes and we were on our way to visit an old friend of Bill's.

Fred and Bill worked together in the Azores and again in Germany. Our visit was short - but very nice.

Even the rest stops along the interstates have something to see. This gorgeous cardinal was sitting in a tree overlooking the picnic area.

The next two days were gruelling. Bill did most of the driving. The winds were howling and it was difficult keeping the car on the road.

This is our first view of Colorado taken while in New Mexico. It was good to see the mountains again.

As we got closer, we saw this sign "Wrong Way" with Colorado in the distance. Was this a message that we were coming home too early? Should we have stayed where it was warm? I guess time will tell!

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