Give Me A Break!

Give Me A Break!

Often, when we travel, we do not stop very long in one place because we are trying to collect as many counties as possible and this means a lot of distance has to be covered in a short amount of time. This means that often all we see of a town is the courthouse and the travel center, gas station or restaurant. But is this really enough for those long 400-1,000 mile trip.  We decided a couple of months ago, we were going to do more than just a quick stop at a gas station and call it good. There needed to be more movement and less spending of money; it would help our health days after a trip and save our wallet. But how were we going to do this without looking like those strange people who pile out of their vehicles and do yoga at every rest stop they come to? A plan needed to be made; even if it wasn’t a planned plan.

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Scott doing the Pirate Rum Stretch at Petit Jean State Park
Because we are driving across counties to learn about them, their people, and cultures, we felt we needed to start spending just a bit more time seeing what made each county special. This has caused us to find some pretty unique things in the places we visit. We do not really plan more than a destination and a basic route there. There really is not a plan as to where to stop for a driving break, we just allow Serendipity to do what she wants. Since we started doing this, we have found some of the most amazing places and events.

Standing in awe of a true national treasure.
We had taken a planned trip to the Black Mesa State Park in the panhandle of Oklahoma, the most western park in the state. Since Scott could not get dark sky photos due to clouds, he wanted to go see the mountains in nearby New Mexico. Thinking this would be a day trip, we headed to Cimarron, New Mexico. To our surprise, there was a National Scenic Drive, a National Monument, a National Forest, and two State Parks just west in the mountains. We went and ended up taking the Enchanted Circle Drive finding a rather wonderful place to stop and stretch our legs. About three miles west of Taos was the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and we were going to drive across the bridge over the gorge. This is the second highest bridge in the United States and we just happened to need a break and it was the perfect spot to do so. We ended up staying overnight in Eagle Nest, which was a wonderful opportunity to rest in itself.

What a surprise to find a museum about the beginning of Wal-Mart in the Bentonville, Arkansas, town square.
We visited Bentonville, Arkansas, recently to attend a viewing of photos for the Bedford Photography Contest entries and capture the Benton County Courthouse (by capture, I mean we took a photo). While we were there, after spending two hours in the SUV, we needed a break. Since the gallery for the photos was closed, we were not happy about the idea of spending two more hours headed home so we wandered about the quaint Bentonville downtown square. As we walked through the area, we found The Wal-Mart Museum! What a surprise! This place was free to the public, had all types of historical memorabilia, and a refreshing soda fountain type restaurant. We, of course, didn’t partake in the ice cream and such since we are on a budget and a diet, but it was there and we were so stunned to find this little gem to help us relax a bit before we headed back home.


A bit of history to help refresh us.
Sunday as we sped along Missouri Highway 176, we were capturing another county courthouse when Scott noticed something about a Y Bridge Park. It intrigued us and, realizing we probably needed a short break from hours driving, we decided to see what it was all about. There, over the James River, was an old 1926 built bridge. Often, when a new highway is made, the old highway dies. Fortunately for this county seat Galena, Missouri, they took their Y-shaped bridge and turned it into a tourist stop. We took advantage and spent a good thirty minutes wandering along in, filming. I was even able to get a great close up of the cutest little caterpillar. It was one of my favorite stops so far.

I think this is a Common Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillars.

We love traveling and finding interesting things. Since we have decided to stop more often, we hope not only to help our bodies be less stressed after a trip but feed our minds as well. This will enable us to enjoy the long drives more and help us have more to share at the end of the adventure.

Thanks for traveling with us,
Ren and Scott

50th Texas State Park and Loving Every Minute of It!

50th Texas State Park and Loving Every Minute of It!

Scott and I finally made it to our 50th Texas State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park, just outside of Johnson City.  We were able to do a little hiking and just enjoy being in the outdoors. While we were there, we took a few minutes and did a quick Outside Our Box so we could celebrate our latest goal achievement.

We had such an amazing time getting lost on the hike and seeing some of the Pedernales River.  The camping looked to be clean and comfortable so we will be looking to visit again so we can kayak the river eventually.

Thanks for all the support all of you have shared and all the encouragement.

Time For No Regrets

Time For No Regrets

 There are times have to go through frustration to find our strength and purpose.  We have been dealing with many health issues but are we going to allow them to stop us?  There are times it seems we will never achieve the things we want to because it feels too difficult, but that is when we find answers if we will just stop and figure out how to overcome it all.

Scott and I were both told by our parents to continue with the traveling and to do what it is we love.  This is what we love to do, but with us in our 50’s is it too late?  Take a look at the video and see what the answer to that is.

Don’t forget to give our video a “thumbs up” and “subscribe” to our YouTube channel.  We really appreciate all of you and your time.

Watch Out For the Gorilla – Ren’s Adventure in YouTube Vlogging

Watch Out For the Gorilla – Ren’s Adventure in YouTube Vlogging

 

 

Finding My Footing (11)

Seven days ago I decided to give vlogging on YouTube a try.  I have found something rather interesting; this form of journaling is amazing and extremely hard work.  When I started out I thought there would be no end to ideas and I would be able to churn them out day after day without any difficulty.  This is far from the truth.

I find myself spending hours thinking about what I am going to be discussing the next day only to find myself at a loss for words the next day when it is time to start filming.  Once I begin filming and talking I am having to work very hard staying on subject; I’m such a bunny trail kinda gal.  Once I am finished with the filming, I have to take the video and process it.  This is the time I decide what stays and what is deleted into the void.  I then add the extra photos and videos to the mix to help get my point across and then decide how to get everything to blend smoothly.  Now it is time for the music and making sure all plays out nicely; and FINALLY upload to YouTube.

I wait patiently for it to process by working on a thumbnail to creatively entice you to click it and watch that day’s vlog posting.  I also have to put in a good description of the video, hashtags, and tags so the search engines can locate it as you search them.  After it has posted, I find myself working on many other video projects as well as websites, and embroidery.  As I lay in bed trying to sleep, I am back at the beginning of the Vlogging Adventure and I am loving every minute of it.

Finding My Footing (1)This is the first time I have ever vlogged before so I am pretty much all talk.  However, if you want to know where I am coming from and why I am doing what I am doing, this is the post for you.  I explain about my fall and breaking my ankle/leg and all that fun background stuff.

The video quality is good except for the shaking.  Unfortunately there really isn’t anything that can be done about it because the shaking was the chair I was sitting in.  Every time I said anything with zest and zeal, the chair bounced.  Oh, dear me!  What an adventure.


Finding My Footing (2)I was able to get out of the house on my own and sit comfortably at the pool.  Unfortunately with the cast I was only able to sit.  I was able to do a nice video with a relaxed atmosphere without the bouncing of my chair.

I spoke about our adventure in preparing to move into an RV someday and how we arrived where we are now in a 547 sq ft apartment traveling all over the state of Texas.  It was fun because I was able to talk about the downsizing and add photos.    The artwork I made for the thumbnail was REALLY fun.


Finding My Footing (3)

When we got up Sunday morning I had visions of making a video full of driving, shopping, and restaurant action, but sadly, it was not the cinematic footage I hoped for, but it is kinda there.  By the time we were home I was exhausted and hurting.  However, there ended up being an excellent subject to vlog about.

The day was pretty much me going to get my hair washed and cut, lunch at a nice restaurant, a camera shop then home because my foot was swelling horribly.  It is another sitting and talking post, but plenty of photos and video.


Finding My Footing (4)

Getting up and heading out for breakfast was all we planned to do this Sunday.  There was so much more to be done than we expected.  It always shocks me when we don’t make plans but end up being extremely busy with spur of the moment plans.

We made a purchase to help us downsize more and the whole bit of activity was perfect for a time lapse vlog entry! How fun is that!  Plus I learned so much by the things I did wrong.  Isn’t that what it’s about?


Finding My Footing (5)

Monday was a bit of a challenge because I had a big chore of sorting, purging and putting things away; and I still have to do my daily vlog post.  Well, I did what every smart vlogger does and put the two together and did another major time lapse video complete with captions, photos, and chatting.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how well this video came out considering it was mostly me working on my sorting project, which I promised Scott I would have finished by the time he came home.


Finding My Footing (7)

This was the day I decided to sit down on the floor and go through a laundry basket full of little things that needed to be gone through and sorted.  Granted I didn’t throw much away, but I was able to give away a few things and put a few more things off for another day and another major sort.

Yes, there is a lot of talking in this post, but it has some really great tips and tricks I use to get through everything that is piling up and causing the mess we call clutter.


Finding My Footing (8)

Finally we come to today.  This was truly a bugger for me because I was not feeling up to sitting in front of a camera talking about my life.  I just wanted to take some meds and go back to bed; however, I knew I was committed to this so I got up and started blogging, but I did it pre-coffee. I am thinking this was part of the “bunny trail post” it hopped into.

However, with the magic of a delete button, I was able to sort through all the rambling and make something halfway decent.


I am not sure how long I will do this, but I have committed 30 days to give it a good test.  Maybe by that time I will have a better feel for it all and decide it is a good thing to continue.  Check it out and give me your honest opinion or suggestions.  And remember, if you like the video, give it a thumbs up; and don’t forget to share and subscribe!

Hahaha…..  I’m so obsessed.

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Officially, I Fell Off a Mountain…

Officially, I Fell Off a Mountain…

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Saturday, July 2, I “officially” fell off a mountain and broke my ankle.  In all honesty though, I simply fell off the sidewalk in front of our apartment.  It’s not as exciting, but I was lucky this did not happen while were bouncing around on top of the many Davis Mountains we were on in June.  A week and day later I was told that I will not need surgery and was put in a permanent cast for four to five weeks.  So we have decided to take a fairly long break (for us anyway) and not go to any new parks or camping in July and August.  This means we have plenty of time to do some housekeeping on the blog, photos and other website stuff.

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In the Emergency Room getting the left ankle, left knee and left elbow checked out.

For those who have not worked on a website, housekeeping is something that is needed on a regular basis. Unfortunately, we have been on the go-go-go since we started this site and we never created a routine for how we should prep the photos, write the posts, create the videos, and so on.  Because of this, the site has never been 100% how we wanted it and we have a huge backlog of photos to be processed, which means I have a BUNCH of videos to make and upload.  I had no clue what I was getting into when we decided to put this thing together, but I wouldn’t not have it.  I enjoy seeing the things we have done, places we have been, and people we have met. I especially love meeting new people because we have made some really great friendships along the way.

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Meeting new people is a highlight to our adventures. We have made so many great friends.

So, if it is so much work, why do we do this website thing?  I hear you asking it now; I honestly ask myself the same question when I sit down to write a post and cannot think of what to say!  We started this blog for me to have a venue for talking about hand embroidery and travel.  That is exactly how it began, but we decided to step away from that because it was just a “me” thing.  Scott and I had discovered the Texas State Parks and fell in love with them.  Of course then the whole Tiny House/RV living caught our attention and that was that.  We decided at that point we wanted to live in an RV and travel the United States, documenting our journey so others could keep from making some of the mistakes we had,  go to some of the places we had enjoyed,or have family keep tabs on us just seemed like a really great idea.  While looking into this we have found many other people and families do websites and videos giving us an example of what does and doesn’t work.  We have found some great inspiration from people like The More We Explore, Technomadia, Gone With the Wynns, Long, Long, Honeymoon, and so on….

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Cordie, the slave driver dog, is telling me to get back to work on the posting.

A blog was pretty much all we had intended to do, then Scott found photography.  How lucky for me to have an endless supply of photos for the blog!  Eventually, we found those photos would come in handy to make videos of the places we had been.  I cannot tell you how many times we have searched YouTube for videos about different state parks, cities and things to do.  Even though we did not always find what we were looking for, we found ideas on what is out there and how we can share something different.  Unfortunately, this is not always an easy thing to figure out, but we are getting there.  Learning to do something new takes a lot of time, reading, and focus which all takes away from the housekeeping our website and photos.  As we have been doing the traveling, photography, and videos, we are seeing what works and doesn’t work for us. I do know we are not very good at planning for videos;  it never was something we thought about doing so we just took photos.  Since Scott got his camera, he is starting to think more along that line with photos but we both think so differently.  This is a good thing, most of the time, because he will take photos of the pretty things like flowers, birds and such, where I am taking photos of campsites, bathrooms, and other boring mundane stuff. It actually works out for us in the end, but if we would just start doing a bit more planning it would help us produce better content and quality. We want to make videos and blog posts we enjoy showing, but if they aren’t good would you really want to watch?  Yeah, you are just trying to be nice now.

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Scott doing what he loves to do. I am so glad he does because I would rather sit pretty for the camera.

Since starting on this website, I have learned so much especially on how to set up a website from scratch.  I have found I appreciate those who know code better than I do, but I am determined to learn it if that is what it takes to make a quality site.   Scott has learned that less is definitely better than more in almost all walks of life.  He would take thousands of photos and never stop long enough to process them.  This has not only caused a huge backlog of things to do, but it has left him feeling overwhelmed and frustrated when I ask for a specific photo.  We, as a couple, have learned that getting outdoors and being active is awesome and makes us much happier.  Because we have found this and really believe it is a good thing, we want to share it with everyone we meet so we use the website, Facebook, and YouTube to help us get our message out. This is a lifestyle and we are embracing it, even if it means we have to stop and do a little housekeeping on a regular basis.

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Enjoying sundown at Davis Mountains State Park.

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