Custer State Park Working Adventure: Being Tourists with Friends and Family

We love when family and friends come to visit us on our adventures. It not only helps with our homesickness but also gives us a great excuse to become tourists, or travel guides, as the case may be.

Lee and Lynda came through the Black Hills on the way home from their trip out west. We made a whirlwind day of adventure looking for buffalo and wildlife, and checking into Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore. There was lunch at the Purple Pie somewhere in between too.

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Crazy Horse with Lee and Lynda

State Flags at Mt. Rushmore

Lee and Lynda at Mt. Rushmore

Lee, Lynda, Jennifer and Russ. Mt. Rushmore

Our drive took us through Wind Cave National Park, where we saw buffalo and prairie dogs.

Buffalo in Wind Cave National Park

 

Buffalo in Wind Cave National Park

 

Prairie Dog. Wind Cave National Park

 

Prairie dogs. Wind Cave National Park

Our animal sightings in Custer State Park included pronghorn deer, donkeys and water buffalo (haha, just kidding…it was really buffalo in water)!

I haven’t heard his name yet, but the small herd of burros has an addition. Custer State Park

 

Triplet pronghorns. Custer State Park

 

Water Buffalo. Custer State Park

The following week, our son Josiah took a few days in between tour dates to come and visit us. This mamma can never spend enough times with her babies and we had a great time doing a little sight-seeing and some hiking.

Hey…I didn’t get a copy of the pic you took…

It’s what he does.

 

These two! What are they into now?

 

Over there. Where?

 

The only time we gets pics together (with both our heads in the shot) is when Josiah is in town.

 

Exploring Wind Cave National Park

 

The truck straddling French Creek in Wind Cave National Park.

We had bison at the Bugglin’ Buffalo.

Did the touristy stuff at Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore. (I have no pictorial proof of Crazy Horse for some reason!)

Hi George. Mt. Rushmore

 

These two! If you’ve ever wondered why I have gray hair…its definitely one of these two.

 

My boys.

 

Mt. Rushmore National Monument

I made him go hiking. Told him he had to get off the electronics and get fresh air. Just kidding…but grateful to have kids who love the same things we do.

We hiked to Little Devil’s Tower in Custer State Park. The views are spectacular and the hike isn’t half bad either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He actually doesn’t care for being this high up. Thanks for hanging out with us!

 

 

 

What’s for lunch mom? Still PB&J son.

Best cell service in town. Hi Sami…we missed having you!

Only one of the three of us wanted to swim after our hike. Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park is beautiful, but it’s too cold for this Floridian.

Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park.

The cool breeze coming off the lake is nice too! Sylvan Lake

And just like that the friends and family left us to our adventure. Everyone is welcome to join us, we miss you all! Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.

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Custer State Park The Working Adventure: Baby Animals

I’m having a difficult time picking just the right pic for the feature photo. As you will see there is an abundance of cuteness in this blog post of the babies we have seen in the past few weeks. So enjoy!

Buffalo calf. Custer State Park.

Since I’m at Custer State Park, and one of the main animals many come to see here are buffalo, I’ve chosen one of the baby buffalo as my feature pic. There are over 350 calfs in the park this season. They start out cinnamon color (above) and darken up over their first year. If you zoom in you can even see the start of the horns. One of the things I keep encountering here are people who think its cool to get out of their vehicles to get a closer view. Definitely not a good idea. Buffalo can run at 30 mph. Last time I checked…I’m not outrunning that on foot.

Older Buffalo calf. Custer State Park

Babies in the herd. Custer State Park

Along Highway 16A, we spotted the mountain goats. This mamma had twins.

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Mountain goat kid. Custer State Park

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It’s better…they are mountain goat twins! Custer State Park

There are plenty of nicknames for the parks small herd of burros, the most common is begging burros. But I could beg to take this little guy home. He’s no bigger than a large dog, and he is definitely cuteness on over-load. I’m calling him Buddy Burro.

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I haven’t heard his name yet, but the small herd of burros has an addition. (I’m calling him Buddy Burro.) Custer State Park

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Foal “Buddy Burro.” Custer State Park

“Buddy Burro.” Custer State Park

The Pronghorn are busy too. This mama has triplets!

Mama Pronghorn with triplets. Custer State Park

Triplet pronghorn fawns. Custer State Park

There are no shortage of white tail deer here. The fawns are just mesmerizing to watch. They hop about and jump with no restraint as they enjoy the day.

Mama Deer and her fawns. Custer State Park

This shot cracks me up. Fawn #1 is poised and ready to follow mamas lead. Fawn #2, not so much.

Every family has the obedient child…and the other child. Custer State Park

And with a little sibling scolding…they were off.

Come on brother…time to move. Custer State Park

What a beautiful treat to see the babies in the park. Living proof that life goes on and the promise of newness. Thanks for taking the time to share our adventure. We will be back with more from Custer State Park soon.

PopPop Sailing School, Grands and Weddings: June 2018

We received a call that it was most likely going to happen in the next 48 hours! Grand-baby number 8, Zayden Damien Baringer was on his way. So we rented a car, drove it and the jeep both home…and…it didn’t happen.

I seems Zayden wasn’t ready, he had other plans in mind.

So being the resourceful last minute planners that we have become accustomed to being, we loaded up the rental car with two other grands, and headed back to Marineland to bring the sailboat home. Hopefully we would get it back before Zayden came, and with enough time to get her out to Indiantown and tied down before the upcoming wedding of Russ’ brother Steve and his fiancee, Terri.

Graduates of PopPop Sailing School, Austin and Kiera. Honoree acknowledgement for Ruger the pup.

Before we left Marineland, we spent the morning at the Dolphin Adventure and slinging sand at each other on the beach. I blame PopPop!

Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018

Playin around.

Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018

Austin, Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018

Kiera, Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018.

Newly opened tourist picture rock. They reopened the original entrance for the 80th Anniversary. Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018.

I see it!

New shark exhibit at Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018.

Russ, Austin, and Kiera, Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018.

Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018.

Hey, thanks for coming! Marineland Dolphin Adventure June 2018.

Sand slinging Baringer style at our favorite beach.

Got PopPop good!

Farewell Marineland Beach, we will miss you until next time.

We didn’t have a plan for PopPop Sailing School, it just sort of morphed out of keeping a 12 and 10 year old off of their tablets all day and not whining “are we there yet.” In the end…I think we did a pretty good job…at least they were still smiling when we tied up at the dock!

For several days the tablets stayed charged up…we did relent a bit once the everyday rain kept us down below all afternoon.

PopPop Sailing School starts with knots. I’m sure glad to have extra hands…cause I still do not have all my knots down.

Knot tying 101. PopPop Sailing School.

Austin’s bowline.

Ruger failed knot tying. It might be a thumb problem.

Taking the helm seriously.

Captain Austin.

Captain Kiera.

And there was dinghy training.

Dingy training was an after hours affair.

Kiera practicing her maneuvers.

Austin does a fine job with his sea trial.

Fortunately PopPop Sailing School had lots of breaks.

Scrabble can be won with three letter words.

Cooling off after a long day.

That’s my line.

Oh noooo PopPop!

Was that the best you got?

No grandchildren were injured…but PopPop may feel that for a while.

There was plenty of fishing…just not any edible catches.

Can we catch our own dolphin?

This is bait?

I’m not sure Kiera is cut out for this part. But Ruger is willing to help out.

Biggest catch of the day.

Not bad, Kiera.

In other news.

Small spaces make for big messes. Really Ruger?

Nanny wants to know if we are there yet!

Every day afternoon storms!

But the storms bring beautiful rainbows.

And relaxing sunsets.

Some well earned tablet time.

Whose bunk is this?

And before you know it, its our last sunrise.

ICW sunrise.

Then it was time for the PopPop Sailing School final.

Kiera’s knot final. Check and Pass!

Austin’s knot final. Check and Pass. (He’s twelve…they come with faces like that.)

Yes, it was there was a written test.

Success. Great job PopPop, Austin and Kiera!!!

With the Roosevelt Bridge in view, we are almost back to the dock.

And just in time…because Zayden Damien Baringer decided that this morning, June 8, 2018 he would make his appearance.

So exciting!!! Grand #8

Proud PopPop.

Three Generations of Baringer Boys.

Mom, Dad, big sis Choloe and baby Zay are all doing great.

Welcome Zayden Damien Baringer!

After some baby hugging and holding, we got onto the task of settling No Ka Oi for the hurricane season at Indiantown Marina. She is filled with cat litter and damp rid, stripped of all her sails and canvas…so we are pretty sure everyone can take a deep breath because we won’t be having any hurricanes in that area since we are totally prepared this year.

No Ka Oi’s first trip through the St. Lucie Lock since we have had her. Thanks Captain John for the assist, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Filler up please.

Hauling out at Indiantown Marina.

She’s on the hard for the summer.

All tied down and no where to go!

And finally, and not just finally for us to be ready to go away for the summer….but finally these two FINALLY tied the knot after eight years together. Russ’ brother Steve and Terri had a lovely wedding at Indian Riverside Park on Sunday, June 17th. It was a perfect June day for a wedding! Congratulations Steve and Terri!

Mr. and Mrs. Steve Baringer.

I know this is a long blog, thanks for sitting through the slide show of the grands…I’d do it for you! We have said our goodbyes, given out lots of hugs and kisses, and we are on our way to SOUTH DAKOTA for the summer and fall!!!! Updates and exciting news along the way, stay tuned, and thanks for following along with us.

 

Adventures in Marineland: May/June 2018

Happy Day!

I have two posts to close out our spring trip to St. Augustine and Marineland. The first one will focus on the weeks we were finally able to relax from what seemed to us non-stop busyness since Irma hit last fall.

Marineland is one of those spots for us to relax and unwind. The simple life of walking the beach and kayaking filled our time, and this year…a few extra naps…due to all the rainy weather.

We were blessed with time to visit friends who were passing through, by car (Debbie and Gary), and by boat (Georgette and Gary). Other friends (Pam and Dan) came for a long weekend stay in the marina and we had a great time boating, fishing and tourist-ing the Dolphin Encounter.

Pictures speak louder than words…some sights while walking near the marina.

April Showers bring May flowers

The field was on ablaze with the wildflowers and water was still standing all around from so much rain.

Florida wild flowers

Stop and smell the…weeds, I mean flowers.

Rain, rain, go away. And you can skip another day!

I found these parrots with a little guidance from Brandon, and they sure were noisy.

Make a joyful noise

Good mornings have a beach.

Another storm on its way.

It’s sea turtle nesting season from March to October. This mama had a false crawl, which always makes me a little sad because all those eggs will be dropped out in the ocean.

False crawl.Getting some practice in with the new 600mm lens with a 2x teleconverter.

Getting some practice in with the new 600mm lens with a 2x teleconverter.

Love the birds doing their bird thing along the surf.

Somehow the last time we were here we didn’t go to the Marineland Dolphin Adventure. But we made up for it this time with three trips. This June they were celebrating their 80th anniversary. We had free entrance passes and for ten dollars we turned them into behind the scenes passes, and had a great tour time with our friends Pam and Dan, and Gracie too!

Russ, Dan and Pam from Beufort, SC.

Gracie.

Behind the Scenes Tour:

Marineland Dolphin Adventure. The G is for Georgia Aquarium, who runs the facility.

Behind the scenes, Lion Fish.

You can’t see me.

I’m not an enemy.

Chill.

The underwater viewing area in the behind the scene tour.

The underwater viewing area in the behind the scene tour.

What’s the last thing you hear a redneck say?

Watch this!

More from the top-side.

Oh yeah! Here comes lunch!

 

Me! Me! Pick Me!

How many fish do you have in that there bucket?

Will work for food.

Game on.

Take that!

Hi.

I got this.

I need this for my sailboat.

I just need a little time out.

Bottoms up.

Come cool off with me.

We got a weather window to take a kayaking trip to Princess Place Preserve. These historic grounds are technically in Palm Coast, but just a few creeks away from Marineland by water. We went to the west side of the park and followed creeks keeping to the left and we ended up at this eagles nest. We were not aware it was there ahead of time (here’s more information) Mama and papa were visiting the nest just as we noticed them and then they left, so I didn’t get any pics. But here is juvenile brother. A little research revealed he was not a very nice guy…took out the sibling not too long ago. But that’s the way of the wild.

Juvenile Eagle in nest, Princess Place Preserve.

And a short fly over.

More pics from the kayaking trip.

Nice kayak bud.

You’re interruptin lunch here.

View of the ICW.

We are usually blessed with many beautiful sunsets on our cruising trips, but the weather had a different idea this time. I did manage to catch one or two.

Sun setting on Marineland Marina office and docks.

When there’s no rain, the sunsets are magnificent at Marineland.

Next up will be our trip back to Jensen Beach. Hope you can join us. Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.

Spring Forward: St. Augustine 2018.05.01

We arrived in St. Augustine. Six days wasn’t overly ambitious of us, we would have taken longer, but when there’s favorable winds you do what sailors do…sail!

Here are a few pics from the trip, enjoy.

Home is where the eggs are.

 

Salty getting his sea legs.

 

Obedient Pelican.

 

No Ka Oi in the Mosquito Lagoon.

 

Sunset Mosquito Lagoon.

 

Sunrise Mosquito Lagoon

 

Ponce Light, New Smyrna Beach.

 

I’m sure I’ll fit, right here!

 

We have seen many old bridges go and new high rises replace them, but we never saw one torn down before the new one was built. Memorial Bridge, Daytona Beach.

 

Nice Ride! Daytona Beach.

 

Good dog/Bad Dog?

 

Marineland Beach.

 

Marineland Beach.

 

Marineland Beach.

 

ICW sights.

 

Sunrise, St. Augustine Marina Mooring Fields.

 

Our favorite bagel shoppe!

 

Bagel bites for Salty Dog.

It’s going to be a laid back week for us. Thanks for stopping by and sharing our adventure with us!

Spring Forward to Our Next Adventure

Ruger sets sail

I’m not even going to try and fill in the blanks from the last time I posted…last August…from Key West!

That was before a three week trip to North Georgia.

Before we left No Ka Oi tied to a seawall in Marathon, Florida.

Before Hurricane Irma.

When we couldn’t get back to get her out.

When it took forever for us to get back in.

Before we cried our way south through piles of debris and sadness left in the wake of Irma.

We were spared and consider ourselves fortunate. Irma tried to chafe a hole in her belly, but she’s a strong old girl.

We were able to get a patch in place and take her home in early October.

Others were not so fortunate.

Many still deal with the aftermath and will continue for sometime. We are sad and heartbroken for all the loss.

No Ka Oi has had her repairs, a little lipstick and a new coat of paint.

While that was happening, we got busy with the things of life, hurricane clean-up and repairs, sick parents, grandchildren visits, and things we can’t even remember.

The sidetracks are part of the adventure, but not all that exciting for a blog.

But now that we are back out adventuring, No Ka Oi is a happy girl. With the wind in her sail, she is pointed north.

We are St. Augustine bound or maybe waylaid at some place we couldn’t pass up. Hoping for some sunshine and crew restoration.

This is our first adventure with Ruger the pup. He came to his forever home last October via Martin County Humane Society. He ain’t right…but that’s probably good, cause those running his forever home ain’t all there either.

Pepe Le Pew is glad to be back at it, as are Russ and I (and Ruger isn’t sure yet). We sure hope everyone will join us in our newest adventure, and as always we hope you might come out and join us along the way!

Here’s a few pics from today.

High tide. Check.

Roosevelt Bridge

Roosevelt Bridge and railroad bridge up. Check.

Pepe Le Pew. Check.

Ruger. Check.

Ruger working out his chill skills. Check.

Sail up, check.

Always a nicer view from this side of the gate.

All systems checked and ready to go!

We did our first Facebook live video this morning! I’ll figure out how to make them play here. Technology issues at are real at our house. But there is time to figure it all out.

Sunset from Vero Beach City Marina

Welcome Committee

Thanks for sharing our adventure with us!

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Joshua Tree National Park 2016_10_26

Joshua Tree National Park has to be one of our favorites. I know I keep saying that every time we get to a new place…but, we really loved this park. It was calm, open and arriving at the end of October, made for perfect weather. I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking for this blog…enjoy.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park

Another Joshua Tree! Joshua Tree National Park

Hanging out in Joshua Tree National Park

Our campsite at Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park

Our campsite at Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park

Scream when you see it! Joshua Tree National Park

Wildlife. It crawled across our campsite and right up the tent! Technically known at Aphonopelma iodium…it’s still a Tarantula to me! Joshua Tree National Park

YES! This really happened…The Captain up for the sunrise!!! Joshua Tree National Park

Of course it was worth it!!! Joshua Tree National Park

Sunrise on Jumbo Big Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park

Getting off-road in the new truck! Joshua Tree National Park

Looking for Gold in the abandon mines. Joshua Tree National Park

Nyah knows what an abandoned mine shaft in the desert is for…shade. Joshua Tree National Park

Squaw Tank. Cattlemen in the early 1900’s dammed off places where water collected naturally after rains. Joshua Tree National Park.

Watch your step! Cactus abound in Joshua Tree National Park

Nyah needs a break from over-active people! Joshua Tree National Park

Out for a nice bike ride. Joshua Tree National Park

This sign says it all. If you find yourself in Twentynine Palms, this is a must!!! Joshua Tree National Park

Fortynine Palms Oasis is outside of Joshua Tree NP, and is quite a hike around the mountain, but it is amazing. A definite must figure out how to do! Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

There isn’t anything not to like about Joshua Tree National Park. We hope you get to see it for yourself soon. ┬áThis was our last park. One more stop on this Long, Long trip for us, and we really take a rabbit trail! Sure hope you can stay with us to the end. Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.