Tuesday, 22 July 2014

To Big Cedar Lodge via Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway

Here I am with another instalment of our trip in March/April of this year to the USA.

Having recharged our batteries after our epic road trip (approx 2,000 miles)to South Carolina and Georgia we now embarked upon a shorter trip to Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri taking a leisurely and scenic route.  William and I were both really excited about this trip.  Big Cedar Lodge had been on our wish list for a long time.


The route my sister, Maureen and her husband, Jerry, had planned took us along Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway and through some fantastic scenery.   Breaking our journey at Arkansas’s first official rest stop we posed for a photo with the Ozark National Forest as a backdrop. 


Information boards in the rest stop building gave a brief history of the stop.  It was interesting to see the picture of the car and caravan combination of the 1940s , a world away from the fantastic RVs of today!


Further along Scenic 7 another stop.  This time it was Upper Buffalo Wilderness.


Taking the scenic route was so much more fun than driving along the Interstates.  We were able to take a detour off the main stretch and easily explore the area we found ourselves in.


Rustic country back roads.



Not sure what purpose the covered part of this gateway served but it made for a nice picture anyway.


I always find the old barns appealing.  I must have taken a dozen pics of them throughout our three week trip.  It was good to see the one above obviously still in use.


A little bit further on along our route and another stop.  This time it was the beautiful, atmospheric Boxley Valley.  This is Old Boxley Church/School House which dates back to 1877.  It was in absolute pristine condition.  I would’ve loved to hear that bell ringing in its early days and see the churchgoers in their Sunday best.  What a history there must be within those walls. 


Picturesque Walnut Grove Cemetery at the side of the church.



More old barns. They are so different from anything we see over here. I must say though I also love our old stone barns and farmhouses over here, they have a charm all their own too.


In April though I was in America and soaking up the differences between our two countries.


Like I said amazing scenery all the way.  Blue sky. Big fluffy clouds. Beautiful!

It had been a great day driving through Arkansas and we loved every minute of it. Being in good company doesn’t hurt either - we never fail to have a good time with Maureen and Jerry!


And finally we made it to Missouri and …


… Big Cedar Lodge! 

I’ve really enjoyed going through all my photos from this trip and reliving the memories but the photos from Big Cedar will have to wait for next time.

Until then,


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride and Cleveleys

On Sunday my son-in-law, Trev and a few of his friends, cycled from Manchester to Blackpool!  At around 60 miles that’s one heck of a bike ride!  It was all for a good cause though being a fundraiser for The Christie Hospital in Manchester.  Approximately 8,000 riders took part!


Along with my daughter, Victoria and her family, Charlie and I were there to cheer as Trev and his friends crossed the Finish Line.


Trev (in blue) and his friends cross the line.


As soon as Trev crossed the line we made our way round to the refreshments field where..


.. Charlie proudly greeted his daddy.  George and Nicholas looked on.


And one for the album.  After this greeting as we walked back to the car, Charlie holding my hand told me, “I love my daddy”.  He really could not have been happier at that moment had his daddy just crossed the finish line of the Tour de France!

Leaving Trev in Blackpool the rest of us carried on into Cleveleys. It was later by this time than we had anticipated and we all were more than ready to tuck into the picnic we had brought. 


Gary, looked like The Pied Piper, as he led his tribe of boys..


..to the perfect spot for some digging. 

It was an extremely windy and therefore cool day at the beach on Sunday and because of that the boys missed out on playing in the sea.  We had gone hoping for a hot sunny day intending to spend the afternoon on the beach but unfortunately it was far too cold for that.  However, school holidays are imminent so there’ll be plenty of opportunity for fun in the water over the next seven weeks. 

Roll on summer!