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Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What a year it was---part 2

After enjoying my time experiencing my private Blue Grass concert and following the quilt trail in north central Tennessee, I headed east a ways to spend about a month at the Escapees Park.  Raccoon Valley SKP park is just north of Knoxville.

67 On the way to NC 201264

My main reason for staying there was its proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  What a marvelous park this is.  It was everything I had hoped for.  It was also the place where I fulfilled a lifetime dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Granted, my hip was beginning to give me problems, and I was only able to walk a short portion of it.  In my heart, that didn’t matter.  It was just one of those experiences that brought tears to my eyes as I limped along.  It’s hard to explain how this short walk sang to my inner most being.  The memory chokes me up now as I write this.

68 Robyn's Retirement5

Later in the month, I zipped up to Dyer, Indiana, in my car for a short stay to celebrate my daughter Robyn’s retirement party after 20 years serving our country in the US Army.  It was one of those rare times when I was able to have all three of my kids together, and three out of my five grands too.  Hoo-ah!, Robyn Kay!  All three of my kids are veterans, and I’m very proud of that fact.  Actually, Andy is still serving in the National Guard.

67 On the way to NC 201265

In July, Emma and I moved up to Jenny Wiley State Resort Park to spend a week or so camping with my sister Pam, and BIL Stan.  Pam was very interested in the Hatfield/McCoy feud, so we enjoyed investigating areas where it occurred.  I’m not a big country western fan, but the highlight for me was the real adventure of visiting the childhood home of Loretta Lynn in Butcher Holler.  I’ll never forget how we finally ended up there.

69  Pea Island & Alligator River NWRs  201228

Eventually, I made it to Alligator River NWR in North Carolina for my three month stint of volunteering there and at Pea Island NWR on the Outer Banks.  The best part of my time there was the bears and other critters.

69  Pea Island & Alligator River NWRs  201229

Some of those ‘other critters’ included a visit from my friend Jack and meeting more fellow bloggers.  The Roanoke Island play, lighthouses, and seafood rounded out my time there.  I began using a cane to get around, and began planning for a hip replacement.

70 On the way to Okefenokee, 201217

About the middle of October, I headed out on my journey south.  I learned about raising cotton, whirly-gigs, and Pearl’s Garden.  As I hooked up briefly with my friends on the road, I was once again thankful for such a nice cyber community out here.

71 Okefenokee NWR 2012-1335

Toward the end of October, I got settled in at Okefenokee NWR in Folkston, GA.  I’ll be here until the middle of April.  That’s the longest commitment I’ve made so far during my time on the road, but it will also include time off for that hip replacement.  Once again, you can see that fellow bloggers and volunteers play an important part in my life.  It’s a life I love, and I hope I’ve got a few more years to go…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

26 comments:

  1. What a great year Judy, you are fortunate to be living your dream. May next year be as rewarding.

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  2. Meeting and visiting with you was one of the highlights of our year, and we hope we'll have many more opportunities to visit with you again down the road.

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  3. Well, except for that hip, what a wonderful year you had with such an amazing variety of animals, birds, nature, and friends/family! You certainly have created a rich, varied, and rewarding life these past few years-- one that certainly inspires many of us future solo full-timers to follow your lead!

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  4. What a year, you seem to pack a lot into a year.

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  5. Sometimes it isn't until we "recap" do we realize how much we can pack into a short 12 months. You sure have lived life to the fullest. And I'm sure the best is yet to come!

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  6. I remember a lot of those photos from your blogs, Judy. Nice re-cap, I enjoyed it.

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  7. And a Healthy New Year to you and Emma.

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  8. Beautiful year ... I love the Smokeys too

    Wishing you a very healthy, Happy New Year, Judy.

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  9. What an awesome year 2012 was for you. Here's wishing 2013 will be even better. Good luck with the surgery!!

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  10. You blew it! You got my ugly mug in both parts of your post. And I thought you had good taste... ;c)

    One thing is for sure, you didn't let any grass grow under your feet in 2012!

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  12. You have many more years to enjoy your great adventures. And to get that hip replaces will make it even better.

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  13. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Happy & Healthy New Year. Tom & Lynn

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  14. You had a great year for sure, and it will be a greater 2013 once you have that pesky hip problem resolved. Thanks for enriching our lives with your words, photos -- and friendship.

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  15. I love the Appalachian Trail also and always wanted to hike it in May to see the rhododendrons in bloom on the balds. Now, since we both are not in school, and you will have a new hip, maybe we can do that together. (Of course, I may need a new knee before then.)

    Good luck with your surgery.

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  16. You sure had an amazing year.

    We hope to spend some time in North Carolina this summer and fall and really would like to go to Alligator NWR and see some bears. Who knows, we may never get out of North Carolina with all that it has to offer.

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  17. What a great "Year in Review"! I know that you're looking forward to getting your hip replaced and then getting on with 2013!

    Happy New Year...

    Mark

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  18. Wow, all that in just one year! No wonder that hip called it quits :)

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  19. butterbean carpenterJanuary 3, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Howdy Judy & Emma,

    THANX, FOR A WONDERFUL YEAR OF EXPERIENCES, JUDY!!! GET THAT NEW HIP & LET'S DO SOME MORE SIGHT-SEEING!! YOU ARE ON THE PRAYERLIST FOR A FULL RECOVERY, SO DON'T WORRY!!! GIVE EMMA A PAT & EAR SCRATCH; SHE DESERVES IT!!
    HOPE THIS FINDS YOU HAVING A GOOD DAY AND LESS PAIN!!!

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  20. What a wonderful look back at the year in a nutshell.....Now, let's get this hip all better so we can do more hiking....We will all be watching and waiting ....

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  21. I see your turtle made it our of his shell :)) What a great year you have had.

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  22. What a wonderful year you have made for yourself and Emma. Clearly lots of other folks have enjoyed it with you including me. Here's to a great 2013.

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  23. What a great year, thanks for sharing it with us.

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  24. Heading out to the boonies soon, wanted to wish you the best. As you heal up and rehabilitate, know that you are thought of warmly and respected and cherished by many. And don't forget young lady, time is the best doctor! So don't rush the rehab, be patient, and take good care.

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  25. When I was in college, I planned to hike the Continental Divide Trail from Monarch Pass to Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado. I had the maps, I had the food caches all in place, and my dad was going to accompany me from Monarch Pass to Saguache Pass where he'd parked his truck. He was going to meet me a couple months later at Wolf Creek Pass (he'd camp there until I got there). We got a couple miles down the trail, and ran into deep, heavy snow. Then we learned the weather forecast was for awful, rainy, windy, cold weather for then next week or so. I quit, and planned to try again the following summer. That never happened. So every time I drive over one of the passes in Colorado that is crossed by the Trail, I get emotional and choked up, just like you with your AT. So I know exactly how you feel. A big regret in my life. I think this summer I'll have to try to do a little hiking on my days off in Yellowstone (when I'm not sewing, exploring, or driving to Livingston and Bozeman for shopping). I know there's a segement of the CDT that goes through YNP. Oh, and while I'm thinking of it - best of luck with your hip surgery!

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  26. Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

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