Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

            “Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write compose or pant can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic inherent in a human situation.” Graham Greene

Gypsy Lee in Capitol Reef Gorge in Utah. during an escape I took with my oldest son during Gypsy Lee's first year on the road. -- Photo by D,C, Bean

Gypsy Lee in Capitol Reef Gorge in Utah. during an escape I took with my oldest son during Gypsy Lee’s first year on the road. — Photo by D,C, Bean

Escape = Writing, Nature, Books and Gypsy Lee


Gypsy Lee by Lake Frank Jackson in Alabama at sunset. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Gypsy Lee by Lake Frank Jackson in Alabama at sunset. — Photo by Pat Bean

          Escape from anything the slightest bit heated, boring, uncomfortable, emotional or unpleasant has always been my first line of defense. It began as a child growing up in a turbulent family and never stopped.

I finally learned to face head-on things that simply had to be faced, but I still don’t like it.

These days, when my life is mostly quite mellow, Gypsy Lee is my No. 1 escape mechanism. I use her to escape from itchy feet that still want to go everywhere, see everything and do everything.

I do so love her.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Survivor Fan http://tinyurl.com/bhsdcmo This old broad is a big survivor fan, and this blog – how true, how true – had me rolling on the floor laughing. What a great way to start my morning.

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 “This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy. – Susan Polis Schutz

While the walk across Frank Jackson Lake and the exploration of this island wasn't a lengthy one, it was an interesting one. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 And Scenic Places to Park Gypsy Lee

I had a great view of the evening's sunset from the Gypsy Lee's rear window. Discovering Frank Jackson Park off a less traveled road was a great find. -- Photo by Pat Bean

State Parks top the list of the places I prefer to spend the state when traveling. These days, most are set up for RVs. The sites are almost always larger than those of commercial parks with the bonus of usually providing access to hiking and biking trails.

The South, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are all full of especially nice parks.

Alabama’s Frank Jackson State Park, was one I cam upon unexpectedly on Highway 9/331. I had planned to drive farther this day, but stopped instead — and stayed for a couple of days.

My camp site even came with a cable TV hookup, although I didn’t use it. The cement pad that backed right up to the lake was also a nice touch – as you can see.

Bean’s Pat: Earl’s World http://earlrrichardson.wordpress.com/ A person who can simply walk out into his backyard and find nature’s treasures is my kind of person.

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 My Favorite Places: Lake Claiborne

Lake Claiborne, Alabama, in the fall. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.: –E.L. Doctorow

NaNoWriMo Update – 17,309 words

Only about 1,500 words today, but they felt like good, words and I feel I’m back on track with places to go in my book. A couple of new plot lines finally hit my brain cells. .

I also don’t feel too bad about the fewer words because I had several errands to run and two hours of physical therapy for my neck. I also did an extra blog to promote Rana DiOrino’s “What Does It Mean to Be Safe,” a children’s picture book, but one that has good advice for adults as well.

The other reality I’m facing is the fact that I can’t sit and sit in front of the computer as I want. It’s most likely what got my neck so horribly stiff in the first place. I need to get up and move about every 30 minutes.

So what I’m now doing is writing my book in short scenes, and then taking a short break. I walk the dog, put a load of clothes in the washer, do my neck and shoulder exercises or whatever. The key is to get right back to the computer and go into the next scene. It helps if I get up in the middle of a sentence so I can get right back into it. A timer’s helping me do that.

I’m also trying to convince myself that I really can write after the sun goes down. I don’t like it, but I can see it’s going to have to happen if I’m to meet the 50,000 word goal without screwing up my neck any more than I already have. Can I say my favorite “S” word right now?

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The view of Lake Saint George in Maine from my RV window. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” Henry David Thoreau

Travels With Maggie

Some days when I’m on the road, I have reservations for where I will spend the night. Other days, I give fate a chance and wing it. And then some days I have reservations and cancel them because a place calls to me before I reach my destination.

It was this third kind of day a few years back when I was on my way to Acadia National Park. My route took me through a multitude of shimmering lakes and shady green ponds, all shouting an invitation to visit in my direction.

By the time I hit Lake Saint George State Park I could stand it no more. My foot lifted off the gas pedal and my RV, Gypsy Lee, made the turn into the park. Although I hadn’t traveled far and it was still quite early in the afternoon, I didn’t object. Nor did Maggie, who was letting me know she was ready for a walk immediately.

Lake Claiborne in Alabama, where I also sat a while and simply stared at the water. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The small park only had 38 camping sites and, no hookups, but the fee for the night was only $10 and it was cool enough that I didn’t need to use the air conditioner. My vehicle’s self-contained functions – water storage, battery for lights, and propane for cooking and refrigeration – met all other needs.

Our designated site was right beside the lake, and as soon as I turned off Gypsy Lee’s ignition, the sound of water gently lapping against the shore began calming my soul.

After a short hike around the area with Maggie, I got out my lawn chair, lit a small camp fire and simply stared at the lake a bit before retrieving a book, “Death in Holy Orders” by P.D. James, which I read off and on until sunset.

The dark brought magical fireflies with it. I saw these tiny, blinking specks of living lights often when I was a kid, but rarely as an adult. Perhaps it was simply because I hadn’t taken the time to look, I thought.

Sometime after the sky was pin-pricked with stars, and a grinning moon cast silvery shadows on the trees, I turned in for the night. I was asleep almost the minute my head touched the pillow.

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