BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH DAKOTA
A VISIT TO THE BADLANDS WAS AN EXPERIENCE IN WHICH WE WERE AMAZED AND ASTONISHED BY THE ENORMITY OF THE AREA (AND WE DID NOT GO ON THE INDIAN RESERVATIONS). THE SUN WAS NOT REALLY SHINING THIS DAY, JUNE 1, 2009, BUT THE LIGHTING WAS STILL SUBTLELY CHANGING AS THE SUN BEGAN TO SET. WE HAD VISITED WALL DRUGS PRIOR TO THE BADLANDS, SO WE ENTERED FROM THE WALL END AND WENT ON THE LOOP, RETURNING TO WALL. IT WAS SO WINDY THAT DAY THAT MANY OF MY PHOTOS ACTUALLY WERE BLURRED FROM JUST BEING ABLE TO HOLD THE CAMERA STILL. THIS WAS PART OF OUR VACATION "OUT WEST" WHICH BEGAN ON MAY 8TH, 2009, WITH MANY STOP OVERS AT POINTS OF INTEREST.

BRYCE CANYON AND ZION NATIONAL PARK IN ARIZONA
TWO OTHER FANTASTIC AND AWE-INSPIRING WORKS OF GOD AND NATURE ARE ZION NATIONAL PARK AND BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK. WE VISITED BOTH ON A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2009. BRYCE IS MUCH MORE OF A DISPLAY OF THOUSANDS OF WHAT IS CALLED "HOO DOOS" RISING FROM THE GROUND LEVEL TO HUNDREDS OF FEET IN HEIGHT. THE CANYON ITSELF IS FILLED WITH THEM. MANY TAKE ON THE IMAGINARY FORM OF SHAPES WHICH PEOPLE NAME, ONE BEING A POODLE DOG. WARREN AND I NEVER DISCOVERED IT, BUT IN LOOKING AT PHOTOS IN DETAIL, WE MAY DISCOVER IT ONE DAY. ZION NATIONAL PARK HAS A ONE-WAY TUNNEL LEADING INTO THE PARK. FORTUNATELY, WE WERE IN THE CAR, NOT THE MOTORHOME, AS I WOULD HAVE PANICKED. TED AND SHARON HAS TO LOWER THE AIR BAGS ON THEIR MH IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO GO THROUGH IT. AGAIN, LIGHT PLAYS SUCH AN AMAZING FACTOR IN THE BEAUTY OF BOTH CANYONS. ONE NEEDS TO BE THERE AT SUNRISE OR SUNSET TO GET THE AWESOME IMPACT OF THE BEAUTY OF BOTH.

DADE'S BATTLE REENACTMENT, DECEMBER 28, 2007
THE DADE BATTLEFIELD SOCIETY, INC. HAS AN ANNUAL REENACTMENT OF DADE'S BATTLE IN BUSHNELL, FL, AT THE DADE BATTLEFIELD HISTORIC STATE PARK. THIS BATTLE TOOK PLACE IN 1835 AS 108 U.S. SOLDIERS WERE MARCHING NORTH FROM FT. BROOKE (NEAR TAMPA) TO FT. KING (PRESENT DAY OCALA, FL) TO REINFORCE FT. KING. ON THE SIXTH DAY OF THEIR MARCH, THEY WERE ATTACKED BY SEMINOLE INDIANS. AT THE END OF THE BATTLE ALL OF MAJOR FRANCIS L. DADE'S MEN HAD BEEN KILLED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THREE WOUNDED SURVIVORS WHO LATER ESCAPED. THEY WERE EDWIN DeCOURSEY, JOSEPH SPRAGUE, AND RANSOM CLARK. TWO OF THESE ESCAPEES MADE IT BACK TO FT. BROOK. LOUIS PACHEO, A BLACK MAN, WHO WAS SUSPECTED OF BEING A SEMINOLE COLLABORATOR, WAS CAPTURED BY THE SEMINOLES. MY FASCINATION WITH THIS EVENT AND THE REENACTMENT GOES BEYOND THE PHOTOGRAPHIC ASPECT OF HAVING BEEN THERE TO EXPERIENCE IT. I AM PROUD TO BE A GRADUATE OF A UNIVERSITY NAMED FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY SEMINOLES.

FAMILY BACKGROUND AND GRUBBS REUNION
I HAVE KNOWN FOR YEARS THAT MY GRANDFATHER ON MY MOTHER'S SIDE WAS JAMES MONROE GRUBBS. ONLY IN THIS YEAR OF 2009 HAVE I BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO LEARN MORE AND LOCATE COUSINS OF THE GRUBBS FAMILY.

MOUNT RUSHMORE
MAY 31, 2009, WE VISITED MOUNT RUSHMORE, SPENDING THE ENTIRE DAY THERE. TWO ITEMS OF INTEREST IN ADDITION TO THE SCENERY: THE FOOD IS DELICIOUS IN CAFETERIA AND THE PARK IS SPARKLING CLEAN IN ALL AREAS. IT IS MAINTAINED IN A WAY WE HAVE NOT SEEN AT OTHER ATTRACTIONS. THE SCULPTOR, GUTZON BORGLUM, HAD THE VISION FOR MOUNT RUSHMORE. HE AND HUNDREDS OF HIRED WORKERS CARVED THE FACES OF WASHINGTON, BECAUSE HE WAS THE FATHER OF OUR COUNTRY; LINCOLN, BECAUSE OF THE PRESERVATION OF THE UNION; JEFFERSON, BECAUSE OF THE BELIEFS EXPRESSED IN OUR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; AND, TEDDY ROOSEVELT, BECAUSE HE FULFILLED THE EXPANSIONIST'S DREAM BY LINKING THE OCEANS WITH THE PANAMA CANAL. FOR OVER 14 YEARS, HARD ROCK MINERS CARVED, FOLLOWING EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS FROM THEIR MASTER SCULPTOR ,TO GIVE US THIS MAN-MADE WONDER SET IN A GOD-CREATED MOUNTAIN.

MY SOLO TRAVEL TRIP OUT WEST 2013
JULY 13, 2013, I BEGAN WHAT ENDED UP BEING A 9,200 MILE TRIP IN MY BT CRUISER...ALL ALONE. I WAS GONE FOR ABOUT 21/2 MONTHS, TRAVELING AT LEIZURE, WITH NO PROBLEMS OF A MECHANICAL NATURE, AND ONLY ONE INCIDENT OF A PHYSICAL NATURE: WHILE IN KEARNY, NEBRASKA, I DID A DUMB THING AND STOOD ON A TOP STEP OF ENTRANCE WITHOUT LOCKING THE STEPS IN AN "OUT" POSITION. AS I REACHED UP TO ATTACH A VISOR TO THE DOOR WINDOW, MY ARM ACCIDENTALLY MADE THE SCREEN DOOR CLOSE, CAUSING THE STEP I WAS STANDING ON TO RETRACT. IN ORDER TO AVOID MY FEET CLOSING WITH THE STEP, I TRIED TO STEP BACKWARD, AND AS A RESULT, FELL FROM A 2 FEET HEIGHT STRAIGHT TO THE CONCRETE PARKING LOT, LANDING ON RIGHT BUTTOCK AND THEN ON MY HEAD. LONG STORY SHORT...HOSPITAL VISIT, CAT SCAN, WITH RESULTS ALL BEING OKAY, AND THEN I CONTINUED ON MY MERRY WAY. MY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE A TRIP TO KENTUCKY HORSE PARK WITH MY FAMILY, A VISIT WITH MY COUSINS IN PA, MEETING A GREAT COUPLE IN IOWA, CONTINUE ON TEXT PART:

NEWMAR KOUNTRY KLUB
IN NOVEMBER OF 2008, WARREN AND I TRADED GRACIE I, A CLASS C MOTORHOME (THAT HAD A BAD LEAK PROBLEM) FOR A 2000 37 FOOT NEWMAR KOUNTRY STAR, CLASS A MOTORHOME. WE JOINED NEWMAR KOUNTRY KLUB FOR OWNERS OF NEWMAR RV HOMES. WE ALSO JOINED THE FLORIDA REGION 5 SEA TURTLES CHAPTER OF STATE NEWMAR KOUNTRY KLUB. WE ATTENDED OUR VERY RALLY OF NEWMAR OWNERS AT A SEA TURTLE RALLY IN UMATILLA, FL, AT OLDE MILL STREAM RV RESORT. WE MET NEW FRIENDS, SAW THE EHLMAN'S WHOM WE HAD MET IN TALLAHASSEE EARLIER IN THE YEAR, AND ENJOYED ALL THE RALLY ACTIVITIES. WE LOVE THE IDEA OF MEETING EVEN MORE PEOPLE AT THE STATE NEWMAR RALLY AT THE END OF APRIL, 2009, AT ORANGE LAKE, IN OCALA, FL. PHOTOS OF RALLIES AND PEOPLE INVOLVED ARE IN THE NEWMAR KOUNTRY KLUB GALLERY.

NEWMAR KOUNTRY KLUB
APRIL 27 THROUGH MAY 3 OF 2009 WAS THE STATE NEWMAR KOUNTRY KLUB RALLY IN CITRA, FL, AT GRAND LAKES GOLF RESORT. WE WENT TWO DAYS EARLY (AS DID MANY OTHERS). WE, AGAIN, MET MANY NEW AND WONDERFUL FELLOW MOTORHOMERS, ALL BELONGING TO NEWMAR KK. WE SAW FRIENDS WE HAD MET AT THE SEA TURTLE RALLY IN UMATILLA. FOR FIVE DAYS WE HAD ACTIVITY-FILLED FUN. WE HAD POT LUCK DINNER, POT LUCK BREAKFAST, ICE CREAM SOCIALS, A GOLF OUTING, HORSESHOE COMPETITION AND OTHER GAMES, A VISIT TO MICANOPY ANTIQUE CENTER (NOT ON SCHEDULE, BUT SIX OF US WENT), A VISIT TO MARJORIE KINAN RAWLINGS' HOME IN CROSS CREEK (WHERE SHE WROTE THE YEARLING AND OTHER NOVELS), A DAY SPENT AT SILVER SPRINGS WITH A LUNCH BUFFET PROVIDED, A PEOPLE SCAVENGER HUNT CONDUCTED BY JOHN HASSELL. JOHN AND PAM HASSELL WERE OUR HOSTS AS STATE DIRECTORS AND REALLY DID A FANTASTIC JOB WITH THEIR PLANNING AND KEEPING EVERYTHING RUNNING SMOOTHLY AND TIMELY. A GREAT TIME WAS HAD BY ALL.

NEWMAR KOUNTRY KLUB SEA TURLE RALLY
SEA TURTLES HAD A "PACKED-IN" ACTIVITIES THREE DAYS IN FEBRUARY 8 THOUGH 11 OF 2010 AT TITUSVILLE. OUR HOST, HEIDI TURNER, MADE THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR OUR RALLY TO BE HELD AT THE GREAT OUTDOORS RESORT AND GOLF CLUB (AND WE DID NOT BRING OUR CLUBS) IN TITUSVILLE, FL. ON TUESDAY, WE ALL FORMED A CARAVAN AND VISITED THE JUNGLE ADVENTURE FOR A TOUR AND A LECTURE. SCENES OF OUR PEOPLE HOLDING REPTILES ARE IN OUR PHOTO ALBUM FOR THIS TRIP. WE ALL LEFT THE JUNGLE ADVENTURE AND WENT TO LONE CABBAGE FISH CAMP WHERE WE WENT ON AN AIR BOAT RIDE PRIOR TO A SEAFOOD LUNCH BUFFET. AND, THEN THE RAIN CAME POURING DOWN. SOME BRAVES SOULS CONTINUED THE OUTING FOR OTHER ACTIVITIES, BUT THE CHICKEN BENNETT'S HEADED BACK TO "GRACIE" AND STAYED DRY. WEDNESDAY WAS A FREE DAY FOR US. WARREN AND I TOURED THE NASA SPACE MUSEUM AND THE LAUNCHING PAD AT THE CAPE. NIGHT TIME FOUND US SHARING OUR FAVORITE DESSERTS...YUMMY, BUT OH, THE CALORIES. GOODBYE HUGS WERE GIVEN ON THURSDAY...TILL NEXT TIME!

SEA TURTLE RALLY AT CRYSTAL RIVER, FL
FEBRUARY 8-11, 2011. GREAT TIME HAD BY ALL WITH A CLOSENESS AND COMING TOGETHER IN GETTING TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER BETTER DUE TO ONLY HAVING SIX COUPLES ATTENDING.

SEA TURTLES: 2012
MONTHLY RALLY TRIPS

THE GRAND CANYON
MAY 17, 2009, WE VISITED THE GRAND CANYON (OUR FIRST VISIT). WE WERE IN AN RV PARK IN WILLIAMS, AZ, AND DROVE TO THE CANYON IN OUR TOW CAR. WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR THE TRUE GRANDEUR OF THE SCENERY AS WE ARRIVED SHORTLY AFTER SUNRISE AT THE SOUTH RIM. WE DROVE TO DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS AND THE LIGHTING WAS DIFFERENT AT EACH ONE. TO HAVE SEEN THIS SEVENTH WONDER OF THE WORLD IN REAL LIFE IS STAGGERING AND AMAZING.

TIME AWAY
Unfortunately, i had to have a total knee replacement on April 9, 2008. I am healing slowly, but surely, but the healing process has certainly cut into my photography endeavors. I cannot even sit at the computer too long due to getting too stiff. But, after a few months, I SHALL RETURN...GOOD AS NEW.

WALL DRUG'S, WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA
JUNE 1, 2009, WE VISITED THE FAMOUS WALL DRUG'S IN WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA (PRIOR TO ENTERING THE BADLANDS). THIS STOP, OF COURSE, IS A FUN TOURIST ATTRACTION. WE WERE BOTH DISAPPOINTED OVER THE FACT THAT THE ORIGINAL SODA FOUNTAIN NO LONGER EXISTED. I COULD JUST PICTURE WARREN DEVOURING A BIG BANANA SPLIT AT THE COUNTER. WE HAD TO SETTLE INSTEAD FOR CONES OF REGULAR ICE CREAM. WE VISITED A MUSEUM DEPICTING ALL THE FAMOUS OUTLAWS, PONY EXPRESS, AND THE FAMOUS FIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL. THESE WAX FIGURES MADE THE IMAGINATION PICTURE SCENES IN THE BADLANDS WITH THE SHERIFF AND "GOOD GUYS" GOING AFTER THE "BAD" GUYS, AND GOING IN AND OUT OF THE VALLEYS AND BOULDERS IN THE PURSUIT. WARREN HAD LET HIS HAIR GROW (AS CAN BEEN SEEN IN THE PERSONAL CATEGORY) AND IS LOOKING FORWARD TO WEARING HIS "HAIR" THE FIRST DAY HE RETURNS TO FLORIDA AND PLAYS GOLF.

WARREN S. BENNETT
MY HUSBAND OF 14 YEARS DIED SUDDENLY IN MAY OF 2012. HE DIED OF A MASSIVE HEMORRAGING STROKE IN OUR HOME IN THE PLANTATION. I TRIED TO REMAIN IN OUR HOME AFTER HIS DEATH, BUT AFTER SEVERAL MONTHS DECIDED TO LIVE IN OUR 2004 NEWMAR DUTCH STAR CLASS A MOTOR HOME. I BOUGHT A LOT AT ROLLING RIDGE RV RESORT ON HIGHWAY 27, JUST A FEW MILES SOUTH OF THE PLANTATION IN LEESBURG. MY MAILING ADDRESS IS 20285 HWY. 27 NORTH, LOT 78, CLERMONT, FL 34715. MY PHONE NUMBERS ARE THE SAME: HOME: 352-326-5772 AND CELL IS 352-223-1923. ROLLING RIDGE IS A RESIDENT OWNED PARK WITH MANY FULL TIMERS REMAINING AT THE PARK DURING THE HOT FLORIDA MONTHS OF SUMMER. IN OCTOBER, THE SNOWBIRDS RETURN FROM THE NORTH AND THE PARK IS FILLED TO CAPACITY. BY LIVING IN THE RV I AM STILL ABLE TO TRAVEL SOME...IN FACT, LIVING HERE IS LIKE BEING ON A CONSTANT TRIP. LOL. ON MAY 30TH PICKED UP MY NEW PUPPY, PRISCILLA BROOKE, A MORKIE (PART MALTESE AND PART YORKEE) FROM THE ORLANDO AIRPORT.
 

 
Copyright for these articles and photos belongs solely to SHIRLEY W BENNETT. Material may not be copied, downloaded, or used in any way without the expressed, written permission of the photographer.
 
     
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