Posts Tagged With: eagles


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Bemidji, Minnesota is an Ojibwa Indian name. Kudo’s to the city that actually honored Native Americans with a plaque. A first in my book. Resting in the gardens surrounding the Bemidji Visitor Center when you cross over the bridge and enter the town.

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The gardens are a native plant preserve and snuggle up next to small Lake Bemidji. Giant trout, yellow perch, walleyed pike, and whitefish reward the persistent fisherman. This guy says he fishes three days a week and the fish have their “seasons”.

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The lake water forms a river that runs south. This is considered the birth place of the Mighty Mississippi River. DSC09232 (Copy)

Cattails are prolific here and a survival food for humans and animals. (That comes from my days of trying to camp out with my kids and eat straight from the land.)  It was fun but left us starving. The roots make a flour and the tails when green are a vegetable similar to very skinny corn on the cob. (I had just read Stalking The Wild Asparagas, by Euel Gibbons.)  They are a beautiful pond plant anyway. It always amazes me what long forgotten memories come out of the depths when I write.

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The Center has a sculpture garden that we enjoyed.

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People line up to have their picture taken with Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan. I grew up on Paul Bunyan stories and poems, and now I think they are kinda hokey. The visitor center is located in the arts district of Bemidji and the sculpture installations went right on into the first four blocks of town.

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If you are going to have a bike rack, why not make it an artistic bike rack.

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Same for a bench. I’m not sure you could actually sit on this one though. It was Labor Day Weekend and most of the businesses were closed, the streets nearly barren of traffic.

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Don’t know where my fascination for rusty stuff comes from. Maybe my farm background?

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This section of town was artsy in other ways, too.

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Interesting signage, fun shops, like comics, baseball cards, cool threads, used stuff, fabric, sewing machines, consignment stores, fun restaurants, (few of them open), two brew pubs, (both closed)  one pub, Keg and Cork was open, but we passed.

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We are getting close to our picture upload limit but since I am on a borrowed signal where we are staying at the Elks, I get to splurge.

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A flying pig situated near Bene Tutto, an upscale Italian Restaurant (closed) with a pig as part of its logo.

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Also within walking distance of the visitors center, a county historical museum. It, too was closed but a veterans memorial was in the museum side yard. Untypical of this memorial was a salute to the Merchant Marines. Merchant sailors had to sign war papers and lost more men by percentage than any other branch of service. They finally got veterans recognition in 1988.

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Also unique, recognizing the services of the Coast Guard.  (I’ve noticed that several of my vertical pictures are not loading properly, but if you click on them they come up.)

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And, not only women, but women and men of color. I think I like this town.

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We spent the night at the Eagles where Amazing Angela, the friendliest singing bartender we ever met holds sway. We supported their fundraiser, spaghetti dinner,  for a child born with multiple problems, surgeries and huge medical bills. Now, if we can overcome the pervasive Koch brothers disinformation campaign about Obamacare, kids like this little boy won’t put his parents in the poor house.

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Bemidji, Minnesota

Yesterday I drove the motorhome the about 75 miles from Grand Rapids to Bemidji, Minnesota.

We continued traveling along U.S.Highway 2 West.

The day started with a misting rain…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Labor Day Weekend Sunday Morning traffic was light…


Arriving at Bemidji, we stopped at Paul Bunyan Park along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Since we are tourists, we just had to take photos with Paul and Babe…



Just before arriving in Bemidji, we crossed a small creek with a sign that indicated it was the Mississippi River. Then I remembered it starts up here in Northern Minnesota. Here is the Mississippi River as it flows in to Lake Bemidji, about 50 miles south of its origination point…


You can read about lake Bemidji and the Mississippi River by clicking this Wikipedia link…

The Mississippi River flows into Lake Bemidji beneath this bridge…


A 180 degree panoramic photo of Lake Bemidji…


Nearby there’s a tourist information center with reclaimed marshlands…


We walked around downtown Bemidji scouting both the Elks and American Legion…neither of which had a parking lot and were closed. The museum was also closed. We doubled-back about three miles and parked at a very Friendly Eagles Airee #351 where they provided both an electrical hookup and a free Wi-Fi signal…


Here’s the usual dinette photo…


At the Eagles we participated in a spaghetti dinner benefit for a young man with heavy-duty medical problems. Thank you Eagles Airee for allowing us a very pleasant visit!

First it’s too hot and then it’s too cold. Yesterday morning was in the low 50’s. Cold enough that with a brisk wind, I had to wear my sweats and down vest while walking around Bemidji! Today is forecast to be 72 degrees. At 5:30 AM this morning it was 55 degrees with 71% humidity. I’ll be so glad to leave the high humidity behind me!

As a side note…Bemidji is the birthplace of Jane Russell. If you have forgotten who she was…here’s a Wikipedia link to refresh your memory…

We’ll continue our westward travel later this morning.

Enjoying friendly Eagles Airees is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Minnesota. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Touring the town where I had my first date, my first kiss, and attended both grammar and Jr. High Schools was a nostalgic trek for me. The people who live in this house were not at home to speak to. My sister and I and three brothers all slept in one big bedroom upstairs in this two bedroom one bath house. A porch once ran the width of the front. I amazed myself at how many memories came floating back just seeing the place. If you’ve never done a trip like this, I’d recommend it.

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Two houses away still lived Mrs. Clifford Jensen. Her husband Clifford and his sister Julie were very young,  Bob and Nancy, both deceased, were close to my age.  She kind of filled me in on changes in the neighborhood over the years. Too many friends gone. DSC08499 (Copy)

From that house I attended St. Patricks Catholic Church, a beautiful old cathedral style church of which there are many in Escanaba. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get inside, it was boarded up, trees are growing out of the bell tower and it had been hit by lightening  a week ago. The building is for sale.  I sang in the choir here, two masses most Sundays.  I talked to the nuns about joining the convent and when  my father fund out he whisked us out of Escanaba to nearby Danforth  to get me away from that Parrish with these words:  “No daughter of mine is going to make a decision like that at age 11.”

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When we returned to Escanaba, we lived in this duplex which also had a front porch shared by both parties. Mrs. Niderost, our landlady lived in the right half. This house had a full basement.  Here I got my first kiss at age 13 from a boy named Bob Morin. (I still attended St. Patricks Church, but the subject of  a novitiate never came up again.) This house is only half a block from Lake Michigan and a neighbor facing the water would let us swim off his dock and taught me to water ski.

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On my one and only date, we went to a Sunday matinée at this now closed theater in town. .

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After the “show”, no one said movie, we went to Saykillys Sweet Shop for a tin roof sundae. My visit to Sakilly’s saddened me. The counter was removed three years ago. The booths you can barely discern at the left side of the room, long gone. The juke box, gone, but the only constant in life is change, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Sakillys still makes home made candy and a sells gifts,  much expanded from those many years ago.  I moved to California in 1954, shortly after my first date, and I thought the world would end.

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Mrs. Sakilly weighing candy. She is long gone, as is her sister, Angela Kabasic. Angela and Pete owned and ran Kabasics store where we shopped for penny candy and groceries as kids. In those days we had credit at the store. Mom would send us for a pound of sugar or something and we’d say “put it on the bill.” No question. Everyone knew who you were.

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The store is much expanded, modernized, and still run by a family member, George Kabasic.  It at one time had a counter running the full width of the store. You walked up to the counter and Pete would go get what was on your list one item at a time. Talk about sloooow! It amazes me how they could wrest a living from the place. Kabasic was a butcher and he had good meat and they still have fresh meat in a case at the back of the store which is now twice as long as it once was. Necco wafers, bird bubblers, walnettos, candy cigarettes. dots…a nickel went a long way.

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Downtown, the Ludington Hotel was considered the “Ritz”. It had bellmen. They were dressed in red uniforms similar to the little guy  who “called for Philip Morris” in the cigarette ads.  I remember wishing I could go into the hotel just to see what a hotel was like, it was so beautiful. It is on the State Historical Register, but it has lost its luster. Now, renting apartments and only a few rooms are rented out as a hotel, with a downsized dining room and bar. It was closed so I never did get my peek except through the door and a window.

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Another place that fascinated me was Just Ask…

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Gust Asp. Gus and I think his wife’s name was Dena, no longer own the business. I knew it was a cigar shop, or men’s shop. I never went inside. This time I did. It is a liquor store, fast food sandwiches, meat, cigs and all sorts of “stuff”. I shopped my babysitting dollars at Kresges  and Woolworths.  Woolworths had neumatic tubes that took your money to the cash handlers visible  upstairs. Then the neumatic tube delivered your receipt and change to the clerk downstairs bagging your purchase. Both stores were gone and the signage covered over.  (I made Jim take me back right after the sun set to capture this picture of the sign flashing its dual message.)

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We went looking for the schools I attended. Escanaba Jr. High, expanded on the back side was still there. Escanaba High School the one we knew, no longer exists. My sister graduated from it. My Grammar School, likewise, completely gone.

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A jut of land on Little Bay de Noc uses a crib light to warn boats and ships away from danger. It took over for the Sand Point Light House in 1939.

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The Sand Point Lighthouse has been refurbished and is now a museum with fully furnished living quarters. The most fascinating thing about it is the light keeper, Mr. John Terry, died the day before he was supposed to go to work in 1868. His wife, Mary Terry took over and lit the light until 1886 when she died in a mysterious fire. This complex included the lighthouse, a rescue boathouse on rails that could be pulled to the nearby water for rescue operations; a coast guard memorial, and a wonderfully done museum and archives in a separate building, all for the family price of $5. I got a line on people I knew, (one of the docents was my older sisters age) and a newspaper picture of Pete Dube, an olympic skating trainer. He died in 1963. My dad took us out to Little Bay de Noc to see Pete Dube Skate across the bay and back when he was in his seventies.

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We stopped for a beer at the Eagles Club. A brewpub on the street was closed.

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There are many historical buildings in this town and the Elks Club is one of them, imprinted on the building, 1925. It has a 6 lane bowling alley upstairs according to some folks at the Eagles Club. (The Elks Club wasn’t open.) We are on picture rationing, so I’ll be doing a part two on Escanaba, tomorrow.

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Taos, New Mexico – Day 5

The motorhome is currently parked at the Fraternal Order Of Eagles Airee #3849. I expect to be here for several days.

I took the Bronco and drove about three miles to the central plaza…and was greatly disappointed.

Many cities in the southwestern United States still retain the old Mexico flavor…that is a large central plaza with an old church usually 200-300 years old. Not so in Taos, New Mexico. It can be precisely described in only ten words…a small central plaza with shops, shops and more shops. Everything is so commercialized and touristy. How disappointing for a history buff like myself. Even those sites they claim as historical are presented in a very touristy way. A great place if you enjoy lots of art museums, art galleries, art shops and general tourist shops.

I spent two hours wandering around hoping to find something interesting and came away with these meager photos…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Enjoying beautiful historical sites is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer! No so today!

You can read all about the town of Taos by clicking this Wikipedia link…,_New_Mexico

If you have not checked out my new Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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The Great Adventure Dinette Window Photos…So Far…

Back on November 29, 2011, I began what is my 6th circumnavigation of the United States. It will be Mary’s 2nd.

I’m calling it The Great Adventure, because it’s different from my other five circumnavigations…in which the routes were kinda-sorta preplanned. This time…with the exceptions of attending my oldest grand-daughter’s high school graduation in June 2013 in southeastern Connecticut…I don’t know where were will be going or when we will be there! Hence…The Great Adventure.

The only plan is to live a day-to-day lifestyle and let the wind blow us where it may!

Another thing different about this circumnavigation…in addition to our daily Blog entries documenting our experiences…is in every overnight parking spot I’ve decided to take a photo out of our dinette window.

For instance here’s the view out of our dinette window at our current parking location of Dancing Eagle Casino RV Park, Casa Blanca, New Mexico…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

During the course of this two-year circumnavigation I’m expecting that we will park overnight in somewhere between 250 and 500 locations. In addition you need to know that when I park the motorhome…I do not say to myself…where’s the best view? It is strictly by chance what view ends up outside of our window.

You need also to remember that we overnight a lot at free locations such as Eagles and Moose Clubs, the American Legion and VFW. Free is good but the views are not always spectacular…but usually somewhat interesting.

Finally I started taking these photos once we departed Yuma, Arizona. Prior to that time all the previous overnight parking locations are repeats from previous times since I travel those routes somewhat regularly.

With that said, I’ve got 25 out-of-the-dinette-windows collected so far. You can see them all by clicking the below link. Once there, click the slide show button…

After viewing the 25 photos I think you’ll agree that the full-time RVing lifestyle exemplifies the saying of “Variety Is The Spice Of Life”! The constant changing of scenery, people, local foods and music is most stimulating. I never tire of it!

I intend to post this Blog entry periodically as The Great Adventure rolls along..

It will be fun to look at the 250 to 500 photos that will finally end up in this collection when the circumnavigation has been completed!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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2011-2013 – 6th Circumnavigation Of The USA…Update #2

This Blog posting…which I will post from time-to-time…will be used to present my/our travels on this almost two-year circumnavigation of the United States…my 6th…Mary’s 2nd. During these circumnavigations, I try to travel on roads I’ve not seen before…I’m about 90% successful in that regard.

The only things I know about our potential destinations during this upcoming adventure is that I/we plan to spend a good portion of 2012 exploring the State of New Mexico. In 2013 we’re planning to attend my oldest grand-daughter’s high school graduation in June in southeastern Connecticut. Other than that…we’ll just have to find out one-day-at-a-time where our fates will send us.

The trip began from Murphys, California on November 29, 2011 with 35,956.5 miles on the motorhome odometer. In addition to showing the route taken, I intend to also document where I/we parked during this journey. My guess is that within the about next 700+ days we will park in about 250-500 different places. Here’s the map so far which you may click on to see in a larger view…

#        Date          Location


001 – 11/29/11 – Bakersfield, CA – Loyal Order Of Moose – Lodge #2178

002 – 11/30/11 – Riverside, CA – Fraternal Order Of Eagles – Airee #997

003 – 12/01/11 – Thousand Palms, CA – Thousand Trails RV Resort

004 – 12/17/11 – Slab City, CA

005 – 12/18/11 – Winterhaven, CA – Paradise Casino

006 – 12/20/11 – Yuma, Arizona – About 12 miles north on BLM land

007 – 01/03/12 – Winterhaven, CA – Paradise Casino

008 – 01/09/12 – Slab City, CA

009 – 01/16/12 – El Centro, CA – Loyal Order Of Moose – Lodge #1033

010 – 01/17/12 – Winterhaven, CA – About 8 miles west on BLM land.

011 – 01/18/12 – Winterhaven, CA – Pilot Knob RV Park

012 – 01/22/12 – Winterhaven, CA – Quechen Indian Casino

013 – 01/23/12 – Yuma, AZ – American Legion Post #19

014 – 01/24/12 – Wellton, AZ – VFW Post #6790

015 – 01/25/12 – Painted Rocks Historic Park, AZ

016 – 01/27/12 – Ajo, AZ – VFW Post #3570

017 – 01/28/12 – Organ pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ

018 – 02/02/12 – Apache Junction, AZ – Loyal Order Of Moose #2039

019 – 02/03/12 – Apache Junction, AZ – Golden Sun RV Resort

020 – 02/13/12 – Tucson, AZ – About 20 miles north at Mary’s friend’s home.

020 – 02/17/12 – Tucson, AZ – Loyal Order Of Moose #1964

021 – 02/24/12 – Nogales, AZ – VFW Post #2066

022 – 02/27/12 – Lake Patagonia, AZ – Arizona State Park

023 – 02/29/12 – Sierra Vista, AZ – VFW Post #9972

024 – 03/03/12 – Douglas, AZ – Belle Starr’s Silverado Ranch

025 – 03/06/12 – Columbus, NM – Pancho Villa State Park

026 – 03/11/12 – Deming, New Mexico – Rockhound State Park

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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