Posts Tagged With: hunting

THE PALACE AT RANTHAMBORE

Before we went on our first hunt in the National Park,  I forgot to mention we stayed in a palace. We drove on this dusty road with the palace shimmering in the background. Is that believable or what?

We drove up to the entrance of a walled citadel.

Once we passed through the gated wall, no sword wielding guard, we walked to the lobby.

The first pool was being meticulously cleaned by workman. This is what is so cool about travel with OAT. In Peru, my grandson Alec and I stayed in a 17th century monastery. In Turkey, Owen and I lived on an old historic sailing ship for a week. In Thailand Mason and I cavorted across streams and through the woods on the back of an elephant whose baby followed along for fun. In Costa Rica Stewart and I milked a cow, made cheese and visited a water slide where you could hustle up to an underwater bar stool and order a drink.

You know you’re not in Kansas anymore.

We enter. Notice the bowl of flowers on the floor.

At each tier of the rooms sections, is a bowl of flower petals in water.

Massive doors lead to the dining room, lobby, bar, and so on.

The lobby itself is like a small office to change money, pick up your keys, which were unique. I didn’t get a picture of the keys.

We dined each day in this beautiful room. Some days on long shared tables, other times on individual round tables in another part of the room.  Everything sparkling and beautiful.

The rooms are in sections. We stayed three flights of up and down marble stairs to our quarters. And each area has it’s own terrazzo to take the sun, or enjoy a coffee. Looking back toward the entrance, the open areas serve as an outdoor lobby.

The evening before the hunt,  a film about the Bengal Tiger, that we hope to see, is shown. Magnificent animals.

This is, as you can imagine, just a small part of the palace. The cricket courts, swimming pool and barbecue area, where we ate by candlelight our last night, is also spectacular. You see the steps that lead up and then down the other side. Makes for strong legs.

Our doors are locked and bolted. Ranvir teased about the age of the place. It was built in 1961 to replicate a 17th century palace.

Our bathroom has a window onto the terrazzo and the same bolt type locks on the doors.

The shower could accommodate a family of six. Well, enough of this awe-inspiring place and on to the hunt.

The next morning, our guide looks at his territory. The area you get is chosen by lottery. You may not wander into another territory. The guides cannot use a walkie-talkie or a device of any kind to speak with other territorial guides.  If one area spots a tiger, everyone would rush to it. The only way to check is to return to the ranger station. Our guide was pleased because a tiger was spotted in his section yesterday.

We spot another deer that stared at us curiously and kept posing for us.

A bird flew onto the guides head in our canter.

We pulled into a widened area with a garbage can and stopped. The birds were everywhere looking for treats.

Soon everyone had a bird or several on his head or shoulders.

This deer was close to the road drinking from a puddle.

He got very comfortable and decided to pose for us.

Oh, yeah. This mud feels too good.

A huge croc warmed itself on the bank near the water.

Birds spend time near the lakes. The reserve has 450 species of birds from crested eagles to painted storks.

There are only 26 tigers in the reserve and it is easy to see why they stay in this protected environment.  Food is plentiful and hunting is done with a camera. The tourist business helps pay expenses for the reserve. We spot two deer in a standard pose. They each check for enemies from both directions. Giraffes, horses, zebras, all use this instinctive protection. We are situated close to a watering hole and our guide suggests this is a good place to wait. And, we wait, driving around the same area over and over again.

He finally races back to the station to find out if anyone has spotted the tiger in our area. Yes, is the answer. We race back only to learn we had just missed it. Every vehicle in our area saw the tiger. And, there was a kill sighted in a bordering section.  It was still fun. And, it was disappointing. The drive back was one hellava ride, but too late. The guide was despondent and more disappointed than we were.

Tomorrow we visit a school.

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MADE IN AMERICA

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Normally when my son Ken visits, he leaves in a suit and tie. He is transitioning from Nevada to California, and stays with me periodically. This time, he was dressed as a huntsman. He brought 4 smoked pheasant for Christmas dinner and took clients hunting again on Friday. I’m not overly enthused about hunting in this day and age, but the hunt clubs provide birds just like stocking a lake. So, I guess I shouldn’t diss the practice too heavily. Better than depleting wild stocks of duck, pheasant and quail.

 

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Anyway, he had wet socks from Thursdays hunt and went to Big 5 to buy another pair. They were identical to his 10-year-old socks he still wears.   A big sign at Big 5 proclaimed, Proudly Made In America. Quality in a pair of socks that will see him through another ten years.

Yesterday, I picked up my wounded Toyota and stopped in Stockton to buy some art supplies, and a few items.  At a Marshall’s store I was surprised to find under garments made in America and socks, made in Italy. There was plenty of goods made in China, as well, but at least I had a choice.

I guess I’ve come to the point where I don’t want to buy anything made in China even though I like and respect the hard-working Chinese people.

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I don’t often have a chance to eat Indian food, but at Swagat, I met Misty. She pointed out that Swagat is the best Indian restaurant in Stockton and pointed me to her favorite dishes. All was delicious and such a bargain.

It was nice to get out and away from the rain for a day.

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The cook made some of the best tandoori chicken I’ve ever tasted. My own recipe is from a family friend is good, but this was better.

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I drove home with the sun setting in my mirror. It was spectacular, but by the time I found a spot to pull over, it was nearly over.

I like it that I can go to nearby Stockton and come home with a bit of India, Italy and Made In America. Don’t we live in a wonderful country?

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DECATUR’S KEKIONGAN FESTIVAL

We saw signs around town for a Kekiongan Festival. What the heck is that, we wondered?  Local Indians named the nearby river Kekiongan. The Indians also taught early settlers how to live in this land. Many of them wouldn’t have made it without their help.  The festival is an authentic encampment requiring participants to re-enact life as it was before 1800.

A fun agenda along with the local scouts, rotary and so on selling stuff to make money for their own specific causes. The authentic appearance of the encampment is kept by keeping it in a woodsy setting on the grass away from all the modern trappings of the sellers, and entertainment, and food of the rest of the participants.

Thus you see all white canvas tents for shelter. Cooking on open fires. Pots of cast iron and wooden spoons and stir sticks.

This man is a hunter and he sells animal hides he has tanned. It was a bit disconcerting to see so many dead animals about the place, (at many of the tents) but, the reality is that people had to hunt to eat in the 1700’s.

Water buckets were copper or canvas covered leather. A feed bucket or “dry” bucket , was simply made of canvas.

People lived simpler lives. Everyday goods were difficult to make, such as clothing, bedding, and shoes. Horsehair with cotton fibers for some crude clothing. Others of refined cotton. During the day I met a Circuit Rider Preacher and his wife; a musket shooter, knife and utensil makers, weavers, soap makers and people producing leather goods, traps, and so on.  All spikes holding the tents in the ground were made by a blacksmith. (He was not on site.)

These two gents deal in charms and talismans, hatchets with hardwood handles,and what appears to be scalps hanging from their tent pole. I didn’t get to talk to them.
I watched the bowmen shoot with their handmade bows and arrows and leather quivers.

Women shoot and hunt too when necessary.

The most interesting to me was  women’s work, clothing, sewing, household frugality and clever use of materials.

Joyce Johnson demonstrates how women would use little packets of wood shavings to soak up sweat and help prevent stain and odor on their dresses.

She is married, thus her “pretty” pocket from her underskirt is kept under her top skirt. If she was single, she would let it hang out.

Silk was used to decorate hats and clothing. Modest you might be required to be, but you could still show off a bit by scrunching your silk into designs . Using a lot of silk subtlely told you were wealthier than someone else.

A black locust thorn is threaded for a needle. It is capable of sewing on leather.

Tea traveled everywhere in dry pressed cakes. It had to be stamped, according to the stamp act, that taxes were paid on it. A person just shaved off pieces into their pot to make tea.

Buttons were made from copper,shells,antler,bone,tufted linen and thread. Yes, thread. She showed me how to make a thread button. And if thread was scarce, you could use bits of worn fabric and pull threads from it. Ohhh, as fascinating as I found it, I’m glad I didn’t live in those days. I do appreciate my washing machine and deodorant. We won’t even talk about female problems. Arrrggh.  I learned a great deal from Joyce. She has a website at http://wkjohnson@mchsi.com.
For more pictures click my link below:
http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/82810KekionganFestivalDecatur#

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WE MADE IT TO ASHTABULA, OHIO

If you like a good ghost story you might enjoy this one. Before we left Smethport, PA. we saw a sign to visit the old jail where the ghost of Ralph Crossmire appeared after he was hung by his neck until dead. We didn’t visit the jail, which is run by the local Historical Society, I believe, but I did go on-line and read his whole story. You can check it out at:     http://www.smethporthistory.org/king.street/jail/crossmiremurder/crossmire.htm

Smethport was a nice town, friendly and pretty with a good sized lake and park.

A huge flock of Canadian Geese make this lake their home. Above is a small portion of the lake and a small portion of the flock.

I walked around the lake on Goose Chasing Trail, appropriately enough. I saw along this wall of greenery on the trail many berry bushes and a huge plop of bear scat. Not a place to walk at night. The park had ball fields, several childrens playgrounds, tennis courts, a skate board area; You can fish and kayak, and sail boats and swim here. A huge barbeque area for group affairs plus many strategically located more private picnic areas with benches. I crossed two bridges over the water. For a small population of about 19,000 people, it was commendable. If I were to chose a place to live in Pennsylvania, this might be it.

Down the road apiece was this figure attached to a hunt and bait shop. Methinks the area is a great hunting, fishing and skiing area, judging from the mountainous terrain of the Allegheny Mountains. And, the main grocery here had better prices compared to what we were paying for items in Ivoryton and Dartmouth.

Yesterday, I attempted to get a picture of a snowmobile crossing sign and missed several of them. But, I finally succeeded after three tries on this stretch of road headed for Ashtabula.

Our journey was somewhat eventful in that a truck turning right pulled within inches of us at a stop light, then backed up and made the narrow turn. I was so transfixed I didn’t get his picture. Likewise when we came to a very narrow underpass. This one, pictured below, was lower than normal, but not so narrow. The transportation department gave plenty of warning that it was coming up. Twelve feet seven inches. The motor home is Eleven feet two inches.

Then, we stopped for lunch and a stretch at Union City and wondered what all the yellow ribbons were for? Maybe vets? Maybe cancer awareness? Its a local thing.

Signs we saw, but not in time to get a picture:
HOME OF FLAMETHROWER BURGERS
(That was Conneaut)
BLIND PERSON AREA
(On cape cod, we saw a DEAF CHILD sign.)
BUCKLE UP ITS YOUR LIFE ITS OUR LAW
SOULSHINES BETTER THAN A SHOESHINE
WORLDS STRONGEST REDNECK
That last one really has me curious. We saw it in three places in two small towns???
Life on the road is fun even whizzing by. We made it to Ashtabula.

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