Posts Tagged With: Native Americans

Window Rock, Arizona

The motorhome is now parked at the Paradise Casino in Winterhaven, California right across the Colorado River from Yuma, Arizona. I’m here with others…hanging out and enjoying the nice weather.

Mary is tending to business at home. She has made her flight reservations to rejoin me on January 28th.

Yesterday was a sunny day at 74 degrees. Forecast for today is sunny and 76 degrees.

A more relaxed mode..

After our 682 day on-the-go 2011-2013 circumnavigation of the United States, we have decided to slip into a more relaxed mode. In the next few months we will be traveling through areas previously explored. Unless I do something unusual, this Blog will feature a photo album from the circumnavigation and will change daily.

To read about today’s photo album location, click this link…,_Arizona


Window Rock, Arizona


Enjoying nice weather 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 California. 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 would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 500 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

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

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2014

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


DSC08321 (Copy)

Look what fudge built?  This is Mackinaw City which sits next to the Mackinac  Bridge leading to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The town is busy, touristy and obviously a favorite place for vacationers. We found a spot to park the Motor Home and wandered through the Michilimackinac State Park which sits under and on both sides of the bridge. DSC08323 (Copy)

The mainland Fort Michilimackinac  wasn’t military, it was more of a trading post and kept the peace between the English, French and Natives. At one point the Natives took control of the Fort on nearby Machinac  Island,  which was a Military Fort and saw two battles during the Revolutionary War. Mackinac Island was known as the “Great Turtle” by the local Ojibwa Indians who for many years were called Chippewa Indians. I was born in the Upper Peninsula and my genealogy has us related to the Huron or Ojibwa Native Americans, I’ve forgotten which.  Both were prominent in this area. To read more about  Fort Michilmackinac, click the following link:

The visitor center’s great choice of books on the area tribes. culture, the history of the Mackinac straits, the fur trade, Native Americans, its prominent people and industry is sure to spark your interest.

DSC08337 (Copy)

Two beautiful paintings hang in the center, above and below:

DSC08336 (Copy)


DSC08342 (Copy)

Crossing the bridge was a real thrill for me. People from the Upper Peninsula are referred to as Yoopers and those below the bridge are called Trolls, a sparring tease between the two sections of the state. My folks were quite political and fought for a bridge, but there was no bridge until after we moved to California. It opened in 1957.  The common complaint of Yoopers, no money was spent on their roads, or schools. In fact, not even a Jr. College was available to Yoopers when I left in 1954.  It was good to see how much things had changed. Our friend, Susie Lambart told us about her first crossing of the 5 mile  bridge, with the longest suspension between anchorages in the western hemisphere. She was on a motorcycle with Art trying to impress him with her courage though she was scared silly as clouds obscured their vision, the wind was making the bridge sway and the railing was looking too close. At one point they had to pull over and don rain gear. (The bridge has a sway factor of 35 feet.) Fifteen years later, the wind tossed a car over the rails and its occupants were killed. Now they close the bridge when the bridge swings in high wind. She shudders to this day when she remembers that windy trip.

DSC08344 (Copy)

Of course, you can get across the Straits of Mackinac, or to Macknac island in a “rooster tail.” The harbor is full of high speed boats, and slower ferries that take tourists to Mackinac Island, which is why people flock here and to St. Ignace on the Upper Peninsula side.

DSC08353 (Copy)

St. Ignace is the opposite of Mackinaw City. Quiet, laid back, with plenty of boats, lake fish and hotels, just friendlier and prettier, in my opinion. These pictures deserve a double click to make them larger. We chose not to take the trip to the Island. No cars are allowed. An exciting  horse and buggy cab will take you to town. Or rent a bike or walk the mile into town from the landing. It is worth a trip ($23 per person on the ferry) to see  the fantastic and well preserved Victorian Grand Hotel. I visited in 1974. The view from Fort Mackinac is stupendous. My oldest brother worked at the Grand Hotel  one summer doing dishes at age 15 where he found out his favorite food is roast duckling a la orange.  (He lied his age to get the job.)  For more on Mackinac Island click the following link:

DSC08348 (Copy)

St. Ignace’s visitor center has a brown bear skin, smaller than one I hung on my wall for many years; it was killed by my youngest brother, Clark, at age 18. (In California.)

DSC08349 (Copy)

In fact, my father had a hunting lodge on our property for two or three years when we lived in Hardwood, MI. I don’t know why I never took a decent picture of my brother’s trophy, so I made sure and got a good one of this pelt.

DSC08356 (Copy)

Left of the tee pee, St.Ignace Mission, is on the State Registry of Historic Buildings. The Mission was  run by Father Marquette. He had a high opinion of the local natives and they apparently cared deeply for him. He died away from St. Ignace and two years later they brought his body to be buried at the St. Ignace Mission Cemetery.  He was only 38 years old.

DSC08359 (Copy)

Father Marquette’s grave marker in the beautiful grounds and garden at the mission.

DSC08358 (Copy)

A fountain and a statue of Father Marquette is in the park. They have a parking area for visitors here though we parked at the Chamber of Commerce right next door.

DSC08363 (Copy)

A Huron Long House, a ceremonial building, is falling apart.The Ojibwa Museum is inside of the Mission building and for the price of a donation, you can see it.

DSC08378 (Copy)

The Chippewa are now called Ojibwa. A video showed Ojibwa making a birch bark canoe. I was stunned at the roll of birch bark in this photo. You would never find a birch tree with that girth today. One single  long piece of birch bark was used to make this canoe. What a marvelous craft with rudimentary tools and materials. A fascinating video shows the intricate steps in making a birch bark canoe by modern tribesmen who have better tools.

DSC08380 (Copy)

The Ojibwa had fine features, almost Eurasian. They were not tall people.

DSC08381 (Copy)

I admired the shells on this model’s clothing and the beautiful bleached white, soft deer hide.

DSC08384 (Copy)

The Ojibwa were very clever artisans with feathers of all types when birds were plentiful.

DSC08385 (Copy)


DSC08388 (Copy)

The museum is small and cramped, but the gift shop carries only native made items, jewelry, paintings, and leather goods, knick-knacks, etc. Nice that NOTHING is made in China. At our VFW stay in Indian River, the vets complained that the American flags they put on veterans graves come from China. They can’t buy them American made. DSC08393 (Copy)

We went to Bessie’s Pasty Place and enjoyed an iconic Yooper Cornish meat pie. Delish, but not as good as mom made. (It could have used a bit more meat.) Steve, at the VFW told us there’s are home-made and better tasting, except they were temporarily out.   In our family, pasty was made in a huge casserole and left on the counter to cool. We ate it after midnight mass during Christmas. The pasty would be at perfect temperature.

DSC08390 (Copy)

We’re camped at the VFW, next to Bessies and also next to a cedar, spruce, pine and wild rose, forest, perfuming the air. Ahhh. Heavenly remembered smells.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Taos, New Mexico – Day 8

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

I took the Bronco and drove about six miles to Taos Pueblo. From their website…

Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years

You may view the entire website by clicking this link…

Some notes about my visit…

There is no electricity or running water here. The Indian women get water from the stream running through the pueblo in clay pots. Some doors are painted in according with an old Spanish curiosity custom. The color blue is to ward off the evil spirits. The color red is to welcome the good spirits. There is no photography allowed inside of the church.

The day was a brilliant sunshine and I was there at high noon. The absolute worst conditions for photography. This creates harsh contrasty shadows and combined with the abundant sandstone adobe color provided photos that had a washed-out appearance. Most unappealing!!

Fortunately I shot some duplicate photos in the watercolor mode. While making each photo appear as a watercolor painting, it also provided a photo with softer shadows and more pleasing colors.  I really like the watercolor mode for old structures, I hope you do as well…

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 interesting historical sites is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

You can read all about the Taos Pueblo by clicking this Wikipedia link…

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:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Earlier this year we visited a museum showing pictures of Native Americans fishing for salmon on the Columbia River. Their whole life style revolved around the salmon including  religious rituals. It fed them and the bears, the eagles, otter and numerous other species plus provided fertile ground around the river bank from the millions of dead salmon after the spawn.  Then settlers moved into the west and greed and competition took hold. They put fish wheels on the rivers.  By some historic reports, they caught so many fish, so easily,  half of each catch was wasted. They couldn’t give it away because everybody wanted to be in the fish business. 
Not until canneries opened did it become super profitable and then fishing with wheels practically decimated salmon populations by 1906. On the Columbia River, one single fish wheel near The Dalles pulled 418,000 pounds of salmon out of the river in 1906 alone, and it was just one of more than 75 fish wheels working the river that year.
Conventional wisdom  blames over fishing  for salmon decline, and when it became obvious something had to be done, no one wanted to be blamed.  The gillnet  fishing boat operators of the lower Columbia and the fish-wheel operators farther upstream, each blamed the other for its dwindling salmon catch. In the 1908 Oregon election, the two sides sponsored competing ballot measures, one banning fish wheels and the other making gillnetting illegal.  Both bills passed, but were thrown out by courts. 

Isn’t that wonderful?  The courts sometimes have as much sense as our current court which insists a corporation has the same rights as an individual which allows  the huge amounts of money we now have in our election process.

It took until 1935 for fish wheels to be banned completely on the Columbia, but by this time the Grand Coulee Dam had been built without fish ladders, cutting off access to slews of spawning grounds. Salmon  never rebounded to anywhere near  historic levels.

I read this piece in the Washington Post about two weeks ago with a feeling of satisfaction and relief: 
The largest dam demolition in the nation’s history will begin Saturday when an excavator claws away at the concrete supports for Washington’s 108-foot Elwha River Dam, a ceremonial act of destruction that will signal not only the structure’s demise but the latest step in a broad shift in the way Americans are managing rivers. Faced with aging infrastructure and declining fish stocks, communities are tearing down dams across the country in key waterways that can generate more economic benefits when they are removed than when the rivers are controlled.
“What once seemed radical is now mainstream,” said  American Rivers President Bob Irvin, whose group has advocated dam removal for environmental reasons. “All of these are experiments in how nature can restore itself, and the Elwha is the biggest example of that.” The pace of removal has quickened, with 241 dams demolished between 2006 and 2010, more than a 40 percent increase over the previous five years. Many of them are in the East and Midwest, having powered everything, including textile mills and paper operations at the turn of the 20th century. A drumbeat of litigation by tribes and environmental groups has pushed federal officials to dismantle some dams that otherwise would have remained in place. Although this has led to political fights in regions where dams matter the most, such as the Pacific Northwest, it has also forged historic compromises.“The Elwha River restoration marks a new era of river restoration in which broad community support provides the bedrock for work to sustain our rivers and the communities that rely on them,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. Although estimates vary on the economic value of restoring a river’s natural flow, it creates construction jobs in the short term and eventually restores depleted commercial fisheries. It also draws tourists — anglers, rafters and kayakers. Federal officials estimate that restoring the Elwha river  will generate at least 760 jobs during  the clean up which will take over two years, and 446 annual jobs in recreation and tourism once it’s finished.Demolishing dams is not popular with some State and Federal policy makers. But, considering that Dams once played an outsize role in the nation’s energy supply, providing 40 percent of U.S. electricity in 1940. Now they account for 7 to 10 percent, with only 3 percent of the nation’s dams with adequate generating capacity. And, many policy makers do not consider the cost of the electricity when the dam upkeep is taken into the equation. We recently visited the Bonneville dam, two dams, actually because they are spread from a man made river Island to both banks of the Columbia. The dam impedes boat and barge transportation. In fact, the locks, are no longer used because there isn’t enough boat transportation to keep them running.

Glen Canyon Dam, was built in 1966. It supplies recreation on Lake Powell, but the dam destroyed some of the most beautiful scenery on the Colorado River. Senator Goldwater pushed for the project and later stated if he had seen the scenery before he voted he wouldn’t have voted for it. It doesn’t supply significant electricity, but it does provide recreation. The problem is it keeps natural silt from the river and the native plants and fish are suffering.  It is costing millions  to counteract the affects of the dam on the Grand Canyon.

Even though laws mandate mitigation for lost habitat, we still have overgrazed, over fished, flood prone, destroyed wetlands, because of dams. Unfortunately, not much is being done. Costs to maintain the dams are often not considered in the proposals to build dams because riparian rights are not recognized by our political system.

My rant for the day.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Modern turkey farms aren’t as bad as they used to be. Our family camped near La Grange when our kids were young and you could smell the turkey farms miles before you came to them. Should have been enough to turn the appetite away from turkey. It didn’t, though.

In the 1980’s I did an article about a turkey ranch on Highway 4 near Farmington. I was impressed at how clean it was. Ranchers feed people economically and turkey raising doesn’t use up the resources that beef and pork do. Except for their feed. Corn raising produces a blight on the earth from the massive amount of fertilizer used to grow corn.

Now I choose to shop my turkey at a free range turkey farm. No smell. The birds are lively, clean and happy, given their short future. I’m sure they are corn fed.
I’m supposedly getting wiser. I know the day is coming, in my lifetime, when population demands and resources, already feeling the strain, are going to produce a new way of living with less meat, or no meat in our diets. My vegan friends are adamant the time to change is NOW.

I’m reminded of two things, when Native Americans hunted, they always thanked the animal for its contribution to their health and blessed its spirit. And, I’m reminded of a man who was way ahead of his time. He said:

The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.
Leonardo da Vinci

I thank my turkey for being the guest of honor at my table tomorrow but I’m also wrestling with my conscience about eating meat and see myself moving closer and closer to vegetarianism.
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at