Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tastin' and Fiestin'-- Part 2: Sales and More Rain, No "Rainmaker"


Every morning I spend time out on FP  (Front Porch) having coffee, breakfast and reading the Chicago Tribune.  Enjoying the yard, which is now at peak color for the summer and listening to the birds sing.  To me, that is as good as it gets.

I went to McHenry to check out the yard nurseries and found that there were now sales going on at Wal-Mart and Home Depot so took advantage of that and bought more flowers, which I don't need.

We had planned on going to Antioch's Taste of Summer tonight to see the country band Suburban Cowboys, but with forecasts and threatening skies, decided not to.  Glad we didn't go as we had torrential rains.  Still something we don't need with all the flooding.

We went to the Legion and met the Usual Suspects (our friends) for 50-50.  We didn't win, but at least stayed dry.  It was hard to see going home with how hard the rain was coming down.

Enjoyed Margaritaville, our downstairs bar and the Ultimate Jukebox (300 CDs).  The Legion's digital jukebox didn't have it, but  the Ultimate Jukebox did, the Cryan' Shames' "Rainmaker," a very appropriate song these days.

"Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Another Day."  --RoadDog

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tasting and Fiestin' Last Weekend-- Part 1: Pirates and the Neverlies

Flood or no Flood, at least the boat still floats.


I had to go see "Pirate's of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" in Round Lake Beach one more time.  This is the kind of movie that  needs to be seen on the big screen and with that surround sound.  A 70-inch screen is good, but just doesn't cut it.

I bought an outside bench and shepherd's hook for the yard at Big Lots for half off.  Checked on the boat which still is floating, but up way, way high.  The water isn't going down too much as we keep getting rain, something we don't need.  Plus, it was so hot and muggy, I even broke down and turned on the Dakota's air conditioner.  Something I don't often do.

Drove to Antioch for their annual Taste of Summer Festival and saw the Neverly Brothers do rock and roll from the 50s and 60s.  They are a three-piece band with guitar, stand up base and stand up drums.  What a show, but left earlier than we would have liked as the mosquitoes were voracious, a little side effect of all this rain and flooding.

I Tell You, This Rain Is a Gift That Just Keeps On Giving.  --RoadDog

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Busy Weekend, Even if the Chain of Lakes is Flooded-- Part 2: Fiesta or Taste?

Saturday is when our choice gets really difficult.  Two local towns are both having their big summer festivals.  McHenry has their Fiesta Days and Antioch continues with its Taste of Summer.

Antioch has a lineup of three of the top bands in the local area:  American English and their salute to the Beatles in the afternoon and then Modern Day Romeos and Hi-Infidelity.  That and all sorts of great food.  Every food vendor also has a $1.25 taste as well as some great food.

McHenry has their Art in the Park with 100-125 craft booths at Veterans Park and they close off Riverside Drive between Pearl Street and 120.  There are bands and lots and lots of beer.  We always call it McHenry's Drunkathon.

Sunday, Mchenry has their Fiesta Days parade at 1, one of the biggest in Illinois outside of Chicago.  Antioch has the band 7th Heaven, anothere top local band.

No Boat, But Anyway.  Like I Said, Decisions To Be Made.  --RoadDog

A Busy Weekend in the Works, Despite the Flooding-- Part 1

Again, even with the Chain of Lakes and Fox River at record flooding, this is a busy weekend for us.  And, there will be NO BOATING, obviously as the Chain is not expected to get back to normal for several more weeks.

Yesterday, is aw the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" for the second time.  This is a movie best seen on the really big screen.  Then we went to Antioch, Illinois, and saw the Neverly Brothers, a three piece band with upright base and standup drums, playing music from the 50s and 60s and giving quite a history lesson.  This is part of Antioch's four-day Taste of Summer Festival.

Today it will probably be back in Antioch to see the Suburban Cowboys playing today's country music.

I should also mention that we have a big country party this weekend in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin,called Country Thunder, about 14 miles away.  Main acts:  July 20--  Billy Currington, July 21--   Keith Urban and Restless Heart, July 22--  Thomas Rhett,  July 23--  Jason Aldean, Big & Rich and Tracy Lawrence.

--Decisions, Decisions.  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 20, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 25: A Whole Day For Fort Fisher


Looking out at the ocean from my fifth floor room and couldn't help thinking that had this been 152 years earlier, I would have seen Union transports and warships sitting out a little ways as well as Union troops fortifying lines in case General Braxton Bragg would get up the courage to attack them.

He hadn't come to Fort Fisher's aid when it really counted and the fate of the fort and the South's last open major port and a center for  blockade running hung in the balance two days earlier, so why would he do it now?

Fort Fisher fell January 15, 1865.

The Union soldiers who captured the fort landed about where I was right now.

Of course, to my way of thinking, the war was already lost by late 1864, so saving more men's lives would  be a good thing.

But, Anyway.  I have a full day to spend at Fort Fisher and the Carolina Beach area.

OH BOY.  My Favorite Place In the World.  --RoadFisher

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 24: Some Packer Nirvana and a War

And, I really considered starting an eighth blog on World War I.  I am really glad I didn't as I have WAY TOO MANY blogs right now, with seven.

Throughout the day, I had lots of people tell me what a great game that Green Bay Packer-Dallas Cowboy game was yesterday.  Though most said they were pulling for the Cowboys.  I wore my Packer hat today which was causing the remarks.   Go PACK!!  Regardless of who you were pulling for, you have to admit that that was one of the best-ever football games.

Th presentation was given by Dr. Jan Davidson of the Cape Fear Museum and she was very knowledgeable on World War One and had a lot of pictures of items the museum had relating to the war.

I wrote a lot about the presentation in my Cooter's History Thing blog which is where I am writing about World War I, or, as the British refer to it, the First World War.  You can read more about the presentation at Cooter's History Thing Blog.  Hit the Wilmington NC label.

She said that Fort Caswell, a Civil War fort, was actually used as a military base and that there is a World War I Memorial in front of the New Hanover High School.  There was a lot of shipbuilding going on in Wilmington during the war and that most Wilmington men volunteered.  Blacks also served.


North Carolina's Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry

Located by the "Rocks" at the end of US-421.  This really saves a long drive (and going through those horribly congested and photo-enforced stoplights in Wilmington) and costs just $5 a car.  What a deal!!

It is about a 30-minute, 4 mile ferry ride across the mouth of the Cape Fear River and connects Pleasure Island/Federal Point and Southport.

Service began in 1965 and is used a lot by tourists to the area.

Two boats run at a time during the summer, one from each terminus.

Each year they carry 185,000 vehicles and 500,000 passengers.


North Carolina's "Rocks"

North Carolina's "Rocks" at the southern terminus of US-421  (and there is a sign saying that by the parking lot, also the other side says it is the beginning of US-421, kind of neat, i wish all roads would do that.)

U.S.-421 ends at a parking lot and from there you can launch a small boat and it is a popular fishing and crabbing spot.

This is referred to as the Swash Defense Dam and built back in the 1870s by the Army Corps of Engineers to close New Inlet, a very popular place for blockade-runners to run in and out of the Cape Fear River during the Civil War.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Even With Flooding, We'll Wait It Out Having a Good Time

We have two major festivals going on this week here in northeast Illinois in Lake and McHenry counties.

I wish they would find a way, though, to have it on two separate weekends, but, no, they never will.

McHenry, Illinois, has their annual Fiesta Days.  This Saturday we have Art in the Park, where all sorts of sellers offer their wares in Veterans Park.  At the same time, they close off Riverside Drive by Illinois Highway 120.  Then, we have bands out in the street and all sorts of partying in the afternoon.

This Thursday, Antioch, Illinois, has its annual Taste of Summer which features all sorts of food, a carnival and bands every night Thursday and Friday and throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.

Well, If You Can't Go Boating,  Drown Your Sorrows.  --RoadDog

Flooding Here in the Chain of Lakes Area in Illinois

Last Wednesday morning, in the wee hours, we had a torrential downpour here in the Chain of Lakes area in northeast Illinois by the Wisconsin state line.  We got anywhere from five to eight inches in about four hours and then had a couple of other big storms come through.

We had some flooding in our subdivision, which is about two miles from the Fox River, but that was just runoff.  The water in the retention pond behind our house got up to about 2/3 capacity, but has dropped down since then, though there is still some in it.

That was bad enough, but southern Wisconsin also got hammered and their water all ran off southward in the Fox River which has caused much flooding here.  Kind of strange as the water is rising, even though we have't had rain but one time for a short bit since then.

We are worried about our boat, which is still in the water in a channel off of Fox Lake, along with a lot of other boats.  The boat is riding up high and we're hoping that the pier will hold, and especially the posts.  Thankfully, boats float, but there is a question of where they might go should they come loose.

The water has finally stopped rising and is going down very slowly.

Hey, Anybody Seen My Boat?  --RoadDog

Monday, July 17, 2017

North Carolina's 100 Counties, 100 Things to Do (Well, Six of Them Anyway)

From the May 25, 2014, Raleigh (NC) News & Observer "Best Kept Secrets:  100 N.C, Counties, 100 things to try" by Richard Stradling.

Being a native North Carolinian, this immediately was of interest, but unfortunately I was unable to find the last 94 counties, so will have to suffice with these first six:

1.  Pender County--   Lanes Ferry Dock and Grill in Rocky Point

2.  Columbus County-- The Riverwalk in Fair Bluff

3.  Bladen County--  Jones Lake State Park,  Carolina bays.

4.  Sampson County--  Sampson County History Museum in Clinton

5.  Brunswick County--  Kindred Spirit Mailbox in Sunset Beach.  People write down their thoughts and leave them in the box.

6.  New Hanover County--  Casey's Buffet in Wilmington.  I've eaten there.


Friday, July 14, 2017

News From Along 66, June 2017: Farms, Book and Movie

JUNE 12--  The old Gillett Farm on the top of Elkhart Hill in Elkhart, Illinois, will be auctioned off.  It is sure hard to miss Elkhart Hill as it is the highest ground between Chicago and St. Louis.

John Dean Gillett was called the "Cattle King of the World" back in 1860.  he was a friend of Abraham Lincoln.

I imagine he made quite a bit of money supplying beef to the Union armies during the Civil War.

JUNE 14--  There is a new book out called "The 1928 Bunion Derby" by James R. Powell.  It is about the 3,423 mile Trans-American Footrace between Los Angeles and New York City.  But, those of us Route 66 fans knew that.

JUNE 16--  Movie Review on "Cars 3."  "Represents a return to the emotional core of the original 2006 film."

I saw it yesterday and sure did enjoy it.  Sadly, our local theater is pulling it after just three weeks, so it must not have done all that well.


13 Must-See Sights on Route 66-- Part 4: Theaters, Rabbits, Ghosts, Wigwams and Piers

9.  KiMo Theater--  Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Built 1927.  designed to reflect the Indian/Hispanic and Anglo cultures.

10.  Jack Rabbit Trading Post--  Joseph City, Arizona.  You know, all those "Here It Is" signs.  Or is it "Hare It Is?"

11.  Ghost Town of Calico--  north of Daggett, California.  What is left of an 1881 mining town.  OK, this one I had never heard of before.

12.  Wigwam Village Motel--  Rialto, California.  There is also one in Holbrook, Arizona, on Route 66.

13.  Santa Monica Pier--  Not exactly on Route 66, but close and makes for a good end-of destination.  Built 1908.

She suggests Drew Knowles' "Route 66 Adventure Handbook" for reading.

Obviously, I Love My Lists.  --RoadDog

13 Must-See Sights on Route 66-- Part 3: U-Drop, Caddies and Blue Swallow

6.  U-Drop Inn--  Shamrock, Texas.  Art Deco wonder, once a Conoco station.

7.  Cadillac Ranch--  Amarillo, Texas. All those Caddies.

8.  Blue Swallow Motel--  Tucumcari, New Mexico. Opened in the 1940s.  Also in Tucumcari, the souvenir store shaped like a teepee and the sombrero-shaped restaurant.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

13 Must-See Sights on 66-- Part 2: Drive-In, Old Riverton Store and Pops

3.  66 Drive-In Theater--  Carthage, Missouri.  Opened in 1949.

4.  Nelson's Old Riverton Store--  Riverton, Kansas.  Opened in 1925 as the Williams Store and for a long time was the Eisler Brothers Store.  My wife told me a few days ago that it had been torn down.  Bad news.

CORRECTION.  It was not torn down.  Liz misread the article about buildings across the street being torn down and not Nelson's.  Thanks LuLu for pointing that out to Liz.

5.  Pops--  Arcadia, Oklahoma.  Has 700 flavors of pop, or do you call it soda pop or soda?  Its 66-foot tall neon soda bottle is a real looker.  This wasn't there when we last went through there in 2006.  Looking forward to seeing it this fall.

Maybe have a Sodee Pop or Two.  RoadDog