"So much to see and Do!" Toughluck's Profile

Philosophy and wunderlust

I've had a chance to live around the country and to visit most states in the United States and Canada. I'm always amazed at the wonders around the next corner and over the next hill. We have a family moto that began as a joke when as kids we'd find dad driving through some lost corner of town or long dirt track to who knows where. We always said that we took the 'scenic route'. Scenic they were. An old coal mine shower house, the parking lot of a closed steel plant, a backroad in Somewhere, West Virginia. The amazing thing is that we always got where we were going and enjoyed the experience.

This same 'scenic' detours have become a part of our lives and my son added to a family crest he designed in his Japanese class. But do to the limitation in translations, the motto has become ' Keep to the Beautiful Way'. A much nicer translation and in keeping with Navajo spiritual guidance.

Missouri where the adventure begins

You'll discover that there is plenty to see and enjoy around home. You don't have to trek for two days to get somewhere. Look about. We discovered many wonderful places in Missouri where we began our travels.

Recent Travels
2007, Jan - McCormick’s Creek State Park, Indiana
2007, Feb – Cleveland, Ohio
2007, April – Turkey Run State Park, Indiana
2007, April – Air flight over Northwest Indiana
2007, July – Nebraska, Colorado, Denver, Kansas(Nicodemus),
2007, Sept - Vincennes and Indianapolis, Indiana
2007, October - Cedar Point, Ohio
2007, December – Christmas in Denver, Colorado.
2008, June - Lexington, Kentucky
2008, October- Buffalo National Scenic River, Arkansas
2009, January-Visit to Illinois; Momence, Kankakee, and Ottawa on the Illinois River.
2009, April, Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio, then to Oxford and finally a visit to the river city, Cinncinnati.
2009, July, Voyageurs National Park
2009, August in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Manitou Springs.
2009, October in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
2010, June in West Virginia , Cass Scenic Railroad
2010, Sept in Tennessee (Memphis), Florida (Pensacola Beach), Georgia (Andersonville), and Alabama (Mobile).

2011, May in Louisville, Kentucky and on the Indiana side at Jeffersonville.
2011, October we went to South Dakota to see the Badlands National Park and returned through Souix City, Iowa.

New Mexican Transitions

Transitions are like crossing a giant canyon and that's what New Mexico had to offer. You are high up on a mesa. The view to the south is 90 miles to Albuquerque. Everyday is a clear day, but it's a change from one life style to another. High Mountains and fresh air dominate as long as you're not allergic to Juniper Pollen. Living on a high plateau offers many insights to the world above and below.

Travels in the new millenium:
2000, April – Washington, D.C.
2000, Sept – Maumee Bay State Park, Toledo, Ohio
2001, May – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
2001, July – Northern Rocky Mountains
. . . . . . North Dakota, Canadian Rockies, Montana, Yellowstone Nat’l Park, Black Hills (South Dakota).
2002-Aug – London, England, UK
2003, April – Illinois and Michigan Canal Nat’l Heritage Area, Illinois
2003, April – Maumee Bay State Park, Toledo, Ohio
2003, August – Lake Huron Shore of Michigan
. . . . . Alpena, Harrisville, East Tawas, Port Austin, Port Sanilac, Port Huron
2004, May – Kalamazoo, Michigan. Indianapolis, Indiana
2004, June – Seattle, Olympic Peninsula, and San Juan Islands, Washington
2004, July – Sauder Village, Ohio
2004, August – Arab, Alabama, and Chattanooga, n Murfreessboro, Tennessee
2004, Oct – Glenn and Holland, Michigan
2004, Dec - Maumee Bay State Park, Toledo, Ohio
2005, January – St. Croix, Wisconsin and Houghton, Michigan
2005, April – West Suburbs of Chicago
2005, June – Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
2005, Sept – Allegan and Saugatuck, Michigan
2005, Oct – Constantine, Michigan
2005, Dec – Canton, Ohio
2006, Jan – McCormick’s Creek State Park, Indiana
2006, Feb – Shepardstown, West Virginia
2006, April – Madison, Indiana Dunes
2006, April – Rantoul, Illinois and Parke County, Indiana
2006, Aug – Copper Harbor Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan
2006, Sept – Tippecanoe County(West Lafayette) & Logansport, Indiana
2006, Oct – Holland, Michigan
2006, Oct - McCormick’s Creek State Park, Indiana
2006, Nov – White County, Indiana
2006, Nov – Omaha, Nebraska
2006, Dec – Cleveland, Ohio

Life in Ohio

It began in Ohio among the values of the Amish. Family and community and a strong sense of values. These are the best that you can get from family. They are what family is about.

Beaking Away
1980 – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming and Black Hills, South Dakota
1981, Easter – Washington, D.C.
1981, August – Kelly’s Island, Ohio
1981, August – Marblehead, Ohio
1981, Sept – Ashtabula Covered Bridges
1981, Oct – Cooks Forest, Pennsylvania
1984 – Portugal and Spain
1985 – Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
1986, April – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
1986, July – Vincennes, Indiana Dunes
1987, Jan – Bahamas
1988, April – Boston, Massachusetts
1988, Sept – Arizona
1988, Oct – San Antonio, Texas
1988 – Yosemite National Park, California

Travels of the last century
1990, May – Missoula, Montana
1990, May – Omaha, Nebraska
1991 – United Kingdom (England & No. Ireland)
1992 – Cleveland, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana
1994, June – Windsor and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
1995, May – Martinsburg, West Virginia
1995, Aug – Traverse City, Michigan
1996, May – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
1996, Aug – Traverse City, Michigan
1997, June – Paris, France
1998, Aug – Traverse City, Michigan
1998 – Turkey Run State Park, Indiana
1999, Jan – St. Joseph, Michigan
1999, April – Springfield, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri
1999, Dec – Mississippi River Cruise
. . . . . . . . . . .Vicksburg, Natchez, Mississippi and St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, New Orleans.

Indiana Wants You.

'Indiana Want Me' is more than a song, it's a way of life.

Indiana Page

Indiana is really two states. There is Indiana and then there is 'da region'. For those of you not from Indiana, 'da region' is northwest Indiana, adjacent to Chicago. In 'da region', television, news, jobs, stores, everything, is supported out of Chicago, making this part of the state more like Chicago than the rest of the state. It tends to be more liberal, i.e., Democratic party, more industrial, and more urban.

Covered Bridges

Travels with Dad

Beginning in 1958, Dad always took time each summer to get away from home. He discovered family camping and quickly we were traveling the nation visiting parks, cities, historic sites and the countryside looking to see what was out there. Every spring, we'd start with a weekend trip to Niagara Falls, just to test out the equipment and make sure that it was ready for the big trip later in the summer.

Then, when August came, off we'd go. Three to four weeks traveling every day, setting down in a new place each afternoon with memories created during the day. Distances might not be far, but in the adventure, they were full.

We began in 1959, when the idea of family camping was new. Dad had read an article about traveling to Algonquian Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, so off we went. Along the way, we gained our first memories of unusual events, rare places and learned more about each other. In a small cabin deep in the woods, we spent the day playing and taking a boat ride on the local lakes. Since the only open place for sun was the railroad clearing, we played there all day. 'After all, the tracks were abandoned'. Abandon that is until about 10 o'clock that evening when we were all snuggled into our beds against the cold and a train whistle jolted us out of bed. The rumbling continued until the train had gone by. It was only the first of many memories.

Where I've Been

Only the gray states are places I've not been. red is where I've lived. blue is where I've visited. The vast area of green are states I've visited on a limited basis, only in the blue areas.

While I've been in 45 out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia, many of the states have only been spotty. For instance, we stopped in Astoria, Oregon, while visiting the coast of Washington. We had lunch in a nice Chinese restaurant, visited the famed overlook and returned to Washington for the evening. So, there is a blue box , as it's the only part of the state where we've spent time.

On the other hand, we've been across Nebraska and Colorado several times. Only, we have not stopped to see much as it was on the way from here to there. So again, blue boxes where we've spent time, not just passing through.

Yellow has been added to reflect where in Canada, we've traveled. Green reflects the parts of the provinces, we've not had the chance to visit. We've been to all the provinces that are continguous to the U.S. border, except Manitoba.

Life Up north (5 years out in the cold)

I don't know what was more magical. Watching the sun rise over Lake Superior on a chill winter morning (about 8:00 a.m.) or standing out on the point with an icy wind and the glistening snow/ice all about. Everthing muffled against the cold, isolating you from anyone nearby, from the weather, from the world about, and only the blue of the lake streaching for over 100 miles to the east. A cold emptiness. God's creation at the very beginning.

We made many friends in the wonderland of the North. Wonderland you ask? Yes, the wonders to behold were many. Waterfalls grace the entire shore line of Lake Superior. Northern Lights can be seen if only rarely. The sunrise over Lake Superior and the views southward are magnificent. But the real wonderland begins in October as the cold slowly settles across the woods and lakes.

Soon, you wonder if you'll make it to work today. You wonder if you'll ever see real vegetables again. You wonder if darkness will become a permanent fixture. You wonder if you'll survive the drive to Duluth without freezing. You wonder if the car breaks down if you'll walk the 2 miles to the nearest house instead of 200 feet the other way. The North Shore of Minnesota is a real wonderland when winter arrives. And you'll wonder if it'll ever leave when April arrives and the snow drifts still linger.

  • Intro Updated Jan 30, 2014
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Comments (25)

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I hope that your special day is full of fun and happiness and everything that you enjoy.

  • kahnjetta's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Happy Birthday Chris! I hope you have a wonderful day.

  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Oops! I missed it... hope it was good! Happy Belated Birthday!

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Hope your birthday is filled with all the fun you can handle!

  • kat-m's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    love your escalante tips,love the place names, sounds very historic for the states but then you are all getting old now and have a history, fabulous!

  • DaHongHua's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    A warm happy birthday greeting from Malaysia. Hope you have more travellings and more VT sharings in the coming years.

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Chris, you are relatively close to Chicago. You will need to join us next time when we have a Chicago VT get together. Next one will probably be in my hometown in the early Spring.

  • Sienlu's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Great pictures of Badlands National Park!! and all your pictures in general actually! :)

  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day!

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Happy Happy Birthday Chris! Wishing you a wonderful day! :-)

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Chris Light
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