Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Westward Ho....and Back Again

This past weekend we took a quick trip.  I love looking at the scenery as we drive down the road.  I believe these to be Eastern White Pines, Pinus strobus.  The branching is whirled and spaced so that it looks like rows of branches are added. 

We headed west.... and up, up, up
Up through the mountains of North Carolina and into Tennessee.  This route has been known to be closed for rock slides.  Yikes!

You can see the water seeping/ running out of the layers of rock.

After the mountains we went through a lot of flat land.  I did not take photos of the Ohio River nor the Tennessee River, both of which were overflowing their banks.   Spring flooding was wide spread.

We then headed into the city to get our kids from the airport......seeing interesting structures along the way.  Found out this is a standing water pipe.  This link Standing Water Pipes shows three -- I have a picture of two, though the one below is the best photo of the lot.  (Remember we were driving through city traffic).

Pretty cool structure isn't it?  Still trying to find out what it is.

Where were we you might ask---- here is a hint-

See the Arch?  Yes, we were in St. Louis area this past weekend.  For those of you who are regular readers, you might remember my last post was sharing my SPRING weather, well, St. Louis hasn't had that happen yet.  Friday night thunderstorms, Saturday freezing temps and wind and rain, Saturday night-- snow flurries.  BBBBRrrrrrrrrr......

You might wonder why the heck we drove out to St. Louis for a weekend---

My brother had another son get married on Saturday. (Remember our trip to St. Louis for a wedding in May? Same family, another son.) 
  Lovely wedding and great seeing family.

Sunday was time to get the kids back to the airport and head east.....and SOUTH!!!
Once again, I was watching the scenery zoom by. 

 First it was flat, lots of open fields and hawks galore.

Then we started seeing the mountains off in the distance.  Wonderful views at every turn.

I will admit this now....I probably took about 100 photos from a truck moving 70+ mph down the highway.   Lesson learned--- photos come out better (if one MUST take pictures from a moving vehicle) when you take the pictures out the front window, not the side/ passenger window. 

I love how the clouds hang in the mountains.  What a gorgeous sight.

As we got closer to the mountains you could see that the morning frost was still on the west side of the mountain. 

From a distance I thought it was the sun shining on the top, but just the opposite, no sun---just frost.

And I think one of my favorite photos-- Titled-- "The conflicted state of spring".

Yes, those are daffodils in the median and snow on the mountain top.  Do you have a photo showing the conflicted state of spring?  If so, share a link in the comment section.

And the most welcome sight to see----

So glad to be home again.  More blooms have opened and the grass is getting greener and the lake is up higher.  Time for a boat ride??
Tree posts will be back next week. 

words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. Beautiful photos, I had forgotten how beautiful the mountains in Tn and the Carolinas were! Sounds like the trip was fun!

  2. Sounds like quite a driving adventure. I took a bunch of photos during a driving trip last November and very few turned out well, imagine that! But at least it's something better to do than ask if we're there yet (which I'm too old to do, but the kids are perfectly capable of parroting endlessly).

  3. I can definitely relate to the St Louis weather but I would rather drive toward your new home. Look how much greener it is ~ a lot further along in the season than we are. Yes, it will be time for a boat ride there before you know it!
    It was great you got to make the trip.

  4. Beautiful photo of the happy couple. Extraordinary tower thingy. I love the way those clouds wreath the mountains. I found something vaguely disturbing about the serried ranks of daffs in such a neat rectangle underneath the untamed mountain. Good colour match with the motel sign though!

  5. Janet,
    Sounds like a fun trip! Now you have a new member of the family. Seems gas prices have gotten crazy, bet you saw some really high prices. I filled up a few days ago, it let me get $75 worth 2/3 of a tank, geez 3 days worth of gas.

  6. I love road trips. Did you make it St. Louis in one day? And what about your playlist?

  7. I know that road, those signs, that exit! You were so close, Janet. Maybe next time you will stop by? I will make it worth your while with plant sharing! :-)

  8. What a lovely trip! Funny on the windshield-just make sure it is clean. Welcome home.

  9. Jilda, thanks so much for stopping by. The mountains are beautiful aren't they?

    KZK, we thought of you and MPK as we drove over the mountains, how long has it been that you have seen mountains?? Maybe you need a road trip.

    VW, It was an easy adventure, lots of fun. No kids to ask 'Are we there yet', but having the Garmin sure helped to know just that!

    Kathleen, Winter weather is greatly overrated! We might go out on the boat this weekend. :-)

    Janet, many thanks. I like the way the clouds hung in the recesses of the mountain too. I appriciate the daffodil planting, the medians have been planted in many places with some kind of flowering plants.

    Randy, yes, the gas prices were outrageous, but it was a nice trip.

    Les, I know why we are friends-- awesome playlist! Avett Brothers 'four thieves Gone' & 'Live, vol.3' & ''I and Love and You', Patty Griffin 'Downtown church', Todd Snider 'Live', Doc Watson 'Legacy', Ray LaMontagne 'God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise', Abigail Washburn 'City of Refuge', Nanci Griffith 'Other Voices Other Rooms' & 'From a Distance', Malcolm Holcombe 'To drink the rain', Hayes Carll 'Kmag Yoyo'---plus a great NPR station WNCW.
    And we took two days as one of the kids was flying into STL around 1 pm, so it worked out to go in two days.

    Frances, maybe next time! tina said the same to me. felt bad missing my garden friends.

    Tina, thanks! Well there were a few bugs on the windshield. oh well.

  10. What a great road trip Janet. Lots of beauty to photograph. I think my favorite was conflicted state of spring. It seems I do have something similar but beats me where I've put it. ;-)

  11. It is always fun to go to a wedding. Thanks for sharing your trip and all the sights along the way. Love that Daffodil picture! Very strange.

  12. Hi folks, sorry for the multiple comment postings....the button didn't look like it was clicked.

    Les, forgot to mention Greg Allman cd, it is still in the truck.

    Linda, thanks! Let me knowif you find your conflicted spring photo.

    Rosey, it was a fun trip. thanks!

  13. Hi Janet. Road trips are fun. Seeing different sights.The tower and the arch is amazing to see. All of those Daffodils are so pretty. They should do that along all of the four lane highways. LOL! Only a gardener would go for that idea. The clouds hanging over the mountains is a lovely shot. But it is always good to be back home again.

  14. Great photos Janet, I've never had much luck trying to take pictures from a moving vehicle either. ;)

  15. Updated the waterpipe tower picture with this link-- http://www.builtstlouis.net/watertowers/watertowers1.html worth checking out!
    Lona, Lady Bird Johnson started the Wildflower program of planting along the highways and I am grateful for her doing so. I love seeing all the different flowers as we travel.

    Racquel, I appreciate the comment, though 'great'? Passible --- from a moving vehicle it is hard!

  16. It was fun to see more of what it's like where you are. I lived in St. Louis for one year when I was in 4th grade. I sure do remember the winter there, much different from Southern California where we moved from. The Standing water pipe is really neat, if you ever find out what it is let us know.

  17. Oh, I enjoyed this trip, Janet! Reminds me of my trip out west with my daughter when we were on a time schedule and the only photos of scenery I could take were also out the car windows--or at rest areas:) Congratulations to your nephew. But I'm sure you were glad to return to the beautiful mountains and warmer temps of home. It was definitely back to winter in the Midwest this past weekend.

  18. Nice travel pictures! They reminded me of MO, the state where we lived til 2003. So, they still have thunderstorms there... Oh, those were the scariest thunderstorms!

  19. Road trips are the best when headed to a family wedding! We had two in our family the past year as well! Weddings are always such a happy time. I love those mountain views of Tennessee! I like it best when I am not driving so I can soak in all the beauty surrounding me. I thought I was the only one checking out the walls of the mountains as we zoom past. Ha, I find it interesting how ferns and other plants grow right out of the side of the rock and the waterfalls are so awesome views. Thanks for taking me on this road trip today. It has been too long for me now. Time to get back into the saddle…

  20. Catherine, what were you (family) doing in St Louis? Winter in Missouri is really icky....blah! I posted a link to the Standing Water Pipe, will write more about it.

    Rose, so glad you enjoyed it. Taking pictures out the windows are not always the best photos. I was glad to get back to SC and warmer temps!

    Tatyana, thanks! There was a thunderstorm Friday night when we were there! Big booms!

    Skeeter, it was sure good seeing everyone at the wedding. Those walls of rock are really impressive aren't they?

  21. It is nice to drive up with mountains at the front.... with hanging clouds as in the photo, drivers will be concentrating, looking straight ahead... :)

  22. Boy, the memories you brought back for me. I've traveled those roads many times. I too like to look but it's hard to do both.
    Glad you had an enjoyable & safe trip.

  23. Dear Janet,
    so beautiful pictures that you took! And a wonderful occasion to travel for, and meet the family.
    I will look up my photographs to look if I have something to that very, very interesting theme "the conflict state of spring" - that is so inspiring (but I fear I look in vain)

  24. You had a long drive! For a nice reason though and beautiful scenery along the way.

  25. English Shepherd, thanks!

    Bangchik, I like the one with the clouds hanging in them, majestic.

    Lola, Glad it brought you some good memories. Yes, driving and looking is hard.

    Britta, thanks so much. I look forward to seeing your photo. good luck!

    Sweetbay, it was a bit of a long drive, but we did it in two days. I love seeing the country.


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