Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wild, Dangerous Beasts are Everywhere!

One of my bigger problems is all of the dangerous animals we encounter in our travels.  I have kids of all ages and it seems that most places we go they are like bait.

Last year we spent the winter in central and south Florida.  I couldn't believe all of the alligators!  They were everywhere.  One campground had a pond in it, and guess who lived there?  Yes, an alligator!

The parks we walked in and playgrounds we played in had signs everywhere that said to beware of alligators!  Why in the world have they not killed them or at least relocated them?  Kids run right by those ponds every day!
This sign is found on the way into the Florida Keys!

Then, of course, there were the sharks in the ocean.  I have never let my kids watch Jaws, and never will.  We had a lot of fun playing in the surf and kayaking the waves.  Cody got a little freaked once when he saw something swim by him in a wave, while he was on the kayak. 

Cody on his kayak at Playa Linda, Florida

I actually paid to hold an alligator!  I rested it on by pregnant belly.  The kids thought I was crazy!
 But then they did it, too!

We can't seem to get away from snakes.  I grew up in the northwoods of Wisconsin.  Nothing deadly can live up there, except bears, lymes disease carring wood ticks, and millions of mosquitos.  But, when I was a kids I didn't even really notice them.  Up there, though, no poisonous snakes.  I could walk through a swamp and not even worry about it. 

Living in Missouri, I have had to get used to copperheads.  We had 13 on our property one year!  We saw one in northeast Kansas, in Marysville.  It got real close to Shae and Josie.  Shae was so mad at it, he chased it down the hill with a tree branch, trying to kill it!

There was one, huge rattlesnake at Superstition Mt. near Phoenix.  He was right on the side of the trail, all coiled up.  Nasty thing. 

Heading into South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana brought a whole nother' level of beast.  Mountain Lions are down right evil.  I hate the way they watch us at the zoo.  Then the black bears, grizzlys, and moose, sure keep us on our toes.  I remember hiking in Glacier National Park.  We all sang, "This is the Day", clapped our hands, rang bells, carried bear spray, and stayed together as we walked to see an amazing water fall.

While at Yosemite, we giggled that the sign said to not even leave food in the open because bears will break into our cars! 

We did see a grizzly and two black bears at Glacier National Park.  I was thankful we were in our van, but just in awe of those magnificent creatures.  Now, if I had been on foot, it would have been another story!

A grizzly at Glacier National Park

A black bear at a bear encounter in Bozeman Montana.
 A black bear at Glacier National Park eating huckleberries.

Black bear in Glacier National Park

Yummy huckleberries

Grizzly at bear encounter

Since being in Missouri, we have killed 3 rattlesnakes and two or three copperheads!  I can't believe it!  I have decided there is nowhere safe, no place is free of its beasts, I just have to learn to live with them, or at least in the same forest as them.  Now, if they come after me or my kids, well, that is another story.  I have hunted my whole life and am not afraid to kill an animal of any sort.

I remember in Key West, there was a scorpion.  It was on my kid's toys.  I took their play hammer and beat it so badly that the only thing that was left was a claw!

I unloaded a whole clip on a copperhead, just to make sure it was dead.  I didn't want to get close to check, so I just kept shooting.

Now, I did check the law, and it is illegal to kill poisonous snakes in Missouri unless they are a threat to people.  Well, all of these were in our yard and where the kids play.  We had to kill them.

Speaking of scorpions, there was a very poisonous one sitting on our atv tire when we were in Arizona.  Cody kept it in a cage for a while until it climbed out.  It was a good thing he didn't have it in the camper! 

Lastly, Cody was riding his atv this afternoon and came across a huge tarantula.  I am thankful they aren't very harmful.  He wanted to catch it of course.

We try to read up on what are the dangers in a particular area or state.  Education is the one of the best deterrents to fear.  We try to learn all we can, and then do all we can to not be a victim.  Beyond that, it is out of our control. 

We pray and trust and have a lot of fun!

There is always something, everywhere.  We enjoy our trip and deal with what each day brings.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I am back!

No, we did not fall off of the face of the earth.  A few weeks ago, one of my sweet children set my laptop on my black office chair with the mouse in between the top and bottom of it.

I began to sit down on the chair, not suspecting the laptop to be on it, and crunch.  I heard a crack as I quickly stood up.

To my dismay, my laptop screen was cracked.  Thank goodness Shae had enough forethought to buy the black tie protection at Best Buy when we bought our computer. I brought it in to Best Buy, hoping they would give me a new one, but not a chance.  They did fix it, though, and pretty quickly!  I got it back Monday.  I have a lot to write about, but it is too late tonight.

A quick update. We are still in southern Missouri.  It is terribly hot here, but, we are sticking it out.  Some friends of ours borrowed us their portable air conditioner.  We have an air conditioner unit in the camper, but ours doesn't cool the camper well enough.  Now, having the second, portable one, it stays much more comfortable.  Although, it is not really cool during the day, at least we don't sit and sweat all day.

Gabriel, our six yr old, learned to ride his bike today!  He was awesome.  It didn't take long at all.  Shae took off the training wheels and he was gone!

Hanna turned 16 today!  She is so sweet and beautiful.  We got her a laptop, with her birthday money and Christmas money chipped in.  It is also for Christmas, too!  It is nice and she loves it already.

I better run.  It is hard to write a complete thought at 12:40 in the morning.