Board the ferry from New Orlean’s French Quarter to Historic Algiers Point for affordable adventure

On a hot muggy Sunday afternoon in New Orleans, finding a refreshing adventure can be challenging!  Lucky us, locals had recommended this authentic experience as an affordable treat and the moment felt right.  All Aboard!

this ferry crosses the Mississippi for just $2pp each way to historic Algiers Point

this ferry crosses the Mississippi for just $2pp each way to historic Algiers Point

We fearlessly hopped aboard the ferry that soon arrived.  Watched the attendant expertly stuff our $2 each down into a see through box with jaws and a handle that helped it progress down its metal throat.  The ferry’s interior seated area was significantly cooler than the steamy reality we had just come out of.

famous muddy water

famous muddy water churning as we quickly rumble away from the French Quarter

But unable to resist the view, I scurried across the lobby and exited out onto the deck, watching and listening in awe to the groaning heaviness pulling away from the dock surrounded by deep churning brownness.

The endless action on and in the powerful Mississippi seen all around us bordered by stunning sky lines; the ride was over way too soon.

you can ride inside or on the deck- it's a quick trip

you can ride inside or on the deck- it’s a quick trip

you'll see lots Mississippi River action

you’ll see lots Mississippi River action

With no sense of our destination when boarding we were deposited at the edge of Historic Algiers Point.  What a treat.  A lovely riverside village with its own history and independent spirit, it’s a community well worth visiting.  I suggest allowing a few hours at least to stroll the lovely neighborhoods and visit some of the scattered local hangs.

As you exit the ferry in Algiers, watch for a big walking tour sign on the wall straight ahead.  It’ll give you a good feel of which way to head out.  We laced all in and out around the town and enjoyed all of it.

arriving on the Algiers side

arriving on the Algiers side

easy walk from the ferry to neighborhood hangs

easy walk from the ferry to neighborhood hangs

edge of neighborhood very near ferry landing

edge of neighborhood very near ferry landing

Algiers Point sign

Robert E Nims Jazz walk of fame is right near the ferry landing

Robert E Nims Jazz walk of fame is also quite near the ferry landing- just up a ways to your right along the river

stuff to see along the Algiers Point side of the Mississippi

stuff to see along the Algiers Point side of the Mississippi

beauty every way you turn- hard to go wrong

beauty every way you turn- hard to go wrong

strolling through the neighborhoods of Algiers Point

strolling through the neighborhoods of Algiers Point be ready for color

beautiful Algiers Point

the king is loved

the king is loved

we just followed the trail of sweet sweet shade

we just followed the trail of sweet sweet shade

view of New Orleans from Algiers Point across the Mississippi

view of New Orleans from Algiers Point across the Mississippi

the Algiers Point ferry landing

the Algiers Point ferry landing

sunset over the Mississippi Algiers Point

sunset over the Mississippi Algiers Point

Remember…check the ferry schedule before you go…http://www.friendsoftheferry.org/

If you do mess up by chance and miss the return ferry, the uber solution ended up costing us about $20 to get back to the French Quarter.  There were really no walking options as it’s illegal to walk across the bridge.

check the ferry schedule or you'll have to uber it back like us

check the ferry schedule or you’ll have to uber it back like us

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We slipped through a portal to the past in the magical New Orleans French Quarter

We were stumbling along on a stifling hot steamy day in the heart of the historic French Quarter in New Orleans. Despite the miserable conditions, the magical old place had us held tight in its grip and we just couldn’t get enough.

On this particular day, we were exploring near the corner of Conti (pronounced by locals Kontī) and Chartres when we discovered a little courtyard style alley. It was a shady brick space with shops and SHADE!

We meandered up a little ways and found some inviting open French doors on our right. There were two gentleman in a workshop that looked as if it were teleported from many years ago. They were crafting copper gas lanterns using some more traditional looking simple tool methods and some modern conveniences like a power drill.

a portal to the past

a portal to the past in the form of some french doors off a passageway in historic New Orleans

simple tool

simple tool

simple beauty

simple beauty

craftsman 2 bending the petals

craftsman 2 bending the petals

craftsman 1 drilling the frames

craftsman 1 drilling the frames

not finished yet but already beautiful It was so much fun to watch. The room could accommodate quite an audience but we were the only two there. When we’d seen enough, we walked deeper into the building and discovered their galleries displaying all of the various styles available. So very beautiful.

like a museum

like a museum

bevolo gas and electric lightsThis is a great free cultural activity with a real French Quarter flair.

 In my opinion, it’s likely to please most any age and makes a great travel tip for anyone coming to visit beautiful New Orleans where Southern Hospitality is alive and well.  

Where in the world has Big Boy been? Here’s a glimpse…

Over hill and dale, hither and yon, our home away from home, “the Big Boy” has rolled and rolled and rolled. This links to my facebook “Where in the world is Big Boy?” album. You have to look closely in some of the pics lol. (1) Rhonda Effron Brown.

Ask the locals where to go

I learned many years ago that when traveling, the most sure fire way to find the best adventures is to talk to locals.

We’ve been here on the coast of Oregon now, working a short-term gig at the Lincoln City KOA, for about a month and a half. We have not seen as much as I thought that we would have. As it turns out, working 30 hours a week at the campground leaves me feeling like using my time off to just relax more than to seek adventure.

But yesterday, I did feel the urge to explore and decided to take the advice of several area locals that I’ve spoken to. They recommended that we take a hike to see Drift Creek Falls. After about the fourth mention of this, I knew it would be worth the bit of effort it took to find it.

As is often the case, natural wonders in our national forests are in areas that are completely off the grid meaning our smart phone’s GPS positioning didn’t even work out there.

It’s times like these when it pays off to be patient and listen closely and ask plenty of questions. Locals will often be very familiar with how to get somewhere so much so that they don’t necessarily remember details like street names.

It took a little bit of doing and a couple of wrong turns but we did eventually find the beautiful heavily forested road that led up to our adventure.

The road is paved, a bit bumpy and narrow. It’s not terribly steep but does go up and occasionally offers a glimpse out to the ocean.

We meandered our way through magical woodland scenes with soaring trees, shaggy green moss, and lush fern beds until abruptly we were at a parking lot with several cars gathered pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.

Summer weather here is amazing, actually just about perfect with moderate temperatures and sunny skies nearly every day.

From what I’m told, the other seasons have considerable rainfall and the wind really likes to blow but it doesn’t get much snow.

The hike to drift Creek Falls is fairly short (1-1.5 mi) and just hilly enough to get you breathing a bit. It winds through the forest and it’s easy to imagine that you could stumble upon a family of elves or leprechauns. As in many areas where we’ve been along the West Coast, the tree stumps are often gargantuan and mind-boggling. You begin to see places where the trail opens up along little rocky . Rather suddenly it opens up to an expansion bridge some 200 feet in the air where you have a nice vista of Drift Creek Falls.

For those who are afraid of heights and unwilling to go out on the bridge, you can see the waterfall before crossing. It’s very sturdy and well supported but quite scary nonetheless.

All waterfalls are beautiful as is this one. I imagine it’s significantly more spectacular other times of the year when there’s greater water flow. You can hike on an additional half mile down to the base of the falls. Which of course we did. If you come to the Central Oregon coast, you will certainly enjoy the dramatic coastline itself but don’t miss a side trip like this up into the surrounding forest. Logging is still the primary industry around here and you’ll see why. Definitely a worthwhile adventure.

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the simple and spectacular Barraston Ponds free camping near Mona UT

as our story continues…

after an enjoyable night along Utah Lake (just a bit south of Salt Lake City) our adventurous caravan* moved a bit farther South to the wonderful wonderful spot of Barraston Ponds (near Mona UT just off hwy 15)

not hard to find- the landscape is generally quite open and the patch of green is evident even from Hwy 15

not hard to find- the landscape is generally quite open and the patch of green is evident even from Hwy 15

You can read more details on this spot here: http://freecampsites.net/#!8385&query=sitedetails

These pics are from when we first got there and started getting to know the place.  Vail went from site to site looking for the best waterfront spot where the puppies could play.

This simple campground was close enough to humanity to make it very convenient.  It was surprisingly beautiful and serene.  There were very few other campers who showed up during the days that we were there.  It was a bit warm during the day but having spent so many summers in Orlando, couldn’t complain.

Home is where you’re with family.  This spot made a wonderful home for us while we were there.

*Ryan and I, Vail our daughter and her boyfriend Blake, and the two extraordinary pups Melon and Bear

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Vail Blake and pups rendezvous near SLC Utah

When our daughter Vail and her boyfriend Blake offered to drive up from Colorado for a north west rendezvous, we jumped at the chance and detoured from around Bend OR and headed down to the Salt Lake City Utah area.

A pay campground on Utah Lake (just a little south of SLC) was chosen for where to meet. It had a nice harbor and lake promotional event going on with educational booths and such but more people than we were wanting to be so close to so after the first night we found a new hang.

These pics are on Utah lake that first night playing waterside with the pups, Melon and Bear.PUW_5011

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Along the way from Kalispell MT to Lincoln City OR

Stopped to snap some shots a few times as we made our way, in early July, from Kalispell MT (where Ryan’s Mom currently lives and commutes from to her Glacier Ntl Pk Ranger job) to our summer work gig at the Lincoln City KOA on the central coast of Oregon.

We stopped in the dusty little town of Lind WA to stretch our legs and wandered into Slim’s.  Had a couple beers and visited with the locals.

The next day we took a slow easy drive along the Columbia River Gorge.  Quite breathtaking and unusual.

Hope you enjoy.

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