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Coast to Coast, West to East

Hello and Happy New Year. I hope all y’all’s holidays were beautiful. Can you tell I’ve been in the south for a while? Spent fall in L.A. taking care of property, car and trailer issues and visiting friends. Headed east had a great day in Albuquerque visiting with my friend’s 85 year old dad Robert Garcia who can trace his family in NM to the 1600’s. Repair delay had me up to Oklahoma’s Washita Battleground to commune with the ghosts of Custer’s shame and the Wichita Wildlife Refuge where it was so cold and rainy that no wildlife was to be found, though I hear they have a huge herd of bison and the most genetically authentic Texas Longhorns in the country. Even the prairie dogs were hiding.

Then to Texas for yet another new axle, wheels and other repairs on the Casita. Thanks to Larry and Debbie Gamble at Little House Customs for taking good care of me and the rig before sending me off through East Texas and San Augustine to Toledo Bend, Louisiana where Jean Lafitte, the French-American pirate and privateer plied the waters of the Sabine River. Famously known as “no man’s land,” this area was a lawless DMZ between the French, Spanish and American territories before the Louisiana Purchase. Lots of history here, dating back to he 1500’s.

Leesville StationI spent Christmas revisiting Leesville, LA where I lived as a young hippie-military wife in 1972-73 during the Viet Nam war. It was a healing visit, helped by a kind Vernon County sheriff and the Police Chief of New Llano, LA, who helped me reconstruct and confirm memories of places that no longer exist, and deserve to no longer exist. The healing I experienced during those few days afforded me the redemption needed to finally write about my experiences there.

Louisiana graveyardIt remained cold and rainy driving through the still poor bayou country east of Baton Rouge, but I was accompanied all afternoon by local public radio’s Zydeco Stomp. This area of the country has the best radio ever. Et toi!

Made it to central Florida and have been staying with my¬†Gator Joe's most generous friends Robert and Madeline who have helped me find my way around here looking for property, and now (insert drum roll) I’m headed up to North Carolina to await the arrival of two of the wild mustangs I photographed last summer who were gathered and have been in holding in Colorado since October. What are the odds that “my” Wyoming horses would end up here with me on the east coast? I’ll fill you in on how that happened in the next post. Can you pick them out? Stay tuned…


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