Our Family Adventures

Life and Adventures….



BOW Women’s Outdoor Weekend…

If you’ve never heard of BOW(Becoming an Outdoors Woman), then you need to Google it quick. There are programs in every state, usually hosted by your state Wildlife and Fisheries Department. They are put on each year and include lots of fun and informative classes on just about anything outdoors related in your area. Most of the instructors are volunteers with a passion for getting us ladies comfortable with being and doing outdoors sports and activities.

I’ve been lucky enough to go the past few years. I say lucky, because there is a cap limit in Louisiana of 125 women…so it’s a race to get forms filled and mailed and fingers crossed to get in. But I love it and always look forward to it each year.

Over the years I’ve taken Gun Safety, Rifle Marksmanship, Compass Skills, Map Skills, Canoeing, Kayaking, Camp Cooking, Fly Fishing, Wilderness Survival, Birdwatching, Reading the Night sky, and more. And a few I’ve taken more than once. It’s always fun no matter what I take and I always learn something!

Even though my husband and I are really outdoors type people and he teaches me a lot of outdoors things, it’s nice to have an environment where I can go learn and enjoy these things and meet new friends. Also, the moment I finished the Kayak class I knew my husband and I had to get boats! We bought our boats right after and have loved kayaking together ever since! It gets me trying things I might not have otherwise.

This years event was a couple of weekends ago and my favorite class was the Wilderness Survival. They gave us a small kit of items, and allowed us a couple other things from a list. We had to use these items to build a shelter and make fire for the night.
survival kit

Here’s a shot of our group of ladies before we headed out to the woods.
survival ladies

My Survival partner (Jean) and I. Such a cool lady and new friend I made. We hope to do more camping get togethers in the future.

Our shelter along with a few others…

Boy was it a fun night, but we were oh so tired the next day. We had to spend the entire night keeping our fire going per instructions from the teacher. Luckily it wasn’t too cold for us, but it did get a bit chilly around 3am.

Another favorite was my camp cooking class, we were shown how to cook in cast dutch oven pots. YUM….the food was so good.

Bill Ryan our instructor

Making a Reuben Cassarole

Here’s my friend Angie from work who came to the camp with me. We got to make the pork loin with mandarin and cranberry sauce. It was *so* good!

Here’s our spread when we finished. The cake on the end was the best most moist cake ever.

In the end it was a wonderful fun weekend as always and I made new friends that I hope to get together with again soon. (Suzette, Myself, and Jean)
new friends

Wishlist for this outdoor girl…


I know my husband has already done his Christmas shopping, but I thought a wish list post was in order anyway. Now I love my heels and jewelery just as much as the next girly girl…no doubt about it, but I love my outdoor gear too just as much. So I think my list gives a little of both.

1. This particular Kelty Coyote 75 pack is designed for women and has an adjustable suspension system. Would be the perfect size pack for a multi-day hike.

2. The gold Elk skull necklace, um…yea I figure if I’m gonna sport some bling out in the wilderness, why not this?

3. The Panasonic Lumix TS20 waterproof point n shoot has gotten some pretty good reviews, and lugging my big Canon 40D is sometimes a hassle. Not to mention kayaking and trying keep camera gear dry is a pain.

4. Light My Fire Titanium spork. Because we have learned the hard way that the spoon/fork/knife system we were using was too heavy really for such an item and a pain to clean up at the camp site.

5. The Eno Double Nest hammock…husband has one. It’s divine…I want my own. ’nuff said.

6. Gold Twig bracelet by OutfitAdditions. Very cute and my bracelet collection is missing something this vital.

7. LLBean Hunting boots (Duck boots as we’ve always called them). I’ve wanted a pair for so long. Perfect for rainy outings like short hikes or geocaching or just to sport around because I’m just that cool.

Cold Weather Survival Tips

Since it doesn’t really get that cold down south here in Louisiana, we tend to really not think twice about situations involving really cold weather. But there’s some really good tips here that should be remembered when you’re out camping/hunting/hiking or whatever it is you do outdoors during the winter.

Cold Weather Survival Tips.

Click here to read – Tim Miner article

I recently came across the website for Tim Miner, an outdoor enthusiast. I really enjoyed reading his article on Nature for Children. Jared and I have recently been slowly introducing more of the outdoors with Cheyenne. She’s always been an outside-loving, dirt-loving girl so it helps. We’ve taken her camping and hiking a few times now and she really loves it. I can’t say that we’ve been able to instill in her yet the need for her generation to help preserve our outdoor spaces, but hopefully in the years to come she will understand why it’s important. Why setting down cell phones and video games in order to stop and enjoy hickory nuts gathered from the wild are much better.

Central Louisiana State Hospital

Ok, well…I’m a bit behind on putting this post up, but seriously it was difficult to find much info on the this place. What I did find though was interesting to say the least. It definitely means another trip back over there to check out the area again. When Cathy mentioned in a comment about how this place just had to be haunted, she must have been reading my mind. I had already started the process of researching and came across some great info.

Central Louisiana State Hospital is a hospital for the mentally disturbed. It opened in the early 1900`s and several original buildings remain standing and in use. At its peak in 1959, the hospital housed 3,128 patients, but it now houses only 132 patients. The hospital grounds include a cemetery with 2,356 graves. The Civil War-era Fort Randolph is also on the grounds.

There has been definitely some paranormal activity noticed around the grounds. Unit 2 has an elevator that operates by itself during the night. Also doors are heard slamming during the night and when investigated all doors remain locked as they are usually kept. Unit 7 when reoccupied in 1999 experienced several sightings and unusual events. Strange glowing lights passing under doors, objects from shelves falling off randomly, clocks keeping random inaccurate time, chairs were flipped over and electrical appliances would come on and go off by themselves, voices were heard in unoccupied offices. A mist was seen and witnessed as well.

There was an investigation done by paranormal researchers ( on Rose Cottage, which is on the grounds as well. Rose Cottage was designed in 1917 by Joseph H. Carlin of Rayne, a patient at the hospital from Sept. 13, 1909, to Aug. 1, 1912. He also served as architect of Rose Cottage as well as “builder” of the hospital’s dairy barn in 1923.

Picture from Leandro Huebner/The Town Talk

My recent 2011 shot of the Dairy Barn

The Rose Cottage building housed the hospital laboratory and morgue. It served as the hub of the institution’s diagnostic procedures as well as a center of learning and teaching as post-mortem examinations were required for research and teaching.

Autopsies were performed in the pathology building’s first floor, while the lab upstairs was where “histological and microscopic preparations” were done. In later years, the building was used for occupational therapy.

During their investigation while downstairs in the room where electroshock therapy was given, they heard a sudden extremely loud crash. They described it like a piece of pottery falling from a shelf. When they went to the source of the noise, they noticed an actual portion of the floor tile had literally shattered into several pieces. With pieces that splintered off were and scattered around almost as if the tile had exploded.

So, needless to say a creepy place. I’m not sure how much exploring they let you do around there but it’s worth checking out some more first hand. I drove through there a few years ago before I really knew much about it, but always wanted to go back and explore more this just amps up the interest LOL!

Isn’t Louisiana History fun!

First trip of the year

Monday morning we are headed out for our first trip of the year. One of the things we really enjoy is digging into the history of the early military camps built here in Louisiana. When I was checking out places for us to head out to and camp this trip, I came across some information on Camp Livingston and it seemed like the perfect place to roam around and explore. Here is an excerpt on the camp:

World War II military camps in the Alexandria Louisiana area 

Camp Livingston Esler Field Camp Beauregard Alexandria Army Air Base, later known as England Air Force Base Camp Claiborne

Camp Livingston was open from 1940-1945 and was first known as Camp Tioga. It was renamed Camp Livingston in honor of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase. It was home to the 28th, 32nd, 38th and 86th Infantry Divisions during the war.
Camp Livingston was designated as an infantry replacement training center, as well as a garrison for these infantry divisions. The 38th Division was known as the “Avengers of Bataan” and the 86th Division was the first American unit to cross the Danube River into Germany. Over 500,000 troops trained on the 47,000-acre base during the war.  On some old concrete walls in the site, beautiful artwork and graffiti has been discovered and is thought to have been drawn by Italian POWs.

During World War II, thousands of Japanese, German and Italian prisoners of war were kept in internment camps at Camp Livingston and Camp Claiborne. In 1942, the first Japanese POW to arrive at Camp Livingston was one who was captured at Pearl Harbor, the survivor of the three-man crew of a mini-submarine which attacked the American fleet on Dec. 7, 1941. The internees at the camps were used to supply logging and farm labor in the area.

Camp Livingston was deactivated in late 1945 and is now part of the Kisatchie National Forest. Quantcast

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Yay! Can’t wait to see what we find out there!

Hodges Gardens Fall 2010

To kick this off I’m posting some shots from our annual trip to Hodges Gardens. We like to go each November and rent a cabin by the lake. We love to spend our time hiking the trails, laughing and chatting around a fire, and enjoying the peace and quiet.

This time we spent some more time roaming around the gardens. There was a lot more of it open and repaired since the state took over.

And also explored a few trails that recently reopened. Many of them were damaged from the 2005 Hurricane Rita and had to be cleaned up.

On our way out the last day, we took the long route and found some really cool small town vintage items as well. First an old firetruck parked beside a gas station.

And then an old train station in Many, La…

The rest of the photo gallery can be found at Hodges 2010

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