Sandee Harraden: Blog en-us (C) 2018 Sandee Harraden. All Rights Reserved. (Sandee Harraden) Sat, 23 Sep 2017 15:13:00 GMT Sat, 23 Sep 2017 15:13:00 GMT Sandee Harraden: Blog 90 120 We Need Your Help! In Everglades City, Florida, there is an inn called The Ivey House, which has been the Harraden family business since 1979. ‌

Recently, Hurricane Irma destroyed their home, the employee homes, the Ivey House Cottage, and the historical Ivey House Lodge. The only thing left is the Ivey House Inn. Fortunately, all of their employees evacuated, and are safe. 

But, almost everything is destroyed and they need your financial assistance to help them rebuild. The insurance may help some, but with updated building codes, the costs are much higher than what they were expecting.

They have never been this desperate and have never asked for financial assistance before. In past hurricanes, they were able to fix damages on their own with some FEMA assistance. All we ask is to please forward this to your organizations and churches for them, and help them rebuild. Their priorities are to get the Ivey House running, and to purchase temporary living trailers for them and their employees. Donations are a necessity right now in order for this to happen. Any amount would be appreciated.  THANK YOU!!

Here's a piece of their history...

In 1979, David Harraden, originally from Connecticut, began renting out canoes in Everglades City.  He built his business from nothing, and added equipment and employees each year.  

In 1989, David opened the Ivey House Lodge, originally a historic boarding house for the workers who built the Tamiami Trail in the 1920s. His sons worked with him, and it was a successful family business.  By adding the Lodge, they provided housing to the public who wished to explore the Everglades National Park. 

In 1990, Sandee rented a canoe from David, and left California to work with the Harraden family business. Together, the family added kayaks and employees to grow the business.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew did some damage, but it mainly hit the east coast of Florida.  They cleaned up the mud and recovered. 

In 2000, David and Sandee completed a major expansion, creating the Ivey House Inn. They designed 18 spacious rooms around a beautiful screened courtyard with a waterfall and pool. 

In 2004, Hurricane Charley did some damage to the buildings and again they cleaned up the mud, repaired the buildings and continued providing lodging and eco-tours to those who wished to explore the Everglades.  

In 2005, the eye of Hurricane Wilma went right over Everglades City, and the buildings sustained some minor damage, but the city was covered with mud. They again cleaned up the mess and continued providing lodging and services to adventuresome tourists.

In 2017, last week, Hurricane Irma destroyed almost everything they built up for the last 38 years.  The new Ivey House Inn remains and they will try to continue providing lodging and services for those who wish to explore the Everglades. 

(Sandee Harraden) city everglades fund go house hurricane irma ivey me nature nature photography Sat, 23 Sep 2017 15:12:38 GMT
We made it to Lazy Days We pulled into Lazy Days in Seffner Florida to have some scheduled and non-scheduled repairs done on our RV.  When we pulled into the campground my foot rest couldn't be lowered so I had to climb over the chair and dangle into the stairs to get out.  This will be fun to do until Tuesday when re get in for service, but we get hot showers and will have AC.  I will not be blogging for a few days since it will be boring to write about living in a bay until we get our work done.  Tomorrow we will get the place cleaned up and rest.  It's been a very long week.

(Sandee Harraden) Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:00:00 GMT
Happy Birthday Maddie We would like to wish our beautiful and delightful granddaughter a very Happy 14th Birthday!!

We left Russellville driving on I40 across Arkansas. Soon into today's trip orange barrels herded us into one lane and then all of a sudden we notice a barrel right in the middle of our lane, BAMM, it flew up in the air and away from the RV. When we stopped at the next rest stop we found a very small scratch on the right front corner of the rig. It will need to be buffed out and a bit of touch up paint to cover it, but no dent. It could have been much worse if David wasn't so steady at the wheel.  We continued on, crossed a small corner of Tennessee passed Memphis and crossed the Mississippi River.  This took us southeast through Mississippi along US78/I22. We passed Tupelo, Mississippi. A few years ago we stopped in Tupelo which was a nice little town. It's not only Elvis Presley's birth place but the location of the most comprehensive automobile museum we have ever visited. It shows the evolution of the automobile from the very first to the most current. Tupelo is also a spot which crosses Natchez Trace, a 400 mile scenic drive we drove a few years ago and would like to explore again some day.  I22 then took us into Alabama, through Birmingham, and into Georgia. We stayed outside of Atlanta at a Cracker Barrel for the night. Tomorrow we will be at Lazy Days in Seffner, Florida with electricity, WiFi and shower rooms. I'll be able to add photos from the last few days. Our dreams will be filled with taking a long hot shower. Oh what a delight this reality will be.  

(Sandee Harraden) Sun, 26 Oct 2014 00:32:37 GMT
Hooray for Cracker Barrels Left Amarillo, TX and continued to make time on this very straight interstate. I already miss the beauty of the Tetons, the Big Montana sky, and the magnificent trees of the Redwoods. It was been very hazy the last two days. Wind farms, red dirt, and assorted crop farms. Drove across Oklahoma and into Arkansas staying in Russellville Arkansas at a Cracker Barrel for the night. Cracker Barrels are wonderful. They let us spend the night in their parking lot and they rent books on CD's. When we are driving as many miles as possible it really makes the time go by so much faster while listening to a good book. We also asked one of the employees to fill up some of our empty water jugs and they were happy to. I guess we looked like we needed to shower. We both use a half gallon of water to wash our hair and rinse off. What a treat. 

(Sandee Harraden) Sat, 25 Oct 2014 02:00:13 GMT
Non-stop Driving Left Flagstaff, AZ then stopped in Winslow to use WiFi at Mojo Cafe. Also bought a few gallon jugs of water for drinking. Didn't stop this time, but would like to visit this area again to see the Petrified Forest Nat Park and the Painted Desert. From the freeway we could see beautiful red, pink, yellow and beige striped hills in the distance. Entered New Mexico and crossed the Continental Divide. Trains carrying pipes, coal, gravel and containers rambled along the desert and natural gas lines criss crossed then disappeared as they entered refineries. I40 parallels Route 66 but that is another trip. We made it to Amarillo, TX to stay at a Cracker Barrel for the night 

(Sandee Harraden) Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:00:00 GMT
Traveling Across The Desert We left Bakersfield this morning traveling across the desert on I40. This is an excellent road to move quickly across the US. We passed trains, wind farms, oil wells, Joshua Trees and miles of tumble weeds. While crossing the Mojave Desert in Boron, CA we passed a Borax Plant which offered tours. No time this time but would like to plan it another time. We crossed into Arizona at the Colorado River. This area has distant peaks with Chollas and Ocotillos on the high desert floor. Pulled into a Cracker Barrel in Flagstaff to stay for the night. David got into the shower and there was no water. We can't get a break. He checked everything and determined we have a leak somewhere and all our fresh water drained out. Decided to go to sleep and deal with it in the morning. 

(Sandee Harraden) Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:00:00 GMT
On The Road Again The new exhaust pipes, clamps, heat shield and brake line arrived via FedEx as promised by 10am from Tiffen, Red Bay Alabama.  Jason removed the damaged parts and installed the new ones. By 1pm Jason caught a ride to the BART and will stay in a hotel near San Jose Airport flying home tomorrow. We hit the road and headed southwest arriving at the Bakersfield Walmart around 6pm. Very sure that if Jason hadn't been traveling with us we would still be on the side of the road in Sacramento. THANK YOU JASON!!  Looking forward to a stress-free sleep tonight. 

(Sandee Harraden) Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:39:19 GMT
Jason, Ace Mechanic First thing this morning we arrived at a business Tiffin recommended and found out they no longer work on RV's anymore.  Without hesitation Jason climbed into our engine compartment, assessed the damage, talked to several of the mechanics then started fixing our RV. He began removing parts to retrieve part numbers off of pieces that hadn't melted, then David called Tiffin and had the parts overnighted to us. The Ford Dealership was very kind in letting Jason work on the RV in their yard and they will also let us leave it there overnight so Jason can finish installing the parts being overnighted. The best part was Southwest Airlines allowing Jason to fly the following day so he can fix our RV. I called customer service, explained our situation and they changed his flight to Wed for no additional charge. We fly Southwest Airlines if at all possible and this is just another example of why we feel it is the best airline to fly on. 

(Sandee Harraden) nature Photography Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:15:40 GMT
White Knuckler Day It began as a normal day. We packed up leaving the Redwoods to drive down the coast. We then turned west near Eureka on 299 towards Mount Shasta. It was a beautiful drive along the Trinity River. The water was so clear we could see Stealhead and Rainbow Trout. We also saw Salmon swimming up stream. The road twisted, turned, went up and down, and narrowed. David's knuckles whitened and sweat gathered on his brow. This time all of us smelled the melting plastic so whatever they fixed on Friday melted again.  Since the RV was still having problems we continued south on 5 at Redding towards San Jose. We passed through rice fields and drying factories. This area also has Olive plantations, Garlic fields, Pistachio plantations and some vineyards. Just as it was getting dark and as we passed through Sacramento the traffic increased and slowed down. We smelled strong exhaust and then saw smoke billowing from the back of our mother home. People were honking to try to get us to pull over, but it was right when there were over and under changes and nowhere to go. David's knuckles whitened and sweat gathered on his brow. The smoke billowed for about 15 minutes and our smoke alarm rang to just make it a bit more exciting. The smoke seemed to lessened so we continued on to Manteca where there was a Walmart which allowed us to spend the night. We went to sleep listening to jack brakes sounding on the highway and cars revving through the parking lot. Then at 3am a nearby train blew its whistle then another and another passed by. Around 4am the street sweeper came near as they cleaned the parking lot. 

(Sandee Harraden) Sun, 19 Oct 2014 14:45:00 GMT
Fern Canyon and Jedediah Smith State Park in California

It was a clear blue sky morning so we took off to return to Gold Bluffs Beach to look for Elk and walk into the Fern Canyon.  We were lucky yesterday to see the Elk on the beach since this morning they were near the dirt road on our way to the beach. Two males stood and posed for us and then continued on to graze on the grasses along the road.  David, Jason and I waded ankle deep along the Fern Canyon amazed how high the canyon rose above us.  The ferns covered the walls on both sides and the creek cut through this beautiful grotto.  Ferns, mushrooms, frogs and salamanders were in this lovely area. 

We drove along Bald Hills Road and at the overlook could see the tallest trees in the world.  The access is limited and access is by permit only so on this trip we viewed them from above.  We continued back up the coast and drove through Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. Howland Hill Road is very narrow and takes you along through these magnificent giants to the Stout Grove. Jason took a hike and I photographed.   At one point I sat on a huge downed trunk and was amazed on how quiet and peaceful it is.  I felt very small in this beautiful forest.       

(Sandee Harraden) California Fern Canyon Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Redwoods art fern nature Photography photography walk Sun, 19 Oct 2014 01:58:44 GMT
Roosevelt Elk On The Beach in Northern California

It was a foggy rainy morning and we drove south from Crescent City along the California coast on Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway through the Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. Several herds of Elk are sited along the way. The Redwoods in this park are approximately 300 feet tall and average 20 feet wide.   They are monstrous! Jason and I took a 2 mile hike trough giant Redwoods out to the BIG TREE 304 feet tall, 21.6 feet in diameter, 68 feet in circumference with an estimated age of 1500 years. What a beautiful area.  From there we drove to Elk Prairie where there were several Elk and the rain was just a mist.  We walked along Gold Bluffs Beach and to our surprise we saw three bull Elk walking along the sand by the surf. Two rutted for a bit and this was wonderful to watch. After a quick lunch Jason and I walked down a trail and a very large Elk was trying to get velvet off its huge antlers on the bushes.  It then came out into the clearing and we were very close in awe watching it graze and drink from the creek. 

We headed back and stopped at the High Bluff Overlook.  We walked along the North view and it winded down to a plateau overlooking the ocean.  It was a very large flat area with huge boulders.  Jason noticed some large flat beautiful snails.  Some shells where white and some were browns. Another wonderful day.       


(Sandee Harraden) California Elk Redwoods Wildlife Photography nature Photography photography Sat, 18 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Seals Catching Salmon on the Klamath River

Yesterday Jason smelled something plastic burning in the back of the RV, but we thought it was a vehicle we passed.  Latter in the day the RV seemed to be blowing off air pressure louder than usual so we brought it to a NAPA shop this morning and they kept it for the day.  Something plastic burned off some wires and caused the problem so they fixed it and it only cost $200.  Best deal on this trip. 

While the RV was in the shop today we drove down the coast and had some wonderful views since it was such a clear day.  We went to the mouth of the Klamath River and looked down form a very high scenic view pull out and saw many seals laying on the beach and some were in the surf catching Salmon.  We then drove to the other side of the mouth and Jason and I walked along a very long tall spit of course sand.  One side of the spit was the Pacific Ocean with the waves crashing against the shore and the other side was a calm inlet area.  Numerous gulls, terns, grebes, brown pelicans, and assorted shore birds sat on the sand.  Harbor Seals basked on the shore and Sea Lions swam in the surf hunting for Salmon.  It was very interesting to watch the seals surf on the waves and often when they came up with a fish the gulls were all over them fighting over the fish. 

(Sandee Harraden) California Habor Seals Photography Sealions Wildlife Photography animal art nature nature Photography photography seals Fri, 17 Oct 2014 03:09:28 GMT
Windy Narrow Roads South

It poured all night and it was pouring when we awoke this morning.  We drove East to Interstate 5, south to Grants Pass and then south along 199 to Crescent City, California. It poured most of the way and the roads were very very narrow and very very squiggly.  We passed sod farms, sheep farms, horse ranches, cattle ranches, and beautiful rivers.  This is a photo out the side window of a rainbow over a sheep ranch.  Not clear, but reflective of the day.  We arrived at our campsite near the Redwoods where we will stay four nights.

(Sandee Harraden) Thu, 16 Oct 2014 00:34:24 GMT
Drive From WA Coast Along Oregon Coast

We left Olympic national Park, drove east, then south along the Puget Sound, to Olympia, across to the Pacific Coast, and south into Oregon.  The morning was clear and the sky was blue.  We stopped a few time to view the Oregon Coast looking at massive boulders out in the sea.  Many varieties of birds live on these rock islands, but we didn't see any today.  We stopped at a little lunch spot along a canal for lunch and saw many Western Greebs preening and floating in the water.  From there we drove to Tillamook and took a quick tour of their factory.  The cheese was delicious and it was fun to see how it was processed.  It was late and pouring so we ended up in the Walmart parking lot in Newport, Oregon for the night.

(Sandee Harraden) Wed, 15 Oct 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Northwest Corner of the US

David stayed at the RV today to get it ready for our continuing road trip tomorrow and Jason and I took off to explore the coast.  We drove west along the Strait of Juan De Fuca and stopped to watch Black Turnstones turning over stones on the rocky beach, Willets flying along the waves and Surf Scoters diving as they fished off the shore. We could also see a few Harbor Seals lounging on a rock far off the in the distance.  We continued on to some scenic bays, passed large marinas and then out to Cape Flattery.  By they it had begun to pour, but we still walked the mile trail in hopes to see a whale as others had.  The trail through the forest opened up to an amazing overlook of the sea and right below where we stood a Grey Whale surfaced twice.  What a sight!  On a clear day this would be sooo beautiful.  We could see sea caves, Black Oystercatchers on the nearby rocks, and huge jetting rocks with trees on top out in the sea.   We returned down the trail and drove back the same direction stopping at Neah Bay for a hot chocolate and coffee.  The young woman in the shop told us about the bracelets and pens she makes and how her earrings mean wealth.  She gave Jason a piece of smoked cod collar and he said it was the best piece of smoked fish he had ever eaten.  Cape Flattery and Neah Bay are located on the Makah Indian Reservation.  We headed south and continued along Sol Duc River to where it empties out to the sea at Rialto Beach.  This is where the massive tress and river stones come out the river and build up on the beach.  Some of the trees were 6 feet wide and the roots were 10 feet tall.  This is located on the Quileute Indian Reservation.  Jason wanted to buy some smoked salmon so we drove to a house with a sign on it and bought some salmon.  It was a very long day, but we saw so much on the coast of northwestern Washington.

(Sandee Harraden) Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:00:00 GMT
Walking Through Ancient Grove of Trees

Jason and I took a hike on Sol Duc's magnificent old-growth forest loop trail.  It winds gently through the magical primeval forest and steep river overlooks.  Everywhere we looked were interesting ferns, huge lichens, bright green mosses hanging from the branches, massive roots upturned from the forest floor, and trees which were so tall we couldn't see the top as they grew above the forest.  Some of these giant trees were 800 to 1000 years old with a diameter over 6 feet. 

From there we drove to Salmon Cascades and the Salmon were beginning to pool in the shallows ready to jump up a series of falls to spawn upstream.  They were already looking beaten up but still had a ways to go.  They should be jumping the falls any day now.  Nice to be able to see the Salmon returning to the rivers since they have removed many of the dams in this area.

This afternoon we drove up Hurricane Ridge, but the fog and clouds socked the area in so we were not able to see the views from this 6500 foot look out.  Some said you could see across to British Columbia on a clear day.  Along the way we saw some Black Tailed Deer grazing near the road sides.

(Sandee Harraden) Mon, 13 Oct 2014 02:24:09 GMT
Olympic National Park, Washington

We started out early and the fog hung on the mountains, but the sun peaked through from time to time and the pink showed in the sunrise.  We had some rain, but overall a very nice day in the rain forest.  We drove west then south along Hwy 101 stopping at Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest in Olympic National Park in Washington.  These are the largest old growth forest in the Pacific Northwest.  We stopped at the largest Cedar Tree and also the largest Sitka Spruce which are probably over 1,000 years old.  We were dwarfed by their size and height (top photo).  The ferns were a beautiful lime green and hung from the trees, the large orange and yellow maple leaves contrasted against the browns on the forest floor.  There were large streams and at one we stopped to look at the view and were surprised to see a herd of Roosevelt Elk resting on the rocks.  The meandering small creeks were lined with bright greens of the grasses and oranges from the fallen leaves.  Bunch Falls and Merriman Falls in the Quinault area cascaded down the rock face into a beautiful pool below.  Jason and I had fun running from massive tree to massive tree and taking photos of each other. 

(Sandee Harraden) Sun, 12 Oct 2014 04:05:38 GMT
Driving Along Puget Sound, Washington

From Naches we drove along HWY 12 which is a very scenic road then headed north along 101 to Port Angeles located at the northern section of Olympic National Park.  It was a nice ride along Puget Sound seeing the salt marches along the way.  It was a little cloudy and sprinkled a bit today.  We ended up at Elwha Dam located at the northern end of Olympic National Park area and will stay here for dew days.  Tomorrow it will be an early morning to explore Olympic National Park. Photos are of a Clarks Nuthatcher above and a Steller's Jay hopping to a rock below.

(Sandee Harraden) Sat, 11 Oct 2014 03:13:42 GMT
Mount Rainier, Washington

Mount Rainier is an absolutely beautiful place.  We stopped at each pull out and were more in awe each time we stopped.  We were very lucky to have such a clear day, viewing the top of the peaks with a deep blue sky as their background. Fields and fields of Lupine were already past, but the summers must be exquisite here.  We stopped at a tiny lake, Tipsoo Lake, and Jason and I watched several Dippers diving for pollywogs, standing on rocks in the sun and splashing in the water that reflected the fall colors from the shoreline.  We then continued our drive along Sunrise Ridge stopping as often as possible viewing the sights and stopped to have a picnic lunch at 6400 feet with Clark's Nuthatches and Steller Jays.  We continued back down the mountain stopping to take short hikes and photo opportunities.  Reflection Lake was stunning and the falls in many locations were breath-taking.  We had a delicious dinner at the National Park Inn in Longmire in the park compliments of Barry Trice from Guest Services.  This is one of his hotels he oversees and invited us to have dinner there.  It was a three hour drive back to our campground along very dark roads and often massive logging trucks would pass us going the other way.  But the full moon reflected light on the river along the way creating a lovely end to a wonderful day. 

(Sandee Harraden) Fri, 10 Oct 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Grand Coulee River in Washington

The three of us really enjoyed the drive from Spokane to Naches Washington on such a beautiful clear day.  We drove along Rt 2 to the Grand Coulee Dam and wandered through the museum and walked along the top to view the huge spillways.  The top photo is of the dam and the power towers around the area.  Our favorite part of this scenic drive was along 155.  Steamboat Rock State Park (Photo below) to Soap Lake had huge volcanic formations and areas in the rock where you could see the volcanic tubes exiting the earth(Photo below).  We saw Loons, White Pelicans and gulls along the way.  We followed a river and large lakes all created to make power.  We stayed at a remote quiet campground in Naches and our site faced a beautiful river.  We will be up early tomorrow to explore Mount Rainier. 

(Sandee Harraden) Grand Coulee Dam Washington art nature nature Photography photography Thu, 09 Oct 2014 05:30:00 GMT