Friday, June 27, 2014

Changes Are Afoot

After my trip to Virginia with Sharon, I have decided to expand my stories and pictures to more than just the southwest.  We have future plans to travel to many more states and even a eventually trip to Italy.  Not only will I report on the trips I take with Sharon, but with others as well.  I will give you the trip through my eyes and how this paranormal geek approaches a vacation spot.  I don't typically always hit the tourist locations, but the off-the-wall unusual places, especially when I go somewhere with Sharon.  I will provide pictures and information/history on the places I visit.  It will still be "Above the Norm", but not just bizarre Arizona.  My next several posts will be on the Virginia trip I just took with Sharon.  I just need to get through the many photos I took, so bare with me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Virginia: Around Gloucester County

There was lots to see and do around Gloucester County, VA.  We traveled through Mathews down to New Point, all around and through Mobjack Bay to the New Point Comfort Lighthouse.  We saw lots of abandoned structures, hit the beaches, saw historic ruins, and chased ghost pirates in the woods.  Sharon and I had lots of fun and adventure while in Gloucester.

The house known as the murder/suicide house.

Old house woods where the stories are told of ghost pirates wandering these woods.

Gorgeous sunset.

Cute church and cemetery at dusk.

Gloucester Point Beach Park

Little England (My four-times great grandfather once owned the place.)

Enjoying the beaches.

Rosewell Mansion ruins

Swimming at Haven Beach.

New Point Comfort Lighthouse

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Virginia: From Fredricksburg to Gloucester

After leaving Fairfax, we traveled down Interstate 95 until we got to Fredericksburg.  We stopped in a Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee and to pee.  We got back on the 95, then State Route 17, and headed towards Gloucester where we plan to spend four nights and three full days exploring, ghost hunting, and visiting historic sites.  These photos are some of what we saw on our route.

A fruit stand we stopped at and bought some peaches, raspberries, and blueberries.

Vaster's Church and cemetery


Marsh and grasslands at Mobjack Bay with a view of New Point Comfort Lighthouse.

Sharon's family summer home near the bay.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Virginia: Around Fairfax

I will be posting some of our trip so far.  We spent the last couple days in Fairfax visiting Sharon's childhood home and photographing whatever we found interesting.  I will post pictures with captions, but on later posts, I will go into more detail about each place.

Fairfax Cemetery

Bunnyman Bridge

Outside Aspen Grove

Inside Aspen Grove

Burke Lake

St. Mary's Catholic Church and Cemetery

The Grotto at St. Mary's Cemetery. It was once hit by lightening.

Fairfax Museum and Visitors Center

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Off We Go...

...into the wild blue yonder!  
Sharon and I are off to Virginia.  Look for lots of posts on this trip.

*NOTE - Look for the changes in this Above the Norm blog when I return from my trip.  I will be linking this blog to Sharon's Ghost Hunting Theories blog and making it an adventurer's blog.  I will be showing you places I have been and other places exciting to visit.  I will not just be focusing on the southwest, but other places around the U.S. and world.  I am planning a trip to Italy within the next couple years with my gal pals and can't wait to report our adventures.  Since I have an Arizona travel book about to be published, I realized how much fun I had writing and putting this book together, so I want to do more.  I am currently working on a journal-type travel book of Sharon and I's trip to WV/PA last summer.  I am excited about the changes, so look for all my paranormal geek's adventures.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Arizona Travels: Grand Canyon

A little snippet from my Arizona Travels book (coming out soon) about the Grand Canyon:

The Grand Canyon is located in the northern part of Arizona and a must see place to visit. With approximately five million guests each year, this majestic place offers breathtaking views. You can spend an entire day or two traveling around the park and get a different experience viewing the canyon from various locations. The canyon has several hotel choices, gift shops, the skywalk, picnic areas and restaurants. You can also take a helicopter ride inside the canyon, hike down to the bottom, white water raft trips on the Colorado River, or ride the rails from Williams, AZ. If you are one who loves a paranormal experience, the Grand Canyon has had its fair share of ghost and UFO sightings.

Grand Canyon
*The above site will help you to find all the information on the Grand Canyon you will need to make your visit a pleasant one.

Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk
Reservations: 1-888-868-9378 or 1-928-769-2636
Location: Grand Canyon Hualapai West entrance
Price: $25 per person (plus park entrance fees)
*To find the west entrance to the canyon from Kingman you will travel north on US 93, drive approximately 30 miles to the Pierce Ferry Road, and then turn right. You will drive 28 miles to Diamond Bar Road; turn right; drive 14 miles on a dirt road and 7 more miles on a paved road to the Grand Canyon west entrance.

Grand Canyon Tours:
Phone: 1(800) 301-7152

Grand Canyon Railway
A fun way to get to the Grand Canyon is to jump aboard the Grand Canyon Railway for a historic ride.  This Polar Express type experience offers four different packages which start in Williams, AZ, and travels to the Grand Canyon National Park.  Today, we can take the same route that generations before us traveled.

In 1901, and when Arizona was just a territory, the Grand Canyon trains would take folks to the south rim of the canyon for a fun excursion.  The train offered a nice comfortable trip to the Grand Canyon for all men, women and children.  Some would choose to make it a day trip, while others decided to take a room at the lodge.  These people stood at the rim and were taken in by the extraordinary beauty of the canyon much like we do today.

In 1968, the trains quit traveling to the Grand Canyon when automobiles became trendy.  People were opting to drive themselves to the park instead of spending the money on the train ride.  In 1989, a group of businessmen purchased the Grand Canyon Railway, revamped the train, and found renewed interests from people wanting to take the historic ride.  Today, many sit in comfort to take a fun day trip or several days’ vacation using the Grand Canyon Railway as their mode of transportation.  If you are interested in booking a ride you can go to their website, or call 1-800-THE-TRAIN.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Top 10 Posts Since 2009

I have noticed that many of my older posts are getting lots of attention.  I am very happy about getting the traffic to my blog.  I thought I would make a list of the top 10 posts people seem to be interested in.  (Check out my sidebar for more of my top Popular Posts.)

1.  Gremlins: Those Pesty Little Creatures

2.  Disneyland: The Happiest Haunted Place on Earth

3.  Giants Buried in the Desert

4.  Haunted Houses in Arizona

5.  Urban Legend: When a Stranger Calls

6.  Mother Nature's Weird Creations

7.  Finding Bigfoot in Payson

8.  26 Bar Ranch (John Wayne Ranch)

9.  Hobo Camps: Riding the Railroads with Hobos

10.  Ouija Board: Spirit Board or Just a Game?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Splish Splash

Even though Arizona is mostly desert, it does have places where water is apparent.  There are many lakes and rivers to cool off in along with a few water parks.  Some of the more popular and larger lakes are:  Bartlett Lake (48 miles from downtown Phoenix), Bear Canyon Lake (near Payson), Canyon Lake (51 miles east of Phoenix), Fool Hollow Lake (near Show Low), Lake Havasu (Lake Havasu City), Lake Powell (between Arizona and Utah borders), Lynx Lake (near Prescott), Lake Pleasant (north of Phoenix), and many more.

We like to camp in the White Mountains and enjoy the refreshing waters of the rivers near our campsite.  My husband and friends benefit from the waters of Fool Hollow Lake for fishing.  “Fool Hollow was named for a hapless settler who attempted to farm the rocky canyon in the 1880s. The Arizona Game and Fish Department constructed the lake in 1957 specifically to provide water-oriented outdoor recreation. The lake consists of 150 acres (61 ha), with an average depth of 23 feet (7.0 m). It is located within the Fool Hollow Recreation Area, and is cooperatively managed by the Arizona State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the City of Show Low. The elevation is 6,260 feet (1,910 m). It contains self-sustaining populations of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Sunfish, Walleye, Carp, Black Crappie, Channel Catfish and Crayfish. The Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks the lake with Rainbow Trout throughout the spring and summer.” (Wikipedia)

Another fun place to cool off is Slide Rock located in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona.  Sadly this place experienced a horrendous fire, but is back open and in business.  Slide Rock State Park got its name from the natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek.  It is located in Oak Creek Canyon and only 7 miles from Sedona.  In 1907, Frank L. Pendley developed the land and obtained a title under the Homestead Act in 1910.  He created an irrigation system which watered his apple orchard.  The road through the canyon was finished in 1914 and Pendley took advantage of the traffic and built the tourists cabins for them to rent.  On July 10, 1985 the Arizona State Parks acquired the park and two years later Slide Rock State Park was dedicated.  On December 23, 1991, the Pendley Homestead Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  His apple farm is still maintained today.

One of our Arizona traditions is to go tubing down the Salt River. You usually go with several friends and family and head down to the Lower Salt River. The first thing you do is to park at the place where you rent tubes and then grab a bus to take you upstream to the higher elevation to get started. There is usually a crowd of various types of people of all ages and sometimes they bring their pets. I don’t recommend that because those poor animals are terrified of being on the river. I also don’t recommend stringing tubes together. That will just get you into all kinds of trouble on the rapids especially when there is a fork in the river. More times than none, the entire group will hit the bank and fall off their tubes. We usually attached with our feet so when the rapids move faster, we could unhook and go solo. We would have one person attached to the cooler which had its own tube and another person would be attached to the plastic container which usually carried the dry foods, suntan lotion and other items. There are several clever people that will attach a stereo to a tube providing music so we can jam down the river. We usually will stop mid-way at the bridge to take a break from tubing. We use this time to eat and reapply our suntan lotion.

It is fun but not without problems. You are basically floating on top of a tube for at least four hours, baking in the harsh sun. You must have plenty of lotion, a tee shirt to cover your shoulders later on, a towel to cover your legs later on, a hat and sunglasses. You should have plenty of water to stay hydrated along with other beverages. We usually bring beer but drink responsibly.   Spending the day tubing can be a fun day for all but you need to do it responsibly. I have my memories and they are good ones.

If you find yourself in Arizona in the middle of summer, have no fear.  There are plenty of places for you to take pleasure in cooling off, have a swim, or just go fishing.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Paranormal Geeks Gang Book Finally Published!!

Our Paranormal Geeks Gang book is finally available to purchase on your Kindle, Nook, and paper copy for your enjoyment!  This book is the first in a series of a tween group of kids who form a group who are out to get answers of everything paranormal.  The first book, Geeks and Ghosts, brings them face to face with two Civil War military men, who are ghosts seen at the home and property of the gang's siblings.  So get to know, Kennedy, Clayton, Ben, SheShe, and follow along on their adventures into the paranormal.

To purchase this book, click the links:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Crossing the James River

On the 2005 vacation in Virginia, we decided to take some time off our drive-time from Jamestown back to Norfolk.  My uncle said the back roads have amazing scenery and he thought we would enjoy the drive.  To get there, we took a "fairy" ride on the Pocahontas along with our car.  He was right, the drive was wonderful with my cousin scoring big on a pound of blueberries at a roadside fruit/veggie stand.

Me and Katie

Katie and Carolyn

My Uncle Guy decided to stay in the car.