Wandering Dawgs 2017 Year in Review

This year was a little different for the Wandering Dawgs. Instead of traveling to far away places, we had many memorable adventures by staying close to home in 2017.

Our RV travel started with a short spring trip to Pine Mountain, Georgia to tour nearby Callaway Gardens and F. D. Roosevelt’s Little White House .

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
FDR's Little White House in Warm Springs, GA
FDR’s Little White House in Warm Springs, GA

From Pine Mountain we continued on to Alabama to attend an air show at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. All of the performances were exciting but the stars of the show were the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.

U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds at Maxwell Air Show
U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds at Maxwell Air Show
U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds at Maxwell Air Show
U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds at Maxwell Air Show

Seeing the Thunderbirds was so much fun we made a day trip to the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina to see the United States Blue Angels perform.

20170430Blue-Angels-(960)

Our final RV trip of the year was a fall getaway to north Georgia to see Mountains, waterfalls, and Tallulah Gorge .

20171017NC-Nantahala-National-Forest-Waterfalls-(18)
Dry Falls near Highlands, NC in the Nantahala National Forest
20171019Tallulah-Gorge-Suspension-Bridge-(10)
Suspension Bridge over Tallulah Gorge Hurricane Falls

Visiting New York City with my daughter was one of the highlights of my year.

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

Just like we’ve been doing every fall since the 1970’s we made several trips to Athens to attend University of Georgia’s home games.

20171014UGA-53-Mizzou-28-(11)
The teams take the field for pregame practice before a night game in Sanford Stadium

And when we were home we when for boat rides and walked on the beach whenever we could.

20170813Boat-ride-(13)
Small island in the Georgia salt marsh
20171027South-Beach-Tybee-(3)
Early morning at the beach

My Wandering Around America One State at a Time blog project was really fun to do. As I worked on the post for each state I loved going through old photographs and reading my hand written trip journals. With each state I was flooded with many fond memories of places we had been and the wonderful people we met.

Where do you think we will wander next year? Stay tuned…

Look! Up in the Air!

“Heritage to Horizons: A Century of Airpower since WWI.”  – Maxwell Air Force Base Air Show April 8-9, 2017

From the moment we decided to travel somewhere to see an air show I was like a little kid waiting for Christmas. We studied the schedules of the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and the United States Navy Blue Angels to determine when and where would be the best place to see them. Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama was an easy choice. We could get there easily from Georgia, there was a great campground close to the base, and it would be nostalgic for me to return to a base where I lived for a year when my father was stationed there.

We arrived at Gunter Hill Campground two days before the air show. Both days we heard the planes as they were practicing and I kept looking in the sky to see what kind of planes they were. Both days I was rewarded when I searched the skies and saw four of the Thunderbirds pass right by the campground.

On the day of the show we arrived early so we could find a good spot to set up our folding chairs to catch all the action. We parked ourselves right in front of where the Thunderbirds were lined up. We could also see the French planes of the Patrouille de France.

United States Air Force Thunderbird
United States Air Force Thunderbird
Patrouille de France at Maxwell A.F.B. Air Show
Patrouille de France at Maxwell A.F.B. Air Show

The air show was celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force and commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States involvement in World War I. There were also historic planes on display.

After the opening ceremonies the show began with the Wings of Blue Parachute Team. Once the performers began it was non stop action all afternoon. From bi-planes performing stunts to the fabulous French team Patrouille de France to a reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Tora Tora Tora group there was never a dull moment.

Wings of Blue at Maxwell A.F.B. Air Show
Wings of Blue at Maxwell A.F.B. Air Show
Red Tails at Maxwell A.F.B. Air Show
Red Tails at Maxwell A.F.B. Air Show
Maxwell Air Show
Maxwell Air Show
Re-enactment of bombing of Pearl Harbor at Maxwell Air Show
Re-enactment of bombing of Pearl Harbor at Maxwell Air Show
Wing Walker at Maxwell Air Show
Wing Walker waving at the crowd at Maxwell Air Show

The French team Patrouille de France (The Patrol of France) were performing to honor the special relationship between the air forces of U. S. and France since World War I.

Patrouille de France at Maxwell Air Show
Patrouille de France at Maxwell Air Show
Patrouille de France2
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France Pilots
Patrouille de France Pilots on their way to sign autographs and pose for pictures

The final act was the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds. Before they began, a group of Air Force recruits were sworn in with their families watching them take their oath in front of the Thunderbird planes.

U.S. Air Force recruits being sworn in
U.S. Air Force recruits being sworn in

Before the pilots climbed into the cockpits their crews performed their pre-flight inspections as the pilots faced the crowd.

U.S.A.F. Thunderbird Pilots
U.S.A.F. Thunderbird Pilots
Thunderbird Pilot waves an American Flag as he taxies down the runway
Thunderbird Pilot waved an American Flag as he taxied down the runway
Takeoff!!
Takeoff!!
Maxwell-Air-Show-Thunderbirds6
Maxwell Air Show U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

Just in case you didn’t get enough of the Thunderbirds, here’s a video of one of their signature formations.

Spending the day enjoying this amazing air show was one of the coolest things we’ve done in a long, long time. If the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels are performing any where near you get out there and go to an air show!