Some Favorite Benches


Monday, April 8, 2019

Thinking Benches are Everywhere

Location: New Rockdale RV Park; Mansfield, Louisiana

Almost all of the pictures were taken with a Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone. There may be a couple taken by my fancy Nikon or Canon point and shoot, but I'm not really sure.

My five year anniversary of retiring and hitting the road full-time in an RV is in a couple of days. A few things have changed since then but I'm still living and traveling in the RV, although the traveling has slowed down considerably from the first two years. I started out keeping a lot of different statistics on my travels but I've since boiled them down to only four. (1) Liberty has been towed just shy of 40,000 miles, (2) I've camped in about 220 different campgrounds. I have to say "about" because I may be off a couple, one way or the other. (3) Of the 220 campgrounds, about half have been publicly owned campgrounds such as federal, state, county and city campgrounds. (4) I've traveled through or camped in 45 of the 50 states. The ones I'm missing are Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, Delaware and Rhode Island. And nope, I don't have a desire to purposely go to those states just to complete a list.

One of the things I always look for during my travels are "thinking benches". My "benches" folder on my laptop has well over 100 pictures of thinking benches I've found around the way. Not all thinking benches are benches. Sometimes they are picnic tables, swings or just a pile of rocks that double as benches. I have been asked many times by many people why I take pictures of the benches and why I call them "thinking benches". There is an answer and a very good answer, but I'm not ready to answer it here and now. Maybe in a future post. 

The following are a few of my favorite thinking benches. I tried to rank them, but it was impossible since I couldn't decide one over another so I scrambled them up and am posting them in random order. The dates in the caption corresponds with the date of the picture. That date can also be used to find the post which contains that picture and has more of a write up about the location. To use it, find the date that matches it in the archive located on the right side of the blog. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did in putting them together. Just seeing the pictures can bring back some of the emotions and feelings of the place. 

Erie, Pennsylvania (5/27/2014)
Watching the USS Niagara entering Presque Isle Bay after a day of training on Lake Erie.  

South Beach, Oregon (3/31/2015)
A nice thinking bench along the path between the campground and the Pacific Ocean

Youngstown, New York (6/1/2014)
Looking out over Lake Ontario from Four Mile Creek Campground. 

Cascades Lock, Oregon (4/13/2015)
Statue of Sacagawea with her son, John-Baptiste, on her back. The name of the dog is Seaman and yes, he made the entire trip as well. I saw many statues of Sacagawea while in the northwest, but this one is by far my favorite. 

The Mesa Verde, Colorado (5/8/2015)
A nice place to sit and wonder about the people that came before us and why they mysteriously abandoned this place. 

Bar Harbor, Maine (6/21/2014)
Just about everyone in the campground always went down to the shore of the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean to see what kind of sunset was in store. It was a nice ritual. 

Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain NP (9/1/2016)
A beautiful lake with a nice walking path around it and located in one of my top three National Parks 

Bolivar Peninsula, Texas (10/25/2014)
This swinging thinking bench is located in the campground I usually stay at when I'm on the peninsula. 

Brimley, Michigan (8/21/2014)
Looking out towards Lake Superior.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah ((5/6/2015)
This is my number one National Park and the one you hear the least about. The reason for that is there is very, very little commercialization of this park. It is just beauty in its raw state. 

Mackinac Island, Michigan (8/18/2014)
Sometimes thinking benches come in a rocking style. This is the front porch of the Grand Hotel looking out onto Lake Huron. 

Cape Girardeau, Missouri (9/28/2014)
The view of the Mississippi River from Cape Rock. I did a lot of thinking from this spot as a teenager back in the early 70's.

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico (9/21/2016)
How about an underground thinking bench. While sitting and thinking here, you don't want to think about how much rock is overhead.

Cochiti Lake, New Mexico (9/15/2016)
Beautiful Corps of Engineers campground in the middle of nowhere.

Davis Mountains, Texas (9/23/2016)
Great views from the mountains of West Texas

Bossier City, Louisiana (about 5 years ago)
This is the side entrance to the Department of Transportation and Development's District 04 Headquarters. I was the District Administrator when I retired. The back door to my office came out this way. The "thinking bench" on the left was used by many people over the years and more problems were problems solved right here than inside the building. 

Duluth, Minnesota (6/26/2018)
There was a very chilly wind blowing on this late June day. That is Lake Superior in the background. This was a good "vibe" place.

One of the Finger Lakes, New York State (6/5/2014)
The finger lakes were created by the last Ice Age and provides a great place to sit and think today.

Goshen, Indiana (8/4/2014)
This was at the first FROG (Forest River Owners Group) Rally I attended. The year of this picture, there were 400 RV's in attendance, the third year, more than 800. I used sit in this bench and just people watch for a while.

 San Francisco, California  (3/16/2015)
This Golden Gate Bridge Park. Some thinking benches are taken and you don't have a chance to use them. I patiently waited for the bench to be free but the lady continued to use it. She sure had a lot of thinking to do on that day. 

Goliad, Texas (1/12/2015)
The forgotten massacre before the Alamo. It was a very somber and sobering place. I could sense the sadness in the place. Spooky.

Loveland, Colorado (5/20/2015)
The sculpture garden/walkway. This was a wonderful find and I spent a few hours wandering around it. 

The Battle of Bear Paw, Montana (6/15/2015)
The last battle of the Nez Perce Indians in 1877 after they lead many U.S. Army Calvary units on a 1,200 mile trek. The were trying to escape to Canada like Sitting Bull and the Sioux had done after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, but were captured just 42 miles from the border. I was so disappointed in the site due to the lack of care and respect for the place. Shameful.

Quintana Beach, Texas (3/11/2019)
Sitting and watching ocean going ships arrive and depart from Freeport Harbor.

Carmel, Louisiana (8/4/2015)
The Rock Chapel built by Carmelite Monks in 1891. Yes, those six crosses mark six graves. Even with the graves, it is a very peaceful place.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (8/29/2016)

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (8/21/2014)
Nice benches to think on while waiting to take the boat tour of the Soo Locks. 

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (7/13/2018)
The Hydro-Electric Powerhouse.

South Toledo Bend, Louisiana Side (10/31/2014)
Looking and thinking about the large man-made lake with Hydro-Electric Dam on the Texas/Louisiana border.

Sedona, Arizona (2/21/2015)
This was one of those great thinking benches I stumbled upon. It is a Stupa at Peace Park. They named the park correctly because I had a sudden sense of peace when I arrived.

West Memphis, Arkansas (10/2/2014)
Sit and watch the tow boat work on the Mississippi. Like Charlie Pride sang, "Roll on Mississippi"

Canyonlands National Park, Utah (5/6/2015)
Some thinking benches are very simple. As simple as a 2X6 board between some rocks. But what a view to sit and think on.

John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon (4/16/2015)
This is a great place to look over the Painted Hills. It was so quiet the day I was there and was fortunate to be alone in the park. I don't remember many places so quiet.

Astoria, Oregon (4/7/2015)
A nice place to rest and think after climbing the Astoria Column. Looking at the Columbia River, which is one of the most beautiful rivers I've ever seen. The bridge connects Oregon and Washington.

Bolivar Peninsula, Texas (10/28/2014)
This is at Travis Park at the tip of the Bolivar Peninsula. Galveston is a short ferry ride away from here. This is also the place where Ann Long fooled Jean Lafitte and his pirates. She is often called the Mother of Texas. 

Two Harbors, Minnesota (7/2/2018)
A nice bench I never able to use. The two gentlemen sat at the bench the whole time I was in the area. I wondered if they were retired workers at the harbor. The ship in the background that they are watching over is loading up with taconite (iron ore pellets).

Independence Rock, Wyoming (5/23/2015)
The rock is a large piece of granite that can be seen for miles and miles. The pioneers guided by it and camped near it on their way to the pacific northwest. The benches are placed for you to sit and look at the rock and wonder what the pioneers thought when they were here. 
Little Rock, Arkansas (8/1/2016)
To end this post, how about a nice sunset from a thinking picnic table overlooking the Arkansas River from my campsite at the Maumelle Corps of Engineers Campground. Yes sir, coffee always tastes better when drank with a view like this. 
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.     

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