Category Archives: Natural and Wildlife History

Go Fish Education Center in Perry, GA.

Barb lips the biggest largemouth in the world.
Visiting a black bear at the center.
Free catch and release pond with gear included!
Barb hitting the pheasant lights on the simulator.

American Press Travel News-October 9th, 2019-Perry, GA. – Bob and Barb “On The Road Again” this time in GA. While in Perry, GA. on the way home from Florida to our Goose Holler’ Farm in TN., we stopped in a area of GA. that has several interesting Go To places for locals, travelers and general visitors. There is a huge convention center, a marvelous outdoor venue for equestrian and RV convention events, as well as a monster Georgia National Fair, and carnival functions, year-around. A huge project now open for over a decade is the Go Fish Education Center. This center features over 200,000 gallons of aquariums/exhibits. The exhibits showcase fish and habitats from all areas of Georgia. We tried out fishing and hunting simulators. These were a real treat for us and the various families including children that tried these simulators out. We were introduced at the incoming desk of Go Fish to Michael Fulghum, the aquarium manager. Fulghum said that the tradition of fishing was passed on to him from his grandfather and father. “Working at the Go Fishing Education Center has allowed me to share that tradition with others. From school children to senior citizens , the staff at the Go Fish Center teaches the skills and techniques needed to enjoy fishing. We have the great pleasure of sharing some of life’s little moments with our guests, whether watching a child land their first fish, or helping a family catch their limit, the Go Fish Education Center is here to secure the tradition of fishing for years to come”, concluded Fulghum. We agree, this is a terrific venue for keeping the healthy and happy sport of fishing, top-of-the -mind for everyone. Visit their state-of-the-art hatchery, and catch and release, with bait and tackle is free at their fishing pond that’s stocked with several warm water fresh water species. Go to their website: www.gofisheducationcenter.com for more information.

Florida Keys Sojourne

David Epstein and his mom, Barbara at Whale Harbor in Islamorada.
So we all enjoyed barbeque Florida Lobster Tails. Dave & Captain Key Largo, his brother Brian know where they live!!
Enjoying the Red Bone Gallery in Islamorada.
Giving back. The giant aviary that is also a part of the Keys natural region!
Since today, a million more divers and fishing boats with anchors descend on the only living reefs in the USA, its become a priority to protect these reefs more than ever for their future.
The Keys waters have been invaded by many new species and one of them is the destructive Lion Fish. They are here, they taste good and are being harvested for control issues.
The new Holiday Isle Tiki Bar. Today it’s owned by the Postcard Inn. Millions are spent on colored sugar-water, ice and a bit of rum: The Rum Runner!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Press Travel News–September 17th,-Islamorada, Florida Keys–Bob and Barb Epstein at home with David and lovin’ every minute!  The Florida Keys is the true American Caribbean with out needing access by boat and plane. The drive alone through a section of the Everglades is worth the adventure drive from anywhere, USA.  What is particularly special about the Keys is so many islands drivable over 43-different bridges with the direct Atlantic Ocean being on your left side and Florida Bay, the beginning of the Gulf of Mexico on your right. Hundreds of varieties of fish, shellfish and crustaceans’ are the main inhabitants and from shore to the deep fishing and diving is the primary reason for attending natures academy of Mother’s apron of life. Our family moved to the Keys in the 1970’s. My sons went to Upper Keys schools, fished the waters with friends and their dad and mom and snorkeled for Florida Lobster. The Keys got in the blood of our boys David Epstein, now the Director of Emergency Management for the Homestead Air Force Base and Brian is today a licensed Captain. He is known as “Captain Key Largo” and can be chartered for all manner of boating experiences in the Fabulous Florida Keys!

“Africa on a Pin & a Prayer” Excerpt From the Book

Views down the highway!!! This was an inland super highway. Didn’t need a machete for.

American Press Travel News–Excerpt from Bob’s Book: Africa on a Pin & a Prayer”–Camping and Traveling Through  Uganda, Africa, Part 1

During our travels to this Northern area of Uganda, we came close to the border with Sudan and arrived at a prison. The prison warden allowed travelers in to a special store area, where handmade items crafted by the inmates could be purchased. These hand crafted items were made by prisoners, who were incarcerated for every crime known to man; including political crimes against the immediate, yet temporary rulers of the government (Idi Amin took over and had everyone killed that did not agree with him a bit later on after we were long gone). These inmates, just like the license plate makers in American prisons, earn their keep by making tribal animal skin covered drums, spears, medicine masks, African musical instruments and woodcarvings.
During our travels through, over and along the dusty, rutted roads of this area, we stopped frequently to look at exotic trees and bushes such as the giant and curious cucumber tree, with large inedible cucumber like fruits hanging down to the ground, alongside the road.
We saw several varieties of flowering cacti; they showed us a rainbow of colors that seemed to have been painted by Picasso.
Driving along, we would suddenly come across giraffes that towered above some of the acacia trees, which they fed on. Herds of zebra would suddenly race across the road in front of us, and we would come to an abrupt stop and marvel at the sight of thundering hoofs kicking up dust all around us.
Occasionally, impala would prance along side the road, being chased by predators or perhaps just frightened by our vehicle.
We had passed safely over a bridge one day and returning the next day, we found that same bridge washed out. Auto’s not equipped as we were with our four-wheel land rover, were stranded and backed up near the bridge, unable to fiord the swift waters that was caused by sudden overnight heavy thunderstorms.
After assessing the situation, I climbed up and along a walkway railing that did not wash away with the bridge, and affixed a cable from our winch to a sturdy tree trunk across the swollen brook. I went back, started the winch and dragged our land rover, across the stream. To the accompaniment of envious stares, by those that were not similarly equipped, (they were driving MGA’s and road sedans) and were forced to remain trapped on the other side.
Continuing on back towards the Uganda capitol of Kampala, we came across a family cooking a stew over a bright red-hot coal fire. We approached and saw that they had lizards and other animals they had captured and gathered for their subsistence meal, that was their fare probably since time began.
We were invited to join in out of courtesy and hospitality, but Gene and I had a difficult time doing so because we were just not ready to take on foods that hadn’t been cleaned and processed, or at least had their bowels and intestines removed. This was not the case later on in our trip when we ate things that today I wouldn’t even think of touching-acute hunger can make you do things otherwise.
One thing we learned the hard way in Africa was, that refusing the hospitality of a shared repast, was an insult to those that invited you to “break bread” or lizard with them. Informality was belching and displaying other natural body noises such as flatulence, which was expected and was a clear sign to your hosts that all was well and acceptable and it proved satiation to all around you.
So when we understood this, we belched out loud often, after each and every meal. That is, the meals we obtained and could get to stay down, the victuals we did not have to sneak under the table to the dogs in waiting. Part 2 March 22.

Our Land Rover loaded with trade goods!! That’s Dr. Gene!!

Heading to Leopold From Kisali, The Congo

 

As we traveled we traded and collected items that were not trade goods for the traveler!! The items were used by the locals themselves.
American Press Travel News–March 19th, Leopoldville The Congo section of my book: “Africa on a Pin & a Prayer.”
We left Kisali on the “boat” a riverboat pushing a huge barge a microcosm of African life being pushed along by a 2000 horsepower diesel engine turning a paddlewheel that splashed at the river and inexorably pushed more than 1000 souls along a river that hasn’t changed since, or before written history one iota. Congolese minister’s concubines took up most of the riverboat rooms and Gene and I got lucky enough with the help of a Belgian business man, to grab one of those rooms and we camped out there. God had mercy, we did not have to sleep on the deck with the water bugs and other slimy critters that came out on deck under cover of darkness. We settled in for a 20-day run to Leopoldville. I spent a lot of time on the barge. I visited the Cayman croc sellers, the fruit and vegetable vendors and looked over the booty and bounty of what many villagers had bagged in the jungle’s hinterlands smoked monkeys, boa constrictor snakes for food or sale to collectors, butterflies kept in between palm leaves, also for the collector. Raw latex from Goodman’s Goodyear rubber plantation on its way to be processed into gloves, tires, rubber boots, condoms. Wildly colorful songbirds and parrots, snakes, monkeys, sloths, bamboo and logs destined for trading in the capitol of the Congo, Leopoldville.
Every minute was an adventure on the riverboat. Villagers whose huts hugged the river banks along the way, braved the boats wake and came out to the barge in pirogues hollowed out wood log dugout canoes, to trade fresh produce, including cut pieces of sugar cane a favorite treat for everyone aboard.
All the things done in the village were being accomplished on the barge as it was pushed at about 5 mph towards Leopoldville was being done there. Clothes washing, cooking child care and even love making on the decks sometimes behind a cloth shade.
Drinking fresh. clean water out of a cut vine!!!