Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Memphis & Flying Elvi

Lil Dude Troll took a trip to check out Memphis. While there, he visited Sun Records, where Rock 'N Roll was born. Many musical legends recorded at Sun, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard, Jeannie C. Riley, and Conway Twitty to name a few.

While there, Lil Dude made friends with a large group of U.S. Air Force folks who were all dressed up as Elvis. They called themselves "Flying Elvi." And a good time was had by all!

"Thank ya, thank ya very much."

Lil Dude and his friends, the Flying Elvi!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Petit Jean State Park - Part 2

Petit Jean State Park, known for the Petit Jean legend, is Arkansas' first state park. Lil Dude Troll heads there on a regular basis to hike the trails, take in the wonderful scenery, and sometimes spending a long weekend in the historic Mather Lodge.

Looking out of the window at the beautiful scenery at Mather Lodge

Inside the historic Mather Lodge.

In the Petit Jean gift shop.

Lil Dude riding on a hand-carved wooden tractor in Mather Lodge

Start of Cedar Falls Trail, one of the great hiking trails in Petit Jean State Park

Lil Dude checking out the view of the valley behind Mather Lodge

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas

Lil Dude Troll at Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas

On Petit Jean Mountain
 Many years ago when the French were still exploring the New World, a young man, a relative of the king, asked his permission to explore part of the Louisiana Territory and for a grant to whatever part of the new lands he might find desirable. The King agreed to this request and with his blessings, sent him on his way.

The young man's name was Chavet and he was engaged to a beautiful young lady named Jean. When he told her of his plan, she told him she wanted to be married before he left on his quest. Chavet, knowing of the dangers he would face and not knowing if he would return alive, declined. He told her that if he returned and if he found the country good, they would be married and return to the New World to make their home and have a family.

The young lady, also knowing of the dangers her love would face, was heart-broken at the prospect of never seeing him again. She disguised herself as a young orphan boy and, while Chavet's ship was being outfitted and supplied for the long trip across the ocean, talked the captain of the ship into hiring her as a cabin boy. Her disguise was so good that not even Chavet recognized her. Due to her small stature, the sailors on the ship called her Petit Jean.
Petit Jean Mountain overlooking the Arkansas River

The ship made it safely across the ocean and then up the Mississippi River and into the Arkansas River to the foot of what is now called Petit Jean Mountain. The local Indians were friendly and in the spring, invited the sailors to camp with them on the mountain top.  All of the men, including the cabin boy, accepted the invitation. They lived there peacefully with the Indians the whole summer. The young cabin boy fished the streams and hunted in the woods with Chavet until that fall when the ship's captain and Chavet announced it was time to go back to France. Chavet had found the land he desired and he wanted to get back to France to marry his beloved Jean and bring her back.

After the ship was outfitted and ready for the return trip home, the sailors spent the night on board ready to sail early the next morning. During the night though, the cabin boy they called Petit Jean became very ill. First came a high fever, then convulsions and delirium. Before daylight, Petit Jean kept slipping into and out of a coma and the ship's doctor indicated death was near. The captain decided to postpone their departure.

While she was being administered to, her deception was discovered and the crew found out their cabin boy was actually a girl. In one of her lucid moments, Jean requested to speak to Chavet and confessed her deception to him. She begged his forgiveness and said she knew she would never make it back to France before dying. She asked to be carried back to the mountain top, the place where she had happily spent her last summer by the side of her one true love.

The next morning, the Indians made a sling of soft deer skin and with Chavet by her side, they carried her up to the mountain top and their camp on a point which overlooked the river and valley below. Jean died that same day at sundown.

The grave of Petit Jean
Many years later, a grave mound was discovered at this spot with stones that perfectly covered the grave. Experts all agreed the grave was very old and must be the grave of Petit Jean.  It is said her spirit remains on the mountain bringing a sense of quiet peace to all who visit.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Haunted Places in Flagstaff

In 1931 Flagstaff, Arizona, Dean Eldridge, built the largest log cabin in the southwest. He filled his home with trophy heads of many animals in the region. When he died in 1936, a saddle maker, Doc Williams, bought the cabin and turned it into a nightclub named "The Museum Club." He kept all the mounted heads on the walls to add atmosphere. It is now a country music dance club. For years, stories have persisted that the place is haunted by the ghost of the original builder, Dean Eldridge as he hated country music.

The hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff was built in 1926 and opened for business January 1, 1927. During the 1940′s & ’50′s, over 100 major movies were filmed in and around Flagstaff. Since the Monte Vista was the best hotel around, many movie stars made it their home while working on location. For years now, the Monte Vista has become a legend for being haunted. Paranormal investigators and several TV shows like “Unexplained Mysteries” have all confirmed what many, many guests have reported – there’s a lot of weird, unexplained stuff going on in this hotel! Haunted rooms, hallways, and music coming from the ballroom when nobody is there are common. The hotel's front desk staff also reports the lobby phone will often ring, but when answered, the only sound is static and an eerie, other-worldly voice saying, “Hello? Hello?”
The very haunted Hotel Monte Vista.
For a write-up on The Museum Club.
For a write-up on the Hotel Monte Vista.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Great Falls Park, McLean, Virginia

At Great Falls Park, an 800 acre U.S. National Park Service site in Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. The park is situated along the Potomac River and is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Located within the park are the remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first canal in the United States which used locks to raise and lower boats.

The park is only open 6 hours per day during the winter.

There are hiking trails, picnic spots, and 3 overlook area's within the park.
The Great Falls of the Potomac River.