Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

Rise and Shine

September 25, 2018

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

I imagine that most ‘normal’ people use a vacation as an opportunity to sleep in and take things easy. Fortunately (or unfortunately) My Beautiful Bride and I are not ‘normal’. We often get up earlier than we normally would just to enjoy the sunrise.

That was certainly the case when we visited the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina in August. We couldn’t see the sun from the balcony of our room, but the sky was still beautiful at sunrise. The picture above was taken the first morning we were there.

The fog in the valleys looked like a blanket spread around the mountains below us.

Looking to the west also gave us a peaceful, serene view of the world from the mountains.

The sunrise on our last morning at Pisgah Inn gave us a lot of incentive to come back.

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Arkansas Sunsets

April 3, 2018

Betsy and I have been fortunate to be able to visit Mount Nebo State Park in Arkansas in late winter or early spring for the past ten years or so. We like many things about Mount Nebo — the hiking, for example — but what keeps us going back in ‘our’ cabin. We have stayed in the same cabin each time we’ve gone.

It’s perfect for relaxing, enjoying the scenery, and enjoying a nice fire in the fireplace in the evening. But it’s main attraction, at least at the time of year we visit, is the gorgeous sunsets we can enjoy from the back porch.

The slideshow above is made up of photos taken one evening during our visit in 2008. They can’t compare to seeing the sunsets in person, but I think they do a reasonably good job of showing the beauty we enjoy.

If you would like to see these photos and others as well as the captions for these photos click HERE.

Monument Valley

February 27, 2018

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A highpoint of our trip out west in 2017 was our visit to Monument Valley. We had never seen this beautiful place before (except in movies) and we were amazed by the beauty of the place. It took the picture above of the two of us at a pullover along Valley Drive. That’s West Mitten Butte to the left of us with East Mitten in the far background. A part of Merrick Butte is on the right of the photo.

Although we drove a short distance along Valley Drive, most of our time at Monument Valley was taken up by the Monument Valley Backcountry Sunset Tour. We signed up for a public tour, but since Betsy and I were the only people registered for that particular tour we ended up with a private tour led by a wonderful Navajo guide, Hope. She took us off the beaten path and provided us with much fascinating information.

The picture above shows Totem Pole, the tall spire on the right. The rock formation on the left is Yet Bi Chei, (Navajo spiritual gods).

The last stop on our tour was the North Window overlook, which provided a panoramic view of the valley and the buttes scattered across it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we visit this beautiful area again in the future.

Morning in the Mountains

January 30, 2018

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Betsy and I traveled to the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina in October to enjoy the autumn colors. We found colorful trees, although there was not as much as we had hoped there would be. Mother Nature, however, more than made up for any lack of color on the trees by providing gorgeous color in the morning skies.

We got up at dawn each day to enjoy the show. The morning started with a single star shining down as the horizon turned a brilliant orange and red.

As the light increased we could see fog in the valleys below and mountain tops in the distance peeking through the fog.

The eastern sky slowly filled with yellow, orange, and gold colors, silhouetting some trees along the ridge line.

Yes, we definitely found some gorgeous colors in the mountains of North Carolina!

Bryce Canyon National Park

December 19, 2017

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Utah is a beautiful state containing many state and national parks with gorgeous scenery. On our western trip in September of this year Betsy and I visited 13 state and national parks or monuments in Utah, and we enjoyed our visit to each and every one.

With so much spectacular scenery, it’s hard to pick a favorite Utah spot to visit, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Bryce Canyon. We visited Bryce several years ago, and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. The hoodoos are spectacular in both form and color as the picture above, taken at Sunrise Point, shows.

We hiked from Sunrise to Sunset Point, enjoying the views of the canyon as we walked. I must admit that we didn’t set any speed records on that hike, since we stopped so often to take pictures.

A special treat for me was being able to hike the Navajo Loop down into the canyon from Sunset Point. It was fantastic to be able to look up at the hoodoos against that gorgeous blue sky.

I have many more photos from Bryce, but they will be the subject of a later post. i

Canyonlands National Park

November 21, 2017

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Betsy and I visited Canyonlands National Park for the first time on our recent trip west. We actually visited two sections of the park, but the Island in the Sky section was definitely our favorite. All of these pictures are from Island in the Sky.

I’m not sure what we expected to find at Canyonlands, but the stark beauty was absolutely fascinating. The picture above was taken at the Green River Overlook, and although you can’t see the Green River, you can see the canyons that it has carved over the ages.

This picture was taken near the White Rim Overlook. If you look closely you can make out the Colorado River way below and far away.

There are other sights to enjoy in the park, one of which is Mesa Arch. We didn’t get there early enough to see the sun rise through the arch, but it was a beautiful sight nonetheless. The arch can be reached after a relatively easy hike from the trailhead.

If you ever get a chance to visit Canyonlands, we hope you will do so.

Arches National Park

October 31, 2017

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One of the places we visited on our trip west earlier this year was Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. It’s a very beautiful — and very popular.

On the day before we planned to visit Arches we passed the entrance and noticed that the park was closed from 7pm to 7am and that there was a huge line of cars waiting to get into the park.

We knew that we would have to get to Arches very early the next morning, which we managed to do. We then learned that the closures were a result of roadwork being done in the park, and that there was a delay in getting all the equipment off the roads this particular morning. So we sat in the parking lot of the Visitor Center for what seemed to be the longest time.

Finally we were able to get into the park. Our first stop was Double Arch, which we only saw at a distance when we were there several years ago. This time we were among the first to get to the arch so were were able to hike to it while the morning light was still good, as you can see in the picture above.

We then hiked in the Windows portion of the park. I got this picture of the North and South Windows from nearby Turret Arch.

We then drove to the Wolfe Ranch section of the park to visit Delicate Arch. There were such long lines waiting to hike to the arch that we chose to content ourselves with seeing it from the viewing area. We did hike to the upper viewing area, which got us closer to the arch itself, which is where I got this photo.

We saw many more things at Arches National Park, but they will have to wait for another post.

A Visit to Antigua

April 18, 2017

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Antigua was another stop on the cruise Betsy and I took back in 2001 to celebrate our honeymoon.  Antigua impressed both of us as very beautiful — we especially liked the views of the coast that we had from Shirley Height, a part of the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park that we visited.

Click on the image above to see a slide show of the images that I took during our visit to Antigua.  If you would like to see these and other images, along with the captions for each, click HERE.

Sunrise, Sunset

March 7, 2017

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Mt. Nebo State Park in Arkansas in one of the favorite places Betsy and I visits.  We go there every year, usually in mid-to-late February or early March.

We have several reasons for going to Mt. Nebo that time of the year.  One reason is that our favorite cabin is usually available.  There are very few people around, so we feel as if we have the mountain top to ourselves.  Finally, that is a great time of the year to view both sunrises and sunsets.   The picture above is the view from Sunrise Point just before the sun poked above the horizon.

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We have to get up early to get to Sunrise Point before dawn starts to break, but although it is sometimes hard to leave a nice bed, the view is worth it — even while the world is still sleeping.

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We have a perfect view of sunsets from the back of our cabin, as the photo above shows.  This was taken on a perfectly clear day just as the sun slipped below the mountains to the west.

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Clear days can give amazing sunsets, but an overcast day has it’s own special beauty.  This picture was taken on an afternoon when we didn’t see much of the sun,  but there was no doubt that the heavens were declaring the glory of God.

Is it any wonder that this is a very special place to us?

Mornings at the Beach

January 10, 2017

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Betsy and I really enjoy our visits to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.  For the past few years we’ve been going in both May and early December.  (We can’t stay away from that delicious Calabash seafood for too long!)

Although the weather is usually warmer in May, we enjoy our December visits because we get a good view of the sunrise from the balcony of our room at the Islander Inn, as you can see from the photo above.

So, although we are on vacation, both Betsy and I make an attempt to get up each morning at sunrise.

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On some mornings there is a thick bank of clouds on the horizon,

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although patches of blue were often soon seen in other parts of the sky.

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Some mornings all we could do was stand in awe at the beauty of God’s creation.