Posts Tagged ‘Betsy’

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.


Bald River Falls

January 16, 2018

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In October of this past year Betsy and I headed to North Carolina in search of some autumn colors. Along the way we decided to stop by Bald River Falls near Tellico Plains, Tennessee. This is a beautiful waterfall we have visited several times, and we’ve never tired of seeing it.

The curtain of water falling over the rocks made beautiful patterns along the face of the falls.

Betsy added to the beauty of the falls by standing on the bridge over Bald River with the falls and vibrant autumn colors in the background.

The Tellico River was also a gorgeous sight as it flowed past its conjunction with Bald River.

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.

The Solar Eclipse

October 3, 2017

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Betsy and I had ringside seats for the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Crossville was in the zone of totality, and it was a very big deal as you can see from the t-shirt My Beautiful Bride is wearing.

Clouds were forecast for the afternoon of the big event, but they fortunately stayed away enough for us to enjoy the show. It was quite an experience to see the moon start to block out the sun.

In some ways I wish I had better camera equipment, but I was delighted to get the pictures that I did get.

It was truly amazing to see the sun becoming a smaller and smaller sliver of light.

Then the sun was completely covered. It became night as solar lights came on and birds stopped their singing. I was able to capture the sun’s corona shining around the moon.

As the sun began to emerge from behind the moon I was able to capture a ‘diamond ring’. That was really a special moment for me.

As the moon continued to move away, a sliver of sun appeared in the sky.

As the moon moved even more, the sun became a crescent.

Our world got lighter as more of the sun became visible. Soon the magical once-in-a-lifetime event was over.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Flowing Water in the Smokies

February 7, 2017


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Both Betsy and I have mentioned the extreme drought we had in this part of Tennessee during the latter part of 2016.  We haven’t completely recovered in spite of rains over the past few weeks, but the situation has certainly improved.

We weren’t sure what to expect when we visited the Smokies in mid-January of this year.  But we were happy to see water flowing in Middle Prong Little River in the Tremont area of the park, as can be seen in the photo above.  That’s Lower Spruce Flat Falls in the background.

We could even enjoy flowing water from the balcony of our room at Rocky Waters Inn in Gatlinburg.

The next day we went to the Greenbrier section of the park and hiked along Middle Prong Little Pigeon River.  It, too, was beautiful.


Although we very much enjoy hiking, sometimes we just have to sit and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

I Think Betsy Is House-Hunting

December 13, 2016


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Betsy and I traveled to Florida to celebrate Thanksgiving with my son Robert and his family.  Afterward we came home by way of our favorite beach in North Carolina.  As we usually do, we traveled by back roads and found interesting places to visit whenever possible along the way.

I didn’t get suspicious at first — after all, this was our normal routine.  But then I realized that Betsy was having me take her picture in front of some of the homes we saw along the way.

The first house she seemed interested in was the Biltmore house near Asheville, North Carolina, as you can see in the photo above.
We’ve been there many times, but this time Betsy commented on just how huge the house seemed to be.  I’m inclined to agree with her.

We stopped by the Hampton Plantation State Park near Georgetown, South Carolina, where Betsy sat on the front steps of the Rutledge Mansion, named after the last owner of the house.

Although the house is very nice, it is somewhat in ‘the middle of nowhere’. which I think is a disadvantage as far as my Beautiful Bride is concerned.

I think Betsy found her ‘dream house’ when we visited the McLeod Plantation on James Island, Charleston, South Carolina.  She had her picture taken on the back porch of the house ….

… as well as on the steps of the front of the house.

I wonder if I need to think about moving?

A Visit to Cades Cove

September 20, 2016


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In mid-August Betsy and I took a day to visit with our friends Judy and Charlie at their campsite in the Cades Cove Campground.  We always enjoy a visit to Cades Cove (or any other part of the Smokies as far as that is concerned!).


Camping at Cades Cove is an annual event for Judy and Charlie, and we try to visit with them each year.  They are experienced campers and always make us feel welcome when we visit with them.

After our visit, Betsy and I drove to the beginning of the Cades Cove Loop Road.  We didn’t have enough time to drive through the cove, but we could stop and get some pictures.


My Beautiful Bride is always happy whenever we are in the Smokies.

As we were heading home we stopped at the Townsend Visitor Center for one last look at our beautiful Tennessee sky and Mountains.

Down Memory Lane: Trying to Feel Cooler

July 27, 2016


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It’s been down-right hot hear on the Cumberland Plateau for the past couple of weeks, and promised relief just never shows up.  So I thought perhaps I could feel more comfortable by revisiting an excursion my Beautiful Bride and I took to the Smokies in January, 2013.

We were on our way to visit Cades Cove, but we stopped along the West Prong of Little River on the way so we could visit Meadow Branch Cascade.

As you can tell from the picture above, it was decidedly cooler than it is now.  While I scrambled down the bank of the river to get pictures, Betsy kept an eye on me from the safety of the road.

I thought the point where the base of the cascade met the river was a pretty sight.

The West Prong Little River is definitely little before it meets the cascade, but it flowed clear and cold on the day of our visit.

We like visiting the Smokies because we always see something new.  We never expected to see a dolphin smiling at us as he stuck is snout out of the rushing water.