Posts Tagged ‘Travels’

Desoto Falls

May 1, 2018

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

Betsy and I have been to Desoto State Park in Alabama several times. It’s a wonderful park with waterfalls, hiking trails and a beautiful mountain setting. One of the main attractions of the park is Desoto Falls. All of these pictures are from a visit we made to the falls in 2013. This was part of a birthday surprise that Betsy had arranged for me.

There is a dam just above Desoto Falls which forms Desoto State Park Lake. Although the dam is not part of the waterfall, it too, is a beautiful sight.

The official viewing area for Desoto Falls offers only a side view of the waterfall. It’s a nice view, but Betsy and I had seen pictures of the waterfall from a different vantage point and we wanted to find it.

After talking to one of the park rangers we were told that it was possible to bushwhack to a view of the falls by following a primitive trail almost two miles from the official viewing area. We found the trailhead without too much difficulty and hiked back toward the waterfall.

After a while we were rewarded with this view of Desoto Falls. We weren’t as close we were at the official viewing area, but we both liked the view we were able to enjoy.

In some ways we hope that the primitive trail is not upgraded — we can keep this beautiful spot as our very own secret.

Advertisements

Monument Valley

February 27, 2018

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

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

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

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.

Bryce Canyon National Park

December 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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.

When in the course of human events . . .

July 4, 2017

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

I’m old enough to remember when the Fourth of July was more than just a weekend holiday, as wonderful as that can be. Way back then, the Fourth was a time of patriotic music (when is the last time you heard a John Philip Sousa march?), and stories of the founding of this nation.

So, in the spirit of the Fourth of July from yesteryear, I thought I would share some pictures taken at Colonial Williamsburg several years ago. We weren’t there on the Fourth of July, but it was still possible to catch the spirit of the ‘Revolutionary City’.

We’ve always enjoyed the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps, as seen in the photo above.

One evening we were able to see a muster of the colonial militia. They certainly didn’t march with the ‘spit and polish’ of British regulars.

Even their firing line left something to be desired.

But I would hate to be in front of them when they fired.

The ‘colonists’ even had a cannon they were able to fire.

 

Hiking the Rim Trail

June 13, 2017

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

Betsy and I visit Mt. Nebo State Park in Arkansas early each year.  We have many reasons for continuing to go there:  a beautiful little cabin that we get each year, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, a peaceful and quiet atmosphere in which we can relax and enjoy each other’s company, and beautiful views.

Another thing we do its hike along the Rim Trail, which circles the mountain top just below the rim.  We don’t always hike all the way around the mountain, but we do cover most parts of the trail while we’re at Mt. Nebo.

There is access to the Rim Trail near our cabin, and the views beckons us each morning, as can be seen in the picture above.


On a clear day we can see Mt. Magazine in the distance, another favorite place we like to visit.


When we hike from the cabin toward Sunset Point we pass this gnarled old tree standing guard along the trail.


With all the beautiful views along the Rim Trail there are times when we just have to stop and soak them all in.

 

Cumberland Falls

March 28, 2017

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

Betsy and I made a trip to Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky to celebrate my birthday this year.  We’ve been there before, and Cumberland Falls is sometimes referred to as the ‘Niagara of the South’, so we were looking forward to our visit.  A nice bonus was that there was to be a full moon on the night of my birthday, so we hoped we could see a moonbow.  Cumberland Falls is the only place in the western hemisphere where a moonbow can be seen.

We got to the park in the afternoon, and found that there was plenty of water in the river flowing over the falls and throwing up a mist, as you can see in the picture above.  The only problem was that to get a photo of that mist, we had to shoot into the sun.


We also found that the overlook nearest the falls was closed for repairs, so we had to walk downstream to get a picture of the falls.  Even though we were further away, we still had a nice view of the falls.


It was hazy when we returned to the falls after dark, and a ranger said we probably wouldn’t be able to see anything of a moonbow.  But since it was a nice night, we walked to the falls anyway.  The falls looked nice in the moonlight, so I did some experimenting with night-time time-exposure photography.

Although we didn’t see any signs of the moonbow, I took some long-exposure photos of where we thought the moonbow should be.  I couldn’t see anything in the camera, but when I uploaded the photos to my computer, I was delighted to see a moonbow as pretty as can be.
All in all I had a great birthday!

Flowing Water in the Smokies

February 7, 2017

middlepronglittleriver17011701

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

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.

rockywaters17011801
We could even enjoy flowing water from the balcony of our room at Rocky Waters Inn in Gatlinburg.

middlepronglittlepigeonriver17011802
The next day we went to the Greenbrier section of the park and hiked along Middle Prong Little Pigeon River.  It, too, was beautiful.

uslittlepigeonriver17011803

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