Internet??: Half day at the Grand Canyon

We’ve come to rely on the internet for so much, and we take it for granted–that is until you don’t have it!

I’m on the road again with my friend Alyse. This trip was set up 9 months ago; a long time before we decided to downsize and move. It was a week retrieval in a sense. I had lost a timeshare week with RCI because of Richard’s inability to travel for 3 years. I was able to recover all but this particular week. So, after paying extra to get it back and extend it, I invited Alyse to join me. There would be no saving the week again.

So that’s why I’m on the road so soon after moving. Yes, we did finally move! I left Richard with a huge mess. It’s hard to lose half a house. Oh, getting back to the internet, it’s very sporadic here at the Sedona Pines Resort in Sedona, Arizona. I’m hoping to get through this blog post.

We stopped at the Grand Canyon National Park for half a day during our trek to Sedona. I was there about 40 years ago with Richard and the kids. Of course, we saw more, but it was great to be there again. The memories of our family trip came flooding back. If you want to see more than just the rim drive, you need to hop on a bus. We didn’t have time for that, so we opted for the South Rim Drive. It was enough to give us a taste of how vast the Canyon is.

On our way, I stopped in Seligman, Arizona. Alyse had never seen this quaint little town with it’s Route 66 allure. I was saddened to see that some of the manikins were gone, but there was enough for her to enjoy.

My internet time may be getting slow so let’s get on with the pictures!

We have arrived: Columbia Falls, Montana

Oh, we are the weary travelers. If we visit Glacier National Park again, we’ll be flying in and renting a vehicle! In our youth, driving almost 200 miles of twisty mountain roads would have been easy. But, now, almost 20 years more than the senior entry of 55 years, it’s more difficult. We arrived in Columbia Falls yesterday afternoon to our RV park for the next two weeks. We’re taking a lazy day today and will go into the the park tomorrow.

While on the road, I shot some more images from the truck window. I took these during our drive to Kooskia, ID. In spite of the highway, Idaho is a beautiful state. There are also 3 from the campground we stayed at. The new owners are updating it, but it’s great to be self-contained!

Yesterday, there was more of twisty Highway 95. We got an early start so our truck (a senior also) wouldn’t a difficult time pulling the trailer up the mountain. And, to my non-surprise, I was able to get some golden light drive-by shots. Once we got into Montana, the road was less twisty and the land became more flat. It took us a while to drive around the large Flat Head Lake. Smoke from fires hid the mountains. Just like California, Montana is on fire. When we checked into our RV park, the gal said they are praying for rain to put out the fires and reduce the smoke. Our hope is that when we get into the park, we have visibility.


And finally, while I’m doing this blog, Richard has been practicing with my camera and telescope as a lens, getting sun shots. The black dot, bottom left, is a sun flare. I’m hoping to get some good eclipse shots.


That’s all for now, these weary travelers are taking the rest of the day off!



On the road again: Getting to Glacier National Park

Our trailer is smaller, our trip is going to take less time, but we’re still excited about our first long trip since our cross country trip in 2013. This is the fourth day of driving the highways through California, Nevada, Oregon and Idaho. While Richard is getting the truck lubed, I thought I’d write this blog.

Our first night was in Sparks, Nevada. We decided to take our time, Richard needs his naps so 300 miles a day would be enough. They did build a nice, small marina right near our RV park, and we took a walk. The featured image is of this marina and so are these below.


Our trailer brakes weren’t working the next morning, so we were delayed and hit the road later in the afternoon. Desert is desolate. Some are prettier than others, but the long stretch of straight road can be daunting. Being a bored passenger, I did some drive by shots. I actually liked the shadows on the mountains.

We stayed overnight at an RV park in Winnemucca, NV and then pushed on to Boise, ID where we are currently. Thanks to Karen B. who made this trip last month, we stopped at the Rome Station in Oregon for lunch. The food was terrific and the place was photogenic.

After dinner, we went to see the Idaho State Capitol building and part of downtown Boise. They had just closed the Capitol building to visitors, but I did get to shoot the outside in the golden hour. Downtown was just the kind of place you’d like to walk. There were many upscale stores, small boutiques, banks, and parking that was free for an hour.

So, here I sit, waiting for Richard. We’ll eat lunch and then get on our way. Next stop–Kamiah, ID, and then to Columbia Falls, MT for a two-week stay visiting Glacier and surrounding area.

On the road again: Bodie and Mono Lake, California, final chapter.

Catch a breath, relax and gaze. That’s one way to take in Mono Lake. Photo buddies Marlene, Laura and I took it in with our cameras. We were there as part of our weekend trip to the ghost town Bodie.

Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake 8.321 miles long. It’s at least 780,000 years old and is among the oldest lakes in North America. While we enjoy its beauty, migratory birds call it home for a while and brine shrimp swim its waters.

You can see Tufa Towers as you walk down to the lake. These salt towers are formed because having no outlet, trace amounts of salts and minerals brought into the lake by freshwater streams have accumulated over the centuries. This resulted with Mono Lake having a salinity two to three times the Pacific Ocean. Tufas are the result of the combination of minerals in fresh and salt water. They take on all sorts of shapes and various neutral colors.

The images you’ll see in this post are of sunset and sunrise (Only Laura can get me to wake up at 4 a.m.) when the lake looks most beautiful. Just catch a breath, relax and look.

On the road again: Bodie and Mono Lake, California

Altitude–I guess I can’t do much of it any more. On a recent trip, the weekend of June 26, to the ghost town Bodie which is located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California and 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe, I experienced the effects of altitude sickness.  Now a California State Park, Bodie is located 12 mi east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8379 feet.

So, what does all that mean? Probably when you’re 72, you should take oxygen with you! I went with photo buddies Laura and Marlene. All of us were affected by the altitude. But, it was worth it as you’ll see in the images I’m posting. In spite of the altitude, the two-day trip was fun. Only Laura could coax me out of bed at 4 a.m. to catch a Mono Lake sunrise.

But, let me start at the beginning. The scenery was so beautiful when we were driving to Bridgeport, our home base that I finally started shooting out the car window. Laura would have pulled over, but there was no place for her to park. I did the best I could. We got to Bridgeport, Bridgeport, the county seat of Mono County, California with an elevation of 6463 feet. just in time to get settled and go to dinner. This is a small town and it was decked out in red, white and blue for the July 4th festivities. I do wish we could have stayed.

I’ll begin this multiple post with scenes shot on the way and Bridgeport.

On the road again: to Las Vegas, Nevada for a family reunion

I’ve been busy; so busy that I’ve hardly had time for photography. My schedule has kept me from several photography meetup opportunities, but I have taken photos–not many–but enough to practice. This trip to Las Vegas will provide me with some photo opportunities.

I’ve decided to turn this blog into, for a short time, a series on our Family reunion in Las Vegas. It took us two days to arrive in Las Vegas, stopping for the night in Tehachapi, California. I did take some shots of the Tehachapi Historic Depot before the sun set.

The depot was built in 1904 along a Southern Pacific Railroad line, which founded the town of Tehachapi, and was one of the most active rural stations during World War II. Later it was a warehouse and a railroad office. In 2008, the depot burned down, was rebuilt in 2010 and is now museum.

We saw many trains come through. Some with three engines to carry the load they were pulling. These were long trains. They continued moving down the tracks all night.

The California desert is not pretty. I remember thinking that when we began our cross-country trip last summer. Things were bleak until we got into Arizona and New Mexico. The Nevada desert is also bleak, except for the casinos. Just as you cross the border into Nevada, there’s a small town with many casinos and hotels. “Welcome to Nevada,” the sign said.

In this post, you’ll see the train depot and a windmill farm. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about the reunion and its preparation.

Tuesday practice: I finally made friends with my tripod and more from Capay Valley

I made a promise. When I make a promise, I usually keep it–even if it is to myself. Yes, it’s Tuesday, camera practice day. Even though I didn’t go anywhere except for my back yard, I still made progress. I’m confident now with using the tripod. I went back to Action Camera and bought a remote shutter release that will bracket. The cordless remote would do single shots, but not bracket. And, I’m comfortable with using the remote.

In fact, I did take a lot of bracketed shots–of my rose tree and a bush. Don’t worry, you won’t have to look at them. Now on to learning what to do with the bracketed shots. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I’ll download some trial software and get ready for a little frustration.

So, with the first week of Tuesday practice done, I’m posting some more shots of Capay Valley.