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Happenings 2022

Summer mornings…

Summer afternoons…

Summer nights…

Summer hiking…

Summer biking…

Biking route…

Summer kayaking with a heron…

Mom came for 2 weeks. Knitting seaweed for library on the balcony.

Met Remy and the family in Buena Vista for a fun day trip.

Play time on the Arkansas River…

Fall Equinox sunset…can start to enjoy sunsets from living room again.

Migrating swallows – several groups -chose our home as a stop over for several days. Lots of window washing!

This friendly buck chose our patio several times – surprising us when we woke up in the morning and staying for several hours, perfectly content with us.

With a younger friend who also spent the night. Beautiful. Amazing.

End of the world sunset – amazing colors.

First snowfall. 12X optical zoom from guest bedroom.

Lake is freezing, summer’s over. A heron is very interested in this change of environment.

Posted in Colorado, Pagosa Springs | Leave a comment

Utah: Exploring

Mid October we headed west to enjoy the fall weather.

The visitor center at Mesa Verde NP was a good break.

Who are those aliens at Valley of the Gods? Enjoying our camp at sunset.

Our zoomed in view of Monument Valley in AZ.

We hiked the West lime Creek drainage area from camp Valley of the Gods.

Henry the Navigator triangulating where we are!

Drive through Valley of the Gods – such interesting formations.

We left the Travato and got out for a walk.

Such a clear day as the Moon set.

Goosenecks State Park – WOW!

And this was our campsite on the rim. Also there was a night star party!

How many Mile 0 have we traveled to?

Hillside towards Mexican Hat with a zoom lens showing erosion – interesting patterns.

Sand Island petroglyphs – always interesting.

Sand Island Petroglyphs  – the figures look playful.

An overnight BLM camp with view of Comb Ridge!

What did we find in Butler Wash?

Dinosaur tracks! Another preserved treasure.

Always worth a hike to see House on Fire in the morning.

What a home!

Site #4 at Hovenweep NM CG was available – one of our favorite spots.

Perfect day to contemplate the canyon and buildings at Hovenweep.

The attention to detail is fabulous.

Posted in Hiking, Utah | Leave a comment

Enchanted Circle

September camping trip to New Mexico – Eaglesnest State park, site #1.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge – always a spectacular site. 7th highest in the USA.

Tres Piedras was another nice overlook on the way.

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument – Full Moon Rise from our campsite #29 at El Aguale CG.

La Junta Point where the Red river joins the Rio Grande – ready to hike!

1,350 feet lower we are at the Rio Grande and ready for a break (6.5 RT).

The boulders are all black basalt (lava), ground smooth by the river.

Good morning! Big Horn Sheep, next El Aguala CampGround.

Oh please don’t get up on our account. Maybe just morning stretches.

Columbine CG with a day hike in Columbine-Hondo wilderness.

Cimarron Canyon State Park for a few nights.

Chili vs Chile – good New Mexican trivia to know.

Site #20 at Coyote Creek CG had a view and electricity.

Above Taos Junction Bridge and the Rio Grande Gorge. More lava flows.

Looking the other direction from the same spot. Gorgeous!

Posted in Hiking, New Mexico | Leave a comment

Spring in the Rockies

Columbines blooming in the yard – our landscaping work paying off.

We got a permit to relocate 2 Ponderosa Pines from a specific area in the San Juan National Forest as part of fire mitigation.

It was hard work but we are looking forward to giving them a new home.

Character Pine in the front yard – we love the curled trunk!

The one in the back is being appreciated by a forest friend.

Time to play! Time to explore Vallecito Resevoir

We found a nice campsite, wooded but a view of the Vallecito Resevoir.

Lots of wetland areas where river flows into the Vallecito Resevoir.

How many goslings? Will they all grow up to be Canada Geese?

We thought we would try Heron State Park in New Mexico. We were not expecting it to be this dry!

But looks like rain is in the forecast – tomorrow we will kayak Heron Lake.

Rain gives us Gorgeous Spring Flowers!

Posted in Colorado, Gardens, National Forests, New Mexico, Pagosa Springs | Leave a comment

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ozark National Scenic Riverways was the first National Park area to protect a river system.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) would be responsible for reforesting public lands, building roads, trails, bridges, and buildings in state and national parks and other public lands across America during the 1930’s. 

Historic Big Springs has a CCC built lodge and cabins as well as several additional buildings like this.

The Big Spring has a wonderful water color.

The CCC also built an impressive flood control dike that is now part of a hiking trail from the campground.

The CCC workers laid out a trail along the cliff to the back of the spring that blended in with the natural environment. They also built a stone ledge wall in the spring branch to stop animals from entering.

Posted in Architecture, National Parks | Leave a comment

Great Rivers: Tennessee to Missouri

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – Tennessee

Piney campground was large and full but we snagged this wonderful site.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield : “No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.” Ulysses S. Grant, 1862

Cairo, Illinois: the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and 3 states: Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri.

A transportation corridor: We saw a barge transporting a rocket going up Tennessee river to Ohio river, then down the Mississippi to port of New Orleans and then onto Kennedy Space Center.

Not all transportation has been for the best: as the Trail of Tears history shows.

Lewis and Clark spent nearly a week here.

What is the Third Principle Meridian? a longitude reference line running true north from the point of confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. 

There is even Spanish history in this area with archeology discoveries.

The New Madrid earthquakes were some of the biggest earthquakes in American history, felt all the way on the East Coast.

In 1811, this was the largest settlement on the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and Natchez, Mississippi.

A well compiled museum explained more about the quakes.

It was reported that the Mississippi actually ran backwards for several hours.

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Kentucky: The Gap to The Caves

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park KY, TN, VA the first great gateway to the west!

Three states come together at this point – just 2 here on the trail but close enough.

Kentucky is the land of Lincoln – his grandparents came through the Cumberland Gap to settle the west.

Abe as a babe with his parents.

Teaching the young about the Civil War at Mills Springs.

One looks out of uniform!

We also visited nearby Camp Nelson National Monument which was supply depot during the Civil War and a large training center for African American soldiers.

The first Memorial at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park. The 56 steps represent his living years.

Our 16th president was born in this area near Hodgenville, Kentucky.

The monument protects this log cabin as a representation of the cabin he was born in.

Mammoth Cave National Park was a good place to camp and have an early morning walk to appreciate this UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

Lots of water dripping down over the entry to the cave.

This spring comes out of the cave system. Protecting the water quality in this area protects the cave environment as well.

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Very aptly named. Our Blue Ridge Parkway (469 miles) experience this visit was between miles 380 and 410 around Ashville, NC.

Two nights in the Pisgah National Forest at Lake Powhatan in the Appalachian Mountains – a full day to explore.

Lots of nice overlooks to enjoy the view.

We hiked a couple miles in this area, seeing the foundation remains of where the Vanderbilt’s had their mountain retreat.

We went to the folk center and appreciated the intricacy of many of the crafts.

A colorful quilt that felt like spring was in the air.

We enjoyed a long visit at 17th PresidentAndrew JohnsonNational Historic Site on the other side of the mountains in Tennessee.  For us it tied together history of the civil War and the Reconstruction Era. Also 1867 was when Alaska was purchased from Russia by Secretary of State William Steward.

Posted in National Forests, National Parks | Leave a comment