Travel Theme: Freedom

Freedom = The Open Road, Road Trippin’

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Caribou National Forest, Idaho

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

I love twinkle lights and you can always see an abundance at a theme park. These little lovelies are at Busch Gardens, Tampa

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Sunday Nature Quote: Home

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”

Gary Snyder

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Mormon Row, Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming

Photography 101: Triumph

After a month-long road trip in 2005 I realized I’d been to 47 of our 48 contiguous states. If I’d known this I would have driven the two hours north. This minor annoyance haunted my travels for several years. Then in 2009, a few months into my two-year road trip, I finally arrived in my 48th state – North Dakota. Many friends remarked “This obsession with visiting North Dakota is a little strange. There’s nothing there.” For me the only reply was “It’s there.”

This is my triumph…

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Photography 101: Landscapes

Landscapes are not only my focus in photography but also in my geography research. While photography focuses on wide sweeping landscapes geography looks at the broader landscape as well as singular elements and their connection to the broader landscape topic.

Yellowstone National Park, while not nearly the largest, is certainly a massive park. In square miles it’s nearly three times the size of Rhode Island. My first visit put all those square miles I read on paper into perspective.

We approached the gate in the early evening, still daylight, when the ranger warned that we may not have time to get to the closest campground before it filled. “What? How is that possible”. He explained it was 50 miles to the closest campground. Again, “What?” My mind couldn’t wrap itself around that number. He further warned if we didn’t get a campsite not only would we have driven 50 miles for nothing we’d have to drive back the 50 miles to the exit and another 50 miles back to Cody. Well we didn’t chance it and found a lovely cabin only about 20 miles outside the park.

This put these 3400+ square miles into perspective but the next few days would show me how vast and varied the Yellowstone landscape really is. It is one of the most amazing places I’ve visited in the lower 48 and one of my three favorite national parks along with the Teton’s and Glacier.

Ansel Adams is my favorite photographer and as good as he is even he could not capture the true vastness and sense of amazement of our national parks. Photos can entice us to visit but you will never feel that sense of wonder unless you are fully present, looking on its beauty with your own eyes.

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It’s about 10 miles from Norris Basin in the forefront to the Gallatin Range in the back.

And here is my attempt at an Ansel type image…

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Photography 101: The Natural World

Landscaped Layers

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming

Photography 101: Bliss

Ah bliss, that wonderful feeling of overwhelming peace and contentment, a break from the ordinary. A few years ago I drove four days from noisy, frigid and damp New England to Arizona. The warmth of the Arizona deserts dried the dampness from my soul and the complete quiet restored my mind. The result… a state of bliss.

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

The blissful desert

Photography 101: Home

I have lived all over the United States and have called most states home at one time or another and I have lived in five of them for several years at a time:

  • I was born in Augusta, GA and lived there several times.
  • Grew up on Cape Cod, Mass and if I had to call one place home this would be it as so many of my family memories are so closely tied with this place.
  • I lived and had my daughters in Dallas, TX.
  • I spent most of my adult life in Indiana always wishing to be elsewhere, Florida in particular. I never adjusted to being land locked.
  • Now I reside in the state I’ve called home in my heart before I even moved here – yes it’s Florida. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

As for the other 43 states I’ve lived in (excluding HI & AK) I lived in each for a weekend, a week or even a month or more. For two years I lived in a minivan/camper which I called home. So whatever state that campervan was in I was at home. You will find more on this adventure at my Jubilee Journey blog under the “My Jubilee Journey Journal” category.

But the one thing that stands out when I think about what home is are the three people in this photo below because without them there is no home. Home truly is where the heart is.

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Sunday Nature Quote: Mystery of Nature

Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? where are we?

Henry David Thoreau

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Broke Leg Falls, Kentucky

Beauty & Joy

If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either.  
~ ~   Joseph Wood Krutch   ~ ~

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Buffalo Bill Reservoir, Wyoming