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January 3, 2015

Southwest: Sedona in the Snow, Take Two


Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock

Judging by the response of the locals, snow, particularly heavy snow, is a rare event in Sedona Arizona. At the end of 2014, the weather forecasts predicted that a major winter storm would hit northern Arizona. In a normally dry desert area, the impending precipitation sent residents and visitors alike scurrying to the grocery stores to stock up on supplies for the coming snow apocalypse. The forecasts were not wrong. By New Year’s Day, several inches of snow were on the ground and the red rocks where splotched with white patches. (more…)

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December 22, 2014

United States National Monuments: Pipe Springs and Vermillion Cliffs


An ornery resident at Pipe Springs National Monument

An ornery resident at Pipe Springs National Monument

 In Arizona, just across the border from Utah, are two contrasting National Monuments, tiny Pipe Springs and massive Vermillion Cliffs. (more…)

December 19, 2014

United States: San Francisco’s Financial District


The old and the new in San Francisco's Financial District

The old and the new in San Francisco’s Financial District

San Francisco is a city of distinctive neighborhoods. Each area of the city has it own character and its own appeal. As in all cities, some districts are harder to love than others. San Francisco’s Financial District, with its shaded streets between its tall buildings won’t win a casual popularity contest. But if you look closer, the Financial District is more interesting than it deserves to be. Amongst the modern steel and glass monoliths are remnants of the post 1906 earthquake rebuild. The older buildings, the Neo-gothic high-rises and ornate bank buildings of the 1920’s, elegantly hold their place amongst the modern buildings. Oddly, in San Francisco’s Financial District, the old and the new look as if to belong together. (more…)

January 1, 2014

Pictures of the Year


Axl on his throne.

Axl on his throne.

In the spirit of the New Year, I’ve selected an arbitrary set as my favorite pictures of the year.  There’s no particular order to the pictures.  It was hard enough to the trim the possibles to twenty.

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June 30, 2013

Hawai’i: Star of the Sea Painted Church


DSC_4258_HDR-Edit-EditA favorite stop for photographers near Hawai’i’s Volcanoes National Park is the Star of the Sea Painted Church.  Though it looks older, the church was built in 1927-1928 under (more…)

April 25, 2012

Page Arizona


Upper Antelope Canyon (HDR)

Page Arizona does not rank as a cultural destination.  This small town on the northern edge of Arizona was established in 1957 to support the construction of the nearby Glen Canyon Dam.  Page’s history is (more…)

January 4, 2012

Mt. St. Helens: Lava Canyon and Ape Cave


Near Windy Ridge Spirit Lake is still jammed with dead trees left from the 1980 eruption. Mt. Rainier appears over the ridge.

Most visitors to Mt. St. Helens approach the National Monument from Castle Rock Washington.  Highway 504 takes tourists from the Interstate 5 corridor to the Coldwater and Johnston Ridge vantage (more…)

December 29, 2011

Mt. St. Helens: Plains of Abraham/Ape Canyon


Mt. St. Helens signature mountain biking ride is a combination of two trails.  Ape Canyon Trail climbs on a ridge above its namesake canyon.  Named for a purported Bigfoot sighting in 1924, the canyon is a (more…)

Mount Saint Helens: The Climb


Climbing Mt. St. Helens is just a walk in the forest down low.

Periodically the notion of climbing a mountain sparks through our synapses. Usually good sense prevails. The painful pounding reality of the effort required to reach the top of some remote mountain quickly tempers the overactive enthusiasm. This time we made an exception. Mt. St. Helens was just too interesting not to climb.

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November 23, 2011

National Parks: Mt. Rainier


Flowing water inside Rainier National Park (HDR)

Next up on our National Park tour was historic Mount Rainier.  Established in 1899, Rainier is the fifth area to be designated as a National Park in the United States. Today Rainier, not far from metropolitan Seattle Washington, is a (more…)

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