Tag Archives: Photography

Home on the Range

Second day in Salt Lake City area and its was a full day of sightseeing. First, we started with a ride over to Antelope Island State Park and then downtown Salt Lake City to the Mormon Tabernacle and the LDS Convention Center.

History

Let me start with the State Park:

Artifacts reveal prehistoric people inhabited the island 6,000 years ago. John Fremont and Kit Carson made the first known Anglo exploration in 1845 and named it after observing several pronghorn antelope grazing on the rangelands.

Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River. The lake is a remnant of pre-historic Lake Bonneville, which covered more than 20,000 square miles during the last ice Age. On average Great Salt Lake is 75 miles long by 28 miles wide. the average deepest depth is about 33 feet.

The island has several freshwater springs found primarily on the east side supporting island wildlife. Bison are the island’s most famous residents. Twelve animals were introduced to the island by Kit Carson in 1893. Today the herd is around 700 animals. Many bird species also inhabit the island. The above info came from Utah State Parks.

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Causeway to Antelope Island

Our exploration of the island started fairly early to beat the heat and also to view the Bison while they were active. The causeway is several miles long and gave us insight into this island geology. The park attendant directed us toward Fielding Garr Ranch for the best view of the Bison. With one or two cars on this road it wasn’t long before we spotted our first Bison walking about 200 feet offshore. The salt crust is strong enough for his weight. I took pictures and drove on until another small group were grazing down by the water. Just before arriving at the ranch, large herds were observed. I got many photos!

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Not a bad scene…just Bison in the wild!

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Geology

 

Garr Ranch

Rock Salt ~ Antelope Island State Park

Rock Salt ~ Antelope Island

At the Fielding Garr Ranch, we were the first to arrive and the volunteer guide was very informative. He had lived in this area all his life and boy did I ask him questions. I was especially interested in Promontory, a place that the East and the West railroads meet. It was 61 miles from Hill AFB. That meant that would be 122 miles round trip. I asked him if I continued on the way out of town and circled around Salk Lake and picked up I-80W in Nevada. He told me I could do that, but earlier this spring some of the county road had been washed out. There went that idea. The best two tips he gave me was to take the “Legacy Highway” eliminating the I-15S traffic. The second and absolute best tip was how to visit the Bonneville Speed Way going South and than West on I-80W. I’ve been waiting 52 years to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats! In 1965 Craig Breedlove held the honor of being the first man to go faster than 400, 500, and 600 miles per hour. His record of 600.601 miles per hour, set on November 15, 1965. I was a teenager at the time and that was of great interest to me then.

Driving back towards the Visitor Center, a different type of terrain was encountered. Down closer to the shore, the rock formations were very different from what I’ve seen before. It was explained, later at the Visitor Center. Frankly, it was a little complicated in terminology, but interesting to view the samples. Helen and I both enjoyed our visit to Antelope Island!

Salt Lake Tabernacle

Next came a forty mile ride into Salt Lake City to visit the Mormon Tabernacle Convention Center (LDS) and the Mormon Square across the street. Non members are not allowed into the church. We were allowed into the LDS Convention Center. Wow, what a massively large convention hall! It is the largest in the world and holds 21,000 people! A tour guide took us around the four-story building ending on the roof, with a waterfall cascading down over the four stories. On the interior, massive atriums with paintings of their religious beliefs are displayed. Naturally, they gave us their religious views.

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Picture Perfect

Across the street, we visited the largest pipe organ in the world. Everything including the grounds outside were perfect! Everyone has their own beliefs and that is what makes this country great.

That is what we saw and did!

Aug 2, 2017 116 miles traveled (locally)

Trouble uploading this morning!

Utah ~ Most Scenic!

The Road Trip

Road trips are great, even though long days on the road can be strenuous. This journey is to do the Pacific Coast highway from Crescent City California to Olympic National Park in Washington State. Part of the real adventure is getting there. This country is so diverse and beautiful, it is nearly unbelievable. Take for instance, yesterday, at the first visitor information center in Utah, we stopped and as we were walking up to the building, we both noticed the lavender in bloom. This wasn’t so abnormal, but what really caught our eyes was the bees pollinating the lavender. They were huge, about an inch and a half long. It is these little wonders that make the road trip a learning adventure.  

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Inch and a half long Bee

Leaving Fruita, Colorado, a town that we visited back in 2013, left a second fine impression on this community. The Visitor Center has a large parking area even with an RV dump station and fresh water fill. (5 stars)

On The Road

Landscape dramatically changes leaving Colorado into Utah. Colors are golden wheat, brown, reds, creosol green clumps of darker greens high up on the Mesa. From flat land to high Mesas this land is different and very scenic. Some spots on the road have signs that say, “No services for 110 miles”. Speed limit is 80mph!

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Flying on I-70!………

I cruised around 65mph, a little higher than my usual 58mph. Following I-70W for part of the way, than US-6 to Provo, UT for the rest of the journey to Ogden, our stop here for a couple of days at Hill AFB, Famcamp. Let me say that once we reached Provo on I-15N, the traffic was heavy, four lanes, 70mph, for about 50 miles. All the way through Salt Lake City, it was heavy concentration!

Let me talk a little about temperature. The late afternoon has climbed to 115 degrees, but it is very true that it is very dry! Ok, this is how we deal with it. When we stop, all windows are open and four fans come on to evacuate the heat inside the camper. It literally takes three to five minutes to do that.

A restaurant takes care of dinner time and than back at the Famcamp, the community room has A/C with TV and high speed WiFi. By now it is after sunset and the temps are dropping fast. It is very comfortable to sleep with the windows open. Early morning finds us actually under the covers. That’s life in the sunbelt! Remember some people come from Phoenix, Arizona to Salt Lake area to escape the heat! That’s life in the sunbelt!

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Welcome to Utah

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Amazing Geology in them there hills!

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It took alot of Din-o-mite to put this road in!

That is what we saw and did!

Aug 1st, 2017 …..330 miles traveled today

 

Rocky Mountain High!

John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High” would be appropriate for this blog, as I sit here in an overflow campground named Meeker Park. Before I recount the end of the day, I must begin at the beginning, early this morning. I had mentioned that we stayed at the Sterling Visitor Center. The management said they do allow overnight parking. The restrooms are open and cars come in, use the restrooms and some sleep in their cars and trucks. The other side of the Center, the big trucks park and stay the night. They are far enough that the running engines noise is negligible. After our tour of the town and their tree and bronze sculptures, we went back to the Visitor Center. The clouds in a distant were getting darker. I got my camera out, hoping to get some heat lightning pictures. The lightning came and went, but I didn’t succeed except for the practice of getting night time shots without a flash and still getting a good focus photo.

We went to bed around 9:15pm, with only one other car in the lot. By morning there were six overnighters. We had a chat, in the morning, with one of them who was interested in my truck camper. I guess it was around 7:30am when we pulled onto I-75W. It was about 148 miles to Estes Park (Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park) (RMNP), but we drove another 12 miles or so to find a campground that wasn’t full! Nothing new here, I expected the area campgrounds to be full, especially on the weekends.

After leave the Visitor Center in Sterling, we noticed a big difference in the landscape. So far our entire trip everything was green, but now everything was a blonde, dry landscape. Occasionally, giant green circle of crops dotted the land, of course this was from irrigation. When we left the Mississippi River Delta, the elevation was off and on around 100 feet above sea level. Now we were at 3,000 feet and rising. We are now at 7,240 feet above sea level.

Back to the landscape, a couple of noticeable features, oil rigs both installed and new derricks drill for that black gold. The very noticeable black and white feature was thousands of dairy cows in several places along I-75. Our first faint view of the Rockies Mountains was in Loveland about 23 miles from Estes Park, our base camp to find our bearings.

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US Route 34 from Loveland to Estes Park

After leaving Loveland, the traffic decreased a lot. The road went from straight to straight up! Switchbacks, river racing down the steep gorge. We rose a lot in just a few miles finally reaching Estes Park, a town with everything you could ask for including a first class Visitor Center!

I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a campsite in the NP, especially of a Friday afternoon. We decided to take the free shuttle around the area to see where we could camp either at a campground or boon docking. Mary’s Lake looked very good, mountain views all around. The 53 minute shuttle tour ended and I called Mary Lake Campground…No luck (full all weekend)! We decided to drive down route 7 paralleling the National Park. The National Forest does allow boon docking in certain areas. Well here we are at Meeker Park Overflow. Senior Pass (National Park)  half price, so $6.00 isn’t so bad. No internet or electricity, but Honda Generator is taking care of that. I’m writing my blog and when I get to a WiFi Hotspot I’ll shoot it off. I didn’t get many pictures today, but I was able to shoot a short video coming up that winding road.

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Notice in the background…thousands & thousands of cows!

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Oil Fields Equipment ready for production

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Loveland, Colorado nice town

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Rocky Mountains 1st View

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Church built on a rock! 

That is what we saw and did

July 28, 2017 ~ 160 miles today

First Ride Day Ended Pembroke, Ontario, Canada

Leaving our hometown of Berlin, NH around 6:30 am was a perfect time to watch the sun shine on the neighboring Vermont hills. Our travels took us into Northern Vermont with an entry into Canada at Derby Line. By 10:30, the Montreal skyline was in our view. Also, the traffic was nearly at a stop when we reached the “Pont de Champlain” bridge. They are building a new bridge next to the existing and the chaos is nearly understandable considering the immense scope of this project. I was busy driving and I had Helen take a few photos of the bridge and Montreal.

Next direction was towards Ottawa. After these two metropolitan cities, it was pretty easy to drive on the Trans-Canadian highway, AUT 417. Around 4:30, I was getting tired and gased up the truck. I asked if there were any campgrounds around. This lady waiting in line, grabbed my arm and started to tell me of several nearby places to stay. The one that really, really grabbed my attention was CFB Petawawa. (Correct spelling). This stands for Canadian Force Base which just happened to have a, I’m told, wonderful RV campground which is open to the public. Well, the day is long and my stamina gone, we both decided to camp out at a Irving Truck Stop. After a good delicious dinner at their restaurant, we headed for McDonalds for good WiFi and the blog.

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The Construction Maze

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Big Project!

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The “Pont Champlain

That is what we saw and did!

North Bound ~ Day 5

North Bound ~ Day 5

Patrick Air Force Base ~ April 17, 2017

A short jaunt from Stuart, Florida to Patrick AFB

Patrick has changed considerably since our last visit a few years ago. I’m not taking about the campground its self. I’am talking about the base entry gates. Coming in from US 404 my first mistake was exiting at the sign that says, “Exit for Patrick AFB”. That’s ok if you’re driving a car but not an RV. The serpentine barriers going in are very close together. Fortunately the gate guard gave me a stop hand signal before I got so close that I’d have to backup in traffic. He told me to make a you turn, go to the second light, take a left, go to the end, take another left and enter the base at the commercial truck entrance gate!

What I should have done was continue on US 404, over the bridge, to the tee and taken a left! A quarter mile or so down the road watched for the commercial truck gate! Got that you RVers! If someone is driving your car following you, they can’t enter at that gate! They must use the gate below the bridge or continue to the East gate which was originally the main gate. Wow, this is getting confusing! Security has changed, tighter than ever!

The Campground

Big improvement since our last visit. The camp host said they have about 150 sites. We were able to get in easily as 50% of the sites were available, snowbirds have migrated north! WiFi is available in the clubhouse, but my site nearby had no problem getting Dlink at full strength. The clubhouse is super, the laundry room, restrooms and showers are top of the line.

If I had to complain about anything it would be the distance to travel to get to anywhere. We were only there one day and I put on 46 miles. I guest, I am just a  spoiled RV’er from walking distance in

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Fam Camp Sunset at Patrick AFB

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Site 93 at Patrick AFB

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Cocoa Beach ~ Not bad for a weekday!

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Mighty Atlantic at Cocoa Beach, FL

Key West. I would give Patrick Fam Camp a 4.5 rating. It would be a 5 if Wifi would be available campsite wide!

That is what we did and saw

On The Slow Crawl North

Slow Crawl North…by Choice!!

 

 

On March 19th 2015 we pulled out of Trumbo Point RV campground. This was just a few minutes after 7 am. The last thing I did there was to pull the start cord on my neighbor, Gene’s generator. I’ve been doing this for a week or so because I’m an early riser and when Gene and Carol get up the coffee is ready in their 5th wheel camper. One last stop in Key West was to attend mass, which we had been doing daily during lent.

Route US 1 heads Northeast and by 8:15 am,the sun had already moved a little more East and we had no problem with the sun in our eyes. Leaving town is always a little sad. We met a lot of friendly good folks and some were already heading north, but some were staying until the end of April. By May 1st, this campground is shut down until October 1st. The reason being that it gets too darn hot and humid. There are no full hookup sites at Trumbo Point, hence when it gets too hot,the military will not allow the generators to run all night for the A/C units on the RV’s. This is not as drastic as it seems because three miles down the road, the Navy has another RV campground called “Sigsbee” they have full hookups and in the summer there is always plenty of sites.

The ride back to Homestead, Florida always seems to go faster than going to Key West. As we moved closer to the mainland, familiar places peaked our interests. McDonalds coffee break in Marathon was the first stop for both coffee and restroom needs. After that, we were in Homestead at the first Wal-Mart from Key West for less expensive resupply of food stuff. So far this doesn’t sound to much like an adventure story, does it?

The adventure really started at the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming. Back in the Keys, we had been told to stop overnight at the Casino. You just had to get an overnight permit. The Casino gives each person a $30 ticket (for the slots) and bargains on food for first timers. We did the above exactly, with the only requirement that we had to play the thirty bucks voucher on one machine. We followed directions and played the slots. I jumped up to $64 dollars and Helen jumped to $62 dollars. “Quit while your ahead”, that’s what we did and walked out with $126.00! It was early afternoon and we had no intentions on really staying overnight. Our game plan was to headout on US41 and than take US 94 (the loop road) and find a campground. Mitchell Landing was our destination. We headed down this dirt road for a short distance and found this motorhome with a camp host sign in front. “Yes”, the camp host said, “$12.00 with a

senior pass”, which I had. There was only one other camper in the campground and he was in a tent. After backing in and getting set- up we took a walk to visit these endangered snails that are only found in this site. The camp host had given Helen direction and just a few yards away I was taking pictures of these very unusual snail shells. Moving along to the boat landing, a sign said boat landing closed due to low water levels. Ok, I didn’t have a boat, but I settled for pictures of vultures and other birds hanging around the marsh. It was now time for a bite to eat. Helen is always good at coming up with something scrumptious. Later, we walked up to the camp host and they invited us to sit and chat. It was interesting to learn all about volunteering in the NP system. They were leaving to take up their summer volunteer jobs up at the “Great Smokey Mountains National Park”

In about an hour or so, the bugs started to come out. Another camper showed up and we started walking back to our campsite. The camp host was just returning in his golf cart and stopped just about fifty feet past us. He said, “Did you see that snake”? “No” I said. We turn around and walked toward him. There was the snake! A “Cotton Mouth” also called a “Water Moccasin” right on the trail. We must have walked right over him! He grabbed his four foot snake grabber and went towards to the snake. It jumped, for sure, two feet in the air! He moved it along to the edge and it took off into the vegetation. Our luck held out on this night. He figured that the evening was getting cool and the snake was very passive. The camp host had just finished showing us his 410 revolver a little earlier. It fires 410 shotgun shells or 45 cal. slugs. This is some firepower and I guest after this snake encounter, not a bad defensive weapon. We crawled into bed after dark and my plans for doing some star gazing and photography in the middle of the night were a thing of the past with the snake incident.

A Tarrus 410 caliber “Mighty Impressive”

Next morning, we were on the road fairly early. The camp host had told us of this watering hole next to the dirt road, where we might catch a glimpse of this 12 foot alligator . I knew that the cold morning temperature was a deterrent against seeing any warm blooded creatures moving around, but we gave it a chance. The sun wasn’t even risen and light patches of fog covered the swamp here and there. The birds were still roosting, but they were coming to life. No alligators were visible, but I could see an occasional bubble indicating they were there and staying close to the bottom in the warmer water. No sightings, but all was not lost!

The gravel road was extremely straight, visible for miles in either direction. I looked up and immediately spotted a photographic opportunity. The sun was just starting to rise miles away in the middle of this gravel road. Everything surrounding was still dark and with the sun now beaming, my shutter was going at full speed. My mind was thinking…This would make another contest picture for the 2016 Truck Camper Magazine Calendar Contest. The Truck Camper was in the frame with its lights on, the sun was beaming

through a slight hazey fog. We’ll see how I do this year in the contest!

That is what we saw and did!

My First Travel Blog in WordPress

This is the first post at WordPress. It is not my first blog. I have been doing travel blogs on BlogSpot for a few years and just decided to try WordPress for a comparison. If you want checkout  http://2boomersonthemove.blogspot.com for a history of previous. I plan on giving WordPress a go for our neDSC_4057_Home_Colors_edited-1xt travel blog to Arizona this winter. Stay tuned!