Category Archives: Travel

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

I don’t usually indulge in food, not often anyway. The challenge came in and I wondered what do I indulge in? I have to say I do indulge in a trip now and then. Last summer, I indulged on an Alaskan Cruise. I went with my two sisters and two of my nieces. We sailed on a rather small cruise ship, the Volendam, with Holland America.

The Volendam

I have posted about parts of the cruise previously, including the rock climbing. The dinner after the rock climbing event was a formal dinner. I shared a room with Jennifer, the youngest in the family. As we dressed in our finery, we indulged in a glass of wine…

Just one glass.... honest.

With great fanfare, the waiters, complete with bakers hats, marched into the room waiving the napkins in the air. They swooped in and ceremoniously laid a napkin on every lap.

Napkin Parade

My sister Louise received her napkin with great fanfare.

We have a lot of fun with our server, He made us laugh and helped make the evening a lot of fun

The delicious meal ended with desert, a Baked Alaska. Another grand parade.

Ceremonial paraie through the dining hall with dessert.

The week long trip was a week of indulging. everything from wonderful food to massages and manicures as well as an opportunity to see part of the world that is magnificently beautiful with its glaciers and ice.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

I love to go barefoot. The feel of the sand between my toes as I walk along a beach, always gives me a sense of freedom. I enjoy being barefoot so much, I took a few pictures looking DOWN at the beach last summer.

I was in Northern Ontario, walking along a beach in Pukaskwa National Park on Lake Superior. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face and eases my stress.

Remembering the sand between my toes.

 I remember with delight the feel of the waves swirling around my bare feet. You do too.. and you love it too… don’t you?

the refreshing waves swirling across my toes.

I even still picture myself walking at the shore.

Looking down at my shadow.

The rocks at the waters edge are worn smooth by the pounding of the waves.

 Today, I took another picture looking down.

Is that salt? Are those Bubbles? Is she crazy?

 

I went outside in the snow, BAREFOOT !! It is invigorating.. and very cold. Not quite as relaxing as walking in the sand. Not as relaxing as letting the warm water of summer trickle between my toes.

Even Sidney came to check out why I was walking in the snow without my boots.

What are you doing?

Music in Mistaya Canyon

As we drove toward Banff along the Icefield Highway, we discovered a short hike to a canyon. The hike through the forest did not prepare us for the amazing sight of the Mistaya Canyon.

The slot canyon, narrow and deep is carved through limestone.

There are no fences holding back visitors from enjoying the beautiful sight. The wet rocks are dangerous, so I was cautious as I walked along the ridge. I felt drawn to the edge.

standing on the edge

I peered over the cliff to see the water far below. The water churned and crashed through the canyon. There were many potholes formed in the rocks over time, formed by smaller rocks caught in the swirling waters.

Large potholes carved in the rock

The water far below came in waves and sometimes splashed high up the canyon walls.

Far below the water is churning

the churning water splashes high once in a while

 

 

I sat amazed at the height the water splashed.

There were no other people around. I sat on the edge and listened. The music of the canyon filled my soul. It was the same song that has been heard by the trees for thousands and thousands of years. It is a song of power and might. A song that tells of the strength of the water, strength so mighty, the rock must give way.

Listen to the music of the ages.

I can feel the presence of God in the canyon. He speaks to me through the music of the canyon and I am blessed.

The music echoes from the walls of Mistaya Canyon

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready

I am always ready to try new things, ready for an adventure. While in Skagway Alaska, Sarah and I decided to go rock-climbing. I had tried it once indoors. Let me just say that the indoor climbing walls are a lot different to the real thing.

We travelled to the climbing site and I got my harness on. 

I have my harness on and I am READY

 The company gave us a powder blue helmet to put on. I couldn’t help but feel relief, knowing that when I fall from the top of the cliff, my helmet will save me.
A few last-minute adjustments while I looked up… waaaay up.The first step.

Surveying the cliff

 
As I placed my fingers on the cold hard rock, I wondered how I will be able to cling to the rock. the ledges were so tiny.

The first step.

I soon got the hang of it and climbing happened.

a view from below. can you see that tiny person way up there?

I am very proud that I made it to the top, not once but twice, in two different sections. Climbing is hard work. It takes a lot of leg strength to push up each step of the way.

a cropped photo of me at the top.the second climb is higher still.

 Repelling back down is the most fun because it takes no strength.

Just lean back and jump your way down.

 I am ready to give it another go. Anyone want to come with me? This is something I want to continue as part of my healthy new lifestyle.

Weekly Photo Challenge: random

No photo challenge? I will not be stopped. I have decided to call it “Random” and post anyway. I hope you enjoy.

Last summer, we travelled along the “Top of The World” highway between Alaska and the Yukon. Near the border, is the small settlement of boundary Alaska. Population 3.

The welcome sign is painted on the big old oil drum.

 Near the road is an old log building. It was the store in the years when Boundary was a thriving mining community. We met the entire “village” and they allowed us to explore and photograph the store.

The log store.We went inside to find there were a lot of artifacts.

 

An old cash register. A little worse for wear.

 

The piano longs to be played once more. I love the three legged stool.

 

This looks like the stove I learnt to cook on, back in the day. No wonder I have never liked to cook.

 

The back door. You can see the dirt road (the highway) in the background.

 
 

Nearby, is a small cafe. We enjoyed a coffee and muffin served by Adam.

Open for business.

The inside was small, a table for four and a counter. 

Waiting for the coffee to brew. The walls are covered with business cards and an assortment of "treasures" of all kinds.

Ice Mountain on the Lake

On a normal Day in Late January, Late Simcoe will have trucks and snowmobiles travelling across it. There are usually countless fish huts dotting the lake. Not this year. It has been a mild winter. The water near the shore froze, but the high winds broke the ice and pushed the pieces toward the shore. Now there are chunks of ice sticking up all over making it hard to walk. In the sheltered parts of the Lake, the water has frozen once again. The patterns in the ice that are sticking up are beautiful.

 

We walked on the lake just before sunset, the colours adding to the drama.

 

Natures Lace

 

mountain majesty

 

Some ice mountains are rounded.

 

Ice like a thousand stars

 

The setting sun added colour to the snow and ice.

 

 

 

Sunset over Lake Simcoe

Hope, in the Face of Danger

Hope. A simple word to speak of our dreams, our desires.

We had a day filled with hope one day last summer. I have shared this story previously but I hope you enjoy it once again.  It started as an ordinary day. Our travels took us into the mountains between Lively and Barkerville in the BC interior. We hoped to drive to Barkerville on the scenic backroads. The old “Goldrush Trail”.

The hour was late. We found a wonderful free campsite at Ladies Lake. We had high hopes for a quiet evening in front of the campfire.

Hoping for a fire

The evening sky had cleared giving us hope of a sunny day to drive over the mountains.

Great hope for tomorrow.

The fire lit, we enjoyed a quiet evening watching the sun go down and listening to the loons.

We woke up early the next morning, anxious for the day ahead. We looked forward to each new day with great anticipation  as we travelled the country.  After breakfast, instead of hitting the road right away, we decided on a change of pace.  I tried my hand at panning for gold, hoping to strike it rich. We were in Gold rush country afterall.

Bored with sifting through the dirt, we were soon back on the road. A sign on the road scared me and I hoped we were not making a mistake.  There is a bit of confusion in the directions, still, we had hope.

74 km to where? Which way to Barkerville? and where is Grizzly Creek?

We hoped to be in Barkerville before dinner. More confusing signs. Then the rain started. What more could go wrong on this day that started with such hope, such promise

Oh no!

Deactivated? Really? Can they do that to a road?

A few kilometers along the “deactivated” road a bit of a problem blocked our way.

A tree slide?

After this, we were still hopeful. Then more trouble.

There is nothing we can't handle.

We had determination and hoped no more rocks would block our path. Troubles kept presenting themselves. Was this a sign? Should we turn around?

Hope won the day and we carried on… until…. trouble again. This time we could only hope. We were very close to our destination. We did not want to turn around now.

Half the road washed away. Was the remaining part still safe to drive on?

This time, our hope turned to prayers. Hope was not enough to keep our heavy van from causing the fragile road from crumbling beneath  our wheels. I looked over the edge. It was a very long way to the valley below.

Squeeze past the barriers.

God is good and the crumbling road held. The rain stopped and a rainbow of hope appeared in the sky.  Within a few minutes, we arrived “safe and sound”, back into civilization. Our hope renewed.

Hope renewed.

I have posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Idaho Hills

A gentle green hillside, bare, treeless, beautiful. I took this photo in the south of Idaho in the summer of 2011. That same summer I travelled to the far north and took another photo of another simple hillside, this time in the Canadian North West Territories.

Northwest Territories, Canada

I love the simplicity of a rainbow. Just water and light, mixing together to show the glorious colours of a rainbow.

rainbow over the plains

A sunset is another display of nature using simple ingredients to paint the sky and in this case, our van.

The sun is the artist who painted our car.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful


The first evening, the Volendam sailed toward Alaska on the inside passage. We could see the snowy mountains in the distance. I stayed on deck, enjoying the peace in the crisp salty air.
The small islands marched into the distance like shadows fading into the sky.
Just a few other passengers braved the evening air, I felt I had the deck to myself and I was happy to be alone to enjoy the scene in peace.
As the sun sank toward the horizon, it cast a warm glow on the empty deck chairs.
The sky turned from blue to gold, a promise for adventure.


On the quiet deck of the cruise ship I found a wonderful peace. The stress of life slipped away.

Alone on the deck, the evening fell gently and settled like a blanket of peace over my soul.

Time to Review My Bucket List

Some may suggest it is morbid to make a bucket list, thinking of things to do before you die. Make no mistake, I do not plan on keeling over the day after I check off my last item, in fact, my list is continually evolving and changing as I age. I imagine one day, sitting around the nursing home, my list may simply include staying awake while watching TV, or walking to the dining room unaccompanied. I hope I will always have things I want to do because motivation is invigorating and setting goals is motivating.

I have had a bucket list for a long time. It wasn’t formal, I just knew I wanted to do certain things. a few years ago I made a formal list.

I like to dream, I like to plan. I am afraid of wasting my years living a humdrum existence, so I get involved, I volunteer and want to be a better person. Not for others, but simply for me, for my satisfaction.  I find it helps me to know my inner self, my true desires. I have become more aware of who I am. We all have many roles we play, between work and home, with family and friends, the community, socially, at church, we wear many hats and we have expectations placed upon us by others. A bucket list is not about expectations, it is about desires.

I think a bucket list reflects who you are and what is important to you. There are a lot of fun things and adventurous things on my list and I hope some things that will make me grow as a person.

If you do not yet have your dreams listed, I hope this will inspire you.

My Bucket List

  • Go for a Hot Air Balloon ride
  • Write a novel
  • Have my novel published
  • learn to play the guitar
  • Take a cruise on the Amazon River
  • visit Chile
  • travel to India and the Himalayas
  • See a polar bear in the wild.
  • Paint a truly beautiful painting
  • Win a photography competition
  • Weigh under 140 lbs
  • Run a 5km race.
  • walk a half marathon race (completed)
  • Travel to Newfoundland
  • Hike the West Coast trail
  • Sleep in a yurt.
  • Climb  on the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Robson.(completed)
  • Learn cross-country skiing.
  • Learn to Juggle.
  • Travel to the Arctic (completed)
  • Visit San Francisco and ride the cable car
  • Repell down a very high cliff
  • Go para-sailing
  • Go hang-gliding
  • Travel to Japan
  • Eat in a sidewalk cafe in Paris
  • Go on a meditation retreat.
  • Read every book of the Bible
  • Get my Scuba Diving license
  • Fly first class
  • Volunteer with “Operation Christmas Child” to deliver the boxes.
  • Dip my toe in the Arctic Ocean.
  • Stand on the Arctic Circle (completed)
  • Take a flying lesson (completed)
  • Visit all 50 American States
  • Visit all 10 Canadian Provinces and 3 Territories.
  • Go to at least 25 Zumba classes
  • Ride in a helicopter (completed)
  • Travel the Oregon Coast
  • Spend New Years Eve at Times Square.
  • Go to the Olympics
  • Travel to Africa and go on a safari Completed)
  • Stand on the Equator (completed)
  • Retire early (completed)
  • See the Grand canyon (Completed)
  • Volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen
  • Go bird-watching at Point Pelee park during the fall or spring migration
  • Win a writing contest
  • Join an organization with a humanitarian cause
  • Organize all my old photos (a large box full) into albums.