Tag Archives: Travel and Tourism

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.

Remembering Prairie Sunsets

I looked at some photos taken on a trip across the country and remembered a wonderful day spent in southern Alberta. We visited the Red River Coulee with my nephew Mike and his wife Michelle.

The sun was getting low in the sky and cast a beautiful glow across the grass of the prairie.There were interesting rocks covering the coulee. this one huge rock was round and seemed out of place because it was so round. Too big to roll down the hill, although the thought did cross my mind.

In the glow.

We lingered there, watching as the sun set.

fence post and grass

Alberta Sundown

As the sun vanished below the horizon

Some signs make me laugh

I have spent the last few days sick with a cold, so haven’t been taking any new photos.  I thought for my first post of the new year I would share a few signs I have seen recently that made me laugh. I hope you get a chuckle too.

Look up and beware, you might get hit by a hoof..

We pumped some gas at this most unlikely station with its hand scribbled signs, then went inside the store to tell them how many litres. They used a small calculator to figure out the bill. I guess they are trusting and expect honesty. I hope they are rewarded. I also hope they will soon be able to upgrade to perhaps a fancier sign. I find it amusing that the “no sniveling” sign is important enough to get a professional sign, the rest isn’t worth wasting the money on.

Honest customers only and no complaining allowed.

Count to 20? I always thought I had to count to 10 to control my frustrations. This sign is at a gas station in Minnesota.

Architecture in Ottawa

Last week we had the privilege of taking our grandson to Ottawa to check out two universities there. He is thinking of Political Science, so we had to take a visit to the Parliament Buildings. I have been before, but this trip I noticed the beauty of the architecture in a new way. We took the elevator to the top of the Peace Tower, then sat in on a debate in the House of Commons. ( my camera was taken from me while we were in the House. ) A very interesting experience.

Some protesters on the walkway leading to the Central Block.

The Lion stands guard on one side of the archway representing England I believe.

A unicorn stands guard on the other side of the entrance. I understand it represents the French and Scotland. Why its tongue is sticking out I have no clue Why a unicorn at all baffles me. There are gargoyles in a lot of places too.

looking up at the archway, there are the shields for each province and corn, birds, and a multitude of other food and animals depicting the abundance of Canada.

inside there are stained glass windows and beautiful scrollwork on the ceilings. It is so beautiful

Looking down into the main entrance hall

We went up the Peace tower past the bells and to the lookout. A view from all sides. This is looking past the Library across the Ottawa River to Hull, Quebec.

For anyone from the USA, the building in the foreground is the US Embassy

Looking north and up the river.

From the top of the Peace Tower, the clock was right above our heads.

The centennial flame, added in 1967 for our 100th year, the shield of each province is set in the fountain, with the flame burning just above the water.

It seems like the water is on fire.

Masai Mara Lions

One of my favorite photographers and fellow bloggers, Scott randall, posted an amazing photo of a lion;

you can see it here http://scottseyephotos.wordpress.com/

I thought I should dig up some of my photos from my trip to Kenya. I spent 4 days at the Fig Tree Camp and went on many safaris into the wonderful Masai Mara. Animals were abundant, more than I could ever have imagined. It was the experience of a lifetime. The photos were taken on a point and shoot.. I hope the quality is ok.

Our open top jeep drove very close to her as she tried to hide in the grass, I watched her carefully, trusting she would not pounce.

another couple of kittens played in the warm sun. They would make a great pet but feeding them would be an issue.

Waiting for us to pass by so she could get back to her nap.

The size of her teeth changed my mind about the "cute kitten" thing.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset

Basking in the glow of the setting sun.

She quietly paddled off after the sun went down.

The other sunset, which will be forever vivid in my mind happened earlier this summer. We were driving along the Dempster Highway heading to the remote village of Inuvik in Canada’s far north. After midnight the sunset began and lasted for a very long time. We pulled over and watched the spectacle with our mouths open. This was the first “midnight sunset” I have ever seen.

The horizon was set on fire.

the colours lingered in the sky for a very long time after the sun set because we were north of the Arctic Circle.

A magical detour to the Grand Canyon

It was raining and cold in every northern state as we travelled across the continent this summer. We changed our direction and headed south. Our detour took us to the Grand Canyon.

We arrived late in the day, just in time for a walk along the rim at sunset. My eyes could not keep up with the wonders before me.

Pictures can never express the vastness of the canyon.

I immediately ran to the edge to look down. Plants and trees cling dangerously on the very edge. A squirrel takes a moment to scratch in the glow of the evening light.

He blended so well with the rocks.

The colours are glorious in the setting sun.

There are no words that could adequately describe the vast canyon, created over millenium by something as soft and giving as water and as fluid as the wind.

The tree clings desperately to the rocks.

Indian Paintbrush, on fire in the sunlight, added to nature's spectacle.

As the sun set, the grand canyon slept peacefully.

We camped at the canyon. The setting sun whispered my name. She asked me to come at dawn for the awakening. I could not refuse the invitation. I set my alarm and woke up before the sun. Quietly rising, I grabbed a granola bar and a bottle of water. There was a quiet stillness in the air. We made our way along the path in silence. I felt as if I was waiting for something magical to happen. It was getting lighter and a few more people joined us in our silent vigil.

Without a word, she rose from the rocks and the whole world glowed.

The early morning sun cast long shadows across the path.

The sun did not disappoint us. The colours made more vivid with the glow from the rising sun. The views are magnificent. We walked for hours along the rim, unable to tear ourselves away.I wanted to go down into the canyon, to walk along the trails far below but had to settle for the rim trails. Maybe next time. I know there will be a next time.

Historic Champagne: cabins and trucks

Turning off the Alaska Highway, we drove, instead, the byways of the Yukon. On the old Alaska Highway, we found ourselves in the tiny settlement of Champagne. A brief history, outlined on a sign at the edge of the village, did not prepare us for exploring the townsite. There are still a few aboriginal people living in the settlement. One of them, a young man, approached us as soon as we arrived. He was eager to tell us some of the history and point out which log cabin had once been the RCMP headquarters and which one was the former jailhouse.

the jailhouse

RCMP outpost

Old trucks abandoned after building the Alaska Highway in the 40's.

Simply to old to bring back to life.

I enjoyed the wagons: worn, cracked and neglected.

cracked and dry


Outside the window, an old barrel gathers rust.

Just have to play around once in a while...