Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

They are so much bigger than we imagined.  W had seen pictures and new what to expect in terms of geological formations, history, etc. It was not quite what I had imagined when we got there.  Taking the short walks from the parking lots.  We looked over the railings and there were times I just couldn’t quite see it in perspective and then as I moved to the left and right and as I zoomed in with my camera I realized why I couldn’t quite mke it out at first.  It was my preconceived imaage of why it would look lie.  And this was so much bigger than I had thought it would be.  Actually, all of them we more vast than I had imagined..

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You drive a ways into the park.  As, with all National Parks and Monuments (Natural Bridges is a National Monument) the roads are nicely marked and free of trash.  You get a detailed map and begin the journey twisting and turning along the road.  One stop and another.  I don’t know how we did it on this Utah National Parks and Monument trip, but we were almost always the only ones there when we hiked to the end of the paths.

There is awe and there is OMG awe and I believe the latter is when you are there alone.  There may be a little wind and possibly a few birds, but when you stop and really, really take it in, you realize that this is a very special place.   One stop, two stops, three stops, Indian ruins.  Did the Indians see these bridges or were they formed long after the original inhabitants moved on or ceased to exist?  Did they exit centuries before the Indians dwelled in the cliffs?  Are the Bridges what inspired the Indians to call this place home?

All I know is that this Monument is surreal.  You walk along these nice, clean, modern paths and gaze over the railings to see these natural phenomenon’s splendor and realize there can’t be too many other places (if any) that mimic this part of America.

Michigan Up North

I grew up in the town of Warren, Michigan, just north of Detroit, but this is not about Warren and when I was born my parents bought a piece of land in Greenbush, Michigan, on Lake Huron. Shortly after that they built a small cabin which my mother still owns today. I have fond memories of weekends and summers spent up north at the cabin. We have lived in several places around the country like Palmer, Massachusetts, Phoenix, Arizona, and our home for the last 16 years Colorado Springs, but I always look forward to a visit to the cabin up north in Greenbush. The pho­tos in this gallery were taken in North­ern Michi­gan which includes the areas around the towns of Oscoda, Green­bush, Har­risville, Presque Isle, Tra­vers City, North­port and The Sleep­ing Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I hope you enjoy the photos of my home in Michigan. My next trip to Michigan. I plan to travel to the upper Peninsula and the North Shore of Lake Superior in Canada.

Photo slideshow of up north Michigan

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Mardi Gras Carnivale – Manitou Springs, Colorado Style

We’re a long way from New Orleans here in Colorado but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to have a good time and keep it fun for the whole family!  Every year the town of Manitou Springs, Colorado holds a Mardi Gras Parade suitable for the whole family to participate in or, enjoy on the sidelines.  This was out first time at the parade and we weren’t disappointed!  We strategically placed ourselves not on the parade route but rather closer to the action – where everyone gathers before the parade starts!  This made for some great closeup pictures and just about the best people watching anyone could hope for.

 Manitou  (“spirit” in Native American) is situated on the outskirts of Colorado Springs.  It’s a small, old place with tons of character.  It started out as sacred grounds to the Ute nd Cheyenne Indians.   The famous Pikes Peak Mountain snow runoff feeds the 11 mineral springs located throughout the town.  Today, Manitou Springs is great for tourist shopping, artesian galleries,taking the Pikes Peak God Railway  to the top of Pikes Peak, or grabbing a bite to eat at any of the local restaurants.

I walked away without any beads or candy, but not disappointed.  Mardi Gras in Manitou will become an annual event to watch people having fun and dressing crazy and sharing the silliness with all the local fans.

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