Luxury comes in many forms. There is the obvious five star hotel with concierge service and private infinity pool type of luxury. But for me, a more important form of luxury is the ability to easily experience the solitude of pristine, unspoiled wilderness for three days. A lodge to lodge Rogue River rafting trip gave me that experience with the added comfort of sleeping in a bed and hot showers at the end of each day, along with good home cooked meals and fine local Oregon wines. Now that is luxury indeed.
I had all but given up on a nice sunset while visiting Yellowstone on this day. It had been cloudy and raining all day and I did not think it would clear up. Then, all of a sudden a rainbow came out just before sunset and the clouds miraculously started to clear up just as the sun started going down. It resulted in one of the most fiery red sunsets I have ever seen – appropriate for a (potentially) fiery geyser area.
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The usual photos of the Grand Prismatic Spring are aerial shots that show this highly colorful hot spring from above. The reality is that the highest you can get to see and photograph this spring is about 100 feet from an overlook on an official new trail that the Park District established in 2017. Still, that does not make this iconic hot spring any less impressive.
I am not sure why we have a fascination with watching the geysers erupt at Yellowstone National Park, but we do.
I love mountains, so it is no surprise that Grand Teton is one of my favorite national parks in the US. With its jagged in-your-face peaks that are reflected in lakes and streams, it’s a scenic candy jar whose beauty is easy to experience. I am sharing 25 of my favorite photos from this park to inspire your next Grand Teton itinerary. The scenery is so point-and-shoot gorgeous, that narrowing the list down to only 25 photos was quite a challenge.
The Moulton Barn is part of the Mormon Row Historic District in Grand Teton National Park. It is supposed to be the most photographed barn in the country, and if the number of photos I took is any indication, then the claim is probably true. It is certainly quite photogenic. I could not resist trying my hand at astro-photography when I was there since I had a clear and almost moonless night. The pink glow on the horizon in the photo are the lights from the town of Jackson which is about 6 miles away. Even though my eyes did not necessarily see the light pollution, the camera sensor picked it up quite easily.
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You could say that Fairbanks, Alaska is a location of extremes. Winters may be cold and dark, but it is exactly those conditions that lead to perfect northern lights viewing. Summers are just the opposite – they are not cold or dark – in fact, I think they are nearly perfect. With average temperatures in the low 70’s and low humidity, it is my ideal climate. Good thing that there are two months of constant daylight because it gives you plenty of time to experience the long list of Fairbanks activities under the midnight sun. Continue reading “Fun Under the Midnight Sun – Experience 25 Summer Fairbanks Activities to Inspire Your Next Alaska Itinerary”
During my stay in central Alaska this summer, I saw fireweed blooming everywhere. It is a colorful pink perennial which easily grows in sunny spots along the roads and the shores of lakes and rivers. It is one of the first species to come up after a fire, which is how it got its name. Supposedly it is also a harbinger of winter. I was told that the flower blooms from the bottom up and when the blooms at the top are done, winter will arrive in six weeks. I clearly caught it in mid bloom and mid summer.
Please note that my visit to Fairbanks was hosted by Explore Fairbanks. All content is my own.
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Nairobi is the usual landing spot and starting point for safaris in Kenya. If you have the time, you can start off your trip with a day in Nairobi, experiencing Africa’s unique wildlife at the various local animal sanctuaries. Here are my recommendations for Nairobi day trips. Continue reading “Ideas for Nairobi Day Trips – Up Close and Personal With Africa’s Wildlife”
It’s four in the morning and I am sitting in a blind at a waterhole in the midst of Kenya’s famous Maasai Mara ecosystem. The visible sky beyond the blind is covered in so many stars that I finally have a sense for how big a million-billion really is.
On the ground though, my visibility is limited to just a few feet in the absolute darkness beyond the confines of the branches and sticks that make up this makeshift enclosure that surrounds me. In the pitch blackness, I can’t detect the animals I am here to observe without the aid of night vision binoculars, but the cacophony of sounds leaves no doubt that I am completely surrounded by life. A loud orchestra of frogs, toads and insects serenades me so that I can easily stay awake during my shift. An occasional bark from a hyena or grunt from a hippo reminds me that larger four legged creatures also prowl the night. The local leopard though is nowhere to be seen or heard tonight.