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Travel

Bluewater Bridge

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The weather gods smiled on us for most of the Memorial Day weekend. I was feeling a little down, so I decided to ignore the many outside chores awaiting me and drove out to Port Huron to enjoy the lake and the sunshine.

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Took a pleasant stroll under the bridge, then found my way to the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse.  It was built in 1829 and is the oldest operating lighthouse in Michigan. It was built to help guide ships through the entrance to the St. Clair River.

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The lighthouse eventually required two keepers and the brick duplex was added around 1880 to house the keepers and their families.

By three o’clock, clouds started to move in threatening rain, so I headed home.  The chores were still waiting, but I was glad I had taken some time to relax and enjoy the day.

 


A Special Visit

Port Huron Sculpture

Port Huron Sculpture

We enjoyed a visit from some out-of-town friends a couple of weeks ago.  Sue and I went to school together in England, and by one of those odd coincidences, she met and married an American, and moved to the U.S. a few years after I did.  She lives near Chicago, and we don’t get to see each other as often as we would like, so this visit was a very special treat.
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Because it is one of our favorite day trips, we took Sue and her husband to Port Huron and although the weather was less than perfect, we spent a pleasant time there, and I found some photo ops which I missed on my last visit.

 

Anchor

Anchor

 


A Trip to Port Huron

Ore Carrier

Ore Carrier

Summer always seems to go by too quickly, and this year it seems to be just flying.  Last week I decided I needed to take a break and just enjoy a lovely sunny day, so I headed for the Bluewater Bridge in Port Huron.

It was such a treat to just sit for a while, watching the sailboats and an occasional ore carrier out on the impossibly blue Lake Huron.

Old Barn

Old Barn

On the way home, I came across this lovely old barn.  I have passed it many times before, but this time, I took the time to stop and take some photos.

Baby Bean

Baby Bean

Because I confine my gardening efforts to containers, I don’t usually grow vegetables, but this year I planted some pole beans in a large pot next to the deck.  It has been fun to watch the tiny beans begin to form, and we have already enjoyed a couple of meals from them.  There is something so satisfying about harvesting a vegetable immediately before cooking it.


The La Sal Loop

La Sal MountainsWhen we first arrived in Utah, we were surprised to see, off in the distance, some snow-capped mountains.  We learned that this is the La Sal range, which is part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest and the southern Rocky Mountains.La Sal MountainsOne afternoon, my daughter and I set off to see if we could get a closer look at them.  We found a side road which looked like it headed in the right direction and set off to see what we could find.  The road did bring us closer and I was able to get some nice photos, at which point we were faced with the choice of going back the way we had come, or following a scenic loop back to Moab.  We assumed the loop would take us around the mountains, and by the time we realized it actually went over them, it was too late to turn back.IMG_1707

The road was narrow and winding with no guard rails and edges which crumbled away to sheer drop-offs and we were absolutely terrified!  The views were stunning, but we were both too frightened to look at them, and we weren’t stopping to take any photos.  I was reduced to grabbing a couple of shots through the windshield of the car, as we crept slowly along.Mule Deer

When the road finally began to level off, and we were able to take a deep breath and dry our sweaty palms, we came upon some Mule Deer, which were kind enough to pose for us.

Once we were safely back at the Lodge, we were glad for what we had experienced on that hair-raising drive, but we see no reason to do it again – ever! 🙂


Desert Flowers

Desert FlowerThere had been rain in the Moab area before we arrived.  The Colorado River was swollen, and we came across a surprisingly wide variety of flowers on our hikes.Cactus FlowerI am amazed at the toughness and persistence of these delicate looking blooms, which seem to thrive in such harsh conditions.Desert FlowerI wish the flowers I try, (often unsuccessfully) to grow at home would thrive so well! 🙂

 


Desert Trail Ride

View of Colorado River, UtahOur first morning at Red Cliffs Lodge was reserved for a trail ride into the canyon.  Something we did last time we were here, and well worth while.Utah Trail Ride

I was quite pleased with the photos I took.  Considering they were taken with a point-and-shoot camera from the back of a moving horse, they came out quite well! 🙂Utah Trail RideOur young guide, Devon, did an excellent job of leading us through some difficult and challenging trails.  The horses they use for this ride are born and raised here, so they are used to picking their way carefully through steep and rocky terrain.  My own horse, I am sure would have tripped and fallen flat on her face as soon as we left the corral!Utah DesertThe ride lasted about two hours, and I was only a little sorry when it ended.  The scenery was just breathtaking, but my seat bones and knees were starting to protest, especially on the steep down and uphill parts of the trail. Health issues and bad weather have kept me off my horse for many months, so I am sadly out of shape!


Home from Utah

UtahExcited to get back to the blog after our trip to Utah.  My daughter and I visited the Moab area two years ago, and enjoyed it so much, we just had to go again. Colorado River, Utah It was wonderful to soak up some sun after the long and difficult Winter we have had.

We were only away 6 days, but crammed a lot into that short time, including a visit to Canyonlands National Park, a horse ride through the desert, and a couple of hikes into the back country.View from Red Cliffs Lodge

Hiking with my daughter was no walk in the park!  Not only is she 23 years younger than I am, but she runs triathlons and is therefore much fitter.  This added to the difference in altitude left me winded and exhausted on a number of occasions! But we sure got to enjoy some marvelous scenery.

With over 200 photos taken while we were away, it is hard to choose which ones to post on the blog, but these will do for now!  More later! 🙂


New Blooms

Blue FlowerI found these flowers blooming at the end of a friend’s driveway the other day.  Not sure what they are, or if they are wild or cultivated, but they were a welcome sight.White FlowerTemperatures remain a good ten degrees below normal for this time of year, and the forecast for the rest of the week is for more rain and chilly weather to come.

 

DaffodilDaffodils are in bloom at the Nature Conservancy.  Daffodils are easier to grow in our area than Tulips. Oh, Tulips grow readily enough, but are such a favorite of the deer, that they don’t stand much chance of surviving.  Even those grown right up against the house are raided in the night and eaten down to the ground before they can bloom!  Part of the price of living in the Country, I guess.

My daughter and I are planning a Great Escape and will be spending a few days near Moab in Utah in the hopes of enjoying some sunshine and awesome scenery.  We took this same trip 2 years ago.  It was supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience, but we enjoyed it so much, we decided we simply must do it again.  Our patient husbands will be left behind to take care of the children and animals, and we hope all will survive!

Now I must return to my least favorite part of vacationing – packing!  What to take, and how much?  What is allowed on the airplane?  How to keep my camera and equipment safe on the trip?  A thousand questions buzzing through my head.  I hope it will all be worth it in the end! 🙂

 


Interlude

Utah DesertIn April 2012, my daughter and I spent a few days in Utah.  As a child, I loved Westerns and always dreamed of riding a horse across the desert.

Noodling around on the computer one dreary, winter day I came across a resort which offered exactly that. They kept their own stable of well-trained horses, and offered trail rides, even overnight ones, if one didn’t mind sleeping on the ground. (I passed on that one.)

It sounded like a vacation right up my alley, but perhaps not so much for my husband. However, my daughter jumped at the chance to go with me, and we had a wonderful time. The trail ride was everything we hoped it would be.  In fact, my daughter enjoyed it so much, she went again the next day!Red CliffsA couple of weeks ago, I booked a room a the same resort for the end of April. Whenever this seemingly endless Winter starts to get me down, I pull up some of my Utah photos, and dream of hot sun, blue skies and those magnificent Red Cliffs.


Winter Blues

Wooded TrailNeeding a change from snow pictures, I searched through my archives for something more colorful.

This photo was taken at the Nature Conservancy in March of 2012.  It’s hard to imagine that all this snow and ice could be gone in a few weeks, but in changeable Michigan, anything is possible.Dog at WindowAbbie does not seem to mind the cold, and actually enjoys fresh snow, burying her nose in any tracks she finds, and carefully inspecting scent marks left by other dogs.  This photo was taken on an unseasonably warm, sunny day in February 2012.

Nothing like than in the forecast at the moment, and yesterday’s prediction of less than an inch of snow was off by about 3 inches!