Admiring, Vacation

Sympathy for the [hike to] Devil [‘s Bridge]

Please allow me to introduce myself…

{{Sorry if this causes you an unwanted ear worm, but I couldn’t resist. The hike to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona was not easy.  Lend a sympathetic ear and I will tell you all about it. (groan/eye roll/cheesy grin)}}

It started out pleasant enough.

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Interesting looking flora…_NLG3575

Beautiful scenery…

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Beautiful, yes, but not much shade… OH LOOK!  Mountain-shaped shade!

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cool cloud, huh?

The problemS began when we realized where we parked was nowhere near the trailhead.  We started out on a primitive trail.

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my people

About 2 miles in, we saw a sign that the trailhead was “that way” (arrow pointing farther down the road)

is that it? please tell me that's it
is that it? please tell me that’s it

About a mile after that, we saw the trail head.  The actual hike up to the bridge from that point is only 0.7 mi, but by that time, the joy of “let’s go hiking!” was gone.  It was replaced by “we came all this way and *now* we have to climb up to the top of that rock?!”  We were hot and tired (we had Camelbaks because none of us had a deliberate death wish when we started out) and the youngest in our group was just d-o-n-e-done.  Since I’m the momma, I had to surrender as well.

Long story short, the only view I got was OF Devil’s Bridge rather than FROM Devil’s Bridge.

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I was disappointed since I didn’t get the shot I had hoped to get (from the top), so I played with sun flare to make myself feel better.

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this ended up being my favorite shot

It’s funny how the little things can brighten your day.  Literally.

Beauty in Unlikely Places, Pondering, Rambling, Vacation

PNW Part 12 (Sol Duc Falls)

This is the final post in my Summer Vacation 2013 Chronicle, so forgive me if I get a little verklempt.  Maybe it’s because I’m listening to some tragically beautiful tunes (think Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, The National), or maybe I’m just sad at having to say “goodbye” (in a way) to one of the most hauntingly beautiful places I’ve ever visited.

I wouldn’t use the word “magnificent” to describe Sol Duc Falls.  I’ve not been to Niagara or Angel or Iguazu Falls, but I know they are so large that you can’t get near them without being overwhelmed by their power and majesty.  You could feel the falls here, but you could also walk over the top of them without being literally blown away.  They were peaceful, beautiful, and accessible.  You could hear the roar, feel the spray; it felt very personal.

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At the top of the falls, my kids played on the rocks that I took the picture above from.

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Also? I’ve always wanted to use my fish-eye lens to take a picture like this:_NLG0880Yes, I lay down in the middle of the trail to get this photo and yes, people looked at me like I was cray-cray.  But did I care? Nope.  It was worth it to be able to cross that off my photo bucket list.

Of course there was more beauty to find along the trail on the way to and from the falls.  Here’s my favorite, but you can find more by clicking on the gallery below.

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Beauty in Unlikely Places, Travel, Vacation

PNW Part 11 (Hoh Rain Forest)

The only other rain forest climate I had been in before this trip was in Hawaii, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in the Pacific Northwest.  Did I see green everywhere?  Yes.  Was there a blue sky?  Yes.  Was there oppressive humidity?  Nope.   In other words, it was delightful.

Green literally dripped from every surface.

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What wasn’t dripping green was sprouting it.

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I was hard-pressed to find a color other than green or brown. I found a berry here and there and a couple of flowers.  Finding a flower felt like finding a unicorn. (SQUEEEEE!!!)

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But I did find fungi.

hohfungiEven though we came across other visitors every now and again, I truly felt like we were lost in our own little world.  It felt peaceful and magical and I am so thankful my family let me wander aimlessly with my camera.

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For more photos from the trip, click on the gallery below.

Beauty in Unlikely Places, Flaneur

Life Lessons

I crave natural beauty.  When I have the opportunity, I can sit for hours just watching – observing, enjoying, being in, breathing in – nature.  Spending the past several years of my life in a city has made me truly appreciate the Natural State where grew up.  I don’t long to move back to Arkansas or anything ((shudder)), but I do appreciate the time I choose to willingly spend there among family now.  And I’ve learned some things over the years…

1. I breathe better when I’m surrounded by green.

2. It’s good to be prepared for whatever may come your way.

3. There is beauty in simplicity.

4. You can find visual interest in unusual places and things.

5. Just because something is old, doesn’t mean it can’t be lovingly displayed.

6. Sometimes if something is old, it may be best used it as a trellis.

7. You’re never too old to appreciate a good-looking insect.

8. Sunsets are still amazing.

9.  Sometimes an empty chair is the only invitation you need to stop and smell the nature.

10.  Last but not least, I learned that there is such a thing in the cow world as a Gingah.

And now you know, too.