Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Memorable Events

Ann-Christine’s challenge this week tells of memorable events from her travels through the Sahara desert in Morocco, illustrated with stunning photos. I encourage you to visit HER POST and see for yourself. My most memorable travels in the last decade have been domestic roads trips to National Parks. On one trip, I visited 11 federally protected sites – parks, monuments, and forests. They are chronicled in the page listed below my banner heading called “An American Adventure”. Here are a few of my favorite shots from that journey.

“Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.” – Confucius

“Once a year, go somewhere you have never
been before.” – Dalai Lama

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken

These photo challenge subjects so often coincide with an experience I just had! I’ve just driven a rather harrowing 5.5 miles from my office back home in a white-out blizzard of Wisconsin spring snow. The county road goes up a steep incline of glacial terrain, and the snowplows hadn’t gotten to it when I and 4 others began the ascent. I was slipping sideways and barely able to get to the top in first gear with my 11-year old Honda Accord with front wheel drive. Needless to say, I wasn’t taking any photos during this journey!

Now that I’m safely home at my laptop, I’m thinking back to another wild road experience. I was so excited to travel through the Jemez mountains in New Mexico in October…the bright yellow of the cottonwood leaves, the blue sky and the red rock were absolutely stunning! The next day, we traveled the same route and were caught in a hailstorm that almost stranded us at the summit under two inches of icy pellets. Of course, I don’t have photos of that part of the trip, only the sunny splendor of the initial journey. 


scilla in NM
The Road Taken

Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird Curiosity Eclipsing Fear

There is something in me that craves a sunrise.  I’ve known this for a long time.  It’s an exhilarating feeling, a feeling of adventure, of anticipation, of freedom.   Perhaps it’s because getting up early means you have a special mission…to board a plane or set off on a journey or explore a new day.  I think I first experienced this adventurous feeling when my sister and I set off cross-country on a road trip when she was 20 and I was 16.  She was going back to college in Ohio in her newly purchased car.  We set off from our home in California, and I was along for company.  Unfortunately, we never made it to Ohio because we crashed in Nebraska and she was killed.  That rather put a damper on my adventurous spirit for quite a while.  But I recently discovered that I still love a road trip even though I can never put disaster completely out of my mind.  Learning to embrace that perceived conflict, that life is exciting and wonderful and not entirely safe all at the same time, has been a great journey in itself.

Sunrise in Kansas on my most recent road trip

Sunrise in Kansas on my most recent road trip

It’s like the feeling I get when I’m camping ‘far from civilization’.  The nights seem very dark and very long as I lie awake in a tent with howling winds or other unidentified sounds surrounding me.  I feel aware and a bit afraid and very alive.  When the sun begins to rise, I feel eager to rush outside and see the light dawn on all those things that felt so mysterious and vaguely threatening.  I realize then that a sense of curiosity is eclipsing my fear.  That is what I want to develop more and more.  Perhaps that’s a return to childhood; perhaps that’s what maturity is.

Early morning frost on the tent in New Mexico - same trip

Early morning frost on the tent in New Mexico – same trip

Early Bird