Mission

MISSION:
To spend quality time in at least one area of every state. Quality time means exploring the area; rest stops, gas stations, airports or train stations do not count. The goal is to explore the natural and cultural environments of these regions. Each location visited has a story, pictures for my amateur hobby addiction, and maybe a piece of jewelry/art.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Utah's South West Corner

Bryce Canyon

I owe you a post on the parks visited before Grand Canyon... Zion, Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks national monument.  Visiting all those parks so fast created lots of pictures...  and I am not done going through them... so hold on, it is coming... until then, here is one pic of each beautiful place... enjoy!

Zion
Cedar Breaks

Trips Cancelled - Good or Bad

In September, I had been planning to make a trip through the bayou... to some of towns in Southern Louisiana and Texas.  I had two weeks to visit locations in the Gulf... this trip has been planned since July.  Today, I found out that it has to be pushed back.   Honestly, I am not sure how I feel about this since I was ready to hit the road again.  Yet, I just got home and I have not made it to the beach yet.  I was ready to see my friends in New Orleans, and I am also ready to take it easy for a week or two.  This has honestly been a hectic summer.  Since May, I have been to Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas (2x), Colorado(3x), New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and home.  Well, sort of home... I have been hopping around a lot.  So maybe sticking around for a few weeks is not so bad.

I do have a trip at the very end of the month to Wyoming for a few days.  Not my typical trip since I will really not have time to get out and see anything there.  I have never been to Southwestern Wyoming... so even the drive and the short trip is bound to show me something new.

Until then, maybe I can get away for myself for a weekend and relax... we'll see.

Finally Made It To the Grand Canyon!

For someone that loves the National Parks, like I do, it has been a black-eye on my excursions that I have never made it to the Grand Daddy of the National Park system.  If you think about the big ones, Grand Canyon ranks up there... high up there.  Now, finally, I can say that I have seen it with my own two eyes.   While this was only a day trip - I definitely saw a lot at the South Rim - took in a hike, two ranger talks, took lots of pictures, watched the inspirational film at the Visitor Center, climbed the Watchtower, and oogled jewelry at the Hopi House.

View during Sunset at Mohave Point
I learned at the park that 8 people have died so far this year falling off the ledges.  This is where I laminate about stupid people... do you believe in the Darwin theory?  The strongest survive... well, for tourists, Darwin is about the stupid weening themselves out of the gene pool.  You see signs and are warned by rangers and fences to not go out on the rock ledges.  But do people listen?  NO!  Rangers have noted that men typically ages 20-35 tend to cross fences onto ledges.  From my short day there, I can say that is exactly what I saw.  I really don't understand it - you can get fantastic pictures from the look out points and along the fences.  The ledges really do not look that stable.  In fact, you can hear rocks falling every once and a while... so why go out there?  To tempt fate?  To prove a point?  Because you think you are indestructible?  Well, good luck - it is a long way down...

How to See Chicago in a Few Days

Chicago - Navy Pier, Hancock Building
Just how much of the Second City do you think you can stuff into a 3 1/2 days, and where 2 1/2 of them are filled with work... well, I really tried as see as much as possible.  While I did not see all that I wanted, I made sure to hit some of the main sights, get off the beaten path, see some "must see"s and enjoy a truly wonderful architectural city.

I had a lot on my "to do" list.  I thought I was going to have more time than I did.  And I did not anticipate several features (Art Institute and Shedd Aquarium) to be sooooo big that they, in and of themselves, would require a full day's attention.  It was hard to leave - Chicago deserves more time.  Of course I said that the other time I went, but in all honesty that was just for 2 days (and I do not count airport time as trips).  Really, Chicago seems like a place that I need a week, at least to fully explore.  I already have stuff in my mind about my next trip... but before I get ahead of myself, I want to talk about this one.

So, what did I pack into my few days in the Second City - well, a city walking tour that included Miracle Mile (sadly, or gratefully, with no shopping stops), a trip up Willis (aka Sears) Tower and into the Skybox, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, a waterfront tour, a ghost tour, Millinium Park, the Art Institute, deep dish Pizza, a dinner in Little Italy, and listening to a local musician at the Hard Rock... I can say with a straight face that my feet still hurt.  Maybe walking almost 5 miles in strappy sandals was a bad idea!  Who knew?