I was visiting family and friends in Portland, Oregon and my two aunts and I spent a few days at a rental house in Cannon Beach and the weather last week was unusually high, the temperature was in the 80s. There were a lot of people on the rocks and tide pools around Haystack Rock at low tide looking for starfish, sea urchins and sea anemones. They were all out to enjoy the great weather at the beach. Some of them stayed and made fires on the beach to enjoy the sunset.
Winter has stuck around longer than anyone really wanted this year, the migrating birds came home to find the lakes still frozen. Here are two swans that were at a nearby river.
Tulum is a Pre-Columbian Mayan city in Quintana Roo, Mexico in the Yucatán Peninsula. Tulum was one of our shore excursions on our Carnival cruise in the Caribbean. It is located up on the cliff about 39 feet above the water, which you can go down to and take a dip in the ocean to refresh yourself from the heat.
Portland, Oregon at night from across the Willamette River. There are walking paths along each side of the river. Portland is a very unique city in the Pacific Northwest with a mild, rain forest type climate where it rains most of the winter – making it a very green area. Mount Hood and the Oregon Coast are both about an hour away from Portland, in opposite directions. Perfect location if you want to go hiking one weekend and deep sea fishing the next.
The beautiful city of San Francisco from Twin Peaks. This is the photo I submitted for a change to win two tickets anywhere Delta flies, unfortunately, the upload looks very blurry. It probably won’t get many votes, but if you would like to show your support, you can vote for me here.
Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. It is frozen right now, but water is still running underneath the frozen parts you can see. Another picture below with two people in it just to show how big it is. Continue reading
Devils Tower in Wyoming is a rock monolith towering above the surrounding landscape. The site is considered sacred by the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, Lakota, and Shoshone tribes and there are over twenty tribes that have a cultural affiliation with the tower. The American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed in 1978 to protect and preserve the traditional religions of American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts and Native Hawaiians and allow them access to sacred sites.
The tower was first climbed in 1893, but the American Indians feel that it is disrespectful to climb the tower since it sacred to them. In 1995 a compromise was made and climbers were asked to voluntarily refrain from climbing the tower during the month of June, which is a month high in ceremonies because of the summer solstice. Climbing is down 85% during the month of June because of the voluntary climbing closure.
The name of the tower is another controversial topic, the name was initially translated incorrectly as “Bad God’s Tower” instead of “Bear Lodge”. Then the Bad God’s Tower was modified to Devils Tower. Each tribe refers to the tower by different names such as Bear’s Tipi, Grizzly Bear’s Lodge, Bear Lodge Butte, Tree Rock, Bear’s House, Bear’s Lair, and many others. A name change would require legislation and congressional action, but it has been done before with Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (previously Custer Battlefield National Monument) and Denali National Park (previously Mt. McKinley National Park).
To read more about Devils Tower and see more photos, check out my blog article: Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore.
Mission San Xavier del Bac is located about 9 miles south of Tucson, Arizona and was built between 1783 and 1797. I’ve been here a few times and I love how this bright white mission stands out so much from the surrounding landscape. There is no admission charge but donations are accepted for restorations.
Visiting Pier 39 to see the sea lions is one of my favorite things to do when I’m in San Francisco. This used to be an area for boats, but the sea lions liked being in the safety of the bay and the marina because their predators, great white sharks and orcas, don’t typically come into the bay. Instead of trying to move the sea lions, it was decided to move the boats to another location. The quantity of sea lions increases and decreases depending on the month. The population is higher in the winter months when the herring spawn in the bay and lower in the summer months when the sea lions travel to the Channel Islands to breed. Another benefit of the docks instead of a rocky beach is that these floating platforms will rise with the tide. If the sea lions were on the beach, they would have to shift along the beach with the tide. This way, they can lay in the sun all day without worrying about shifting positions. Sometimes they do argue over positions though.
This large cement buoy marks the southernmost point in the United States. It is located on the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street. This is actually an old sewer junction that was painted to look like a buoy and placed here in 1983 because the sign that was there kept getting stolen. Good idea since this is way too heavy to swipe. This is a highly visited place in Key West, approximately a million visitors each year get their snapshot next to it. It’s best to come early in the morning so it’s not crowded with people, otherwise plan to wait for your Kodak moment. The landmark isn’t the southernmost part of Florida, or the island, but since those are private properties, this is the closest spot they had to mark. That doesn’t matter, it’s still neat to visit and since Cuba is 90 miles away, you can see the light in the sky from the city.
This is the view from the hallway at the RIU in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The RIU is a fabulous all inclusive resort with a great staff that provided very good service. They had many different restaurants, a sports bar, swim up bar in the pool, and a soft sandy beach. One of the funnest parts of this resort was the liquor stocked in the room! We made a few drinks from that, but not as many as we should have!
Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1894 over the River Thames and is one of the main landmarks in London.
After my safety stop on one of my dives in Cozumel, I surfaced right into a huge group of orange jellyfish! They were about the size of miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I had to pull out the camera and take a shot on my way up.
This photo was taken in North Redington Beach, Florida. It was a challenge to get photographs of the birds as they were flying by, but this one was taking a rest, so I snapped off a few.
I took this picture towards the end of my visit at Glacier National Park in Montana and I was running out of room on my flash card. A few pictures after this one and I was out. The mountain goat decided to walk towards me, then he walked right passed me and I actually touched him he was so close! I tried taking some pictures with my phone, but they weren’t quite the same and it happened so fast. I just enjoyed being so close to them and watched him eat a little bit longer.