Pick Up Where I Left Off?

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Life on the Bike and getting back into my blogging groove.  I’m 6 months behind on posting photos from various adventures.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Cape Charles, Virginia

Tallahassee, Florida

Knoxville, Tennessee

various Virginia State Parks

and Cincinnati, Ohio

I’ve worked alot, and volunteered alot.

Thankfully, I’ve played, alot, too.  I’ve traveled for fun and I’ve traveled for work.

I’ve worked on political campaigns and hosted non-political fundraisers.

I’ve riden the bike (not enough!) and managed to keep up with photography (again, not enough!).

And finally, I’ve missed WP and my blogging friends.

Slowly but surely, I’m finding my way back to my WordPress home!

Willoughby Spit

Willoughby Spit, nearNorfolk, Virginia

During a incredibly fun reunion with friends from college – 40 yrs ago! – I got to see this beautiful view.

How can 40 yrs have gone by yet we all look the same? 🙂

 

The Joy of the Dance in Monochrome

Greek Festival – Knoxville, Tennessee

The fullness of life is keeping me from posting as I typically do, but after 6 yrs of blogging with WP, I am committed to this space in my world.  With a goal of returning to the norm later this year, I will for now, at least share my weekly image from Monochromia.

Palms in Monochrome

Back in June, we traveled to Las Vegas for the first time since early childhood.  Included in a jam packed 48 hour weekend were a few moments at the pool, which is where I was captivated by the sun shining through the palms.

IMG_5915-3

The fullness of life is keeping me from posting as I typically do, but after 6 yrs of blogging with WP, I am committed to this space in my world.  With a goal of returning to the norm later this year, I will for now, at least share my weekly image from Monochromia.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Located 17 miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rocks was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area.

During a recent visit to Las Vegas, my friend Andrew took me to explore this incredible place.

From the first moment we entered Red Rocks, my jaw was dropping.

The vast, wide open landscape, with those incredible peaks rising to the sky, blew me away!

The colors of the desert are so varied, and I love the multiple layers shown in the next image.

It’s incredible to think that the Las Vegas strip is just a few miles away.

The conservation area showcases the most incredible sandstone red rock formations.  “These sandstone cliffs are made up of Aztec Sandstone.  The formations, 180-190 million years old, are comprised of lithified sand dunes that formed in the a vast desert that covered a large part of the southwestern United States during the Juraassic Time.  Lithification is the process of changing unconsolidated sediment into sedimentary rock”.

“The red color of some of the outcrops of the Aztec Sandstone is due to presence of iron oxide or hematite. Exposure to the elements caused iron minerals to oxidize or “rust,” resulting in red, orange, and brown-colored rocks. Areas where the rock is buff in color may be places where the iron has been leached out by subsurface water, or where the iron oxide was never deposited”

The highest point in Red Rocks is over 8000 ft high.

“In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature including a 13-mile scenic drive, miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center with indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a book store”.

 https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/nevada/red-rock-canyon

Andrew and I followed the 13 mile scenic drive, and he was patient enough to pull over every time I said “Oh my gosh, look!”

The 100 degree temps required much drinking of water … and we were driving!

Next time, perhaps a winter visit is in order, and we can hit one of the many hiking trails within the conservation area.

Please visit here to see some amazing photography.  Just incredible!

Thanks, Andrew, for showing me the natural beauty of Nevada.

#MySawyerBracelet

A friend’s 10 year old son Sawyer (nicknamed SOY) died unexpectedly in October 2016.  Sawyer’s loving and devastated family had bracelets made for their friends & family to wear and to remember Sawyer by.

To remember the joy of his life not the sadness of his death.

Sawyer’s mother, Jaime, created a blogspot so that folks can post pictures of the places they take the bracelets.  Having friends wear the bracelets helps the family connect with Sawyer’s memory and reminds them that he has not been forgotten.   As friends, we know that we are carrying the memory of Sawyer on the adventures we have and the places that we visit.

In addition to wearing #mysawyerbracelet throughout New Zealand and Australia, I wore a bracelet in honor of my friend David, who died in 2010.

The bracelets never left my wrist and accompanied me while I sat in the Chair for Contemplation at Rippon Winery in Wanaka New Zealand.

Through the pine forest along the Queenstown Hill Time Walk and when adding a rock to the pile

From the summit of Queenstown Hill

Overlooking Lake Wakatipu

From the top of Bob’s Peak

On the train to Sydney …

… and on the train back to Melbourne

While driving on the left side of the Great Ocean Road (and on the left side of the car)

While talking with another bracelet wearing bar patron about the friends and loved ones we carried along with us

Outside this tiny little house and over this tiny little door

and while enduring three rounds of incredibly “intimate” security checks.

#mysawyerbracelet was along with me while riding a gondola, a jetboat, a kayak, a 5 person trike, 3 summits, and 11 different planes.

It was an honor to bring the spirits of Sawyer and David along with me on this journey.

The Final Day Down Under

It had finally arrived (in “real time” 3 months ago): my last day in Australia and the final day of an amazing three week adventure.   I started the day in the mountains of Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) and finished it on the coast in Adelaide, the capital city of the state of South Australia.  After enjoying my breakfast under the watchful eyes of the Kangaroos, I was soon on my way.

A gorgeous morning sun burned off the mist and I was once again awed by the beauty of the countryside.

The road to Adelaide was sometimes tree lined and at other times led me through wide open spaces.

As I passed through Coonalpyn, I was stunned to see these incredible silos murals.

Created by artist Guido van Helten, these silo murals are “already paying dividends, with an increased number of cars passing through town,  stopping and spending their money there”

Van Helten says that the children represent the future of the town, and he hopes the giant art work might inspire those children and others “to a path through creative industries”.

Pretty incredible!  I just wish I’d taken more time to capture each of the 5 children depicted on the silos.  Please follow this link to see much better photos and to learn more about how “the tiny rural town of Coonalpyn is showing signs of rejuvenation and community pride”.

After almost 800 miles in 3 days, my little rental car carried me safely to Adelaide.  Driving on the left was pretty fun, and with only the occasional correction, I had little trouble.  After checking into my hotel, I walked down to the ocean.

It was a beautiful evening and people were out and about, enjoying the pier, the boardwalk, and the beach.  The surfers were out as well, and although I’ve never been much of a sports photographer, I had a blast trying to capture the scene.

RIP Jordy

All too soon, I had to pull myself away from the water, and walk back to the hotel.  My early flight to Melbourne required that I check out at 4am.

My time in Adelaide was all too brief, and I regretted not being able to explore.  Even still, I’m glad I was able to spend even a few hours there.

Next Post: Final Thoughts and more photos of the Blogging Babes!