Milk Ranch Road

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Just off the Forest Road 300 is an obscure road marked FR 218:  Milk Ranch Road.  Along it are magnificent overlooks of the Mogollon Rim below.  One can find an open spot in the woods or down a long rocky rough road to be rewarded by this great expanse.

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If you’re lucky you’ll be blessed with amazing skies, puffy clouds, and remarkable sunsets and sunrises.  If you’re not, just enjoy the view, a nice picnic and peaceful, relaxing visit.

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For more from this trip and Lessons from a Squirrel check out my post HERE.

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From the Archives: Austria

I have a friend going to Austria, so I wanted to post some pix to show her what to look forward to.  It’s been 10 years since we went to Austria, as hard as that is for me to believe.  It was a memorable trip with lots of great adventures we remember fondly.   These photos, while not of the caliber I have grown toward, will give her an idea of a variety of different areas.

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We went to a place called Barnbach with this controversial and eclectic church that was very photographic and interesting.  I remember the bakery across the street and the lovely pastry and friendly staff.  Funny the things you remember.

 

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We drove way up in the mountains to Glossglockner to see where the famous Edelweiss flower grows.

 

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We traveled to Werfen, outside of Salzburg, to do the ice caves (Eiseinenwelt) and had the most amazing meal at Restaurant Obauer…. truly memorable.

Salzburg itself was worth doing.  We loved the egg shop, Easter in Salzburg, where they had countless fragile painted and decorated hollowed egg shells.  Very cool.

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Being the salt fiend I am, we did Saltwerks in Bad Duurnberg, where we get dressed up in white suits to float in a boat through the old salt caves.  Very interesting and informative.

Vienna was wonderful for it’s eclectic and wonderful coffee shops with Sacher torte and other extravagant and decadent cakes (loved the 7-layer esterhazy torte and nusstorte).   We loved the wurstie stands, and had some of the best hotdogs we have ever had.

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We visited the Karlskirche church which was fascinating as they used their remodel and scaffolding as an opportunity to gain funds for the refurbishment.  So for a small fee we went up the scaffolding and got a very close view of the painting in the ceiling… awesome opportunity.

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We loved the Prater ferris wheel, built in 1847, made of all wood and still operating after all these years (and wars).  We actually took a ride in it, my very first ferris wheel ride.

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Stephansdom is the main cathedral and square in Vienna along the cobble stone streets.  Worth doing is the Mozarthaus, or Mozart museum made from Mozart old flat he lived in for a couple years when in Vienna.

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The catacombs inside the Stephansdom cathedral and a must-do… fascinating tour.

 

I think we were in Austria for 3 weeks.  We ate well, drank well, and ran our feet off.  We rented a car and took in as many cities and culture as we could.  I remember it being an educational and delicious trip.  Have fun!  Thanks for the opportunity to re-visit.

 

 

 

Oregon Waterfalls

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This is the second time we have been to Oregon in the last 8 months, who’d a thunk?  Not us, but circumstances were such that we had to take our big road trip back to Washington state and travel back down through Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada to Arizona.  This time though, unlike the torrential rains we had in November, we had plenty of sunshine.

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We took this opportunity to do the waterfalls around Hood River, and Klamath Falls.  That’s one thing about the Washington / Oregon area… they do have an abundance of waterfalls, something we don’t see too much in AZ, particularly of this size.

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Highway 138 between Roseburg and Diamond Lake is actually called the Highway of Waterfalls, with nearly 2 dozen falls along the North Umpqua River in this short stretch of road.

xfalls_LR_IR.jpg In Oregon, they come in all different shapes, sizes and types.  They call them Thundering Waters and class them as Cascade, Segmented, Tiered, Horsetail, Punchbowl, Plunge, Block or Fan.

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I’m not sure how many we saw, but we did quite a few, and each cool in its own right.

 

Best of 2016: Honorable Mentions

I wrote about my Best of 2016 photos here.  What a fun and enlightening experience going through all my 2016 photos was.  I feel super fortunate that I had enough good photos that I can do another Top 10 via this Honorable Mentions post… these were the ones that DIDN’T make the cut.. and a lot left that didn’t make Honorable Mentions.  Must mean it was a great year.. and it was.

So here are the second Top 10 photos of 2016… check it out.

fallsprayPSi.JPG1.  South Oregon Coast

moonboatPSi.JPG2. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

powell rvr closPSi.JPG3. Lake Powell,  Utah 

rok-treerefltni.jpg4. Mogollon Rim,  Northern Arizona

twinsnowtreesPSi.JPG5.  Happy Jack, Arizona

j beam lookPS.jpg6. Canyon X, Page  AZ

fencegrassPS.jpg7. Lockett Meadow, Arizona

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8. Baddeck,  Nova Scotia

fogreflctnPSi.JPG9. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

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10. Happy Jack, AZ

Check out the Best of 2016…. here.

What do you think?

Northern California Coast

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After all the scenic overviews we had along the Oregon coast, we were a bit surprised by the lack of ocean views along the Northern California Coast.  Granted California has a lot of beach and ocean views… but I’m not talking about San Diego, Mission Beach, or Redondo Beach.  I’m talking about the section from Crescent City, CA to just north of San Francisco.

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This area tucks inland and goes through some very pretty red wood country.  There are a number of ‘alternate routes’ like the Humboldt State Park that are certainly worth doing to get the full exposure to the redwoods… not just highway driving, which is what most of this drive feels like.  While there are small towns in between, they seem to be working towns, run down and dilapidated.  They aren’t the popular tourist towns bustling with people and shops like Sausalito.

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There are the occasional signs that says ‘Coastal Access’ … turn here. If you drive down the long dirt road (and back) it’ll take an hour with no premonition of the view until you get there.  Once you do, it yield beach access to the ocean and beach, but no great views, no jutting rocks.

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The best ocean views along this stretch is between Jenner and Bodega Bay… with the added advantage that you can tuck into the quaint charming winery towns from Jenner.  You can visit Duncan Mills, Guerneville, Sonoma, many more.

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Oregon Coast

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Oregon does it right.  With about 362 miles of coast land, they celebrate it at every turn.  I counted over 70 State Parks along the way… on the coast alone (no mention of inland Parks).  These parks offer Day Use & Camping (for hikers, bikers, campers, and RV’ers).  They are full of scenic trails, picnic tables, fire pits, and nature walks.  I so respect and admire their preservation of this absolute beauty and their embracing and sharing of it to their own and other communities.

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There are wooded rainforest lands, lighthouses along the way, and rock outcroppings in the sea afar.  It’s diverse, stunning, and gorgeous.

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Olympic Peninsula

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The Olympic Peninsula is in the northwestern part of Washington state.  It is home to the Olympic National Park, but the park itself weaves in and out of the Olympic Wilderness and National Forests.  Several small towns sprout up here and there between the park and the wilderness areas, Quinault, Forks, Port Angeles, Sequim.   It’s hard to know where the park begins and the wilderness ends.

You can see my post here on Olympic National Park.

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It’s a huge wooded area and beautiful drive in and out of the park and forests.  We love the eerie fog and rain forest trees.

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It’s hard to imagine the amount of rain this area must have to get to develop the lush green that is evident by the result of it, but very interesting and beautiful to see.