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.

Portland’s Japanese Gardens

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I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Portland, Oregon as a travel destination… but if stuck there, I would recommend Portland’s Japanese Gardens.  It is poetry in life and living Japanese art.  The gardens are a contemplative beautiful place filled with moss ridden artfully composed bonsai trees and Japanese sentries.

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The walkways and landscapes were stunningly choreographed.  Admittedly a better time of the year to go would be when the leaves are flowering and with more color – probably October.  Definitely worth the visit if in Portland – probably the best thing in Portland to see and do, in my humble opinion.  Frankly, I hope never to have to go back to Portland… while I’m sure it’s not altogether true, it sure seemed like the bum population must outnumber the working class.  But that was just our observation staying in downtown, as we had to step over and around the abundance of people sleeping on, in, and around the streets. It was disconcerting and uncomfortable for us.  Would never go back.

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Lockett Meadow

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One of the easiest and most beautiful fall color outings to get to outside of the ‘big city’ is Lockett Meadow.  It’s only 20 minutes from Flagstaff and yields awesome concentrations of full color yellowing aspens.

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The characteristic white trunks and silver dollar yellow leaves make these aspen fields stand out in their stunning beauty.  It’s a great place to go for the day, for a picnic, and just soak in nature at it’s finest.

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It’s been an early fall.  I wrote about it first here.  As such the leaves are already starting to dissipate.  Compounded by our gusty winds, the leaves are definitely falling as we are getting ready for winter.  But for now we are enjoying the last hurrah of what has been a gorgeous Fall here on the mountain.

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Vegas Fall

We tend to go to Vegas fairly often.  The first thing everyone assumes is we like to gamble. Actually, not so much.  For us, Vegas isn’t about gambling.  It’s about the art, photography , and food.  We eat stunning meals, helmed by amazing chefs, and then walk it off as we wander aimless through the miles of eye candy.  Eye candy that is art, color, and lots of photographic fodor.  The whole idea that someone built a very reasonable facsimile to Paris, INSIDE a building, is just plain remarkable.  The imagination and creativity is fantastic.

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The decorations are seasonal, and change constantly, so there is always something new to see.  I can only imagine the creative staff sitting around in their morning meetings having some conversation… ‘ so Fall is coming… what speaks Fall to you?.  How about birds migrating, sitting on power poles, flying about?  And we have to have a pumpkin?  How about a pumpkin head person?  Why not?  Let’s build it.’  INSIDE a building, mind you.  Really?!  Wow!

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There is art in art stores…

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There is art in purse stores and other unseeming places.. inside and out.

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It’s a pleasure to walk around and through… ever changing, and ever interesting… and delicious, in more ways than one.