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Savannah - Tybee Island

Savannah - Tybee Island

The Savannah - Tybee Island area of coastal Georgia is one of the most diverse and photogenic areas of Georgia and the Deep South. Within a few miles is the beach at Tybee Island on the Atlantic and the pier as well (great for sunrise shots), the Tybee Island lighthouse, Fort Pulaski (beautifully restored and maintained Civil War fort), Bonaventure Cemetery (considered one of the most beautiful in America with splashy azalea displays and beautifully carved monuments), the historic squares of Savannah, River Street in Savannah, Wormsloe Plantation and more. The perfect time to visit - mid-March through early-April. It's a favorite destination and I never tire of returning.

Maine Lighthouses and Acadia National Park - August 2010

Maine Lighthouses and Acadia National Park - August 2010

Our trip to Maine turned into one about lighthouses and lobsters with a couple of unexpected (and, unwanted) adventures added.

First, a word about the lobsters - I managed to eat lobster for all but one meal of our ten day tour of the Maine coast and Acadia National Park. No excuses; it had to be done. There was steamed lobster, fried lobster, whole Maine lobster, lobster bisque, lazy man's lobster, lobster roll, lobster au gratin, lobster bake, lobster tail, stuffed lobster (sounds like me), and lobster scrambled eggs. This almost sounds like a knock off of Bubba in "Forrest Gump" and the shrimp scene (he listed 21 different preparations). Then, add seven days of New England clam chowder and fresh Maine blueberry pie every day and some sort of record has to have been established. I even tried the Maine Blueberry Ale - not even close to the Durango Blueberry Ale. They thought it was special to pour smashed blueberries in the beer - NOT!

Sunrises, sunsets, drenching (and nearly drowning) rogue waves, soaked clothes and camera gear, rock everywhere, a 4 am departure (and others) to photograph the first rays of sunlight to hit the US on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park and you have the perfect photo tour.

Highlights of the trip included being whacked by a couple of rogue waves estimated to be over 60 feet high at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. I almost lost all my camera gear on that one and only a valiant and dangerous effort by our leader, Mark Rasmussen, prevented my entire camera backpack from resting forever in Davey Jones Locker. Instead, Davey Jones Locker ended up in my backpack and I didn't finish cleaning the salt water off and out of my equipment until 1:15 am!

Then, there was the ferry boat trip from New Harbor to Monhegan Island in a storm described as a "tropical depression". We were told the seas were "only about 6 feet". Halfway through the twelve mile trip, the swells were estimated at 12 - 13 feet by the first mate on the ferry. It was a constant battle with sea sickeness throughout the trip; unfortunately, the sea won. Without exaggeration, it was the scariest boat trip of my life. When I was able to remember, word for word, Gordon Lightfoot's, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" ("Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours...") and all the dialogue in "The Perfect Storm" I realized that I am, forever, a mountain boy.

And, finally, the best part was doing all this with friends old and new. Our group came from Georgia, Illinois, Ohio and Missouri and we endured and thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Maine in good spirits and a common sense of adventure. I look forward to traveling with all of them on another photo adventure. Thanks Mark, Don ("The Weasel"), Jimmy, John, Carla, Marti ("Mrs. Cougar"), and Paul. You are all good sports, great photographers and fine friends.



Colorado

Colorado

I was born, raised and educated in Colorado and it'll always be "home".

Colorado is a state of superlatives but none more so than the natural beauty found in all corners of the state - from the grass prairies and wheat fields on the high plains of eastern Colorado where I grew up, to the "fourteeners" of the mighty Rockies. Here are just some small glimpses for you to view and, hopefully, enjoy. The images in this album always help me "reconnect" with home.









Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just up the road a piece and is easily visited from our home in North Georgia. The park has a couple of unique distinctions: it is the most biologically diverse area in the world - more plant and animal species have been catalogued here than anywhere else and it is the most visited of our national parks. That is readily apparent throughout the fall foliage season where bumper to bumper traffic is common and hotel rooms are literally impossible to get without reservations having been made many months in advance.

The Smokies are a photographers paradise with spectacular sunrises and sunsets, wildflowers in the spring and autumn foliage displays to rival New England. Waterfalls and streams abound throughout the park and black bear are commonly seen. Pioneer cabins, cantilevered barns, grist mills and other structures have been restored and are of great interest.




Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

There are fewer images here than I had hoped for. I had great expectations of wildflowers everywhere and dramatic views of Mt. Rainier. An unperfect photographers storm of unfavorable weather and very poor photographic execution on my part produced a yawning number of very mediocre images. Maybe I'll do better next time.



Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

There are not as many photos here as I had planned and hoped for. I had great expectations of brilliant sunrises and glorious sunsets on the beach. Alas, there was a convergence of unfavorable weather and very poor photographic execution on my part that yielded very few acceptable photos. The rain forest shots turned out to be as boring as a family vacation slideshow. Maybe next year.


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