Saturday, December 13, 2014

The 4th Web Based . . .

"Occasionally" Annual Salmon Beach Bulletin

finds me sitting here and thinking how lucky we are to inhabit this beautiful world, and how, hopefully, this most wonderful time of year will find us all celebrating another year filled with family, friends and the joy of Life and love.  

At the end of last year, I stepped up to a wonderful new camera, a Sony A77, which I quickly learned was as much a computer as a camera!  Not only that, I quickly discovered that my new camera hobby made the cost of my my music "habit" pale in comparison!  Lord, there's nothing you can get for a serious camera that is cheap!  I spent a lot of time the first 3 months of the year, studying photography (on my own, no classes this year), and in April, I took the Subaru, and my camera and hit the road south.

My old friend, Jon O'Hare, who I had not seen for about 35 years, provided a great excuse for me, by getting married in Paso Robles, Ca.  The time of year could not have been better, and Jon and I spent about 5 hours hiking and roaming around the area, which was still green (!), before his wedding on Saturday.  He told me that we would have been looking at brown, had it been 2 weeks later.

(If you "click" on any of the pictures below, they will "blow up" so you can see them better!)

The next morning, early, I hit the road again, south to L.A., where I made a hard left and headed over to Apache Junction, Az., to hang out with my my friend of the last 47 years, Bobby, and after a couple of days, we headed north to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyons.  I had never been in country like this before, and was just blown away by the variety of scenery, and the sheer beauty of Zion:

A walk down a canyon brought me to:

Bobby had abandoned me at this point for a return trip to our room for a nap, since I had dragged him out of bed at 4 a.m. for a sunrise shot:

And the morning was cold, and a wind of about 20 mph was blowing; I thought it was worth it, but I still wonder if he did!  

A 45 minute hike up a steep trail, and turning 180 degrees brought me this scene:

Just to the right, bottom center, you'll see 2 RVs, which gives you some idea of the scale of what you're looking at, and look just to the left of that, and you'll see that the center of the shot is framed by a "keyhole"; one set of cliffs behind another.

We were so enthralled with the area that we wound up staying 2 nights, instead of the planned 1, and we'll have to return, because there is just so much to see!  The last night brought us this scene, right behind our room:

The next morning we were off and running toward the Grand Canyon, and since we got there fairly late in the afternoon, we were scrambling from viewpoint to viewpoint, as the day was drawing to a close.  Although it is indeed, "grand", staying in the park that night was impossible; "No room at the Inn!" (Tip o' the hat to the present season!  :) )

Actually, at any of the motels, so we pushed into a little town about 20 miles outside the park, snagged a room there, and decided that we'd head off to the fabled town of Sedona, the next morning.  The drive was beautiful, the companionship wonderful, and I was wondering if the town could possibly live up to it's "hype". . .

This was the view off our room's balcony, and here's another of the road into town:

Well, you all know how much I love my li'l slice of Heaven, here on Salmon Beach, but I have to confess that I was smitten with the town and it's surrounding area!  If, for any reason, I ever lost my place, Sedona would be a serious consideration for a place to move!

We hit the road back to Apache Junction, and 2 nights before I left, we made a sojourn into the desert to get a shot of the first of 4 "Blood Moons" that occurred this year.   1:25 a.m., and you know that I'm  a night person, but it still was late!

The next day it was pretty "tired out", so it was early to bed that night, and I hit the road for home at 5 a.m. the next morning.  A hard 2 days of driving, brought me home, where all the animals put on a "circus" for me, for a couple of hours, just to make sure I felt welcome.  And the next morning, there was a "Welcome home!" parade for me, about 30' off my front deck:

It was amazing, because most of the time when we see them, they are way across the Sound; man, talk about exciting!

The rest of the year has been a real let down, after all this excitement, and nothing I really wanted to share with you, until about a week ago, when I happened to glance out my window one day, and got this shot from the other side:

After leaving The Beach for 2 trips within 6 months (Nova Scotia last October, and this one in April), I find that I'm anxious to be on the move again, so I'm planning another visit to Arizona, and then, later in the spring, a trip back to Pennsylvania, on to Halifax, and then on to Newfoundland, which I missed when I was living in Halifax from '67 to '69; "Ah, there's always time for. . .", but sometimes there just isn't!  And, I'm dreaming of maybe a trip to Iceland, in the fall; guess we'll see what the future holds!

For right now, let me bring the year to a close by wishing you all the absolute best of Christmas's, and the happiest and safest of New Year's, and telling you how very much your friendship and love means to this ol' dude!