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Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2016 - Petrified Forest National Park, Petrified Forest, AZ

During a recent winter adventure to Albuquerque, NM, I joined a pair of good friends and took a three hour detour into Arizona to visit the Petrified Forest National Park. Our group started off by running the northern loop of the park. While the views were grand and breathtaking, I was momentarily disappointed as our group had to struggle to find even the smallest chunk of petrified wood. It wasn't until we visited the southern end of the park did we discover the namesake of this truly fascinating area. The petrified wood was plentiful, the stone logs numbered into the thousands. Even the soil of the desert floor was composed primarily of petrified wood not unlike beach sand being composed of shells. You can only truly appreciate the colors of the stone glistening in the sunshine by visiting in person.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Cotton Fields, Pratt, KS

Not what I expected to see driving through western Kansas. For those in the south this is just no big deal. But us Minnesotans are from corn and bean country and don't get to see miles and miles of cotton fields very often.

Enjoy the photograph (click thumbnail for larger view)..

2016 - Anna Senior Pictures, Lakeville, MN

Unfortunately more time has passed us by and Anna is a high school senior graduating this coming spring. Anna's senior picture photo-shoot took place today at Ritter Farm Park, located in Lakeville, MN.This location was chosen for the beauty of its autumnal colors.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Lake Bronson State Park, Lake Bronson, MN

What turned out to be our last camping outing of the season, our gang hauled our rig up to the northwest corner of Minnesota to camp at Lake Bronson State Park. Located just outside the town of Lake Bronson, MN, the state park nicely maintained and provided us with a joyful weekend of camping with family and friends. We experienced torrential rains during one full day but we didn't let that get in the way of a relaxing weekend.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Big Bog State Recreation Area, Waskish, MN

I dragged the rig up to the north woods to camp at Big Bog State Recreation Area for the weekend. It was my base of operations for a hiking and geocaching excursion to complete my fourth tour of the Minnesota State Park System. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice and well kept the campground is here. Located on Upper Red Lake, this area is a fisherman's dream. The mosquitoes were a treat but I would for sure return to stay here again. The highlight for me this weekend was the hike to the Hiking Club password located at the end of the bog walk. What a splendid experience.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Paul Bunyan's Resting Place, Kelliher, MN

Maine, Michigan and Minnesota all claim to be the birthplace of Paul Bunyan. But upon his death, Paul's final resting place can only be found in Kelliher, MN.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Mount Evans, Idaho Springs, CO

Laura and I had the pleasure of spending some time with friends in Colorado this summer. Having already traveled to the top of Pikes Peek previously, we thought we'd take a stroll to the summit of the other "14-er" that you can drive to the top of, Mount Evans. At 14,271' above sea level, Evans stands 156' higher than Pike. And while the drive up to Pike is a wonderful journey that everyone should experience, it has nothing on the gorgeous and scenic journey to the top of Evans. The majority of the drive to the summit of Evans is spent above the alpine zone. You would think that the slow crawl across the barren landscape isn't worth the extra breath but it really does set you up for the most amazing vistas imaginable. It is beyond spectacular.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Bigfoot Crossing, Colorado Springs, CO

Nene and I first discovered the Big Foot Crossing sign back in 1995. During a 2011 visit in 2011, I discovered the actual namesake of the sign was a geological feature set back 600' into the forest. While on our Rocky Mountain adventure tour this summer, Laura and I stopped in to visit Bigfoot on our way down from the summit of Pikes Peek.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, La Pointe, WI

During a Memorial Day weekend camping trip at Big Bay State Park, I was able to sneak away for a three hour tour of the sea caves along Madeline Island's eastern shore. The sea caves are located within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and exploring them while paddling on the big water is an experience you will never properly experience while your planted on land. 

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..