Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2016 - Black Bear, Madeline Island, La Pointe, WI

While camping on Madeline Island over Memorial Day weekend, I was out running solo for some early morning geocaching. I had a black bear sighting that I managed to capture on film. Normally the only part of a bear you'll see is the rump as bear is running away the other direction. But what you don't see in this photograph are mama bear's three cubs 30' up the tree. She wasn't going anywhere.

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

2016 - Schoolcraft State Park, Deer River, MN

Laura and Bart like to hit the camping season early to work the kinks out of the travel trailer and camping gear. This spring they headed to Schoolcraft State Park. It's located in Deer River, MN, which is about eight miles west of Grand Rapids, MN. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Schoolcraft might be one of Minnesota's smallest state parks. When we originally reserved our site, the entire campground was nearly completely booked. When it came to camping weekend, Laura and Bart were quite literally the ONLY campers in the entire park. I suspect the 3" of snow that fell on night #1 had a lot to do with park attendance.

While visiting the park, they found the park's wildflower geocache, acquired the State Park Passport stamp, and hiked the Hiking Club Trail. It was a cute little park but fru-fru campers beware, there is no electricity or showers here. And in spite of what the online Reservation System says, site #3 will be very difficult to back your travel trailer into as there is a Norway Pine tree blocking the approach.

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

2016 - Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

As our Spanish adventure was winding down, our final destination was to Seville, Spain's fourth largest city. While on a walking tour of the center of the city, we came upon Plaza de España. The landmark was built in 1928 to help celebrate the Iberio-American Exposition of 1929.

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

2016 - Castelo da Feira, Aveiro, Portugal

While on our grand adventure we had spent a day and a night in Portugal. On our way out of town the following morning, we stopped to visit Castelo da Feira, a medieval castle dating from the middle of the 9th century (868AD). This gorgeous relic of the Middle Ages is very well maintained and worth a visit.

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

2016 - Batería Costera J-4, Cabo Silleiro, Baiona, Spain

One of the most memorable moments on our Spanish adventure was when we spent the day geocaching and urban exploring with a small group of local Spaniards. Located near Baiona, Spain, we explored Batería Costera J-4, Cabo Silleiro, or better known as, the Coastal Battery J-4, located near the Cape of Silleiro. I could find little history of Battery J-4, but it was built in the 1940's following the Spanish Civil War. There are four cannons still in place today that are connected by over 200 meters of underground tunnels and rooms. Our Spanish guide took us on a dangerous tour of the underground, leading us through dark passages, up and down rusted ladders within cramped chutes, across floors that were missing their bottoms in some spots, to each of the four gun mounts. I experienced anxiety during most of the tour and was wildly overjoyed that Nene, without question or fear, completed the journey too.

For my geocaching friends, we completed two high star geocaches while exploring these military remains. They were El túnel del pánico (GC3AMAB) and Medal Of Honor - Bunker 1 (GC44RMQ). Both geocaches deserve favorite points. I want to personally thank Abri Abi Alonso (A3sound) and Tuxa Ana Paula Afonso for the wonderful experience.

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

2016 - Castro de Baroña, Galicia, Spain

On our way south through the Galician region of Spain towards Portugal, we stopped for a visit at Castro de Baroña. Originally occupied from the 1st century BC to the first century AD, this fortress was by far the oldest historical site we've experienced during our Spanish tour.

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

2016 - Cabo Finisterre, Galicia, Spain

Following our visit to the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela, there is no more of an appropriate destination than Cabo Finisterre. Known in the Roman times as the End of the World, this is the final destination following the visit to the cathedral for many pilgrims on the Way of St. James. The views here on the rocky peninsula overlooking the Atlantic are spectacular. Two other interesting things of note were the mountain goats protecting the lighthouse and this is also the location of the Cross of the Coast of Death.

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

2016 - Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

I've had an obsession with cathedrals after having read Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth many years ago. In Follett's book, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was featured near the conclusion of the story and I've been at awe that such grandiose and ornate examples of architecture could be constructed nearly a thousand years ago. On our recent adventure to Spain, we had the privilege to not only visit the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela, but to also attend Easter mass. Consecrated in the year 1211, this wonderful symbol of Christianity has survived time and many struggles. Unfortunately though, time is also taking its toll and during our visit the cathedral was surrounded by scaffolding for planned cleanup and renovation.

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

2016 - Playa de Las Catedrales, Lugo, Spain

After our visit to the ancient ruins of Coaña, we decided it was time to make out way to the water to cool off. Our destination was Playa de Las Catedrales. Located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, the natural arches and caves of the area were created over time by tidal and wave erosion. During low tide the area is known for its spectacular beach and the caves that are hidden during hide tides. Unfortunately, we visited during the mid-tide and were relegated to the tops of the cliffs. I wanted to point out the interesting geology here.. note the sedimentary layers that make up the cathedrals.

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