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Jan 292014
 

Even out here in the Western US I’ve been going through the winter health doldrums.  Looking at some kids enjoying themselves in the coolness of Austin’s Barton creek looks refreshing.  So, I’ll look at this and remember the freshness, freedom and playfulness of summer.  Here’s to our health!

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View more images of Austin at www.journeysinlight.net/AustinTexas.

Jan 222014
 

Yes, this is the Golden Gate Bridge; not a view typically seen, but it is there.  Far from its iconic status it is also a mode of transportation into a very exciting city.  One evening I was tooling around, looking for angles I hadn’t seen before.  I parked my car in the parking lot just on the north side of the bridge before sunset and walked around on the trails.  Though not filled with the more famous views, the fact that the sun was shining its last light on the city and the clouds were starting to turn color made for a different and serendipitous view.

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View many more images of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge at www.journeysinlight.net/SanFrancisco.

Jan 202014
 

I’d been up Mt. Tam before but never really made the effort or took the time to photograph her.  She’s really one the great power spots of the San Francisco Bay area.  Yes, there’s the golden gate bridge and coit tower and all the rest; the truly famous icons of San Francisco.  But, when discussing natural wonders of the entire area, Mt. Tamalpais, just north of the city in Marin County, is near the top of the list.

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Jan 182014
 

I had heard about this hot springs but never taken the time to seek it out.  So, this time I was determined to slow down and find it.  Easy!  No problem!  I stayed in the town of Bridgeport while up in the Sierra mountains so it was a no brainer.  It’s almost right in town; less than a mile from the center of the small mountain town.  Ahhh….  It’s truly a great spot.  And the pools that were created for the warm underground water… well, a perfect spot for viewing the grandeur of the Sierra mountains while soaking in the warm water.

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View more images of the Sierras at www.journeysinlight.net/FallColorEasternSierras.

Jan 112014
 

The gondola at South Lake Tahoe is a 2.5 mile run.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take the time to ride up, but next time I certainly will.  I think the weather wasn’t quite right.  At least that’s what I remember my excuse being.  I’m not a skier, but that’s definitely not good excuse.  I’ve ridden up the gondola at Squaw Valley and that was awesome.  I rode the bus up to the ski area here at Heavenly.  Hey!  It’s just a great area.  And it’s winter.  I hope it’s a good one for you.

riding the Heavenly gondola 5

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 Heavenly Tahoe  January 11, 2014  Lake Tahoe No Responses »
Jan 082014
 

Wow!  What an adventure this was.  We started out at the remote St. Catherine’s monastery.  After settling into our preferred mode of transport to the top, we set off.  Personally, I chose to hike up.  I would be more free to take photos and if it was good enough for Moses….  The camels could go about 3/4 of the way up and then everyone had to hike.  We arrived at the summit in time for some singing and prayer before watching the sun go down.  The hike back down was incredible in the intense silence and dark, with one of the clearest and brightest skies I’ve ever seen.  Without a flashlight we had to be a bit careful, but the stars lit up our path just enough.

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View more images of Mt. Sinai and Egypt at www.journeysinlight.net/Egypt.

Jan 052014
 

I had spent a wonderful evening wandering around the French Quarter of New Orleans.  When I got out as far as Frenchman St. I was tired and amazingly done with carrying my heavy camera and tripod.  I only wanted to enjoy where I was; in New Orleans, a city of great food and music!  So, I took turns popping in and out of different music venues.  It was so great.  I don’t remember the name of this particular ensemble but I sure enjoyed my bowl of jambalaya and listening to them play.

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View more images of New Orleans at www.journeysinlight.net/Other-1.

Jan 032014
 

I had hiked up the trail past Vernal Falls and then Nevada Falls.  I just kept going.  It was threatening to snow up here above 6,000 feet but I just didn’t care.  I was hiking alone, having a great time.  In the most visited National Park we have I ran into nobody out here, just following the Merced River further up towards its source.  At times I would just stop and listen to the quiet.  Everything was so still and frozen.  Even though it was completely overcast there was a brightness from the white snow.  Then, while hiking, I saw this singular smooth rock in the middle of the mostly frozen river.  It seemed to be asking for just a little bit of space within the freezing water.  And there was just enough river flow hitting it to keep it clear.  For now, at least.

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View more images of the Merced River and the incomparable Yosemite National Park at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.