A Milestone – Posting Number 1000

This photography blog started out as a way to share some photos with friends, but after a number of years it has reached a milestone – posting number 1000!

To celebrate I give you my favorite 40 photos of all time. (I tried to make it less but could not)

Scottsbluff, Nebraska




Milwaukee sunrise




Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan





Duluth, Minnesota thunderstorm





Yellowstone National Park – All Hail the Geyser Gods





Pagosa Springs, Colorado





Mendocino County, California





Cambridge, Ohio lumberjack contest






Cincinnati Renaissance Festival






Loudonville, Ohio – Native American Pow Wow





Alaska Peninsula








Columbus – Krampus





Chicago





New York City subway art





Cincinnati – Rosie the Riveter Contest





Lanai, Hawaii – Cat Sanctuary





Haleakala National Park, Hawaii





Waimea Canyon Park, Kauai, Hawaii





Columbus – Krampus V2





Washington DC – Embassy Day





Houston – Lucky Land





Amarillo, Texas – Cadillac Ranch





Cleveland – Parade the Circle





Columbus Zoo









Montreal




Olivos, Argentina





San Antonio De Areco, Argentina





Buenos Aires – Casa Rosada





Bariloche, Argentina





Buenos Aires – Retiro Train Station





Buenos Aires – Recoleta Cemetery





Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina





La Leona, Argentina





El Calafate, Argentina





Buenos Aires – Palacio Barolo





Igauzu Falls, Argentina







Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina – January 2020 – Cruising for Ice

One of the more popular activities at Los Glaciares National Park is to take a 5 hour cruise to see the glaciers beyond Perito Moreno.





The cruise left the port and headed north across Lago Argnetino.





It wasn’t long before we saw icebergs.









































The cruise took us past a number of dramatic glaciers including Spegazzini – the largest in the park. All were impressive in their own way.

























































With one last look at Perito Moreno Glacier we headed back to port, and ended our ice adventures.





The entire crew, especially the hostess Victoria, provided great service with an education on the glaciers.





A Gourmet Glacier Cruise – Muy Bien.







Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina – January 2020 – Hiking on a Glacier

Los Glaciares provided a chance to do something I had never done – gone hiking on a glacier.

To get there we took a short boat ride across the lake in front of the Perito Moreno Glacier, and ‘docked’ – which was really a stop along rocks shaped somewhat into steps.





We headed across the rocks and beach toward the huts to get prepared – the huts looked tiny compared to where we were headed.





As we were standing on the beach getting some background on how glaciers work a 70 meter (210 foot) high wall of ice came falling down (aka calving). It was very cool – but I do not have room for the 30 or so photos I managed to take in burst mode!













Finally we reached the hut and received our crampons.





The wall of ice was daunting – but we were headed for a more gradual rise.




We were broken up into English speakers and Spanish speakers, then further into groups of 15. Our leader was Ceffi.





And we were off…





Before long we were in the middle of the ice going up, down and over obstacles.













The staff was very helpful, making sure we didn’t fall into crevasses.





The views were fantastic.





























Near the end of our 2 hours on the ice we celebrated with a whiskey on ice – straight from the glacier. Ceffi and the rest of the staff were excellent – fun, informative and foremost making sure everything was done safely.





And with that we returned to the starting point where we could reflect on how awesome the hike had been – on top of this massive glacier.







Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina – January 2020 – Walkway to Glacier Heaven

If you thought Buenos Aires was far south, you haven’t seen anything yet. We made a 3 hour flight further south to El Calafate.




Which my phone said was here




We have come to far southern Patagonia in Argentina to see Los Glaciares National Park for a few days. It is home to the 3rd largest ice fields in the world (after Antarctica and Greenland).

To my amazement though the surroundings are desert, so the drive out felt more like Southern California than what I think of as glacial areas like Alaska.







With our mid day arrival, and an hour and a half drive to the park we only had time on this day to do the walkways.

We had our first glimpses on the drive into the park.



This was well worth the trip out for the afternoon, as the walkways are well built paths that take you to various levels very close to the snout of the glacier Perito Moreno.








































The walkways was an excellent way to start our visit to the park, but there is much more to see in subsequent postings.






Cerro Tronador, Argentina – December 2019 – Thunder Mountain

Tronador is an 11,000 foot high extinct volcanic mountain just south of Bariloche, containing numerous glaciers. It’s name is Spanish for Thunder, the sound of the ice cracking in the glaciers.

It is in all day effort to drive up, and hike around, the mountain and the glaciers. We started by heading south on Ruta 40 – passing the ever present hitchhikers seen in the area.




A few miles south of Bariloche you make the turn to the road leading up the mountain. It is a narrow dirt road, so narrow that it is one way up the mountain from 10 AM until 4 PM, then one way back down the mountain until 7 PM.




The initial part of the road passes through a valley floor and Lago Mascardi.













It is a 48 kilometer drive up this road, but about 1/2 way you begin to get some amazing views.




Eventually we made our way to the National Park where we were surrounded by towering walls and waterfalls. The area to the right is known as the Black Glacier due to the amount of debris it picks up off the mountain as it comes down.


























Eventually it was time to head back down the mountain and our funky little rental car (which we named La Cucaracha – the cockroach – it was a no frills, nasty little car but no matter what we did to it you couldn’t kill it) hung on through the now wet, curvy downhill.







Southeast Alaska Panhandle – September 2017 – “Uncruise” Part 3

As we arrived at Glacier Bay National Park we went ashore for a hike. A Long House greeted us as we passed the visitor center.

2017 09 21 8 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

The house is made out of cedar which gives it a great smell.

2017 09 21 7 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

The hike through the forest was filled with scenes of fungus growing everywhere.

2017 09 21 18 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

As we reached the river at low tide there was evidence of animals, as shown with this bear paw print. The guide indicated it must be a baby since it is so small, but they have great claws.

2017 09 21 25 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

We returned to the ship and continued past Gloomy Point, where mountain goats populate the steep terrain.

2017 09 21 65 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

The flow from a glacier ends up at the sea in a small river.

2017 09 21 84 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

We stopped by Margerie Glacier, or “Large Marge” as the crew call her.

2017 09 21 73 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

2017 09 21 88 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

2017 09 21 99 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

Nearby we dropped the anchor near Lamplugh Glacier, where the kayaks were put out for exploring.

2017 09 22 45 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

We paddled around the small icebergs to get a close look at the Glacier.

2017 09 22 4 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

Trying to avoid the larger ones, recalling that 10% of the ice is above the water, the rest is below. They also at times will ‘roll’ and you don’t want to be close to one this size if that happens.

2017 09 22 16 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

Around the corner from the ship was an impressive waterfall with glacier melt water.

2017 09 22 25 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

We returned to our home for the week thoroughly in awe of the opportunity to kayak in such an amazing setting, while wishing we could spend more time and go on the other adventures such as hiking up the ridge next to the glacier, or along the shoreline in front.

2017 09 22 33 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

While checking out the beautiful scenery one of the large cruise ships went by. Amazingly despite they fact there are 2000 people on the ship, and they are passing the glaicer behind us, I counted about 40 people out on the decks or their balconies checking out the scene.

2017 09 22 64 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

The day ended with a polar bear plunge for the daring.

2017 09 22 70 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

The crew of the WAV were amazing. It was obvious that they are passionate about the sea, glaciers, wildlife and the opportunity to share it with the passengers. The great thing about the Uncruise people is the crew gets opportunities too, and many of them participate in the polar bear plunge.

2017 09 22 88 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

The bartender Heidi was celebrating her birthday by going into the cold water.

2017 09 22 100 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

One of the Stewards Jessi had a goal of doing the polar bear plunge each of the 18 weeks she was working, and since she had missed a couple early, was doubling up on the last 2 weeks (we were the second to last trip of the season), so Jessi went in twice!

2017 09 22 107 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

As we began our return to Juneau we passed more Sea Lions, these guys are caught on a small rock island at high tide

2017 09 22 160 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

Plenty of birds.

2017 09 22 162 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

Early Saturday morning we returned to the harbor, where Captain Gavin carefully parallel parked the ship at the dock.

2017 09 23 2 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

 

Our week had ended, but the memories will last forever. Most of our fellow travelers were from Australia and New Zealand, with some Americans mixed in. They were fun, friendly people who shared a passion for not just seeing the scenes roll by their ship windows, but get into the kayaks and paddle around, go into the forest and get muddy, or just sit around in the evenings sharing stories or learning about America.

As I noted on the first posting very few times do things turn out better than their advertising but the Uncruise folks came through. Even the weather was better than expected with very little rain (although I don’t think they get credit for that!).

Thanks to Captain Gavin and the entire crew of the Wilderness Adventurer.

2017 09 23 4 Alaskan Cruise.jpg