Tucson – March 2023 – It Snowed….Again

It was amusing for the first couple of snowfalls this winter, with an inch or two of snow, enough to add a topping of white to the cacti of Tucson. This time the weather got serious and dropped up to 7 inches in the foothills where we live! The good news is by late afternoon it had all melted.

Amusingly the official measurements at the Tucson Airport for this winter shows more snowfall there than in Washington DC or Philadelphia, each of which has had essentially no snow so far.

The local weather people called it ‘generational’, something not seen in a couple of decades.

It was however beautiful while it lasted, and didn’t stick to the roads. All those snowbirds in town are probably asking for a refund.

I headed out at first light. While you could get into part of Saguaro National Park, the 8 mile loop road remained closed greatly restricting the initial views with the heaviest snow.

It had snowed heavily overnight, and by daylight the clouds were beginning to break up and the morning sun was illuminating a mountain visible from ~25 miles away.

At nearby Agua Caliente Park the palm trees also had snow toppings, as well as some fog rising off of the pond.

The drive back past Saguaro National Park showed more of the heavy snow on the vegetation, as well as the snow free roads.

A quick visit back to Colossal Cave Park, where we had played in the snow last Sunday.

The cave has enough elevation where you had great views across the valleys to the nearby mountains, with the valleys even having snow.

A brief stop in the neighborhood.

It was late enough in the morning that Saguaro National Park had finally opened the loop road. While some of the snow had already melted by mid day, there was still plenty for some amazing scenes.

While it is beautiful, enough is enough – time to get back to Arizona March – sunny days in the 70s.

Vail, Arizona – February 2023 – Colossal Cave Snow Fun

Colossal Cave has been a tourist destination for 100 years, but most people come to go into the earth for touring the caves. Today everyone came to enjoy the highly unusual snowy landscape.

Not too often do you see Agave plants with snow on them.

The historic building had a ski lodge feel with the snow.

There is a short nature trail that normally cautions people to make sure they take plenty of water to deal with the heat. Today’s biggest challenge was the slick footing, but well worth the brief hike.

Bits of ice on a saguaro cactus.

The snow really stuck to the cholla’s, but then again, most anything will easily stick to a cholla if you are not careful.

The brittle bush has blooms from the recent rains, and now snow.

Another beautiful snowy cholla.

Yesterday it was 75 degrees and sunny. Today snow, Tomorrow will be 65 and sunny! Gotta love Southern Arizona.

Tucson – December 2022 – Snow on the Mountain

One of the great things about living in Tucson is you can have a nice warm 60 degree winter day and make the 25 mile drive up Mt Lemmon to snow!

This particular snow has not yet left enough snow for skiing, but it is getting close.

The road to the very top is always closed off for the winter, but it makes a great sledding hill.

The town of Summerhaven does a great business when the snow flies, and the road crews clear the road up the mountain.

As you make your way back down the mountain the snow gets less and less, until once you are under 6000′ elevation it is gone.

And before you know it you are back in the desert and 60 degrees.

Columbus – February 2021 – Nosing Around Town in the Cold and Snow

After 4 months of hanging around the house building wooden toys to avoid the cold, snow and covid, it was time to wander around town for a couple of hours on this cold, sunny Sunday afternoon.

It is time to nose around in the snow…

One cold, lonely deer statue.

A colorful house on a dreary day (actually better than most – there is a bit of sun)

In the summer there are signs all around this pond saying ‘no wading, no swimming’ – no need for those today.

Plenty of bike shares available.

The statues standing sentry at the statehouse.

It feels like a Russian Winter.

Winter – the time of year if the streets aren’t covered in snow they are white from all the salt to melt the snow, and rust the cars.

Bariloche, Argentina – December 2019 – Going to Great Heights for the Photo

With all of the hills and mountains surrounding Bariloche it is easy to get great views. We had the opportunity to go up three different lifts to get an amazing overview of the area.

The first was a chairlift to Cerro (Hill) Capanario.

Sometimes just driving to the next stop provides great views (and lunch!)

Our next stop was Cerro Otto – where a gondola takes you from the middle of town to the top of a mountain. At the top was a revolving restaurant and other overlooks.

Our final ascent was up the 3000′ high Cerro Catedral – the largest ski resort south of the equator. Despite it being the middle of summer, a cold front had come through and we saw a bit of snow fall on us!

Chicago – February 2019 – Various Scenes

With our trip to Chicago complete some interesting photos did not make the various specific topic blog postings.

Starting with the long and thin – from commuter trains to 70 floor condo buildings.

Statuary on a South Michigan Avenue building.

Nearby the neighbors outdid them with this relief (only a portion of the entire sculpture).

The Carbide and Carbon Building’s gold top on a sunny morning.


O’Hare Airport is proposing to build a new terminal and is asking for the public’s opinion with a vote. It is Chicago – vote early, vote often.

It seems most of the newer hotel rooms in the city have photos that look like this – so I took my own abstract view of modern buildings.

If not modern, at least historic and modern combined.

Every time I go by this clock I look for a good angle to take a photo, but something always seems to be in the way. This angle is unobstructed, but doesn’t do it justice.

Wandering early one morning in the theater district I decided to focus on the signs.

Even the local McDonalds got into the act.

A snowy morning in Millennium Park.

Snow was gathering on ‘the bean’, and would come off in interesting ways.

It is an interesting view from underneath.

No concert at Pritzker Pavilion today!

Art in the snow behind Aon Tower.

The Chicago Cultural Center had a display on Jazz Music in the city.

The play Chicago was also featured – including some of the real life models for Roxie Hart – Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner.

Both Beulah and Belva had been charged with murder in 1924, but were acquitted. Amazingly the first play was in 1927 and Belva attended the premier!

Columbus – January 2019 – Snow Day

It’s January, very little events going on, and it snowed enough to make the roads sloppy. But it did add some character to every day objects around the neighborhood.

It was just the right amount of snow, about 3-4″, to not cause total shutdown.

No skating today, unless you want to get very wet.

When the last grass cutting of the season is in neat rows, the snow comes out with the same pattern.

The birds have a home out of the snow.

This flight is grounded.

The large ornamental grasses to cover up the utility box. No longer green, but still with some color to contrast the white.

I hate snow, except once a year. Come on spring.

Crater Lake National Park – Spring 2016 Road Trip – Day 10

A big day today – visiting Crater Lake National Park. The park was about an hour drive north of Klamath Falls, virtually car free, so we were there in no time. Upon reaching the entrance booth the ranger informed us that the East Rim and part of the West Rim near the north entrance was still closed because of snow.

We found this comment a bit unusual because we were fairly high up in the mountains and it was snow free. This however changed quickly; as we moved further into the West Rim and climbed in elevation toward the lake, we saw snow piled near the side of the road at least fifteen feet high. The park received 38 feet of snow this winter and even more incredible is that it is five feet less than average for an annual snowfall.

Crater Lake was once a mountain created by repeated eruptions of lava that oozed from vents during 400,000 years. The mountain was called Mount Mazama and reached 12,000 feet, a violent eruption of magma and gas occurred from a chamber in the mountain. As the magma emptied the mountain collapsed forming a deep caldera where the snow-capped mountain one stood. The basin filled with rainwater and snow over centuries.

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The lake is one of the deepest lakes in the world of more than 1900 feet. There are two islands in the lake formed from a cinder cone that erupted after Crater Lake began to fill with water, and a smaller isle which has trees living on it. By arriving early in the morning we were able to see a mirror image of the mountains reflected in the pure water.

Our drive took us along the west rim, with frequent stops at vistas. When we reached the road to the north entrance traffic was stopped, as a medevac helicopter was taking off, while the police blocked the road and the EMT’s loaded the victims onto the copter. Later on, we learned from the news that two men from Seattle tried to climb into the caldera and fell 250 feet. The men were charged with illegal trespassing and were seriously injured.

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We returned to the park’s Rim Village for lunch but first took a trail along the lake behind the cafe. Set high above the lake with a stone wall to keep people from tumbling down the cliffs, this path provided even more pretty views of the lake. The lake water is so pristine that clouds and jet contrails from above reflected in the water.

From here you can observe a room and balcony that jutted out of the cliff. Called the Sinnott Memorial Observation Station; it is a sheltered viewpoint built into the caldera cliff 900 feet above Crater Lake.  It is located near the Rim Village Visitor Center and the structure includes a small natural history museum with exhibits that highlight the geologic history of Mount Mazama and the formation of Crater Lake. The building is constructed of heavy, native stone and concrete with log beams supporting the roof. A ranger told us that that room was snowed in and was not possible to get to; so that the best view in the park was closed.

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We grabbed sandwiches at the cafe for lunch but before leaving the village, we carved our names in the wall of snow near the parking lot, having a passer by take our photo standing in front of it. The wall of snow was at least twice our height and the sun shone on us so that the words were clear in the photo.

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Leaving the park for our drive to Medford we followed the ravine containing the Rogue River. This route had a number of scenic spot of a gorge, providing numerous short hikes to overlooks and waterfalls. The first hike took us back to the river raging through the gorge and a very narrow passage of rocks. Giant fir trees fell together from the rush of water wearing away their soil.

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Soon after our stop at the gorge, we stopped again to see a natural bridge at Rogue River. This natural bridge was not what we expected to see. Our image of a natural bridge was a stone suspended over an open area as we remember from Arches National Park. The trail that led us into the woods and across a man made bridge spanning a river led us farther along the river to see the river sweep into a lava tube and out another outlet. The surge of water covered a portion of the natural bridge.

The natural bridge splits the river forcing all the water of the river to go through the lava tube under normal conditions; but this year, the abundance of water created a second river. The water passed over and through the lava tube so violently that it flowed into a collapsed cave at the lower bank of the river and back out again. The back flow of water coming out of the cave crashed into the river flow roaring from the lava tube to create thunderous whitewater. Normally all of the water of the river flows into the lava tube disappearing from sight and the natural bridge is easily seen.

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At mid-afternoon we strolled into Jacksonville, Oregon to find the shop with a floor made of copper pennies. The Mustard Seed Cafe was the shop with the floor made of pennies but was closed for business that day, although, we could see the penny floor through the door’s window.

We rested a bit at an ice cream shop and while we savored our favorite ice cream flavors, we saw a number of antique and classic cars roll by. Nearby a historic building offered a tour so we wondered inside where we met a woman dressed in 19th century clothing who spoke about the history of the building as the Beekman Bank. I was impressed with a map from the late 1800’s prominently display in the front room, so much so the docent took us into the office area of the building that was not part of the tour to show us an 1859 map of Oregon. The 1859 map marked Jacksonville as the county capital. The docent mentioned that she was a student of Ohio State University when she learned we were from Ohio.

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Afterwards we drove to a public rose garden located at the Harry & David Corporate Headquarters, a food and gift basket business in Medford, Oregon. Most of the rose bushes were in bloom which made some colorful photos.

Finally we arrived at our quirky, but nice remodeled to look 1970s chic hotel, the Ashland Hills Suites in Ashland, Oregon.  Soon we went downtown to find a sports bar to watch the first game of the Stanley Cup finals. We ate and watched the game at the Red Zone Cafe & Bar. Pittsburgh scored the winning goal against the San Jose Sharks in the last three minutes of the game to break a 2-2 tie.