California Trip, 2014: Walking to the Golden Gate

These photos are from my long walk out to the Golden Gate Bridge. I started at the Palace of Fine Arts and walked along the shore all the way out to the spot under the bridge where Kim Novak jumped into the water in “Vertigo.” Some photos looking back toward the city will give you an idea of the distance I walked.

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Seattle Trip, 2019: A View from a Rooftop

These photos were all shot from the rooftop of my hotel, the Mediterranean Inn, located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Uptown Seattle.

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Glacier National Park, 2019: Running Eagle Falls Trail

These photos are from my hike to Running Eagle Falls in the Two Medicine region of Glacier National Park–actually, more of a stroll as it’s a short, easy trail to get to the falls.

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American Southwest Trip, 2018: Bryce Point and Paria View

These photos are from two scenic lookouts, taken shortly after a massive rainstorm finally subsided. I had thought the entire day was going to be a washout and considered giving up, but I stuck it out and was rewarded with some beautiful scenery. The first few pics, shot at Paria View, feature multiple rainbows shooting down from the clouds, though one rainbow is most prominent.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: Virginia Cascades and Firehole Canyon in Yellowstone

These photos are from two drives I took off the beaten path in Yellowstone National Park, both narrow, one-way roads along the sides of canyons. The first was the Virginia Cascades Drive, which does not appear to get much traffic, but still enough cars to make it difficult to pull over for good views of the falls, so the highlight of this drive ended up being my stop at the pretty, quiet meadow above the falls. The second drive was Firehole Canyon, which is a bit more popular but still relatively quiet compared to the main attractions of the park, with more places to pull over for beautiful views of the canyon rapids and falls. There is also a swimming area here, though I did not partake.

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Canada Trip, 2016: Franey Mountain

The centerpiece of our stay in Cape Breton was our hike of Franey Mountain, an 1,100-foot ascent that took us between 3 and 4 total hours up and down. It could have been done more quickly but we took our time, soaking in and photographing the beautiful scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands along the way (as well as a pretty bird that I believe was a ruffed grouse).

There are two trails that lead to the top. The one we chose for the climb turned out to be the better one in terms of the views–we chose the other trail for the hike back down, which was much less challenging but also much less interesting from a scenery perspective. I don’t remember which was which, but if you’re looking at a map, the straighter looking trail is probably the less interesting one. Either way, you are likely to take both: one on the way up and the other on the way down.

Overall, it’s a beautiful hike. Climbers who reach the peak are rewarded with spectacular views of lush green mountains along a picturesque coast, as well as the opportunity to sign the hiker’s guest book attached to an Adirondack chair at the top. If you find yourself in Cape Breton, Franey Mountain is definitely worth a visit.

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Cape May – September, 2020

After canceling our trip to Cape May last June because of the pandemic, we decided to rent a house in Cape May Point for a week in late September. Cape May Point is a quiet, less-populated area away from the usual tourist spots, so we thought it would be a good location to have a socially distanced vacation.

Here are a few photos from that trip. I got some nice shots of Monarch butterflies hanging out in the tree outside our house. Cape May is a popular stop for the Monarchs along their southern migration, and there were tons of them flying around during the week we were there.

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Union Transportation Trail – October, 2020

Back in late October my wife and I decided to check out the relatively new (opened in 2010) Union Transportation Trail in Upper Freehold, a nine-mile rail trail not far from where we live. I was itching to get out and about after being mostly homebound for seven months (outside of a week in Cape May in September and dog walks around the neighborhood, I had barely left the house since the pandemic began), and it seemed like a good opportunity to see some fall foliage.

We got a late start, so we only had time to do the short leg of the trail traveling north from the Sharon Station Road parking area to 539–this section of the trail had opened to the public in 2017. It’s a pleasant little trail that also has a detour through trees that opens up into a large field of wild grass. I’m looking forward to returning to explore the southern portion of the trail, as well as the new section being planned that will extend the trail all the way to our home town.

Here are a few photos from our short hike:

Upstate New York Trip, 2015: Watkins Glen State Park

The photos below are from my hike through Watkins Glen State Park, a hidden gem located right on the main street running through the town of Watkins Glen. It’s hard to imagine that such a serene and gorgeous oasis of nature could be located so close to a bustling town (it was really bustling when I was there thanks to a car parade), but this park is such a place. It does not take long as you venture into the park for civilization to completely fall away to the point where you feel like you’re hiking through sublime wilderness.

The park has frequently been likened to Rivendell (of Lord of the Rings fame)—and with its myriad waterfalls, cascades, and stone bridges, it’s easy to see why. It is well worth the visit, and if you pair it with a visit to Letchworth (as we did), you will see two of the most beautiful state parks this country has to offer.

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