Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Boston National Historic Park: The Freedom Trail

Above: Late winter leaves shroud tombs
at Boston's Old Granary Burying Ground
Below: A winged skull and hourglass adorn the tomb
of K.C. Payne, 1701, King's Chapel churchyard

Above: The State Capitol building
rises above Boston Common
Below: "Old Ironsides" out for her Independence Day sail

Winter Spectacles: Arches National Park, Utah

Above: Double Arch in December
Below: Turret Arch from northwest angle

Above: Spectacles at Sunrise

These photos of Arches National Park
were an unexpected Christmas gift.
I was traveling south through Utah on my way
to visit family for the holiday,
and as I drove through Moab I saw snow on the ground.
I was not as far along as I wanted to be,
but I stopped for the night.
Snow in Moab is unusual,
and I knew it was the Perfect Opportunity for a photo,
and I knew just where I wanted to be, come sunrise:
out waiting for the sun to hit the Spectacles Arches at Arches NP.
So I got up early, gratefully ate a hot breakfast at the hotel,
and then drove to the trailhead,
and trudged out, all bundled up to avoid the freezing winds.
It was a cold wait,
but oh, how worth it, when the sun rose.
The dusting of snow just adds to the beauty
of the sun-limned red rock.

Death Valley Winter Morning

Above: December sunrise in Death Valley, clouds moving over the valley floor
Below: first light moving over the hills at Zabriskie Point, toward the Sierra Mts

Full- on sunlight on these dunes is dazzling.
Death Valley is barren, desolate, and wholly beautiful.

Remote Corners of Texas: Alibates Flint Quarry

The flint quarry at Alibates is very old,
and was mined for high quality trading flint for hundreds of years.
You can see it only on a tour with a National Park employee
(the tours are free).
It's remote,
but a journey in spring means blooming yuccas
across the craggy landscape.

20th Century Dreams: Martin Luther King Jr. Site, Georgia

In downtown Atlanta, Georgia, is the visitor center for Martin Luther King, Jr. (above)
The site houses his tomb,
situated in a quiet, peaceful pool (below):

Ruined Grandeur: Salinas Pueblo, New Mexico

Top photo: Quarai unit of Salinas Pueblo
(ruined mission church of the 18th century)
Bottom photo: Gran Quivira unit of Salinas Pueblo

Top photo: church and kiva at Abo site (Salinas Pueblo)
(the inclusion of a kiva in the convento site by the church is unusual)
Bottom: ruined transepts of the Abo church

Fort Clatsop (Lewis and Clark NHP), Oregon

Above: recreated cabin interior from Fort Clatsop
(winter quarters for the Lewis & Clark expedition, 1805-1806).
Below: inside the reconstructed Fort:

It is so green and lush here.
The wilderness dominates, despite the hewn logs,
and the human presence seems as tenuous as the smoke rising out of the chimneys.

Coronado National Memorial (Arizona)

New Year's Day vistas at Coronado Nat. Mon. (above)

One of the coolest things about Coronado is that it has a cave.
It's a wild cave,
with a rough entrance filled with boulders,
which you can explore at your own pace with your own flashlight.
(There are no formal tours.)
Just shadow and imagination,
and ghosts of the past.

Glacier National Park

Above: Mt. Clements at Logan Pass, with snowpack in August
Below: Lake Macdonald at summer sunrise

Above: Lewis monkeyflower blooms at Logan Pass
Below: mountain goats roam on the Hidden Lake trail

Yosemite- Not the Typical Views

These are some mid-September views of the high country at Yosemite,
including Lembert Dome (middle picture)
and Tuolumne Meadows (lower picture).
Despite the lack of wildflowers,
the bones of the landscape are still gorgeous.

Canyonlands National Park (Island in the Sky district)

The Green River, from Labyrinth site (above) in fall
View from Murphy Hogback (below) in summer:

Moses and Zeus formations in Taylor Canyon (above)
View from White Crack (intersection of Green and Colorado Rivers):

Canyonlands is gorgeous, and generally less crowded than some of the other Utah parks.
All of these photos were taken from the White Rim road,
in the Island in the Sky district.

West Coast, East Coast

The top view comes from Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park.
The bottom photo was taken at Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park.
Though both seashores are green and lush,
there is still a distinct character difference
between East Coast and West Coast.