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Category Archives: Landscape Photography

This was not a scheduled stop on our trip but we noticed a sign for the area as we were driving from  Alamogordo to Belen. It was a weekend and there were a fair number of campers in the park. It proved to be a nice break stop along the road. The park showcases an overgrown lava flow. The short nature hike was very informative.

More photos from the Valley of Fire can be found on my website.

 

 

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On the morning of the fourth day of our trip we arrived at White Sands National Monument. We started with a few short hikes but found the short hikes were not that great for photography because folks had walked all over the sand dunes. Finished the The Dune Life Nature Trail before deciding to drive around the park looking for a longer hike.

More photos from White Sands can be found on my website.

We decided we might have better luck taking a longer hike so we decided to hike on the Alkali Flat Trail. This proved to be more interesting and we encountered fewer people and tracks.

We didn’t have time to do the whole trail because we wanted to take in the New Mexico Museum of Space History and we were hiking at high noon. We cut our hike short and headed back to town to visit the museum and check into our hotel. We enjoyed the Museum and my wife is a big Star Trek fan so I couldn’t resist taking her photo in the transporter.

We had an early bite to eat and then headed back out to White Sands. It was starting to cool off a bit. We picked the Backcountry Camping Trail hoping we would not find as many people. We were surprised at the number of backpackers we encountered heading out into the backcountry. This was a nice hike and we were able to find more sand dunes that were undisturbed.

There were a lot of folks out in the park flying kites and sliding down the sand dunes. Fortunately most of them stayed fairly close to the roads.

Surprisingly we did not encounter much wildlife. We managed to find some Roadrunner tracks but no Roadrunner. We also fund a few Darkling Beetles as evening approached.

On the afternoon of the third day we made it to Carlsbad Caverns National Park which was our first scheduled stop on our spring road trip. The previous day I noticed an alert on the sites web page indicating that the elevators were not working. I assumed that it was a temporary thing but when we arrived they were still out of order. As a result we had a 750 foot altitude loss hiking into the Cavern and a 3.75 mile round trip.

More photos from Carlsbad Caverns National Park can be found on my website.

We had problems hiking the first section of the trail because our eyes had trouble adjusting to the dark. When we started down there were quite a few people hiking up. Although the trail is fairly wide and paved it was difficult to avoid running into people when we couldn’t see them or the railings. As we discovered when we exited the trail the people coming up could see us.

We didn’t realize we could walk into the Cavern. The entrance was truly impressive. At night visitors can watch the bats emerge. However, the bats in Carlsbad migrate and they were just starting to return when we were there. On the previous night the ranger had see one bat. My wife was happy that there were no bats in the Cave.

For the most part the hike into the Cavern is not all that spectacular although the Whales Mouth is impressive.

When we reached the bottom of the Cavern it was truly spectacular. At one point we stopped to talk with a ranger. Turns out the elevators are old and they frequently fail. At one point the were out of order for six months. When they fail it is quite a problem because people are stuck in the elevator and there will likely be people who have taken the elevator to the bottom who are really not in condition to hike out. He related one case of a man who was 400 pounds, had two knee replacements and several stints. He did hike to the bottom but then decided he couldn’t get back up. Normally you have to be out of the Cavern by 4 pm. They finally got this person out by 7:30pm.

We spent several hours wandering the trails in the Cavern.

 

 

Bond Falls is know as a great place to photograph in the fall and is known for its iconic Z which is photographed with fall color reflections. However it also a great place to photograph in the winter because is always has open water flowing. It is located just below a dam so the falls area never completely freezes.

Bond Falls

 

Up early again to catch the train to Bodø. It was almost a 10 hour train ride so it would be a long, long day.

Obviously the photographs were through windows of the speeding train so they are not the best. The first part of the trip was through some beautiful farm country. It was early spring and the crops were just starting to come up.

We then reached the coastal area were we encountered some towns. In one of them it looked like a large section of an oil rig was in the harbor.

As we moved north we started to encounter snow and many of the lakes were still frozen. The crops in these areas had not been planted yet and the trees had not budded out. We seemed to alternate between going over mountain ranges and dropping back down to the coastal areas. The highlight of this section of the trip was seeing several moose out in the fields.


Gradually we started going up into the Saltfjellet mountain range. The rain and clouds that we saw at the lower elevations dissipated and the sun appeared.
It was a spectacular ride through the mountains. I can only imagine what a great trip it would be in the wintertime.

As we passed some mountain cabins we could see people cross country skiing.

We eventually dropped down out of the mountains and road along the coast before reaching Bodø.

 

After a brief stop at home we embarked on what turned out to be our last fall color trip. Our first stop was the Blue Hills just east of Rice Lake, Wisconsin. We were a little late for the peak color but there were still some nice color in some areas. We did notice that most of the lakes in the area were very high with some of the docks under water.

These were a couple of shots as we reached the outskirts of the Blue  Hills. We encountered the horseback rider of one of the back roads.

These are some shots in the Aldie Lake area.

This is the first time we encountered Bald Eagles on our fall trips through the area. In all we must have seen about a dozen Bald Eagles.

We also encountered a Ruffed Grouse along the road. It posed for some photos before flying off.

 

On our drive home from Duluth we stopped in Spooner to drop off some T-shirts that my wife had collected for a quilt. We then drove over to Shell lake for lunch with Linda’s Sister. After lunch Linda wanted to find a road that she thought would have lots of color. She remembered it from here childhood and recalled that it was called the Narrow Gage Road. We found a road on Google Maps that was named the Narrow Gage Road but Linda didn’t think that was the road she remembered.  On the positive side it did have some nice color.

On the way back from High Falls we stopped at a couple of turnouts to photograph Wayswaugoing Bay  and Teal Lake. The lake side was much greener and had not yet reached its peak.

Teal Lake

Teal Lake

Wayswaugoing Bay

It was late in the day when we arrived at Grand Portage State Park for our hike to High Falls. As I mentioned the previous few days had seen heavy rain so we were braced to get drenched from the mist coming off of the falls. We were not disappointed. It was difficult to photograph the falls because the lens kept getting covered in water droplets. This is a common problem at this location.

Our main destination for the day was Oberg Mountain. We always stop for a fall hike and some spectacular views of Lake Superior and the interior colors. We were a bit late for the interior colors. There had been strong winds and heavy rain in the previous few days so many of the leaves were down. The trail was in poor condition because of the mud.