Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back to Colorado

It's springtime here in Kentucky.  It's my favorite time of the year.  As I drive to and from work I see trees blooming in white, pink, purple, and yellow.  It's gorgeous!  Hopefully, it won't rain too much this weekend and I'll be able to get out and get some photographs before the blooms are replaced with various shades of green foliage.  Yesterday it rained ALL day in Louisville.  Today the sun is making a reappearance, but I have so much to do that it is unlikely that I'll have time to take any photos.  I've got a severe case of spring fever right now and I'm itching to be outside in the lovely spring weather.  That is if it will stop raining on the weekends!

If I can get a clear weekend or even a few hours on a sunny weekday, then you will soon see some photos of the spring foliage of Kentucky.

In the mean time, here are some more photos of Colorado from my road trip last summer for your enjoyment.

Mountain Lake and Green Hills

Colorado Landscape

Colorado Log Cabin

Colorado Log Cabin in Black & White

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Thursday, April 07, 2011


Our final destination on our road trip across the USA last year was Tucson, Arizona.  My husband, Cameron (aka Eric to his family and co-workers), is from Arizona.  I lived there with Cameron for about 2 years before we moved back to Kentucky to be near my family.  If you don't know the story of how I met my husband, just click here

I love Arizona and I miss it dearly when I'm not there.  If I could only convince my family to move there with me, I'd go back there in a moment's notice without hesitation.  Of course, if I moved back to Arizona, then I'd miss Kentucky (as was the case when I lived in Arizona).  I'm caught between the love of two cities about 1800 miles apart from one another. 

Each year my husband and I travel to Arizona to visit his parents and his brother, who live in Tucson.  Every year we talk about going to California to visit my sister-in-law, but we always go to Arizona.  I think both of us get a little homesick for Tucson, so it always wins out.

One of my favorite things about Arizona is the sunsets.  When the sun sets behind the mountains and the skies light up in pinks, oranges, and reds, it is just spectacular.  The only sunset that can compare is when the sun sets over the ocean (at least that is my opinion - I'm sure you may have your own choice of the most beautiful sunset).  Here are just a few of some of my favorite Arizona sunset moments:

Sunset Looking at the Santa Rita Mountains

The Santa Rita Mountains are at the southern edge of the city of Tucson.  The city is surrounded by four mountain ranges.  The Santa Catalina Mountains to the north, the Rincon Mountains to the east, the Tucson Mountains to the West, and the Santa Rita Mountains to the south.  When I took this photo, I was at a scenic lookout on the Santa Catalina Mountains looking south.

Sunset in Northern Arizona

I took this photo in northeastern Arizona.  We had just left Colorado and I think we were driving west on Highway 160 somewhere near Red Mesa, Arizona.

Sunset over the Mountains in Northern Arizona

I think this photo was also taken somewhere on Highway 160.  We were driving west to get to Highway 191, which goes south to I-40.

Sunset over Tucson with a Storm Moving In

In Tucson, from July to September, the monsoon rains come in every day sometime around 5 pm (sometimes later).  This photo was taken from my mother-in-law's backyard (facing northwest) as a summer monsoon storm was moving in. 

Storm Clouds Spilling Over the Rincon Mountains

These clouds were just amazing!  I could literally watch the storm moving in from the east and spilling over the top of the Rincon Mountains (looking east).  The sun was setting to the west and the effect was spectacular!

Stormy Sunset with a Rainbow
This photo was also taken from my mother-in-law's backyard, looking northeast.  The sun was setting and storm was moving in.  You could feel the humidity in the air and hear the thunder rumbling.  Rainbows are a fairly common occurrence in the desert because you have such a clear view for miles and miles as the sun sets.

We are hoping to get back to Arizona this fall.  We typically go in February, but since I had just started working again, we didn't think it would be advisable to take a vacation.  These photos make me nostalgic and I hope we can get back to Arizona soon. 

I'll be posting more photos of my home-away-from-home, Tucson, Arizona, in my upcoming blog entries. 

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Red Mountain Pass

Before I got distracted by life, I was telling you about my summer drive across the country.  We had just started talking about the Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  The pass is located on US 550 (aka Million Dollar Highway).  I suspect that it might be called the Million Dollar Highway because if you are afraid of heights and narrow roads, it would probably take someone paying you a million dollars to drive this road.  When I sat down to plan our route, I had no idea what I was getting us into by deciding to take US 550 through Colorado.  I only knew that I wanted to take a scenic drive and according to the map I got from AAA, US 550 is a scenic route.  I believe "scenic route" might be an understatement.

From Denver, we took Highway 285 southwest to Highway 50.  We took Highway 50 west and then we took Highway 550 South.  The drive up until that point had been winding through lovely mountains and valleys in Colorado.  I'm not fond of driving through mountains, so my husband drove while I snapped photos from the passenger seat.  We had just driven through a lovely town called Ouray when we started ascending the Red Mountain Pass.  The road quickly became very narrow, winding up steep slopes with no guardrail.  I was terrified, but also mystified by the beauty surrounding me.  It had started to rain a bit, which made the drive that much more unnerving.  The speed limit on most of this section of the highway is 15 miles per hour.  My husband had started the ascent at 25 miles per hour.  I told him to SLOW DOWN.  He said, "I can't look away from the road or we'll die!  Tell me when we're doing the speed limit."  He slowed down and I kept an eye on the speedometer for him.  There were no guardrails and no shoulder.  If you went past the yellow line, you would be tumbling down the mountainside.  As the car would round a steep turn, I would feel like I was falling out of the car.  My heart was racing, but the whole time I just kept snapping photos.  The roadway goes up to over 11,000 feet.  The mountain peaks are over 14,000 feet.  It was late July, but there were still traces of snow on some of the peaks.  As we ascended, it got cooler and cooler.  As we neared the summit of the roadway, my husband was complaining that it was cold and I needed to roll up the window.  I told him to turn the heater on because there was NO WAY I was going to try and photograph these mountains through the window.   

The beauty was so wondrous that my eyes were tearing up just looking around.  The luscious green mountainsides were so beautiful.  There were waterfalls and mountain streams all along the roadway.  Then we came to a mountain peak that actually has portions that are red in color and I understood the name "Red Mountain Pass."  I only wish it had been a clear day with plenty of sunshine.  I don't think my photos do the scenery justice, but here they are.  They are still a bit dark even after I lightened them up.  Despite the dark tones, I hope they can convey some of the beauty of this harrowing drive.  I've also included a link in my title that will take you to photos of someone else's journey up the Red Mountain Pass.  They went on a clear day and the photos are gorgeous.

Here is my view of the Red Mountain Pass on that rainy day....

Green Mountain Slope

The San Juan Mountains

Rocky Mountainside

Small Waterfall Cascading Down the Mountainside

The Red Mountain

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Monday, April 04, 2011


Have you ever had one of those days where you just can't your brain in work mode?  I can't seem to focus today.  I didn't sleep very well last night, so that may have something to do with my scatterbrainitis. 

I know its been a while since I posted.  I stay so busy with work and then trying to cram household chores and fun in weekends that go by so fast I hardly remember they existed at all.  I was laid-off from my job for a year and I was re-hired last November.  I enjoy working, but I sometimes miss the days where all I did was read a good novel and do laundry.  Now, I try and do at least a load of laundry each night when I get home from work.  I don't always get a chance to do a load every night, so then I spend all day Sunday washing clothes.  The saying is true ... a woman's work is NEVER done!  

I haven't even had a chance to get outside and get some spring photos.  Yesterday would have been a perfect day for outdoor photos, but instead I spent the day cleaning out my closet, baking bread, and making baked spaghetti with homemade pasta sauce.  Oh yeah...and doing laundry.  Let's not leave that out.  I think it is supposed to storm next weekend.  I hope the weather forecast is wrong.  Tonight we will be having severe thunderstorms in Kentucky.  After work tomorrow I have to go to the grocery store and Wednesday night I have Bible study.  Good grief!  It's no wonder I'm scatterbrained.  I just hope I can find a moment for some photography before all of the spring blooms disappear!

Here are some of previous year's blooms for your viewing pleasure. 

Purple Beauty

Yellow Lilly