“Pic of the Week”, July 1, 2017: Ballooning over Calgary

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Stepped out of my home on my way to work early one morning and was surprised to see this hot-air balloon floating over the roof-tops.  Not a common site and as good as a jolt of caffeine in waking me up.

 

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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

Classic Steel — a visit to the Rolling Sculpture Car Show, Canmore

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Happy Canada Day, eh?  Today is Canada’s 150th birthday and across the country people are celebrating in a big way.  It’s not everyday a country reaches that age and there is good reason to celebrate, because Canada is a great place to live!  There’s a “suggestion” from the Canadian government that a certain percentage of media be “Canadian Content”, so here is our piece of Canadian content for today.

I wonder if there is anything more Canadian than spending a pleasant summer day enjoying classic cars with the beautiful Alberta Rocky Mountains as a backdrop?  Probably so, but those things likely would be a lot less fun.

Summers in Canada, or for that matter any place that has cold snowy winters, are …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Montana / North America

Signs of Butte

21 Signs of Butte

Often in my travels I wish I could see a destination as it was years before I’ve gotten there — that I had access to H.G. Wells’ Time Machine so I could select exactly when to drop into a city or town.  In the case of Butte, Montana, I would set that Time Machine for circa 1900.  What a grand city I’d find when I arrived!  One of the largest, most developed new cities of the American West, with beautiful lavish hotels, elegant restaurants, theaters and other attractions, Butte was the place to be!  Funded by the wealth harvested from the mines of the “Richest Hill on Earth”, Butte was booming.

Jump forward a century and what you find is quite different.  Most …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance! A Day at Calgary’s Ukrainian Festival

Calgary Ukranian Festival 06-2016 (20)

One of the many things I enjoy about summers in Canada are the large number and variety of ethnic festivals held around the country.   Like the United States, Canada has derived much of its character from its many immigrant groups.  People are encouraged to celebrate their heritage, culture and traditions, while become part of the national melting pot.

If you’re interested in learning more about the culture of a country, visiting one of these festivals is an excellent way to take a “mini-trip” to that destination.  This year I wanted to explore somewhere I’d never been to before, so decided to stop by the Calgary Ukrainian Festival.  Over a weekend, the large Ukrainian community of the city presented a great celebration …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 10, 2017: World’s Best Donuts, Grand Marais

‘s Best Donuts

Situated in the small tourist town of Grand Marais, on the northwest shore of Lake Superior, is this ‘mom and pop’ donut shop. The name of the place may seem a little overdone, but the donuts it sells are prepared to perfection. They are indeed among the best I’ve ever had.

World’s Best Donuts has an extensive assessment of donuts, prepared fresh daily and greedily consumed by the shop’s many patrons. The several I’ve tried during my visits were all excellent, although they say their cake donuts are a house specialty. The donut shop opened in 1969 and has been run by the family for almost fifty years.

There are seats outside, but it’s especially …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Backpacking to Ostrander Lake, Yosemite National Park

Ostrander Lake, Yosemite National Park

From time-to-time I enjoy looking at some of my older photos to remember bygone adventures.  It’s from one of these periods of reflection that today’s blog germinated.

When I lived in Southern California, I enjoyed spending time each summer exploring the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains — John Muir’s Range of Light.  While much of California is hot as an oven in the summer, these mountains offer a pleasant climate and excellent backpacking opportunities.  In the summer there’s enough water in the lakes that you don’t need to carry more than a day’s worth — very different and much easier than what’s required when backpacking in the Mojave desert.  The weather is warm in the day, cool at night, and almost without …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 27,2017: Spring in the Rocky Mountains

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I enjoyed a beautiful drive alongside and through the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia this past week.  The landscape had greened nicely with the warming weather, but the mountains still had lots of snow on them.  I made a few stops along the way and photographed some of the beautiful scenery.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance the slideshow)

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.All Trips / D.C. / North America / Southeastern USA

Washington’s National Cathedral

22 Washington 501 National Cathedral

The idea of a National Church was first mentioned by the great General and first American President, George Washington, but this dream did not begin to take fruition for more than a century.  Like all great projects, it takes time and lots of money to make the dream a reality.  Today the completed church plays an important role in its nation’s history having hosted many national days of prayer and several presidential funerals.

The National Cathedral is a beautiful NeoGothic church situated on the highest point in the District of Columbia.  It’s built in the style of the great European cathedrals and has a tall central tower (30 stories high), 231 beautiful stained-glass windows (one of which has a moon rock …

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