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Life... ya gotta be doin' something...

 

2009 Adventures

Updated:24-Jan-2010

January

Oops... I forgot to record anything about the 2007 or 2008 adventures, so I'll just resume with 2009.

Could there be anything more beautiful than Arizona in January? Blue skies, moderate temperatures... quite delightful.

Esperero Canyon near Tucson:

esperero 1

Canyon walls covered with magnificent Saguaro cactii:

esperero 2

A Saguaro cactus with outstretched arms:

saguaro arms

And a whimsical Saguaro with two eyes and big nose:

saguaro eyes nose

Well, perhaps there is something even more spectacular than the January Arizona desert....off to explore the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico for three weeks.

A glorious sunset on Isla Mujeres:

sunset isla mujeres

North Beach on Isla Mujeres:

isla beach

Colorful fishing boats in Isla Mujeres harbor:

isla boats

Rio Lagartos estuary with great heron, ibis and egrets at low tide:

rio lagartos birds

Rio Lagartos 3 meter (9 feet) long crocodile basking in the sun:

rio lagartos crocodile

Brilliant orange flamingos at Rio Lagartos... their feathers turn brilliant orange due to the carotenes in the brine shrimp that they feed on:

rio lagartos more flamingos

More orange flamingos at Rio Lagartos:

rio lagartos flamingos

Main plaza in downtown Merida:

merida main plaza

Me, near a monument in The Plaza of the Americas in Merida:

rjs in park

Sunset in Celestun... far from the big cities, immersed in utter simplicity:

celestun sunset

Celestun beach is mostly shells... I felt sort of "guilty" for walking on all these beautiful little shells:

celestun shells

Taxi in the Celestun town plaza, some of the taxis were bicycle powered and others were motorcycle powered... a slow-paced delight after the hectic hustle and bustle of Merida earlier in the week:

celestun taxi

Magnificent beaches of Tulum:

tulum beach

Mayan ruins on a cliff high above the Caribbean:

Nary a person on the beaches south of Tulum:

south of tulum

Fishing boats in Puerto Morelos... this is a wonderful little town which is just beginning to be besieged by the dreadful commercial development and overpriced condos which have ruined so much of the coast from Cancun to Tulum:

puerto morelos beach

Me on the beach at Puerto Morelos:

puerto morelos beach

Homeward bound from Mexico... beautiful sunset while heading home to Colorado, 38000 feet over Galveston, Texas:

38000 feet over galveston

 

February/March

Arrived back home in Colorado just time for a bit of snow. Here's a photo from my backyard looking toward the cloud-shrouded Rocky Mountains:

backyard snow

Headed down to Tucson, Arizona to enjoy the fine weather and to attend a few gatherings.

crazy cactus

What could be more beautiful than blue sky and cacti:

blue sky and cactii

From a distance, the desert may seem to be without much color, but here are a few of the wide variety of wildflowers which were beginning to bloom in the canyons around Tucson in late February:

flower 1 flower 2 flower 3
flower 4 flower 5 flower 6
flower 7 flower 8 flower 9
flower 10 flower 11 flower 12
flower 13 flower 14 flower 15
flower 16 flower 17 flower 18
flower 19 flower 20 flower 21
flower 22 flower 23 flower 24
flower 25 flower 26 flower 27
flower 28 flower 29 flower 30
flower 31 flower 32 flower 33
 

And a lot of interesting cacti, dead and alive. Here's a collection of delightful cacti shapes.. sometimes, with a fresh look, the ordinary becomes quite extraordinary :

cactii 1 cactii 3 cactii 2
cactii 4 cactii 6 cactii 5
cactii 7 cactii 9 cactii 8

This one-eyed direction-pointer caught my eye... and gave me a rather eerie feeling of being "watched"...

one-eyed

April

Just local hikes near home (in northern Colorado) during April. Only a few wildflowers are beginning to bloom... it's still too cold here for many flowers to peek out yet.

May

Encountered magnificent weather whilst wandering around in southern Utah and northern Arizona during early May. Glorious blue skies and daytime high temperatures around 85 deg F (30 deg C). Here are a few pictures...

In Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. A variety of odd shapes and arches formed in the ancient sandstone by wind and water:

arches 1

arches 2

arches 3

arches 4

arches 5

In Upper Antelope Canyon, near Page, Arizona. This is the rather plain looking entrance to the canyon narrow slot canyon from a broad desert streambed:

upper antelope entrance 2

Upper Antelope Canyon is a narrow slot-canyon, typically about 5 to 20 feet wide and about 100 to 150 feet deep, where occasional flash floodwaters have been forced to flow through a huge block of sandstone, leaving a swirling zigzag erosion path through the rock. In some of photos you can see the sandy floor of the canyon where the visitors walk in amazement:

upper antelope 3

upper antelope 6

upper antelope 7

upper antelope 12

 

Some photos of the spectacular 1000 foot (300 meter) tall sandstone formations in Monument Valley, near Kayenta, Arizona:

monument valley 1

monument valley 3

monument valley 4

Petroglyphs (rock art messages) made by American Indians, near Moab, Utah:

petro 1

petro 2

Two more sandstone arches near Moab, Utah:

bowtie 1

corona 1

 

June

Mostly just hiking in the Colorado mountains in June.

mount sopris

A few of the magnificent wildflowers encountered on hikes in the foothills and mountains of Colorado in June:

wildflower1 wildflower2 wildflower3
wildflower4 wildflower5 wildflower6
wildflower7 wildflower8 wildflower9
wildflower10 wildflower11 wildflower12
wildflower13 wildflower14 wildflower15
wildflower16 wildflower17 wildflower18
wildflower19 wildflower20 wildflower21
wildflower22 wildflower23 wildflower24
wildflower25 wildflower26 wildflower27
wildflower29 wildflower28 wildflower30
wildflower31 wildflower32 wildflower33
wildflower34 wildflower35 wildflower36
wildflower37 wildflower38 wildflower39
wildflower40 wildflower41 wildflower42
wildflower43 wildflower44 wildflower45
wildflower46 wildflower47 wildflower48

 

July

Back to Utah for more adventures. First, a few days in the Capitol Reef National Park area to see the sights and enjoy a gathering of the Dances of Universal Peace:

Capitol Reef 1

Capitol Reef 2

Capitol Reef 3

Then an afternoon hiking among the odd rock formations in Goblin Valley:

Goblin Valley 2

Goblin Valley 3

Goblin Valley 1

And then a couple of days of hiking among the magical spires of Bryce Canyon National park. You can get some idea of the scale of this amazing landscape by comparing the rock spires to the height of the full-grown evergreens which are often 50 to 100ft (15 to 30m) tall:

Bryce Canyon 2

Bryce Canyon 5

Bryce Canyon 6

Bryce Canyon 3

A photo of me in a Bryce Canyon panorama:

Bryce Canyon 4

Finishing the delightful Utah adventure was a trip to magnificent Zion National Park. The massive features of Zion, largely sandstone, are of such a huge scale that they are sometimes a bit overwhelming:

Zion 1

Zion 2

Zion 4

Zion 5

 

Zion 12

Zion 6

At the end of July, I traveled to Washington state. Here's a photo of me alongside a very large tree on the Olympic peninsula of Washington:

huge tree

August

It would have been fun to spend a few days in Yellowstone National Park, but the time schedule only allowed a quick one-day drive through Yellowstone. A view of the Yellowstone River:

yellowstone river

Colorful canyon walls of Yellowstone River:

yellowstone canyon walls

Boiling (smelly) sulfur-water emerging from a hillside:

boiling water

Boiling mud pots alongside the road:

boiling mud

Then on down into the Grand Teton National Park for another one-day adventure. Beautiful Jackson Lake:

jackson lake

Magnificent Grand Tetons and high plains:

tetons

Bison roaming free:

bison

Moose having  snack:

moose

Then back home to Colorado, and a hike to Lake Isabelle, high in the Rockies:

lake isabelle

Blue Columbine near Lake Isabelle:

blue columbine

Elephant Head flowers:

elephant head

Fields full of colorful wildflowers near Lake Isabelle:

isabelle flowers

more isabelle flowers

September

A few of the magnificent wildflowers still blooming in the Colorado Rockies in late August and early September:

sep_flower_1 sep_flower_5 sep_flower_2
sep_flower_4 sep_flower_3 sep_flower_8
sep_flower_6 sep_flower_9 sep_flower_10
sep_flower_11 sep_flowers_27 sep_flower_12
sep_flower_13 sep_flower_15 sep_flower_14

 

October

The changing fall colors of Aspen and Cottonwood trees, along the Mesa Trail a few miles south of Boulder, Colorado:

mesa_trail_1

mesa_trail_2

A view from my backyard, looking toward the west at the first light dusting of snow in October:

first snow

November

In Tucson for a few days:

11_tucson_1

11_tucson_3

11_tucson_2

Back home in Colorado... a bit of a shock after the greenery and warmth of southern Arizona:

colorado snow

Then, off to the Yucatan of Mexico for three weeks. First, the beautiful sandy beaches and rocky coral of Isla Mujeres for a few days:

isla mujeres 1

isla mujeres 2

isla mujeres 5

isla mujeres 4

isla mujeres 7

On the ferry, leaving Isla Mujeres:

isla mujeres 10

 

December

Then down to the peaceful beaches of Tulum:

tulum 1

A silly geek on the beach with a laptop computer:

tulum 3

A handy reminder "Do not leave rocks on the highway":

tulum 4

In Mahahual, there's a wonderful little hotel called Arenas with a superb general manager Gonzalo Robles... a great place to stay. Here's the Beach at Mahahual:

mahahual 1

Lake Bacalar, near the Belize/Mexico border:

bacalar 1

bacalar 2

Back to Isla Mujeres for a few more days. Beautiful sunset:

isla sunset december

Back home in Colorado... a different world:

longmont december

So... back to Arizona. The first visible crescent of the new moon over palm tree:

crescent mon

Esperero Canyon, north of Tucson:

esperero 1

Me, inside of a little cave which Pir Vilayat often used for meditation retreats:

esperero cave

Moon over Esperero Canyon hillside:

esperero moon

Turning workshop in Tucson with Puran and Susanna Bair:

turning puran and susanna bair

Amusing cactus near Esperero Canyon::

amusing cactus

.... The End.