This extremely thorough website and project is clearly a labor of love. If you camp, backpack, hike, or just plain old visit the incredible National Park system we as citizens of the United States so far been blessed to have in the first place. (Thank you, Teddy Roosevelt! Thank you, every environmentalist! Thank you every selfless, kind-hearted politician that protects our parks–ok, I know you are few, but thanks to those of you who do! Thank you every activist who fights the good fight to keep these amazing National Parks clean, secure and abundant in healthy flora and fauna!)
I don’t know about you folks who read my blog, but I view the National Parks as an emblem of what is meant by “America, the beautiful.” Without them, American wouldn’t be so beautiful. So, please do what you can to preserve what we have right now, to keep anyone from destroying it, degrading it, AND ESPECIALLY FROM CAPITALIZING on it for monetary gain.
I love you guys and gals who respect our parks enough to always leave ’em looking better than they did when you first got there. So many folks continue polluting and defacing our National Parks. Common sense and respect are fading fast in our society. It’s hard to keep up with it’s negative impact. So, everything you do to mitigate that reality, to balance out the bozo heads around you, really makes a tremendous difference. Never forget that!
We’re watching the Rose Parade on TV today from our Phoenix home and reminiscing about several years of volunteering to decorate parade floats in Pasadena, California. These particular pictures are from working on an HGTV float. How appropriate is that to be
Definitely have to do it again some time. What a spectacular item to add to your bucket list!And we love the Rose Parade theme this year . . .
Find Your Adventure!
We here at Teardrop Adventures HIGHLY recommend getting out and exploring the jaw-dropping, ever-inspiring scenery and adventures that await you in the great outdoors.
Mother Nature rocks it and so should you!
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Arizona’s not one to follow protocol. Not only does she ignore the rest of the country’s insistence on turning back clocks in the fall (for Daylight Savings Time), but her desert flowers flagrantly (or is that fragrantly?) disregard the suggestion that cold is coming. Instead, she flaunts spring-like yellows like the flora fashion diva she is.
No, it shouldn’t be surprising. Disappointing and distressing, but not surprising.
Since my article two days ago about a 4-mile-wide, 21,000-gallon oil spill near Santa Barbara, CA, the numbers have proven to be grossly understated. Estimates changed throughout the day, pinning the disastrous oil spill at 9 miles wide–the forgotten, damaged pipeline instead releasing 105,000 gallons of crude oil into an otherwise pristine coastline of the Pacific Ocean.
My article from two days ago. Please give it a read . . .
Again, please DO NOT turn a blind eye to the decisions being made by big oil and gas companies and the politicians and other entities that support them, decisions that are destroying our environment and permanently impacting the stability of our delicate ecosystem. SLOW DOWN and TAKE SOME TIME to GET INFORMED about what is happening right under your nose, under your feet, and in your own back yard . . . before it’s too late (and especially if you feel it’s already too late . . . your voice can and should be heard!).
Today, due to the callous neglect demonstrated by Plains All American Pipeline, a filthy, 4-mile-wide oil spill now coats every form of animal, bird, and sea life that exists in the already struggling, now permanently altered, environment west of Santa Barbara.
Today, and every day moving forward for quite some time to come, my friends and I will no longer be able to walk along this beautiful oceanfront area, or bring our dogs to one of the few remaining nearby beaches that still allows dogs to enjoy the surf.
Today, and in the foreseeable future, no longer will we be able to enjoy the spell-binding tidepools, sea caves, and reefs at the hugely popular beach-access campground at Leo Carillo State Park.
(Leo Carillo State Park also happens to be a favorite of the entertainment industry who used the beach for movie and TV show scenes, including scenes from the movie Grease. As the lyrics of a Frankie Valley song written for that movie suggest, maybe GREASE really IS the word–at least it is now at Leo Carillo State Park and nearby areas.)
One quote from the May 19, 2015, oil-spill article:
“With accidents and oil development, it is not a question of if, but of when.”
Take a look at the oil disasters of the last decade alone, and you’ll know this is the God’s honest TRUTH.
Another quote from the article:
” . . . the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management said the broken pipe operated by Plains All American Pipeline had been abandoned some time ago. He couldn’t say when, and noted, “I guess there was still some product in there.””
YA THINK? Now, 21,000 GALLONS of CRUDE OIL have made it to the pristine shoreline west of Santa Barbara not far from where I’ve lived for the past 4 years. The spill extends 4 miles wide now in the ocean. THIS IS WHERE WE CAMP EVERY YEAR!!!! Now, it is all but destroyed and will likely KILL many of the ENDANGERED SPECIES of magnificent WHALES and other rare sea and shoreline life that exists in this area.
I AM SADDENED BEYOND MEASURE. I DON’T CARE WHAT THESE OIL & GAS COMPANIES CLAIM, THEY ARE DESTROYING OUR REMAINING BEAUTIFUL PLACES & KILLING ALL ITS LIFE FORMS ON A DAILY BASIS.
GREED is so POWERFUL that it DEFIES ALL LOGIC and leads men in power to RISK EVERYTHING for a FISTFUL of MONEY.
DON’T LISTEN TO THE LIES. DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT HAPPENS IN **YOUR** BACKYARD. TAKE A STAND TODAY. PLEASE.
The cost of this country’s dependency on oil outweighs the benefits. And our next-in-line reliance on natural gas is just as costly. Oil spills are inevitable, as is the fact that spills destroy critical natural resources that we rely on for our very existence. And the flat-out reckless procedures used when fracking for natural gas lead to dramatically increased earthquake activity and toxic–often flammable–water in our aquifers, our main source of drinking water. The misguided ongoing quest for more oil and more gas is literally poisoning the planet and the human race.
PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT THE ADDITION OF ANY MORE OIL PIPELINES IN THIS COUNTRY OR ANY NEW OFF-SHORE DRILLING SITES OR ANY NEW NATURAL-GAS-INDUSTRY FRACKING SITES!!
FORCE THE INDUSTRY TO PROMOTE AND PROVIDE SAFER & CLEANER ALTERNATIVES!
IF YOU DON’T HELP SHIFT THIS NATION’S THINKING AWAY FROM WHAT NO LONGER IS WORKING TO SOMETHING THAT WILL (WITHOUT DESTROYING OUR PLANET in the process), IT’LL BE THE DEATH OF US ALL.
Please DO NOT turn a blind eye to the decisions being made by big oil and gas companies and the politicians and other entities that support them. SLOW DOWN and TAKE SOME TIME to GET INFORMED about what is happening right under your nose, under your feet, and in your own back yard . . . before it’s too late.
Another interesting read about a potential leak scenario with Keystone 1 Pipeline . . .
When I saw before me an endless valley blanketed in vast colonies of fantastical HooDoos, I knew I would not rest until I ventured deep into that valley for what would surely be a mind-blowing hike.
Ever since I made its acquaintance in early 2014, Bryce Canyon National Park is THE national park I wanted to revisit. When first there, we’d only seen the HooDoos from high places like this, which was STILL pretty spectacular! (See full details of the 2014 trip here: 3 Days, 2 Nat’l Parks, 1 Bum Foot: Miracles and Inspiration) . . .
One of the toughest tasks I’ve ever undertaken was to whittle down two hundred twenty-five Bryce Canyon photos into a subset to share with you, my readers. The best I could do is trim my full set of photos down to one hundred twenty. Since I don’t want you to be as saturated with Bryce as I was, without the benefit of actually being there, I’m splitting the photos between two different posts-half here, half on the next. You’ll think it impossible for a place to sustain its beauty and your attention for so long, but, believe me, it does and it will should you go yourself some day.
A narrow walkway leads to this distant spire . . .
a spire which begs for a photo shoot.
Who are we to decline the offer?
But make no mistake . . . it’s a long way down should we slip and fall.
Those specks below on the trail are people! . . .
The trails are completely intriguing. Curved stone doorways beckon you to enter.
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks. It is, in my opinion, the BEST OF THE BEST in Utah, and that’s saying a lot. Utah is a MUST GO destination for mind-altering, highly accessible, unique scenery.
I did most of my hiking in Utah last year on a bum foot, courtesy of plantar fasciitis. I thought the three-week national park trip would be a bust because of it, but there were enough options (especially in Utah) to enjoy the parks to their fullest.
This particular hike was a huge commitment for me, more than I suspected I could handle with a recently injured foot, but I deeply wanted this HooDoo experience.
We headed out on the Queens Garden Trail with the intention to “see how it goes” and either double back after visiting “the garden” (almost a mile down into the valley) or continue on. The nice thing about Queens Garden is you get a real bang for your buck. With just a two-mile commitment, you’ll be “in the HooDoos” and will feel momentarily satisfied.
You’ll find shady places to hide from the sun and benches spread out along the trail that will be much appreciated on the walk back up to the top.
And, of course, you’ll see the Queen looking out over her garden!
Vistas and passageways abound, calling upon you to stay and explore . . .
and you’ll have to decide, once out of the Queens Garden, whether to backtrack from whence you came or continue on other trails. I felt good at the time and chose to continue on. Should you ever do the same, realize that you are pretty much on the hook for the full round trip. At some point, it seems plain ridiculous to head back.
If you believe in mystical energy, you’ll find fallen tree branches drenched in powerful energy. If you don’t believe, you’ll find instead really cool-looking fallen tree branches . . .
Here are some other sights along the way . . .
All in all, we completed an eight-mile-long round trip, which took a solid four-and-a-half hours to complete. My foot stopped cooperating in the last two miles. Be forewarned that you have to drop down into that valley and, of course, come back up, but you also have to rise and fall many times throughout the hike to navigate the irregular landscape, up and over hills and often through them. Initially, I had this thought that I’d hike down into the valley, hike some more on mostly level ground, and then hike up out–not true.
I had a hiking stick with me, which I strongly suggest you have as well (it gets steep in parts), and PLENTY OF WATER, even just for the Queens Garden trail. If you misjudged and didn’t equip yourself with these necessities, you’ll be happy to see this when you finish your hike.
As for us, it would be five more miles beyond the Queens Garden trail before we would rest our eyes on this happy sight. Instead, we continued on the Peek-a-Boo trail and finished out on the Navajo Trail.
On my next post, I’ll share the rest of our hike. ‘Til then . . . Adios! Au revoir! And Happy Trails!
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