Road trip across America: The grandest stop

My mom, the dog, and I made it home to North Carolina after almost a week of driving. We took the southern route across, driving I-40. Each day, we tried to see at least one fun or amazing thing. The first big stop was the grandest (and also my favorite): the Grand Canyon.

Though pictures don’t do justice, and, quite frankly, neither do words, here are three photographs from our visit there. We arrived in the dark and woke up in the park.

The first shot I took as we reached the rim

That white stuff you see in the foreground of the photo above? Yep, it’s snow. The bitter wind and cold made it hard to linger, but the beauty made it hard to leave.

Below, you can see people to give a bit of perspective. I think you really have to see it for yourself, though.

The morning was quiet and cold, with just a few visitors braving the elements to visit the rim.

Look closely, and you just might glimpse the Colorado River.

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?

Merry Christmas!

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Beauty above and along the Columbia River Gorge

In last week’s post, I took you on a tour of Portland’s International Rose Test Garden. This week, I’m inviting you along for a trip to Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, a short drive outside of Portland.

As I write this, California’s Central Valley is facing yet another day of brutal, record-breaking heat. I can hardly believe that just two weekends ago, I was standing at the foot of snow-covered Mt. Hood.

Staring up at Mt. Hood

If I could teleport myself there now, I would lie in the snow and make snow angels.  Continue reading

Of runners and fisherpeople

I did a double-take as I read the first line of the email:

We hope you are holding up well and still getting in your runs during this rainy winter!

I still get emails from race organizers in the southeast, and, at first glance, I expected to read about the weekend’s snow and ice making it hard for runners to get out the door. Winter running can be frustrating where I’m from, especially when ice transforms roads into skating rinks.

But this particular email came from someone here in California, and instead of fretting over icy roads, the concern was all the wonderful rain we’ve gotten. The email’s author organizes hard-core races: races that climb mountains in relentless sun, races where it’s not uncommon to spot tarantulas, races involving trails at a place named for the devil. And he’s worried us being able to train in the rain?

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Playing in a winter wonderland

It may not feel like winter where you are (or where I am, of that matter), but I’m enjoying some time off and playing in this wonderland—snow-covered or not.

I hope you won’t mind me taking a break to enjoy time with family and friends this week. I’ll be back next week to greet the new year with you.

In the meantime, to encourage you to head outside, here’s a photo of someone who loves to play outside, no matter the weather:

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My pup with her favorite tennis ball in her favorite kind of weather (from 2014)

Blessings to you at the close of 2015. I’d love to hear how you’re wrapping up the year and ringing in a new one!