Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween 2011

I like scary, creepy and things on the dark side. I'm sure many of you remember some of my doll head posts from last year. If not, and you like creepy looking stuff, check them out.  I have some plans for next Halloween involving those same dolls and some fiber optic lighting.

There always has to be a creepy pic of my granddaughter Tay.

Can you imagine how un-scary Halloween would be if it took place during the daytime. Scary costumes just don't work in the sunlight. Especially if it's a cheesy 19 dollar costume with a cheap plastic mask. But if you take the same costume and wear it at night under the right lighting conditions, then it's a whole different ballgame.

Voodoo? Who do? You do!
Again, a cheap wall hanging can be easily transformed into something a bit creepier than it was intended to be.  This mask was hanging on a wall and brightly colored until I altered it just a tiny bit.

A 99 cent mask

My favorite scary movie of all time is the Blair Witch Project. I pick it for one reason and one reason only. It scares the crap out of me!

Click this image to see some Halloween posts by other folks

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Southern Utah Jeep Trek

As you know, a few weeks ago we took a roadie to Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.  During our stay we took a few back road/no road treks. In my last jeep based blog post I referred to this trip and said it was a bit scarier.  So, I'll just start this post with the scary part.   (the best pic of this post is the last one, but I hope you look at the entire post)

The other side of the jeep is very close to a sheer cliff. You can see for yourself how far this side is from the a drop off that was at least 100 feet straight down.

This is before the road got really narrow. Same drop off here, but the road was a bit wider.  My wife was afraid to ride in the jeep while we passed through here, so I had her take a photo. Just kidding. She was driving. We usually split up our RV and/or jeep driving.  I wasn't afraid, honest!  As far as the road goes, this was actually the smoothest part.  After this portion...

We got to use this "road?" next. I'm not sure I'd call it a road, but at least we didn't have to worry about falling off a cliff. We were on this one for a long time. The rough ride was worth it because it took us to a BLM (bureau of land management) road that was pretty nice.
Our goal was an awesome grove of Oak trees at the base of those mountains. Once we were almost there, we found a barricade across the road. We weren't too happy that we came all that way for nothing. Oh well, we had a good time getting there.

Okay, enough of that, now for some photos, not taken through a window...

When we got to the barricade, we were at the base of the large grayish mountains in the far background.  For those of you in the Utah area, we started our trek from the small town of Hurricane.

This was my favorite photo of the day


Monday, October 24, 2011

Snowbirds (of sorts)

I thought I'd give you all a break from all the Red Rocks. We just returned from a roadie to the central coast of California. There is a grove of trees in Pismo Beach State Park that is the largest wintering spot for Monarch butterflies in the western U.S. We were a few weeks early, but there were plenty already arriving from their long journey from the north (Canada mostly). The migration takes so long that NONE of the butterflies who started on the journey south, are alive when they return home. Talk about nature doing amazing things... It's just one more thing that I can't really get my mind around. That's enough words for today, so here are some pics.


Monday, October 17, 2011

The Hawk At The End Of The Road

Although we are no longer on our last road trip (AZ & UT), I still have at least two blog posts to do relating to it. At this moment we are in Oceano, California, which is on the central coast. I'm happy to report that today's long drive from the southern end of the state was the easiest on record. We actually breezed through Los Angeles and the Valley. Once we got to the RV campground (is that an oxymoron?), we took a nice (not so much) long hike through coastal sand dunes that seemed more like they belonged in the Sahara Desert. At the end of the hike there was a magnificent oasis called the Pacific ocean. You don't get to see those photos yet! First, we have to do a couple more posts from the last trip.

This wasn't the roughest ride on our trip, but we "heard" it would lead us to a nice place.

And so it did.

When you are in this part of Arizona, it seems like every road leads to the Oak Creek. Back roads don't seem to be enough for us, so we started hiking along the banks of the creek.

As out of the way as it was, the rope swing over the creek (behind my wife) told us that this was somebody's swimming hole.

Oak Creek is an awesome free flowing large creek that meanders all over this part of Arizona.

I posted a sample pic of this guy a week or so ago.  I wish he was sitting next to something else to give the size of this guy some scale. He was HUGE!

He was no more than 10 feet from us and had no fear what-so-ever.  We have many red tail hawks where we live, but none of them are as big this guy. I'm still not sure exactly what kind of hawk he was.  I wanted him to take off so I could get a photo or two of his wingspan. We waited and waited, he did nothing. We yelled, he just stared at us. I had given up when all of a sudden he took off. I didn't really have time to aim or focus my camera and had to shoot from the hip. That didn't work out too well. I got a shot of my own knee, one of the sun, one of blue sky and one of him that was too blurry to use.

No post about this part of the country is complete without some of this.

Or this...


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Pavement Ends

Heading out of Sedona

We came to a fork in the road. We opted for the left. (I know it's not really a fork, but I need it for my story)
Pavement? We don't need no stinking pavement!

Hey, this isn't so bad!

It's deteriorating a bit

Getting bumpy (a cheap reflection for Weekend Reflections, but it's all I have this week)

Getting off the beaten path, but still a great view

The road is now getting, hey wait a minute, where's the road?

The road may be bad, but the view is spectacular

Another very bumpy stretch

Not much better

This is like driving up a set of stairs. The photo doesn't really reflect how steep this is.

Just about finished. A couple of kidney transplants and we will be just fine!

Just because I liked it!
We'll be leaving on another roadie this Sunday. Going to another of our favorite areas, the Central California coast. I still have a few posts to do on this trip first. One is of an awesome place called Snow Canyon and the other is a from another jeep outing. This one was a bit scary at times.

Weekend Reflection:
For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections by James.  There are at least a hundred folks, most of them really good photographers who participate.

Pay it Forward:
Darn it, I almost forgot about another bloghop I singed up for. This one was started by the lovely and talented Alex J. Cavanaugh. The idea is to post three blogs that we really like, to give them some exposure. I could do this for many more than three, but here they are. I love these three blogs and think they deserve a much bigger following.

The Non-Review This is one of my absolute favorite blogs. Tim is not only a great person, he is also one of the most creative and funny people I've run across. He has several running series of posts that are great.

Sleepless in Gainesville Faye is a fantastic observer, photograper and all around great person. Her blog is one of my go to places. I think you'll really appreciate her blog during the long and cold winter. It's sunny and bright and most of the photos are from a place where it never snows.

Stickup Artist: Living in the Wild Wild West Truly an amazing photography blog. I aspire to take photos as good as the ones regularly posted on this blog.  Once again, not only a great talent, but run by a nice person.

I'm sorry I combined these two things together. I would never do that on purpose. It's just that I'm so darn A.D.D. that I, what was I saying?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just Sedona

Just a few shots of why everyone who comes to Sedona wants to come back. 

The City of Sedona has such strict building codes (including paint colors) that the houses disappear into the desert. They do have a couple of streets with restaurants, stores, motels, etc, but none of it is very close to the beautiful scenery.

these houses aren't as close to the rocks as it appears

On Friday I'll be posting some pics from a morning of exploring jeeps roads and no roads. 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Page Springs to Sedona

A few photos taken on the drive from where we were camped (Page Springs) to Sedona.

Big skies everywhere

A new building designed in the style of an old mission.

All of a sudden, there it is.  Driving into Sedona never fails to take my breath away.  The building restriction in Sedona are so strict that structures don't have much of an impact on the view.

I posted my own video of a panoramic view of Sedona, but it didn't work! So, here is one from a commercial tour company. I just wanted you all to see what it's all about. I've never been on a helicopter tour of the place (or any other) because I'm too cheap.

Although our trip was to the Sedona Az, area, our actual destination was to a VERY small place called Page Springs. It may or may not have been a part of another small town called Cornville, but we never figured it out.  Anyway, it's about 10 miles or so outside of Sedona.
As said a while back, Sedona is beautiful and we love it, but this trip was more about the exploring the back roads. On Wednesday, I'll get started on that.