Sunday, January 27, 2013

52 Parks ~ 52 Weeks Week Four

I have begun to look forward to my adventures more and more.  There is something about donning my Timberland's   and heading down a trail less traveled alone with the birds and the sound of the wind that is so incredibly peaceful and calming.  For this week’s adventure I headed to Fort Pulaski just outside Savannah, Georgia. On my way back from the Cockspur Island Lighthouse where I may or may not have ventured down a trail that may or may not have been a legitimate NPS sanctioned trail (in my defense...until it actually "ended" it looked like a trail to me!!) I came up with a number of new sales slogans for Timberland! Because going down what looks like a trail until the tide changes and you realize that this was not a trail can end in a bad outcome...unless your boots are waterproof! 

“Timberland’s because the trail of life isn't always clearly defined.”
“Timberland’s because sometimes you have to make your own trail to get back home.”
“Timberland’s they’ll never lead you down a trail they can’t handle.”

I have more but do you get the picture?  Because down that trail... I got the picture!! Hope you enjoy this weeks shots!  #Findatrail 

Monday, January 21, 2013

52 Parks~52 Weeks Week Three

This past week at work I shared with a surgeon what I was doing with these next 50 weekends. He told me that parks like Timucuan / Ft. Caroline don't "count" as National Parks. To which I promptly replied, this is my challenge and I'm making the rules. So there you go! I am saying if they are listed on the National Park Service  then they count!!

For this week’s challenge I went to Cumberland Island GA. I had all intentions of getting to the ferry at 9AM to make the 5-6 hour guided ranger tour, and make it to the church that JKF Jr. got married in. However, on this cold dreary morning I decided sleep was more important than history. I regretted that decision!  After a ferry ride over to the island I got off at the Sea Camp stop so that I could make sure I got the stamp for my passport book that can only be gotten on the island. A short hike along the River Trail lead me to the Ice House Museum then off to the Dungeness Ruins. 

Just a small side note here, of all the parks I've been to, not just this year but all in general, this one has the worst maps and signage.  I can follow a map.  I can follow directions.  But tails not listed on the map but marked with signs that indicate areas that aren't on the map, like the Duck Pond?, were very confusing to me. And I am not sure if it is because it is an "off season" but the ferry ride was at capacity and not enough room inside on this cold day.  I would hate to see it on a rainy day!

On the positive side, Cumberland has an abundance of wild horses.  While walking up a trail from the marsh, where I was extremely glad I had on my waterproof Timberland's (...seriously, if you don't own a pair...why not) I noticed people ahead of me taking pictures of me.  Glancing behind me to see what was the fuss; I encountered a bevy of babes, mares that is, meandering up from the marsh with me. I managed an "Oh, hey ladies" as I stepped out of their way to let them pass.  When you go to Cumberland, make no mistake, for all their beauty and majesty these horses are indeed wild and should be treated as such.  So, step aside I did, and became still in their presence.  Their every hoof step carried an air of grace and poise but I did not want to spook them with any sudden movement or flashes with my camera.  I did manage to get a few shots of them that I will be using as wall art in my home!  Enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2013

52Parks~52Weeks Week two (weak too!)

For this weeks adventure we (and I say we because I have convinced my sister-in-law Jen that this is going to be the most fun legally possible) have decided to tackle the big easy and two National Parks, The National Jazz Museum, and Jean Lafitte National Park . I contact my old friend Priceline and scored a hotel not only IN the French Quarter but ON Bourbon Street!

It's at this point I feel compelled to explain a couple of things. First, after I began my quest to complete 52 National Parks is 52 weeks, I walked into work on Monday and first day, first assignment, first case, I promptly twisted my ankle. I'm talking white light blinding, ears popping, unable to process thought other than OH.-MY.-JESUS! pain, unable to stand pain. A trip to the ER later and I'm told to rest it for 1-3 days and you'll be good to go. I'm counting Monday as day one right? I mean it IS early...Two half days of work with my foot propped on an upside down garbage can doing nothing more than hyper extending my knee followed by on the couch, foot in the air draining the swelling and I should be right as rain. (Speaking of rain, we arrived in NOLA in drizzling-just-enough-to-be-annoying rain under tornado watches.) Now the hotel is right on Bourbon Street remember? And it is an exceptionally beautiful hotel (The Four Points By Sheraton) decorated with exquisite chandeliers in the lobby, details in the woodwork and absolutely NO sound proofing in the after hobbling around, in the rain, finally finding the National Jazz Museum JUST as the concert was ending (for future reference if you are headed to NOLA...go to the end of the open market, in the dark red brick building that was once the US mint. There you'll find the new location of the Jazz Museum...but to get your National Park stamp, head back up to the headquarters building in alley behind the Cafe Du Monde all the way at the end, just before the bathrooms...) Back to the hotel...with no sound proofing...sitting right on Bourbon Street...I have ear phones in playing two small beach waves, rain, and reflection...and it is NOT drowning out Bourbon Street. So here I sit, waiting for 2AM, praying that they do indeed stop in this state AT 2AM, because tomorrow, will be day four...and surely my foot won't swell, and all will be well, and it won't rain on my river boat cruise to my next National Park: Jean Lafitte...because they are planning a reenactment of the battle of NOLA!

The foot is better this morning but I am still aware of its tenderness at times on the cobblestones of the NOLA streets.  After a breakfast trip to Cafe Du Monde its off to catch a river cruise on the Creole Queen paddle boat to the Chalmette Battlefield.  I have decided hereto from this day forward to find other reenactments on my list of parks to conquer and make it a priority to be there!  I am also convinced that most of these southern gentlemen, after this battle, had to be deaf because these cannons were LOUD!  The drizzling rain made this day another day that I was so grateful and thankful for the invention that is Timberland waterproof boots! If you don't own a pair...why not?  The smoke from the cannons made for some beautiful photos.  Here is a synapse of my trip in photos, enjoy!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

52 National Parks~ 52 Weeks

So, at the beginning of the New Year I saw a lot of challenges for people to start one 365 challenge after it miles, photos, you get the point.   Well, with my schedule, I never know where I'm going to be, or what I'm going to be doing.  I'm also just not passionate about walking/running/exercising...but I AM passionate about photography and National Parks.  So the thought occurs to me...Why not do 52 National Parks in 52 weeks?  There are a lot of places that are designated National Parks without having to travel to California or Wyoming, even though I do want to include at least one MAJOR national park in my quest this year.  But today I started at home, in my backyard, in Jacksonville FL.  Today I visited Ft. Caroline National Park, that actually included THREE parks in one small area! So even though it was three...I'm going to count it as one...however if later in the year I am unable for whatever reason to complete a park one week, I am totally planning on counting each one individually!! Today's parks were: Fort Caroline National Memorial Park, Gullah-Geechee National Heritage Corridor, Timucuan Preserve and technically a fourth because Gullah-Geechee National Heritage Corridor was divided into Timucuan Preserve and Fort Caroline sections! 
I could change the name of this blog to 52 Parks 52 Weeks...OR This-is-what-happens-when-you-buy-a-pair-of Timberland waterproof hiking boots! (Yes I got my Timberland's in September when I went to Yosemite and I completely plan on wearing them out!!)
Here are a couple of my images of the day.  I love how the lens caught a rainbow! 

I know I may just have my head in the clouds on this adventure...but never-the-less it is my challenge to myself for the year.  I'll be sure to keep you informed on my journey!