Sunday, July 13, 2014

Life Is Beautiful!

A friend asked how many states I haven't been to, and we realized that there are less than 1/2 a dozen I've not driven through.  This time around, I realized that from Tennessee on, one drives through an undulating green sea of trees, rolling meadows and farm lands.
The shot above is from along the I-81, driving North, through Virginia.  
The next one I took while leaving a rest stop in Tennessee.
There are also sprays of wild flowers which adorn the medians of highways, including Buttercups, Day Lilies, Queen Anne's Lace, Black-eyed Susans and Daisies, like these, 
from the city of Frederick, just before I left for Korea.
Flowers are as natural a part of Eastern US's landscape, as Asia's.  I'd not noticed the lack of them growing wild this time of year in Utah and Arizona until driving here.  
Trees grow right up to and even canopy over byways, 
as pictured here on a rural route in Shenandoah Junction, WV.  
Just took this photo this afternoon.
Architectural styles range from European and early American to eclectic and modern.  I never tire of the variety.  Just this afternoon, I noticed this unusual old manor, 
somewhere on top of a hill in Virginia, I believe.
Historic Harper's Ferry is too full of nooks, crannies, hidden stairways and sharp angled roads, fascinating old buildings and a gorgeous ancient Catholic Church to capture sufficiently in the time I had today (which was borrowed), 
but it should be on your "must see" list, if you love early American towns.
 With significant involvement in the Civil War, and nestled in between the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, Harper's Ferry has survived several floods and attacks.  It
attracts tourists far and wide, and loyal residents call it home year round.  
I still remember how awed by the place my son and I were when we first moved East from AZ.  
Gently lit up at night, it's truly like a fairy land.
Seeing the historic district and embassies of Washington, D. C. are worth a trip East, in my opinion.  I took this photo when I obtained my VISA to go to Korea a couple of years ago.  But, 
you haven't really seen Maryland, until you see the outskirts and rural areas, like where I'm staying.
Lake Linganore is a community built in and around ponds, woods and farmlands.
This community is what we left when I decided to move to Utah.  
Part of me has repeatedly wondered what possessed me to make such a move. 
On the other hand, the beauty of Arizona has never been so poignantly real to me, as when surveyed from the Superstitions with my brother Joe on Wednesday, following a rain storm the night before. 
And Utah's canyons are breath-taking, like this view of Provo Canyon.
Quite simply, there is beauty EVERYWHERE, if we take the time to notice.  This has definitely been a week to drive that fact home.  Hoping this summer does the same for you!

Friday, July 11, 2014

And We're Off--Summer Fun!

The month began with the best 4th of July and birthday lunch with CAKE, (prepared by my son's beautiful wife, Karli), followed by a BBQ and fireworks 
with her sister and new husband at Sugarhouse Park.  
Now I'm on the road, headed to Maryland, to do a bit of mural painting.  I pulled off of interstate 40 earlier to find out just exactly where I am.  Chatted with some folks around my age, who are biking from WV 
to the same areas in UT and AZ I just left!  
Visited with friends and my brothers for a couple of days before heading East on Interstate 40 (aka: Route 66).  Joe and I hiked around in the Superstitions for a few hours. 
He makes a fun hiking partner!
It was the morning after a rain storm, so there were lots of critters on the trails,
along with a wonderful scent of refreshed cacti and shrubbery.
There's nothing like the desert after a storm and seriously, there are some stunning views in Arizona, like Lake Powell.  It has a surreal, other-worldly look, doesn't it?
I stayed with and visited a couple of old friends and attended the temple in Gilbert, AZ for the first time--wow.  It's Gorgeous!
Oh yes, and my friend, Rae's daughter, Michelle (now Udall) is running for State Representative!  I'm so proud of her and would vote for her if I was in her district, because she'd be great!
During that quick 2 day visit to Arizona, I was able to visit with all 3 of my brothers who live in Arizona, and that hasn't happened in years, so, it's already been an awesome summer! 

Now, as it turns out, I'm in Brinkley (Love that name--think I'll have to name a pet after it), Arkansas.  Hot, humid, and very very green here.  So, here's where I quit for the day. It's warm, very humid, and very, very green here--outside there are oodles of little toads and frogs hopping around and I love the smell of things growing in the air!
I'd intended to do this drive in 3 days.  Oh well.  2300 miles is a bit more than a jaunt and spending time with family and friends, coupled with, well, life, means too little sleep and dozing off at the wheel.