This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (http://rbmartiniv.smugmug.com).

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Canadian Rockies

The following photographs were taken in the Banff/Jasper area on our recent trip to the Canadian Rockies. The weather varied from snowy to bright sunshine. It was snowing at Lake Louise, effectively blotting out the far side of the lake, which kept me from getting any good shots of the lake.

Unnamed lake.

Unnamed lake.

Lake Minnewanka.

Lake Minnewanka.

Lake Minnewanka.

Banff as viewed from the summit of Sulfur Mountain.

The Banff Springs Hotel seen from Sulfur Mountain.

Banff Springs Hotel from across the river.

Morraine Lake.

Canoes on Lake Louise.

Lake Louise Chateau.

Snow-covered flowers at Lake Louise.

Snow-covered flowers at Lake Louise.

Unnamed waterfall.

Sunset in Jasper.

Maligne Lake.

Maligne Lake.

Maligne Lake.

Tour boats on Maligne Lake.

Maligne Lake from Spirit Island.

The Columbia Icefields.

Walking on the icefields.

Transportation on the icefields.

Transportation on the icefields.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Pitoe Lake between Jasper and Banff.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Along the highway from Jasper to Banff.

Bull elk on shore of the Athabasca River.

Rafting on the Athabasca River.

Rafting on the Athabasca River.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Canada Coming Up!

We will be making a quick trip to Canada prior to our Grand Circle Tour. This trip will be by air to Calgary and then traveling to Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies for a week. I hope to be able to post some nice photos of the trip. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Grand Circle Tour

Some call it Utah’s Grand Circle, but it includes parts of New Mexico and Arizona also. Whatever you want to call it, we will be on it in October. We will be spending three nights at each location to see as much as possible. The trip will start with a visit to Monument Valley, the place where so many of those old Westerns were filmed. The photo at the top of this page was taken on the approach to monument valley. After Monument Valley, we will head up to Moab, UT where we will take in Arches National Park, Canyon Lands, Dead Horse Point, and other area attractions.

From Moab we will strike out for Bryce Canyon National Park, checking out Capital Reef National Park along the way. After three nights at Bryce we will continue to Zion National Park with side trips to the Grand Staircase and the Escalante National Monument. Back on the road after three days we will drive down to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for the final three nights of the Grand Circle. From Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon will have been a total of 708 miles spread over four travel days. We will be heading back to Texas from the Grand Canyon.

We made this trip about ten years ago and have been wanting to go back for some time. I am hoping to get a lot of good photos and will be posting some of them during the trip. Be sure to check back in October to see them.
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Alaskan Photos


Here are some photos from the Alaska trip.

Our cottage in Fairbanks.

The Alaskan Pipeline near Fairbanks.

An Alaskan bush pilot's float plane.


A sled dog kennel and training facility.


A living history park depicting a typical native Alaskan village.

A native Alaskan cabin.


Salmon filets hanging on a drying rack.

Salmon filets in the smoke house.

Wild flowers.


Dome car on train trip from Fairbanks to Denali National Park.

Mama bear and two cubs at Denali.


Polychrome Basin at Denali.

Polychrome Basin.

The 92-mile trip from park entrance to the lodge was a 6-hour bus ride!

Caribou at Denali.

Mountains at Denali. Unfortunately, Denali itself stayed hidden by the clouds.

The Kantishna Lodge at Denali.
 
Helicopter ride out to Knik Glacier.


Enroute to the glacier.

Glacier coming up.

The glacier (through dirty windshield).


Looking straight down at the glacier.



Landed on the glacier.






Yours truly and Carol Ann on the glacier.



Another group of people on the glacier (from another helicopter).




Taking off from the glacier.


Return to the Knik River Lodge.

This is NOT the ship on which we cruised the inland waterway!

Wake of the boat.

Skiffs and kayaks stored on the top deck.

The inland waterway.



Bridge of our boat.

A skiff preparing to take a group ashore.


Kayaks readied for use.

Launching kayaks from rear of the boat.


A bald eagle watches as we paddle by.

"Row, row, row your boat...."


A forest walk ashore.




Our boat in the distance.

We went where the large cruise ships could not go.










A pod of humpback whales "bubble netting". The dive deep and then swirl to the surface while blowing bubbles, which acts like a net in keeping the school of fish together while the whales come up from below with their mouths open.








Our boat in the mist.

Wild flowers.

Exploring ashore.


A flock of gulls flies over our boat.

Wolf paw prints in the sand.


A bear print compared to my boot.

More wolf tracks.

Resting.

Interior hall of the boat. State rooms on each side.

The bar. Opened in the morning and remained open as long as anyone was there. All drinks were free. Well, not exactly. I'm sure we paid for them in the cost of the cruise. But it was nice not to have to worry about paying for everything.

The forward lounge of the bar.

The dining room.


The activities/information board.

Anchor wench on the front of the boat.

Outside walkway on one side of the boat.

The sundeck.

The bridge.



Our cabin.



A glacier up close.




Snow pack on shore.

These next three are out of order. This is mile 450 of the Alaskan Pipeline.

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A river paddlewheeler and day cruise tour.