I try to get to a couple of National Parks a year to just escape the rush of the life in the city. This year we chose to head to Grand Teton National Park in the Northwest corner of Wyoming. The park itself stretches for miles along the base of the mountain range, and sitting right at the foot of the mountains are a few lakes that provide a beautiful experience unlike any park I have been to yet. The lakes feed the Snake River which winds its way through the park. We spent a week at the park, and feel like that was barely enough time to scratch the surface of the entire park. This is definitely a spot I plan on returning to in the future.
One of the most serene landscapes can be seen at schwabachers landing where beaver dams have slowed the flow of the river, and allowed for gorgeous, uninterrupted reflections of the Grand Tetons.
Mormon Row is an old settlement that has been maintained throughout the years, and offers a very unique perspective of the jagged peaks. As with most parts of the park this is best seen in the morning hours.
Oxbow Bend at sunrise with a swan swimming towards Mount Moran.
We like to go camping, and this past weekend we were at Stockton Lake in Southwest Missouri. We had been here last year and I didn’t bring my camera, and you can see why I was disappointed in myself. The spot that we camp has direct lake access and for the most part is secluded. Let me know if you like it!
Downtown. Spring has begun to show its face again after hiding for a few weeks. In the mid-west it is one of the best, if not the only, time to enjoy the outdoors. In a few weeks we will be sentenced to 4-5 months of heat that wouldn’t be as bad if we didn’t have the secondary sentence of the heavy weighted humidity to accompany it. Though that looms in the short distance, we still have a few more weeks to enjoy outside, or even inside with the windows open. I took to the downtown streets and just let my camera take me where it led. I ended up walking a few miles around the downtown area on this pleasant, partly cloudy night.
It led me over the bridge, and up the hill to the site of what would have been the third hall of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The hall would have housed the Kansas City Ballet, but funding fell through and they ended up in a great building down across from the IRS and next to Union Station. I really like this perspective as it is a great “spring” skyline shot.
Then it took me right to the front door for the Kauffman. I couldn’t resist taking a longer exposure to enhance the streaky, fast moving clouds. This building, if you can’t tell, is one of my favorite subjects in Kansas City….it also doesn’t hurt that I live within walking distance.
The final stop was as I walked back into downtown and the way the light was cast on the metal clad bridge stating it’s location. The skyline beyond was giving way to night, and the buildings begin to light the streets. Overall it turned out to be a fun springtime walk, and I have these to share!
In Kansas City, the Boulevard Brewery is just enough off the beaten path that you probably wouldn’t just stumble upon it, even though it is no more than 1/4 mile off the highway on Southwest (Boulevard). It is a place that locals love to brag about to their out-of-town guests, and the tours are so popular that you have to make reservations months in advance in order to secure a spot. The building itself is the old Santa Fe Railroad building, where sheets, table linens, napkins, etc. were cleaned for the passenger cars. It has since been added on to once already in order to accommodate the demand in new markets accross the country, and is currently undergoing further rennovations for the same reason. Boulevard is a big part of the Kansas City community, and is one of the founders of the ripple glass program in the city that recycles all shapes, colors, and sizes of glass. If you are ever in the Kansas City area make sure you book a tour and enjoy some locally made craft beer.
Our third stop in Australia was one that most people could easily overlook, but ended up being our favorite stop on our 17 day excursion. Located about 15 miles off the coast of South Australia, sits the third largest island of Australia. It only takes about 2 hours to drive across the island, but there are plenty of things to distract you from driving straight through. There are only two major towns on the island, both of which are quaint towns with a view of the ocean from the main street. You have to be something of a nature lover to really enjoy a place like this because there are not a whole lot of places to entertain you, but the natural beauty and native wildlife of course. The island is aptly named for its large population of Kangaroos, but don’t believe that is the only wildlife you will experience, as there are seals, sea lions, koalas,echidnas, wallabies, and a ton of others (you will see at least one of these even if you don’t try that hard, these are just the ones we saw). We spent two days on the island at the Wildlife Retreat on the Flinders Chase National Park side, and loved evey minute of it. We hired a car to drive around and were warned right away that despite buying the extra insurance, that we were not covered between sunset and sunrise because of the shear numbers of Kangaroos out at night. It was a great place to relax and enjoy some gorgeous wildlife and scenery. Let me know what you think.
Downtown. The word itself paints a picture in one’s mind, but sometimes the picture it paints leaves out the in between. The key components that fly at a much lower altitude than their sky scraping counterparts. Sometimes underappreciated, underwhelming, and right under your nose. These players are the supporting cast, and without them, downtown would simply not be what it is. These are a few buildings in downtown Kansas City that support the arts and culture, and even though the architecture is on a smaller scale, it is no less significant than the towers rising around it.
The Kansas City skyline, while not formiddable, definitely has a very unique character. There is also a brand new addition, with the recent grand opening of the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. I have been wanting a good overall panoramic shot of the skyline, and last night provided a pretty good backdrop. Let me know what you think!