Tag Archives: scenic photography

Coastal trip, part deux.

 

Belfast, Maine.

 

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Population  – 6,668.

 

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Once Abenaki Indian territory,  it was used by Native Americans to fish and hunt for water fowl in the summer months.

 

 

Afraid so.

Sorry…

 

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Burned by the British in 1779, rebuilt and incorporated as a city in 1850.

 

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A thriving ship building center at the turn of the century, it grew and was prosperous. Until wooden ships became obsolete.

 

 

Thanks for clearing that up.

 

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Shoe manufacturing and poultry production took over until the recession of the 1970’s, when it fell on hard times.

 

 

Local people left in droves to find employment….

 

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As out of staters were beginning to discover the beauty of the Maine coast and started buying up prime property.

 

 

Today Belfast is part working waterfront…

 

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Part tourist destination.

 

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A quaint town, a scenic harbor…

 

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With various parks to enjoy the views.

 

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In lobster trap chairs…

 

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Or lobster topped benches.

 

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We had a tasty seafood lunch …..

 

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Complete with cocktails.

(Was there ever any doubt?)

 

 

And strolled the day away.

 

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Life is good…

 

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When you live in a such a beautiful place.

 

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Because nothing ever goes smoothly.

As we were driving down to Phoenix, I checked my Delta mobile app and saw that not only had our flight been cancelled due to bad weather, but that we’d been scheduled for one the following day… which was forecast to be an even worse storm.

Thinking oh Hell no, I called the airline and argued, cursed, berated,  begged, pleaded, flirted, and okay…. promised a future child to secure us a flight for that day.

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It worked, but we couldn’t fly into Maine as planned and could only get as far as Boston. This forced the husband to frantically scour his phone contacts to see which friend he could talk into driving south 3 hours in a raging blizzard to pick us up.

You find out who your true friends are in situations like that.

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Yeah.

Because I can’t honestly say I would have done it.

And now….

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The required  she has to have the window seat so she can take pictures even though she has no idea where or what they are  aerial photos.

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No matter how many times I fly…

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I’m always that geeky kid who gets a huge kick out of looking down on our world.

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The ever changing landscapes never cease to thrill me.

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The grandeur of the mountains…

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The ridiculous giant tiddly winks….

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It’s all good.

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What do you do with a 4 hour layover in Minneapolis?

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You drink….

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You eat a surprisingly decent shrimp alfredo….

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And watch this cowpoke couple play video games without speaking to each other for over an hour and a half.

Not one word.

Ah, modern living. Where the art of conversation is well and truly dead.

Long story short…

( Who am I kidding, I’ve never told a short story in my life. This vacation was 2 weeks long and it’s taken me 48 days to blog about it. But in my defense? There were a lot of rocks.)

We arrived home exhausted at 4:30 am… after a nail biting  (just an expression, I pay way too much for these babies to nibble)  5 hour  (should have taken 2.5)  snow blinded  (there must have been a road, but we didn’t see it)  ice covered  (slipperier than a Trump family lawyer)  drive.

The end.

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No, truly.

No more rocks, no more vacation pics.

I don’t even have the next trip planned yet.

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And now..

Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Goodbye rocks…

 

The day I’d been dreading had arrived.

Our Arizona departure.

 

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(Hang on, not quite yet.)

We packed, and while cleaning out the condo I found this.

 

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Oh, sure. Hide the wild animal warning sheet where the unsuspecting tourists won’t find it until it’s too late. Heck, I would have enjoyed spotting the occasional wild pig or bloodthirsty squirrel strolling the grounds during our stay… but no. And now we’re leaving. What a rip off.

Check out time was 10:00 am, but our flight didn’t leave till 2:30 pm so we took our time and said goodbye to the rocks.

 

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The beautiful red rocks…

 

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We said goodbye to the pink sidewalks and buildings…

 

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I even said goodbye to this guy…

 

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Who was still trying to escape the rocks.

 

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We had our last chuckle at the weirdest mailbox we’d ever seen.

 

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And bid the rocks farewell…

 

 

You’re beautiful….

 

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And we will miss you..

(Okay, I’ll miss you. The husband said once you’ve seen one rock, you’ve seen them all. He’s a heathen. A heathen I tell you!)

And just like that, we were gone…

Heading down to Phoenix to catch our flight.

 

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Phoenix.

 

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Where there are no rocks…

 

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Just cactus.

 

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Lots and lots of cactus.

 

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Veritable forests of cactus.

 

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Some of them … weird.

 

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Okay…

Not that weird, but still.

Because sometimes I’m not as clever as I think.

 

 

(Shocking, I know. But true.)

Our next Arizona adventure began because I wanted to stand on a corner.

In Winslow.

Are you with me?

I had visions of positioning myself for some epic selfies that would make my friends chuckle and think…

Damn! She’s clever.

 

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So imagine my surprise when we got there….

 

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And realized that standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona was not only a huge tourist attraction, but a freakin’ cottage industry.

 

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I mean, look!

They erected a fake building as a backdrop.

For the sole purpose of people standing on the corner taking selfies.

 

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They even had the flatbed Ford…

 

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And an eagle in the window.

It didn’t take me long to realize I was not at all clever.

Or even original for that matter.

 

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Every single store we passed was loaded with ticky tacky Take It Easy memorabilia.

 

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There were loud speakers playing Eagles music… inside and out… on an endless loop.

 

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I like the Eagles but I swear, if I had to live there?

I’d never want to hear them again.

 

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The sidewalk in front of the famous corner is filled with memorial tiles, the first ones being made of concrete. But Glenn Frey came to town one day and said Hell no, let’s have brick… and donated $5,000 to the cause.

 

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The town has a Take It Easy music festival every year.

And every year they invite the band…

 

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But apparently standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona once  was more than enough for the Eagles.

And for me as well.

I didn’t even take a selfie.

Rocks, a cowboy and not quite the World’s Largest Ball of Twine…..

 

Arizona red rocks.

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Because they’re gorgeous….

 

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And I can.

 

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While cruising through these beauties in Sedona, we spotted our first cowboy.

 

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Okay, he was the only cowboy we ever spotted….

 

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And he probably wasn’t even a real cowboy, because I doubt cowboys live in houses like this…..

 

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But hey –

My post, my delusion.

 

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Our next adventure took us north to Flagstaff on a wonderful scenic road over the mountains and through Oak Creek Canyon.

 

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We’d had a little rain the night before, and when you get a little rain in these parts? You get floods, road washouts and water pouring out of cliff sides.

 

 

Route 89A is 29 miles of twisting, turning, switchback filled climbing.

 

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And well worth taking if you’re ever in the area.

After Flagstaff, we headed east…. where we saw this.

 

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And this.

 

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And a whole lotta this.

 

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Which was basically nothing, for miles on end.

Until…

 

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Until…

 

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We saw this.

 

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What is it?

 

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I have no freakin’ clue!

But clearly it was one of those marvelous old roadside attractions from back in the 50’s or 60’s. You know the ones. The World’s Largest Ball of Twine? The donut shop shaped like a donut?

 

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I’d totally make a pilgrimage to see those.

I mean really….

 

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Who wouldn’t have wanted a Brontosaurus burger?

 

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Or a piece of Shoo Fly Pie served from inside a windmill.

The giant bug is open?

 

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Let’s go!

 

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I was born in the wrong decade….

 

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Because come on, that’s pure gold.

But alas, whatever this was….

 

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It was neglected, abandoned and unloved…

And for sale!

A bygone era brought back to life?

The husband said –

 

 

But oh..

Think of the blogging possibilities.

A lost cause.

 

Making our way up the hill…

 

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We passed gardens.

 

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And rocks!

 

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And then we saw…

 

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The church.

 

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I have to say I was a little disappointed.

The setting and views were drop dead gorgeous…

 

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Look! There’s my Arizona (winters are too cold in Maine) cottage.

But the church itself?

 

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Seemed a bit of a let down.

Granted, I’m not religious and wasn’t filled with the holy spirit…

 

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But when we opened the door…

 

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And stepped inside?

I admit it.

I felt…

 

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Something.

The quiet reverence moved me.

And it’s simplicity filled me with a feeling of utter…..

Peace.

 

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No.

I’m not signing up for bible study and I won’t be saying bless you child with every second breath.

But I didn’t burst into flame upon entry either… so that was a good sign.

Downstairs, in the little gift store where the husband went to buy something for a co worker who moonlights as a pastor, I overheard the saleswoman say that many people experience odd feelings when entering this church.

I found out later that the building site is actually one of Sedona’s famous spiritual vortexes. A cross point between energy fields in the earth’s grid system. There’s a lot of woo woo surrounding the vortex phenomena …. but Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids are also built on such sites.

So who knows?

Maybe I was touched by an ancient Druid.

 

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Anyway you look at it….

 

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It was a beautiful place.

 

 

And I’m very glad we went.

 

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Even if we didn’t get to pick the flowers.

 

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Or walk on the rocks.

 

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Geesh, for a laid back spiritual place they sure had a lot of rules.

 

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So after sucking up what healing vibes we could…

 

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We headed back down.

 

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Surrounded by those lovely red rocks.

 

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[;.

 

We also passed some interesting cactus on the way out.

The blooms on this one were like hard rubber.

 

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And then there was this spikey weirdo.

 

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And finally?

 

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The end.

 

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Of this post.

Not the Arizona trip series.

 

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A heavenly spot.

Let me preface this post by saying I’m the least religious person you’re ever apt to meet. So when numerous people told us we had to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona I was like….

Yeah.

I’ll get right on that.

But visit we did, and all I can say is…..

Wow.

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It’s a strange looking place at first glance. Seeming to rise out of the rocks themselves.

(Yes, dear readers…. there will be rocks in this post)

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Sitting on the top of a hill…

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I admit I was breathless by the time we reached it.

(And no, not with the Holy Spirit. With my out of shape, menopausal, slightly over 40 – stop laughing! – body.)

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But the view from on high?

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Worth a little gasping.

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It was at this point I told the husband I’d move to Arizona if we could live… there.

In that humble abode.

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We hadn’t even reached the church yet and I was in love.

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With what?

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With the rocks!

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Well…

We all know I will.