It is something of a tradition, especially if you live near Lexington Green in Massachusetts; you simply cannot help yourself. So wrapped in blankets, in the dead of the night, you dutifully answer the call to stumble out to the Green to watch Paul Revere ride out from Buckman Tavern after previously alerting John Hancock and Samuel Adams that the “Regulars were coming out!”
We had only planned one night in Moab, so we had to make the most of our time in Arches National Park notwithstanding the lingering cloud cover. And while I’m sure that you can get completely lost in the wilderness, we stuck to the road and the “flatter” trails.
I first spotted the clouds that would dog us for the next three days on the descent from the South Rim and Kaibab Plateau on the way to Page, Arizona and Antelope Canyon. “This is not going to be good,” I thought to myself.
Not good indeed.
For three long days, those clouds–nary a drop of rain between them–formed a flat and featureless plane that turned drab what otherwise would have been dramatic scenery.
Traveling north towards Moab, deja vu overwhelmed me. You see, I’d been there before; just after college when I decided to celebrate my degree with a three week Outward Bound adventure. My particular poison combined two weeks backpacking in the La Sal Mountains and one week running the San Juan River.
There was Mexican Hat and the bridge above the first rapids on the San Juan through which we piloted our river boats–really inverted bathtubs.
And there was the turn off that we had taken to get up into the La Sal Mountains after a long and bewildering bus ride from Farmington, NM, past Shiprock and Blanding.
To say that those three weeks influenced me would be an understatement. We lived up in the mountains for two weeks where I experienced altitude for the first time. Then we ran the class III rapids on the San Juan down to Lake Powell.
Those three weeks forged me. It birthed my penchant for the outdoors, my spirit creature, and a nickname, “Gator.”
And now I was back.
A tear fell onto my cheek.
Well, awe inspiring anyway given that it is hidden no more thanks to the internet. Now, thousands throng to the slot canyon outside of Page, Arizona hoping to capture a shot to post onto their Instagram to declare to everyone that “I too have been here!” Continue reading “Antelope Canyon”
There is no more iconic scenery in the Western United States than the buttes and mesas of Monument Valley. Serving as the backdrop in countless movies and television shows, the views evoke an intimate connection to the past. Continue reading “Monument Valley”
Who would have thought that the crew of the Coast Guard Eurostar Dolphin that patrols the San Francisco Bay would do what we all would if we got to ride along–take videos with your smartphone?
But there was the crewmember with his smartphone out taking pictures of all the tourists taking his picture as the Dolphin buzzed the Golden Gate and Chrissy Field.
Out scouting locations from which I could shoot the super blue blood moon, I haphazardly came to Fort Point at the literal end of the road. Having ruled out any of the sightlines that the location lent, I headed into the Fort to which I hadn’t been in more than 15 years.
Clearly, 15 years is too long.
Though only a few miles across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, the Lodge at the Golden Gate—aka Cavallo Point—is worlds away.
Lounging in the settees, wrapped in fuzzy warm blankets under heat lamps if necessary, on the patio outside Farley Bar and Murray Circle Restaurant, the world’s cares slip away as you sip some lovely Sancerre and munch on freshly popped truffle popcorn all in view of the Golden Gate. The burgers and seasonal cocktails are pretty great too. Your only regret will be that you didn’t book a room or a massage at the spa and now have to drive yourself back to reality.