Wearing a Golden Mantle

Last weekend we ventured into the grandeur of Oregon state’s only national park, Crater Lake.

Once I step onto the soil, the tingling starts in my feet and moves up to my stomach. Butterflies pirouette up my spine. The impossible blue water. Sometimes I forget to breathe.

I’ve seen it so many times, I should take it for granted. The magic of the lake is like reconnecting with enchantment through children’s eyes—seeing it again for the first time. It changes it’s garb almost every hour.

This time we were given a royal welcome by the local ambassador, a golden mantle ground squirrel. Standing on a rock wall 1,000 feet above the lake’s surface, he greeted us like old friends.

This dark-eyed beauty spun a tall tail. “Welcome to my home,” or perhaps it was “feed me.”

Where ever your travels take you this weekend, enjoy the adventure. And don’t forget to breathe.



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Cow Pasture with Cow Elk

On our last road trip through cattle country, steer dotted miles and miles of rolling grasslands and wooded glades. Some with yellow tags in their ears with numbers like 712 or 1238. Sometimes the pastures hosted cows and calves.

One early June morning in southern Alberta, we startled this elk cow grazing with the dairy cattle. The dairy cows chewed their cud and barely glanced at us. The elk high-tailed it for the woods.

The getaway vehicle.



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Sunrise over Sun Lake, Washington

Some mornings look like this.

Sunrise over Sun Lake, Washington, U.S.A. I’m sure there’s a cliche in there somewhere.

This sunrise smelled of wild sage, sweet grass, a fresh-water lake, dewy earth and a hot cup of coffee.

Where ever your travels take you, have a great weekend.



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Fire Season is in Full Swing

For those of you in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day yesterday and enjoyed the fireworks.

Speaking of fireworks, on Monday, June 3, my better half traveled through eastern Washington State on a business trip. He stopped outside the town of Soap Lake near Ephrata. The orange glow before sunrise caught his eye.

Willow Lakes Complex fire outside of Soap Lake, Washington, USA.

Wild winds whipped up the flames and pushed them across the prairie grasses and brush toward town. The fire spread to 20,000 acres consuming one small outbuilding before being contained on Thursday, June 7th. No injuries were reported.

Thank you to the emergency personnel who fight wild fires. It will be a long, hot summer.

Save travels everyone.



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The Magic of Dusk

Life sometimes offers up unexpected opportunities. My better half and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary in May. From our wedding day to this year, we’ve only spent one anniversary together. The other 23 sent him many places around the country for business.

Rather than looking at the cup as half empty, we created long distance dates to share the moments together.

On the eve of this year’s anniversary, he showed me the magic of dusk in Big Sky Country.

The sun kissing the clouds goodnight. Hardin, Montana.

He said, “This is your goodnight kiss.”

Anniversary celebrated.




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133 Days Lost at Sea on a Wooden Raft, the Poon Lim Story

A story of mental fortitude and courage and masterful primitive inventions of survival. Meet Poon Lim over at the BoFN

The Blog of Funny Names

November 23, 1942, 750 miles off the Amazon coast of Brazil: British armed merchant ship SS Benlomond traveled without convoy from Cape Town, South Africa, en route to Paramaribo, Suriname, six days from her destination. Accounts vary on the crew numbering around 55, including 25-year-old Chinese sailor, Second Stewart Poon Lim.

Poon Lim Photo by Richard Arthur Norton

German U-Boat U-172 intercepted the SS Benlomond at 11:45 a.m. firing two torpedoes. They struck the engine room and the Benlomond took on water. As the ship sank, Poon grabbed a life jacket. He and five of his crew mates—from the gun crew—abandoned ship moments before the boilers exploded. Within two minutes, the SS Benlomond disappeared into the ocean with the rest of the crew.

Poon lost sight of his five crew mates and their raft—carried away by the current. After two hours in the water, he spotted an 8’ square wooden…

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Sunrise in Columbia Falls, Montana

Welcome to summer everyone in the northern hemisphere!

Sometimes life takes us to out of the way places. But do we ever really take the time to stop and enjoy a sunrise along the way?

My better half on a recent road trip through Montana, decided to stop and enjoy the sunrise with his cup of coffee outside Columbia Falls, Montana.

The clouds split the difference between the sky and the earth in Big Sky country. Maybe the low clouds just hadn’t had their coffee yet.

I hope you get some time to unwind during all the summer activities. And for those of you in the southern hemisphere, enjoy your winter!



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