Friday, December 31, 2010

The Incredible Journey :: Favorite Places

September 1, 2009 through December 19, 2010. One year, 3 months, and 18 days. 58, 727 miles. 38 States and 4 Canadian Provinces. 23 National Parks-Monuments-Seashores.

It has been an amazing ride! “What's your favorite place?” is the question I've been asked the most. It is a difficult question to answer but some places and “adventures” do, for various reasons, stand out from the rest. But I can honestly say that there hasn't been anyplace that I haven't enjoyed. Sure, the weather is sometimes uncooperative, the facilities might not be the greatest, and weird things that you have no control over do happen. But it is all part of the adventure! Even if I could, I wouldn't change any part of it!!

Niagara Falls. New York. I played the part of the perfect tourist by going to The Cave of the Winds and riding on The Maid of the Mist. And I had great fun doing it!

Maine. Visiting my cousin whom I hadn't seen in over 15 years. Kayaking. Acadia National Park. Driving along the beautiful coast.

Assateague Island. Maryland. The horses. The Sunrise. Quite simply, a most wonderful and relaxing place.

Big Bend National Park. Texas. It was here that I got my first taste of “real” hiking. And it was here that I discovered I was physically capable of more than I thought. And it was here that Mother Nature really turned it on – 80 degree temperatures one day and snow the next! I loved the range and diversity of the landscape. The mountains and the desert.

Chiricahua National Monument. Arizona. A delightful surprise with challenging trails. I was so enchanted by this place that I visited it twice! The first time was in the second week of March with a return visit six weeks later.

Death Valley National Park. California. Beautiful wildflowers. Sand dunes. Desert. Mountains. And a surprising up-close encounter with a coyote.

Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona. Specifically The Bright Angel Trail. I met my friends Sue and Fred for an unforgettable journey into the Grand Canyon. It was my first night sleeping out in the open, beneath the stars. And my first overnight backpacking hike. It was challenging and at times I wasn't sure I would make it back up to the rim!

Zion National Park. Utah. Angels Landing Trail. I surprised even myself with this little hike! Challenging. Frightening. Thrilling.

Hovenweep National Monument. Utah. There was a mystical quality about this place that captured my imagination. Thought provoking.

Mesa Verde National Park. Colorado. The cliff dwellings were indescribable. Not far from Hovenweep, they too had a mystical quality about them. At times I felt that the Ancient People were walking alongside me.

Montana. After ten months on the road, I was in need of a break. Thank goodness for friends! Susan and Don allowed me to rest and relax in their vacation home in southwest Montana for almost the entire month of July! Then it was north to Glacier National Park before heading even further north.

Alaska! The culmination of a long-awaited dream. The Big Adventure. A seemingly never-ending drive through Canada. Soggy weather. Denali. Kayaking. Glaciers. Whales. Bears. Unforgettable.

A special highlight of the Journey was being able to meet other Genealogy Bloggers in person: Apple in Snowville. Denise in St. Augustine in 2009 and again in 2010. Carol in Pensacola. Kathryn, Steve, Sheri, and Craig in California. Sheri for a second time in Stockton. A bunch of bloggers at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and at the Family History Expo in Pleasanton. And, last but not least, Miriam in Spokane. There was one other blogger that I met with but for some reason it never got posted and for that I apologize – you know who you are!

left photo: Miriam, footnoteMaven, Becky, Kathryn, Cheryl, Denise, Elyse
right photo: Thomas, Joan, Becky, Randy, Miriam, Craig, and Susan

A "Page" for "The Journey 2009-2012" has been created that lists the States and some of the places I've visited. It can be accessed directly from the tab at the top of the blog.

I know that a lot of you - my readers - have come along with me on this journey across our marvelous country and I'd like to know if YOU have a favorite place, adventure, or photograph that I've posted. What did you like the most? Was there something specific that didn't you like? Tell me about it!


Carol said...

This post, just like your last year 3 mo and 18 days, is stunning, amazing, breathtaking, and awe inspiring.


√Čire Historian said...

Becky, you have shared so many beautiful photographs with us. Some of my personal favourites include the sunset shots of the Grand Canyon, in particular "Sunset at Hopi Point" and "Sunset at Yaki Point". Thank You for sharing your extraordinary journey with us. Cheers, Jennifer

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

My favorite part of the trip was Alaska but I've enjoyed it all. Thanks for taking me along!

Susan Clark said...

I have so loved being along for the ride. I joined halfway through and have been catching up on the earlier posts when I needed a lift - which you have ALWAYS provided. Your visits to some of my favorite spots (Death Valley, Maine) were lovely to read, but my favorites have been the places we've yet to see. Zion & the North Rim are on our schedule for this year! Chiricahua has been added to the top 10 "must sees". Thank you for sharing your adventures.

Greta Koehl said...

I've loved the whole thing, Becky, but especially some amazing photography. I hope that you incorporate your narratives and photographs into a book some day.

Michelle Goodrum said...

I'm with Greta. Your photos are outstanding and you know how to put just the right words to the pictures.

My favorite part of the trip (if there can be a favorite) was Alaska. I've always wanted to do an Alaskan cruise but you've changed my mind. I want to explore Alaska by car.

Barbara Poole said...

I feel this has been a gift to your followers, those of us who went along with you daily on your journey. This particular site is helpful, because I can go back quickly to look for the strawberry photo, the one posted for Easter, and many others, esp. Alaska. Thank you for them all. May your 2011 dreams come true (there is still lots of time).

Family Curator said...

from Maine to Alaska and to California... I loved your journey. And, most especially loved meeting you, Becky -- twice! I hope you will be back to the Golden State again. What a fabulous adventure.

Jasia said...

Somehow I missed this article when you posted it.

I have so enjoyed your travelogue! I have lived vicariously through your words and pictures. You have taken me along with you every step of the way. Often times you stepped in places I would not have dared go, lol!

Thanks for a grand adventure!

I would say that I had a couple of favorite places... The coast of California and the Grand Canyon. Actually, I loved all of your southwest photography!