The best things in life are free

We have wants and desires that are far beyond our reach – that 100 foot (30 meter) yacht, that palace on the Riviera or winning the lottery.

None of these are going to happen but we keep wishing.

Yet, we overlook the simple but wonderful pleasures of everyday life:

the best things

  • The sound of gentle rain in the early morning
  • Watching a sunset on a mild fall evening
  • The distant sound of a train whistle from the open window of your room
  • Being awakened by a gentle caress on your cheek…

 

                … unless you happen to be in jail at the time.

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Facebook Foolishness

I have spent too much time on Facebook rather than blogging.  Here is the result.

Outcome of Political Arguments on Facebook

Acadia National Park

 

In a year of trips and travel, my wife and I added one more – a week in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor or, more phonetically, Bah Ha Bah, where we pahked ah cah in the yahd and ate labstah.

I got a shock when we arrived at what I thought was our rental house, mistaking the abandoned house next door for our rental.  The actual rental property was very pleasant.

 

Along with plenty of seafood, we got to see the sights of Acadia – lighthouses, seashores, beaches and the Carriage Road Bridges.  Well, I got to see one bridge and will save the others for another trip.

 

Added to our previous trip to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier, I made it to four national parks this year to add to a total of 16 out of 62 US National Parks.  I’ve gotten to some heavily traveled ones – Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon – and a few uncommon ones – Dry Tortugas – but I doubt I’ll make it to all 62.  Some of them require quite a hike:  American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and Voyageurs in the middle of Lake Superior as well as two above the Arctic Circle in Alaska.

We met a fellow at Acadia who was sprinting his way through most US National Parks, sometimes visiting two a day!  The US National Parks are meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace, not raced through like a marathon.

What is the most remote or least traveled park you have been to?

National Parks trip – Glacier

Our National Parks trip ended at Glacier National Park where we stayed at the Lake McDonald Lodge.  Glacier is not named for its (diminishing) glaciers but for the process of glaciation that formed the park’s terrain.

There are two routes that run north/south on the eastern and western side of the park.  Lake McDonald Lodge is reached by the western route.  Going-to-the-Sun run cuts directly across the park from west to east through Logan Pass but, due to the high elevation and heavy snows, it is often closed until late June.

Since we took our trip early, the road was only open to Avalanche Creek.  We did get to hike the Avalanche Creek trail up to Avalanche Lake and were rewarded with breathtaking views as well as siting both a black bear and grizzly bear!

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Glacier Black Bear

Glacier Grizzly

 

National Parks trip – to Butte, MT?

 

Butte, MT is not on most people’s list of places to visit when going to National Parks.  In fact, it is not of most people’s list of places to visit period.  It is, however, halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.  We decided to break up an over eight hour drive by spending the night at the Copper King Mansion, now a bed and breakfast in Butte, MT.

According to Wikipedia, the Copper King Mansion is a 34-room residence of Romanesque Revival Victorian Architecture that was built from 1884 to 1888 as the residence of William Andrews Clark, one of Montana’s three famous Copper Kings.  We stayed in the Master Suite.  The owners, Erin and Pat, were very gracious and knowledgeable about the mansion and its restoration and upkeep.  After a delicious breakfast and a full tour of the mansion, we continued on to Glacier National Park.

Copper mining in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was done by pit mining with headframes, the structural frame above the underground mine shaft.  Open pit mining – the Berkeley Pit – did not occur until the mid-twentieth century and was closed in 1982.