susan, at the hot springs

On our recent travels, Susan and I visited hot springs both at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge and the Alvord Desert. The springs at Hart were pretty crappy  — they looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in, like, ever — but the Alvord Hot Springs (good info here, on SoakOregon) were quite delightful. So wonderful, in fact, that we went a couple of times.[1.If you look at recent comments on the Web about the Alvord Hot Springs, you’ll see plenty of people complaining about the fact that the new owners of the springs charge $8 for a soak (24 hours of access to the pools, actually, or free with camping on their site). I never visited the old springs, but there were lots of old complaints about them being dirty and disgusting. Today, these springs are hot, clean and peaceful. It was worth the $8, in my opinion.]

I love this shot of Susan, looking out on the desert landscape, with my iPhone, once again. I have a bunch of good ones that I shot inside the springs, but this is my favorite.

The photo reminds me that part of our purpose when we set out on our travels this year was to find a few special places and new experiences. It’s been a great year, and I’m glad to have this memory (and the photo) as part of it.

An edited version this photo appeared in my Instagram feed a bit ago…

(As always, click the photo to see it larger.)

along the trail

hoover-dam-railroad-trail

I have been going through photos from the first trip this past spring, and happened upon this one, from a lovely afternoon in Boulder City, Nevada. The National Park Service has built a gorgeous hiking trail that follows the railroad line that brought supplies and building materials to the construction site of the Hoover (neé Boulder) Dam back in the late 1920s.  The trail follows Lake Mead and ends up at the dam 3.7 miles later.

We had a great hike[1.Although I couldn’t enter the dam’s damn visitor center because I refused to give up my Leatherman. Really? What am I going to do?], and I got this nice shot  of Susan in one of the huge railroad tunnels along the trail. (Click to see it bigger.)