Archive | December, 2011

Best of the Blog: 10 Favorite Travel Photos

‘Tis the season for self-reflecting naval gazing. A time when every media outlet in the country goes overboard with annual retrospectives. We figured we’d pile on with one of our own.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, we selected 10 of our favorite photos taken during some of the 70 different stops we made over the course of this past year. Each photo headline links back to the specific blog post where we first published the image, all of which are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t seen them before or revisiting even if you have.

New Orleans

Why we love this photo: The festive Mardi Gras beads and the classic wrought iron work set against grey skies and cast in somber tones conveys many of the contradictions we find so fascinating in this great American city.

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Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park

People (bottom right) begin the long climb at Great Sand Dunes National Park

The sound of our huffing and puffing obscured the fact that Great Sand Dunes is the quietest national park in the US. We didn’t notice. How could we? Getting oxygen seemed a more pressing matter.

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Aurora Chasing, Frigid Cold, and Future Plans

The mental images we develop of places we’ve never been are the first casualties of travel. Nothing is ever really how we imagine. The warm southern states I pined for during 39 winters in the Northeast are one such illusion. We’ve discovered that reliable winter warmth can only be found by traveling to the farthest southern reaches of the country; or by leaving it entirely.

Of the two, the second option is more desirable. There are just too few places in the U.S. to explore during all those long winter months. Southern Florida was great and Texas, well, I’ll have more on that later, but we’re really not keen on returning to the same couple of places year after year. Next winter we’re considering jetting off to South East Asia.

But yesterday’s BBC article about aurora borealis chasing has me rethinking those long-term plans. Seeing the Northern Lights is high on my to-do list and the next two years promise peak activity. Unfortunately winter is prime time viewing owing to extraordinarily long nights. It’s also prime time cold.

So can these two hot-house flowers withstand arctic conditions to witness one of nature’s greatest displays? Probably not. But we’re thinking about it.

Image courtesy of Beverly & Pack

Speed and Splendor Down Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak Bike Ride

In retrospect it seems a little stupid. Jostling to be in the front of the pack with the fastest riders wasn’t necessary. I could have, maybe I should have, slowed down and simply enjoyed the view. But it isn’t everyday you get to fly down the 14,100 foot summit of Pikes Peak on a mountain bike. I was going to make the most of it.

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Photo of the Day: One Small Step

Off the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Taos, New Mexico

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