I really enjoy the scenery in the American South. Before our trip, I researched oak trees and Spanish mosses. The entry to Wormsloe Historic Site outside Savannah, Georgia, has that classic view. We also visited the Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. There are many plantations in the Charleston area with similar views, I presume. The old architecture in the remainder of the photographs are from North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
This was my second spring in the Pacific Northwest. Last year, I frolicked amongst tulips, lilacs, and irises. This year, spring came early after a warm winter. The cherry blossoms bloomed early in downtown Portland. I returned to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, this time at sunrise to see the hot air balloons lift off.
The Twelve Apostles is a misnomer for the part of the mountain range that stretches south of Table Mountain on the Atlantic coast of Cape Peninsula. Despite the name, there are actually some 17 buttresses along the range.
We first drove down the east coast of the Cape Peninsula, past Simon’s Town, Boulders, and Smitswinkel Bay, before reaching Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. Cape Point is at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula. Cape of Good Hope is located slightly southwest to Cape Point and is also in the national park. Although these two capes are very well known, neither of them is actually the southernmost point in Africa nor the meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans; that is Cape Agulhas, about 150 km (93 mi) to the east-southeast. On a clear day, Southern right whales can be seen in the ocean. It is also home to ostriches. We then returned to Cape Town via Chapman’s Peak Drive, which is a beautiful toll road on the west coast of the Cape Peninsula between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. While only 9 km (5.5 mi), this scenic drive has 114 curves hugging the Atlantic Ocean. The road was built between 1915 and 1922, with a few closures since then for safety reasons.
Victoria Falls is actually a series of falls that runs down the Zambezi River gorges between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was discovered to the western world by David Livingstone in 1855. It can be viewed from either countries, but we remained on the Zimbabwean side for our trip. It has a width of 1,708 m (5,604 ft) and a height of 108 m (354 ft), which by comparison is about twice as wide and twice as high as Niagara Falls. The mist and spray from Victoria Falls can be very impressive during the rainy season (late November to early April), so much so that a rainforest lines the Falls in an otherwise arid region. Lucky for us, we came during the dry season, so while the water wasn’t as full, we were able to actually catch great views of the Falls.
A few years ago, I visited Grand Canyon National Park around Thanksgiving. Over three days, the weather ranged from foggy to snowy to sunny. Grand Canyon had it all! I’m not sure if there is much more to say about this place in addition to what’s already been said by everyone else. Go see it for yourself! Anyway, it’s nice looking back at all those pictures as I’m planning a return there in a few months (if everything works out).
It’s hard to describe the Badlands; no photographs or words can ever really describe the way this landscape looks and how you feel when you drive upon it. Just as you write South Dakota off as just flat prairie (if you’re driving from the east anyway), the earth depresses into colorful layered rocks. They ranges from brown to orange to red to yellow, which provide striking contrast to the surround greenery.
To get from Guayaquil to Cuenca, you have to go through mountain passes in the Ecuadorean Andes that rise up over 10,000 ft in elevation. That quick rise in elevation can easily catch up to anyone, even when you are physically fit. The lack of oxygen can be exhilarating and scary at the same time; it probably does something funny to the brain and alter the sensory experience. For us, we felt our lips tingle and saw them turning blue during a serene but short hike in El Cajas National Park.
I don’t have a life goal of visiting all of the national parks or anything like that, but I would never pass on a visit to one. Joshua Tree National Park in southern California may be a little out of the way to get to, but I loved seeing these alien-looking trees. They are native to this part of southwestern United States, which covers parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, roughly covering the region of the Mojave Desert. I may love mountains and greens, but there is something that gives me an out-of-this-world feeling whenever I go to the desert.
Crater Lake is located in Central Oregon and it is the most beautiful blue lake in the world. It was formed about 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted and collapsed upon itself to form the caldera. Over the years, rain and snow have filled this lake, which is now the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet. Two islands exist inside Crater Lake: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship.