Tag Archives: travel

please.

“When we feel weak, we drop our heads on the shoulders of others. Don’t get mad when someone does that. Be honored. For that person trusted you enough to, even if subtly, ask you for help.” – Lori Goodwin

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Near Cortez, CO

Near Cortez, CO

http://www.city-data.com/forum/colorado/1231841-colorado-desert-lands-high-desert-terrain.html

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“It’s incredibly touching when someone who seems so hopeless finds a few inches of light to stand in and makes everything work as well as possible. All of us lurch and fall, sit in the dirt, are helped to our feet, keep moving, feel like idiots, lose our balance, gain it, help others get back on their feet, and keep going.” – Ann Lamott

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Near Cortez

Near Cortez

http://www.bambooandmore.info/2012/08/southwest-trip-day-12-window-rock-az-to.html

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“A fine glass vase goes from treasure to trash, the moment it is broken. Fortunately, something else happens to you and me. Pick up your pieces. Then, help me gather mine.” – Vera Nazarian

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near-cortez-co

near-cortez-co

http://southwestdesertlover.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/respect/

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Ride the boardwalk.

Turquoise Beach Cruiser Amongst The Hydrangeas - 8 x 10 Photography Print

Turquoise Beach Cruiser Amongst The Hydrangeas – 8 x 10 Photography Print

https://www.etsy.com/listing/63880766/turquoise-beach-cruiser-amongst-the?ref=usr_faveitems

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Cheese and chocolate.

Old-Town-Fribourg

Old-Town-Fribourg

http://bluelinerhockey.com/travel/switzerland/fribourg/

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The Swiss PTT was having some challenges with broadcast television equipment they bought and installed at their facility in Zurich, Switzerland back in 1986.  As product manager, I flew over from where I was based in California, along with the chief engineer.  We went to several customer site appointments in other locations including Fribourg, Bern and Geneva before taking a train from Fribourg to Zurich for the meetings with the PTT (broadcast network) folks.

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Fribourg

Fribourg

http://www.fribourgtourisme.ch/en/

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Although I have traveled many times before and since, this trip set the standard for local employees taking us under their wing. Although we stayed in small hotels during the ten-day stay, every evening we went with one of the sales people, engineer or manager out to dinner, usually with the host’s family. One kind person invited us into his home for a home-cooked meal.  There were memorable nights including experiencing a local cheese fondue restaurant. On the weekend, another person took us to an all-wild-game restaurant in Bern, and then to explore several historic places afterwards. What a relaxing delight it was to dine, enjoying the conversation as well as the surroundings.

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Fribourg

Fribourg

Founded in 1157 by Duke Berthold IV of Zaehrigen, Fribourg is steeped in 850 years of history and is one of Europe’s most charming and well-preserved medieval cities. This French-German bilingual city and capital of Canton Fribourg is a cultural treasure trove with the St. Nicolas Cathedral and numerous Gothic buildings. As a university city, higher education and the arts intermix with a variety of interesting events. The bridges over the River Sarine that link French to German-speaking Switzerland ensure its multicultural ambiance, which is also found in its many gourmet restaurants.

http://www.pictures-switzerland.com/fribourg/index.htm

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While I stayed in Fribourg, I visited the Cathedral of St. Nicholas a couple of times as well as watched the town’s St. Nicholas parade where St. Nick rides on a white donkey as dark robed, hooded figures walked along beside him. Certainly not the Santa on a fire truck I had seen as a child! It was an early December night and many spectators held small lit candles. It was magic.

The town is incredibly steeped in history. I saw parts of a medieval castle that was now flats (apartments) where the old castle moat was now gardens with all kinds of vegetables and flowers.

The people were so kind and thoughtful wherever I traveled. What a memorable trip that was. That christmas, friends and family all received cheese fondue, chocolate and other Swiss treats.

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Boundary.

Schell Peak Nevada

Schell Peak Nevada

http://www.summitpost.org/schell-shocked/452339

 

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“Your language indicates──and limits──what you think.” – Jonathon Price

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Grafton Peak

Grafton Peak

http://www.surgent.net/highpoints/nv/lincoln.html

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Road.

“Road rule 11:  The straighter the road you’re on, the more your mind wanders a curving path.  As your vehicle hurtles forward in space, your thoughts meander backward in time, often stopping to linger with a memory as if it were a historic marker on the roadside.

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Driving Monument Valley

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First Corollary:  Each place you stop exists in layers of time as well as space. The present is merely an intersection of the winding roads of the past.” – Dayton Duncan

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Driving Monument Valley

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Luminous.

Incredible slide show:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/03/magazine/03Aurora-photos.html?ref=magazine

February 28, 2013
By KARL OVE KNAUSGAARD
It was in the late ’80s that I saw the northern lights for the first time. I was 18 and had moved to an island in the far north of Norway to take a job as a teacher in a little school in one of the small villages up there. The village was located in the shadow of a steep, barren mountain chain, looking out on the Atlantic Ocean. Fewer than 300 people lived there, and almost all of them were involved in fishing, either as fishermen on small vessels, or as workers in the fish warehouse. It was an exposed place. One night a roof was ripped off and a camping trailer was overturned by high winds; some of the buildings had been fastened to guy wires. Everything came from the sea: the wind, the clouds, the rain, the waves and the fish, which were at the center of village life. Few of the houses had gardens; there was no buffer between civilization and nature. When you opened the door, it felt as if you were stepping out into nature, and that left its mark on the people who lived there. The social life was different from what I was used to; it was more raw and much more direct, but also warmer and more inclusive. Maybe because that’s all there was — a few clusters of buildings near the sea — and those who lived there were dependent on one another. A decade later I wrote a novel set in that place, and what stayed with me — aside from the odd social reality, in which, after only a few days, I became mercilessly entangled — what settled as a memory in my body was the light.Oh, that Arctic light, how concisely it delineates the world, with what unprecedented clarity: the sharp, rugged mountains against the clear blue sky, the green of the slopes, the small boats chugging in or out of the harbor, and onboard, the huge codfish from the depths, with their grayish-white skin and yellow eyes staring vacantly, or on the drying racks, where they hung by the thousands, slowly shriveling for later shipment to the southern lands. Everything was as sharp as a knife. And then came the fall and with it the dark that closed around the day, which got shorter and shorter. Soon it lasted only a few hours, as if caught between two walls of darkness moving closer and closer until everything was night. Except for a faint pulse of bluish light in the middle of the day, it was dark all the time, and living and working in that kind of darkness, a sort of eternal night, does something to a person’s relationship to reality; it becomes dreamlike, shadowlike, as if the world has come to an end. That’s when the northern lights appear, that’s when these great veils of light are drawn across the sky, and even if you know what the phenomenon is and why it occurs, the sight is still mysterious, immensely foreign. The first time I saw it, I was sitting in a car with a friend. We stopped and got out and stood there, staring, in the middle of the wilderness, spellbound like animals caught in a spotlight.

The northern lights compel your eyes upward. They’re impossible to ignore. A simple phenomenon, rays striking the atmosphere, no more mysterious than the beam from a flashlight — yet the lights convey a sense of being at the very edge of the world and looking out at the endless, empty universe through which we are all careening.

For those who lived on these islands, the light was part of their everyday life. The sun was another matter. After months of total darkness, the moment when the sun appeared for the first time was almost reverential, and during the spring and summer, when all darkness vanished and the sun shone in the sky both night and day, at times as red as blood, the mood in that tiny community was elated; people went out at night, stayed awake and drank. It was amazing, but it also felt dangerous, because the division between night and day is a border, perhaps the most fundamental one we have, and up there it was abolished, first in an eternal night, then in an eternal day.

Translated from the Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally.

A Guide to the Glow
The science behind the northern lights.

Auroras (which can happen at both the north and south poles) begin with the solar wind, a constant stream made up mostly of electrons and protons that flow from the sun. When this wind runs into the earth’s magnetic field, most of the particles just bounce off, but some penetrate as the magnetic field becomes distorted. Like a rubber band being stretched, the magnetic field eventually snaps back. When it does, energy is released in the form of electrically charged particles that shoot into the earth’s atmosphere. There, the particles run into atoms of gas, like oxygen and nitrogen, and the energy from those collisions is then released in the form of photons — which appears to us as light. Roughly every 11 years the activity on the sun reaches a peak and the northern lights are at their most brilliant, as they are this year. — Maggie Koerth-Baker

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/magazine/the-magical-realism-of-norwegian-nights.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130303&_r=0

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Success.

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” – Bob Dylan

 

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Both “The Mary Tyler Moore” and “That Girl” television shows were favorites and I dreamed of living alone in the big city like they did.

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Cave of the Crystals.

 Giant Crystal Cave, Naica

Giant Crystal Cave, Naica

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Cave of the Crystals or Giant Crystal Cave is a cave connected to the Naica Mine 300 metres (980 ft) below the surface in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico. The main chamber contains giant selenite crystals (gypsum, CaSO4·2 H2O), some of the largest natural crystals ever found. The cave’s largest crystal found to date is 12 m (39 ft) in length, 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and 55 tons in weight. The cave is extremely hot with air temperatures reaching up to 58 °C (136 °F)with 90 to 99 percent humidity. The cave is relatively unexplored due to these factors.Without proper protection people can only endure approximately ten minutes of exposure at a time.

A group of scientists known as the Naica Project have been heavily involved in researching these caverns.

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Giant crystals at the Naica Cave

Giant crystals at the Naica Cave

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Naica lies on an ancient fault and there is an underground magma chamber below the cave. The magma heated the ground water and it became saturated with minerals, including large quantities of gypsum. The hollow space of the cave was filled with this mineral-rich hot water and remained filled for about 500,000 years. During this time, the temperature of the water remained very stable at over 50 °C. This allowed crystals to form and grow to immense sizes.

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Crystal Cave of Giants

Crystal Cave of Giants

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In 1910 miners discovered a cavern beneath the Naica mine workings, the Cave of Swords (Cueva de las Espadas). It is located at a depth of 120 m, above the Cave of Crystals, and contains spectacular, smaller (1 m long) crystals. It is speculated that at this level, transition temperatures may have fallen much more rapidly, leading to an end in the growth of the crystals.

The Giant Crystal cave was discovered in 2000 by miners excavating a new tunnel for the Industrias Penoles mining company located in Naica, Mexico, while drilling through the Naica fault, which they were concerned would flood the mine.The mining complex in Naica contains substantial deposits of silver, zinc and lead.

The Cave of Crystals is a horseshoe-shaped cavity in limestone rock. Its floor is covered with perfectly-faceted crystalline blocks. Huge crystal beams jut out from both the blocks and the floor. The caves are accessible today because the mining company’s pumping operations keep them clear of water. If the pumping were stopped, the caves would again be submerged. The crystals deteriorate in air, so the Naica Project is attempting to visually document the crystals before they deteriorate further.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_the_Crystals

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/04/photogalleries/giant-crystals-cave/

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Permanent Vacation.

South Fork Kings River

South Fork Kings River

 

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Permanent Vacation: Twenty Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks, May, 2011

Kim Wyatt, Editor; Erin Bechtol, Editor

“There is something more going on in “Permanent Vacation” than just a book of experiences. As other reviewers point out, the quality of the majority of essays is much higher than one would expect from an anthology. Beautiful, poetic literature with unique metaphors and deep introspection are the norm here but it is really not, in the way one might expect, a book about our national parks. The majority of writers are not rangers in the national parks but seasonal workers either on trails or in the concessions. It’s a different perspective than I expected and the views are predominantly inward….

The writers are mostly looking back to a time when they were young, carefree, and working in the parks. Unlike some ranger stories (e.g. Hey Ranger) they have retained an intense sense of awe towards the natural beauty in the parks and a respect for us tourists.” – Brad Allen

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Virtual Zen.

Buddha Maitreya and Attendants, Cave 248, Western Wei Dynasty, around 450 AD

Buddha Maitreya and Attendants, Cave 248, Western Wei Dynasty, around 450 AD

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When I read this one a short while back, I thought it likely the only
way I’d see these caves. :^) Although a trek around Kailas sounds
inspiring and a real lifetime opportunity, the reality is a
next-lifetime experience. Meanwhile, I’m grateful for almost-there
technology:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/12/16/holograms-to-save-buddha-caves.html

Holograms to Save Buddha caves
Dec 17, 2012 12:00 AM EST

Among china’s greatest art treasures are the Buddhist caves near
Dunhuang, an oasis on the fabled Silk Road that once linked China and
Europe. Their ancient frescoes, sculptures, and other relics date as
far back as A.D. 430 and have survived wars, environmental damage,
antiquities hunters, and the chaotic Cultural Revolution. But their
biggest threat today is tourism.

The UNESCO World Heritage site—which includes more than 700 caves,
2,400 clay sculptures, and 150,000 square feet of frescoes—has an
optimal capacity of 3,000 people per day, but up to 8,000 visited the
caves daily during holidays this year. The caves, also known as the
Mogao Grottoes, have fragile ecosystems, and the buildup of humidity
and carbon dioxide from visitors’ breath can lead to flaking and
discoloration of the delicate wall paintings.

In a bid to help preserve the caves, the Dunhuang Academy has settled
on an innovative strategy: digitize them. The academy has been working
with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Northwestern University to
create a digital archive of the caves using a camera with a
billion-pixel resolution. The results will be used in the academy’s
planned $40 million visitor center—slated for completion next
year—which will present virtual tours of the caves to save the real
sites from wear and tear. The scope of the project is daunting. It
takes 20 minutes to record a 30-square-foot fresco, and there are 492
caves with murals inside.

Recently the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., offered a
tantalizing glimpse of the final product. Donning 3-D glasses,
visitors were transported across time and space into a “virtual”
Dunhuang. The exhibit digitally re-created a single grotto, known as
Cave 220, which boasts early Tang paintings from approximately A.D.
642. The 3-D, interactive experience is flooded with vivid color,
entrancing close-up details, and moving images of flying bodhisattvas
riding mythical animals.

One of the most popular features is the “magnifying glass,” which can
zoom in on, say, a zither depicted in a mural. The instrument appears
to pop out of the wall, enlarge, and then rotate in space as zither
music plays in the background. Visitors can also “flip” back and forth
between an intricate Tang-dynasty mural and a later, cruder
Sung-dynasty fresco, which had hidden the original painting until
1943.

To help bring Cave 220’s Tang dancer paintings to life, performers
from the Beijing Dance Academy were filmed by the City University of
Hong Kong’s Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and
Embodiment (ALiVE). They appeared in the Sackler tour dancing as if in
midair, clad in brightly colored Tang period costume. ALiVE’s project
manager Leith Chan said that while he’s become intimately familiar
with the images of Cave 220, he hasn’t been to Dunhuang yet. “I can’t
wait to visit the real thing.”

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Dunhuang Buddhist Caves

Dunhuang Buddhist Caves

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“Truth is the same always. Whoever ponders it will get the same answer. Buddha got it. Patanjali got it. Jesus got it. Mohammed got it. The answer is the same, but the method of working it out may vary this way or that. – Swami Satchidananda

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Buddhist stupas dot the hillside at the Mogao Caves

Buddhist stupas dot the hillside at the Mogao Caves

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“Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.” – Dalai Lama XIV

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Dunhuang Cave 158: Recumbent Buddha

Dunhuang Cave 158: Recumbent Buddha

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“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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