Category Nature

dark pink azaleas by Julie Dodd

Azaleas in bloom

What a beautiful time of year with the azaleas in bloom. I’ve taken these photos of azaleas around town, in a nearby park and in my yard. I hope the photos can brighten up the day for those of you who are in cold and snowy locations. This is a reminder that Spring will reach […]

Montserrat from St. Michael's cross

Montserrat offers views, architecture and spiritual boost

The visit to Montserrat certainly was one of the high points (literally) of the vacation in Barcelona. Montserrat is a beautiful location – with wonderful views of the surrounding area and impressive architecture. Montserrat, an hour train ride from Barcelona, is a moutain range that gains its name (serrated mountain) from the jagged mountain peaks. […]

Walking in woods

Opt Outside (#OptOutside) as often as you can to improve your health & outlook

Opt Outside (#OptOutside – promoted by REI for the Friday after Thanksgiving) and National Take a Hike Day (held each year on Nov. 17) are reminders to get outside and enjoy nature. Being outside and in nature should not be a slogan or campaign for just a few select days. That’s a worthy goal for […]

Lyn Boyer painting on South Rim - photo by Julie Dodd

Grand Canyon is ‘grand’ from South Rim

After my post about hiking in the Grand Canyon, several of my blog readers who haven’t visited the Grand Canyon asked me if a visit to the Grand Canyon would be so “grand” if they weren’t hikers. Yes! Grand Canyon National Park — as with other national parks – is designed to provide a wide […]

View at Cedar Ridge - photo by Julie Dodd

Hiking the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon

When you reach Ooh-Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon, you know why it got that name. What a view! As I looked out over the Grand Canyon, I felt like I was airborne but without a plane. Ooh-Aah Point is a 1.8-mile round-trip on the South Kaibab Trail, and hiking […]

Llamas as LeConte Lodge

LeConte Lodge – cabins, llamas & mountaintop views

My recent hike to Mt. Le Conte marked my 51st hike there. I first hiked to Mt. Le Conte with my church youth group when I was in high school. I’ve been fortunate to able to hike Mt. Le Conte almost yearly – and sometimes several times a year – since that first hike. Most […]

Cable handrail on Alum Cave Trail

Rainy hike to Mt. Le Conte

Clouds, rain and thunderstorms. That wasn’t the weather I would have requested for hiking, but that was the weather we had for hiking Alum Cave Trail to Mt. Le Conte to spend the night at LeConte Lodge. And when hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, rain always is a possibility, especially in the […]