Ocala, FL

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Ocala is in the north central part of Florida.  While here we parked at the Ocala Sun RV Resort.

Silver Springs State Park

Just to the east of Ocala is the Silver Springs State Park.  It describes itself as Florida’s original attraction.  It has been a national landmark since the 1870s.  The Floridian aquifer which underlies the entire state of Florida is one of the world’s most productive aquifers.  It supplies drinking water to nearly 10 million people.  In hundreds of places this water finds its way to the surface as a spring.  Silver Springs is a notable example of this.  There are some 60 springs that form the Silver River. Continue reading

Acadia National Park (Trenton, ME)

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Acadia National Park recently celebrated its 100th anniversary which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service.  A substantial portion of the parkland was gifted by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. much as he did to help establish Grand Teton National Park.

From Great Head Continue reading

Niagara Falls

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Yes, it’s true.  Niagara Falls is amazing.  It seems like that word is getting overused these days.  Can a hamburger really be “amazing”?  Let’s agree that Niagara Falls is truly amazing.  It’s one of those wonders of nature that you have to experience in person to fully appreciate.  After visiting Niagara Falls and Iguazú Falls (in August 2013), we have now seen two of the world’s three most spectacular waterfalls with Victoria Falls remaining for a future trip.  Niagara Falls, consisting of the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls, is tops in terms of vertical drop combined with water volume but the 1.7 miles long series of waterfalls at Iguazú deserves its own type of amazing.

American Falls, Horseshoe Falls in the background Continue reading

Zion National Park

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Zion National Park feels somewhat like an inside out Grand Canyon.  You enter the park in the bottom of the canyon along the Virgin River.  The sheer canyon walls tower above you, in some cases 4,000 feet, as you travel deeper north into the canyon.  It’s certainly not the same scale as the Grand Canyon but it definitely impresses.

Angels Landing TrailWe took on a couple of the hikes here in the Zion Canyon.  The first is the Angels Landing Hike (via the West Rim Trail).  It’s listed as a 5.4 mile round trip with 1,488 feet of elevation.  The first part is fairly straightforward with a good surface although steep at times it provided nice views of the canyon.  Later you come to Walter’s Wiggles which is a series of very short, steep switchbacks.  This takes you to a plateau from which you get a dramatic view with sheer drops of about 1,000 feet.  From this point you must scramble across a steep rocky surface to get up and over an intermediate peak.  You are provided a chain that you can hang onto to ensure you don’t tumble off into oblivion.  Past this first peak you can then see the final scramble that will take you to the top of Angels Landing.  It first crosses a narrow span and then up the spine of the next peak.  The sheer drops on both sides will leave your throat a little constricted.  We made it past the first peak but I was not prepared to take on the remainder so we took some nice photos from this vantage point and began our return hike. Continue reading

White Pocket

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We purchased a tour with Paria Outpost who are located in Big Water, UT, some 40 miles east of Kanab, UT.  From there it was a one and 1/2 hour ride over dirt roads, requiring a high ground clearance vehicle to get to White Pocket.

White Pocket

I can’t explain the geology that created this phenomenon and I don’t want to over use superlatives.  Suffice it to say that this is one of the most unique and interesting places we have ever seen.  It is an area of approximately one square mile located in the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness.  We hope that our photos will give you some insight into the other-worldly nature of White Pocket.

White Pocket

Next stop:  Zion National Park