Tag: National Park (Page 1 of 2)
One of the first stops on our narrated tour of the Park Loop Road was at Sieur du Monts Spring and the nature center. Also at this stop is the original Abbe Museum and the Wild Gardens of Acadia. Being that we were traveling with two plant and flower enthusiasts, I knew the gardens would be a popular stop!
The gardens are filled with 400 species of native plants and are designed to “represent natural plant communities found within Acadia National Park. Mountain, heath, seaside, coniferous forest, and eight other habitats are represented” (Friends of Acadia). It is a great place to get out of the car and stretch your legs along the carefully constructed paths to see the beautiful flora of Maine. Because of the trees, it also stays pretty cool in the gardens on the rare occasion that a heat wave sweeps the area. Near the entrance to the gardens, you can pick up a bird spotting guide and there is also a journal to jot down any birds that you see. It was a very quiet morning on our visit and we were unable to add any sightings to the book, but I did get to take some pictures of the colorful blooms while my mom and grandma admired the gardens and planned how they could recreate them at home.
Also in this area is the Sieur de Monts Spring, which is said to be the birthplace of Acadia National Park. In 1909, George B. Door, the first Superintendent of the park, built a spring house and carved “The Sweet Waters of Acadia” on a nearby rock. This is also the home of Acadia’s nature center which features information about native animals both on the land and the sea, and about the local geology. While there, you can also visit the original location of the Abbe Museum. While there is now a larger location in downtown Bar Harbor, the original Abbe Museum holds a lot of early Native American artifacts from the area in a unique, woodland setting.
Thank you for stopping by! For more information about our Mainely Acadia trip, click here and be sure to check back next week for my next installment! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
A few weeks ago we finalized our plans for our summer vacation. We are taking my mom and grandma and heading back to Maine. This time its not a road trip. We are flying in to New Hampshire and renting a car from there. We are renting a condo in Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island for a week.
I am so excited to get back to Maine and to share this wonderful place with my family! We are still far out in the planning stages, of course, and I am hoping that the weather is better than last year. Maine is no fun when it is 95 degrees. As a state, they are not set up to handle that kind of heat, and this is coming from a Michigander. Hopefully it will be cool enough to fully experience the hiking trails and enjoy the outdoors. We are planning on doing a carriage tour of the carriage roads because that was the major thing we missed out on last year that we regretted not doing.
I am looking forward to the smell of salt air and the seeing the rocky Maine coastline. I am excited to drive the Park Loop Road and see the views from Cadillac Mountain. I am excited to spend more time on the quiet side of the island, exploring Southwest Harbor. Summer can come any time now!
Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully, next week I will begin the recap of our cruise and I will have lots of pictures of sunshine and blue waters! Stay tuned for that! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Our day at the Grand Canyon started early. I think we got to the Visitor’s Center around 8 o’clock, about an hour before they open. Because of that, we were one of the first cars in the parking lot and we were able to get some photos of the canyon while the lighting was still good.
If you’re not staying at one of the hotels in the park, there is not a lot of nearby lodging. We ended up at the Best Western Premier Hotel in Tusyan, which is right outside the boundaries of the park. Its one of two hotels you drive by to get to the South Rim. The hotel was rated highly online and the price was right so we booked it. Overall, I was very impressed with the hotel. The room was large and the bathroom was HUGE. It was a great surprise. Especially in an area where you will get people to stay at your hotel no matter what it looks like, I was impressed. If you are visiting the Grand Canyon, I highly recommend you check out the Best Western. The only way to get closer to the canyon is to stay in the park, which is pretty pricey and the rooms book up fast, even in the winter.
Besides a few hotels, there’s not much in Tusyan beside the National Park. There are a few fast food restaurants and there are some more formal restaurants located in the lodges in Grand Canyon Village, but nothing was very highly rated so we decided to skip it and just eat on the road. There is a grocery store in Grand Canyon Village where you can get the staples. It would be very handy if you were camping in the park or staying in one of the lodges that has a kitchen. You don’t have to worry about stocking up outside the park, although the prices in the park are more expensive than at a grocery store in Flagstaff.
Thanks for stopping by! For more information about the Best Western Premier, check out TripAdvisor. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
The Historic Kolb Studio was built in 1905 and was originally a family home and photography studio of Ellsworth and Emery Kolb. The brothers were thrill seekers and were known to do crazy things to photograph of the Grand Canyon. They made their money photographing tourists riding mules down the canyon. They would develop the photos and the tourists would pick them up when they got back to the top of the canyon.
When the brothers first arrived at the Grand Canyon, they set up their first studio in a tent. Being that this is a desert and the closest water is 6,000 feet below, they had to get creative to find water to develop their photographs, like a muddy cow pond near the studio. Of course a dark room is essential to film photography and tent does not get dark enough to successfully develop film. So, they took over an abandoned mine shaft for that task.
The location of Kolb Studio was no coincidence. It is perched precariously at the top of the canyon, right at the trailhead of the Bright Angel Trail (the trail that goes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon). The brothers charged tourists $1 per mule that went down the trail, which was pretty expensive in those days, but was preferable to walking. The Kolb family operated the studio for over 75 years, until Emery’s death when the building was acquired by the National Park Service (grcahistory.org).
Now, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It currently serves as a gift shop and a museum to the Kolb brothers and Grand Canyon art. If you are looking to take home a qualitity photo of the canyon, stop by the Kolb Studio. They had the best photos we saw in any of the park stores.
Thanks for stopping by! Check back next week to hear more about our trip to the Grand Canyon! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Today marks the 100th Anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park. Afraid that the Grand Canyon would turn into a tourist trap like Niagra Falls, Theodore Roosevelt declared it a National Monument in 1908, which protected the unusual landscape from development. It took 11 years for congress to get on board and designate The Grand Canyon as the 15th American National Park.
I recently got the chance to visit the Grand Canyon after a flush of strange Arizona weather. Where I was, in Phoenix saw two full days of cold rain. After north in the state saw copious amounts of snow. Roads were shut down. People were stuck at home. There was a message on the National Park Service page advising people to cancel their plans and come back another time. We were very close to doing just that, and if it wasn’t for the clerk at the rental car counter telling us that the roads should be fine, we probably would have. Luckily, by Saturday afternoon, the roads were clear so we headed north. The winter is the slowest time of the year at the Grand Canyon. After our experience this summer at Acadia, I was grateful for that. Because of the crazy weather and the travel advisories, I think traffic was even lighter than usual for a weekend in February. We left our hotel early Sunday morning and we were maybe the third car in the visitor center parking lot. It was cold, but definitely worth it.
The Grand Canyon is indescribable. You really have to see it for yourself to appreciate it. There’s a quote about the Grand Canyon that I love: “I have heard rumors of visitors who were disappointed. The same people will be disappointed at the Day of Judgment.” -J.B Priestly First view of the Grand Canyon Theodore Roosevelt described it best: “In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”
Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.