Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: snow (Page 1 of 2)

Wordless Wednesday: Canyon Texture

Wordless Wednesday: Grand Canyon Peak

Visiting Grand Canyon National Park

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.

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Wordless Wednesday: Duck on a Rock

Grand Canyon National Park: Desert View

View from the Watchtower at Desert View

I don’t know about you, but when I think of the desert, I think of snow. No? You don’t? Well, my first experience in the desert was 2 days of rain then driving north to discover several feet of snow. I was excited to experience dry heat on this trip and it felt exactly the same as the air feels in Michigan. For an area called Desert View, this, while still beautiful, was not the landscape I was expecting, even in February.

The Desert View Watchtower (below) is the man made landmark of this part of the park. Built in 1932 by architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, it is meant to replicate towers in other southwestern cities. The tower was built to blend in with its surroundings. Colter herself described it as “One that would create no discordant note against the time-eroded walls of this promontory…The color and texture of this weathered surface rock naturally matched our terrain as none other could, but we were at the necessity of using it in just the shape it was found, as any tool mark became a conspicuous scar on the face of our walls. So we were obliged to select carefully for size and shape every unit of stone built into our masonry.” (NPS)

Climbing the watchtower affords great views of the canyon and the surrounding landscape. The interior of the tower on the first floor is decorated with paintings by a Hopi artist. Paintings on higher floors are replicas of those found in other southwestern sites. The paintings help get you in the mind set up the people who lived in the places many years ago. I imagine if you visit in the summer months, the watchtower gets very crowded, but it was relatively empty on this cold, snowy February day.

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.

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Wordless Wednesday: Snow in the Canyon

Wordless Wednesday: Snow Sculpture

Gardens in Winter

Winter Waterfall

After two days of photographing sports for the State Games of Michigan, we stopped to take in the scenery at Meijer Gardens. I had never experienced it in winter and as long as you are dressed appropriately and temper your expectations (sorry, but the gardens are not in bloom this time of year, but you can still enjoy the flowers in the greenhouses) it really is a good experience. The blanket of white totally changes the feel of the sculpture park.

The waterfall, pictured above, was probably one of my favorite parts. I have photographed the waterfall numerous times before, but the lighting in the middle of a summer day is not ideal. Afternoon in the winter, though, makes for much better photo. The snow adds more contrast to the rocks and trees and I really liked the footprints going towards the flowing water.

Continuing this year’s winter theme: Don’t let the cold keep you from photography and experiencing familiar places in a new way! I would never have thought about exploring the gardens in the winter (nothing is in bloom, right?) but I am very glad we stopped and got to see another side of one of our favorite Michigan spots!

There is still time to vote for my photo in the State Games of Michigan photo contest! Like, comment, and/or share to vote! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Winter on Lake Michigan

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Winter on the shores of Lake Michigan can be harsh, cold, and windy. Lake effect snow is a big deal on the west side of the state with snowstorms seeming to blow in our of nowhere. As much as I love Lake Michigan, I tend to avoid it in winter. I’m not a winter fan to start with but the cold Lake Michigan breezes tend to be too much for me. Yet, this winter I was able to experience Lake Michigan twice in its harshest season (the other being to St. Joseph in January). Each time I was surprised with how many people flock to the beach in the winter. No, they are not sunbathing and swimming like they do in the summer. They were trekking out to lighthouses, sledding down sand dunes, and playing in the snow and ice.

As harsh and cold as it can be, Lake Michigan’s beauty is not seasonal. Ice on the shore and snow on the dunes really added something to the landscape that you don’t get in the summer. While there were more people out than I expected there to be, it was definitely not a summertime crowd, so it is much easier to capture a landscape without people in it (not that that’s a bad thing…I really should do a post on that one of these days). Although, winter skies in Michigan frequently leave something to be desired, I was very glad that I made it out to Muskegon State Park on a cold and blustery February day. Now, its March and I’m ready for it to warm up and be camping season, OK?

Thanks for stopping by! Are you brave enough to explore Lake Michigan in the winter? Let me know in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

 

7 Ways to Explore Michigan this Winter

Snow in TreesIts beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! The temperature has dropped and the ground is now covered in a blanket of snow! The white landscape leads to a whole host of fun in the Great Lakes state:

  1. Go skiing: With about 50 ski hills around the state, The New York Times recently suggested Michigan as your “Secret Ski Destination
  2. Visit a state park and try out cross country skiing or snowshoeing
  3. Go ice skating: From Campus Martius in Detroit to Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids and the ice skating trail in Muskegon, lace up your skates and hit the ice
  4. Snowmobiling: I’m too much of a chicken for this, but northern Michigan has many trails for snowmobile enthusiasts (michigansnowmobile.com)
  5. Reenact the famous sledding scene from Christmas Vacation (MichiganLife.com)
  6. Check out the Luge: The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is home to one of only four luge tracks in the country and is open to the public
  7. Train for the Iditarod: When in doubt, go dog sledding (both in the UP and the lower peninsula)

Don’t use the cold weather as an excuse to stay inside! Get outside and appreciate winter in Michigan! Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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