Day 247; Tis the season of wildflowers and caterpillars.

Day 247 of 365; Tis the season of wildflowers and caterpillars.

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” ~Emma Goldman

{…agree with the above quote..& I would rather have wild flowers picked from the side of the road on my table, then any rose 🙂 }

Such a beautiful time of year. The wild flowers are FULL in bloom every where I drive.

I stopped to pick some yesterday and almost { accidentally } took home a few little critters along with the flowers;)

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Day 246; September wind blows in…

Day 246 of 365; September wind blows in…

Ooh did today ever feel like late Fall. If I hadn’t gone outside I would’ve sworn it was going to snow–the clouds were dark, and the wind was howling.

I took my son Rayce on a short country drive..and just soaked in the beauty that was blowing through my little corner of Wisconsin…..

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Day 245; Another Country Sunrise

Day 245 of 365; Another Country Sunrise

We all give so much attention to the sunset.. but lets not forget that every morning the sun rises in order for a new day to begin… and it is ever so beautiful!!!!

Sunrise in Caryville, Wisconsin

Day 171;Oh Ouray!!!

Day 171 of 365;Oh Ouray!!!

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Today we continued South towards Ouray , taking the bottom end of Wyoming through the NW side of Colorado- I am SO happy I decided to take the scenic route vs. going through Iowa/Nebraska. I had never been to this part of Colorado or Wyoming! I LOve love love seeing something/anything new!

We arrived in Ouray around 4pm, and oh my GOODNESS…. this town was Love at first sight for me, it is called “The Switzerland of America” and now I see why. I have been to Colorado, but never.. never did I think a Colorado town like this existed!

It is PERFECT. A sweet small town (I relate it similar to Bayfield, Wisconsin, except nestled in a circle of beautiful mountains, some covered with snow).

We set up camp at 4J +1 + 1 RV Park right in the town of Ouray, it is a very nice campground, and we loved the fact that we were right in town so we could explore easily and then come right back to the camp-site when we were done. We didn’t have too many camping neighbors this night (Tuesday).

We made burritos on my sisters’ camp stove, shoveled it all in and then headed up the block to Colorado West Jeep Rentals to pick up our rental Jeep!!! The staff was VERY nice and the Jeep was BEAUTIFUL. We got a yellow Wrangler and were ecstatic to drive it away and keep it for 24 hours.

We went back to camp and gathered up emergency gear, food, drinks, jackets, hats, gloves, (it is warm and Summer but in the mountains you NEVER know what you will come across, better to be over-prepared then to get stuck on top of a cliff with nothing!)

We headed on the first trail recommended to us by the guides (and a friend), and were SO excited that we (2 girls) were going Jeeping in the mountains! Pretty sure some guys only dream of this 😉 hehe.. We headed up Yankee Boy Basin and around the first corner we started seeing that we would be driving on the edges of cliffs…there was enough room for ONE Jeep (and all of these trails are 2 way trails so you REALLY have to pay attention at all times) , on the right side of us was the mountain side going UP, on the left side of our tires was a DROP of maybe about 4,000 feet straight down. Ouray’s elevation is 7,000 or so, and where we were it was about 11,000 feet. Around the first corner, the very first thing we say was two crosses by the edge of a cliff…I must say my heart became a BIG LUMP in my throat -thinking, am I REALLY here? So we slowed WAYyyyyyyyyyyyy down and crawled around that corner, as we turned the first corner, there was a small waterfall trickling down then mountain side on our Jeep. The KEY to all of the trails in Ouray (and the mountains) is to go SLOW and take your time, if you were to hit one rock wrong going TOO fast that’s all it takes to flip you over…the cliff. Go Slow, don’t look down and watch RIGHT in front of you/your tires.

Back to the story (I’ll post a whole blog about Jeeping advice we learned as we went, etc. in a few days)… we kept crawling along and came to the old town of Sneffels , which has an abandoned home that has shifted off of it’s foundation, but looks really neat , a mining shaft and other buildings across the way.

Up at the end of the trail there was a truck parked with his back window open in the bed of his truck and all we could see was a sleeping bag, the guy was taking a nap up in the mountains, it looked like he has been snowboarding and skiing up where there was snow, as there was a big pile of snow equip. outside of the truck.

We took a quick rest and got out of the Jeep just to feel our feet secure on the ground. Then hopped back in the Jeep and headed back down the trail as it was almost dark and we didn’t DARE want to even think about taking the trail near the cliff in the dark :O.

Tomorrow would bring a FULL day of Jeeping and exploring in the mountains!

If YOU would like to visit the BEAUTIFUL Switzerland of America/ Ouray, Colorado just visit the Ouray, Co Website here.

Day 156; Fresh air does the soul GOOD!

Day 156 of 365;Day 156; Fresh air does the soul GOOD!

4 hours of sleep.. no coffee. I was So tired, so exhausted this morning that I wanted to pull my hair out!

BUT I am a believer that life is ALL about your attitude. So I packed up the kids in my car and headed into Eau Claire to gather food for a picnic. We stopped at the grocery store and bought food from the deli- sandwiches, blueberries, salad, and puppy chow.

We then headed out to Tower Ridge Recreation Area , and had a picnic on the edge of the hill overlooking the beautiful valley of trees, and in the shade. It was a HOT day, but in the shade it was ok!

We laid on the picnic blanket looking up at the sky – what a glorious day God had given us, even though I was tired, God still allowed me time with my kids in the outdoors and once I was out there- my sleepiness completely vanished.

Camryn & I during our picnic. Photo by my son Rayce .. {All photos taken with my iphone & edited with Instagram}

My kids.. Camryn & Rayce..

..the view from our picnic spot..

..Looking up while laying down... kind of a day...

I took the opportunity to take a few photographs of my daughter Camryn in her new dress & her white wicker chair near some beautiful purple wild-flowers. (I will post those tomorrow, but for now here is 1 quick sneak-peek: Photo Dress made by “Butterfly Baby Place” )

We explored a little and then headed home… remember fresh air will do your soul wonders!

The result of a few hours in the outdoors & fresh air...!

Day 21; Roads

Day 21 of 365; Roads

“I drive a lot. Just for pleasure. Sometimes I’ll get in the Cadillac and drive around the city or the country, kind of trying to get lost basically. Y’know, just see where roads lead.” ~Frank Black

I just LOVE driving. When I bought my first car back in 2003, HAD low miles on it, but I just couldn’t resist driving it around every country road ..I had every back road in Menomonie memorized at that time.

Something about driving, about roads.. just calls my name. I always have to allow extra time to get anywhere I go, because I tend to wander off the main road if I see another road that looks interesting, a lake, a river, a trail… my poor son sometimes (or again.. maybe my lucky? son) when he goes on drives with me to get to one destination, I usually stop at 3 + places along the way, not just to take photos , but sometimes just to see where the road goes, or what’s around the next corner, or to just sit and enjoy the view.

I feel SO thankful I was given another opportunity to explore this weekend… I have my two kids along, and a 3 hour drive took us about 5 hours, because we stopped at several parks along the way, and of course stopped at McDonalds to keep them happy little Jeep riders.

I love winding roads,… you know the ones where you can’t see what’s coming next? I just LOVE those….

Maybe I have chosen the wrong career as a photographer and should become a truck driver, so I can drive all the time? 😉 Okay okay… maybe not, but maybe I should expand my advertising area for photography so I can do some traveling + photography at the same time.

I don’t need to travel far to be happy, I am simply content with driving on roads nearby , roads around Wisconsin + Minnesota…. but lately I feel a strong pull to travel ALL of Route 66 From start to end, .. Illinois –> California .. I can’t even imagine how amazing those roads are on that Route. I hear that it takes 4 days from start to end.. so I would give myself at least 2 weeks to travel it there + back…. Anyone game to come with? 🙂 If so, you better be ready to venture off the main roads, explore some abandoned towns, and have NO plans along the way… because I will be stopping often and randomly 🙂

This year I have made myself a promise that I am going to explore more roads, new roads ,… I suggest you try it too! You can still head to work.. but just take a new route, allow yourself an extra 20 minutes, grab a coffee on the way… and take your time, & breathe it all in.

Besides all of the photos I took with my iphone today, I also took a lot of Sign + Road photos with my regular DSLR Camera, and those will be up on my Photo Galleries next week sometime.

So……. here are some photos from my Road Travels today…….. hope you enjoy (remember these are taken on an iphone!)

Scraggly Tree Forests in Northern Minnesota; (I just LOVE the trees up north!)

“One always wonders about roads not taken.” ~Warren Christopher

All photos taken with an iphone 3gs & edited with Photoshop mobile.

Day 16; Travel

Day 16 of 365; Travel

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” ~Lao Tzu

I have a heart bursting FULL of passion for traveling, driving, & exploring…. but NOT for making plans for my travels. Some days I wake up with the idea to go exploring, no plan in mind.., I will just pack up for the day and GO!

When my husband and I took our honeymoon in 2009 to Southern Texas, I made it a point to have no plans , (except the surprise I had for him of 2 nights at a ranch (Ten Bits Ranch) in the middle of the mountains , THAT was worth the plan! ) But I think traveling is so much more fun, and you get so much more out of it when you don’t have those fixed plans all mapped out. This way if you find something neat along the way, or somewhere that looks fun to explore, or stay at, you aren’t rushed for time to get to the next place.

When you have your travel plans all mapped out, I think you miss the little things that are in between point A to point B.

So for that reason I am a spontaneous traveler, for that is where the memories of adventures are made. … . when you go the wrong way, turn down the wrong road or get lost… it is then that you may discover something beautiful, including yourself.

I don’t believe in wrong turns or getting lost, I think we end up where we are meant to be in our travels-both in life and on the road.

So next time you are going traveling, whether across country, or just a spontaneous day trip somewhere nearby, try to just go,,,no plans, no deadlines,… just make memories, explore & just….go.

Let’s hear it… what kind of traveler are you? Do you plan each little detail out? Or are you a spontaneous traveler like I am?

More quotes for today;

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ~ Robert Frost

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~St. Augustine

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.” ~Ray Bradbury

Photo taken with the Iphone 3gs & edited with the Instigram App.