Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park – Georgia

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield 6While visiting some friends in Georgia and attending a convention in June of 2012, we had a great time checking out the Coca-Cola Museum as well as their capitol. One of the more interesting things we did was have dinner at  Stone Mountain and watched a laser light show on the huge monument depicting Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. It was very interesting and led us to check out a few other Civil War parks and Battlefields. One such place we visited during our visit was Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. This huge park is located between Marietta and Kennesaw.

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Moab, Utah -One of the Grandest Views in the West

Moab - SignSince moving to Denver, Co we have been able to take a few fun long weekend trips to Moab, Utah, and explore the beautiful parks and area. The drive is phenomenal and it is not too long of a drive from where we are currently living. For those not familiar with Moab, it is a city in Grand County, in eastern Utah, and is the county seat and largest city in Grand County. Moab attracts a large number of tourists every year, mostly visitors to the nearby Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

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Palo Duro Canyon Park – The Grand Canyon of Texas

Palo Duro Canyon Park 1While in Amarillo, Texas November of 2020, we decided to take a drive through the Palo Duro Canyon Park. It is not very far from Amarillo, about ½ hour, so definitely something to do while in the area, especially if you have pets and want to explore some nature.  It is a huge canyon, apparently the second largest canyon in the US (behind the Grand Canyon of course). Not surprisingly it is often referred to as The Grand Canyon of Texas.

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Canyonlands National Park – Moab, Utah

Canyonlands 7On our first trip to Moab, Utah we had wanted to do Arches National Park one day, and Canyonlands National Park the next day, however, we quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen as Arches National Park was just too big. We were disappointed with our limited amount of time in Moab, but it did give us a great reason to come back. It was definitely on our must-see list the next time we were in the area. were able to visit on a trip in February of 2021.

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Devils Tower National Monument – Devils Tower, Wyoming

Devils TowerIn June of 2015 we took a road trip to visit the North Dakota and South Dakota State Capitols. While on the way, we took a side trip to see Devils Tower in Wyoming. It was quite fascinating to see. It is located above the Belle Fourche River and is actually part of the Black Hills. The tower is igneous and rises dramatically 1,267 feet above the surrounding terrain and the summit is 5,114 feet above sea level.
The monument’s boundary encloses an area of 1,347 acres, and interestingly enough, was the first declared United States National Monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt.

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Sun Safety Tips to Remember While Traveling this Summer

Sun - Girl in FieldDoing some mountain biking or hiking this summer? Hitting the beach or a river? Maybe a short trip to your local pool?  Wherever you like the Beach or the Mountains, or whatever you like to do for fun during the summer, be wary of the rays from the sun. As you may well know, studies show that exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, may also cause eye problems, weaken your immune system, and give you skin spots, wrinkles, or “leathery” skin. This is caused by invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Sun - BoardwalkAlthough no one, no matter which skin type, is immune to the effects of UV. However, those with pale skin, blond, red, or light brown hair, been treated for skin cancer, or a family member who’s had skin cancer need to be especially cautious. This post is a little late this year, but The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day.” The goal?  To make sure people stay safe in the sun and protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors—on “Don’t Fry Day” and every day. Here are some suggestions to help you have a nice summer day outing while being safe.

USE SUNSCREEN

Sun - SunscreenI feel this is the truly most important thing to put on before heading out. I have really pale skin and fry in about ½ without sunscreen on. I just burn, then peel. Not much fun. L One important thing to mention about sunscreen is to FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. A lot of people will put it on before they head out for the day and think they are good. They are not. Most sunscreen products need to be reapplied every 90 minutes to 2 hours. I’ve also seen people who don’t apply enough. It is suggested to use about 1 ounce of sunscreen (about a shot glass or palmful) should be used to cover the arms, legs, neck, and face of the average adult.

Sun - Sunscreen 2The other thing to consider about sunscreen is the sun protection factor (SPF). There are sunscreens products with a broad spectrum of protection, but it is suggested to choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreens labeled with SPFs as high as 100+ are available. Higher numbers do mean more protection, but many people don’t understand the SPF scale. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. Thus the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. However, remember no sunscreen protects you completely.

WEAR A HAT

Sun - Floppy HatIt is very important to wear a hat outside, preferably one with a 2 to a 3-inch brim. The brim helps to protect the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp. If you don’t have one of those, wearing a large handkerchief or bandana under a baseball cap will work in a pinch.

WEAR SUNGLASSES

Sun - SunglassesWearing sunglasses not only protects the delicate skin around your eyes, but it also protects the eyes as well. When picking out a pair of new shades, don’t assume the sunglasses provide any UV protection. Make sure the label says “UV absorption up to 400 nm” or “Meets ANSI UV Requirements”. I like the wraparound glasses myself as it also blocks light coming in From the side.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE

Sun - WaterOur bodies are made up of about 60% water, and every system depends on water. Just one cute little water bottle isn’t going to be enough to keep you hydrated all day long. Studies show that you should be drinking 1 liter of water every hour. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol. Fruits are an excellent source of water, such as watermelon which is 90% water. Oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, and melons are also strong contenders.

FIND SOME SHADE

Sun - Beach 4Reduce time in the sun, especially between 10-2 as that is when the sun is the strongest. Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day. They can be more dangerous because you don’t feel hot and thus stay out longer than you may have planned. Take a lawn chair and find a nice shady spot near a tree or structure. If you can’t find one of those, a large umbrella works great too. Have fun, but be safe out there. Spending your vacation in a hotel room with a sunburn is not a fun way to spend your valuable vacation time.  Let me know if you have any other great tips and I will add them to this post. Thanks in advance.

White Water Rafting – Six White Water Rivers to Paddle this Summer!

White Water RaftingI have always loved the water but forgot how much until I was working on my Beach, Mountains, or Best of Both Worlds post. It made me stop, reflect, and acknowledge that it has been too long since I hit the beach or a stream. It also saddened me to realize that I have never been White Water Rafting. That is unless you count the Big Foot Rapids ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, which I don’t. lol It was fun and all, but I would love to experience the real thing one day. With that in mind, I did some research and found 6 rivers that I would love to explore via rafting.  I am going to start with the Salmon River in Idaho. Continue reading “White Water Rafting – Six White Water Rivers to Paddle this Summer!”

Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho – The Land of Sand

Bruneau-State-Park-1While in Idaho in May 2014 to see the State Capitol and spend time in Twin Falls, we visited the Bruneau Dunes State Park. It is a 5-mile loop trail located near Bruneau, Idaho. The park is about halfway between Boise and Twin Falls. Thus it was a perfect place to take a driving break on our way from the Capitol to Shoshone Falls. Continue reading “Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho – The Land of Sand”

Sedona, Arizona – Breathtaking Red Sandstone Formations

Sedona-1To say Sedona is beautiful or gorgeous is a huge understatement. It has to be one of the most exquisite places in the southwest. It’s something you have to see for yourself. The locals say there is magic in the handsome red rocks, and I believe them. I was definitely smitten from the first time I saw them in October of 2003. We got there at night, so we didn’t get to see them until we woke up. What a sight to wake up to. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I opened the room blinds.  We had been to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, but it was different. Maybe because there was more of them or they were bigger. Not sure, but they were magnificent.  We stayed at the Sedona Summit, which was part of the timeshare we had at the time. It is a quiet resort and everyone was very friendly. Sadly, we only had two days there. Continue reading “Sedona, Arizona – Breathtaking Red Sandstone Formations”

Valley of Fire Recreation Area – Carrizozo, New Mexico

Valley of Fire1What a surprise we found here in the city of Carrizozo, Valley of Fire. It is located in New Mexico on the northern part of the Tularosa Basin between Sierra Blanca to the southeast and the Oscura Mountains to the west. This was an amazing place we stopped to visit on our way from Roswell to Albuquerque in October 2002. We stopped because someone at the White Sand Dunes had told us about this place on a previous trip. As we had never been yet, we decided to stop and check it out. Continue reading “Valley of Fire Recreation Area – Carrizozo, New Mexico”