The Open Road

Down The Basin Road

Twenty-one years ago, I moved from Washington State down to southeast Texas to be with my aging parents.  Found a job, found a nice (but old) apartment right next door to my parents, got really involved in photography and did a fair amount of traveling to see and photograph many neat things, thanks to the salary from that job.

I never really felt like Texas was home, though.  I was born in Montana; I’m a mountain gal.  I told Mom and Dad when I moved that I would never spend the rest of my life in Texas and ultimately, I would move back to the mountains.

In 2 days, I’ll be hitting the open road from southeast Texas *back* to Washington State.  I’m done with Texas.  And I’m pretty certain Texas is done with me; I am not a Texan.

My home is packed except for a few items that I’ll box up before the movers arrive.  I’ve scheduled all the disconnects.  I will have to return my ATT internet equipment (insert sad-face emoji).  I need to run a few other errands.  But, I’m ready!  My cameras are ready!  My car is ready – well, it should be ready after a tuneup, replacement of some things, new tires, and a new windshield (don’t ask, it’s one of those unforeseen things that happened the other day).

I have a road trip itinerary mapped that will take me almost 4 weeks to complete (provided nothing unforeseen occurs).  It will be like the 4-week vacations my family used to take in the camper every summer when I was a little girl.  I’m stopping at national parks I’ve never visited and a national park I have visited.  I’ll be seeing a couple of friends along the way, as well.  I’m calling this Becky’s Big Road Trip.

I’ll be taking you all along with me via my photos, so stay tuned.

The Road To The Desert

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A Red Poppy “Firework”

Poppy Red

Well, I have no patriotic images handy, so the bright red heart of this poppy will have to do, I guess.

I’ve been roaming the well-tended neighborhoods of Yakima around my sister’s home, marveling and photographing the beautiful flowers in bloom.  Eastern Washington is fantastic for the wealth of fruits, vegetables, and flowers that grow in that area.

I’ve been using only my point-and-shoot cameras for this trip, and this image was captured using the Olympus Tough TG-5.  I’m impressed with the camera but I sure wish it was more than just 12mp.  It is, however, relatively intuitive to use, which is great since a hard-copy owner manual is not included with the camera.

Happy 4th of July, folks!!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Equipment, flowers, Holidays, July 4th, Olympus Tough TG-5, Photography

Getting Close To The Edge

Getting Closer To The Edge

Close to the edge at Scouts Lookout, Zion National Park, Utah

There have been more than a few times when I’ve gotten “close to the edge,” but that’s been a 9-to-5 work thing as opposed to literally being close to the edge as in this shot.

I have a fear of heights. Of course, this generally doesn’t stop me, as you can see in this photo; when I am focused on photography, my fear dissipates. However, this mild acrophobia gives me a healthy awareness of my abilities and limitations, since I have rheumatoid arthritis and also am not the most sure-footed of creatures. In this instance, I stopped at Scouts Lookout and did NOT finish that last .5 mile to Angels Landing. I knew my physical limitations (mental ones, too) and knew I could not go any further with all the stuff I was lugging with me. And I was (and am) totally fine with that. I still remember my legs shaking just a little bit, from both the uphill climb as well as the fact that the rocks tilt a little bit in the Scouts Lookout area and it’s a lonnnnnng way down. Heck, I was thrilled I’d made it that far, having come from sea level elevation 2 days prior.

Moral of the story:  you may not always be able to (or want to) reach the very end, for whatever reason, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come away with some cool experiences/photography along the way there and back.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Going-to-the-Sun Road is Open!

GTTS Road From Highline Trail

A view of Going-to-the-Sun road from the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park

Yahoo! Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is now officially cleared of snow and open for the 2018 summer season to vehicles in all of its 50-mile stretch, as of June 23rd, 2018.

For those of you who have never visited Glacier National Park and driven along this National Historic Landmark for views of some of the most stunning scenery within a national park, it’s quite a feat to plow the snow from this road every year, starting in early spring. Usually, the road is open either at the end of June or sometimes, in early-mid July. So June 23rd is pretty early.

The history of this road is quite interesting, and if you want to read about it, click on the photo above.  The article is a little dated, but the history and trivia remains the same.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Glacier National Park MT, Landscape, Montana, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography, Vacation

Hiking The Trail And Leaving No Trace

Hiking The Trail

One of today’s newly-published articles in the National Parks Traveler is titled “Leave No Trace This Summer As You Explore The Outdoors.” This article reminded me of this image that I had just reworked, so I thought I’d post it along with the advice to leave no trace and pack in what you pack out. Is it possible to really leave no trace? Well, go read the article in the Traveler to find out.

This image was taken 10 years ago, during the very first photo workshop I’d ever taken, using one of my very first full-frame cameras (Canon 5D). The workshop took place in Glacier National Park, Montana and – while a bit strenuous in terms of hiking for my tastes and physical capabilities – was a worthwhile event that led me to continue joining up in other photo tours and workshops (yes, there is a slight difference between the two and I actually wrote an article about it in the National Parks Traveler back in 2014).

This image is looking back on part of the trail from St. Mary Falls leading onward to Virginia Falls.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 24-105mm, 5D, Canon, Canon Lens, Equipment, Glacier National Park MT, Montana, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography

10 Best Parks For Traffic Jams

Steam On The St Mary River

A little cool-weather morning steam atop the Saint Mary River in Glacier National Park

Hey folks!  School is out and summer is on!  If you are planning a national park trip for some amazing scenery, fresh air and a little photography (of course), then click on the photo above to be taken to the article in the National Parks Traveler listing the 10 parks with the heaviest traffic jams.  You’ll read what to expect and solutions to your traffic jam headaches.

 

 

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Creating A Sunburst In Your Photos

Late Afternoon Sunstar At Sunset Point

How many of you have seen photos like this one, where the sun appears many-rayed?  It’s called a sunburst (aka starburst) and my article in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler tells you what it is and how you can achieve one. Even if you don’t like the effect, you’ll still learn something about your camera’s manual settings.

Click on the photo above to be taken to the article.

 

 

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Filed under Arches National Park, Big Bend, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, Equipment, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Photography In The National Parks, starbursts, Zion National Park