Category Archives: Vacation

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

Happy New Year, London – It’s 2016!

Happy New Year From London

My last post described my New Year’s Eve experience in London.  This post shows you the results.  The fireworks display lasted around 11 minutes. I used my Canon 1DX and 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, set the ISO to 5000, shutter to 1/50 of a second, aperture was f/4 and I just left it at that for these photos.  I had to use some noiseware (Imagenomic) reduction software during the editing phase.

Happy New Year London 2-15-2016Happy New Year UK 2016Happy New Year UK 2016Happy New Year UK 2016Happy New Year UK 2016Happy New Year Longon 2-15-2016Happy New Year UK 2016Happy New Year London 2-15-2016Happy New Year London 2-15-2016Happy New Year London 2-15-2016Happy New Year London 2-15-2016Happy New Year London 2016Happy New Year London 2016Happy New Year London 2016Happy New Year London 2-15-2016

Some of these images bring to mind an abstract painting.  All of these images bring to mind an incredible event.

 

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Filed under 1DX, Canon, Canon Lens, holiday, London, New Year, Night Photography, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography, Uncategorized, Vacation

Ocotillo

Ocotillo Bloom

For my first vacation of the year, I drove  from my home in southeast Texas to Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas – a 13-hour drive (if my friend or her husband had let me borrow one of their brand new Corvettes, it might have only been a 2-hour drive) Winking smile

I’d visited the park back in December 2013 and I returned to that park for two reasons:  the starry night skies (it was a new moon when I visited) and the blooming cacti.

Two Bees In A Prickly Pear Bloom

So, where does the ocotillo come in?

Ocotillo and Chihuahuan Desert Scenery

Because it’s not a cactus.

Ocotillo Thorns

Even though it has thorns.  Lots of ‘em.

Ocotillo Bloom

No, an ocotillo is a shrub.  Most of the year, it looks dead.  But, when it rains, it puts out lots of little green leaves and these beautiful, orange-red tubular blooms.  The leaves fall off pretty quickly in an effort to conserve water, but these blooms remain for a bit longer.  Ocotillos can live between 60-100 years and grow 20 feet tall.

Early Morning In The Park

The ocotillo is a pretty cool plant.

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Filed under Big Bend, flowers, National Parks, Photography, Texas, Travel, Vacation

Becky’s 2013 Photographic Review

Becky At The Window Overlook

While perusing several other blogs which I follow, I noted one of the photographic bloggers was preparing a year in review post.  I decided to do the same.

Going through all of my photos taken over the course of year gave me pause in which I realized that I had a really good year.  Oh, of course I had ups and downs, but all in all, I had a great deal more ups than downs.

In February, I traveled to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse State Park – all in Utah.  This was my first winter trip in many years (most of my trips are mainly during the late summer or fall seasons).  During that time, I hiked up to Delicate Arch and had the entire area all to myself for a good 30+ minutes, and was also fortunate enough on the previous day to witness a magical snow fall in an otherwise arid region.

On Top Of The World

Steps Up To North Window

In early April, I had the pleasure of conducting a portfolio photo session for  a stunningly beautiful belly dancer.

Zaras Veils

And in late April, I photographed the wedding of a former co-worker and her musician fiancee (who now has a jazz CD out on iTunes).  The weather was perfect, the bride was stunning, the wedding went off without a hitch, and the day couldn’t have been better – we all had a great time.

Bride Relaxing On The Chairs

Newly Wedded

In July, I flew to Alaska for the first time in my life, spending a week with Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris in Katmai National Park and Preserve.  There, I captured some fantastic photos of the awesome coastal brown bears as they fished for the salmon along the Brooks River.  Prior to the trip to Katmai, I spent a few days just tooleying around the Anchorage area in a rental car, further cementing my desire to return in August 2014.

Becky At Brooks Falls

Caught One

And I wasn’t finished with July travel.  Work required me to travel to London;  this time, it was via Business Class, which is a heck of a lot sweeter than economy, believe me.  In between work at the London office,  I managed to do things in that great city that I had not been able to accomplish during a visit two years prior (tour the National Gallery, ride on the London Eye at night and purchase a ticket to see Spamalot).

Becky At Trafalgar Square

At The Top Of The Eye

In October, I flew to Maine and spent a week on Mount Desert Island where I captured the gloriously-saturated colors of autumn.  Because this trip coincided with the  government shutdown, I investigated Acadia National Park via biplane rather than hiking.

Becky And The St. Augustine

Maine From Above

The Road To Cadillac Mountain

Starting on the 7th day of September, I helped my 88-year old mother hang 3 hummingbird feeders;  throughout the month, I had the wonderful privilege of photographing the beauty and antics of the ruby-throated hummingbirds that made their annual migration through my part of southeast Texas.  During those days and evenings of photography, I digitally captured hummingbird behavior that I had never witnessed before.

Becky And The Hummingbirds

Pulling The Head Feathers

In November (well, actually, that last day of November and the first day of December), I spent the weekend with my friends The Merchant Prince and his Lady Michelle, photographing their food & beverage venues and some crazy characters out at the Texas Renaissance Festival.

Christmas Becky

The Kings Feast Staff

Basil Drake and Fans

Gypsy Dance Theatre

In December, I managed to salvage enough vacation days for a 13-hour drive to Big Bend National Park, where I spent 4 full days in this incredible southwest Texas park.  I was so taken with this place that I will be making the long drive back in late April 2014 for a week’s stay.

I Made It

The Chisos Mountains And Chihuahuan Desert

Casa Grande and A Gibbous Moon

And, throughout the year when not traveling far and wide, I have visited and photographed the nearby Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge as well as Brazos Bend State Park.

A Golden Burst

Evening At Creekfield Lake1

Things have gone well, workwise.  My health has been good, as has the health of other members of my family.   I continue to contribute articles and photographs for the National Parks Traveler and my Facebook photography page has over 6000 Facebook Fans. Open-mouthed smile

Throughout the year, I got to do a lot of traveling and photography – the two things I love doing the most.  I guess I could have eschewed many of the trips and bought the big honkin’ prime lens that I’ve been lusting after for a couple of years now.  Instead, though, I chose to spend my discretionary income on traveling.  An old “rockhound” friend of my parents once told us “You can’t take your stuff with you but you can take your experiences with you”.  I totally believe that.  So, I opt for the travel experiences and thank my lucky stars for lensrentals.com Winking smile

Yes, there have been a few tough times, but not as many tough times as good times.  I’ve got a roof over my head, food in my tummy, a good job, and my family.  It’s been a really good year.

I look forward to next year and hope that it’s as good as this year has been.

Official Big Bend Fan

How has 2013 treated you?

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Filed under Acadia National Park, Alaska, Arches National Park, Big Bend, Blogging, Katmai National Park, Life, Maine, National Parks, Parks, Photography, Texas, Travel, Utah, Vacation

Photography In The National Parks: Big Bend in December

Sunset Over The Chisos Mountains

The National Parks Traveler just published a little “Exploring The Parks” article I wrote about my recent mid-December road trip to Big Bend National Park, Texas.  If you are interested in checking it out, just click on the photo above.

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Filed under Big Bend, National Parks, Night Photography, Photography, Texas, Travel, Travel and Photography, Vacation

Acadia National Park…..By Biplane

The National Parks Traveler has followed up my previous kayaking article with my article I wrote regarding photography of Acadia National Park from a biplane.  Click on this  link to get to the article where I not only tell my story and have aerial photos of one of the shut down parks, but I also impart  advice on aerial photography should any of you out there ever take a flightseeing tour of an area.

Becky And The St. Augustine

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Filed under Acadia National Park, aerial photography, Equipment, Maine, National Parks, Photography, Travel, Vacation

My 15 Minutes Of Fame: An Email Interview With CNN

This morning, I am in Bar Harbor, Maine.

As you know, I contribute to a monthly Photography In The Parks column on the National Parks Traveler website.  Because of this, most (if not all) of my vacations from my day job are centered around trips to national parks.

About three months ago, I purchased a plane ticket to Maine, paid for a rental cottage in Bar Harbor, pre-paid for a rental car (a Toyota Avalon, which is pretty darned nice, as they bumped me up to mid-size rather than economy at no extra charge), and made preparations to spend my days visiting Acadia National Park.

As you know, the shutdown has caused havoc with the national parks.

I was perusing the items on my Facebook Page – one of the pages I like is CNN.  One of their posts announced they were looking for people to email them with changes they had made to their vacation / wedding / other plans regarding a visit to a national park.  I was at the airport in Houston and I typed an email out on my phone and sent it off to CNN.

Lo and behold, as I was sitting on the plane waiting for it to finish loading and get ready for take-off, I received an answer back from CNN wanting to hold an email interview and asking me to answer some questions for them.  So, I did – all before the plane left the ground.  And CNN printed part of my interview, along with others they interviewed.

Here’s the link.  I’m the photographer mentioned regarding Acadia National Park.

My 15 minutes of fame.

😀

P.S.  Stay tuned for photos from Maine

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Filed under Maine, Photography, Travel, Vacation