Archive for the ‘My trips and travels’ Category

You won’t walk that road alone…   2 comments

Photo taken inside the church of the Holy Seplechure, Jerusalem, Israel in May, 2001 while on my trip there to Israel.

Don’t be afraid, for the road you take you won’t take alone.

When storm clouds come and darkness closes round,

and you fear that you might stumble, and cast your foot upon a stone,

and the burdens that you bear weigh you down and keep you bound,

and you ask, “What am I to do, does anyone really care?”

I want to tell you, I’ve walked this way before when I carried the sins of all.

With brokenness in spirit I struggled carrying my cross up the road.

And your sins? Forgotten, and no more, for I’ve born those too, you see.

You are free. I paid your price. You’re not alone if you’ll walk this road with me.

I came to save and redeem the lost if they believe.

It was all prearranged by my Father at Calvary.

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Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Matthew 28:5 & 6 – But the angel said to the women, Do not be alarmed and frightened for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; He is risen, as He said He would do. Come, see the place where He lay.

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He is risen indeed! 🙂 The story of Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection can be found in chapters twenty-sixth through twenty-eight of Matthew in the New Testament bible. I hope you have, and know the peace and joy that only Christ alone can bring, and I want to wish you all a happy, blessed Easter.


The Birth of a King

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001, Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

Nothing but chaos, crowds and noise

greeted the young couple, desperate to find

a quiet place, warm and dry

for the birth of their child, the newborn king.

Foretold and promised generations ago,

news of his birth was heard throughout the lands,

and the star in the east that lit up the sky

guided men of wisdom across desert sands.

Shepherds fled their flocks

frightened by angels that came nigh

announcing the news of Jesus’s birth.

To the king they hurried, and in haste found

the tiny babe chosen to rule and reign

lying in a feeding trough upon a cold bare ground.

Hope and redemption was born that night

where cattle grazed, and sheep and goats brayed.

No throne or palace was awarded this king,

yet people came from all around

seeking the savior born that day.

Now in a world where chaos, crowds and noise

  leaves hearts searching and seeking one to follow,

  where joy, comfort and peace

is eternal, lasting and hallow,

there waits the savior born that day

to reign in hearts that just believe.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:10-14 NIV, New Testament Bible.

I would like to take this time to thank all of my blogger friends, followers and visitors who have visited my blog site through 2016, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year of peace and joy in 2017. The amazing friends and opportunities I have, and the positive comments received are what makes blogging fun, rewarding, and an inspiration to my writing. Blessings to all.  JEJ

The annual quest for Colorado gold

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Every year when the leaves turn and Autumn arrives we head out, on our quest to look for the best places to photograph the changes in color and the Aspens turning a bright golden-yellow. And sometimes, a shot of something else will do too when we stop to explore along the road. The top photo is one of the Aspens in the Rocky Mountains seen off highway 7 between Lyons and Nederland, Co.

The bottom photo is one of Barker Dam off the road on the way down to the city of Boulder. Timing, location and altitude can make all the difference in the color and changes seen. In some areas just a few days earlier, there was more color with rust and red tones showing in some of the plant life, brighter in places, but in others it had not yet reached its peak. Photographers with tripods set in place can be spotted along the road, as everyone wants to capture the gold.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/quest/

Painted by the finger of God

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The sun lingers just over the rise,

a tinge of pink reflects off the peaks.

With anticipation I wait to behold

the glow spreading across the sky.

The hour in passing seems too long.

Then dusk descends slowly over the ridge,

and the heavens like a canvas arrayed in hues

of orange and yellow merge together

exploding in color and brilliant light,

an image painted by the finger of God.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Footnote: I took the above photos in July of this year, getting these and many other shots during our wait for the sun to go down while parked up on the lookout ridge overlooking Longs Peak in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Whenever we go up there I come away inspired to write new pieces of poetry, adding more new photos to our ever-growing collection of Colorado mountain photos that fill our albums and digital libraries.

Living just an hour away and thirty miles from Rocky Mountain National Park is a definite advantage to being able to do this, and we never tire of the beautiful drive up highway 34 from our town of Loveland, through the narrows and granite canyons and into Estes Park situated at the foot of RMNP.  At this time of year after a very busy, bustling summer of tourists visiting RMNP we see the busy summer tourist season come to a close with the Labor Day weekend. Soon, the Aspen trees begin to turn a golden color, drop their leaves, and the elk do their popular bugling call (the beginning of their mating season), drawing more tourists for the autumn season. The air turns colder and we see our first winter snow storms, snow skiers arriving, and it is busy again. 🙂

Port cities explored in southeast Alaska

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A street scene in Skagway. Its history dates back to 1898 when the Klondike ‘gold rush’ brought prospectors by the thousands to search for a vein of gold that could be mined and lead them to their riches. Few found it, but the lure and the dream remained with those who stayed and carved out a place to settle down and form roots.

DSCN0796The above gray building is known as Camp Skagway, an establishment of the Arctic Brotherhood, restored in Skagway. It was built from 1,000 sticks of driftwood, and remains a historic landmark today.

DSCN0794The storefronts in Skagway are original; preserved and quaint. The buildings with the ‘Old Wild West’ look add to its charm with the mountain range seen in the background.

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Juneau, above is the capital of Alaska, a modern sprawl of commercial, residential, business and tourism offering attractions like deep-sea fishing and whale watching. Much of the residential areas can be seen with homes bunched up against the hills overlooking the waterfront. DSCN0821A view of Juneau’s waterfront from the Coral Princess cruise ship.

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A street scene of Ketchikan taken from a deck aboard the Coral Princess cruise ship.

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Ketchikan is known for its totem pole carving, a native art that dates back to the 1800s. The wood logs are often seen pulled through the water by boats and taken where they are dried and hollowed out before carving them to avoid the wood from splitting. Each carving tells a story of one’s history or folklore that goes back to the early days of exploration in Alaska, the native Alaskan tribes and people who settled there.

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These last two photos above are the port and skyline of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, a very large city of several million with a high percentage of immigrants from all over the world. Vancouver is also a city that strives to keep it an environmentally safe and green city with plants, gardens and foliage thriving everywhere, even growing on tops of their buildings, literally.

We pulled into port in the early morning hours,  disembarked from the Coral Princess, and once again waited in long lines to go through customs and security clearance. It was the end to an awesome trip, and unforgettable experience touring the great state of Alaska via cruise ship, rail and motor coach.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Frozen; Alaska’s Hubbard, and Glacier Bay

 

After the first day of cruising Alaska’s coastline we came to Hubbard Glacier. It is a scenic winter wonderland of ice floes and fjords nestled up against the gulf of Alaska’s Inside Passage.

 

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The water is almost transparent, like crystal blue glass mirroring the reflections of snow and ice formed on the ridges and peaks.

 

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The dark-colored water lines show sediment formed on the melting glaciers as water levels change.

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Chunks and pieces of ice floes from the glaciers dropped off into the water while the ship was stopped. Then the ship did slow spins and turns so passengers could see the glaciers from all angles to photograph. The noise was like a loud roar heard through the straight as chunks began to slowly break away from the icebergs.

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Cruising the Inside Passage of Alaska’s gulf to see this scenic wonder was my favorite part of the cruise. The scope and size of these glaciers, their beauty, magnitude and the quiet had a calming effect, an incredible, peaceful sight.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

 

What can be seen from the rails

A view from the train

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Capturing a view from the train is one hurried, like the flash of a camera lens, literally. Timing and preparation while racing past the intended object is essential, but difficult to get focused and shoot quickly. Some say a real photographer, professional or otherwise does not put away their camera for even a moment, lest they lose their opportunity to get what they set out to find, like the wildlife perched from atop a cliff like in the case of the Dall sheep seen in the photo below.

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And then the lighting, reflection and rays of bright sun showing through the cars’ viewing windows reflects back distorted images, like this one below, none of which one wants in their final edited image.

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That is what happened a number of times as we tried to get quick shots of scenes in passing. So, most of these images we quickly deleted and others that showed up with what looked like smudged or clouded areas on the windows. But, we worked with the options we had in getting what we ultimately wanted to photograph on a cruising train through Alaska’s dense overgrowth, forests and mountain ranges seen on either side of the rail tracks. The image of the couple seen in the photo above sat across from us at the table assigned to us in our domed rail car, with good food and service, and gave us opportunity to socialize. A Princess cruise guide shared much about Alaska’s history on the regions we traveled through. Having always loved train rides, I found the five and a half hour trip comfortable and relaxing.

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After passing through towns, river channels, across bridges and skirting the shores of marshlands we came into view of an open water mass to the port of Whittier, Alaska where the Coral Princess waited, and our check in and embarkation process could commence with the now much greater increased security measures in place.

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In a few hours our luggage sat waiting for us in our stateroom while we immediately headed out on an open deck to watch with excitement as our ship pulled out of port and headed for the open sea at sunset.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

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