Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Reflecting back

This photo was taken from the boat’s stern while on a sunset cruise off the coast of Kaua’i Island, Hawaii while on a recent trip.

The sun goes down on

Kauai’s deep turquoise sea;

a peach colored sky

     reflecting soft images

on the breaking water’s tide

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Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

Posted for The Daily Post https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/reflecting/

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/

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)

Fairbanks, Alaska – What one sees beneath a wing and propellers of a turboprop plane

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Looking down over Fairbanks, Alaska, July 13, 2016, Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

Fairbanks, Alaska

What one can see beneath the wing and blades of a turboprop plane may be fleeting, a passing moment hurried by, and I did not want to miss it. This picture is out of focus, with no description or knowledge of what we were looking at, but it is the moment captured that counts. It’s as if time and motion slowed, and one sees things from a bird’s-eye view, even if a very high one. The unusual way propellers look as if slowing their speed while looking down from the plane window gave me just enough time to get this quick shot looking down onto Fairbanks, Alaska. We took this one hour flight to Fairbanks from Anchorage, Alaska on a De Havilland Dash 8-400 turboprop on July 13th.

There have not been many times when I have ridden on a turboprop plane, but this was one time when at least I had a camera to use for this picture. I had my Nikon stuffed away in a tote bag under the seat, but for some quick shots at something I wanted to capture, I used my Amazon Fire tablet camera, or my smart phone camera, both devices more handy and accessible at the time. Although there are editing options for both it is hard to focus on things when moving at high rates of speed. Of course this picture does not look like we flew at a high rate of speed when one can see what looks like the slowing of propeller blades that couldn’t keep up. It makes it look as if hardly moving at all. So, when I saw how this picture came out I thought it unique and worth sharing. It was day one of our recent trip and cruise to Alaska. I will share some of my favorite photos with descriptions and stories in the next several weeks, and my perspective on a very vast, wonderful place to visit with history that dates back to the beginning of its discovery and exploration, and its famous Denali Peak (formerly Mount McKinley, largest peak in the U.S.) the ice glaciers, caribou, Iditarod sled dog teams, gold rush, and much more, seen while on this journey.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Our Journey

 

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We were nineteen years old fifty years ago today (July 16) when we were married in Kansas City, Mo. We stood at the church altar exchanging our vows, pledging our love, and devotion to one another, feeling as if ready in some ways, yet somewhat apprehensive about what life might bring. Two weeks later, Wayne went to his appointment at his draft board to hear their decision.

It was 1966 and the draft was in effect for the Vietnam war in southeast Asia, which meant that all males, eighteen to twenty-five could be called up to serve. They all had to carry their draft cards with the status, age and identification current and listed, registered and ready. Those who refused to serve were arrested, or dodged service and ran off to Canada. Hundreds more protested in open street demonstrations and things became violent. If they were in college, or enrolled in one by the time they were drafted they were required to keep a GPA of 3.00 or better to be in an exempt status.

Our prayers, faith and an acceptance letter from the college where Wayne was enrolled that fall exempted him from serving, so it was California, “Ready or Not, Here We Come,” and we headed off to school and new jobs in Los Angeles.

Four years later in 1970 we headed back to Kansas City after our daughter’s birth and his graduation. Our second daughter was born before we moved out to Colorado, which was like coming back home for me. Though we met and married in Kansas City while living there neither of us were originally from Missouri. He was from Kentucky, and I, from Colorado.

Life during those fifty years threw us some curves; tough times that challenged our faith, and what seemed at times like ‘Mission Impossible’ assignments. But, we got through them, and grew stronger through the experience because we have a friend in Jesus, who’s always there, always forgives, and wipes away every heartache and tear. We learned to rise above difficult situations, not give up and overcome those obstacles, or mountains in our path in order to climb to this point in life, today. Whether we will make it beyond our fiftieth, God only knows, but we will be together, until death do us part, rich or poor. Our moments here on earth are temporary, fragile and unpredictable, but those with Him are eternal.

At the time of this posting Wayne and I will be in Alaska seeing some beautiful country and embarking on an Alaskan cruise enjoying this moment in our lives, celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. And when I return I will have photos and stories to share of our journey.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

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