Ships, Sea Smoke and a Sunrise

I had great intentions to make it to work on time this morning…until I decided to bring my camera with me.  I ended up taking a little detour.  First stop, the parking lot at the church Mike & I were married.  The parking lot has fabulous views of Lake Superior.  The sun had just risen and the sea smoke was billowing up from the lake.  Ten ships were anchored awaiting their turn at the dock (there really are ten, you just can’t see them all in my photo).

I wanted a closer look, so I made another stop at the shore of Lake Superior.  The ships were there, just not visible because of the low level sea smoke.

I finally made it to my destination and this was the view outside the back door.

What a beautiful place to live and work…despite the subzero temps.  I’m still trying to warm up.

Summer Vacation | By The Numbers

Last week we took our first out-of-state summer vacation.  Minnesota daytime temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s weren’t high enough for us, so we opted to jump on a plane and fly to Phoenix, Arizona.  Daytime temps somewhere around…106 degrees.  We didn’t stay any longer in Phoenix than necessary to pick up our rental car and drive north.  Destination…Flagstaff.  We based out of Flagstaff for seven days with day trips to Sedona, Williams, Page and the Grand Canyon.  Flagstaff had temperatures similar to Minnesota.  Williams and the Grand Canyon, slightly warmer.  Sedona was in the upper 80’s and low 90’s and it was a cool 96 degrees in Page, Arizona.  We even hopped the state line and ventured into Utah where it felt as though a massive blow dryer was gently blowing in our faces.

Our day trips were sometimes a bit long, but oh so worth it.  We logged 1,197 driving miles on our rental vehicle.  Mike drove all of them.  Thank you, Mike!  We used 36.767 gallons of gas with an average mpg of 32.556.  We flew 2,840 miles round trip.  I took 2,697 photos on my Canon camera.  Not nearly as many on my iPhone.  We visited 3 national monuments, 1 wild life park, 1 state park and 1 national park.  We also celebrated 1 milestone birthday.  Mike turned 50 while we were there.  Happy Birthday!

Day one of our vacation began at 4am in order to catch our early flight. We arrived in Phoenix shortly after 10am and spent most of the day driving, checking out the area and buying groceries.  I did manage to take a few photos during the drive.  Some while we were moving in the vehicle.  Some at overlooks.  It was fun to see the changing landscape from cactus on hillsides to mountains to forests.

Our first official stop was for for a bite to eat.  We used our Yelp app and found a nice little restaurant in Black Canyon City just off the highway.  Sebastian and Mike had burgers.  Sophia and I had salads.  And there may have also been a delicious homemade cinnamon roll in there somewhere.  Great little place with wonderful food and service. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the middle of somewhere between Phoenix and Flagstaff.

Nora Jean’s Koffee Kitchen

A Cactus Sighting (or should that be cacti?)

Open Fields

The Sign Says It All

Road Side Rest Stop…With A View

Getting Closer To Flagstaff

Pine Forests, Grass and Horses

The View Just a Short Walk From Our Rental

With the sun already setting, we took a few photos before heading back to the house.

Up Next: Day Two – Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monument.  No more (slightly blurry) photos out of a moving vehicle.  I promise.

 

The Night Sky

I was hoping to photograph the aurora borealis at the cabin last night, but the northern lights never showed up.  It was a beautiful evening and I was able to capture the stars and their reflection on the calm waters instead.

It was a perfect way to relax after a busy week – listening to the frogs and loons and watching the sky.