Spring Promise

Spring. Hope. New beginnings.

When gardeners young, old, amateur, professional, talented, and uncoordinated share dreams of bright flowers on hardy stems and vegetables forming and ripening before their eyes.

It’s early for most of us to go out and “play in the dirt” here. But I found a community garden which with the aid of plastic over hoops (now removed) gave these beauties a head start.

The race is on! Quick start garden. Now to keep the hungry rabbits away.



Look Twice

Be careful crossing the street. Look both ways. Twice.

Good advice from parents to children. Good habit for adults, and not limited to crossing streets.

One quick look is often not enough. What’s moving in the grass? Where’s the hamster? (or kitten, or puppy, or other pet) Is the mess cleaned up? The stain removed? Often a careful examination now will save time and effort in the future.

And sometimes people play tricks on others.

For example:

Taking a nap on these rocks would be comfy.

Reason: They’re pillows.


All Good Things…

The United States is a large country. Inside its borders you will find multiple climates, physical features, and historical sites.

We started our blog journey through the states way back in November with a stop on the Maine coast. During the next months we went south to Florida, west to California, then north to Alaska and finally southwest to Hawaii. We missed a few and my apologies it one was your favorite. I didn’t have photographs, either film or digital in my personal collection.

I hope that you learned a fact or two along the way. Vacation planing season is upon us. Perhaps you want to see if places have changed since I took some of the black and while photographs on film. Or you got a hint for a day trip.

Wishing you happy travels whether you travel by air, rail, road, or digital.




Tropical paradise. According to the travel brochures, a visit to Hawaii will raise your spirits and reduce your stress levels.

The sample I experienced on my one visit to the Aloha State supports the statement — at least the trend. I live in the Midwest and timed my visit to shorten a winter. The sweater worn under the windbreaker remained stashed in the luggage from arrival to departure.

Enjoy a stop in the youngest of the United States, a former Kingdom with British ties and influences. It became a portion of the US in 1898 and a state in 1959.

Got for a stroll. Evening on the beach. Music. A stray surfer or two. Tourists and locals swimming. Minimum tides (that surprised me). Fruits and flowers new to me.

As part of a tour group, I was kept busy. We visited historical sites. Received an introduction to Island Culture. Enjoyed some wonders of nature – waterfalls, beaches, and forests. Our bus took us up the side of a volcano (and safely back down). Yield to the downhill bicyclists. (I didn’t notice any biking up.)

Lots of things to experience on this multi-island state. My personal list has plenty to fill another two or three visits.

The view from Diamond Head goes for miles, and miles, and miles.                     (Allow plenty of time to catch your breath after the climb.)



The Last Frontier. Steward’s Folly. The Frozen North.

While the first of those phrases may be correct, don’t believe the other two. The purchase of the territory from Russia, negotiated by Sec of State Wm. H. Seward in 1867, turned out to be a bargain. And while the region is in the far north, it’s certainly not all frozen thanks in part to the warm waters of the Japanese Current.

I suggest you purchase an airplane ticket for your visit. Or one of the popular cruises. If you insist you may drive, but expect services to be spaced far apart and take your passport since you will enter and exit Canada.

My one and only visit to the state was in 1976 when we went to visit relatives on their homestead. We timed our visit to avoid the long northern nights and limited our exploring in the brush and woods due to mosquitoes and other wildlife. (They grow them large to match the state.)

If you enjoy looking at: mountains, glaciers, wildlife, oceans, whales, fishing boats, or totem poles this belongs on your list of places to go.

Taken on the road from Fairbanks to Anchorage.

Please pass the salmon. Thinking about this place makes me hungry.



The state. The one in the Pacific Northwest. Please do not confuse with the city 2700 miles to the east and south.

My family has had ties to this state since 1906, when a great aunt and her family moved from Wisconsin to Washington. My personal experience with this state began with a visit in my teen years. Then I lived there for a decade after college. And I’ve returned for a visit again.

Variety is the word I’d pick to describe Washington. East of the mountains, the Cascades, the climate is dry, sunny, and excellent for orchard crops, wheat, and ranching. From the coast to the mountains the climate is wetter, the forests thicker, and sunshine less frequent.

As early as 1792, English naval officer George Vancouver mapped the Puget Sound area. Small, medium, and large islands make residents watchful of the tides as well as the weather. Ferry service is an extension of the highway system.

I’m prejudiced. I think the state is beautiful in every season. But the photo below shows a spring highlight of one of the rich delta regions north of Seattle.

Tulip fields encourage photographers each spring.



We turn our footsteps north and enter Oregon. Divided north to south by the Cascade Range, this state has two distinct climates. The coast and western plain is mild and humid (great for growing fruits and vegetables). The eastern portion of the state is high, dry plains more suited to ranching.

The Columbia River forms the northern boundary of the state. Long seen as an important river, the navigational hazards at the mouth (the bar), has claimed many ships through the centuries. Lewis and Clark traveled down the river and wintered in Oregon.

Large numbers of settlers arrived via the Oregon Trail beginning in the 1840’s. By 1848 the area became a territory and statehood arrived in 1859.

Slow down and enjoy the coast. Roll down the windows and take in the scent of the forest. Enjoy some fresh, very fresh, seafood. Or drive east and catch a rodeo.


This peaceful scene is in Salem,

not far from the State Capitol and other office buildings.



Hollywood. Silicon Valley. Pacific Coast Highway.

The name California may bring any or all of the above to mind. Currently the most populated of the states, it also claims the third largest land area. With a natural border of the Pacific Ocean on the west, it come with great advantages as a port of entry and natural resources.

The area was explored in the mid-1500’s by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and Sir Francis Drake. However, the first Spanish settlement was not built until 1769 when the first in the string of missions which reached from present day San Diego to San Francisco Bay was established.

All of my life, I’ve had a least one relative live in the state. At first it was a great-aunt who would send tree ripened oranges to my grandmother some years. Later it was a mother-in-law. Currently a nephew calls California home.

All travelers or tourists should find something of interest in this state of contrasts. Do you like mountains? Giant trees? High desert? Sunny beaches? Rocky coast with powerful waves? The rush of a thriving city?

During several visits to this state I manage to find something new each time. We drove past impressive Mount Shasta on my first visit. Spent a day at Disneyland on another. Toured a retired luxury liner another time. And paused long enough to confirm the reports of wonderful weather in San Diego on my most recent.

So pull out a map. Decide on a destination or two — and GO!


When pausing to soak in the sights at Santa Monica pier, look for the descendants of these fine fellows – the class of 1998.












Glitz. Gambling. Secrets.

It’s known as the Silver State. Don’t be fooled. Gold, copper, and diatomite are also extracted from the earth and contribute to the economy. With the building of Hoover Dam making electricity available, the construction of Las Vegas as a tourist and gambling destination followed.

Look beyond the few miles of flashing lights and adult shows. You’ll find canyons to explore, historical sites to visit, and modern factories turning out electronics and other modern items.

The first time I visited this state, we booked a vacation package in Reno and added a side trip to Virginia City. Mining country. High altitude. The dry, Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.

My most recent trip, to Las Vegas centered on visiting relatives. We skipped the glitz and basked in the natural wonder of Red Rock Canyon.


A majestic view to contemplate your results at the casino.