Featured Photo: Rocky Mountain Runner

Featured Photo: Rocky Mountain Runner (Independence Pass, Colorado; USA)

The majestic crags of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains create a natural playground for cyclists, hikers, climbers and runners. This photo was taken on the Linkins Lake Trail off of Independence Pass, during a leg-stretch break on our drive from Denver to Aspen (2012). The runner is my daughter, Hannah.

 

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Urban Hiking

San Francisco hill

The uniformed lady shook her head and informed me that my planned walking route into Chinatown was no good. “It’s all hill,” she said, not realizing that she’d just confirmed my decision.

parking "SF style"

San Francisco’s drastic changes in elevation are no exaggeration. Cars systematically park with wheels turned in to the curb. The Metro buses and trolleys run strategically up and down the steepest slopes. Women do not where high heels without ready transportation available, but it’s a great walking city and navigating San Francisco is excellent exercise.

AlcatrazChinatown is always worth a wander as is the Embarcadero along the Bay. After a ferry crossing, Alcatraz is an engrossing ramble rich with eerie histories, and Golden Gate Park holds miles of parkland and gardens.

pier

I walked alone the last time, meeting people, taking photos, and just breathing it all in. I enjoyed wandering with vague purposes and grand appreciations and found myself gently nudging some lingering memories from my last visit there with an 11-year old boy who is now a young man.

A bike ride to Sausalito and late ferry ride back to the city, a run across the Golden Gate Bridge, an exotic pet store in Chinatown, breakfast crepes on a pier…   We jammed a lot into our time there some nine years ago and even more in the years that followed.  Life stayed “busy” the whole way through.

cable car

I’m so glad we took the time to hang off the sides of a few cable cars together.


San Francisco Things To Do

Consider the Fairmont Hotel for your overnight stay and enjoy elegant accommodations and memorable dining.  The historic Tonga Room features live music on a floating stage and periodic “rainstorms,” complete with thunder and lightning.

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Sea Glass on Sun Bay

Sun Bay didn’t get a lot of our time.  Nothing against the sand on that beach —the shores of Isla de Vieques are simply alternate slices of heaven. We had found more private digs on Silver Beach around the corner but appreciated Sun Bay’s alternate view of the little island we swam to in pursuit of a sea turtle.

Sun Bay was the meeting point for our kayak/swim tour of Bioluminescent Bay (more on that later).  More significantly, it was the best beach we found for collecting sea glass.

Sea glass?  It’s basically recycled garbage, but this is a truly artistic reprocessing.  During a stay at Cape Cod, I found publicity for a sea glass festival in Hyannis, Massachusetts. And with a couple of Google clicks, I discovered that the annual festival is not an isolated incident but a major hobby and business for many ocean lovers. The “Shard of the Year” fetches $1000 at the North American Sea Glass Festival.

Sea glass is ocean burnished bottle fragments and chips of glass. Bottle stoppers, marbles, channel markers, thimbles —tossed and tumbled by the ocean until finally washed up as smooth startling bits of color amidst seaweed and shells at water’s edge.  I’ve found them along the shores of disparate seas.  On beaches in Cape Cod, Bermuda, Hawaii, St John, Puerto Rico, Spain and… Vieques.  My aunt’s artful scatter of the glass over a patio table a few years ago  breathed inspiration to me. And so, I gathered my own colorful treasures at Sun Bay.

At Sun Bay we had to get choosy, tossing the similar in favor of the unusual. So much beautiful glass, so little space in our moderately sized hands. At home we arranged the bits of vibrant glass amongst seashells, coral and sand in sea gardens we create in glass bowls to commemorate beach trips.

And with a glance at the glass, I’m back on the beach…

Family Vacation on raveable

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