Travel Hmm…Corn Maze

Corn stalks in Cañon City, CO

Corn stalks in Cañon City, CO

Cañon City, Colorado, USA. Perhaps I’ve seen too many Stephen King movies, but mazes creep me out. If this had been a frozen snow maze — forget it. However, corn isn’t necessarily welcoming either — or perhaps it’s welcoming in a you-can-come-in-but-you’ll-never-get-out sort of way.

Kurt, the kids and I visited a farm in Cañon City, Colorado with a pumpkin patch and a corn maze for Halloween. The kids loved it (yes, children of the corn). I felt a bit uneasy the whole time we wandered around past what seemed like the same stalks of corn over and over. However, the corn, the stalks and the husks offered a parched and foreboding kind of beauty. I just wanted to avoid any encounters with Malachai and a sickle.

My daughter, Kasey, walking down a dirt road next to the corn maze

My daughter, Kasey, walking down a dirt road next to the corn maze

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Travel Ahh….Lakes

A pine tree hides Lake Minerva in Danbury, Wisconsin.

A pine tree hides Lake Minerva in Danbury, Wisconsin.

Hailing originally from Minnesota — the Land of 10,000 Lakes — I have a thing for water, especially lakes. There’s nothing like zenning out while sitting on the dock of a still lake and listening to the occasional waves lap the side of a pontoon boat.

This is a collection of lake photos I’ve take in the past year. Some of the shots are of reservoirs, which are not the same, in my opinion, but they are still bodies of beautiful water.

Sand Lake at dusk in Salida, CO

Sand Lake at dusk in Salida, CO

Sand Lake, Salida, Colorado, USA.

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Travel Oops: Just Trespassin’ Through

Our unapproved tent behind the pergola on private property near Dominguez Canon, Colorado

Our unapproved tent behind the pergola on private property near Dominguez Canyon, Colorado

July 14, 2013 — near Dominguez Canyon, CO, USA

At seven in the morning, my husband Kurt unzips our tent door from the inside. Through the open flap and the a.m. mist, we see a balding man in shorts and a ragged T-shirt approach with a dog.

“I guess you didn’t see my no trespassing sign over there,” he states matter-of-factly.

Our raft secured to the pergola.

Our raft secured to the pergola.

The owner of the private land on which we had just tented without permission, Ewell, stands just outside our “illegal” nylon shelter. Kurt and I expected a scenario like this but we still aren’t ready for it.

“We are so sorry,” I begin to apologize and Kurt gets out the tent.

“We were trying to meet up with our friends in Dominguez Canyon,” Kurt explains. “And we misjudged how long it would take and we ended up rafting in the dark and we heard rapids, and we pulled over here.”

“We have kids,” I blurt out.

Eddie and Kasey being licked by Odie.

Eddie and Kasey being licked by Odie.

Ewell surveys the scene.

“So, basically, you guys were in trouble,” he says and then comes closer to the tent.

“Let me see these kids,” he moves the unzipped flap over and his labrador bounds through, tackling my son Eddie and licking him and my daughter Kasey all over.

“That’s Odie,” Ewell says. “And he won’t hurt you.”

Leave it kids and a dog to break the ice.

And we needed to break the ice since we were completely staked out on this guy’s property, which turned out to be an orchard next to the Gunnison River.

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Travel Ahh…Rocks

At the Remarkable Rocks on  Kangaroo Island with a rock that looks like the west coast of Australia. © Stephanie Glaser 2010

At the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island with a rock that looks like the west coast of Australia.                                © Stephanie Glaser 2010

I’m no geologist, but rocks have fascinated me for quite some time. I love how they are completely created by the changes in nature. The following rock photos are mainly from Australia, which ROCKS (sorry, pun intended) in terms of cool geological formations. In earlier posts, I’ve included  photos of Uluru, which is magnificent and magical, (and also here) so I’m focusing on some other very cool rocks this time. The above photo and the next three are of the Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

More remarkable shapes at this not as well known national park in Australia.

More remarkable shapes at Flinder Chase National Park  in Australia. © Stephanie Glaser 2010

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Travel Ahh…Colorado Rocky Mountains

© Stephanie Glaser 2003

© Stephanie Glaser 2003

To be honest, the ocean is zen to me. It’s where I’d most love to be. However, mountains aren’t a bad substitute. I live in Colorado with some pretty spectacular peaks. In fact, as a teacher, every year I had my students write about the mountains that we often take for granted.

The above photo I took in Telluride, Colorado, USA. Before we had kids, Kurt and I would choose a new place in Colorado every fall to go and check out the Aspens.

© Stephanie Glaser 2004

© Stephanie Glaser 2004

Aspen, CO, USA.

© Stephanie Glaser 2004

© Stephanie Glaser 2004

Aspen, CO, USA.

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Travel Ahh…Silhouettes

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

Silhouettes not only capture definite outlines, edges and angles of a subject, but they offer a bit of mystery, too.  That’s what I like so much about them. I also like silhouettes because they seem a bit more forgiving when you’re taking a photo. The above photo of the boat I took after a stunning sunset in Kalbarri, Western Australia. 

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

Kalbarri, Western Australia. 

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

Bali, Indonesia. It’s impossible not to take a good photo of Tanah Lot, one of the sacred Hindu temples on Bali.

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Travel Ahh….Palm Trees

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

Palm trees immediately make me feel at ease — like the ocean. Perhaps it’s because they are such an iconic symbol of tropical islands or, at least, warm weather. I took the above photo in Bali, Indonesia. 

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser 2011

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

Adelaide, South Australia.

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The Travel Ahh….Life on a Frozen Lake

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. In many cases winter represents an end to something: like an end to fall, an end to warm weather, an end to the year, an end to a life cycle. It can be a bit depressing, really. Consequently, I’m not a fan of winter or the cold, but when you travel back to Minnesota for the holidays, that is what you will get. This year I decided, however, to appreciate winter, in particular, the beauty and the mystery of a frozen lake.

© Stephanie Glaser

Seaweed in the ice © Stephanie Glaser

A frozen lake is just another phase of a life cycle. Actually, you see quite a bit of life, albeit some of it cryogenically preserved. Sensory details keep it interesting as well whether it is the crunch of snow, the cold on your face or the bright glare of the sun reflecting off the ice.

A somewhat unsettling, but cool, sound occurs when the ice contracts and expands, making noises like a whale or a thick wire reverberating. My favorite description is from my son Eddie, who noticed the ice sounded a stormtrooper firing his blaster in “Star Wars.” So really it’s like whales playing laser tag. Fortunately, this is normal activity for a frozen lake and while there are cracks that happen way down in the layers of ice, water seeps in and refills the cracks.

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Swimming with Whale Sharks, a Hammerhead and Everything Else in the Indian Ocean

© Kurt Glaser 2010

July 2010, Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia. The largest fish in the world is swimming at about three miles per hour, but it’s hard, even with fins, to keep up with the 20-foot-long behemoth. A huge happy looking fish with white polka dots sprinkled over its expansive back, the whale shark lumbers leisurely through the cloudy water.

Occasionally, it opens its mouth to feed on plankton.  A large nonthreatening interior with a noticeable absence of razor sharp rows of teeth is revealed. In fact, it almost looks like white cushions line the inside of the whale shark’s billowing jaws.

© Kurt Glaser 2010

This is crazy. I can’t believe I’m sauntering along in the Indian Ocean with a whale shark. And we are swimming in some very deep open water — 80 meters (262 feet)  — to be exact. In fact, I can’t look down or around. I stare at my new friend, the whale shark, and kick hard.

I fall back as the whale shark slowly shifts. Once behind the massive fish, I see them: the same foreboding, angular tail and dorsal fin that have menaced and terrified people on the big screen and the Discovery Channel for years. The tail looks like a large iron boomerang steadily moving back and forth.

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The Travel Oops Interview: The Great Blurrier Reef

Suzanne and Jason Miller.

Murky, gray water and zero visibility are not the conditions the postcards and the documentaries promise when they feature the Great Barrier Reef. However, the photographers behind the incredible images were probably not shooting during a typhoon.

Interestingly, while the surface of the ocean may be swirling and raging during a typhoon, underneath the water, a certain calm is maintained. Not that the sand isn’t churned up in a messy way. Consequently, Suzanne Miller and her husband, Jason, missed out on the electric colors, crystal blue waters and endless schools of vivid fish while on a dive off the coast of Cairns, Australia, in April 2010. Despite the fact they dove during a tropical storm, the Millers rank this dive high on their list of accomplishments. The dive also happens to be a great Travel Oops.

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