It is now October 9, and the aspens have finally changed color. This is about 20 days later than normal, due to unusually high temperatures throughout the state. The following picture was taken at about 8,500 feet elevation on the Cub Creek Trail in Evergreen.
While traveling through western Massachusetts with my dad, we stopped at the nifty Bridge of Flowers at Shelburne Falls. It is a former trolley bridge that has been repurposed into quite an impressive garden. It is also a fairly major tourist stop now; there was a tourist bus parked at one end of it.
You can get to this spectacular view of the Green River by driving about 25 miles northwest of Moab, mostly on dirt roads, and then mountain biking an additional nine miles to reach the overlook. If the sun is shining, it is worth the view.
This is an abandoned mining rig, located in a distant corner of Moab, on Polar Mesa. Most of the forest service roads in the area have been abandoned, but the road grader is still maintaining access to this site.
This is the Dewey Bridge in Utah, which is awaiting donations for a massive amount of maintenance. At the moment, it is more likely to be used as a zip line or perhaps an episode of American Ninja Warrior.
This modestly nice view is what you get if you drive 43 miles east of Moab down increasingly marginal roads, then switch to a mountain bike and grind up 4x4 roads that are a 1/2” deep in dust for another 10 miles. Not sure it was worth the view, but I certainly got in my daily cardio.
The following notice was taped to the bathroom door at a mountain biking trail head north of Fruita, CO. I suppose the alternative is to pee in a bush and risk having a rattlesnake come out.
This sign was posted next to the Little Scraggy Trail in the Buffalo Peaks area. This trail has something like 70 banked turns and a fair amount of washboard conditions, which it appears is causing some riders fits.
The individual shown below routinely visits Staunton State Park to balance rocks on top of each other. The park rangers don’t like it, and knock down these wonderful balancing acts when they spot them - and have even taken away the rock whisperer in handcuffs and threatened him with detention. Off hand, I think his creations are pretty harmless.
The Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona has been constructed to allow in a massive amount of light, as can be seen in the following photo. This is far more than in older cathedrals, where the construction techniques required more massive stonework and so are quite a bit darker on the inside. A very impressive display.
We spotted this ancient-looking sundial on the wall of a winery in an area outside of Barcelona. One small problem - the sundial was off by two hours!
Many years ago, you could drop off your baby (literally) in this hole in the wall of a Barcelona convent, and put money into the slot on the left side, to help support the child. Not quite the traditional stork approach…
We attempted to hike around the pinnacles of Montserrat in between lightning storms, but didn’t get very far. A rock hit the roof of our funicular cab on the way up and cracked the glass roof, while another rock shot down between us when doing some hiking above that point. So… we bailed out and had lunch instead.
We hiked alongside a series of three lakes near one of the higher passes in the Pyrenees, of which the following photo shows a nice reflection of a nearby hillside. It does not show the swarm of hikers along the edge of the lake, though.
The Pyrenees mountains may not look that big on a map, but the reality is quite a bit different. In the following photos, you can see the amount of volume between peaks - there is a great deal of up and down. In the second photo, our path led over the pass in the upper right corner.
The hillsides in the Pyrenees mountains were blanketed in flowers. The following photo of a wild iris shows just one flower, but there were fields of thousands in some areas. Also, note the unidentified yellow flowers on a distant hillside in the second photograph.
The running of the bulls in Pamplona does not seem to be a very big deal - at least, everyone in the following picture seems quite happy!
Bilbao is a city in northern Spain that used to be a rather gritty industrial town, but which has massively transformed itself by acquiring a Guggenheim art museum (pictured below) and then kept going by building out an excellent riverside walking path that leads people around the city and into its excellent old quarter, with narrow streets and dozens of eateries. A real pleasure.
Spaniards seem to think that displaying a nice pig leg will get their customers salivating, so it’s quite common to see a restaurant with many of them hanging in the window. In the following picture, there’s also a small collection tray attached to the bottom of each leg, to keep any stray fluids from dripping. Yummy?
We were sitting in a plaza in Madrid in really oppressive heat when someone in a bear suit walked by (to pose with tourists for money). It looked like the person should expire at once from the heat, but then we noticed the two cooling fans in the bear’s hindquarters, as shown in the following photo. Still probably a sauna in the suit, but the fans must have helped a little…