Finally, some color

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.


The Bridge of Flowers

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.


Green River overlook

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.


Polar Mesa mining

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.


Maintenance required

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.


Dolores River overlook

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.


Tough place to pee

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.


Rough riding ahead

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 Rock Whisperer

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.


Pure light show

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.

Sagrada Familia Inside.jpg

Incorrect sundial

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!


Baby drop-off

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…

Orphan Drop Off.jpg

Flying rocks on Montserrat

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.

Montserrat Pinnacles.jpg

Pyrenees reflections

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.

Reflecting Lake.jpg

Pyrenees majesty

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.

Rounding the Turn.jpg
Rest Stop.jpg

Pyrenees color

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.

Wild Iris.jpg
Colorful Mountainside.jpg

The Bilbao transformation

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.

Bilbao Guggenheim.jpg

Pork products galore

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?

Ham for All.jpg

Air conditioned bear

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…

Bear Cooling Fans.jpg