Valley of Fire 2016

Valley of Fire 2016

From the Grand Canyon we headed to the Valley of Fire, just north of Las Vegas.  Over the years living in Vegas we had the opportunity to make several trips to the Valley of Fire.  It never ceases to amaze us.

Pictures don’t do this special place justice…

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Like everywhere in America, Indians tamed the land and left their marks for us to wonder over…
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The nights were clear and crisp. But, the lights of Las Vegas many miles to the southwest made photographing the Milky Way very challenging…
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Grand Canyon in the Fall

Grand Canyon in the Fall

This was the second time we have headed to the Grand Canyon.  The first was in February of 1971.  We had been married only a couple of weeks and had just settled into our new life in Las Vegas.  I had just started my training in the F-111 at Nellis AFB.  Long story, short… We booked a donkey trip down into the canyon. We hit heavy snow around Flagstaff.  Almost ran out of gas.  Slept in the car.  But, we finally made it to the canyon.  It was still snowing heavily. When we asked to cancel the donkey trip, a very surprised ranger said “Why cancel? The donkey trip never cancels because of snow.”  We played our wimp card and got our money back and went skiing in Flagstaff.

The plan this November was to spend a week or longer at the canyon.  But, on our second day…guess what


This time we didn’t need to wimp out.  We were warm and cozy in the Airstream and stormy weather makes for some great photo ops.

The canyon is spectacular in every way…

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Denali National Park

Denali National Park

After a great week on Prince William Sound we headed off to Denali National Park.  The last week of September is the last week to park facilities are open.  If you like to have a national park all to yourself,  the end of September is the only time to go.  Even with a few days of snow flurries, the weather was quite mild.  No…the weather was perfect!

The bus system can get you anywhere you want to go.  But we were determined to see some moose.  So, we spent most of our days in our own car driving the main park road that had the most “watch for rutting moose” signs. Unfortunately, moose cannot read and were no where to be seen. Regardless, the country is spectacular.

We did one bus tour that took us 90 miles up to Kantishna, the last stop on an amazing, winding, gravel road that is only open to a few cars that have to enter a lottery.

The country was amazing…
Fall in Denali Park

The Dall Sheep was the icing on the cake…
Dall's Sheep in Denali

Dall's Sheep in Denali

Dall's Sheep

Dall's Sheep in Denali

The Ptarmigan at this time of year are just starting to turn white. In a couple of months they will be pure white…
Ptarmigan in Denali

Prince William Sound Aboard m/v Discovery

Prince William Sound Aboard m/v Discovery

The “Alaska Season” is pretty short by Lower 48 standards.  May through September is about it.  We decided it was about time we see some of the wonders of that wonderful, wild place.  Since we can’t help ourselves, when an interesting adventure that centers around a boat, we opted to join a Sierra Club Adventure to PrinceWilliam sound aboard the classic motor vessel DiscoverySitting just off Harriman glacier.

Waiting Off Harriman Glacier

Click here to see a short a video slide show of our amazing adventure…

There was no shortage of critters in Prince William Sound…
Glad we were downwind from this amazing gang of Sea Lions
Sea Lions near Dutch Group, Prince William Sound

Around every bend we we were entertained by Otters like these guys
Sea Otter Along Port Wells, Prince William Sound

There’s nothing quite like a Dall’s Porpoise enjoying the bow wave
Dall's Porpoise Along Port Wells, Prince William Sound

I was anticipating at least a few bears getting in a late meal of salmon. Unfortunately, by late September all we saw of the salmon were their scattered remains. Consequently, the bears where no where to be seen.

We saw only a couple of humpback whales during our week on the sound. And they were a long way off spoiling any photo ops. I suspect most were already headed out on their migration to warmer waters to the south.

A few more Discovery pic’s…

Harriman Glacier

Day 5 Hike

Day 5 Hike

Waiting Off Harriman Glacier

Christmas in Baltimore

Christmas in Baltimore

Last year we spent Christmas in Denver.  Cold and snowy.  This year we headed to the opposite coast.  Dustin and Chrissie made sure it would be sunny and warmer than San Diego.  But, it wasn’t the promise of warm weather that got us heading to Baltimore.  It was our first chance to see and spoil our new grandson…Carter!


Not sure how Chrissie managed at being a new Mommy and organizer of a Dingman Family/Howard Family Christmas get-a-way to the mountains a few hours outside of Baltimore, but she did.

good times were had by all…IMG_4941







The Christmas Eve party brought out the best in all of us…




Our Latest Edition

Our Latest Edition

2015 was a great year in many ways. But, topping the bill was the birth of Carter on November 21.. Chrissie and Dustin “done good!”




Tucker took in all in stride…