Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guess What This Is!

Did you guess it in less than two seconds? I'm sure you did. Pretty obvious. But for those that couldn't, I'm sorry I can't tell you. I took an oath or something.

I thought this shot was kinda cool. By the way, the folks who correctly guessed what this is will win a much valued prize. Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Haven't The Foggiest Idea

These are shots I took of different areas around where I live. It was around 35 degrees Fahrenheit and foggy as heck. I knew it would be a good picture shooting opportunity, so off I went in the truck, with camera. These were taken about 8 or 9 o' clock in the morning. The fog stuck around until early afternoon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Old Time Filling Station

I remember when filling stations looked like this. I remember when gas pumps looked like this.

The gas station attendants back then would offer to check your oil and other fluids. Cleaning your windows was done without asking.

They would even do you the courtesy of checking the air pressure in your tires.

Nowadays, most places don't do that.

Corporations save money, they believe, by not offering those courtesies.

What they lost was something more precious.

Those were simpler, more generous times.

What happened?

I like this refurbished gas station.

The guy who owns this refurbished building put a really old car in the garage part of the station. This car would be older than what the station's era look is presenting, a time during the 1950's and 1960's, in America. Is it one of those Model T's?

I think this guy, who has been working on this project for years, did a pretty good job in capturing the era.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Trip To Red River Gorge (part two)

Continuing from the previous post.... After my wife, friend and I easily walked the quarter mile trail to Sky Bridge, we were greeted with some amazing scenery. You had to be cautious while walking on the natural rock bridge or you could fall and quite possibly die. No railing around. As long as you're careful, you can really enjoy the sights.

Iron ore can be found embedded inside the bridge. Click the pic to enlarge. And yes, that's my shadow. :)

(As for that dude up above, to the left) I'm not sure I'd want to stand where he's standing. And check out the graffiti that's been carved into the rock, below. It's everywhere- even on the edges of the bridge.

Yep, this is the Mrs. and I.

This is a really good map of Red River Gorge and all the trails scattered and connected within the area.
Now, in the following shot, we're on the way to the Nada Tunnel. The Nada Tunnel is a 12' by 12' tunnel, open to only one lane of traffic. Nada Tunnel and the community of Nada were named for the Dana Lumber Company. In the early 1900s, a logging company built the tunnel so they could haul logs out of the Red River Gorge by railroad.

The Nada Tunnel. We had to wait quite a long time to get to the point where we could go through it, but once we did, it was cool. We were surrounded by bronze colored rock as we drove through it and it was pretty neat. Every sound was amplified.

This is the Hemlock Lodge. We ate supper here before making the trip back home. The pic after this, shows what's behind and down below the lodge/restaurant. Standing over the lodge's long balcony, you'll find a golf course, a small track, a lake and a place for dancing and celebrating.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Trip To Red River Gorge (part one)

My wife, my friend, Steve and I took a two and a half hour trip to Red River Gorge a couple weeks ago. It's located in east-central Kentucky and boasts a bounty of beautiful, unique flora, sandstone arches, limestone cliffs, ridges, waterfalls and natural rock bridges.

There's tons of things you can do there like kayaking in the Red River through the canyon, rock climbing, hiking, camping, fishing and so much more. You can also get eaten by a bear if you're not careful. Check out one of the signs posted below.

My friend, Steve and I have camped down there about half a dozen times. No matter what season it is, the Gorge is always a fantastic site to experience. The first time I went down there with Steve, more than twenty years ago, we camped out on the edge of a cliff after hiking up mountains all day with another friend's pet German Shepherd. It was tough going, carrying the German Shepherd half the time because of the steep terrain we climbed, but it was worth it in end. We drank ourselves silly with some of the moonshine the natives gave to us.*


Here, you can see we enjoyed a little picnic. No moonshine this time around. :)

Beautiful, isn't it?

This is the trail leading to Sky Bridge. Sky Bridge is just one of many natural rock bridges at Red River Gorge. When you walk across it, you have to be careful or you can fall off either side and possibly die. The scenery is beautiful from there.

I have pictures of Sky Bridge, plus a whole lot more coming up in part 2 of our trip.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dolphinaris Cozumel

These are the fantastic shots taken of the dolphins and my wife and I while we were at Dolphinaris in Cozumel, Mexico. My wife and I had always wanted to get the chance of a lifetime by swimming and interacting with dolphins and we got it during one of our cruise excursions this past summer.

Dolphinaris was a great place to go for interacting with bottle nosed dolphins. Everyone took turns going in groups of eight. Each group had their own instructor. Our instructor's name was Thomas and he explained several facts about dolphins. For example:

Dolphins can live up to 35 years in captivity. They usually live only 7 or 8 years in their natural ocean habitat. This is due to their natural enemies... sharks, whales and humans.

The dolphins we played around and interacted with the most were named Bina and Seymour. Bina was a 3 year old female. Seymour was 15 years old.

This is a description of Dolphinaris from their website:

Dolphinaris Cozumel is a place like no other in Cozumel or in the Caribbean, nestled upon the shores of a glittering turquoise sea, it offers an unforgettable experience where guests can swim and interact with dolphins in their natural habitat, the beautiful ocean coves provide a safe place for you and for our dolphins to enjoy a truly unforgettable experience.

The instructor let us feed, swim and touch the dolphins. We were even allowed, surprisingly, to touch a dolphin's teeth and tongue. It was amazing. They were so gentle and loving, you could do almost anything with them. Thomas even taught us the hand signals that would let the dolphins know we wanted them to perform a trick or movement for us.

We were in the ocean water with the dolphins for about an hour. And in that hour we experienced many wonderful moments with these endearing marine mammals. They would come right up to us, sometimes rubbing against us, obviously enjoying human contact and interaction.

This is me, riding a dolphin. It took me from one end of a cove to another. Pretty cool, huh?

It truly was the experience of a lifetime. How many people can say they've swam with dolphins?