Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

One of the pleasures of visiting my parents in Arizona is not only the opportunity to be warm in winter, but to sometimes dip into another culture.  Montezuma Castle, not far from Sedona, looks great for being over 800 years old.  The Sinagua who lived here used a combination of hunting/gathering and subsistence agriculture to live until sometime in the 15th century, they left for no apparent reason.

Originally, visitors were allowed to go through the cliff dwellings, but that eventually stopped to better preserve the site.  That move allowed the site to be one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the United States.  Visit if you get a chance.

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After admiring the front of the church and the stained glass, we turn to leave.

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Walking down the aisle, we have time to take pleasure in the beauty of the window, organ, and statuary as well as the arched ceiling.

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L’église means “the church” and this one’s ogive windows are beautiful.  Nothing more need be said, except that it can be difficult to get a good stained glass photo with a camera.  I was happy to see how these turned out.

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Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a few years know how much my sister-in-law and I love the town of Plombières-les-Bains.  You’ll also remember that “les Bains” refers to the thermal baths that caused the Romans to settle here in 65 B.C.

As with most French (and European) towns, one side of the town square is home to a church.  In 1389 A.D, there was a chapel here,  Then as the town grew, a modest parish church was built.  The current Neo-Gothic ogival church was built in the late 1800’s.  What’s ogival?  It means having the shape of an ogive (now there’s a helpful definition!) or, in plain English, a pointed or Gothic arch.  You’ll see examples of this at the front of the church.

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I enjoyed having all of you along for the trip to Wyoming and our stop in the Badlands on the way home.  We never did finish our trip to France, so I’ll be going back to that soon.  Here’s a video I took while on our way into the mountains, where we had so much fog the first day. My s-i-l let the dogs out for a short break and I took photos and enjoyed the sound of the stream.  This is in the Forêt de la Bresse or forest of Bresse.

Turn the sound up and spend half a minute just relaxing.

 

We’ve covered over half of the almost 32 mile Badlands loop and stopped at most of the 14 overlooks along the way.  The eclipse is over, so that light is back to normal.  I’m glad you were able to take the time to drive with me.  85% of people who rated the loop for Trip Advisor gave it an “Excellent” rating, 12% “Very Good.”  I heartily agree.  This eastern part of the loop shows off a bit more of the grassland part of the park.  Sit back and enjoy.

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The Badlands are more than just fossil beds and colorful layers.  Within the park is a large expanse of mixed-grass prairie, home to the black-footed ferret (the most endangered mammal in North America, bison, bighorn sheep, badgers, elk, coyotes, deer, antelope, bobcats, porcupines, and, of course, prairie dogs.  The official park site says “scientists have observed 39 mammal species, 9 reptile species, 6 amphibian species, 206 bird species, and 69 butterfly species.” All have to be able to handle extreme temperatures and find shelter, whether in burrows of their own making or by taken over those belong to something else.  Others survive through hibernation or dormancy or by taking shelter in canyons or other low spots.

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