Posts Tagged ‘travel’

It’s mother-daughter time, so I’m flying my favorite airlines, Southwest, to Philadelphia for a few days.  Enjoy yourselves while I’m gone, because I’ll be enjoying myself.  See you Tuesday.

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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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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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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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Designated as a national monument in 1929 and not redesignated as a national park until November 10, 1978, the Badlands has one of the more interesting park names.  Once you’ve seen it, you can understand why the Lakota Sioux Indians called it Mako Sica, which has been translated as “land bad” and as “eroded land.”  French fur trappers called it  “les mauvaises terres a traverser” or  “bad lands to traverse.”  Of course, with modern roads, albeit winding ones, the trip is much easier, one anyone who has the chance should take.  But if you’re hiking, take lots of water, wear suntan lotion and a hat, and stay on the trails.

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Yellow Mounds Overlook

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The van’s loaded, the cabin shut for the winter, and we’re on our way.  Let’s pause at the as we get on the Red Grade Road and take a look at the mountains in the dawn.  Do you see Black Tooth back there, about right in the middle, still with snow?

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The view just as we start to descend is even more beautiful than usual.

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