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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Quick Trip to Rockport, MA - 2015

Saturday morning up at 3:00AM.  At 4:30AM Pam and I took our daughter and son in law to the airport in Boston.  At 5:20AM we headed North from Boston taking Rt. 1A and Rt. 127 up the coast to Rockport, MA.

We were in Lynn, MA by the ocean when the sun came up.  We continued through Lynn to Salem, MA and over the bridge to Beverly, MA.

I stopped for a barn picture with fog then continued on to Manchester-by-the-Sea and Singing Beach to take a few more pictures.

On to Gloucester, MA where I stopped again.  I like seaport towns with lots of fishing boats.

We ended up in Rockport, MA and had breakfast at 8:30AM.  We had a nice window seat looking out to the cove. We walked around and sat out on the end of the jetty.  Motif #2 is always photographed.  I was disappointed to see a large modern yacht docked right in front of it. That boat didn’t fit in with the Motif so I decided to focus more on boats than building.

From Rockport we headed back on Rt.127 to Gordon College.  We visited our niece.  I bought Pam a Gordon College Field Hockey t-shirt reminiscent of her college days.

Back home by 12:30PM then for me … off to take skydiving pictures … I love colors …

Friday, July 31, 2015

Rawlings Roberto Clemente Brooks Robinson World Series Special

On our latest summer vacation, we took the usual assorted play toys: Bocci ball, ladder toss, baseball and gloves, football, Frisbee, RC Rock Crawler, bicycles, etc.  The kayaks were already there.
I decided to join in and throw the baseball around so I went to get my glove only to discover my old glove had been packed.  Ok … it still works.  It's broken in and warn but still a good functioning glove.

It was pretty old so I told my nephew how I acquired the glove.
In 1972 on a family summer vacation, we were visiting relatives in Arthur, Iowa.  The church softball team had a game coming up.  I asked if I could play.  They said I may be too young but said they would make an exception for an inning. 

I didn’t have a glove and I was a lefty … Reese J. played shortstop and had a nice Red, White, and Blue Rawlings glove.  After seeing it I just had to have that same glove.  I remember my parents driving quite a distance to a particular store after persistent begging on my part to buy it for me.

I played an inning at first base.  No errors on my part, can’t remember if we won the game … Fast forward … I used this glove playing in several softball leagues through high school, and in college, and sporadically years after.

Looking at this old glove I noticed a couple things on it that got me thinking so I decided to find out what I could about it.  Below is what I found.
My glove is a Rawlings Roberto Clemente Brooks Robinson World Series Special.  It’s a Rawlings Fastback baseball glove and was sold in stores shortly after the 1971 World Series which featured the Gold Glove winner Roberto Clemente, with the Pittsburgh Pirates playing against fellow Gold Glove winner Brooks Robinson, with the Baltimore Orioles.  The Pirates won four games to three. Unfortunately, the celebration in Pittsburgh would soon turn to mourning as fourteen months later Roberto Clemente was killed in a plane crash.

The WSS Rawlings Fastback Glove was issued in 1971 and came in two models (The World Series Special and the Gold Glove Award). My red, white, and blue glove reads World Series Special on the pinky finger.
Since I used my glove for so many years in all types of weather I have restrung it a couple times.  I mainly played 1st base as I was pretty good a catching almost everything thrown at me.  In one of the leagues I was called in by the umpire and told I couldn’t use this glove because the outside webbing was white.  The same color as the ball.  If I turned the glove it was hard for the umpire to distinguish between a white ball caught or the white webbing.

I wasn’t about to buy a new glove.  To keep tradition with the Red, White, and Blue I took a Red marker and colored in the white webbing to solve the problem.

Years ago things were different.  This must have been a prized possession of mine.  Why, you ask?  Because there are 2 distinct things I noticed on my glove.  My dad took one of those branding-type pencils and we branded my name on the glove.  I can still read it.  OH … We also branded my SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER on the glove and yes, I can read it also.  I have no idea why we did that!!!

This got me thinking ... Has the world changed?  Are things different now?  Should it be that we all emboss, brand, write, or chisel our social security number on things of importance?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Kennebunkport, ME Vacation - 2015

We had another relaxing vacation week in the yellow house.  It is certainly my favorite of the rentals we have had over the years.  I said this in a past post but our rental was built in 1765.  It is the 2nd oldest house in the area.  It’s an ideal location being a 5 minute walk to town and 10 minute walk to the beach.  As with last year we had mountain bikes to ride, kayaks, and a canoe we could launch on to Kennebec River.  I have my camera too.

The week was warm being mid 80’s to low 90’s.  We had severe thunderstorms roll through mid week.  I haven’t seen that much lightening and heavy rain in a long time.

Several of the kids wanted to go to the rocks or the beach to watch the lightening, waves, etc.  I thought of going to one of the piers to do the same thinking I would sit in my truck to stay out of the rain.  I could roll down the window just enough to clear my camera lens and take time lapse pictures using the lightening as a flash.  I just couldn’t get past using my metal tripod inside my truck with that much lightening.  It was quite the show.  May be a bit too dangerous and wet so we all stayed in the house.

I headed to Cape Porpoise several times which can be interesting.  The heat can make sky and the water appear to be very similar in color.  I always like the fog as it can make some interesting pictures.

Not to say I’m a big kid but we went to “Funtown Splashtown USA”.  All of us enjoyed the rides.  I must say the old guys ruled on the bumper cars …

We went to the beach quite a bit.  We walked to the jetty, the cove, and the rocks.  Swimming, body surfing, boogie boards, and a ladder toss tournament on the beach.  We had pizza on the beach too.

I played with Kevin’s rock crawler on the rocks by the ocean several times.  It’s technical, fun, and slow.  I think Kevin likes his other RC cars that go much faster.

I was up early to get to Perkins Cove to see the sunrise.  Went to the “Maine Diner” several times with different kids as well.

George HW Bush was in town but had fallen and was in the hospital.  I saw former First Lady Barbara walking on the beach one evening.  Yet another relaxing family vacation.

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in Kennebunkport or Cape Porpoise to see past posts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Arizona Vacation - 2015

Kevin and I headed to Arizona for the week.  We landed at Sky Harbor Saturday night.  I rented a Red 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible thinking it would be a fun car to drive for the week.  It ended up being true.  Kevin liked driving it too.

We stayed with my Aunt Shirley in Phoenix through Tuesday.  On Wednesday and Thursday we would stay in Flagstaff then head back to Phoenix on Friday morning.

On Sunday we stayed local and explored.  I drove through my old neighborhood, by my old high school, up North Mountain, etc.  I found a spot to take night pictures but forgot my tripod so would have to go back.

On Monday met with Steve, Amy, Seth, and Alyssa for breakfast at Denny’s.  Seth joined us as we headed out to Cave Creek to explore.  We saw an ATV rental place and stopped to check it out.  We made plans to rent ATV’s Tuesday afternoon.  Later that day I dropped Kevin off with Seth at the Pointe at Squaw Peak.  They had fun at the water park.

Tuesday, Seth, Kevin, and I headed back to Cave Creek to ride ATV’s.  Seth and Kevin have motocross bikes so were excited to try ATV’s in the desert.  We were given a map and instructions on what trails to take.  There were trail number markers at various times and were told what trails to stay on.

I brought my hunting GPS in anticipation of a hike or ride.  When I turned it on I had a blank screen with the compass arrow and no terrain maps.  I forgot to download the topo maps of Arizona.  Mistake by ME ... I could still use the GPS by leaving it on the whole time.  It would leave a breadcrumb trail showing where we had come from and I could set waypoints, etc..  We were riding North of Cave Creek so it was all new territory.  My other thought was “How am I going to keep up with these guys?”  Our riding improved the longer we rode and as we got more comfortable. 

Back in the day I had several motorcycles growing up in Phoenix.  I used to start riding my Yamaha 250 from the Circle K at 19th Avenue and Bell Road.  I rode North and West from that location which was all open desert.  One time I rode from that starting point all the way to Cave Creek never seeing another person or rider.  Phoenix has now expanded so there are houses and roads from that starting point almost all the way to Cave Creek.  There's also a canal with Colorado River water now cutting through my old riding area.

Seth, Kevin, and I followed the trails and ended up at the Verde River where we were going to turn around.  When we arrived there was a Sheriff’s helicopter, 6 trucks, ATV’s and probably 20 Sheriff Deputy’s there.  Seth and Kevin headed to the river and I asked one Sheriff if this location was a meeting point.  He said “There's something going on in the area”.  Being the responsible adult with 2 teenage boys I asked if we should leave.  He said “You're ok for now.” … Hmm … needless to say I made the decision to leave after about 10 minutes …

We went back the way we came.  At one of the forks in the trail we went the wrong way and got lost.  Not good.  I looked at my GPS to help get us back to where we unloaded the ATV’s.  We were getting close but none of the trails we were on took us in the correct direction.  I remember we passed under power lines driving to where we parked and unloaded the ATV’s.  When getting instructions I was told if we hit the power lines we went too far.  With no trails going the direction we needed to go I headed for the power lines.  Once there we took the power line trails to the road.

We rode our ATV’s on the road for about a mile and turned on to the dirt road we took to get to the parking area.  We spotted the truck and trailer so all was good.  With so many small trails going all directions my GPS (even without the topo maps) really helped get us back to where we started.  My GPS said we rode 27 miles.  Our time was almost up so we loaded up the ATV’s and headed back to town.

That night I went back to take some night pictures.  This is a view of 7th Street in Phoenix.  I experimented with shutter speeds up to 15 seconds.  I got a bit creative by moving my camera while the shutter was open which causes the light trails.  I haven’t taken time lapse photographs for a while so had fun experimenting again.

We were up early on Wednesday and drove to Flagstaff.  We unloaded and headed south on 89a through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona.  The rock formations and colors are outstanding.

Up the road from my Aunt's place in Flagstaff there was a marsh area with trails.  With elk in the area I really wanted to spot some and take pictures.  Lots of tracks but no elk.  I did take some bird pictures, sunrise and sunset pictures with the Snow Bowl in the background.

Next we headed down some back roads, on to 89a, ending up in Jerome.  It is a neat old mining town with lots of history.  Because of the extensive mining many of the old buildings are sliding down the mountain.  They said the old jail is 225 feet down the hill from where it was built.  We headed back to the Cottonwood area to visit one of my old friends.  We had Mexican food in Sedona.  It was very good.  Kevin drove back up Oak Creek canyon.  It's always fun with the corners and steep ascent but especially in this convertible Camaro.

When people visit places like Sedona and the Grand Canyon it is immense with so much BIG scenery.  I started thinking about the little things.  Here are a couple shots I took remembering the little things.  Cactus with rocks in the background ... Focus on Cactus ... Bulb on Cactus not yet blooming ... Ants on bulb ... Remember the little things too.

Thursday morning up early and headed to the Grand Canyon.  We went around Agassiz Peak, the second highest mountain in U.S. state of Arizona at 12,356 feet.  This is the snowy peak you see in my photos.  Snow Bowl ski area is on that mountain.

We arrived and parked at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.  We walked several miles along the rim of the canyon.  It started out a bit hazy but clouds showed up and seemed to take the bite out of the sun.  I took some good pictures but the camera doesn’t do the canyon justice.  I don’t think the camera can capture the depth of field appropriately. They do have free shuttle buses in case you get tired of walking.

Views of the Grand Canyon are breathtaking.  It is hard to capture the size of what you are really looking at with a camera.  In the Canyon there are trails, camping areas, a ranch, and buildings in various locations for hikers or the mule teams.  My friend Shawn has hiked to the bottom many times on 3-9 day treks.  You can see some of the trails from the top but not much else unless you have binoculars, a spotting scope, or in my case a camera with a good zoom lens.  Unfortunately I forgot my binoculars ...

Here is an example.  Using my zoom lens I panned and was able to spot some activity below.  This first picture is a normal photo looking at the canyon with no zoom.  I put a circle around what I spotted.  Do you see anything in the circle?   When I zoom in on that same area you can now see a black rectangle.  When I zoom in all the way you see the building, hitching rails, hikers, backpacks, etc.  Looks like the hikers were getting ready to head out.  If you go back to the first photo with the tiny circle you would never see it.  As we continued walking I pointed out the Phantom Ranch to Kevin.  Again, with a zoom we could see the ranch buildings and people walking on the trails, etc.

Bring your binoculars … You’d be surprised how much more you can see from the rim.

We left the Grand Canyon toward Sunset Crater.  When I visited as a kid we could climb to the top and look in the crater.  Not anymore … We took the 52 mile Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments Loop Road.  Kevin and I enjoyed the Indian ruins.  I really liked the grasslands with the Painted Desert in the distance.  This was one of Kevin's favorite parts of our trip.

Friday morning I decided to visit a friend in Wickenburg which was south and somewhat on the way back to Phoenix.  Kevin drove down Oak Creek Canyon this time.  89a took us back up through Jerome and through more very winding roads to Prescott.  From there we took 89 to Wickenburg.  After our visit we headed to Phoenix past Lake Pleasant.  When I lived in AZ there was no Dam so Lake Pleasant was small compared to now.  We passed 2 shooting ranges (one with a 1000 yard range).  Tempting …

As we drove we kept our eyes open for critters.  We saw 3 mule deer, an elk, Pronghorn Antelope as well as a variety of birds and lizards.  I was able to get a picture of these 4 Pronghorn Antelope on our way to Prescott.

We relaxed on Saturday.  I did more visiting.  Then returned the car and caught our night flight back to Boston.

I had a great time connecting with some old friends and relatives.  My Aunt Shirley, Shawn and Teri S, my Aunt Ellyn, Star and Ken C, Brian C, Keven and Linda H, Tim O, Ken S, and Mary & Cindy P.  It was fun talking about the old times and getting caught up.

Arizona is a big state with a variety terrain, climate, etc.  The Camaro had 6300 miles on it when we started.  We added 1205 miles over the week.  I told Kevin we didn’t go south or east from Phoenix so we have more to explore next time.

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in "Vacation" to see past posts.