Road Trip to the Southwestern US
We just returned from an 11-day road trip to the Southwesten part of the US; specifically New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. During our trip we drove almost 1,600 miles, hiked lots of great locations and saw all sorts of interesting sights to include:
- Petroglyph National Monument
- Albuquerque BioPark Botanic Garden
- Museum of Nuclear Science & History
- Painted Desert
- Petrified National Forest
- Lowell Observatory
- Sedona Rock Formations
- Chapel of the Holy Cross
- Grand Canyon
- Hoover Dam
- The Neon Boneyard
- The Mob Museum
- Titanic Artifact Exhibition
- Mojave Desert National Preserve
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Santa Monica Pier
- Palisades Park
- Venice Beach
- San Luis Rey Mission
- Balboa Park
- San Diego Museum of Us
As always I took far too many photos - so I'll start posting them in the next day or two.
Seeing the Sights Along I-70 and I-80
We just returned from an 11-day road trip from Chicago to Colorado and back - driving 2,750 miles - on I-70 going out and on I-80 coming back.
As always we hiked lots of great locations and saw all sorts of interesting sights to include:
- Mid America Motor Works
- Kaskaskia Dragon
- Combat Air Museum
- Kansas Cosmosphere
- Monument Rocks
- World's Largest Easel
- Cripple Creek and Victor gold mining areas
- Garden of the Gods
- United States Air Force Academy
- Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles
- Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum
- Retro Rocket Ship
- Moai Dude
- Rock Island Arsenal Atomic Cannon and Confederate Cemetery
Cruising the Danube
We Just returned from a 14-Day trip to Central Europe. We started the trip by spending 3 days in Budapest and ended the trip with 3 days in Prague. In between we spent 7 days cruising up the Danube River. What a spectactular trip (even allowing for the additional Covid paperwork and restrictions). During our trip we visited:
- Budpest, Hungary
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Vienna, Austria
- Krems, Austria
- Spitz, Austria
- Linz, Austria
- Salzburg, Austria
- Passau, Germany
- Vilshofen, Germany
- Regensburg, Germany
- Prague, Czech Republic
Because there were so many magnificent sights I took almost 3,000 photos - so it will take me a little time to process and upload them. But I will........
Vedder Holsters LightDraw™ Kydex OWB - S&W Shield 2.0 with Green Crimson Trace Laser
When we purchased the M&P Shield 2.0 with an integrated Green Crimson Trace laser two years ago we also wanted to get a new OWB holster since the laser changes the form of the handgun. Unfortunately, although we could find a IWB holster, we couldn't find an OWB holster that fit the hand gun and met our standards for usability/comfort. So, because we had three other Vedder Holsters, every once in a while we checked to see if Vedder was producing the OWB holster that we were looking for. Recently they finally began to produce just such a holster. You can read more about this OWB holster on our Shooting/Holsters page.
Lifestraw Personal Water Filter
If you carry water with you on a day hike you probably won’t need to locate any additional water to drink. However, in an emergency you may have to. Because of this we think it’s a good idea to have the ability to purify water with you. Of course the problem is how to balance the need to be prepared for an unlikely occurrence with the weight and bulk of carrying “just one more thing” in your day pack. Because of this we've added a Lifestraw Personal Water Filter to our hiking day pack. You can read more about the Lifestraw on our Hiking/Emergency Supplies page.
Moonlight - How Bright You Shine Tonight
This Monday, 26 April, was another Pink Super Moon. The Pink Moon occurred 12 hours before the Moon reached perigee (the moon’s closest position to Earth due to the fact that the moon's orbit around the Earth is slightly elliptical) so that made this Pink Moon also a Super Moon – the term used when the moon is full while closest to the Earth. Here are some photos showing what we saw of the Pink Super Moon here in New England: (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
The moon actually reached perigee at 11:22 AM EDT on 27 April; when it was just 222,064 miles (357,377 kilometers) away from the Earth. During a super moon, the full moon can appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at its farthest from Earth. Monday’s Pink Super Moon was ~8% closer than the distance of an average full moon (240,000 miles or 384,400 km) and was the first, and one of only two, super moons of 2021.
So why the term “Pink Moon”? In the 1930s the Maine Farmer's Almanac began publishing American Indian Moon names for the months of the year. Accordingly, the April full moon was called a Pink Moon, named after creeping phlox; a plant native to the eastern United States that is one of the earliest flowers of spring. Other names for this moon include the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.
Last year, on 7 April, we also had a Pink Super Moon. Here’s our blog and photos from that night: "April’s Pink Super Moon - How Beautiful Are These Night Sky Photos?"
If you want to learn more about Pink Moons, or other phases of the moon, you might want to check out the Full Moon Phases website. Here’s the link to their Pink Moon information:
MecArmy X2S Stainless Steel LED Flashlight
With the recent advances in LED and rechargeable battery technologies the ability to have a bright flashlight in a very small form factor improves every month. Most of them can even be recharged using your cell phone charger. Because of this we decided to add a small micro USB rechargeable flashlight to our Hiking daypack - since you never know when you might get caught in the dark - and if that happens you're going to be glad that you have a light with you. After looking at several of the best small flashlights on the market we purchased the MecArmy X2S Stainless Steel LED Flashlight. The X2S measures only 1.75 inches long by .57 inches wide and weighs only .75 ounces – but will throw a maximum of 130 lumens almost 200 feet. You can read more about this powerful, but tiny, flashlight on our Hiking/Emergency Supplies page.
5.11 Tactical Men's Military Trainer Belt
Earlier this week we were at the outdoors range (yea – the Spring weather is finally here in New England) and got into a discussion about the best belts to support your holster and tactical activities. So, although we don’t normally spend much time discussing the clothes you need for Hiking, Camping and Shooting since they vary too much by local environment, since belts are a little different – we added some information about the belts that we’ve been using for the past 4 years (after trying lots of other belts through the years) to the Shooting/Holsters page. If you need a good belt for your holster, and other EDC gear, you should take a look.
The Majesty and Beauty of Spiritual Architecture
As I briefly mentioned in my last blog post, before I get to the details of the sights that we just saw during our February 2021 “Southern Trip”, I still have a few blogs to write about the “Heartland” trip that we took in 2020; mostly blogs that aggregate several sites from a specific category into a single blog. Today’s blog is about the Churches and Cathedrals that we saw during our travels.
During our 30-day, 9376 mile, road trip to see more of America we visited numerous Churches and Cathedrals to include:
The architecture of these Churches and Cathedrals was amazing and speak to the grandeur of what humans can build when they are motivated by a higher calling (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Too Many Flowers to Even Take In
Before I get to the details of the sights that we just saw during our February 2021 “Southern Trip” I still have a few blogs to write about the “Heartland” trip that we took in 2020; mostly blogs that aggregate several sites from a specific category into a single blog. The first of these being about all the beautiful flowers, fauna, and outdoor artwork that we saw during our travels.
During our 30-day, 9376 mile, road trip to see more of America we visited numerous botanical gardens and other floral sites to include:
Since we took our road trip during July and August everything was in full bloom and the colors and scents were magnificent. So, if your travels take you near these sites, and you like flowers, you really should stop for a while and smell the roses (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
What's On This Page?
Here's where we post reviews, questions, answers, thoughts and other information that's of general interest to our followers in a blog format.