CFFC: Circles, Wheels, & Spheres

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this past week has been about circles and wheels. Here is my contribution.

Pumpkins are not necessarily round, but their shape is generally thought of as spherical – some are and some aren’t! I just liked this display of pumpkins outside a Mariano’s supermarket.


And a pinwheel!

Circular centers of flowers

Ice on a circular pot…

…and decorative bowls.

L-APC: Large to Small

Lens-Artists host this week, Patti, has given us an interesting challenge: Pick a color and choose photos with objects of that color from large (like a wall or a building) to small (like a mushroom or an earring). I picked two colors: White and Pink.


Largest: a snowy landscape

Large: a round white barn…

…and its door

Medium: Our niece’s wedding dress (with blue embroidered flowers!)

Smallish: Styrofoam chest with ribs and intestines

Small: Flower – hydrangea blossoms


Large: Pink building façade

A little less large: Pink ice cream truck, “The Original Rainbow Cone”

Medium, whole: Andy Warhol cat

Medium, in pieces: Bridal Shower Jeopardy

Medium, Pretty: frilly dresses & Medium, Patterned: 60s dresses

Medium, delicious: Birthday cake

Smallish: Umbrella

Small: Orchid

LCPP: Without Power

Basil René’s Life Captured Photo Prompt (LCPP) this week has the topic without power.

I started thinking about things that don’t have power and first thought of living beings without power – children, defenseless animals kept in cages, black men in a police chokehold or being unable to breathe when pinned to the ground. However, among my own photos, I have only some some small, powerless animals:


These eight tiny ducklings are completely dependent on their mother – they will stay close and follow her wherever she goes. By instinct they know that without her they are powerless against larger, predator birds – even swans, a real danger in their environment.

Machines without motors (without power of their own) include:


a rusted old broken down truck (in which a cactus is blooming!),

…and motorless boats, such as the Egyptian dahabeya:
Aida is a private cruise boat owned by the tour company Overseas Adventure Travel, modeled on the traditional dahabeya – a boat whose power depends on sails, or a tugboat to pull it. 

Unlike motorized cruise ships on the Nile, boats without motors are not allowed to travel at night – so Aida must dock every evening before sunset.

Being a Nile River cruise boat, Aida was more efficient being pulled by a tugboat in order to reliably follow a set itinerary. Sails would mean depending on the speed and direction of the wind. The above photo was taken from another boat so we could see what it looked like with its sails unfurled. It was the only time on the cruise that the sails were used.

This is another, smaller dahabeya.

Now…how do I take a photo of a home during a blackout?

FFPC: Everybody’s Going Somewhere

Family out enjoying the nice day on their boat, on the Baltic Sea.
Getting on a small airplane for the journey from Serengeti National Park to Arusha, Tanzania
Cattle on trucks, Daraw, Egypt
In Daraw, all the traffic was stopped for a very long time at a railroad crossing.
“People movers” at Charles deGaulle Airport, Paris, France
Rush hour on Champs Elysee, Paris
Bus in Cairo traffic, Egypt (I was trying to take a photo of the building across the street but the bus got in my way!)

Marching band on the move, Vienna, Austria
Bicyclists waiting for light to change, Vienna
Canal tour boats in Amsterdam, Holland
Mother & son out for a bike ride, Regensburg, Germany
Wake of cruise ship at sunset on the Baltic Sea

Sandy’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: In Transit

CFFC: Which of These Photos Belong Together?

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – In this series, Cee picks a photo for each week and you can pick a topic from the items or colors from the photo.
This week’s possible topics are truck, mural, octopus, whale, animal, painting, orange, black, water, lighthouse, ocean, vivid, vintage, blue, etc. If you see other topics, you can use that too. Just tell us what your topic is.
Cee’s Photo for this week:

Vintage: In the barn at Buffalo Bill’s ranch near North Platte, Nebraska
20180530_120639.jpgAwning: Saugatuck, Michigan20151012_093034.jpg
Mural: Some Denver murals (click on individual photos to see full size)

Truck: Oatman, Arizona
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Orange; Black; Painting: Painting by Marlene C. Feinholz, Denver20180530_175905 (2)
Orange; Painting; Animals: Painting by Marlene C. Feinholz, Denver
Orcas; blue; black; awning: Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

The title of my post was inspired by a famous song on Sesame Street:

Getting Our Kicks: Grand Canyon Caverns & Seligman, AZ (Route 66 Day 3, Pt. 2)

June 8, 2018                  Peach Springs – Seligman

Not long after we left the Hualapai Lodge and Tourism Center we arrived at Grand Canyon Caverns, at 115 Mile Marker AZ-66, Peach Springs, AZ 86434.20180608_124517This dry, limestone cavern was discovered in 1927 and extends about 200-300 feet below the surface. An elevator takes visitors down 21 stories to tour the caves, but in its early days, people paid 25 cents to be LOWERED, one by one, down into the cave by a hand-operated winch!
20180608_124959dThe temperature is a constant 56°F with zero humidity.20180608_130615
We were offered two tours – the “short” tour and the “regular” tour. We didn’t want to stay too long and besides, the longer tour requires climbing 70 stairs as well as some tricky maneuvering, so we opted for the short tour. The regular tour is more spectacular, including the massive Chapel of Ages, large enough to hold two football fields, so I would recommend that tour for anyone physically able and willing to do it. For the more adventurous, there are three additional tours, the Wild Tour, The Explorer Tour and the Ghost Walk Tour. You can find out more about the tours and the caverns in general here.

For $15.95 (no senior discount) each, we got a 25 minute tour. We saw a few interesting formations, such as the teacup handle

20180608_131526 (2)

Helectite – a rare form of selenite crystal; popularly known as a “teacup handle.”

and geodes, like this one jutting out from the limestone surface.DSC05687.JPGThere are few stalactites or stalagmites, as you would expect in a cave;




One of the few stalagmites in the cave


these kinds of formations need water to grow in size and Grand Canyon Caverns are dry. There are no bats living in the caverns either.

In fact, although some fossils were found when the caves were first explored (from a ground sloth), no animals are known to reside in the cavern.

This T-Rex jaw was NOT found in Grand Canyon Caverns!


The most unique feature of Grand Canyon Caverns is that events have taken place and continue to take place down there. There was a newspaper article on display about a couple who got married in the Chapel of Ages. (I would be afraid of tripping or snagging my wedding dress!)
The Grotto Restaurant is an actual café set up inside the cavern. To have lunch there costs $50 per person!DSC_0521
Besides this restaurant, there are accommodations for up to 6 people to stay overnight, as in a hotel room. Except that at night it gets COMPLETELY dark, so flashlights are furnished! There is a TV, but no reception – however, you can watch DVDs.20180608_131736.jpg

The web site states that there is a library of old books and magazines such as a National Geographic collection dating back to 1917. There is also a bathroom! (The plumbing must have been tricky to install…).

Concerts and plays used to be performed in the cavern, and occasionally an event is still held there. There is a stage and auditorium seats.
The Grand Canyon Caverns website tells the history of the caverns – quite interesting – and if you take the tour, you will also hear about Walter Peck, the discoverer of the caverns with dreams of finding gold.

The town of Seligman (Exit 123 off I-40) was our next destination. There are several Route 66 attractions in Seligman. First was the Roadkill Café (22830 West Route 66), which serves burgers, steaks and ribs (not roadkill!) with a décor of animal dioramas and mounted hunting trophies.


We explored the rest of the main drag of Seligman. Along this street are a series of touristy “Old West” type buildings…20180608_140632

and rusty, broken down farm equipment,
a broken down truck with a cactus growing inside…


and of course, old cars.

20180608_143230More touristy shops and such…

including the Rusty Bolt Gift Shop 22345 West Route 66), with female mannequins in front and on the roof, vintage signs, and an Elvis statue.20180608_143911d
The temperature was about 95°F and after all this sightseeing and snapping photos, we decided to go to Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-in (301 E. Route 66) for a cold milk shake.



Instead of ordering drive-in style, you now enter and order at this counter.

After we left Seligman, we headed for Flagstaff, which has a number of national monuments nearby with ancient pueblo ruins at Wupatki National Monument and Walnut Canyon National Monument, and natural features, such as Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. We did not stop at any of these, since we had seen most of them on an earlier trip to Arizona years before, and instead got off Route 66 for a couple of days to attend a 70th anniversary reunion at my high school, Verde Valley School, in Sedona.


I’ll continue our Route 66 journey two days later, when we got back on the Mother Road.


CWWPC: Not All Wanderers Are Lost

Cee’s weekly Which Way Photo Challenge is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, steps, signs, etc. we move from one place to another on. You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride on them, as long as the specific way is visible. Any angle of a bridge is acceptable as are any signs.

A preserved section of old Route 66 in southern Illinois, before it was paved over in cement and asphalt. This stretch is about 2 miles long through typical Midwestern countryside, flanked by farms and cornfields.20180616_105759.jpgEntering Sedona, Arizona with its famous Bell RockDSC05767.JPGIn the middle of the street in Winslow, Arizona
Hiking trail winding its way down into Bryce Canyon National Park, UtahDSC05482.JPGBridge across a river near St. Robert, MissouriSONY DSCStairway at Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, Nebraska
Back of a “Highway Hippy’s” truck seen in Springfield, Missouri. I took this picture for the bumper sticker that says “Not All Who Wander Are Lost.” That could be my mantra!20180615_080932


Pictures at a wayside

Last weekend, after our four days in St. Paul, Minnesota, my sister, her friend, her daughter and I made the long drive home back to the northwestern suburbs of Chicago. It’s about a 5 1/2 hour drive if you drive straight through, with no stops. Of course, that would be nearly impossible for most people, and we needed several breaks.

Most of the drive is through Wisconsin, which has a network of waysides along all major highways. Trucks park on one side and cars on the other, with the facilities in between them. These waysides are quite nice – most have picnic tables, some kind of historical information, and some greenery. I decided to take a little walk while the others were using the facilities at this wayside north of Janesville, Wisconsin. It was after 8 pm and the sun was setting.


Setting sun casts a glow on the side of a semi stopped at a wayside.

Getting away from the mowed lawn and picnic tables, there is a bit of prairie and trees.


I thought of monarchs when I saw this milkweed plant. Monarchs have become increasingly scarce with the decreasing number of milkweed plants, which are necessary for their survival, due to development and controlled landscaping. More people have become aware lately and milkweed is being deliberately planted and cultivated again. I didn’t see a monarch butterfly, but this little bug is about the same color as a monarch!


Insect on a milkweed plant

I took a picture of this long chassis on the back of a truck, carrying some kind of pipe or coil, I think. I’d never seen one so long.


What is this truck carrying? A long fuel tank? A long pipe? I don’t know.

I watched as the sun went down behind the trees behind the trucks, casting a golden hue which tinges the side of the one cloud in the sky.


As I was heading back toward our car, I noticed a couple of trees that seemed to have some kind of memorial at the base of their trunks. I went over to take a look.


Memorial to fallen workers

There was a plaque that had been placed by the local union.


I wondered about these workers who had lost their lives, and found it amazing that people were visiting the wayside and leaving flowers and stuffed animals for them. Were these donors relatives who made the trek to the wayside to leave tokens of their love, or were they given by random passersby who happened to stop at this wayside?


I’d never seen anything quite like this before, not at a wayside. It just goes to show that any place is worth exploring, even if you have only a few minutes. You never know what you might find!