Sunday, May 29, 2011

Limestone Cove, Tennessee

Nice campground, beautiful trees that seem to go up forever!

Great photo! Just loving the life... Seems like the world is just waiting for us to see it...

Here we are in the middle of Tennessee's stunning Unaka Mountains at Limestone Park along Indian Creek. Surrounded by lovely tall trees and lush green, next to our newly-shined bike.

"I love meeting life halfway."
Peter Max

Laurels Park, Tennessee

At lunch along the creek at Laurels Park, Tennessee. Steven said this was his favorite photo of the two of us.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Path of Pebbles

"A journal is the path of pebbles you leave behind you, so you have the security of knowing you can always return." ~ Samara O'Shea

Four years, 285 posts later, I continue to try to use this blog to capture the sights we discover on our Harley. I have shot thousands of photos and have still missed a lot, I know, but I have also managed to save some.

Sometimes I am so tired or busy after a ride, it is tough to throw the photo and words up here. Or I am energized by the sheer wonder of the ride and can't wait to share. In either instance, I know because of time limitations, I do not have most of my writing of this topic in my journal. (Which is hard to conceive.)

Life just continues to happen too fast to keep up with.

My digital camera and blogging has been revolutionary. It’s taken away from my work on for sure, but it has given me a historical perspective, a keepsake, and a timeline. The writing has strengthened my observations, memory, and imagination. Never before have I had this much creative freedom and confidence... Over and over I think, what an exciting time to be alive.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Balsam Gap Overlook, Milepost 442

"How lovely a tree is, straining toward the sky." ~ Carl Sagan
We are so small in comparison to these trees...
"The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness." ~ John Muir

Milepost 442, elev. 3630'

"Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!" ~ Andrew Carnegie

Near Waynesville, North Carolina, we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Balsam Gap is where the Black Mountains and the Great Craggies connect. The forest at the lookout was spectacular. Green giant trees, reaching up to the sky. Of course, I walked around and caught the sun through the trees. I could have stayed here all day...

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NC 151, Heading home…

We ended our ride down NC 151, my favorite road almost in our backyard… I just couldn't resist...

"How good is life, the mere living!" ~ Robert Browning

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another Beautiful Day

"We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count."
~ Neil A. Maxwell

They say the world will end today at 6 pm, the apocalypse, the rapture. For me, it's just another beautiful day in Hominy Valley, North Carolina. Blue skies, green all around, and the sun shining brightly. Look at this day--paradise on earth. Blessings. Celebrate!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Florida Palm Trees

Graceful, lovely palm trees, proof we are in Florida... Looking at the trunk, I believe this one is a date palm...

Florida palms are so different from the coconut trees I was raised with in Hawaii.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Destin, Florida

AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, Destin, Florida

Our delightful lunch was at AJ's, along the Destin inner harbor fishing docks.
Steven ordered two dozen raw oysters, fresh from the Apalachicola waters. At $5.99 a dozen, it was a delicious treat.
Yum! (Happy yum.) Steven paid $2 - $3 per oyster in Boston. Very happy he could enjoy many fresh ones here.

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Harley Davidson of Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Not getting killed in these congested streets is difficult. Too many cars near Eglin Air Force Base! Friday the 13th and we nearly got hit hard by a car pulling out of Arby's. Guess it's good that Steven's able to smile. I was still shaking from the near collision, taking this photo.

Again, Steven says there needs to be higher standards to obtaining a driver's license...

Florida Sand Dunes

A work of nature's art: Beautiful rolling sand dunes with sea oats, formed slowly, over time...

South Walton Beach, Florida

Ah, the Emerald Coast-- sugar-white sand beaches, coastal dunes, and aqua ocean. Here I am with my nice new bathing suit (inspired by the color of the ocean) at very pretty South Walton Beach, which is located between between Destin and Panama City.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Panama City Beach, Florida

White, white sand, blue skies, and volleyball in Panama City Beach, Florida...

They say that the sand here is nearly 100% quartz. No wonder the beach sparkles.

Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant

Panama City Beach, Florida

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lineville, Alabama

Always nice to see and take a picture of a town's library... This one in Lineville, Alabama was built in 1976. According to its website, "300 adult and 200 juvenile library cards have been issued. Visits to the library by patrons is now approximately 100 per week."

Central Alabama

"No one ever understood disaster until it came."
~ Josephine Herbst

We live in a world of contrasts and fleeting understanding. We'd still be shaken emotionally by seeing all that terrible tornado damage, then we'd go around the next corner and see this breathtaking beauty of green and blue splendor.

Alabama's Tornado Damage

On April 27, 2011, thunderstorms, severe winds, and over 50 tornadoes ravaged much of Alabama with historical magnitude, intensity, and path length.

As of today, 236 in Alabama had died.

We witnessed the shocking tornado damage throughout the state's North and Central areas. We saw debris scattered and the splintered remains of houses. Fallen trees, mangled metal, and belongings strewn in fields of green. Photographs do not adequately capture the devastation. Chilling. Upsetting. Sobering.

Riding through the wreckage made me think about how fragile life is. How each moment is a precious gift. In life, you never know what is around the next bend.

What we saw wasn't the worst of it. We chatted with a fellow at a service station near Stevenson who said power had just been restored to his Northeast Alabama community. He warned, "Don't go toward Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa is gone."


On the road, the honeysuckle smells so sweet. The air is a fragrant oasis around every new turn.
Looking up, the sun glows behind the tree...

John Snodgrass Bridge

John Snodgrass Bridge, Alabama

We stopped for a break along the Tennessee River in Northeast Alabama, along AL 117 near Stevenson.

"The sound of water says what I think."
~ Chuang Tzu

Alabama Roads

Steven pulls the bike up. It's just a beautiful sunny day in Alabama, along the river...

Looking up river, toward Bridgeport, Alabama...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nantahala River, North Carolina

"I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same river." ~ Chuang Tzu

Nantahala River, North Carolina

Here we are at the picnic table along the Nantahala River, just an easy pull off the road. Cool, peaceful, and relaxing. Clean water. Green everywhere. Perfect front row seat for the area’s rafting. From our $1 million perch, we waved and smiled at the many river riders.

Going My Way?

Nantahala River, North Carolina

Monday, May 09, 2011

North Carolina Waterfall

The stream flowed high and the waterfall was strong flowing under the road. Just a stunning surprise of beauty...

"I want to proclaim out loud that life is only rhythm and rhythm within rhythm."
~ Guy Tirolien

Just back from a memorable weekend in DC with my brother and daughter. Feeling great. Life is rich with blessings. Steven and I had another lovely evening ride up the Blue Ridge Parkway, then down NC-215. The colors, the rhythm, were stunning. Made my heart glad.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

My Perspective

I absolutely love this photo, my Harley perspective. This is the view I usually see (and take photos of) over Steven's right shoulder. I love the view and that you can see my reflection with my camera in the right rear view mirror. Steven's gloves and the "live to ride" plate up front are the pièce de résistance. This will probably be my new journal cover photo.