Photos made into videos of my travels
around the country plus into Canada.

Some general instructions when starting to play any of these videos.

Located on the Play Bar on the left side is the Play / Pause button. 
This play bar will go away when the mouse is move off to the picture to the right side.

On the right side of the Play Bar are the following Icons:
Picture Size Icon - I would suggest that you leave it in the AUTO position.
"X" like Icon - This will cause the picture to go to full screen -> I recommend this.

Warning to Pet owners: Prior to visiting any of these National Parks you will need to check out the rules concerning pets. Example is Carlsbad Caverns. You must board your pet inside of the welcome center as NO pets are allowed to be left in a vehicle of ANY KIND.  In a number of parks, it is ok to take your pets with you while you hike.  Standard cleanup rules do apply. So pay attention to the signs.

Title of Video is in BLUE Color and is the link to play. Play Time Trip
Years
Arches National Park - UT.  Rattle Snake Warning. Arches is just North East of Moab. This park has a drive through approach for those that do not want to get out and hike / walk. The park has a large number of pull outs for vehicles all through out. There are short walking trails to most of the various arches that one can walk. The vistas are supper on a clear day. You can see for about 100 miles to the nearest mountain range north of the park. Also, for the adventitious souls there are a number of 4X4 vehicle rentals agencies for those that want to tour the back areas of the various parks. A special permit is required at the time of vehicle rental to go onto the national parks which is included in the rental fee. These are guided tours so you do not get lost but you must do the driving. A Max of 4 Persons per vehicle in any of the 4X4 rentals which are usually one of the Jeep CJ's. Take plenty of water with you. There will be none available on the trip. These are normally all day tour / trips. Suggest that you plan for several days per national park and remember that there are four in this area including one state park. Best time to visit late fall through spring. Snow is quite common in the winter. 56 Minutes 2013
Badlands National Park - SD. Be aware of the rattle snakes when getting off of the pathways. There are a lot of snakes everywhere. You just have to keep your eyes pealed back and avoid them. Basically this park is a driving tour with a lot of pull outs and various exhibits along the way. You can get a very good idea of what kind of land the Native American Indians lived in by visiting this area. It was and still is a very harsh life for them. Remember that it can get very hot here in the summer so be ready for the heat. Have plenty of water with you. Plan for 1 full day stop over. Best time to visit is late fall when it is cool. Winter can be brutal so be ready for snow, ice and wind but if snow is your thing then it will be fun. Best time to visit is early fall or late spring with summer very hot. 45 Minutes 2006
2010
Big Bend National Park - part 1 - TX. This park is divided into 2 videos. East and West sides. The Big Bend State Park side trip is included in part 1. This state park is really for the off road bicycle riders / horse back riders / hikers.
Big Bend National Park - part 2 - TX. Rattle Snake Warning. Summer is very hot and usually dry. Flowers bloom after spring rains (check web site for best dates) and then everything turns brown except cactus. There are a lot of places to visit in this park. They have a number of displays of how life was back in the early days. A lot of farming / ranching equipment is also on display. Lots of hiking is available in this area as well. You are forewarned that you can end up crossing into Mexico without warning as some of the roads will cross over with out warning. You will need your passport to return to USA depending as to where you are located should this happen. Be very careful around the boarder. Warning: NO GUNS on your person or in your vehicle when going into Mexico. You will be arrested and locked up and you will not get your gun back. During the flower bloom season plan on 5 days plus otherwise 3 days will do. Best time to visit is fall and spring with winter having an some snow. Summer is very hot.
60 Minutes
48 Minutes
2013
Big Horn National Recreation area - WY. Rattle Snake Warning. This is a large recreational area which means that there is a lot of hiking in the area. Big Horn is considered a wilderness area but does has several working ranches that you may visit. Several very old ranch / farms have been preserved along with their equipment that they used . They are but a short walk from the main access road. Accessed to these ranches is on walking paths that were old wagon roads. These farms are open to the public to see. Take plenty of water with you. In addition to the farms there are several preserved areas that were Native American Encampment areas were they set up for the stampede of Bison over a cliff that are open to the public to walk through. If hiking then plan for 1+ week to explore the area. Best time to visit is early fall and after the snow melt in the spring with winter being cross country ski season. Summer is quite hot. 24 Minutes 2006
2013
2015
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - CO. This is a very deep canyon with rich black wall rocks. There is a large lake at the upper end of the canyon. You may view the canyon from either side as there is a main road running the length of the canyon. This is a long one day drive that separates both sides. It is best to spread this trip over two days. On the South side of the canyon you may drive down to the river in several different sections of the canyon and look up and you will have access to the river. The road is to narrow and curves are sharp so no trailers or large motorhomes over 30 feet total length are allowed. Posted is max overall length not to exceed 30 feet on truck & trailers or 25 feet on truck campers, motorhomes. Best time to visit is fall. 45 Minutes 2013
Brigham UT to Cody WY - A road trip. Starting out at the Golden Spike National Monument in UT, I headed out to Cody WY via the back roads - no 4 lane highways!  The views were specular all along the route. I stopped at a number of locations as well as visited some of the dig sites that are working along the way. To make this trip you will need to schedule at least 10 - 12 hours run time with 4 hours devoted to stopping and touring the sites. This is a year around trip and is well worth the time that it takes to make the trip. I did it in 12 hours drive time with one overnight stop along the way. 29 Minutes 2013
Bryce Canyon National Park - UT. A Specular National Park to visit. Great vistas all the way around the rim. You can day hike down into the park or go in on horse back with overnight camping, which is permitted within the park. The rim drive forms a 3/4 circle around the lip of the canyon and has many breath taking vistas and parking areas. Some of the vistas are located up a short climb to the viewing area so be prepared to walk up steep uphill trails. For camera buffs the best time is to try to catch it is just after a rain as the colors are the most vibrant otherwise early morning is best. Evening will have the sun to your back and a different set of colors will be visible. Best time to take pictures is in the morning for max colors while standing on the Eastern part of the rim. and in the evening for max colors would be the western rim. High Noon will give you little to no detail as the light will be flat. Can get very hot in the summer so take lots of water. 1 full day for non hikers otherwise the camping is limited to 7 days in the park. A special area is reserved for dropping trailers as no trailers are allowed in the park beyond the rangers station. Remember to bring a hitch lock for your trailer. Best time to visit is anytime keeping in mind that this park has four seasons. 71 Minutes 2006
2008
2013
Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains - TN. Cades Cove has a lot to offer for the family to see. There are a lot of exhibits for the kids to have a hands on approach as well as for the adults to see. There is a working grist mill and store that sells the flour that they have just ground. There are a lot of log building in the complex that you can enter and see how they lived long ago. Camping is available everywhere around this area but reservations for the in park campground are recommended. 1 or 2 days is recommended to have enough time to visit everything. Remember that this is also Bear country  so be careful and stay clear of them. There are a lot of animals in this area and some can be dangerous if approached. There is Elk, Deer, Bear, Fox, Red Wolf, Coyote, plus Large Cats or Mountain Lions. Best time to visit is anytime keeping in mind that this park has four seasons. 59 Minutes 2007
California Trail Interpretive Center - NV. This is located on the route of the famous California Gold Rush trail to the California mother load. This site is very well done and well worth the stop off to see. The exhibits are very well done and is very good at explaining just what the trip was like and where it went to get to California. Everyone learns a lot about how hard this trip was. This center is located on I-80 just west of Elko NV. Allow a full 1/2 day to visit. This is a great stop for the kids to see how it was back then. Best time to visit is anytime you are in the area. 18 Minutes 2013
Eastern Canada - Trip to Nova Scotia Canada and the North Eastern corner of Canada. I also toured through MA, NH, VT, NY and PA to get there and then ending at the beginning of the Skyline Parkway and Shenandoah Valley National Park. The Shenandoah Parkway terminates at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Important : Keep in mind there is a passport requirement to enter Canada and don't forget that the US $$$ to C $$$ conversion rate. Most areas will take the US $$$ but at face value thus it will be a lot more expensive if you do not have the C $$$.  Fuel is sold in liters not gals and the cost is about C $1.00 per liter. One thing that you should be aware of is if you should take a pet with you then you will need to have the following: Current rabies with in the last 6 months, Full paper work of pet work up at the vets including the vets signature on the rabies certificate. Also watch out for weapons and wine and liquor. No guns unless pre-arranged and limited number of bottles of alcohol may be brought in.  NO firewood over the USA / Canadian border either. I spent 3 weeks visiting. Then I figured that I had spent all I could afford and headed back to the USA. Best time to visit is fall and spring. 35 Minutes 2014
Western Canada - See the above on restrictions for Liquor, Guns and Pets. I started out running US-2 from Michigan at the Mackinaw Bridge going to Glacier National Park USA where I stopped over, then turned North into Canada. Along the way I toured most of western Canada before returning to USA via Vancouver BC area. Remember the Canadian-$$$ - It is cheaper to convert US-$$$ before you go there than after you get there. Fuel is best purchased on a Credit Card that offers free conversion rates. Fuel is a little cheaper on the western end compared to the eastern end. Food is still high and don't forget there VAT tax - their form of sales tax which is much higher than ours and is charged on everything. I crossed back to the USA just east of Vancouver Canada as it took less time to clear customs. Once back in the USA, I then headed south west to the Olympic National Forest and the Makah Indian Reservation. I stayed here for a week visiting the Olympic National Park and also visited with several Makah Indian friends from the military. I was able to see some of the restricted areas on the reservation. I was not allowed to take pictures during these trips. From here I then headed south to visited San Francisco due to the many wild forest fires in WA, OR and southern Canada. I headed home via I-80 area east instead of the planned route. This ended up being a very long trip. There are several videos that were made from this trip else where in this listing. I spent a total of 3 weeks in Canada and 5 weeks in the western USA. Best time to visit is anytime keeping in mind that this area has four seasons. 60 Minutes 2015
Canyonlands National Park "The Needles" - UT. Rattle Snake Warning. This part of the park is in the southern end down near AZ state line. Among the sites in the park you will find "News Paper Rock" which has glyphs from the Anasazi Indians. This is a protected part of the park. There are a several campgrounds near the Needles area. The drive into the park is a long run from the main highway so have a full tank of fuel before you go in. The park HQ has a nice history of the entire park. Suggest that you stop and see it for an insight into what is ahead. Watch out for the heat as summer time is very hot. Be mindful of storms even if they are not in your area because of violent flash floods. The vistas are a WOW. Going down into the bottoms and looking up is fantastic but keep in mind that you can get lost very easy. To visit is a full 1 day stop otherwise a week plus to camp and hike. There are 4X4 tours in the back country areas of this park as well. Same rules apply as for Arches on the rentals of the Jeeps. I really enjoyed it very much. Best time to visit is fall into winter and spring. 40 Minutes 2013
Canyonlands National Park "The Islands in the Sky" - UT. Rattle Snake Warning. This part of the park is located just after the Dead Horse State Park which you have to go by. Located in the Northern End of the vast Canyonlands National Park area, the views are totally different from that of the "The Needles" part at the southern end. I would recommend that you take time to see all four of these parks: Arches, Dead Horse, and all of the Canyonlands using at least + one week of time to do so. Camping is readily available for both ends of the Canyonlands Parks. It gets really hot during 1-5 in the afternoon in the summer time. Make sure that you have lots of water this you. Camp grounds are next to both parks - some with full hookups. Also don't forget that there are 4x4 Jeeps for rent for off roading to go back into the back country on tours. Best time to visit is fall into winter and spring. 21 Minutes 2013
Capital Reef National Park - UT. Capital Reef is at the eastern end of the UT-12 state highway. Traveling UT-12 Highway is a separate video below. This parks has massive cliffs and canyon galore with lots of hiking. Beware that a rain storm will bring flash floods in the many different canyons. You may not hear or see the storm but the waters will run fast and deep with a lot of rocks and plant material in it. The rangers will warn you if you plan to hike to keep a sharp eye out on any river bed for a flash flood. The will tell you that a flash flood will kill you if you get caught in one. These flash floods run at about 15+ mph downhill so be aware. You cannot run that fast! In the park next to the road you will find boulders that are the size of houses that have fallen at one time or another from the rim above you. Best time to visit is in the fall and early or late in the day when it is cool. Photography is best in the early morning for the western rims and evening for the eastern areas. Plan for 1 full day unless camping then 1 week. A Camp Ground is in the park but reservations recommended. Best time to visit is fall into early winter and late spring. 68 Minutes 2008
2010
2013
Capulin Volcano National Monument - NM. This park is located just off of US-64 in Northern New Mexico near the eastern edge of the state. You can actually drive all the way up to the caldera. Then you can take a very steep trail and hike either around the rim or go down into the caldera. Again these trails are very steep both up and back down to the parking lot. Remember that you are up at 10,000 feet so you will get really winded quickly. Take a lot of water as there is also no shade anywhere up there on top.  You cannot take a trailer of any kind up as this road is less than 7 foot wide per lane.  Motorhomes have a very hard time passing on-coming vehicles on this road. Allow 1 day for this trip. Best time to visit is fall into winter and spring with summers very hot. 22 Minutes 2013
Carlsbad Caverns National Park - NM. Most of the pictures in this video were taken using available light and a very high camera high ISO speed. For those that would like to walk down into the caverns there is a 1 mile hike down into the main rooms and then you can take the elevator back out which is the recommended route should you hike in. Otherwise simply take the elevators both ways. They have a on site pet kennel and the board fee is quite modest - 1 dog $20.00. You cannot leave a pet in a motorhome or camper period - AC running or otherwise. They check for pets on entry to the park. Warning: take a light jacket with you as the temperature will be between 50 and 54 degrees. Take water as well. Expect that you will be here for a full day! There is just to much to see. The best time to visit would be in the fall after the kids are back in school. 62 Minutes 2013
G. W. Carver National Monument - MO. This is geared towards school children but then again it offers a lot of information about the history of Mr. Carver for grownups. Kids get a class and learn all about Mr. Carver and peanuts and cotton and how he invented items to better process them. You as well as kids will find that this short film is well worth the watch. There exhibits are excellent and worth the look. Plan on 1/2 day here. Best time to visit is anytime year around. 8 Minutes 2013
Cascades National Park and US-2 East to Glacier National Park - WA ~ ID ~ MT. We start out on the Pacific Ocean just north of Seattle WA and head east on highway WA-20 to US-2 at the WA / UT boarder. This allows one to see the scenic route of the all of the cascade mountains. The first stop along the route was seeing glaciers on Mt. Baker and all of the rain forest in the area. This area will be quite wet unless you choose the dry season in late fall. Then heading east the climate changes very little for the first few days - rain and more rain for this trip! The bad thing about this trip was that I planned to be there in the dry season but Mother Nature said sorry and everything was wet but clean and green. The time I was there it rained about 1/2 of the time. This trip timed out to last about 6 days. Arrived at Glacier National Park to a closed "Going to the Sun Road". Detoured on US-2 to the East side of Glacier to camp. Woke up to snow and 25 degrees. Enjoyed this trip and hope to do it again going west instead of east. See the Glacier National Park Videos below. Best time to visit is spring through the first major snow fall. You are in cold and very high mountains. 125 Minutes 2010
Chief Joseph & Bear Tooth Scenic Highways - WY ~ MT. You start out just outside of Cody WY and head NW to the start of the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. This road then ends at the Bear Tooth Scenic Highway. This is a all day trip and camping is available on both routes. WARNING:  Large campers and travel trailers are NOT recommended on either of these roads due to the very steep grades and sharp hair-pin curves. The vistas are fantastic and there are a lot of great spots to stop and hike. Either road is a highly recommended touring road. At the west end of the Chief Joseph Highway you will be able to either turn west and enter Yellowstone National Park North East Corner  or turn right and climb the Bear Tooth Highway to the Bear Tooth Mountain.  CAUTION: The Yellowstone entrance is normally closed in the Elk Rut Season which is sometime between Mid September thru early November so plan your trip wisely. The Bear Tooth Scenic Highway. This road starts from the NE corner of the Yellowstone Park East Entrance and runs NNE up to 12,000+ feet up of Bear Tooth Mountain before going back down to Red Lodge MT. From there you can head back to Cody WY.  Plan to spend several full days here in the summer. Be aware you are in snow country and part of these roads are subject to closer in winter except to the ski areas. Bear Tooth Mountain can have upwards to 25 feet of snow fall in a season. All total this is an easy 9 hour driving trip out and up Bear Tooth Mountain and in fact can span several days with no trouble. I enjoyed 3 days on this part of my trip out west. The run into Yellowstone was very enjoyable and I exited via the Eastern entrance to return to my Cody Campground. Best time to visit is spring into late fall. 60 Minutes 2010
2015
Coast Highway US-101 & Calif. Hwy 1- WA ~ OR ~ CA. Warning : This is a long video - 90 minutes - A Trip down US-101 from Olympic National Park  to California Highway 1 to San Francisco. Long and slow 5 day trip but well worth the run. We start at the Mahak Indian Reservation and head south (Mahak Video Below) Saw the Red Wood National Forest  (Video below) in southern Oregon and northern California plus all of the coast line. Great news, no rain on the entire trip! Warning: the road is very narrow and twisty. I would not recommend long campers or large motorhomes on this run. Away from the towns there are very few vehicle pullouts for you to stop and get out to view the coast. What few there are I found were to short for my truck and camper. Also, there is no warning that a pullout is just ahead. Locals want to run speed limit or higher but RV's cannot handle much above 45 mph. The roads are to steep and curvy to permit much more. PLUS - California has a trailer speed limit of 55 mph period - 3 axels or more. This also applies to RV's, Motor Coaches etc. as well. This speed limit is state wide and the fine is steep and the cops love issuing tickets especially to out of state drivers. The good news is that I never got any tickets. Best time to visit is really anytime it is not raining. 90 minutes 2008
2015
Colorado National Monument - CO. This is a baby version of the Bryce Canyon National Park. While not as breath taking it has a lot to offer. There are some hiking trails and camping is permitted in the park but most of it is a driving tour with many pull outs and a lot of vistas. Since this faces NW there is no good time to really get super color for cameras. But the best time I found was 3-5 in the afternoon and just after a rain storm. This is a day trip unless you are planning on hiking. The two entrances are about 10 miles apart so it is an easy access. Best time to visit is spring into late fall. 48 Minutes 2013
Colorado Sand Dunes National Park - CO. The Colorado Sand Dunes National Park is located South West of Denver. This is a unique park since the sand washes down the mountain and the wind blows it back up the mountain in a never ending cycle. There is camping and hiking here and a very good museum of the history of the dunes. I might add that the sand when lit by the sun is very bright white and make sure that you have dark sunglasses on otherwise you go inside and you can't see anything for 5 to 10 minutes! This park is located well out of the way so expect a long round trip to get there to see it if coming from Denver CO. Allow a full day for this trip due to the driving time required to get there. Best time to visit is really anytime. Just pay attention to weather in winter. 5 Minutes 2013
Craters of the Moon National Park - ID. This is a very large lava field with many different types of lava flows to see. Some of the lava is very sharp to walk on so abide by the signs as it will cut through shoes and is deadly for pets. Dry Camping is allow within the park and the fee is most modest but there are NO hookups at all - just dry camping. There is a dump station and water at one location near the Ranger Station at the main entrance. Bathrooms are also found at this location but there are NO SHOWERS. Again a Warning : keep pets out of the lava fields for their own protections. Cut pads on their feet are slow to heal up. There are several areas that you can climb up the cinder cone to the top and other areas you cannot go due to the danger of falling through into a lava tube. Plan to spend 2 days in the fields. Best time to visit is really any time you are out there. 26 Minutes 2015
Crater Lake National Park - OR. A dormant volcano that has filled up with water and now has fish in it. To get there you will find three different routes in. Access via the North, East and West entrances. The main road will take you around the entire lake but expect a full days drive time once there. The boat trip on the lake is a little pricy but you get what you pay for. The views from the water are breath taking and you get to visit the cinder cone in the lake as it is well out form shore. So the ride will allow you are able to look up instead of down. This is one of the deepest lakes at 1,943 feet deep. I have included some National Park photos in this video that were taken from the air during winter time in this video since getting there in the snow is a little bit on the difficult side. Currently in June 2019, there is still 22 feet of snow on the ground and most of the park is currently closed to everything but snowmobiles etc. Expect the park to open in late July 2019. Best time to visit - well it depends on the snow pack. When the snow is off the highway then it is open year around.  Year 2019 closed for 6 weeks due to 32 feet of snow on the ground! 31 Minutes 2008
2010
Dead Horse Point State Park - UT. Rattle Snake Warning. This park is located between Arches NP and the Canyonlands "Island in the Sky" NP. While it is a state park it is well done with a lot of fantastic views and a good display of history of the creation of this area. If you look carefully you will see evaporation ponds in the valley below the look outs that will be both Blue and Turquoise in color. They are obtaining a potash, the factory is found in the bottom of the canyon near the Colorado River. From this park you will continue on down the road into the Islands in the Sky part of the park. Be aware of electrical storms when in any of these parks. Allow 1/2 day for the area. Best time to visit is anytime of the year. 21 Minutes 2013
Death Valley to Sequoya to Kings Canyon and ending at the Yosemite National Park - NV ~ CA. Rattle Snake Warning. On this trip I started at Las Vegas NV after our military reunion for the Air Force DASF units. When I started out early in the morning the free air temperature was a low 102 degrees in Las Vegas NV. The first part of my trip west was to go to the Death Valley National Park. There is really no time that the park is cool in temperature but 80 degrees sure feels great in the winter. While I was in the park the air temperature 115 plus degrees for the average from 10am - 5pm!  Warning don't get in a hurry and push your vehicle in this heat. It won't make it out. We entered on the Eastern side - stopping at all of the special places to visit. Since my dogs were with me the vehicle was left locked and engine running to keep the dogs from burning up. After 3/4 of the day we exited on the western side about 175 miles south of Mono Lake. At this point in time we stopped for the night where we had AC Power for the AC in the camper so we spent a cool night. From here we wondered over to the Sequoya National Park and set up a base camp for several days. We toured the Sequoya and Kings Canyon National Parks before heading out for Yosemite. There was a lightning strike that started a forest fire in Sequoya and the Hot Shots were fighting to gain control of it while we were there. We learned that in Yosemite you are now required to apply for camping reservations if you want to camp / stay within the park. We did share a spot with a couple from Germany who also had a very small camper and we both fitted into the space quite nicely and spent one night in dry camp and then continued on our way. Best is to take the new shuttle bus around the valley floor. It is very hard to next to impossible find a place to park. Very crowded in the spring to late fall or the first snow fall. This trip covered 12 days including Yosemite. Yosemite National Park has a separate video  below. Best time to visit is spring until the first major snowfall. 70 Minutes 2008
Devils Tower National Monument - SD. A National Native American Indian site that is sacred to a large number of tribes in both the USA and Canada. As such it has a rich Indian history as to why it is so revered. I would suggest that you read up on it prior to your visit so that you can better understand what it is all about. You can get a permit to climb the face of the tower if you so desire but you will find it is a full days adventure up and back down. A lot of climbers only make it halfway up as it is not an easy climb. There is also a NO CLIMB ban during any special Indian Spiritual event and or the full week when the tribes take over the grounds. It take most of the day to get to the top of Devils Tower and is considered only for advance rock face climbers. There are a lot of trails around the base of the rock that you can hike and again bring lots of water. Plan to spend a half day here and then move on to the other parks through out this area. This park is open year around. 18 Minutes 2006
2008
2010
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument - ID. This is basically a short driving tour of the original route the California and Oregon Trails took their wagons on heading west. Along the way you also may stop at the Florissant National Monument to view the fossil beds that are found there. There is a working area that you may visit when the dig site is open and ask questions. This would be a half day visit unless you join in the dig. The wagon ruts are viewable from the road or you may walk down to the trail. A full days stopover if joining the dig otherwise 1/2 day to visit and see all. This park is open year around. 11 Minutes 2013
Fort Gains National Historic Site - AL. Located on the east end of Dauphin Island AL which is south of Mobile AL. This was one of two forts that guarded Mobile Bay. Fort Morgan is across the bay on the other side that allowed them to catch any boat in a crossfire. You may take the ferry over to Fort Morgan and then return or if you have a bicycle then the cost is very low for a round trip. Next to Fort Gains is the old 693rd Radar Squadron (AC&W) which was built by the Air Force in the early 1950's. There is a 5 mile causeway bridge out to the island from the mainland and then you turn east (left) to get to the fort. They have a working black smith there every Wednesday & Saturday. This fort has an admission charge to go into the fort that is used for upkeep of the grounds. Kids find it a lot of fun to roam around in. This is also an excellent history lesson. Best to allow for a full day as there is also a Seaquarium across the street that the kids can touch live fish swimming in a big tanks and see movies on saltwater fish. There are 2 campgrounds and several motels on the island. This is a fun vacation site for all ages and from WNC is a long 1 day drive there. This park is open year around. 15 Minutes 2006
2010
2015
2017
Fort Keary Battlefield - NB. This is a state battle field and is well worth the stop over to see it. You get to see the actual fort and how the fort was set to the land was done so they had the advantage over anyone coming to the fort. They have site tubes-scopes to allow you to see exactly where different thing happened so that you know how far away they were. Inside you will find that there is a beautiful Diorama of the fort showing everything about the operation of the fort and how they lived while out on the plains in the middle of nowhere. The staff are very knowledgeable and helpful in answering questions - suggest at least 1/2 day stop over. This park is open year around. 28 Minutes 2008
Fort Laramie and Fort Scott National Historic Sites - KA.  These sites are of historical importance. I was able to visit both in one day as they are not that far apart. These are just 2 of the many different forts out on the great plains in the old Indian Territory. It was very interesting to see what was left of Fort Laramie. It did not fair out very well over time but still has a lot of building still standing for you to visit. As for Fort Scott - it faired out much better. It was build much later and is made of a lot of cinder block. This would be a full days visit and this includes the drive between each. This park is open year around. 23 Minutes 2013
Fossil Butte - NV. My visit to Fossil Butte was by way of Brigham NV to the Tetons and on to Cody WY. Starting out the next day from the Golden Spike Railroad National Monument, I headed east on the back roads. All were two lanes and offered fantastic country side viewing on rolling mountains and valleys. Along the way I stopped in to visit the Fossil Butte site. This museum is really worth the time to get there and spend the time going through. You will learn a lot. They have a really neat way of showing the timelines of different periods of time and what was living at this point in time. I then went up to the beds but they were closed and gated as no work was being done when I arrived. This was quite a climb up by vehicle and was for the most part a single lane road. I continued on to Bear Lake and ended up having dinner there. Then I spent the night near the lake and next morning I continued on to Jackson Hole WY. We entered the Tetons and spent a fair amount of time at the Ranger station and museum then continued on through Yellowstone and out the eastern gate to Cody where I arrived at dark at the camp ground. This was my base camp for touring all of the great spots in the area including NE Yellowstone, Big Horn Wilderness and Medicine Wheel to name just a few of the places. This park is open year around. 32 Minutes 2013
Glacier National Park in 2010 - MT. We visited Glacier at the end of the Cascades trip and found that the park had a rock slide that took out a big chunk of the "Going to the Sun " road, so the park was closed in the middle. While we were on the western side we visited everything that was open. We then exited onto US-2 eastbound to the eastern side to visit everything that was again open, driving all the way up to the gap and then had to return to the east side main entrance. So having visited both ends of the park and saw all that we could, we headed to the campground for the night. That night while at the campground the temperature fell from 45 degrees down to 22 degrees and snow came in. By morning some of the areas has 2-3 inches on the ground so we packed up and headed eastward toward Devils Tower.  I noted that the glaciers were still visible then and when I returned 5 years later they were gone. So now you have to take some long hikes into the mountains to see any. In normal times when the Going To The Sun  road is open it is a day trip on a round trip on the Going to the Sun Road due to the traffic on it. This park is open year around depending on snow fall. 38 Minutes 2010
Glacier National Park in 2015 - MT. Returning to Glacier in 2015 now that they had the Going To The Sun  Road open again I spend 4 days here at the park. Several fires were contained and or put out and then another one started up in another area by some careless campers. This one cause a lot of ash to fall on everything so much so that it looked like it had dumped a heavy wet snow and the smoke was very bad. I packed up and left the park to head up into Canada. I did not run out of smoke for 80 miles going north. I might add that Canada had its share of forest fires as well. Sad to say that the many glaciers that were visible from the road are now gone on both sides of the border. Remember that Canada uses Kilometers (KM) for their speed so 100km is about 60 mph. This park is open year around depending on snow fall. 29 Minutes 2015
Golden Spike National Historic Site - NV. The Golden Spike was hammered into place at the meeting of the two railroads at a place called Promontory NV. This now linked the East Coast to the West Coast by rail. They have exact running full size replicas' of both of the steam engines that were at this meeting and are displayed and operated daily. These are full size engines and are burning oil rather than coal or wood. There is also a actual running of the engines on the rails. Plus you can climb up a platform and see inside the cab of the engines. Plan on 1/2 day or more depending on if you want to drive the old rail road bed which is now a graveled and narrow road with one way traffic on it. This park is open year around. 29 Minutes 2015
Grand Canyon National Park - Both the South and North Rims - AZ. Rattle Snake Warning. The first time I was there was in 1970 and there were very few crowds. It was a lot of fun to visit back then. Then when I came back in 2006 in Sept. there was an early snow fall. The crowds were vast and you now have to use a shuttle service on the south rim. Don't try to visit the north rim in the Elk Rut Season as they will close parts of the north side down for your protection. There is a lot of camping and hiking available but again beware of the Elk and Bears as they will come at you. Elk & Moose can be very aggressive. The views to me from the north rim are better than the south rim. Today the South Rim is crawling with foreign visitors so you are required to use the trolley / bus system to move around the south rim to the various viewing locations. You pay to park your vehicle and then ride the bus to the rim. Once at the rim they have a trolley system that shuttle people around the south rim. The south rim is 1500 vertical feet lower in elevation than the north rim. So the weather is totally different for both locations. I spent one full day at the south rim and then visited the north rim twice spending a sum total of 20 days over 2 different years nosing around. I did a lot of hiking along the north rim and drove to some of the lesser known viewing locations that are all rough gravel roads. I visited the park during different seasons over the years. Best time to visit depends on weather you are going to the South or North Rim. South rim is normally open all year whereas the North Rim is close after the first major snow fall. Remember that North Rim is 1500 feet higher than the South Rim and the Colorado River is 1 mile down in the canyon. 62 Minutes 1971
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Grand Staircase Escalate (UT-12) - UT. This scenic highway starts at Red Rocks Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Parks and progress via Kodachrome State Park and ends at Capital Reef National Park. The recommend direction to drive it is from West to East or Bryce Canyon to Capital Reef. The other way is not very scenic. Keep in mind that you are gaining elevation all the time you are traveling. Make sure you stop at all of the state parks along the way or you will be missing a lot of fantastic viewing. This is a fantastic day long trip or two. I chose to do it in 3 days. Another tour you may take starts and ends at the Grand Canyon and visits 5 different national parks along the way. This tour is called the Grand Escalate Circle. This trip will take you about 6 days to do so plan accordingly. UT-12 trip is the second leg of the Grand Escalate Circle tour. Best time to visit would be any time all year unless there is a major snow storm. In this case you will have to wait on the snow plows to clear the road. Some of the parks along the route may be closed after the first snow. 40 Minutes 2013
Grand Tetons National Park - WY. The Grand Tetons is just outside of Jackson Hole WY and buts up against Yellowstone National Park. This park has two seasons warm and very cold - lots of snow. Most people visit during the period from late spring thru the first major snow in November. Once a snow base is on the ground it snow mobile time only except for the main access roads which they try to keep open for most of the year. The views of the mountains are out of this world. There are a lot of things to do and see within this park so plan for more than several days to visit. You will find plenty of camping both tent and RV available in both parks. Hiking for weeks is very common but this will require that you do your homework. Do take time to visit the two very old churches found within this park. They are very old but breathtaking! There is a lot of wild life all over the place so do not get in a hurry. Rain can appear out of nowhere and be gone just as quick. Dress accordingly especially in the fall. The main campground inside of the Tetons is a Dry Camping Only with a fee base. They have a out house type of bathroom and one location for both water and dump station. During peak season there is a time limit on your stay. Best time to visit depends on if you like a lot of snow or none. The park is open year around but mode of travel changes with the seasons. To me this is the park that I enjoyed the most. 51 Minutes 2006
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Great Basin National Park - UT. Rattle Snake Warning. There is not a lot to see at this National Park just driving through it but there is a lot of hiking available. Lots of distant views of the mountains and valleys. It is basically a very dry area. Keep in mind that all rivers enter this large vast valley end here and then dry up. There is no exit for the lakes. I toured the museum and look around. Not to much to see that is unusual as the pictures will show. I did camp in the dry campground for the night and was the sky ultra clear. The milky wave star system is fantastic to see in a unpolluted clear sky - no light pollution from any city's. Highly recommended that you do this. This is well worth the night stop over camping. If you know how to do it take pictures of the sky late at night then you really should do so. As I said, the sky and stars are something to see. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 33 Minutes 2008
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Hovenweep National Monument - CO ~ UT. Hovenweep is located on the Cajon Mesa that extends over both of the states of Colorado and Utah. The area is rugged and the dirt roads are rough and not for low slung cars. They will get hung up on / in them. My truck dragged bottom a number of times driving these unmaintained roads. Do not plan a trip during the rainy season. These roads are impassable. The ruins are located through out the area. There is a lot of driving to move about to see all of them. Be prepared to do a lot of walking as well. I found that I used 2 full days to visit all of the Indian buildings and other areas of interest. I also dry camped near the park entrance that night. Again very dark skies which make star gazing fantastic. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 9
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Hubbard Museum of the American West - NM. This museum is located at the west end of the town of Ruidoso Downs NM. The museum has full displays of the life on the old western plains. Actual wagons and stage coaches as well as other horse / oxen drawn buggies are on display where you can actually touch them. A very large display of old Native American Artifacts are also on display which I found to be very fascinating. It really opens ones eyes as to what our ancestors endured. In addition outside there is a display of bronze horses (all 1.5 X life size) showing all of the breeds that were common in this area. This is a large and fantastic display. Allow 1 full day stop over. A Campground is near by with full hookups. Best time to visit is year around. 15 Minutes 2013
Hurlburt Field AFB - FL. Home of the Tactical Air Commando Training Center until it was moved to Lackland AFB TX. This video shows my short visit to the site prior to their move to Lackland AFB. There is a small group of static aircraft on display near the main entrance to the base. Had a chance to visit and see how they are teaching Airman how to be TAC-P's. You must go through Base Security for admission to the base to visit these aircraft on display. Best time to visit is year around 25 Minutes 2013
Makah Indian Reservation and the Olympic Range - WA. Touring the Makah Indian tribal land and a visit to the Olympic Rain Forest at the ocean level all the way up to the Mt. Olympic glaciers. Really requires a few days to see it all. Visit in the dry season as it can be very wet 80% of the time. In the summer time remember that the higher up Mt. Olympus you go the colder it gets so take the proper clothing with you and that also should includes rain gear year around. I have visited this area 4 times and have spent several full weeks there each time. I would like to go back again to see more of what I missed especially along the coast line. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter at the lower elevations otherwise it is just lots of rain. 40 Minutes 2006
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Medicine Wheel National Monument - WY. All of the Plains Indian Tribes at one time or the other will visit this site to pay homage to their ancestors. This park will be close to the public whenever there is a gathering of any of the tribes. You may visit the website and verify when the park will be closed to non Native Americans. This park is located on top of a mountain near Cody WY. You will have to travel up highway US-14a which is a very steep highway to get there. Warning NO TRAILERS of any kind on this road. This applies to both the highway and the park access road. The last 1/2 mile is a hike into the site as there is a no parking at the actual site. When I was there the Shoshone Tribe was there and I was asked not to take any pictures of the ceremony they were having. Best time to visit is Spring to Fall. Deep winter snows are common. 34 Minutes 2015
Mesa Verdi National Park - CO. This is the home of the Anasazi People who became what is know today as the Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, and Apache Tribes. This national park is divided into two sections. The Main section will take all day to visit all of the sites. The second section will be an all day visit if you plan to explore the pueblo that the park has opened to the public that requires you to hike down to and then go through. This hike requires the use of a number of ladders to get to different areas of the village. The rest of the park is a gentle walk to and around the ruins. I would suggest that if you really want to explore this park then allot at least 3 and up to 5 days for the trip. There are several camp grounds near the park and you can get a multi day pass if you need to. Best time to visit anytime year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 57 Minutes 2013
Monument Valley and the 4 Corners area - UT ~ AZ ~ CO ~ NM. These 2 parks are both located on the Navajo Indian Reservation and are run by the Navajo Tribal Council. There is admission charge for entrance into both of the parks. both parks are quite some distance apart. If you want to go out to see the Monuments up close and personal, then this is a ride in the back of a modified 4x4 truck with seats and the tour takes about 2+ hours. They keep personal vehicles out of the park trail except when a special permit is purchased. ~ As for the 4 Corners area, you simply park and walk into the area where all 4 of the states come together. This is located on about 2 acres of land. The Navajo vendors setup all around exterior of the area and are selling their handcrafted items. I did not see anything that was not made by the Navajo People. A lot of silver pieces with nicely polished stones mounted in rings and earrings.  The necklaces were quite different between vendors. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 15 Minutes 2013
Mt. Evans State Park - CO. This road climbs up to 14,260 feet straight up. This is one of the highest roads in the USA. The mountain is SW of Denver off of I-70. When I visited the temperature start out at 97 degrees at 6000 feet in Denver CO and ended up at 38 degrees and still dropping with a storm on one side of the mountain and clear on the other side. I might add that the air is very thin up there. I and the my dogs got winded just walking around a little near the very top of the mountain. From the parking area you hike up the last 200 vertical feet to the very top, but remember that they clear all people off of the top when a electrical storm approaches. When this happens then you have to return to your vehicle and wait the storm out. This trip when starting from Denver will require a full days drive time and includes about 2 hours for stopping on top of the mountain. There is also a star observatory on top which is run by the Colorado University but is not open to the public to visit. Best time to visit is mostly year around. This area is subjects to heavy snow falls in winter when they close the road. Remember that this is a state park so different rules apply and there is an admission charge. 26 Minutes 2013
Mt Rushmore National Monument - SD. Tickets at Mt Rushmore includes a return pass for the laser light show held each evening after dark. This is set to both a narration and music. It is shown in a amphitheater at the foot of the mountain below all of the the bust. There is not a lot to see and the visit can be done in 3 hours time. Then just down the road is the Crazy Horse Monument that is under construction at this time. They have a large museum and video program for you to take in. Then you can purchase a ticket and you can go up and tour the work site. Admission ticket plus a bus tickets to the top makes it a little pricy to visit Crazy Horse.. Except for the Light show allow a full day for both tours etc. Then after the light show it was a 1 hour drive time back to campground 2 miles away due to very heavy slow traffic. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 22 Minutes 2006
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Mt. St. Helens National Park - OR. At this time 2010 - you must enter from the western main entrance only. The east entrance to Spirit Lake was closed as was several other areas on the back side of the mountain this year. They expect that these entrances to the east side should be open once again in 2019. The museum has a 20 minute video that is well worth the watch on the actual eruption. Hiking is permitted in limited areas and tent camping is by permit only on the east side in 2010. There is a long drive time from I-5 into the viewing area of the park. Can be very wet with rain as you are on the escarpment from the Pacific Ocean with the usual sea breeze. You can plan on a full day to take in everything once you get to the park entrance. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter and can be very cold. 46 Minutes 2008
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Native American Indian Art Exhibit - Atlanta GA. This exhibit is a permanent display and was in parallel with the Ansell Adams Exhibit that I went to see. When I visited I found that both of the displays were very interesting. The Ansell Adams display show mostly his prints that were less that 8" x 10" in size and since he did only black and white I found this to be very interesting in how he use light to make his photos pop out. Moving on to the Indian exhibit, this was very interesting as it contained a lot of items from all of the different tribes found in the USA. If you are ever in Atlanta and have the time then I would highly recommend that you take the time to visit. If you are interested in the history of the Native American Indians Tribes then this would be a must see. Once inside you can plan on a full days tour of this Museum. Best time to visit is year around. 48 Minutes 2014
Niagara Fall - NY ~ Canada. I spent the night in Vermont having arrived there from Canada. Leaving that morning I was dodging the many rain storms from the Vermont campground across New York. I ended up at the Niagara Campground very near the falls late that night. I spent 2 full days at the falls and did most of the tours. Did not take a lot of pictures in the mist area because I did not have a water proof camera. Enjoyed the history of the falls and the tour of the first AC power generating plant built by Nikola Tesla. Warning take rain gear as the falls can have a lot of wind blowing the spray around and all over the place. The boat ride to the base of the falls is fun but as I said very wet even though they give you a rain jacket. Best time to visit is Spring into late fall. 26 Minutes 2014
NC Mountains & Blue Ridge Parkway - NC ~ TN. Several road trips around the Blue Ridge Parkway starting west of Asheville NC and into Cherokee Indian Village. Also toured the Smoky Mountains up and over to Gatlinburg TN and then down to Cades Cove (AQ Separate Video). Did the Foot Hills Parkway in TN and Highway 129 known as "The Snake" to the motorcycle riders. Then went over to Robbinsville NC and got onto the Cherohala Skyway down to Tellico Plains TN. We then headed south and looped around back home via US-64 then down to Route SC-11 east and home. This was a 4 day trip with the camper. Best time to visit is spring into late fall depending on snow fall. TN gets a lot of snow that never makes it over the Smoky Mountains. 65 Minutes 2010
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Old Western Town Preserved - Cody - WY. This is a group of log cabins that has been recovered and moved from their original location out in the mountains and brought to Cody and painstakingly rebuilt and put on display. When I say they have moved many old buildings from out well away from Cody into this area I mean it. The area is very rugged and hard to get around in as these roads are not paved nor are they maintained as there are on ranches. They have collected many old relics that are on display as well as several large Indian Arrowhead Collections. A lot of equipment that was use in the 1700's on are also on display in a as is condition. This is a well worth stop just to see how the family's lived back then. Allow 1/2 day for this side show. This is just inside the town limits on the west side of Cody WY heading to Yellowstone on Highway US-14. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 63 Minutes 2013
Oregon Trail National Historic Site - ID. This is an interpretive center that is near the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. All of this is overlooking the Snake River which is headed at this time due North before it makes a hard left for its run to the Pacific Ocean. The museum has a lot of interesting item on display from this time period. Keep in mind that the California Trail branches off in this area and will head SW to California while this part of the trail will head Due West to Oregon. Both trails were brutal and a lot of people died along the way. This is a 1/2 days visit but worth the time. I camped in the Mountain Home ID campground and toured out from there. Camping was 3 days here. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 21 Minutes 2015
The Painted Desert & Petrified Forest National Parks - AZ.
This is a single National Park that is divided into two different sections. It is divided into two when you cross over I-40. This is the first part - the Painted Desert and then the Petrified Forest is the second part. However you may enter at either end and see both parks at the same time for the same park entrance fee. In this instant I entered on the Painted Desert side and went west. I would divided this into 1/2 day for each part of the park if no hiking done. If hiking then a permit is required and then expect to spend 1 week or more in either side.  When I arrived the first time, it was just after a heavy cloud burst and this really brought out the colors on the Painted Desert. The pictures will show you the color that you will get to see. By the time I got to I-40 all of the colors had soften from drying out. Just remember that the angle of the sun will cause the colors to change. Then after crossing over I-40 you will be entering the Petrified Forest National Park. I encountered the final part of a flash flood although it was really at the end of its run, having been cause by the earlier rain storm. This flash flood was running under the bridge and there were a number of people stopped taking pictures of it. I just kept going. This part of the park has cameras all over the place to keep people from stealing the petrified rocks. Plus there were rangers everywhere just to keep people honest. This park had a lot of people from Asia when I was there over the years. If you are out there do try to stop in and see these parks as it is well worth the time. Also there are a lot of shops that sell the petrified rocks if you really want one. The big ones can be quite expensive since they have been polished and some have clear coat on it to protect the surface. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter.
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Plains Indians Museum in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Center - Cody WY. This exhibit will take about 3/4's of a day to walk through and see everything. It is divided up on two levels and I spent a full day here myself. I found it most interesting as they had various tribes on display and to be able to see how each did their clothing and bead work is remarkable. They have on display tribal clothing, jewelry, tribal war material, displays of actual living conditions etc. You will learn a lot about the plains Indians and their life style which is based on the Bison. Again the bead work that they did with porcupine quills is fantastic to see. Pottery and basket weaving is very unusual and finely done. The designs that were woven in these baskets are a treasure to the eyes. The Buffalo Bill Wild West Center is at least a 3 or 4 day visit. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 52 Minutes 2013
Redwood Hammocks - OR ~ CA. The Redwoods grow in sheltered valleys very near the ocean. They are usually found on the other side of a ridge line where they are protected from the high winter winds but still get a above average amount of rain fall. These hammocks are very dense and allow very little sun light to get to the ground. Therefor the areas are usually quite dark with a large amount of ferns of many types as well as other undergrowth plants found. Most animals reside in the tree tops. There are a number of camp grounds around the hammocks that allow you to take time to get out and explore. This is a drive through with brief stops to get out and see what is there. Best time to visit is in the late fall.  26 minutes 2010
Ring Ranch Historic Site - NM. This was an all day driving tour on dirt roads in the back country with a guide leading the way. Not recommended without a guide as it is very easy to get lost on these not so well marked dirt roads. Again, it was well maintained gravel all the way. We started in Eagle Nest and headed east. Once we crossed over the mountain range we then turned left off US-64 and headed up a dirt road into the park area although there is no sign saying this is the route to the Ring Ranch as such. Along the way we stopped at the parking area and walked about 1/2 mile into the Ring Ranch which is being preserved as a historic site / place. The ranch land is in use by ranchers for grazing so there is cattle and horses around. We then continued on around through the mountains and finally looped back around via Taos to Eagle Nest where we start from. This was a fun tour / trip and was sponsored by the campground in Eagle Nest NM. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 45 Minutes 2010
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Rocky Mountains National Park - CO. You will be able to see this park as I toured it from both directions. East to West then also West to East. Both have totally different views. In the last trip - 2013 - sadly most of the pines trees are dead having been killed by the pine beetle blight. This park is now just ripe for one huge forest fire. On the first trip, 2 hours after I start up and over from the west entrance heading east, they close the park due to a early snowfall. I was lucky as I was ready to head down on the east side which was still open. Allow a full day for this trip one way. The second trip I started up from the east side and exited on the west side. I liked the west to east trip better. Best time to visit is Sparing into late Fall. Road is subject to closure due to snow fall. 70 Minutes 2006
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Royal Gorge Bridge Park - CO. This suspension bridge over the Arkansas River is a privately owned park. There are two different admissions. One for on foot and one if you want to drive across the bridge. Either way it is very pricy and everything cost lots of money. Walking over the bridge you do get the swinging motion if there is a little wind. If a vehicle drives across the the bridge really moves so you feel the bounce as the vehicle hits the joints. When looking straight down you will see the railroad that runs next to the river in the bottom of the gorge. Note this is not a canyon but rather a gorge due to it having a opening at both ends of the gorge. I saw 2 different trains pass under the bridge while I was there. There were rafters on the river as well. Allow at least 1/2 days once you get there. Open year around. 19 Minutes 2013
San Francisco - Golden Gate Park - CA. This trip was done while I was visiting friends in the city. We went through Golden Gate Park, saw the Japanese gardens, the beach highway, and then we drove down the coast highway CA-1 to Santa Cruz. Once there and after lunch we came back to the city via Skyline Drive stopping at several sites including the old logging railroad station. This is a full days drive plus 1 day at the Golden Gate park area. The Park today has been invaded by the homeless and they are making a mess of the place in 2019. My friends have sent pictures of what is happening and it is really a shame to see this happen. It was a fantastic place to go and just hang out for a concert or just to take in nature. Best time to visit is year around. 60 Minutes 2006
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San Francisco to Santa Cruz via Highway 1 - The Coast Highway - CA. This is the second trip down the coast highway to spend more time on the coast rather than just drive down and back. See a lot of what is the above video plus close-ups of some new thing along the coast. Best time to take this tour is year around. 37 Minutes 2010
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Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive - VA. A drive down the Skyline Drive through the Shenandoah National Park is just breath taking. This drive ends at what is the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. While the elevation for this road is not as high as that of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the views are just as great. They have a good Ranger Station / museum that has a lot of stuff on display that you will see along the way. Lots of pull outs so you can stop and get out and take in the views. Camping is available next to the park as well. Try to choose a time when the weather is forecasted to be clear and pretty. Late fall is ideal for fall color. 1 or 2 days for this trip. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 15 Minutes 2014
Sunset Crater and the Wupatki Indian Preserve - AZ. This is a volcano that you can hike all around but cannot go to the top of the actual cinder cone as it is to dangerous - not stable ground at all and the cinders are very sharp and cut like glass. The lava is both of cinder and ash flows. Camping is restricted to certain areas and requires a permit. The native flowers are unusual and quite colorful. Then after going a little further down the road you will be at The Wupatki Indian Preserve.  This preserve shows how these people lived way back when. While the tribe to my knowledge does not exist anymore, their building do. These buildings are very well preserved and it is amazing how the people survived in this harsh area. To visit this area you will be starting out at Flagstaff, you will head north and then turn east at the Sunset Crater  entrance. To be able to visit everything on this loop, please allow a full day. You will end up at the east entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 32 Minutes 2008
Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve - KS. This has two of the the three types of Tall Prairie Grasses that are found within the South Western Plains. They have several hiking trails but I found that the middle length - a 3/4 mile hike to be enough in the heat of the day as the area is very hilly and the trail does a 250 foot vertical climb. This trail also will allow you to visit the old school house that is part of this preserve as well as walk through the tall grass which will be about shoulder high or so. Should you have a dog then they are allowed on the trail as well with the usual requirements for leash and clean up. One of the few parks that will allow dogs on the hiking trail. The Prairie Grass comes in three different heights - the low is 1.5 ~ 2 feet where you will find Bison followed by the middle height of 3.5 ~ 4.5 feet then the tall grasses which is over 6.5 feet high. The some of the various versions are very sharp and will cut. To go through the tall grass requires a tall horse. Allow about 1 full day. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 12 Minutes 2015
Thermopolis Museum of the old west - WY. The town offers mineral thermal pools that you can swim in and it is really hot water. I really enjoyed my dips in these pools. The museum has one of the largest Indian Arrow Head Collections in the USA. Each of the displays shows a different tribe and / or time period. I found this to be quite interesting and spent a lot of time looking. Also the other item in the museum are from various periods dating back to before white man settled in the area. I would suggest that you really give the museum a full day just to go through. I also recommend the hot pools where you can just float around and relax then have a great nights sleep. Please note that some of the pictures from the museum are included in this video. Best time to visit is year around. 62 Minutes 2015
Thermopolis Dinosaur Museum - WY. These are the bones of Dinosaurs that have been found in the general area of Thermopolis. They also have a area where you can watch the staff as they clean and preserve the bones that have been brought into the museum for display. They have a video on a bird that they have found in this area. You can see the actual bones of the bird and then watch a video of how it flew. 1 full day to visit if you want to watch the staff work for a short time. Fantastic for the kids of the family to have fun at and at the same time have a learning session! Best time to visit is year around. 22 Minutes 2015
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument - AZ. Rattle Snake Warning. In this video you will see the newly released California Condors in 2006 but remember that they are very high up. The park ranger tracking them pointed them out to us and I used a 600mm telephoto lens to capture what I have here. The cliffs and mesas are really something else - the colors change during the changes of the angle of the sun. The rocks and butts are everywhere and different. When I went into the back country of this monument which was on the North Side of the cliffs, I will warn you the roads are very rough - wash board style and the ground like concrete. You are advised to drop your tire pressure to about 20 / 25 psi while you are in the park and then when you exit you pump them back up. Speed limit is suggested at 20 mph. Even then you will still pound yourself to death on these roads.  The Jeep 4X4 guys use special 12 lbs. psi tires on their vehicles to go back into the areas to camp and do what ever. Then when you exit they have full size air compressors to pump up the tires again and head home. Fantastic views all along the way. Allow at least a full day plus more if you are planning on camping. Camping will be dry camping for this type of trip. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 72 Minutes 2006
2013
The Washita Battlefield National Historic Site and Chief Black Kettle's Tribe - OK. This is the story of the Washita Indian Tribe that was massacred by the US Calvary. A very sad story and it should never have happened. This tells the story of the tribe. The complete story is presented in the Park HQ. They also have a short film showing just what happened. After this then you drive a short distance and hike down to where the battlefield / massacred took place. Plan on 1 day as it is out in the middle of nowhere in OK. Best time to visit is year around 09 Minutes 2015
Winchester Gun Museum in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Center - Cody WY. The largest collections of all know firearms ever made by the Winchester Company and a lot of other manufactures as well. In addition there are several thousands of other guns on display. What is on display encompasses hand guns to rifles of all types dating back to the very early days of these weapons. You wander through each company's many different firearms. The variety of guns are truly amazing. The displays are done from the earliest to current weapons. Each section is set up for the maker of that brand of weapons. This is really a complete history lesson of the firearms from the start through today. They also have the Gatling guns and machine guns as well. The Buffalo Bill Wild West Center is a 3 or 4 day visit. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 74 Minutes 2015
Wright Patterson AFB Air Museum - Dayton OH. This is one of the largest collection of aircraft in the nation. There are 4 giant hangers and the 5th one in now under constructions. They have planes displayed on 3 different levels within each hanger. The planes are divided up depending on which war they were used in. There are a number of aircraft that you are allowed enter including some of the retired Air Force 1 Presidential aircrafts. The black-hawk - B-52 - and other very large aircraft are on display inside of the hangers. Full History of each is displayed at the plane. I would suggest that you download the guide and plan at least a full week with a lot of walking. Scooters are available on a rental basis on a first come first get - highly recommended! Each hanger is divided into different wars and or locations. Vietnam for example uses half of one of the hangers and the Korean war uses the other half. Some of the aircraft are on the floor. Next there real big ones are raised up on stands about 6 foot off the floor and you can walk under them. A number of lighter planes are swung below the the ceiling overhead. So you got them everywhere! Kids have a blast here. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 36 minutes 2014
2016
Yellowstone in the snow fall of 2006 Part-1 and in the late summer of 2015 Part-2 - WY. The first video in 2006 shows the chance snow fall from out of nowhere. I enjoyed the snow but the temperature dropped like a rock down to 25 degrees or so. This did a good job of clearing out the casual tourist that were there. I was then able to enjoy a lot of areas that had no crowds.  Now we move on to another problem. Yellowstone also has a problem in the fall time. They close the NE corner of the park when the Elk & Moose are in rut season. So from somewhere around the end of August through November you are not allowed into this area. So this video was divided up into sections that were taken at different times. I was there 3 different times and the weather was quite different each time. On the first trip I encountered snow in middle of September! The other times the weather was nice but cold at night. August proved to be very busy and not a lot of places to stop and get out due to the large numbers of visitors. Really, September and October is the best time to come prior to the snow season. It can be very crowded during the non snow period and is now getting to the point that reservations to enter or using any of the park campground are going to be required. While this is not in effect now best plan on check up on this if you plan to stay inside the park. Traffic during the summer is a pain so plan ahead accordingly. These great big motorhomes being driven by people who do not have training in handling these large vehicle on very narrow steep roads are causing problems for everyone. Also people from outside of the US who have little driving experience are have a lot of accidents on the narrow roads inside the park. In 2015 the park was in the process of widening a few of the main roads but this is still an on going task. Allow at least 1 week - maybe 2 weeks to fully appreciate this national park. All total I spent about 6 weeks in the park over the three trip there. I did a lot of hiking. Best time to visit is year around depending if you love snow in the winter time. Cross country ski trips in winter and hiking in summer. 24 Minutes
28 Minutes
2006
2010
2015
Yosemite National Park - CA. Warning if you are planning to stay or camp in this park then you MUST get a reservation or you do not stay after dark. The campsites are booked as much as a year in advance. You have been forewarned on this. This applies to both the hotel and the camp grounds within the park. It is wall to wall people now all over the lower valley. In the upper meadows 2010, you can find some areas to go where it is not so crowded but that is becoming very hard now. Also it seems that everyone has to go to the park and make a mess of it. The rangers are having a hard time keeping up the trash. When I was there the 2nd time they were having to do a big control burn to get rid of some invasive plants that were taking over the lower valley. They were planning on another burn the next year in the meadows up in the upper area of the park. These plants were tracked in by some of the many visitors. I have visited the park starting way back in 1968-1971 each year and then returned in 2008. A lot of changes have occurred over the years. Some of the changes are bad and will never be fixed. This park requires at least 1 week to fully enjoy. If you plan to do back country hiking then 2 to 4 weeks are recommended. Remember that this is bear and mtn. lion country as well as elk & moose. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to very heavy snow falls in winter. Winter camping is by permit only. 44 Minutes 1968
1971
2006
2008
2010
Zion National Park & Cedar Brakes National Monuments - UT. Zion now requires you to use the shuttle bus to get into the park from park headquarters in the valley. There is a limit as to how many people may go in as well so reservations are now a must. In this video you will be going up to the back side of Zion - not into the lower sections with all of the people have to go and as such will be looking down into / onto that back area. This view is totally different than going into the canyons and looking up. I then continued on to Cedar Brakes National Park  travelling on a fantastic set of back roads. Some were paved and the rest were gravel. Once I got to the Cedar Brakes, I encountered a thunderstorm forming up and I had to wait that out since there was a lot of lightning then I toured this park. There was just to much lightning in this storm. This is much like Bryce Canyon but on a much smaller scale. There is a token admission but not required. I enjoyed looking but don't get near the edge or it is a long ways down before you stop! This ground is very loose and will slide. This is a 1/2 day tour at the Cedar Brakes but the drive took third of a day to get there traveling and stopping all along the way. Best time to visit is year around. This area is subjects to light snow falls in winter. 72 Minutes 2006
2010
2013

 



The First Vietnam Veterans National Memorial
built during the 1st. Tet Offensive 1968 ~ 1971.

It is considered to be well worth the watch by most all veterans.
To watch this video - please click >>here<<.

 

 

Camera Information

All my shows were created with a program "Pro-Show Producer" from Photodex Corporation. Photodex Corporation has stopped marketing this program and now recommend another program. Problem with this new program is that you rent the program for a fee each year.

All of my videos are streamed from the web site Vimeo and the shows are linked to this web site.  All Photos were edited in one of these following programs.

Paint Shop Pro X series, Photoshop 6 and / or Lightroom 5.
For editors I use the
various Topaz modules for additional editing where and when necessary. I like Topaz's AI modules for repairing errors in exposure and general cleanup & repair. I do not choose to alter the actual picture I took instead keeping it as close to what I saw as possible. I do crop some and the panoramas to make them fit into the video screen.

All Panoramas were created using Microsoft I.C.E. due to the very large file sizes. This program also supports multiple high and wide splicing. IE : 4 rows high and 8 frames wide. I normally try do all my pictures in the RAW format on the Olympus, Fuji and Canon Cameras. I find JPG to be just a little bit to lousy of a format for great editing due to picture info. loss. You MUST use a tripod to do a panorama properly.

My Current cameras that I use are the Canon G-16, a point & shoot which I use to shoot through the windshield where one is not allowed to stop the vehicle to take a picture. My primary camera that I use is a Olympus E-M5 Mark III camera with a single zoom lens of 14 ~ 150mm which translates to 28 ~ 300mm in the 35mm format. I find that this is all that I need in a camera since the technology has changed so much over the years. I also have a 30mm which then = a 60mm macro lens for close up photos.  I choose not to use flash if at all possible.  I also use a Fuji X30 pocket camera that is with me all the time.

All videos that were taken with either a Go-Pro Hero 3 or the Hero 5 cameras, either mounted on the roof of my truck or on a tripod. The Go-Pro cameras can also be mounted on a small custom made motorized panning device that attaches to a small tripod for 360 degree pans. I use 30 frames per second filming rate and a setting of 100 degrees for the wide angle rather than the standard 180 degrees plus when using these cameras. This will keep the vertical lines somewhat straight while passing through the picture if using the 100 degrees setting.

I hope that this will give you some ideas about what to take in the way of camera gear. Make sure that you have several fully charged up batteries and several chargers with you for each camera that you elect to take.  Cell phones take so-so picture.  Since the SD Cards that these cameras use are cheap now, I recommend that you  have a number of them available while on your trip.  Get them BEFORE your trip to save time and money. If you cannot download the pictures to a computer and or hard drive then simply take a handful of cards and do not erase them till you get home and off load your pictures to your computer.  DO NOT ERASE any picture you take since you might be able to repair it and thus save it.  Hopefully you will end up with great pictures of your trip for your memories.

The name of the game is to have a great trip.