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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Beautiful White Sand Beaches,Turquoise Water, ... and Cactus





Florida is not the only state with white sand beaches and turquoise water. We found a spot in New Mexico that is simply perfect! It has beautiful white sand, clear turquoise water, and ..... cactus!



Elephant Butte Lake is New Mexico’s largest lake and was formed by a dam built in 1916 on the Rio Grande. The water level was pretty low when we were there.



It is around 40 miles long and surrounded by white sandy beaches. The water is a beautiful turquoise color when the sun is hitting it, but… every time I tried taking a picture, the sun would go behind the clouds. Oh well, it’s a beautiful blue in the photos. I can live with that!




Expect to see tons of quail and big floppy eared rabbits around the lake! We literally saw hundreds of both!



Lodging:

Camping spots are available at the state park and lodging is available in town, but we chose to stay at the Elephant Butte Inn & Spa.




The rates were very reasonable and the room was clean.



The back of the hotel overlooks the lake. Amazing View!!!



The whole back area is covered with rabbits late afternoon and at dark. I'm talking about at least 100 of them!!!





My husband, being an avid fisherman, was impressed with the boat ramp and marina. We actually spent several minutes looking at the ramp, with him saying, " I can't believe how big that ramp is!" 😲 It is located within the state park.



Elephant Butte Lake is such a beautiful place with many activities to do at the lake and close to the area. Truth or Consequences is only about a 10 minute drive and White Sands National Monument is less than 2 hours.


Address:

Elephant Butte Lake State Park
101 Hwy 195
Elephant Butte, NM 87935


Happy Travels! 




Friday, September 22, 2017

Petrified Forest National Park


The Petrified Forest National Park is located in the northeastern part of Arizona off of Interstate 40. We drove the 28-mile drive through the park, starting at the visitor center  in the Painted Desert and ending at the visitor center in the Petrified Forrest.




This was my husbands favorite place that we visited in Arizona. It is amazing, but I equally loved Sedona and the Saguaro National Park. Actually, I loved everything about Arizona! 😊



 There are many overlooks and places to hike along the route. Park Map



Some of the fossils found in the park indicate that the area was once a tropical region.




More than 200 million years ago, flourishing trees and vegetation covered much of this area of Northeastern Arizona. Volcanic lava destroyed the forest and the remains were covered until erosion set them free, revealing the petrified wood.




Petroglyph drawings on rock surfaces are visible within the park. These markings indicate that ancient native people inhabited this region about 10,000 years ago.



The beautiful colors in the petrified wood come mainly from three minerals. The white is pure quartz, manganese oxides form blue, purple, black, and brown, and iron oxides provide hues from yellow through red to brown.



The two men standing by one of the logs really show off the size of these pieces of petrified wood!




I would highly recommend a visit to this park. The history and nature are amazing!




Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
1 Park Road
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028





Happy Travels! 




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Painted Desert



The Painted Desert is an expansive region of rocky badlands and buttes, encompassing more than  93,500 acres in Northern Arizona.



This vast landscape features layers of rock in hues of lavender, red, orange ,pink, and gray. The various colors are the result of the different mineral content of the sandstone, mud stone, and shale of the Chinle Formation. It is amazing how beautiful dirt and rocks can be!



The section of the Painted Desert that we visited is located in the northern part of the Petrified Forest National Park. Take exit 311 going east or west on I-40.



I would recommend allowing at least a couple of hours for the 28-mile drive through the park. The first part, north of the interstate, will be the Painted Desert. The rest of the drive is the Petrified Forest. Both have many place to stop and walk around.



Address:

1 Park Road, PO Box 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028





Happy Travels! 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cascade River State Park - Lutsen, Minnesota


As the name suggest, the main attraction to this park is the waterfalls. The water from the Cascade River flows down the black volcanic gorge for a total drop of 900 feet in the last three miles of its journey to Lake Superior.





The park has 18 miles of trails for hiking. If you are looking for a short hike to see the waterfalls, a small parking area on Highway 61 will get you there quickly. It is near the start of trail and will take you through a forest of aspen, birch, fir, spruce and cedars to a beautiful series of waterfalls.




The falls are lined with green moss and fern that add a magical feel to the place.





Camping:

Camping is available year-round. The park has 40 drive-in campsites, 5 backpack sites, and 2 group campsites.




Winter: 

Check here for winter facilities and activities.



Hours:

Spring, Fall & Winter: Daily, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Summer: Hours extended.


Location:

3481 West Highway 61
Lutsen, MN 55612

Phone:

 218-387-6000




Happy Travels! 




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lighthouse Point - Two Harbors, Minnesota


Located in the beautiful little town of Two Harbors, Lighthouse Point is a magical place.



 Winding trails through cedar, spruces, grasses, and wild flowers will lead you along the rocky shore of Lake Superior.



The high light of the area is a red brick lighthouse on the top of a hill over looking the harbor.  The Two Harbors Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on Minnesota's North Shore. It is a private aid to navigation and is no longer maintained by the Coast Guard.



A head keeper's residence is attached to the lighthouse. The walls of the tower are three bricks thick and the walls where the tower and house meet are five bricks thick. The structure was built with the safety of the keeper's family in mind.



Tours of the lighthouse are available through the gift shop.

Lighthouse Tours: Information



Stay as a guest  in one of the four rooms at the Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast.

Lodging: Information



Address:

#1 Lighthouse Point
Two Harbors, MN 55616


Phone:

(218) 834-4898 




Happy Travels! 












Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gooseberry Falls State Park - Two Harbors, Minnesota


Waterfalls, waterfalls, and more waterfalls is the main theme of this park! Hiking to, climbing through, or just relaxing by one of the many beautiful waterfalls is a great way to spend the day!



There are five waterfalls  located near the Highway 61 bridge and in the gorge. In this area, the Gooseberry River rushes over the 30-foot Upper Falls into a pool, then flows to the two-tiered Middle and Lower Falls, descends 60 feet to the last pool, and then runs through the valley to Lake Superior.



The lower and middle falls are a short walk from the parking area past the visitor center. A descent down several sets of steep steps is required to reach the falls area.



Once there, you can climb on the rocks and boulders and wade through the falls and pools.



 Continue hiking over the bridge to the other side of the river and under the highway bridge to get to the upper falls.




Amenities:

 Bathrooms, phones, water and picnic sites are located at the visitor center



The park has 18 miles of hiking trails. Park Map



Address:

3206 Highway 61
Two Harbors, MN 55616

Phone:

(218) 595-7100





Happy Travels!