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Our trip to the northern West Coast created some amazing memories, among them the rain forests and the redwoods. I love walking down paths, among the trees, smelling the mustiness and moisture, watching the light sparkle and dance. I carried a misconception into the forests that logging cleared the land, leaving a barren waste. I left with new knowledge that logging is done with discretion, thinning out to make an opportunity for a stronger forest.

There is evidence of earlier logging that took the centuries-old trees. With current logging, will any of trees that are left standing be allowed to grow to the wondrous size of the “virgin growth” that was originally found on this land?

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There was a lot of evidence of logging, not on barren hills but on the roads. I gave these monsters lots of room and pulled over to let them pass whenever they appeared behind me. I was a bit unnerved when I was leading them down hills and around curves.

To can see more images and read more stories of transport by visiting Jake at:

The Real Big Mac

The Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) Bridge is a very special bridge for a lot of reasons so it made sense for me to use it for Jake’s Sunday Post for this week. I talked about how important it is from the perspective of people living in the Upper Peninsulas of Michigan in an earlier post you can find here. It is a beautiful bridge that is situated in a beautiful setting, spanning the Straits of Mackinac that connects the very large fresh-water bodies of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. It feels like a jewel sparkling in the rural and sometimes rugged beauty of northern Michigan.

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When it was finished in 1957 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Now the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan (built in 1998) is the longest with a total suspension of 12,826 feet. The Great Belt Bridge in Halsskov-Sprogoe, Denmark (built in 1998) is the second longest with a total suspension of 8,921 feet. The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere, having a suspension of 8,614 feet. The total length of the Mackinac Bridge is 26,372 feet or 5 miles.

A northern Michigan newspaper reported in early 1884 that the experiment to provide all-year service across the Straits by boat had failed, and a bridge or tunnel would be required if there were to be travel between the peninsulas. Ideas were proposed in the ensuing years, including a floating tunnel. In 1923 the Michigan legislature ordered the State Highway Department to establish a ferry service at the Straits. Within five years traffic on this facility became so heavy that the governor ordered a study of bridge feasibility. This was a huge undertaking because of the depth of the water, the strong current, and the harsh winter conditions. It would be expensive. Interest was renewed several times in the ensuring years until work was finally begun in spring of 1954. The bridge was designed by the great engineer Dr. David B. Steinman. It opened to traffic on November 1, 1957 according to schedule, despite the many hazards of marine construction over the turbulent Straits of Mackinac.

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The engineering of this bridge is mind-boggling (not surprising seeing I marvel at all engineering). All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck of the Big Mac at center span could move as much as 35 feet (east or west) due to severe wind conditions. The deck does not swing or “sway” but rather moves slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the wind. After the wind subsides, the weight of the vehicles crossing will slowly move it back into center position. As I said, this is one amazing bridge.

Information for this post came from the Michigan Department of Transportation website, where you can obtain more interesting facts about the bridge and see more pictures.

To see more photos of bridges, click on this link:


Sunday Post: Unforgettable

Jake, over at jakesprinter, did it again with a fun challenge. This week’s Sunday Post is Unforgettable. I didn’t want to forget this one so I went to work on it right away. Of course I started thinking about photographs and my most memorable ones – the ones I look at the most and thus are the most unforgettable – are the ones from my travels. Even before I opened my many files of travel photographs I realized that what I remembered most about these trips were the people.

I have gathered together photographs of the people, not because the photographs are unforgettable. These aren’t in the same league as the young girl with the green eyes. These are ordinary snapshots of people who are beautiful because they shared a part of their life with me. They opened their homes to me. They shared their table and their food. They shared their life story. They invited me to parties and laughed with me. They looked into my eyes and smiled at me.

When I look at these pictures I am flooded with memories. There are many great stories behind these pictures – some of which you can find on this blog. Some are waiting to be put in words. But here are the faces of people in Russia and Kyrgyzstan who invited me into their lives.

As I was preparing this post, I was also thinking of all the wonderful people I met in Switzerland, England, Scotland, Ireland and Germany that I don’t have digitized pictures of.

Here’s to all the people who have touched us in so many ways – in ways that make them unforgettable.

Sunday Post: On-Going

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It is Jake’s Sunday Post time and I am feeling at peace. I am confident of my ongoing place in the world – even if it isn’t forever. My ongoing is for today, for this moment, as long as there is “this moment” for me. In this moment I feel joy and there is a smile on my face. In this morning moment I heard beautiful music and a meaningful message – both of which touched my soul. I shared a delicious breakfast with the man that I love and we sat and talked. We laughed at funny little things – life has many funny moments when we look for them.

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But life is on-going. An on-going of moments. In some of those past moments I cried – in some we cried together. The crying came from deep pain but I still remember those moments with a kind of fondness. They were a part of my life – the moments of my life and they make me who I am. I’m glad that I care enough to be hurt by life’s injustices. I’m glad that I let love in enough so that I hurt when love leaves.

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Life is the on-going of changing moments. Children learning to walk – away from the nest – further and further. Bodies getting older, wearing out. New moments of new opportunities for work, for love, for fun. Life’s changing moments bring loss but also new; new needs, new pleasures, new sorrow, new treasures.

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Life is the ongoing change of who I am and who is in my life and what is important to me. So, as I have faced and embraced all of my past life moments, I will face and embrace the ongoing moments of my future.

The photographs were taken in the Naples Botanical Gardens.

To see other blogger’s interpretation of On-Going, or to add your ongoing thoughts, go to the jakesprinter blog at:


Sunday Post: Focused Attention

It is such a wonderful experience to become so focused that the rest of the world slips away and I lose track of time. All of a sudden an hour or two has passed. But oh the joy of being able to focus all the powers of my thinking on what I am doing.

Using the language of this theme, when we focus so intently the rest of world becomes totally unfocused. Our world become fuzzy around the edges. For those around us, we become out of focus – no longer clearly reachable. We are no longer engaged in life as it happens, but life stands still for us. Just us and the object of our focus, moving ever so slowly through time.

An Intimate Moment

An Intimate Moment

This image of focused attention happened because I wanted a photo of this mother and child by the fountain but I am very hesitant to take photos of people in public places – I admire people who are good at it. Instead I stood across the street and quickly framed and shot it. I think it does quite a good job of capturing this theme of focused attention and the way we can only observe them from a slightly out of focus perspective. To bring them into clear focus would be way too intrusive and break the mother’s focus on her baby.

To see more images of this theme or to participate in Jake’s Sunday Post, to to: