Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – 35mm Film Photography – One Hit Wonders: Tumbleweeds in Thompson Springs, Utah by Marsi


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience. This is the final post from Marsi, who with her husband Robert, embarked on a four month journey west. I will be sharing posts from their trip in addition to other posts in their archives. This post only has one photograph, but I thought it would make an amazing prompt for a bit of fiction…..

Prologue

The past year and a half had been difficult for us. Within the span of this time, we lost my father to a lengthy, painful illness, two beloved geriatric dogs, and both of our office jobs came to an end for reasons beyond our control. We sold our house in Tennessee, put our belongings into storage, and headed west with everything we need for four months of traveling & camping stuffed into our Subaru Outback. Our journey is not just a long vacation, but a plan for healing.

35mm Film Photography – One Hit Wonders: Tumbleweeds in Thompson Springs, Utah by Marsi

As much as I love to immerse myself in dramatic landscapes, I am generally underwhelmed by my nature photography. So it’s good that I am fascinated by the roadside oddities, quiet city streets, and man-made structures that have begun their return to the earth.

Film seems an appropriate medium for capturing these less-than-perfect subjects. There is beauty in decay.

35mm film photography Tumbleweeds inside the Thompson Springs Motel, Utah©Westwardwewander 2018

Atop Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park

About Marsi

Hi there! I’m Marsi – Traveler, Designer & Home Renovator, Vintage dealer, Amateur film photographer, and Administrative Ninja.

After a year of researching and loosely planning an itinerary for an epic western U.S. road trip, my husband Robert and I sold our house in Tennessee and embarked on a grand adventure.

Our 2018 travels included thirteen national parks + several dozen state parks, national monuments, national forests, national historic areas, BLM sites, big cities, tiny towns, and everything in between. (You can check out our list of parks visited here. ) Instead of a making a set schedule, we had a very long list of destinations in mind, allowing ourselves the freedom to wander rather than have a fixed itinerary.

I created this blog to chronicle our 2018 western road trip. From time to time we’ll flash back to prior vacay and adventure spots we’ve enjoyed over the years, with some “what we’re doing now” posts thrown in too.

I also post some of my favorite film photos. If you would like to see more of my film photography, please check out my Instagram

Connect to Marsi

Website: https://westwardwewander.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestwardWeWander/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/westward_we_wander/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/westwardwewander/

My thanks to Marsi for permitting me to share these wonderful travel posts with you…Thank you for joining us to day and your feedback is always welcome. I hope you will visit Marsi and Robert and explore their travels further.. thanks Sally.

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck With Film Camera in hand, I Explore Quirky Las Vegas (New Mexico) by Marsi


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience. This is the third post from Marsi, who with her husband Robert, embarked on a four month journey west. I will be sharing posts from their trip in addition to other posts in their archives. In this post Marsi takes us to the other Las Vegas…in New Mexico.

Prologue

The past year and a half had been difficult for us. Within the span of this time, we lost my father to a lengthy, painful illness, two beloved geriatric dogs, and both of our office jobs came to an end for reasons beyond our control. We sold our house in Tennessee, put our belongings into storage, and headed west with everything we need for four months of traveling & camping stuffed into our Subaru Outback. Our journey is not just a long vacation, but a plan for healing.

With Film Camera in hand, I Explore Quirky Las Vegas (New Mexico) by Marsi

The “other” Las Vegas is a city that has probably escaped your attention. During a quick half-day stop here in 2016, the colorful personality of this historic New Mexico mountain town drew me in and keeps me coming back.

A quiet and unpretentious little sister to Santa Fe, it is one of my favorite places for shooting film photos, and also happens to be a popular filming location for movies and TV shows. While there are not a lot of flashy tourist attractions in this Las Vegas, the city will appeal to those whose interests include:

I will be posting more about Las Vegas in the future, but for now…On with the photo tour!

***As with all of my film photos, these images are presented as captured, unedited.*** All of the photos below were shot (by me) over two days on a solo New Mexico road trip in April 2017.

Parisian Dry Cleaners in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm Film Photography

Colorful historic downtown Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm Film Photography Nikon L35AF Kodak Ektar 100

On the plaza in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm Film Photography Nikon L35AF Kodak Ektar 100

Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm Film Photography Nikon L35AF Kodak Ektar 100

Homemade cargo trailer in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm Film Photography Nikon L35AF Kodak Ektar 100

in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm Film Two Brown Stationwagons in Photography Nikon L35AF Kodak Ektar 100

Calumet Mural painted for Red Dawn Set in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm Film Photography Nikon L35AF Kodak Ektar 100

Picnic Pavilion at Storrie Lake State Park in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 with Nikon F2

Storrie Lake State Park in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 with Nikon F2

Campground at Storrie Lake State Park in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 with Nikon F2

Storrie Lake State Park in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Portra 400 with Nikon L35AF

Retro RV at Storrie Lake State Park in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Portra 400 with Nikon L35AF

Cristo Rey Church near Montezuma and Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Portra 400 with Nikon L35AF

Cristo Rey Church near Montezuma and Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400with Nikon F2

Parisian Dry Cleaners in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400with Nikon F2

Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400with Nikon F2

Sweet vintage truck camper in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400with Nikon F2

Pancho's Barber Shop in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400with Nikon F2

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Pure Oil station in Las Vegas, New Mexico 35mm film photograph shot on Kodak Tri-X 400with Nikon F2

Wander over here for more New Mexico posts.

©Westwardwewander 2018

Atop Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park

About Marsi

Hi there! I’m Marsi – Traveler, Designer & Home Renovator, Vintage dealer, Amateur film photographer, and Administrative Ninja.

After a year of researching and loosely planning an itinerary for an epic western U.S. road trip, my husband Robert and I sold our house in Tennessee and embarked on a grand adventure.

Our 2018 travels included thirteen national parks + several dozen state parks, national monuments, national forests, national historic areas, BLM sites, big cities, tiny towns, and everything in between. (You can check out our list of parks visited here. ) Instead of a making a set schedule, we had a very long list of destinations in mind, allowing ourselves the freedom to wander rather than have a fixed itinerary.

I created this blog to chronicle our 2018 western road trip. From time to time we’ll flash back to prior vacay and adventure spots we’ve enjoyed over the years, with some “what we’re doing now” posts thrown in too.

I also post some of my favorite film photos. If you would like to see more of my film photography, please check out my Instagram

Connect to Marsi

Website: https://westwardwewander.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestwardWeWander/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/westward_we_wander/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/westwardwewander/

My thanks to Marsi for permitting me to share these wonderful travel posts with you…Thank you for joining us to day and your feedback is always welcome. I hope you will visit Marsi and Robert and explore their travels further.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Olympic National Park – Part 1: Quinault and Hoh Rainforests by Marsi.


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience. This is the second post from Marsi, who with her husband Robert, embarked on a four month journey west. I will be sharing posts from their trip in addition to other posts in their archives. Due to the number of photographs I suggest that you head over to the blog to view them all.. Olympic National Park

Prologue

The past year and a half had been difficult for us. Within the span of this time, we lost my father to a lengthy, painful illness, two beloved geriatric dogs, and both of our office jobs came to an end for reasons beyond our control. We sold our house in Tennessee, put our belongings into storage, and headed west with everything we need for four months of traveling & camping stuffed into our Subaru Outback. Our journey is not just a long vacation, but a plan for healing.

Days 36-37 (September 3-4) Olympic National Park – Part 1: Quinault & Hoh Rainforests by Marsi.

My “perfect day” begins in the mountains and ends on the coast, or vice versa. That dreamy combination awaits us on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. We’ve set aside a week to explore the area, although I imagine that even a lifetime of wandering this region would not allow for seeing all of the amazing natural wonders here.

View of Lake Quinault from our campsite, Willa Campground Olympic National Forest

View of Lake Quinault from our campsite, Willa Campground Olympic National Forest

We arrive in the Quinault Valley early enough in the day to score a sweet lakeside site in the small and deeply forested Willaby campground. The south shore of the lake is within  Olympic National Forest (not the National Park), and is the hub of the Quinault Valley activity. That being said, it’s still pretty quiet compared to the coastal, mountainous, and hot springs areas within the National Park.

Nurse log at our campsite in Willaby Campground, Olympic National Forest Washington

Nurse log at our campsite in Willaby Campground, Olympic National Forest Washington

The north side of the lake is inside the Olympic National Park boundary. We drive east to the tiny town of Amanda Park  (within the Quinault Indian Nation) and then along the north shore of Lake Quinault to check out the area, and find it practically abandoned this time of year. I am guessing that the north side of the Quinault Valley is lightly visited because of more limited public access to the lake, although due to a recent property acquisition by the NPS, it looks like that may change in the not too distant future.

From Willaby campground we are just a short drive or a couple miles hike from the village of Quinault. The Lake Quinault Lodge is warm and welcoming and just what one would envision a classic Pacific Northwestern lodge to look like.

Historic Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Forest Washington

The Boathouse lodging at Lake Quinault Lodge Olympic National Forest ParkThe Boathouse lodging at Lake Quinault Lodge Olympic National Forest Park
Lawn at Lake Quinault Lodge, Olympic National Forest peninsula Washington

The large grassy back lawn overlooks a small pebble beach and boat dock, where one can rent a canoe, kayak, or SUP.

Kayak and SUP rentals at Lake Quinault Lodge Olympic National Forest Park Washington

In spite of the comfortably warm temperature this afternoon, there is already a fire roaring in the fireplace. As lovely as the lodge is in summertime, a winter visit appeals to me just as much.

Lake Quinault Lodge Olympic National Forest Park Washington

The beams in the lodge’s great room are decorated with Native American motifs, and the wall alongside the staircase is lined with black and white photographic portraits of Native American women. A piano which was salvaged from the first lodge that was built on this spot (which burned in 1894) is there for guests to play, with a few mellow house rules posted.

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The world's largest Spruce tree Olympic National Forest Park

The world’s largest Spruce tree Olympic National Forest Park

The world's largest Spruce tree Olympic National Forest Park Washington

There are a number of trails in the Quinault area. Most of the trails are fairly short, but what the trails lack in length they make up for in beautiful scenery. The .3 mile Big Spruce Tree Trail at the north end of the Quinault valley takes one to the largest Spruce in the world. A monster tree, this Sitka Spruce is estimated to be around 1,000 years old.

We read that the largest western red cedar and Douglas fir also live in the Quinault Valley, though we do not allow enough time here to find their locations.

Hiking the Rainforest Nature Trail in the Quinault Valley Olympic National Forest

The half-mile Forest Service Rainforest Nature Trail and longer Loop trail near our campground wind through lush (even in dry season) rainforest filled with giant trees.

A side trail leads one to a small waterfall grotto so pretty that it looks Hollywood-created. We continue on the Quinault Loop trail and connect with the Willaby Creek Trail, which we hike for a short time before heading back to the campground to cook dinner and enjoy the golden light of the “magic hour” by the lake.

Pebble beach at Willaby Campground Lake Quinault Olympic national park forest Washington

As the sun sets, we skip stones and watch a happy dog frolic in the lake. While at Willaby campground we meet several fellow campers: a retired couple (former Tennesseans for 40 years, now Tacoma residents), and a social worker from Port Townsend and her recently retired shipwright husband, plus their two adult children who now reside in Olympia. Our new friends offer helpful suggestions for our remaining travels through Washington State.
September Sunset over Lake Quinault Olympic national forest park Washington

We have a lot of ground to cover on the massive Olympic peninsula, so reluctantly after one night of camping in Quinault we decide to move on to see another rainforest valley. We drive west toward the coast, then turn northward on Highway 101.. We arrive at Kalaloch campground before 11am and snag one of the last available first-come-first-serve sites. After setting up camp we weigh our options and decide to postpone beach time for a few hours and instead take a little side trip.

Map of Olympic National Park rainforests

Map of Olympic National Park rainforests

The Hoh Valley begins a multi-month closure on September 5th for maintenance/repairs, so on the 4th we make the long drive for what we’ve read to be a “can’t miss” experience within Olympic National Park: hiking the Hall of Mosses trail trail in the Hoh rainforest

Apparently thousands of other people are also trying to fit in a visit to Hoh before the closure, and we experience Disneyland-like crowds, with a constant line of people moving along the trails.

Massive ferns and trees in Hoh rainforest Olympic National park Washington

Having just spent time in the idyllic quietude of Quinault rainforest, honestly the Hall of Mosses is a bit of a letdown. I’m sure that in a wetter season, on a day without the big crowds, I would enjoy this part of the park more. In spite of our Hall of Mosses experience being anti-climactic, the drive through the Hoh Valley was really lovely and the Hoh river so pretty that I’ve added a Hoh Valley backpacking trip to my bucket list.

Visit the links below for the series on the Olympic National Park.

Part 2: Pacific Coast Beaches
Part 3: Rialto Beach, Lake Crescent, Sol Duc Valley
Part 4: Hurricane Ridge & Port Angeles

©Westwardwewander 2018

Atop Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park

About Marsi

Hi there! I’m Marsi – Traveler, Designer & Home Renovator, Vintage dealer, Amateur film photographer, and Administrative Ninja.

After a year of researching and loosely planning an itinerary for an epic western U.S. road trip, my husband Robert and I sold our house in Tennessee and embarked on a grand adventure.

Our 2018 travels included thirteen national parks + several dozen state parks, national monuments, national forests, national historic areas, BLM sites, big cities, tiny towns, and everything in between. (You can check out our list of parks visited here. ) Instead of a making a set schedule, we had a very long list of destinations in mind, allowing ourselves the freedom to wander rather than have a fixed itinerary.

I created this blog to chronicle our 2018 western road trip. From time to time we’ll flash back to prior vacay and adventure spots we’ve enjoyed over the years, with some “what we’re doing now” posts thrown in too.

I also post some of my favorite film photos. If you would like to see more of my film photography, please check out my Instagram

Connect to Marsi

Website: https://westwardwewander.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestwardWeWander/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/westward_we_wander/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/westwardwewander/

My thanks to Marsi for permitting me to share these wonderful travel posts with you…Thank you for joining us to day and your feedback is always welcome. I hope you will visit Marsi and Robert and explore their travels further.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck #Travel #Photography – Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park, Colorado by Marsi


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience. This is the first post from Marsi, who with her husband Robert, embarked on a four month journey west. I will be sharing posts from their trip in addition to other posts in their archives.

Prologue

The past year and a half had been difficult for us. Within the span of this time, we lost my father to a lengthy, painful illness, two beloved geriatric dogs, and both of our office jobs came to an end for reasons beyond our control. We sold our house in Tennessee, put our belongings into storage, and headed west with everything we need for four months of traveling & camping stuffed into our Subaru Outback. Our journey is not just a long vacation, but a plan for healing.

Days 11 to 13 (August 9-11)
Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park, Colorado by Marsi

After a couple of subdued days in Durango, we are ready to move on and hopefully shake our funk. Soon after leaving the city limits, brown turns to green and the San Juan mountains stun us with their beauty. From Durango we drive up highway 550, the “the million dollar highway” , through Silverton and Ouray. The super-windy road lives up to it’s name (and the hype), and even through the hazy, smoky skies the traveler is rewarded with incredible vistas of the San Juan mountains. We will come back here one day to hike into the backcountry, and perhaps make a trip into the Weminuche Wilderness.

Beautiful high mountain pass on the

Beautiful high mountain pass on the “Million Dollar Highway” south of Silverton

Vista along the Million Dollar Highway near Silverton

Vista along the Million Dollar Highway near Silverton

As sites in the East Portal Campground at  Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are first-come first-serve, instead of visiting the rim first, we drive the crazy 16% grade road down into the canyon, where we set up camp in a hollow near the Gunnison River. The shady campground is cozy with only 10 sites in this walk-in area, but doesn’t feel cramped. Our neighbor is a character, and we enjoy lengthy conversations with him about his solo through-hike of the AT, and upcoming solo hike on the Colorado trail.

A ranger tells us that bears frequent (and maybe live in) the area just above the campground. There are a couple of females with cubs, and on the rim of the canyon the ranger has twice spotted a huge male crossing the road. Apparently that big boy is elusive and no one has been able to photograph him.

Bear trail behind our East Portal campsite in Black Canyon of the GunnisonBear trail behind our East Portal campsite in Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The canyon walls stretch 1600 feet above us. The rock changes color as the sun moves, and the crystal clear river is more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. We hike through boulder fields alongside the river – the “nature trail” and find a pebbly area perfect for wading.

Gunnison River at East Portal Campground

Gunnison River at East Portal Campground

Gunnison River diversion tunnel in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkGunnison River diversion tunnel in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

We see a juvenile cinnamon colored black bear stretched out like a cat in the shade. It raises its head as several small groups of people gather on the gravel road to watch. The bear grows tired of our gawking and runs up into the woods, a short while later reappearing across the road down by the river. We watch as it approaches the water, walks in, the current catches it. The bear floats down river a short bit and emerges on the opposite bank. It disappears behind a bush, presumably still trying to disappear from the gaze of the tourists who are visiting its home. I assume it’s a male and name him Sonny. We are on the lookout for Sonny for the rest of our stay but are not able to spot him again.

Juvenile bear preparing to swim across the Gunnison River in Black Canyon National Park

Juvenile bear preparing to swim across the Gunnison River in Black Canyon National Park

We drive back out of the canyon to see the rim. Every overlook provides a surprisingly different and stunning view of the canyon, and the as the elevation rises, one can see the bare tops of high Rocky Mountains in the backdrop. At the highest point, the Gunnison River is 2700 feet below the rim of the canyon, yet you can clearly hear the rush of the river and the woods of the wind through the canyon. As the wind moves through the canyon and up the walls, the visitor is treated to a natural air conditioning.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

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A storm blows through, with winds gusting 40-50 mph. The storm brings little rain but fells a tree just past the pit toilet. We are a wee bit anxious about camping under the trees in this beautiful wooded alcove but quickly forget our fears as the beauty of being immersed in this place is so soothing.

I hope to wade the river again but the air has cooled from the storm. I instead sit perched above the river bank and sketch the landscape until dusk.

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I hear a rustling in the bushes across the river and spot two white-tail does coming down the steep slope to take a long drink from the river.

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The deer see me but are not afraid. I look around and do not see another soul. Everyone else is down the hill at the campground. This little moment with the deer is mine alone and reminds me that time spent quietly can bring joy in unexpected ways.

@Westwardwewander 2018

Atop Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park

About Marsi

Hi there! I’m Marsi – Traveler, Designer & Home Renovator, Vintage dealer, Amateur film photographer, and Administrative Ninja.

After a year of researching and loosely planning an itinerary for an epic western U.S. road trip, my husband Robert and I sold our house in Tennessee and embarked on a grand adventure.

Our 2018 travels included thirteen national parks + several dozen state parks, national monuments, national forests, national historic areas, BLM sites, big cities, tiny towns, and everything in between. (You can check out our list of parks visited here. ) Instead of a making a set schedule, we had a very long list of destinations in mind, allowing ourselves the freedom to wander rather than have a fixed itinerary.

I created this blog to chronicle our 2018 western road trip. From time to time we’ll flash back to prior vacay and adventure spots we’ve enjoyed over the years, with some “what we’re doing now” posts thrown in too.

I also post some of my favorite film photos. If you would like to see more of my film photography, please check out my Instagram

Connect to Marsi

Website: https://westwardwewander.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestwardWeWander/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/westward_we_wander/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/westwardwewander/

My thanks to Marsi for permitting me to share these wonderful travel posts with you…Thank you for joining us to day and your feedback is always welcome. I hope you will visit Marsi and Robert and explore their travels further.. thanks Sally.