Ask and ye shall receive.
I posted my request for submissions for the best places to travel in 2017 a couple of weeks ago, and held my breath.
I expected some smart alecky proposals, but, instead, was intrigued by the compelling suggestions that I received.
One entry stood out, standing taller than the other sunflowers in the patch.
Teri Dashfield visited 3 destinations in 2016: one, I’d never heard of; another’s been on my to-go list for years; and the third is a finalist for my daughter-mother getaway this spring. For those reasons, I’ve chosen Teri to receive a major award: a copy of Lonely Planet’s You Only Live Once: A Lifetime of Experiences for the Explorer in All of Us.
I asked Teri to paint a bigger picture of her journeys to Apache Junction, Acadia National Park, and Albuquerque. She not only complied; she sent along some dandy images too. Enjoy and thank you to all who participated.
As a photographer, whenever I travel I like visiting places that will keep me and my camera happily engaged. Last year took me to Apache Junction, Arizona, where I traveled along the Apache Trail – Arizona’s oldest highway – which is not only filled with amazing landscape but as parts of it are on unpaved roads with some sheer drop offs along the side, it was also a trip that raised the heart rate some in spots. As you travel the trail, you will pass the beautiful Superstition Mountains and in the middle of the trail is the town of Tortilla Flats which is a fun place to stop, eat, and drink and check out the signed dollar bills from across the globe all over their walls.
Another trip was to Acadia National Park in Maine. Takes a bit to get there but it is well worth it. Nature is at its finest in Acadia with all of the trees, the ocean crashing against the rocky shores, Cadillac Mountain which has an awesome view of the island from the top, trails for hiking and biking and, if you are lucky to get in (it can get very, very crowded), some killer cream puffs at the Jordan Pond House restaurant.
My biggest bucket list event of 2016 was attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and flying in a pink elephant balloon. You can ride in one of the balloons if you wish to engage one or just go to see the many (over 500 that come in different sizes and shapes) balloons that participate from around the world. The launch field alone is around 78 acres! The balloons fly in the morning and in the evening there is the night balloon glow where the participating balloons stay tethered but they fire them up to glow in the night. It’s like a giant fair with food, music, souvenirs, and, of course, the balloons!