The Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon Brochure

The Grand Canyon, Welcomes Stella and I.

The Grand Canyon, Welcomes Stella and I.

The Grand Canyon, home of canyons…and well, a lot of geological marvels. The colorful array of heights and rises, crags and gorges are dizzying.  What’s remarkable is that this little overlook nestled in the Grand Canyon Village is only a tiny portion of what there is to see. It’s mind blowing the scale of hikes and climbs available to the outdoor enthusiasts. Geological Layers of Grand CanyonIf you take a gander at a map, you will understand what I mean.Grand Canyon Village, South Rim
Afterwards, Stella and I drove down Route 64 South connecting and heading west on historic Route 66; the drive to the city of Kingman was iconic southwestern scenery at its best.

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The Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon Brochure

The Grand Canyon, Welcomes Stella and I.

The Grand Canyon, Welcomes Stella and I.

The Grand Canyon, home of canyons…and well, a lot of geological marvels. The colorful array of heights and rises, crags and gorges are dizzying.  What’s remarkable is that this little overlook nestled in the Grand Canyon Village is only a tiny portion of what there is to see. It’s mind blowing the scale of hikes and climbs available to the outdoor enthusiasts. Geological Layers of Grand CanyonIf you take a gander at a map, you will understand what I mean.Grand Canyon Village, South Rim
Afterwards, Stella and I drove down Route 64 South connecting and heading west on historic Route 66; the drive to the city of Kingman was iconic southwestern scenery at its best.

Vol. 1, Branded Souls, Chapter 1: The Dragon (Pt. 1)

A pause in the atmosphere hung suspended like a shroud that pointed an intangibly heavy question. It was incomprehensible to most except for those intimate with the proceedings of death. It was quietness, weight, the absence of movement- animals knew these tidings, all survival was dependent on this.

The birds in their roosts stilled and the creatures of Terra, skittered into their warrens except for a black squirrel. It chattered on the far end of a wooden bench; it was busy stuffing a large piece of stale bread in its mouth. A gnawing malaise dawned on the squirrel as it was eating; its ears quivered and pricked up with a cautious fear. The creature dropped its crumbling snack and surveyed with large, dark eyes. It ceased moving and froze in utter terror. The judge was thundering his gavel with a verdict.
A golden eagle sped downwards, screaming like a banshee leaping from hell’s fissure in broad daylight. It saw its query and it knew that it belonged to an order classified as prey. It grabbed the hapless creature in a single, lightening-swoop of its razor-sharp and crushing talons. The raptor moved upwards with it’s squealing prize. The squirrel had paid a dear price for its infraction.

A roaring thunder came from an opening in the graying cumulus above. At first it was a glinting shadow against a sun full of rays. Then the vision grew into reality as it descended; it blotted out the sun with vast crimson leather wings that stretched the length of a stadium. Screams of terror and bells issuing deep, resonating alarms rang out through the valley, electrifying the once peaceful afternoon air.

The legendary wyvern of old radiated with dazzling color like fine glass and jewels and its eyes were as brilliant as carbuncle gems that were imbued and veined with topaz. From its maw came a rumbling so profound it was as if the gods were holding a debacle in the sky. Magma glowed in its ruby scaled throat now and it volleyed liquid fire in short bursts in all direction. The dragon was dominant in all feats of strength and agility and it displayed its prowess recklessly. The eagle and its entire splendor could not out-maneuver this thing of wanton destruction- it was caught in the wake of death.

Black smoke fell from the sky; the eagle and the rodent were both reduced to a mass of char and were sent as a smoking package, tumbling back down to the Earth. A roar of triumph shook the rafters of heaven. The houses of man below shook; great vibrations and the percussion of wind gusts ripped the roofs of thatched houses. It flew towards a giant castle with a furious roar and perched on a staggering tower, flinging the archers up into the air and catching them in snaps of its enormous jaws.

The clouds huddled together, turned an ashen gray and wept. Angry lightning bolts arced across the sky; the ferocity and violence between nature and the parties of man came to a head. There became no perceptible weather except a picture of hell above and hell below. A winding mass of black armored men snaked down the path from the mouth of the castle; artillery, soldiers and cannons poured out from the open drawbridge like hornets protecting the nest.

The sky crackled with a horrible mischief; this new player of devastation were the incendiaries; man had grown wroth at this cruel tyrant and retaliated with explosions of violent color: Ochre and crimson, blacks and blinding whites, yellows of sulfur and billowing smoke. Bombs, mortars and blasting ripped the sky asunder as the flock sought blood for blood. The indignant cries of human warriors, like tiny voices were unified in chorus that reached to the creature as a goading insult to its pride. Each shelling was greeted and returned by a frenzy of tearing, flinging and burning; bodies were strewn across a scorched and broad field underneath a ruinous castle looming among steep, jagged mountains.

(Continued: part 2) 

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The Devil’s Bridge

It felt as hot and thick as drops of blood- like sweat itself coming from the sky. The heat seemed to always win against the refreshing coolness that was the rain; it twisted its refreshing nature and turned it against those seeking a balm.

Morning slowly crept away, giving up coolness to the stale swelter of those typical afternoons. The air was choked with moisture; it made the comfort of loose clothes pointless. The trees stood mute; the sting of the sun cut the whistle from the bird’s song in their roost. The branches did not sway and acted paralyzed in some lethargy. Sometimes the sun hid behind matted clouds but it didn’t seem to matter, in her memory it was always stifling.

It was true, that during those sweltering days that sapped you, all you could do was laze on the porch or a stoop. For what it was worth, she felt happiest in her youth and naivety. She conjured another memory in an instant when she was a few years older during one such summer:

Her grandfather sat there, looking out onto the street from their porch; it was peeling white and creaking at every stride of the rocking chair. The lines on his face seemed to map the experiences that chalked up his furrow. He spit noisily into a brown stained bucket at his feet. His eyes grew a sudden mist. His face hadn’t moved and his stillness spoke as loud as any shouting could ever. A very far distance was where he set his dull gray eyes. He gazed over derelict housing and broken streets, taking to the stars and through time itself. He seemed to have found the emotion he was after and the memory followed. He breathed deeply and spit again. Moving his face slowly, he drew his lips into a slanted oval and with slurred speech and scraggly chin he spoke.

They move tro’ the air…and pass locks and the ‘ardest of barred doors.” “These wee crayturs are that of make believe, aye, but tis as real to me as this here can o’ spit at me feet.” He continued and cocked his head while focusing an eye at me. With one hand upon his knee and hunched back, he leaned forward and entreated, “Do ya hear that?” Shaking his head, “Course not.” “But! They’re right here workin’, pushin’ tro’ the trees and up the floor boards; Tripping you and swaying on ta’ strides o’ willow wisps.” “And if ye deny em’ they sit on yer shoulder and course bad things come to ye’.” He spit into the tin and wiped his chin. “Superstition be damned.” He tapped his nose knowingly then returned to the chair looking suddenly tired.

His eyes seemed to the find that spot again, that was neither here nor there and began, “When I was a young man, I carried me pack and traveled many a high road all across this auld country. One day as the sun began ta’ set. I was at the old bridge north of Connemara.” He recalled the bridge, “T’was an ardinary one, made of many a grey small stone and it crossed a small straym, wit all sort of verdure.” He gestured with his hands as much as emotion danced on his brow. “I sat there with me naggin’ of whiskey, castin’ stones below its steps, when long came a shadow that stretched well over me.”

“Bedad, t’was not mine!” He hollered.

Moving forward in his seat, he turned his head toward me. “This shadow stretched over me and I felt as the ice in the great North Sea. I knew by its shape t’was not another man for there were harns protrudin’ from its head and the silhouette of claws and a horrible snake for a tail!” “I dared not to move and I clutched the whiskey dearly for if t’were all over fer’ me, at least I’d have one las’ drop o’ tha’ pure!” He placed his palms on his thighs and straightened his crooked spine as best possible, still looking with piercing points of steel. “So as I sit there shakin’, I gather enough courage to look behind me. Fair nuf’ it comes leapin’ at me just as a flash of dark horrible shade!” His eyes were wide and his eyebrows were high upon his brow and the tufts of his white hair lay disheveled. In dramatic intensity he rushed onwards, “I quickly turned back around wit me eyes closed shut preparin’ for death but after a second I summons up the last o’ me wit’ and kinda’ haf’ open me eyes…”

Now, the shadow lay a pace before me and as terrifyin’ as ever. T’wasn’t a shadow at all but giant daemon crayture!” “Its figure was covered in mud and obscured by the plaster that gathers at the bottom of the strayms and lakes; heat was risin’ off it and its eyes glowed like hot coals!” “Me jaw lay suspended in disbelief and then from behind im’, suddenly, white light came from the thick of the forest.” “The light took da’ shape of a claymore…a giants cudgel!” “As bright as a thousand candles…” His voice trailed off for a moment then hastily started. “…Nay!” He shouted.

“T’was as bright as the biggest star on the darkest eve and as blessed as the pope himself! And be it quicker than ye can say musha, the monster was sliced in haf’ by an almighty blow.”

“A horrible hissing-wail like the croon of a banshee came from its mouth as it burned from the light.” “I blinked in awe and for certes, t’was gone!” He adjusted himself more comfortably and took his eyes away from me and across the lawn. “The light lost its form and intensity then quickly retreated back into the wood followed by the laughter of boisterous children!” His mouth was half open and his expression had action about it. His knuckles where white but soon reddened as he removed his grip from the chair. He took an old rag from his pocket and wiped his forehead. He relaxed his face and sat more calmly in the rocking chair.

“Well mavorneen, I tell you, it still comes around. You best guard yourself with the faith of these wee ones! When ye see that devil shade, don’t hesitate tay’ run as fast as ye can for without their tiny blessings, you’d surely be doomed as a feast in hell.” He looked sharply at her as if trying to say something more. He stopped, looked away and sighed wistfully, “Lord bless the good people of te’ forest who saved me that awful night!”

Middle East FS

Portal Peak Lodge, Portal Arizona

Portal Store, Cafe and Lodge is an excellent stop for lunch and a view. It is seated well in beautifulimage Portal Arizona, the gateway to the pristine Coronado National Forest, Chiricahua  National Monument and Silver Peak Mountain.

Portal Peak Lodge is a restaurant with some great fare and a general store with anything you might need before setting of into the woods.

Picturesqueness is defined here.

Like it? Share it! What was some of your best memories here?

Sedona

Camping and Adventure at Lake Bistineau, Northwestern Louisiana

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Louisiana RangesLake Bistineau of northwestern Louisiana is part of a state funded natural park.  There isn’t much of a lake due to several intentional drainings. (*as of August, 2013) An invasive species of fern began to flourish here 15 years ago and has since gotten to a point of such proliferation that it has caused waterways to be choked and nearly unnavigable for all boat and canoe type tourism.

Albeit, this nature is amazing. The lake bed has turned into a green meadow with herds of deer browsing and monarch butterflies floating by. Just beyond, in the shadowy pockets of mystic cypress trees, an enchanting setting awaits exploration; around the bend a squirrel pads around in damp mud.
The end of the summer is fantastic time to visit all these parks as they are off season and will be largely empty.
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Lake Bistineau State Park
103 State Park Road
Doyline, LA 71023
For more info please email Paul Florence Park Manager at:
Lakebistineau_pmt@crt.la.gov
318-745-3503 Office
318-560-8519 Cell

Like it? Follow and comment! Did I miss something about Lake Bistineau? Let me Know!

Events of Foreign Sojourn, Collage

Events of Foreign Sojourn, Collage