Starling Travel

August 14, 2015

Go To A Place You Have Never Been Before

I really love this motivational poster I saw on Facebook a while back:

Go to a place you have never been before from Starling Travel

It reads:

Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before.

This is an argument that I have every year with Mike. He always wants to go to Yellowstone, which we have been to almost every year for a decade. I want to try new national parks, like Yosemite. This year, we didn’t go on a big trip. Our biggest trip was to Lagoon Amusement Park up north. It was a really fun vacation and we got to see our friends and family while we were there, so no regrets.

Huge snow drifts in Yellowstone from Starling TravelStill, the argument rages on. Yellowstone or Yosemite. Mike argues that Yellowstone is different EVERY time we go there. I can hardly describe the difference of Mammoth Hot Springs now versus when we saw it that first time together. I wish I had photos of Orange Spring Mound from that first trip because it has LITERALLY taken over the road and they have had to make a new road around its massive orangeness. Yellowstone is truly different every time we’ve visited from the year with the ten foot snow drifts to the year with the bear with a porcupine quill in its paw. We have never had a repeat experience.

El Capitan in Yosemite from Starling TravelBut I have never seen Yosemite. I would feel like an idiot if I never got to see the mountains and trees that so inspired John Muir in his writing and activism. I would regret never seeing El Capitan in person when it was the focus on so many of Ansel Adams’ photographs. How can I keep visiting Yellowstone over and over when Yosemite is there, waiting for me to visit?

Then again, Ansel Adams spent his whole life visiting Yosemite over and over. Georgia O’Keefe loved Taos so much she moved down there. Additionally, every time I visit a place, it looks different to me because I AM DIFFERENT. What was boring to me as a child is gorgeous to me as an adult. What was interesting to me before may be gone, but has been replaced with something just as strange and captivating. When our national parks are different every time we visit them, it doesn’t matter which one we visit as long as we get out.

If I were to change that poster on the top, I would make it MUCH more simple. Instead of it saying, “Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before,” it was only say, “GO.”

November 7, 2014

No Synonym for God Is So Perfect As Beauty

Filed under: Camping,Hiking,Photos — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

This quote about beauty reminded me why I love to go to the mountains.

No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening - still all is Beauty! John Muir from The Quotations Page

It reads:

No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening – still all is Beauty!

  • John Muir

This is why I go camping and hiking, to experience that overwhelming spiritual feeling of pure beauty. When I go too long between camping trips, my feet become eager to leave home behind and go in search of the mountains.

July 12, 2012

Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho

Filed under: Hiking,Idaho,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 2:00 am

From the satellite view of the park, Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho looks like a scorched blotch on the earth.

And it is… (Continue Reading…)

November 24, 2009

Big Bend National Park, TX: Chisos Mountains

Filed under: Hiking,Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 1:19 pm

I love this video of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park in Texas.

Here is a video of a hike to the South Rim of Emery Peak.

Where: Big Bend National Park in Texas Google Map

August 13, 2009

J. E. Haynes: Yellowstone Photographer

Filed under: Hiking,Montana,Museums,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

While going through my grandmother’s collection of knitting and crochet books, I found this old photograph of Lower Falls in Yellowstone.

J. E. Haynes: Yellowstone Photographer by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The information on the back made us very excited.

J. E. Haynes: Yellowstone Photographer by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It is a hand painted photograph by J. E. Haynes, son of Frank Jay Haynes, the first official Yellowstone photographer. F. Jay Haynes actually named many of the Yellowstone sites and was instrumental in documenting Yellowstone. J. E. Haynes, followed in his footsteps.

My grandmother’s photograph is pretty faded, so I tried to spruce it up a bit.

J. E. Haynes: Yellowstone Photographer by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Here is what the sight looks like today.

Lower Falls 2009 by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Lower Falls is located in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

August 7, 2009

Zion’s National Park Announcement

Filed under: Camping,Hiking,Places To Visit,Tourist Attractions,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 1:45 pm

Here is the announcement of the formation of Zion’s National Park in the New York Tribune back in 1907.

Wonderful natural bridges by The Library of Congress from Flickr

It reads:

Wonderful natural bridges and other wild scenery to be included in two new national parks.

It’s nice to see how people viewed our national parks one hundred years ago. Instead of complaining that the government is “stealing” our land, the press was excited to share the beauty of the areas that the parks protected. Because of that foresight, we can see these sites even now.

June 22, 2009

Two-Heel Drive on the Guadalupe River Trail

Filed under: California,Hiking,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 12:32 pm

Guadalupe River Park sign by busybeingborn from FlickrTwo-Heel Drive has a beautiful review of the Guadalupe River Trail in San Jose. You can read it and see all the lovely photos here:

Speaking of flowers, the best excuse for walking the Guadalupe River Trail is to check out the nearby San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. A couple years back it was a monument to the city’s errant previous mayor, who could introduce appalling City Hall structures to stroke his ego but could not prevent the once-glorious rose garden from declining into an embarrassing state of disrepair. The good news is it’s great now — a riot of pure rosy loveliness, even with blooms fading a bit with summer’s approach.

Where: The Guadalupe River Trail San Jose, California

Length: 11 miles open (discontinuous)

Surface: Gravel – Alviso at Gold Street to Highway 880 (6.3 mi.)
Paved – Highway 880 to Grant St/Highway 280 (2.7 mi.) Paved – Chynoweth Avenue to Lake Almaden Park (2.0 mi.)

August 1, 2008

Muir Woods Trip

Filed under: California,Hiking,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 9:13 am

Our friend, atp_tyreseus, is driving across the country from San Francisco to Cincinnati right now. Before he left California, however, he took a trip to Muir Woods. He was kind enough to share his pictures with us on his Flickr photostream:

Considered “the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world,” Muir Woods is nestled in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. You can see the national parks’ website for it here:

View Larger Map

Just north of San Francisco, you can see a lovely forest of redwood trees and enjoy the best that California wilderness has to offer.

July 18, 2008

Ted Rheingold Shares His One-Minute Vacation

Filed under: Hiking,One Minute Vacations — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Ted went camping in the Lakes Basin Region in the North Sierras and shot this quick one-minute vacation so you can feel like you’re out in the wilderness for just a minute.

Enjoy this moment of zen!

Via: Spidey Senses -> Tingling :: Ted Rheingold’s Web Journal » Blog Archive » Sweating Mushroom Hunting Insect

May 23, 2008

One Minute Vacation: Clover in the Wind

Filed under: Hiking,One Minute Vacations,Oregon,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 12:05 pm

I loved this moment while hiking on the Wildwood Trail in Welches, Oregon.

Those little clover leaves taste like sour apples if you bite them. I don’t go around biting flora, but a local said mentioned it to me, so we tried them.

If you are feeling stressed at work, take a One Minute Vacation and watch the clover in the wind.


Wildwood Recreation Area
65670 E Highway 26
Welches, OR 97067
Google Map

Phone: (503) 622-3696

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