Spring -> Snow -> Beach – In the Air

After that last visit to Amsterdam, I flew home to California in late April, the end of a wonderfully wet and snowy rain season on the west coast: which meant lots of much-needed snow even in the mountains of California! As always, I aimed for a window seat and kept my camera handy. I no longer remember the precise route, but I think we went about 1/3 of the way up Greenland and across northern Canada, then angled down around the mountains between British Columbia & Calgary in Canada, and across into the US south of there still angling southwest. The four big photos (above, below, and after the gallery) are out of order — look closely and you’ll see the Hollywood sign on the hills in the photo of LA just above, as the plane flew inland then swung around and line up for the southern runway’s approach route. And I’m fairly sure the photo directly below is from Greenland.  (Yes, a thing those from the East Coast of the US may not know is that when flying from the West Coast to Europe, one usually flies over Greenland, as opposed to just south of Iceland which I usually seem to do when flying from NYC.) The shots in the gallery are all in order. I think we crossed the Sierra Nevada south of Yosemite and I was seated as you see on the left of the plane, so I didn’t see Mt Whitney or Yosemite from the air, more’s the pity – the few times I have, my camera has not been handy. Oh well…next time :-). Enjoy!

Snowy Spring in Ottawa & Toronto

At the end of March, I left my two-year assignment in Haiti. Amazingly, two months have passed since I flew out. I’ve been back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean and the North American continent twice each, since then. This whole post-mission period, however long it will last, all began with a day on which I flew from tropical, hot, dusty and green Port au Prince, to what you are seeing in this post. Since my US base is coastal California, I very rarely bump up against snow and ice. Which made those days in Canada especially interesting and hard to adapt to! I was in both Toronto and Ottawa, for work meetings and some public speaking – you’ll find links to a few of the interviews I did (all in French) in the post just below this, or in the “about Paul and smw, slt” page. For now, just some of the sights of wintry-spring in Toronto, Ottawa, and on the plane between the two — including some shots taken while our plane was being de-iced before takeoff when I left Ottawa, and airplane views of a still-frozen countryside. I hope you’ll enjoy some of these shots despite the gray skies!

Cruising Northern Shores

Blind River InletThistles by Lake Michigan

The road trip continued….although it takes me far longer than I’d wish to get these photos sorted and up here for you to enjoy! After leaving upstate New York, Mom and I decided that we simply couldn’t bear another trip along the usual I-80/I-90 corridor the follows the U.S. southern shore of Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Michigan — our goal was Wisconsin, where we were able to spend a few lovely days visiting my aunt and uncle; and we were departing from Rochester which – by U.S. standards – is quite a piece north…and this led to my crazy idea to explore the northern shore of Lake Huron through Ontario. What a lovely outing it was!

Blind River Huron ShoreMom - BR LibraryMichigan UP - Michigan Shoreline

This enabled us to spend a night in the lakeside town of Blind River, ON and to explore portions of that enormous province that I’d never been anywhere near, previously – gaining a more visceral sense of the beautiful, rich rivers and waterways which the Ojibwe and Cree have traveled since long before my ancestors arrived near these shores. I really wish we’d had more time to stay, explore and enjoy high summer along the Canadian shores of North America’s Great Lakes — but the wedding date loomed ever nearer and we had many other people and places on the list before we intended to arrive in Albuquerque. So here, and without much further comment, you can enjoy shots from Blind River, some not-so-great but they are what they are shots taken by Mom as we drove across the international bridge from Canada back into the US where three lakes are all coming very close to one another, along the channel directly connecting Lake Superior to Lake Huron and quite close to where the Edumund Fitzgerald went down in stormy waters back in the 1970s as commemorated in that wonderful song by Gordon Lightfoot…and then some shots from the Lake Michigan shoreline along Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and one beautiful farm-field sunset shot in Wisconsin. Didn’t get the camera out much more in Wisconsin and this shot doesn’t do justice to the huge midsummer sun sinking below corn fields in real time, but trust me – the upper great lakes region in high summer is pretty wonderful to spend time in.

Blind River Rail & Road BridgeMom - Shores of Lake Huron Blind River Mill DamOld Town Blind River ON Blind River - the riverPaul at Huron Shore BR-ON Blind River Panorama

In the photo gallery and below, the three shots taken by Mom from the Sault Sainte Marie Bridge, which connects the nations of Canada and the U.S. across the locks and waterway which link Lake Superior with Lake Huron, you are looking west over Whitefish Bay and it’s maybe conceivable (what do I know?!) the camera sees as far as the water above the spot where the Edmund Fitzgerald was found.Sault Ste Marie Intl Bridge 2Sault Ste Marie Int'l Bridge 1WI SunsetBlind River ON2