Bears, My Favorite Subject

After returning home to Texas, I can’t hardly wait to see the bears again next year! That’s me with my brown bear gallery wrap on my office wall and the two carved bears were a gift from my brother. Thanks, Chuck.



After 79 days of traveling on my road trip adventure to Alaska an back to Texas, I am finally home! During “My Summer of 2016 Alaskan Road Trip” I drove 16,593 miles. I started my road trip on June 8, 2016. I arrived home on August 26, 2016. Very road weary toward the end. Happy to take a break and get back to city life for now. Really prefer cooler, dryer climates though! Going to put together a book with pictures about my travels when I recover. Thanks to all for following my blog.



Arizona to New Mexico

On August 24th I got up early, as usual, leaving the KOA in Flagstaff, Arizona to travel to Cloudcroft, New Mexico for another visit with my brother and take one final break before making one final long day of driving to get home to Texas! Not in Alaska anymore!  Swallows nest on the boardwalk in Cloudcroft. Valentine, my bear traveling buddy made a visit to On The Mountain store where he got his Cloudcroft T-shirt. He also decided to make a Bear Totem Pole a the local bank!


California to Arizona

On August 23rd I left California and headed for Arizona. Saw lots wind turbines in California before reaching the Arizona border. I am quite road weary at this point of my long journey. I made an executive decision to omit many things I originally planned because of the August heat. I decided to take some routes to get me home quickly. On I-40 just east of Kingman, Arizona and about 110 miles west of Flagstaff, Arizona my destination for the day, there was a major accident that caused a two hour delay within about a ten mile stretch. Part of a long road trip adventure!

Sequoia National Park, California

On August 21st, 2016 I visited Sequoia National Park after spending the night at the KOA campground in Visailia, California. Lots of winding mountain roads to get to and from the park. Lots of folks using their smart phones and iPads for picture taking. I realize I am posting way to many tree pictures; but, Sequoia trees are the coolest. This id one of my favorite National Parks. Got to dance with the big black bear again at the General Store. Notice the bear spray on my belt. Went hiking looking for the bears in the forests and meadows with no luck. Probably more likely to see them in the late evening. I did not want to stay in the park until sunset and have to drive the winding mountain roads back to my campsite in the dark!


Yosemite, Hike to Vernal Falls

On August 19th I hiked to the top of Vernal Falls. Actual waterfall! Spring and early summer you see the most water in the park. I forgot to mention that when I hiked to Upper Yosemite Falls on the 18th, I did not know how far and strenuous the hike was going to be. Had my hiking boots ready, but did not put them on and did not bring water for the hike. A father and his two children came to the rescue and offered me water, which I refused on the way up; but, gratefully accepted on my way down! Thank you again! I did make sure I wore my boots and had plenty of water for my hike to Vernal Falls! Nice wide path, paved a good portion of the way. Lots of folks taking selfies. Some offered to take my picture, not understanding the self-timer option on my camera. Met many nice folks along the trails. The squirrel posed for me at the top of the falls along the edge of the wall with quite a drop off. The covered bandaged left hand is because of my fall back in Oregon when I was going to hook up my Element to my MyPod trailer! I must have gently bumped my trailer when backing up. It started rolling down hill. I jumped out to begin running to catch the trailer and promptly tripped over something and drove some sharp rocks into my hand from the fall. Lots of blood. Pain. Embarrassment! Relaxing back at my campsite after two straight days of hiking.


More Yosemite National Park, California

On August 18th I spent my second day hiking to Upper Yosemite Falls. Or should I say, Yosemite Dry Wall with no waterfall! I took some pictures in the valley before my hike. Saw the deer in the Swinging Bridge area. The hike to Upper Falls is quite and elevation climb with lots of switchbacks, many boulders, and sand to help you slip on the rocks. I only fell once despite trying to be extra careful and slow. Did not get hurt and tripod and camera were not damaged!


Yosemite National Park, California

On August 17th, 2016 I visited the Yosemite National Park in California! I told my self to just deal with the crowds and I did. Two years ago, I could not find a parking space in the Yosemite Valley Village to get a bag of ice from the General Store. So, I just kept traveling north to Alaska instead of seeing more of the park. This time, I did have some “Smith Luck” and actually got a parking space. Ate at the Village Deli along with lots of folks from all over the world enjoying the park. The first several images were taken along the winding mountain roads leading into Yosemite from Lake Tahoe. The last few images were taken from Glacier Point.


Lake Tahoe, California

On August 16th, I took a look at the Lake Tahoe area of California! Had to get a shot of my friend, the Raven. Seems that ravens were along all of the roads I traveled on my road trip from Texas to Alaska and back again. Love the large boulders scenes. Reminds me of the old Western movies and television series.