Desert in December

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Canadian Glacier Mountain Goodness

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Lake Agnes

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The Six Glacier hike. Photo by Mikiah Fender

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The view point at the end of the Six Glacier hike.

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What a treat! Tea and cake up in the mountains after miles of hiking.

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We went to both tea houses around Lake Louise. This was the Six Glacier one.

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Beehive Mt. and Galyn is the bee.

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Switchbacks with Beehive Mt. in view.

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Canadian Rockies at their best.

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Raven showing off.

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not your typical beach

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I like that my birthday is in the Fall and that a dramatic Oregon beach is just a short drive down Hwy. 101. Coastal weather in November can bring muted sunsets where you can’t tell the difference between the sky and the water. At night, you can feel the strength of the oceans power purely by the sound alone. It was exactly what I wanted.

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Canada with Aussie accents

What better way to end the snowboard/ski season than to go to the largest ski resort in North America.  Two of my best girlfriends (Leslie and Jen) and I took a road trip up to Whistler, Canada.  Why not, since it’s only a five hour drive away at the most.  We passed through customs like a light breeze so things were looking up.  We had the windows down and listened to more pop music in three days than I’d ever listened to within a decade.  Rihanna was at the top of the playlist I’m pretty sure.

We didn’t waste a second as soon as we unpacked our gear at our hotel in the Village.  Our signature drink that first evening was called the Mexican Bulldog.  It was a beer that would slowly pour into an over sized margarita.  Sounds bad, I know but it really was good.  Something I would expect to order South of the Border, not North but we’re going with it.   Early in the morning we were eager to get on the mountain but not before our java at The Lift Coffee Shop.  We then hopped on the next Gondola up on Whistler mountain.  Between Whistler mountain and Blackcomb you’d need a week to cover all the runs.  It’s incredible how huge both of these mountains are and we had such easy access to it all!  Our favorite run was called Seventh Heaven, we’d get to the end of the run and nod our heads all agreeing that we’d like to do it all over again.  The Peak to Peak Gondola was an experience that everyone should try if you’re not afraid of heights.  They installed it in 2008.

I still smile thinking about this weekend and it will always go down as one of my favorite ski weekends away.  Between the snow bird days, me boarding in my bikini and actually getting a tan, the Village night life and all the beautiful men with accents from all over the world asking for our numbers… yup, Whistler will be expecting me next Winter.  I already bought my 2014 season lift tickets.  Thank you Leslie and Jen for all the laughs and being the best ski buddies this season.  Looking forward to more runs with you next year.  Don’t forget… Shine Bright like a Diamond!

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no two snowflakes are alike

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I woke up this past Saturday morning with my truck adorned with snowflakes.  Like stickers pressed up against the black paint, only temporary.

Someone opened up their home to me without meeting me first.  Doesn’t that exceed a deal with only a handshake?

A Mason Jar of homemade peaches awaited my arrival on the kitchen table that he had made himself.  He left me cross country trail maps, handwritten notes of local restaurants and the best coffee shop to visit.

My motivation for this mini getaway was to cross country ski on some of the best trails in the U.S. but my most favorite moments didn’t involve skis at all.  It was hearing the owls in the nearby trees while I was photographing the stars late at night.  It was feeding the hens and holding their freshly laid eggs in the palm of my hand.  It was having a cat kneed on my lap like he had known me for years and looking through a television screen in a window framing the best view.  Now that’s good T.V.

You wonder, what could possibly beat the rolling hills and the mountains dusted with powdered sugar in the Methow Valley?  The people.

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The BIG Island

 The Big Island is my fourth of the Hawaiian Islands I’ve been fortunate to explore.  This time, I’ll let the images do the talking.
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IMG_7086 IMG_0368 IMG_7330 DCIM103GOPRO DCIM101GOPRODCIM100GOPROMauna Kea the best astrological observatory in the world.IMG_8020Ka’au crater Trail

IMG_0936IMG_7896IMG_1360Mr. Volcano blowing off some steamIMG_1377Mauna Kea Summit Sunset 13, 796 ft.IMG_8157IMG_1749IMG_8474IMG_8018Being sand blasted by Green sand.
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The Baths

I want everyone to go here.  I wish everyone to experience this beach, this natural beauty of a place on earth.  “The Baths” is what it’s called on the British Island of Virgin Gorda.  This Island is the third largest of the Virgin Islands.

An unusual geologic formation on a beach is unexpected.  I was so in awe of this place that I had to spend a second day here.  Volcanic origins, as huge granite boulders lie in piles on the beach, forming scenic grottoes that are open to the sea.  You get it all here; caves, turquoise water, granite rocks, snorkel heaven, and a private beach that you can practically have to yourself if you work your way through the caves.  It’s called the Devils Bay.  It was my bay for the day.IMG_0683

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