04.14.20 Let’s gather at the Grand Canyon North Rim for a Virtual Vacation with the Chauvins!

Just writing the words Grand Canyon puts a smile on my heart!

What an unbelievably beautiful handiwork of God.

I still remember seeing it for the first time and it took my breath away.

This was what we saw when we walked up to it for the first time.

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I could go on and on and would never be able to explain how special this place is so I’ll let the photos and videos speak for themselves.

See both rims if you can!

The North and South Rim are only about 20 miles apart but the drive goes way around the side of the mountains and through some mountains to get to the other side about 200 miles away. We drove about halfway and parked for the night in the Marble Canyon – A M A Z I N G!!!

This video is taken from where we parked and spent the night in the Marble Canyon!

I took several videos of the North Rim and narrowed it down to eight for the original blog. These are two of them.

The North Rim and the South Rim are two totally different places in most all aspects.

The North Rim is much cooler, more beautiful tall trees along the roads, not any visible animals that we saw, and can be seen in 2-3 hours at a leisurely pace and for some reason it is not at all crowded.

The South Rim is still cool but not as cool as the North Rim, not nearly as many trees but lots of bushes with flowers, several elks were seen and we only saw a portion of it in about 5 hours at a brisk pace and it is crazy crowded! Several big shuttle buses travel several different routes to all the spots where you can see different parts of the canyon.

Photos from the North Rim

 

20151002_153101 (Medium)This next one may look like the first view we had but it is not. It’s far away from where we started!

20151002_152556 (Medium)Grand Canyon Lodge – North Rim was absolutely beautiful inside and out 20151002_153233 (Medium)

The lodge had a wonderful outside sitting area where you could enjoy a comfortable viewing of the canyon!

20151002_155322 (Medium)There are several cabins there for those who want to stay in a cabin on the North Rim.

I loved how the view kept going on and on and on into the distance!20151002_154358 (Medium)Oh to be young and able to climb atop this rock area. We felt blessed to see what we could but that had to be super wonderful!

20151002_154407 (Medium)That was just a peek, a very very small peek at the magnificence of the North Rim. Here are links to our original posts when we visited Grand Canyon North Rim in 2015. Yes, I wrote four blog posts about the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. It is that amazing!

From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon – I included this post because it gives lots of Grand Canyon info that would be helpful to someone planning to visit there.

The Grand Canyon North Rim

The Grand Canyon North Rim Photos – Part One

The Grand Canyon North Rim Photos – Part Two

On our next Virtual Vacation, we will visit the Grand Canyon’s South Rim which is very different than the North Rim!

Have a wonderfully blessed week!

04.09.20 Let’s gather at Pikes Peak for a virtual vacation with the Chauvins!

Roy and I loved Colorado so much that we spent a month there in 2015 and two weeks in 2017. I’ll be sharing what all we saw and enjoyed doing in Colorado next time but this time it’s all Pike’s Peak!!

This beautiful mountain quickly became one of our most remembered adventures. During our life in our motorhome living on the road, everything was an adventure for these old folks and we loved it!

The elevation at the peak of the mountain is 14,110 feet. That is the very highest elevation we’ve ever gone to. I was a bit worried about altitude sickness but we followed the guidelines for ascending to that elevation and we did well! Us little Louisiana folks from the flatlands were deeply moved by the mountains, clouds, snow, boulders and pine trees that we saw on our 19 miles drive up to Pike’s Peak.

 

On our way up we began seeing patches of snow and this is when I began squealing with glee!

More and more snow as we got further up. Seeing the winding roads as we looked over the edge was awesome!

Yes they put the roads right on the edge. Makes for

This is the official Pike’s Peak picture op location! People were so kind to each other offering to take each couple’s photos there. We took the photos for the new folks behind us. I was just thinking that this was 7 years ago, we were just babies!

This is the official Pike’s Peak picture op location! I was just thinking that this was 7 years ago, we were just babies!

When we reached the Summit of Pike’s Peak we were well above the clouds which you can see in the pictures below. We are also above many of the surrounding mountains with snow on top. Going from looking up at mountains to being above the mountains looking down is such a change in perspectives, it’s exhilarating!

At the Summit, we also ventured out at a different spot, as close to the edge as we could like two crazy old folks. This involved walking through snow and rocks (large and small) to get there. The views were amazing even with clouds covering some of the area. We were the only folks there for much of the time which was nice. The young folks we did see were just be-bopping along over the rocks and through the snow

It might be the light air up there but I was fearless up there and even wound up face down in the snow at one point!

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Roy carved our last name, C H A U V I N, into the lower portion of the snow on the side of the road! Enlarge the photo and you can see it better!

This was sweetest beautiful area tucked in on the side of the road going down the mountain. If it wasn’t for the freezing cold it would have been a lovely place for a picnic!

The air became full of fog and moisture on the way down. It was hard to see but we made it! Near the bottom, there is a pullover site where they check the temperature of your breaks so you know if you should pull over and let them cool down for a while.

Since Roy drove up and down the mountain the day before, he really didn’t get to see all the amazing sights so one day after the first visit we took the Pike’s Peak COG Railway. No driving for Roy and clear skies this trip! We saw very different things on the train ride. It was fun though and less stressful than worrying about our brakes burning up going up and down the mountain.  

Isn’t that an amazing site, the railway track right next to the edge next to the clouds!

In September 2017 we went back to Colorado and got to experience Pike’s Peak at a different time of year. This time there was no snow on the way up and when we reached the Peak. I recommend going in June like we did in 2015. Mountains are always beautiful but once you’ve experienced being at the Peak with snow all around that’s the best there is!

After eating a couple of their World Famous Donuts the last time we visited we planned to have some this time also! This is the only place in the world where you can get donuts (and hot chocolate) at this altitude, over 14,000 feet.  I went a bit nuts and bought 4 of them for $20, gulp, yes gulp! It is still awe-inspiring to look down on the clouds from Pike’s Peak!

Feeling like we were on top of the world was a mighty powerful experience. We were bubbly happy getting to experience that! I hope you will make a point of visiting Pike’s Peak to see in person what all we loved about this unusual part of America! 

Be still my heart, I love God’s mountains!

 

The original Pike’s Peak blog posts

Part One Pike’s Peak 2015

Part Two Pike’s Peak 2015

Pike’s Peak 2017

 

04.02.20 Let’s Gather at Yellowstone and take a Virtual Vacation with the Chauvins

If you ask Roy where his favorite place is in our country and he will say immediately “Yellowstone!”  We visited Yellowstone in July 2015 in our first trip out west.

Last week ya’ll came on your Virtual Vacation with the Chauvins to Niagara Falls. This week I am sharing some of  the photos and some of the information about Yellowstone that we shared in the longer original posts.  The links to those oroginal posts are at the bottom of this one!

This is a great map showing all of Yellowstone. Driving through what is a figure eight you see everything – it’s amazing!

Yellowstone is 2.2 million acres in size. Shaped like a figure eight (see picture to the left), the upper loop and lower loop combined are approximately 142 miles long with the average speed limit of 45 mph.

 

As we drove up to Yellowstone we saw one lonely bison and we got good pictures of him. You can see how large they are. To take the photo of the bison by himself we pulled up alongside him in the RV and I opened the door and snapped the photo.

20150721_132348 (Small)The wildlife we were able to see and some we got up close with was unbelievable!

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These pictures and others are of fumaroles. A fumarole (ultimately from the Latin fumus,” smoke”) is an opening in a planet’s crust, often in the neighborhood of volcanoes, which emits steam and gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen sulfide.

If you haven’t been to Yellowstone you really can’t grasp what these fumarole’s actually look like. Being from Louisiana this all looked like what a different planet might look like.

2019We were given a very helpful paper map when entering the park. Get one and use it, it was a wonderful way to know what we were looking at was really all about!

It seemed like every curve we’d take while driving through Yellowstone we’d see a beautiful babbling creek, a beautiful waterfall or forested countryside.

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3034The lower loop is a world of heat and gasses, where microorganisms live in such numbers they change the color of the landscape.

b19b14b20b28After seeing these wild places in the earth we came across again beautiful forests and rivers.  God painted this place beautifully!

b31We finished off the second day by experiencing the phenomena which is Old Faithful

b37b46The sounds of awed people when the eruption was in full force was goose bump material!

b47bYellowstone information states there are over 10,000 geysers in the area.  We were constantly reminded that we were traveling atop a volcano which is difficult to get our mind wrapped around. God’s creations always amaze and humble us.  He is so great and we are mere mortals living in His world.

b54b52And around the next corner is another magnificent waterfall and river!

b68We took over 500 photos in our two days at Yellowstone. There are not 500 pictures in our original blog posts but there are many more pictures of this beautiful National Park than those I’ve shared above. Check them out and enjoy your virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park! It is absolutely worth the time to travel there and your “America is Beautiful” meter will be reaching SUPER AWESOME!

Day One in Yellowstone

Day Two in Yellowstone

Next week I’ll be sharing another one of our favorite places to visit in the United States! There so many to choose from!

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week!

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03.26.20 Let’s Gather at Niagara Falls and take a Virtual Vacation with the Chauvins!

The overall look at Niagara Falls from above. Closest to you is the Canadian side. On the other side is the American side. The bridge over the river on the left side is the Rainbow Bridge which you walk across to get to the Canadian side. The falls on the right-hand end is considered the horseshoe falls and includes both the American and the Canadian side. That ends today’s lesson on Niagara Falls!

Once a week I’m going to share with ya’ll one of our favorite places we visited in our travels. Since no one is traveling right now perhaps this can be a virtual travel trip, so enjoy!

Our favorite place was Niagara Falls which we visited in July of 2016.  If I don’t share that one first I won’t be able to stand the wait! If you’ve never been it is an amazing sight to behold.  I picked parts of my original four posts and created just one post. If you want more there are links to the original, much longer posts, at the bottom of this one.

First here’s our canvas wall art which is hanging over our sofa in our living room.

The first pictures below are from the American side of Niagara Falls. This is Rainbow Bridge which you walk on to get to the Canadian side from the American side.

The amazing view of the falls from Rainbow Bridge.

A much closer up look at the mighty rushing waters. This was one of my favorite views!

Two cute kids enjoying our time at Niagara Falls!

At night the falls are lit up with colored lights.

The Maid of the Mist is a cruise boat that goes down the river leads to the bottom of the falls and pauses for a few minutes in the middle of the horseshoe falls where the mist was the thickest.  This is a really good photo I found that shows the horseshoe falls from the air.  Puts it into great perspective. Next, I’ll share what that experience was like.

After touring the USA side of Niagara Falls we went for a ride on the “Maid of the Mist.”  As they say on their website:

Hear the crashing waves. See the breathtaking views. Soak up every drop of powerful spray aboard the Maid of the Mist.  Build mist-covered memories that will last a lifetime. Soak up every moment of natural and historical amazement — like millions before you have. Journey into the heart of one of North America’s most powerful waterfalls. Hear the thundering roar of 600,000 gallons of water falling right before your eyes. Feel the mighty rush of the mist on your face aboard the Maid of the Mist. It’s the only way to experience one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders right here in the U.S.A.

The tickets for adults are $18.95 (in 2016.)  If it was triple that it would have been worth it!  You will be able to see exactly how happy we were in the photos below. There is a Maid of the Mist that leaves from the Canadian side as well.

The boat goes slowly in front of the American falls and when it gets to the Horseshoe Falls it pauses for several minutes while we took in the experience.  The force of water from the falls on the sides and in front cause the boat to not sit very still which made for an exciting and quite wet experience.  You cannot prepare for when you need the raincoat hood on so it is probably best to wear it all the time. I didn’t and ended up looking like a wet rat.

The original blog post about our Maid of the Mist experience has so much more information and photos than I could share here.  Check it out!

Next I’ll share our time on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

The Canadian side is as different from the USA side as night and day.  The main reason is that the Canadian side is totally commercial with some nice walking trails mixed in. The American side is all-natural with very little commercial areas.

In Canada, the view encompasses all of the falls.  There is a 1.25-mile walkway between the Rainbow Bridge where you cross into Canada and the end where the Horseshoe Falls are located.

This is from a ledge looking down at the falls. Different place but again my favorite view. The power of these falls is incredible.

  

We were quite blessed while we were in Canada to get to visit with the Aschliman family.  We first met them three years ago while watching the Callithumpian parade in Decatur, Indiana.  To find out they were also in Niagara Falls when we were was amazing, and we took advantage of this opportunity to visit them in Canada. We are friends on Facebook and have been loving getting to watch their three children grow up!

Lastly, the experience of visiting Goat Island really completed our visit to Niagara Falls. Goat Island is an island that splits the Niagara River, causing it to flow along both sides of it to form the American Falls on one side and the Horseshoe Falls on the other.  This is a good picture showing Goat Island’s location.

You can either drive onto the island and park, or walk over a bridge to get there.  This was the view from the bridge we walked over to get to Goat Island.

Yes, this little daredevil got as close as I could to the powerful Niagara River. There is nothing to stop you from just walking in and getting swept away.

More of the beautiful view looking down on the water that becomes Niagara Falls from a different place. I loved how the common little purple flowers are growing right next to it!

That wraps up our virtual vacation to Niagara Falls! Go there, go there, go there! Well, when we can all travel again!

The much longer blog posts have links below if you want to see much more about each area and more photos!

Part One – The USA Side

Part Two – The Maid of the Mist Boat Ride

Part Three – The Canadian Side

Part Four – Goat Island – not a goat to be found but it sure was beautiful

 

Sign up to get an email each time I publish a new post. The link to do that is on the right-hand side of this post! Let me provide a little fun and happiness to your day! While my brain still allows me to do this I’ll keep going!

Our faith in God is getting us through this.  We know that He is in control and whatever comes our way He will be beside us all the way. Do you have this assurance that comes through salvation making God your Lord and Savior of your life?  I hope so, if not ask me.  I’d love to share what God has done in our lives and how he’s walked with us through the valleys and the mountain top experiences.

Have a Blessed week!