One of the best ever beaches for exploring that I’ve found anywhere. Wharariki Beach is near the far northwest point of New Zealand’s South Island. After driving 153 Km winding miles from Nelson, over the Takaka Hills, and further along the coast of Golden Bay, you eventually run out of paved road. Carry on for at least 6 more Kilometers of gravel road, past the turn off for Cape Farewell, and you’ll arrive at the parking area. Now its a 20-30 minute hilly hike through sheep country, back dune forests and then deep sand.
And it is worth it. Wharariki Beach is totally undeveloped. There are 4 Archway Islands barely offshore from this extensive beach. Just a few sunbathers/swimmers, and all forms of coastal exploration available from caves and arches, through fascinating conglomerate rock layers, to baby (and adult) seals, not to mention pure white sand dunes, and native forest on the back dunes. The wind blows in from the Tasman Sea which means no bugs. The place is brilliant.
We were in Wellington NZ Feb 23 this year and wandered down to the harbour. Luckily the Dragon Boat Festival Fun Day was in action. Wellingtonians have a harbour they can use, at least when the wind isn’t howling. One thing I like about New Zealand, among many, is the widespread participation in sport. In the pictures you will see you and old, male and female, pounding across the harbour in their dragon boats.
The person at the front is the drum, the back person is the sweep or oarsman. There are typically twenty paddlers. Never really watched before.
On our 16,000+ Kilometer (10,000 miles) trip this summer, we came back through South Dakota. Like almost all rural places, the tiny towns of the Dakota plains have been hit hard through the years. Their purpose long taken over by a few bigger towns or cities. I have an affinity for these sad places. Belvidere is only one. I don’t choose it to make light; it is merely one of the many we visited. There is an archeology of hope and dreams and Belvidere is rich in the artifacts of lost community life.
The variety of these life forms in the Yukon and Northern British Columbia Forests was eye opening. I’m neither an expert, nor a collector. I just love wandering in the bush staring down at my feet. Later I try to research what I’ve seen. Some are extremely interesting. The orange lichen with the little black dots was about 1/3 hand size. Above that the yellow and green colours of the lichen were eye-opening. The pink dots are called fairy barf! Really! I call the big white one a bottle cap mushroom, and the lower red ones are obviously boob mushrooms (although I think they are Mycena haemoptus). On a slightly related salacious theme, the small mossy picture shows numerous little erect mushrooms….thousands of them.
This was early to mid September. Early autumn. Ran across a couple looking for ‘shrooms, ie. psilocybin or psychedelic mushrooms. I have no idea if I saw any or not. I think they thought I was lying.
Northern Lights at Liard Hot Springs. Not a good pic cause it was handheld, and I was freezing. See, I got out of bed around 1 AM and looked outside. Then I ran outside wearing, well, very little. Not awake enough to grab tripod and other necessaries. Stayed outside 20 minutes, shivering but totally into those Lights. You can never see them often enough.
In northern British Columbia, the Alaska Highway is route 97. It traverses the Northern Rockies which are, almost entirely, true wilderness.Wildlife everywhere..we saw Dahl’s sheep, caribou, bear, bison and mule deer. One of the most amazing roadtrips in the world. The Rockies section starts at Watson Lake, Yukon and ends at Fort Nelson, BC.
Best part of the 44 Km dirt road to Keno. Mining trucks have chewed up the major part of the road.
Looking north east across the valley en route.
This facade appears to be metal (possibly gas cans), flattened and painted.
Don’t get your hopes up…
Hasn’t been gas for years
Logs and cabin
Who you gonna call?
Keno Hill was once a major hub for silver mining. Located 44 km from Mayo on a dirt road, it has a year round population of around 12. There once were ancillary mines around in the hills, with people living at them…like Wernecke, Calumet, and Elsa. All merely names on the map now. They were all communities, and Keno was the center. Now Keno has a really good Museum, a couple of cafes (possibly seasonal) and a hotel bar. Grocery shopping is in Mayo, where there is a general store/grocery. And a cardlock gas station.Nearest town is Dawson way to the north, and nearest city is Whitehorse way to the south. It doesn’t get much more remote than Keno.
Gila Verde Cliff Dwellings lasted only 25 years in the 1200’s. These were people of the Mogollon civilization. The structures were built from rocks way down in the river valley. Carried up by the women. Farm fields were on the top of the cliffs. 6 big caves are present. This is a steep ladder down from the 5th cave.