Out of this World

This entry is in response to the WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge: Out of this World.

I’ve visited some truly beautiful places on this earth. But some of them have made me feel like I’ve left our planet.  Here are some photos of places I’ve been that have an alien type of beauty.

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Located off the beaten path in Idaho (if Idaho has a beaten path!) Craters of the Moon is the site of an ancient volcano. Windy and quiet, the lava flows and cinder cones give it a truly lunar feeling.

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Craters of the Moon National Monument

Great Salt Lake, Utah

We spent a night in Salt Lake City, Utah on our vacation route. Checking into our hotel just before sunset, we decided to take a short drive to see the Great Salt Lake. The “beach” of salty sand went on and on toward the horizon, with only a slim, shallow band of water visible in the distance. Although we were on the edge of the city, it felt like we were on another planet.

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The Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

I have never seen anything more desolate and other-worldly than this volcano on the island of Maui. Instead of joining the crowds that travel to the top for sunrise, we explored on our own during the day. Truly one of the most beautiful and incredible places I’ve ever seen.

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The Silversword plant is a rare species that lives only on Haleakala.

 

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Mr. Maid checking out the vivid variations of color in the soil.

 

 

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The telescopes of “Science City” add to the “out of this world” feeling by looking like a base on the Moon or on Mars.

 

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Took a Hike. Found My Bliss.

When I was a kid, Dad would take us on hikes – or as I remember them – forced marches through the woods. He had an uncanny ability to lose the trail. I touched on the topic briefly in this post. We’d be dragged, if not kicking and screaming, then at least whining and bickering through bug-infested jungles. Needless to say, I was not a fan.

I’ve surprised myself by discovering a love for hiking in my later years. Nearly every trip Mr. Maid and I take involves an opportunity to get out there and haul my old bones up, over to, or around, whatever Mother Earth has to offer.

There are few places that give me a greater sense of peace and connection to nature than on a hiking trail. I have come to crave the fresh air, the physical challenge, and the surrounding flora and fauna. And nothing gives me more satisfaction than that feeling of finally reaching the summit.

Here are a few of my favorite moments…

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Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii – Dragging my ass through a strenuous hike often has me feeling like Wonder Woman, so as you’ll see, I often have the urge to strike this pose. Cheesy smile and all!
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South Kaibab Trail, South Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
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North Kaibab Trail, North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
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Trail to Apakuni Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
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Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
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Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
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Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine – There’s that pose again! You can read about our misadventures on this hike here.
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Dante’s View of Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California
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Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California – my other ‘go-to’ pose – because hiking really does bring me closer to my bliss! Namaste, ya’ll!

Written for the WordPress’ Daily Post Photo Challenge: satisfaction