Snowy Colorado Hike

Snowy Colorado Hike

 

 

I love to travel so much that sometimes I forget that I live in one of the best places in the world to enjoy nature.    If you love hiking, it’s tough to beat Colorado.   And for me, hiking means time with the best dog ever!    It’s pretty rare I hit the trail without my border collie, Chaco.   I love hiking in the snow but this may be my last snowy Colorado hike of the year.  Hopefully, summer is on the way.

 

This may be my last snowy Colorado hike of the year.

This may be my last snowy Colorado hike of the year.

 

Rocky Mountain National Park doesn’t allow dogs on the trails in the park but there are a ton of great, dog friendly hikes around Rocky Mountain National Park.   This is one of my fav hikes.  It’s a a couple miles up of steady elevation gain.  And it’s magical hiking it during a snowfall.  Definitely one of my favorite snowy Colorado hikes.   Meadow Mountain and Crosier Mountain are also awesome, dog friendly hikes a short distance from RMNP.   And Lily Mountain is another great option.  It’s a four mile round trip hike with almost a thousand feet of elevation gain.  The views from the top are pretty amazing.

 

Shoot me an email if you’d like any hiking recommendations around RMNP or Estes Park.

 

Be sure to take a camera with you.  The photography in and around Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular.

 

 

I shot this with my iPhone 5s.

Posted in USA Travel

Hiking in Colorado

Hiking in Colorado

 

I got in my first hiking in Colorado this morning since I got back from Cuba last week.  As much as I love travel, it’s tough to beat hiking in Colorado in the summer.    And I always love hiking with my border collie.   I plan to spend summers in Colorado but be traveling the rest of the year.

 

 

Photo tip:  Add something to the foreground of an image to add depth/interest.

I loved the light on my hike this morning and I think this would have been a nice image without my dog in it.  The trail already added to the composition, leading the viewer into the scene.  But having Chaco in the photo adds to the overall feel and depth of the image.   I actually shot this scene without Chaco in it, but then I called him back and had him walk back down the trail (awesome, patient dog!) to get the final shot.   I think the photo works better with him in it.

 

I shot this with the iPhone 5s.   If the light is great, the camera in the iPhone works fine for shots like.

 

Hiking in Colorado.

Hiking in Colorado.

 

 

Posted in USA Travel

The Malecon, Havana

The Malecon, Havana

 

The Malecon, Havana was one of my favorite places to hang out in Cuba.   Especially at night.  It’s a great vibe with people hanging out, walking their dogs, drinking a beer…  And it’s just a great place to meet Cubans.   The Malecon is an eight kilometer esplanade  in Havana that runs along Havana Bay.   If you’re looking for laid back Havana, this is it.   The Malecon was one of the places in Havana I was most looking forward to seeing.  To go for morning run along the Malecon in Havana was recurring thought as I planned the trip.   Partly because the Malecon is synonymous with Havana.  I’m sure there are hundreds of malecons in the world but google the word “malecon” and the first three results are of the Malecon in Havana.   It is Havana at it’s most relaxed.

 

I’d recommend staying near the Malecon and Havana Vieja.  The casa particular we stayed in was just a few blocks from the Malecon so I went for a run or walk along Havana Bay almost every morning.   And then Havana Vieja was a short walk away.   Havana Vieja is the old quarter of Havana and it’s a Unesco World Heritage Site.

 

Most of the images were shot with the Fuji X100T.   A few were shot with the Sony X1ooIII.   The Sony is the camera I most often recommend for travelers looking for a pocketable camera.  It has great files and smoking fast autofocus.

 

Cruising along the Malecon.

Cruising along the Malecon.

The architecture along the Malecon was amazing.

The architecture along the Malecon was amazing.

Life along the Malecon.

Life along the Malecon.

Locals taking in the view.

Locals taking in the view.

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The Malecon was the place to relax in Havana.

The Malecon was the place to relax in Havana.

Making friends on the Malecon.

Making friends on the Malecon.

Fisherman headed home.

Fisherman headed home.

Sunset fishing.

Sunset fishing.

Sunset on the Malecon, Havana.

Sunset on the Malecon, Havana.

 

Posted in Caribbean Travel, Cuba

Classic Cars in Havana

Classic Cars in Havana

 

I’m not even a car person and I was a little mesmerized by all the classic cars in Havana from the 40’s and 50’s. The ingenuity and resourcefulness that keeps these fifty and sixty plus year-old cars running is astounding.     And the fact that there are still a plethora of forty year-old Russian Lada’s running around all over Havana is sort of amazing.  The Lada makes the oft derided Yugo look like a Lexus.   A Lada joke: Why does a Lada have a heated rear windscreen? To warm your hands while pushing it.   We road in a 1980 Lada taxi in Havana and it creaked like crazy and the window crank was a pair of pliers.   But it ran.  Not a lot of forty year-old cars on the road in the States.  And it has been years since I’ve seen a Yugo on the road.

 

It was a blast cruising down the Malecon in a 50’s convertible.   No need to pre-arrange a ride in one of these icons, just start walking down the Malecon and one will find you.   I think we paid $5 to go the length of the Malecon in one.  I sorta felt like a less cool, more poorly dressed Bugsy Segal.

 

My photo tip is to find a cool scene that you love and then just wait for the perfect car to drive through it.  Or like in the first image below, wait a long time for just the classic cars to be in the composition.  The lady stepping off the curb, anchoring the left edge of the frame, sorta sealed the moment for me.  All images shot with the Fuji X100T.

 

All the classic cars in Havana were like a time warp.

All the classic cars in Havana were like a time warp.

I shot this near the Plaza de Revolucion.  All the capitalism going on by the plaza in the form of private taxis, privately owned restaurants and street vendors was a little ironic.

I shot this near the Plaza de Revolucion. All the capitalism going on by the plaza in the form of private taxis, privately owned restaurants and street vendors was a little ironic.

This road parallels one of my fav spots in Havana; The Prado.   A cool walkway designed to replicate the boulevards in Paris.

This road parallels one of my fav spots in Havana; The Prado. A cool walkway designed to replicate the boulevards in Paris.

No shortage of classic American car taxis in Havana.

No shortage of classic American car taxis in Havana.

 

Cruising the Malecon with the Maximo Gomez monument in the background.

Cruising the Malecon with the Maximo Gomez monument in the background.

It was surreal when the old cars were set amidst the colonial architecture.

It was surreal when the old cars were set amidst the colonial architecture.

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Cruising down the Malecon with the Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro in the background.

Cruising down the Malecon with the Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro in the background.

Tail fins!

Tail fins!

Viva Cuba!

Viva Cuba!

cuba-classic-cars-eleven

Cruising down San Lazaro in Havana Vieja.

Cruising down San Lazaro in Havana Vieja.

 

Posted in Caribbean Travel, Cuba