Amber and Lee

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Niagara Falls

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One of the advantages of traveling in the off-season is that it is possible to visit those kinds of places everyone wants to see without everyone actually being there. Well we definitely visited Niagara Falls in the off-season – mid January, cold, snowing, and windy – definitely off. We hit the state park in the morning and scored first row parking! (Try that in the summer). The Visitor Center staff were very helpful and took a lot of time, with just us, to share what was open and what was good to see this time of year. There were a few other brave, off-season, explorers but we never felt crowded. Amber did not even have to wait in line to use one of those 25 cent mounted binoculars.
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DSC_0407The one thing there was plenty of was ice. It was everywhere. It surrounded the falls, clung to the railings, coated the trees – it dominated the landscape. In most places the beauty of the formations upstaged the grandeur of the falls. I say most places because when you are on the Canadian side, right where the water breaks over the edge and plunges into the cauldron of spray and mist and roar, you cannot help but be mesmerized by the absolutely relentless, absolutely steadfast power of it! At that place it seemed much more like a massive living thing than simply H2O succumbing to gravity. It is easy to understand why so many visit this Leviathan more than once. It has an affect on the soul. Continue reading →

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Wisconsin to New York

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Well, we finally left the frigid tundra of Wisconsin after 10 days of eating and visiting friends and family. We wanted to share a few of the highlights of this next leg of our Journey. Our last stop before heading out of Wisconsin, of course, had to do with cheese…what else? Mars Cheese Castle is a stop along the highway. They boasted over 300 kinds of cheese. I (Amber) was on cheese overload.
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Part two: Ice clouds, diners and more

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What to do you do in Wisconsin on a sunny morning when it is negative 15. Step One, boil up some water in a small pan. Step Two, take the pan of boiling water outside and position yourself in a line between the sun and onlookers with cameras and video recording devices. Step Three, hurl the boiling water into the air, (being careful to not give yourself an unintentional spa treatment or make it necessary to call 911). Step Four, capture as many spectacular backlit photos as you can. Step Five, repeat procedure repeatedly, experimenting with adding substances such as food coloring, dish soap, and agave nectar. Step Six, share results on the internet. Step Seven, make a list of all the wild things you can do when it warms up to plus 15.
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A Wisconsin Experience, Part One

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Halfway between the North Pole and the Equator and midway between the Green Bay Packers home and the Mall of America lies the small Midwestern town of Cadott Wisconsin. In it, and the farmlands that surround it you can experience a nearly complete microcosm of Midwestern life – barns, farms, cows, corn, beer, deer, cheese and silos – woven throughout gentle forests plotted on a grid-work of angular county roads and populated by Packers fans. Continue reading →

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Tribute to Friends and Family

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We realize this blog is intended to be about adventure and travel, full of insightful commentary, exciting stories, interesting travel tips and inspiring pictures. But we would like to dedicate this post to all the friends and family we were blessed to spend time with in December and January who wished us well, shared the holidays and made it so hard to say goodbye!

The first set of photos is from Lee’s work going away/holiday party and family Christmas. Continue reading →

DSC_0045Why travel according to Lee: In the spring of 2015 Amber and I were sitting on the couch at my place on a Saturday afternoon. She had a pensive look on her face. She said: “I have been doing a lot of thinking and researching and I have decided I want to travel.” I said: “yes, I know. We have often talked about all the places we would like to visit…” She said: “No, I mean I want to pack up and leave and travel the world for a year or two.” I said: “aaaaaaaaaaah, I see.” My heart sank. No wonder she had looked pensive and been so contemplative lately – she was telling me goodbye.

My face must have pretty clearly reflected what my heart was feeling because she said: “uh, I mean I want to travel with you.” I said: “aaaaaaaaaaah, I see!” My heart was excited at the prospect as I had dreamt of big adventures ever since returning from traveling years earlier. Yes my heart was excited but my brain…  My brain, on the other hand then spent the next week in a war with itself. The first battle began with an immediate barrage of questions loosed from the left side of the brain. “What will people think? How can you leave your job, sell your stuff, not have an address, and travel the world with nothing more than what will fit on your back!? What will people think? How will you live? How will you let go of all this important stuff you have lying around? What will people think?” Continue reading →


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Lake Janus

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Well Amber and I had separate adventures this week. She climbed into the Gothic Basin off the Mountain Loop Highway on the west side of the state and I soloed into Lake Janus just on the east side of Stevens pass to search for some late season trout. I got a fairly early start, hitting the trail by 8:30. The drive in from Highway 2 was a little frustrating. The Smith Brook road is extremely popular with novice hikers and the trail head always gets packed with the cars of people looking more correctly prepared for a day picnicking in the park than taking a hike on a backcountry trail. Their back road driving skills usually reflect their trail experience and I wound up in a caravan of little city cars being lead by a gigantic 4 wheel drive truck that looked like it had never seen a week without a trip to the car wash. When we hit the parking area I was out of my rig, had my pack on and was signing the trailhead log book before most of them were out of their Subarus and Priuses. I hit the trail hard because I wanted to get into the lake. I did the 3.6 mile, 1550 feet of elevation gain trek in an hour and 5 minutes! I was feeling good. Amber and I had explored this lake a couple of weeks earlier and I knew where I wanted to look for the best fishing spot. I worked my way around the opposite way we had gone last time. Continue reading →

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Autumn Leaf Festival

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Over the weekend, we spent a few hours in Leavenworth, Washington during their Autumn Leaf festival. Leavenworth is a small town in Eastern Washington State that was at the center of the local timber industry in decades past. When the industry changed, so did Leavenworth. Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains the town took advantage of the fact that the local terrain looks much like the Alps of Germany and redecorated in a Bavarian theme. Continue reading →

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