Dennis Ledden


Dennis Ledden

This Travel Log is a part of my wife Betty's Bucket List. If you have seen the movie, you will understand the reason for the trip and what we hope to achieve. Join us as we wander from state to state and visit POI along the way.

North America » United States » California » Sacramento October 4th 2009

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We (KC and I) have been home a week and unfortunately falling back into our same Rancho Murieta routines. However I am going to try and change it in subtle ways - for example in the next week I will be doing two photo trips half day to a full day in length. I will of course have my photo dog with me (he does not do staying behind well). KC is doing much better, still hates being left alone either at home or in the car, but seems more comfortable and less scared. The photos posted on the Blog were of lower quality than the original to speed-up the upload process. The original copies (500+) were over 2 MB. I converted the Blog photos to about a ... read more

North America » United States » California » Sacramento September 28th 2009

Wild Horses Here we are traveling across Nevada. It is about 9 AM when we turn on to the Extraterrestrial Highway which runs along the side of Area 51. I am unable to provide the route number per instructions when I turned on the highway. Yes this information is on a “need to know basis” and I am not sure you need to know. The highway entrance has multiple sets of retractable spikes (parking garage style) that are not retraced until the driver provides verbal confirmation to accept the rules of Area 51. All communications is controlled from another location and is video recorded. KC and I both had to exit the car and pledge our allegiance (who or what to was unknown). For fear of death to KC, I can not document the rules, but ... read more
Exciting Countryside
Dedication SIte

North America » United States » Utah » Zion National Park September 26th 2009

Zion National Park KC and I left Kanab behind and went north and then west. We entered the Zion NP about 8 AM and the sun was just starting to light up the unique rock formations and structures. Betty and I did not spend much time in Zion, but we talked of it often. I know the last time here, we did not take the Shuttle into the canyon because little white, ferocious beasts were not allowed. So we camped and moved on to the North Rim. An interesting phenomena took place whenever we drove on US 89, regardless of the vehicle it automatically headed to the Grand Canyon. I kept telling Betty “it is out of my control”. Our one extend visit did result in some powerful memories and I will relate them in the ... read more
Western Formations Lighted
Shear Rocks Along the Road
Lodge Against the Canyon Wall

Grand Canyon - North Rim - Part 2 KC and I spent the rest of the day relaxing, taking photos at the lodge and Bright Angle Point, while visiting Betty spots. We returned to Cape Royal to take sunset. I walked out to the point, but stopped at Angel's Window and it was different. I caught the odor of sage and knew our dedication was at work. I went to Cape Royal Point as Betty and I had done before. I left the secure area to get open shots of the sunset and the canyon and could still hear Betty “you are to old to be doing that”. Yes this was likely true, but her warning had little impact and I know she reveled in my joy and excitement. A family of 3 (mother, daughter, husband) ... read more
Canyon AFter Sunset

Grand Canyon - North Rim - Part 1 This is one of my favorite National Parks (NP) and the North Rim in particular. The main reason is there are fewer people, fewer attractions (1), fewer hotels (1), fewer restaurants (1), fewer tour buses, and more emphasis on the canyon. It is at least 8,000 feet throughout the north rim which results in more cold weather, more snow, and being shutdown from the end of October until May/June depending on snow depth. Most people visit the South Rim since it is more developed with easier access from Williams and Flagstaff, AZ along I-40. Betty and I visited the both rims many time either camping or hotel/motel/lodge. We were here with my sister once at each rim (OK I threaten them to go north or we would be ... read more
Randy at Angel's Window
Canyon View - Angel'Window
Dedication Site

North America » United States » Utah » Cedar City September 22nd 2009

Cedar City to Grand Canyon For this update, I will post a few photos of Cedar City and along the road to Kanab, Utah. I met Betty's son Randy at Kanab and we will go to the Grand Canyon tomorrow morning. I will stay there the rest of the day waiting for sunset. Randy will head back to Santa Rosa after our dedication to Betty at Angel's Window. Dennis Note: A few words about Cedar City. It appears to be an excellent location for landscape, nature, and wildlife photography. It is within a few hours of 4 National Parks and several National Monuments and about 4 hours to Moab, UT. Why concern about NPs when good photos can be taken anywhere? Very true, but NPs indicate that the area is photogenic and the likelihood of great ... read more
Desert to Mountains
Top of the World
Aspen Buolavard

North America » United States » Utah » Cedar City September 21st 2009

Hopi and Cedar Breaks Betty and I love the Hopi. They don't fight - no wars or attacks on other tribes. They believe in peace and negotiation as a few years ago, they won a court case to expand their lands. This suit with the Navaho had been going on for years and rather than bend or settle, they held their ground because they knew they were right. Sound like anyone you knew. First things first. KC was right and on my drive out to the Mesas, the wipers got a workout. We arrived about 8:00 and some activities were underway. I found out the no camera rule is enforced as I was told by 2 residents - no cameras. I took only a few photos and all but one was from the car. There are ... read more
First Mesa
Dedication Site
Second Mesa

North America » United States » Arizona » Winslow September 19th 2009

Recovery Day I planned on spending the night camped on Second Mesa, but with the weather (thunderstorms and loud noise), KC said “NO”. The closest location with lodging was Winslow, AZ. On the way here we went through the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park. It is a small rather insignificant park, but it does protect the petrified wood. It was mid-day when we got here with the sun high in the sky and the light flat for photography. However there were enough clouds to create contrasting images and the petrified wood is ideal for abstracts. So the day was spent driving and looking. Since the crowds were small, KC got to roam free often. He chased ravens, rodents, and lizards never catching them which pleased both of us. He is doing better, but rumble bars/strips and ... read more
Painted Desert
Painted Desert - North
Petrified Wood

North America » United States » New Mexico » Santa Fe September 18th 2009

Santa Fe - This will also be a longish post as we had so many adventures here. I will stick to those that inspired and lifted our hearts and expanded our minds. Let me start with an observation. It rained last night and this morning in Taos. As I packed up to leave and went outside with KC, my senses were filled with a comfortableness I rarely experience away from Rancho Murieta and I was “home”. I really love this place. The drive down to Santa Fe was uneventful except for the on and off showers. As I got closer to Santa Fe, the terrain changed dramatically as the gradual rise from high desert to high mountain was replaced by the more arid desert of the southwest. Rains and run-offs have cut sharp gullies and the ... read more
San Ildefonso Pueblo
Dedication Site
West Side of Opera House

North America » United States » New Mexico » Taos September 16th 2009

Taos, New Mexico - Longish emotional update, so please forgive unconnected thoughts or grammatical errors. Betty would always proof read my writing before allowing me to post it to our blog. KC is less critical. This is one of my top 3 favorite locations to visit and has always been at the top of my “want to live there” list. Although growth and emphasis on tourism has occurred, Taos is still high on my list. I have always want to live in or around the Taos and part of this visit was to check out real estate for a possible move. However I learned on the drive from Moab, UT through Cortez, CO that Taos is to far from my favorite photography ”hot spots”. All that said, I love it here and the transition from high ... read more
Plaza Cottonwood
Taos Puelbo
Pueblo Cottonwood

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