There is an iconic photo that all seem to take of Horseshoe Bend at Glen Canyon. My husband opted for something a little bit different. The picture above is of the Bend, but looking down the Colorado River with others seen in the distance on the left to give the canyon perspective. This was at sunset on the evening we arrived in Glen Canyon during our November 2016 trip to Utah and Arizona.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area include not only the “Bend”, but Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam – along with numerous other amazing wonders. Page, Arizona which is located right at the Southern end of Lake Powell by the dam, is where we stayed for exploring not only Glen Canyon, but also to visit Monument Valley (more to come later).
From the trailhead, it is a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike to Horseshoe Bend and well worth the visit. If you are afraid of heights, getting right up to the edge might be a bit scary – it was for me. Dave had is tripod and camera perched right on the edge – he claims he was 1/2 foot away from the edge, I don’t think so. To be honest I had a little bit of a panic attack just watching him.
Exploring the area includes a visit to the Glen Canyon Dam. Built in the 1950’s (well after Hoover Dam) and created not only Lake Powell, but Page, AZ as well. There is still controversy over the dam as it altered the natural flow of the Colorado, but it still is a beautiful area to visit. At the visitor’s center they offer a nice tour of the dam itself which Dave went on while we visited.
Being there in November is not the time to grab an iconic houseboat and spend time on the lake itself. Instead we spent our time marveling at the Canyon itself.
We always seem to want to travel far to see new sights and experiences and forget what is in our own backyards. My Husband and I have lived all our lives in and around New York City (in the City’s own backyard, New Jersey), but I have yet to see the view from the Empire State Building or the Statute of Liberty. This is a real shame.
One of our Backyard treasurers is the Morristown National Historical Park. This National Park not only encompasses the City/Town of Morristown but nearby Jockey Hollow as well. The picture above is of the Ford Mansion in Morristown, which was George Washington’s headquarters from December 1779 to June 1780.
While Washington headquartered here in Morristown, nearby his troops were encamped at Jockey Hollow. The picture below is of the Wick House which is in Jockey Hollow and was where General Arthur St. Clair made his headquarters during that very cold and very snowy winter. (The Photographer, Dave, is in this picture as well – a nice selfie).
There are many nice hiking trails in the park as well as a one way park road which leads you through the main encampment area. Close by to Jockey Hollow also lies the New Jersey Brigade Encampment Site where another 900 soldiers arrived during that winter. At the New Jersey Brigade site one can find The Cross Estate Gardens. At one time the house on this property was known as the Hardscrabble House – not really sure why, but the owners wife, Julia Newbold Cross was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society. The gardens here include a formal perennial garden, native plant garden, pergola covered by wisteria (as seen below at sunset) and a pathway of mountain laurel.
The original owners of this estate Mr. and Mrs. John Bensel, who was a civil engineer, and built the water tower below. This supplied them with water and suitable pressure for the plumbing system in the house.
Remember to look in your own backyard from time to time to see the treasures you can find.
In addition to visiting Saratoga Battlefield a few weeks ago, Dave and I also enjoyed a stop at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. This 110 acre estate that sits on the Western banks of the Hudson River in Hyde Park, was purchased by FDR’s father, James, in 1867. Franklin himself was born in this house in 1882.
The estate, Springwood, was opened to the public one year after Roosevelt’s death in April of 1946. The contents of the home are exactly as Franklin left them upon his death. One of the few homes I can remember visiting where the interior pieces are authentic not only to the time period of the owners life there, but are the actual furnishings of the owner, in this case FDR and his family.
Also on the estate is the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, which he had built during his presidency. I don’t have a picture here of his study in the Library, which was left in tact the way that he left it. The buildings and the grounds are lovely, and the Library and Museum provide a glimpse into FDR’s presidency, including the depression, recovery efforts and WWII.
There are lovely trails throughout the site as well as the Hyde Park Trial. Picnic benches are provided throughout the estate and the Visitors center is a must first stop. Guided tours are provided of the house.
This is a fine example of our National Treasurers that are provided to us by the National Park system. The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt is a National Historic Site. Nearby you can also visit the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site and the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. We did not get a chance to see these other two sites, but plan on a return visit very soon to do so.
It would be very easy to spend a long weekend in the Hyde Park area which is very close to the lovely town of Rhinebeck, as well as being home to the Culinary Institute of America.
This past weekend while I was driving a commentator on the radio was discussing the most beautiful states in the US and then noted the ugliest states. One of the states listed as the ugliest (I think it was #7) was my home state of New Jersey. I was incensed. We have lived here in New Jersey all of our lives, and while I would never say we are the “most” beautiful state, I certainly would not say we are one of the ugliest. In fact one can find beauty in all of the states if one looks.
But you don’t need to look far to see the beauty of New Jersey. One just needs to leave the environs of the New York City-Newark airport area to find that New Jersey is truly “The Garden State”. From rolling hills and farms, to the pine trees, to the beautiful coast line, New Jersey is a beautiful state and is worthy of its title.
I’m sharing some pictures here taken by my husband recently on a hike through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (oh yes we do have National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Recreation areas in New Jersey). This is a lovely area where the Delaware River cuts through New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
You can hike many trails here, including the Appalachian Trail.
And some of the hikes are quite difficult.
I just wanted to share with all a little piece of where I live and the state I call home.
And finally the intrepid adventurer himself.