Thursday Thirteen – 13 Favorite Places

Flagstaff, Arizona, 50 years ago. I was five years old when my family moved to Flagstaff from Phoenix. At that time Flagstaff was a smallish, logging town, and was it ever beautiful to me. In Flagstaff I first experienced seasons, and saw snow. I remember my dad building us an igloo of sorts out of compacted snow, and taking us sledding for the first time. It was there I first saw the changing colors of autumn leaves, smelled that distinctive aroma of leaf mould and caterpillars, and decided that autumn was my favorite time of year.

Route I-17 from Phoenix, Arizona to Flagstaff, Arizona. We soon moved back to Phoenix from Flagstaff. For picnics and welcome relief from the summer heat of the desert we would occasionally travel northward on this route, and try to notice when the saguaro cacti would give way to brushy evergreens and finally to pine trees. We could never exactly determine when that transition occurred. A favorite picnic spot was by Sycamore Creek. The Mogollon Rim area was beautiful also.

Zion National Park, Utah.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. My family went to these parks about 43 years ago. I remember that in one of the parks, it was as if we were down in the Canyon, looking up, up, up, and in the other we looked down, in Grand Canyon-like fashion. I remember not being too impressed with the Grand Canyon in Arizona, because you don’t notice it from a distance, but only once you are all the way there. Also, even way back when, I seem to recall that it was smoggy.

Yosemite National Park, California. I went backpacking there about 38 years ago, with a hiking club from my dad’s workplace. I remember that bears stole our food even though we had suspended it between two trees. They just broke the rope.

Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt Redwood State Park in Northern California. We never tire of travelling through this quiet and beautiful stand of redwoods when we’re in California.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, especially the Eagle Creek trail that I used to love hiking over thirty years ago. In a day of hiking, you would travel through three seasons, due to the change in elevation. In summer you would sometimes end up camping in patchy snow at the end of the hike.

Grants Pass, Oregon. When we travel I-5 south to California, we usually stay overnight in Grants Pass. We like the looks of that town, and the baking heat feels good, not oppressive like some heats. Sometimes we say to one another that we might like to live there someday.

Jasper National Park and Banff National Park in the province of Alberta, Canada. About ten years ago we first experienced crossing the Rocky Mountains, and were awestruck by the turquoise glacial waters. There were beautiful mountain peaks around every bend in the road it seemed.

Highway 101 throughout Oregon. Last summer we stayed in a yurt at Beverly Beach State Park. That was so much nicer (really) than staying in a motel. The yurt, a study round tent-like structure, was heated, yet you were outdoors, and there were showers and bathrooms available. I am now a tenderfoot, no longer a backpacker, so I appreciate these things.

Inverness, California, near Point Reyes National Sea Shore and Tomales Bay State Park. This is our destination every summer, since this is where Rick’s parents live. This is my absolutely favorite part of California. The fog rolls in every afternoon (very romantic). I love to hike around the hilly neighborhood where they live (very out in the country) and if you go to the lighthouse at Pt. Reyes it is incredibly windy. So memorable. I never tire of it.

Port Townsend, Washington. This is a favorite place because this is where Rick asked me to marry him. I haven’t been back since, but I’m glad I was there then! This is a lovely Victorian seaside town.

Our home of the past almost 20 years. Rick designed and built this house. Four of our children were born in this house. It is a practical, comfortable, worn-in place. We’re thankful to have it.

Thirteen of Joyce’s Favorite Places

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P.S. – I was just looking at the Thursday Thirteen site. Evidently I’m supposed to mention what edition of Thursday 13 this is for me, so here you go: Edition 4.

2 Responses to “Thursday Thirteen – 13 Favorite Places”

  1. Carol says:

    I’ve been to many beautiful places, but I’ve never been to any of the ones you mentioned. Although I share your love for “home” as THE best place to be. 🙂

  2. Joyce says:

    Thanks, Carol, for your comment. I enjoyed checking out your blog. 🙂