I think almost every motorcycle enthusiast has on their bucket list a trip to Sturgis, South Dakota. Each year an estimated 500,000 motorcycles descend on the small town of Sturgis to attend their annual festival. We were fortunate to attend and rode as much and as long as we could.
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I was once asked, when setting up an online account, what was my favorite color. The gentleman I was speaking to was amazed that I didn’t have a favorite color. Thinking a little further, I realize that I’m one of those people who doesn’t have favorites, or maybe I just can’t articulate it. There are things I like more than others and places I enjoy more than others.
But when thinking of my favorite place, I think I’d have to go all the way back to my childhood to my grandparents farm. It was the place where my mother was raised and it stayed as a farmstead until the mid 80s. I was very saddened when my grandmother decided to sell the farm; it had been in my grandfather’s family for over 100 years.
It wasn’t a large farm, only about sixty acres. It had a couple of barns, chickens and cows. Grandpa grew field corn and we always had a good time popping the kernels off the ear. Mom came from a fairly large family, six brothers and one sister.
Growing up, some of the best times I can remember is having large family picnics with all my cousins at Grandma and Grandpas farm. We’d play in the barn, play softball in the yard, feed the chickens and jump from the hayloft. I admit that I only did that once. We’d hunt for fossils in the creek bed and swing on the grape vines. There is just something about wide open spaces.
Intellectualy, I know that farming is a tough life, but it has always been something I’ve been drawn to. Whenever we go out on the motorcycle or when I make an annual fall photo tour, it’s to the farming country I gravitate to.
This isn’t a photo of my grandparent’s barn, its just one I’ve photographed on our many motorcycle rides.
Going underwater is definitely a feeling of “out of this world”. On our trip to St. Croix, we took a snorkeling trip to Buck Island Reef National Monument.
Most of the Monument area, which is administered by the National Park Service, is underwater and attracts around 50,000 visitors a year. With its 4,554-acre long reef there is plenty to explore and experience in the water. Snorkelers can follow an underwater marked trail on the eastern tip. It is one of only three underwater trails in the United States. Along the trail are plaques denoting information about marine flora and fauna commonly found in the area. Two thirds of the island is surrounded by an elkhorn coral barrier reef, providing an ecosystem for over 250 fish species and a variety of other marine life
St. Charles was the first state capitol of Missouri from 1821 to 1826. The historic down town area is home to quaint shops, the restored State Capitol building and the large and open riverfront area. The Missouri River boarders the southern border between St. Charles and St. Louis Counties and often floods. The historic 500 year flood of 1993 had the banks of the Missouri covering all the way to Main Street and inundated much of the northeastern portion of the county which is the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
Beloved. Be Loved. I love this photo. It is my favorite picture of my dad and my older brother taken probably in 1954, the year I was born. My dad died at the age of 45 from colon cancer when I was sixteen. My brother, who was 22 months older than me, died when he was forty, also from colon cancer.
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