The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

Fashionably late.  Again.

I’ve managed to lag behind in the photo challenges so why should this week be any different?

The subject for LAST Saturday’s Lens Artist Challenge is Getting Away. What an appropriate title for 2021.

We were stuck in 2020. Cabin fever, depression and not a small amount of despair.

In the late summer of 2020, my wife and I dipped our toes in the getaway waters by traveling down the California coast to Morro Bay.

The indoors were still shuttered but outdoors it was beautiful, bracing, welcoming and healthy. Healthy for body, mind and spirit.
Below, images of Morro Bay and environs.                     

I’m checking out an otter who’s checking me out in return. Morro Bay Harbor.


Mornings were foggy and brisk. Morro Bay Harbor


A wave explodes in a 1/10th of a second exposure.

Our short period of getting away gave us a welcome feeling of harmony.

The little town of Harmony, just up the coast from Morro Bay

December brought a two night getaway at Lake Tahoe. First snow I’ve seen in years. Driving and walking were an adventure.

Morning fog. Mount Tallac, Lake Tahoe

By May of this year it was time for a breakout.  Four weeks, sixteen states and 8000 miles.

From quirky Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch on Route 66 in California   

To Petrified Forest in Arizona


To the brightly colored and slightly bizarre Cadillac Ranch in Texas               

To the fields of Oklahoma                 

To Memorial Day flags in Fort Scott, Kansas                   

To wherever a country road in Nebraska led     

There were lakes still half frozen on the Beartooth Highway in Montana

Partially frozen lake, Beartooth Hwy, Wyoming

And bison grazing in the warm fields of The National Bison Range                     

We passed by amber waves of grain near Ritzville, Washington State             

Cooled from the summer heat in the mist of Multnomah Falls in Oregon         

Drove for miles and miles under the gaze of Mount Hood. 

We arrived back home tired and grateful for a chance to get away.


13 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #157: Getting Away

  1. Did you know there is a petrified forest in Mississippi? Not as dramatic as the one in Arizona, but pleasant to visit. I stumbled across it in my wanderings. It’s located on US 49 north of Jackson.

    1. Paulie says:

      I didn’t know that. We passed through Mississippi a few years ago. We stayed a night in Vicksburg. I’m something of a history buff.

  2. Paulie, we spent a night at Morro Bay on our Highway 1 road trip in 2019. We hadn’t even planned on Morro bay, someone suggested in when we were in San Diego. We loved it! And I got photos of those cute otters but I only had my pocket camera with us on our walk down to dinner. They are so cute! Love all your photos here, a great get away!! ❤

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Lisa.
      I hope you had a chance to see some of the surrounding little towns like Cayucos and Cambria.


      1. I don’t remember what towns we went through. We had to stay on a schedule for me to get home for work. But it was an amazing drive up 101. We headed home from San Francisco. We went from the Oregon coast down to San Francisco the year before. Amazing.

  3. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul,
    That otter is adorable! Great pics, one better than the next really, but my fave is the one of the fields of Oklahoma. The streaks of colour are so rich – it’s almost like a painting.

    1. Paulie says:

      Hi Eden,
      The otters are long term residents who float in one little area of the harbor. Floating on their backs looking back at the gawking tourists they look to me like little old men. I wonder if they’re thinking, “Get off my harbor.”
      I was somewhat surprised by Oklahoma. When I think of that state, the Dustbowl comes immediately to mind. It’s wide open and quite beautiful.

  4. mistermuse says:

    I’ve been to a few of those places (decades ago). Thanks for the memories!

    P.S. I wonder how often those bottles at Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch have to be replaced because of shooters getting their “Kicks on Route 66.”

    1. Paulie says:

      You’re quite welcome!
      The optimist in me says that the bottles are safe. Elmer’s is a local institution and there are some residences within range. Then again…

  5. Toonsarah says:

    That otter is adorable and the slow shutter speed wave capture is wonderful! I love all your Rte 66 images too – a great summary of your road trip 🙂

  6. OOOOOhhhhh, I’d love to travel this route! You’ve shown me so many things that I love to see: fields planted and growing, waterfalls, otters, even a bottle tree! Lots of color and interest — and right here in the USA. Thanks for meeting and exceeding the challenge. And, as I’ve been told after apologizing for posting late, you’re never late — posts are welcome any time!

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you so much.
      This trip was a whim, we only about a month of planning. It helped me realize just how much there is to see and appreciate within our own borders. It was as much fun seeing quirks like the Bottle Tree Ranch as it was seeing Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. I’m hoping to do the same thing in September through the Midwest only the dog stays home and my wife said “Have fun,” she’s not up for another 5 weeks on the road.

      1. We’re discovering local treasures as well. And they’re good!

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