Holden Beach House Review: Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street

Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street on Holden Beach, North Carolina

Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street on Holden Beach, North Carolina

Well, we visited Holden Beach, North Carolina again (in case you missed the post a few weeks ago with a whole lot of pictures I took during our stay)!  Because we ended up renting last minute (really, we called up a week before we would arrive), and because we needed internet for a group member who was still taking an online class, we rented a house we’ve never been to before: Blue Heaven, not quite midway down the island, at 108 Raleigh Street.

Sign assuring us that this really is Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Sign assuring us that this really is Blue Heaven

Actually, we stayed (twice!) in the house right next to Blue Heaven – so we already knew that the neighborhood was nice and the walk to the beach was minimal.

View from the back deck of Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

View from the back deck (which I somehow manage to not get a picture of – it’s spacious, uncovered, and a nice place to sit)

That’s Blue Heaven’s best quality – location …Read More

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A Leap of Faith

Sometimes, when we go to take a Leap of Faith, we find a Grassy Hillside, not a Sheer Cliff. -AW

Sometimes, when we go to take a Leap of Faith, we find a Grassy Hillside, not a Sheer Cliff. -AW

 

“Sometimes… when we got to take a Leap of Faith, we find a Grassy Hillside, not a Sheer Cliff. -AW”

(Picture: Atop Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park in Washington)

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Jesus Sees the Wilderness

Dancing in the sunset at Holden Beach, North Carolina

Dancing in the sunset at Holden Beach, North Carolina

So we’re going to try something a little different on the blog.  It won’t take the place of the weekly posts about hiking to some of America’s best views (and other interesting and inexpensive attractions).  Those will still be coming out as normal.  But I thought I’d like to expand a bit by posting some Christian stuff as well.

 

Yes, I’m a Christian, or at least, I love Jesus passionately.  (“Christian” has gotten a bad name in recent years by people acting not very much like Jesus.)  So this part of the blog will center around Him and what He’s doing; His nature, the way He sees things, things I’m learning about Him and through Him.

 

A few months back, I started to realize, dimly at first, then more clearly, that God actually likes the wilderness.  He loves the natural world.  It makes since; He created it, after all.  And I’m coming to see more and more that He enjoys it when we enjoy His handiwork.  When our hearts are awed by a stunning view over a mountain range, our eyes tickled by the rushing of a stream, our minds boggled by how a rock formation could stand like that, God doesn’t take offence at it; in fact, He enjoys our awe at His handiwork.  Sometimes I think when we’re moved, so is He, again, over the work of His hands.  It’s simple, but profound.

 

So as I walk this journey of discovering what Jesus sees in the wilderness, what God is saying in the wild places, and the Holy Spirit’s take on it all, I’ll try to chronical it here on the blog.  Go ahead and comment on the posts (realize that all comments are moderated and I only let through posts that are courteous and non-spammy); we can go through this journey together.

 

If you want to see only the posts about this topic, click “Jesus Sees the Wilderness” in the upper right of the page.

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Table Mountain – Up and Down the Face Trail

The view of the Tetons from Table Mountain - the pictures don't do it justice! Jedediah Smith Wilderness / Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The view of the Tetons from Table Mountain – the pictures don’t do it justice!

Table Mountain, on the “non-tourist” west side of Grand Teton National Park, has got to be one of our favorite views ever – and I mean that seriously.  If you interviewed everyone in the group, they’d probably list that single view as one of the best we’ve ever done.  And considering we’ve visited 48 states and a number of Canadian provinces (not to mention a bit of non-North American travel), that’s saying something!

 

 

Views to the north of Table Mountain, Jedediah Smith Wilderness / Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Views to the north of Table Mountain

Why does the view from Table Mountain trump so many other views we’ve seen?  Well, part of it is variety – you’ve got everything from craggy cliffs to striking mountains (not quite snow-capped peaks, but close), Colorado-Rockies-type scenery to lovely green …Read More

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10 of the Best Trails In and Around North Cascades National Park

Views toward Mt. Baker from Hidden Lake Pass in North Cascades National Park, Washington

Views toward Mt. Baker from Hidden Lake Pass in North Cascades National Park

I absolutely love North Cascades National Park when the weather is nice.  It’s filled with that wild wilderness that makes you feel like you’ve really left it all behind, not to mention peak upon peak and tranquil valley after alpine lake after glacier-studded cliff that absolutely takes your breath away.

 

 

So I thought I’d put together a list of my 10 favorite day hikes in and near North Cascades National Park.

Glacier lilies along Skyline Divide, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Glacier lilies along Skyline Divide

Realize, I’m coming at this with a view junkie’s perspective …Read More

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Pictures from Holden Beach – May 2016

Enjoying the sunset on Holden Beach, North Carolina

Enjoying the sunset on Holden Beach, North Carolina

So I just spent a week and a half at peaceful Holden Beach, North Carolina…

Walking around the fishing pier... I think the photographer got a little artsy...Holden Beach, North Carolina

Walking around the fishing pier… I think the photographer got a little artsy…

 

 

We rented a house (review coming soon!), rode bikes, walked the beach …Read More

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Medicine Bow Museum: Quite the Collection!

An old caboose at the Medicine Bow Museum. The really cool thing was that we could walk right inside it! Medicine Bow, Wyoming

An old caboose at the Medicine Bow Museum. The really cool thing was that we could walk right inside it!

Visiting the Medicine Bow Museum in Medicine Bow, WY was a bit of an accident.  We hadn’t planned to be in the area at all, but then figured we’d break up the trip by visiting the aircraft arrow in Medicine Bow.  Driving in, one young member of my group spied an old bulldozer sitting outside the museum.  We simply couldn’t leave (in his opinion!) until we’d visited long enough to look at the bulldozer.  And by the time he’d looked at that, we’d spied an old sheepherder’s wagon, as well as a lot of old farm equipment, including many horse-drawn implements and a Chase steam thresher!

 

 

The Chase thresher at the Medicine Bow Museum in Medicine Bow, Wyoming

The Chase thresher

Well, with one thing and another, we probably spent 30 minutes wandering around the place.  Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.  Some highlights for us were the bulldozer (of course!), an old caboose you can actually walk inside (a first!), the sheepherder’s wagon… …Read More

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15 of the Best Day Hikes in Southern Utah

The view from Miner Overlook in Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Utah

The view from Miner Overlook in Canyon Rims Recreation Area

If I had to pick one desert state to say was my favorite, Utah would almost certainly win.  I love the rock formations, the arches, the canyons, the scrubby desert; it’s all lovely in a very rustic sort of way.  So it only seemed natural to list my favorite hikes in southern Utah.

Upper Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Upper Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante

How do I define southern?  Basically, anything south of I-70.  Some are in established parks, while others are a bit more out in the wilderness.  Always make sure you are prepared for a trek into the unknown before you attempt these hikes, and bring plenty of water!

 

 

Here are 15 of my favorite / the most spectacular hikes I’ve done in southern Utah, in no particular order.  Enjoy! …Read More

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Scenic Bike Ride: Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Trail + Erie Canal Path

Lock 30. To get from the Erie Canal Path to Macedon Canal Park, you have to walk across the lock gates - pretty cool! Macedon, New York.

Lock 30. To get from the Erie Canal Path to Macedon Canal Park, you have to walk across the lock gates – pretty cool!

Well, it’s that time of year again: time for the Big Birthday Bike Ride.  A few weekends ago, we loaded up all the bikes, drove down to the far southeast end of the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Trail (at Pannell Road).  This isn’t a very impressive starting point – it’s a tiny parking area (about big enough for two, possibly three, cars) next to a run-down farm market.  On the other hand, it’s also not too difficult to miss if you know what you’re looking for (see the picture).

 

 

The start of the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern trail at Pannell Road, Fairport, NY

The start of the trail at Pannell Road

The Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Trail is a Rails to Trails, so it’s fairly flat (though there is a steep grade or two (mostly downhill) that I would think would have been a bit steep for …Read More

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The Pass & Views above Upper Darby Canyon

Views of Housetop Mountain from the

Views of Housetop Mountain from the “trail” beyond the pass at the head of Upper Darby Canyon

A few months ago, I posted about finding fossils in Upper Darby Canyon on the west side of the Tetons.  Well, my goal that day wasn’t fossils; in fact, I didn’t even know they existed until they appeared in boulders all around me.  My intent was on the pass above Upper Darby Canyon, where I hoped to get over to the Teton Crest Trail and then to the Death Canyon Shelf (which turned out to be way to long for a day hike, but more on that later).  As it turned out, we got to the pass above Upper Darby Canyon, then along the slopes of Fossil Mountain to some views over the Teton Crest Trail.  I won’t say it was anywhere near as spectacular as Table Mountain, but it was certainly a nice view and a great adventure!

 

 

Views from the slopes of Fossil Mountain into Grand Teton National Park and the Teton Crest Trail, Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area, Wyoming

Views from the slopes of Fossil Mountain into Grand Teton National Park and the Teton Crest Trail

There are two ways to access Upper Darby Canyon.  First, you can follow the trail …Read More

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