Today is (observed) Alaska Day. The official Alaska Day is Oct. 18 and recognizes the U.S. flag raising at Fort Sitka on Oct. 18, 1867.
The U.S. flag replaced its Russian counterpart following the purchase of Alaska for roughly $7 million. Alaska Day is being observed a day late this year because it is a paid holiday for state employees.
Since I didn’t post about it yesterday the observance also gives me another opportunity. It’s impossible to find one photo, or even a group, to represent all Alaska has to offer. Instead I chose Alaska’s state flower: the forget-me-not.
The tiny blue and orange flower is hard to spot, and equally difficult to photograph.
Above: A farmer in the distance is seen, silhouetted while working, through a train window. The stark emptiness of the image is what makes the person seem so prominent. Cool colors, green and grey-blue, create a relaxed and open landscape that contrasts the farmer’s firm form.
Above: A tree silhouetted amongst wheat fields at sunset, Bourgognes region, France.
It’s time for the third and final installment of the bike through Bourgognes region of france. Part Oneportrayed some of the many small villages and vast vineyards. Part Two took a closer look at some of the facades of rural French architecture. Today we’ll take another look at Rochepot Castle, some dramatic scenery during a stunning sunset, and a few more looks at grape vines.
Unfortunately my Alaskan blood deals poorly with warm temperatures. The three liters of water I took was insufficient for 22 miles, and by the end I didn’t have any fluids to sweat out. The result was a suspected case of heat shock. All in all nothing too serious, does make me glad we waited to start the bike until afternoon when it was cooling off, rather then heating up in the morning.
The 13th-centure Château de la Rochepot is seen through a luminous wheat field in the Bourgognes countryside.
Abstract patterns created by green ivy and a white bench.
Cliff-top view of villages in the Burgundy region of France. July 17, 2013
A friendly cheval provided a good opportunity to a little break.
Back in Beaune – time for a well-deserved dinner and some rest.
Above: Château de la Rochepot perched above Rochepot village. Parts of the castle date from the 13th century.
Believe it or not Château de la Rochepot is for sale – complete with drawbridge and barbican! The real estate listing has a lot interesting information and awesome photos, especially the meticulous tile roof. I would like to own a castle.
It’s time for Beautiful Burgundy Region Bike Ride – part two. Part one started us on a bike path leaving Beaune, Bourgognes. The 22-mile bike wound through beaucoup villages and vineyards on a hot and hazy July 17, 2013.
Fantastic architecture abound, culture seamlessly blended with scenery, and rolling hills like tides continually changed perspectives.
Vine trimming on a hill above town.
French Facade 1
French Facade 2
Facade 3. For multiple brick buildings, blue was the accent color of choice.
Parallele lines of grape vines recede into a stone structure.
Above: Vineyards near and far in the Saint-Aubin town of Bourgognes, France.
The bike left from Beaune, Bourgognes region of France, on a scalding July 17, 2013 – perhaps high eighties by early afternoon. But it was très beau! Blue doors on brick houses, vineyards near and far, wheat fields, and small towns continually supervened by smaller towns – even one with a castle.
This is part one-of-three and it it only gets better. So please, stay tuned.
Cool blues and greens on the brick house contrasted the hot mid-July temperatures.
This brick house comes complete with a creek.
On a very smooth bike path. One of many small towns in the background.
Above: A quiet and foggy beginning to the 2013-2014 season at Skiland. December 7, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.
December 7, 2013, marked the start of the downhill season at Skiland – the farthest-north chairlift in North America. Opening day is often a mad dash; wake up after a party; corral people, some gear, and grub; then try to get there for first run at 10 a.m., because last run comes quick at 2:30 p.m.
This year was relaxed, waxed boards the night before and went to bed at a reasonable time. The next day lots of clouds made visibility difficult, but unseasonably warm temperatures – over 10 degrees fahrenheit – complemented a snowpack that hide reasonable numbers of rocks!
Not much lifts the spirits in dark and typically cold December then an early opening at the downhill. Here’s a few examples of rapidly-changing light from the chairlift.
Sitting in a cloud, prepping for the second run of the season.
Visibility remained elusive, even worsening as the morning progressed – 10:42 a.m.
By 1:58 the sun was in decline, and direct sunlight had all but passed.
With one hour left to snowboard, at 1:48 p.m., the sun had broken some clouds – revealing spectacular scenery.
Above: Chatting on church steps at sunset. Beaune, France.
Tucked away in Burgendy region, southeast of Paris, is the peaceful small town of Beaune. Fantastic food and wine may be Beaune’s mainstay – they are both salubrious – but the proximity to vineyards, vistas, and ancient architecture offer adventure galore. One of the most enjoyable days in Europe was spent bicycling 22 miles on smooth, paved paths through the small villages surrounding Beaune. I will feature that in a future post.
Today is a brief overview of Beaune.
White chocolate mousse – beyond delicious.
Real and painted flowers.
Wine and water.
A statue of Mary holding Jesus flanked by old wooden doors.
One fantastic aspect of Europe is train travel. A chance to relax, watch country side whisk by, and wonder if you going the right direction. Some of the most magnificent sights are seen on trains, and people often present a more relaxed persona. Though much like any long transportation so much sitting can ache the legs – ergo it was perfect one of my first sights riding a train was companions doing a hamstring stretch in the station.
Taking time to stretch at a train station in Versailles, France, July 15, 2013.