Horse Power!

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

Another action shot from the World Equestrian Festival at the CHIO Aachen, Germany.

Here’s a magnificent four-in-hand team in the Combined Driving Event, which tests the driver’s ability and the horses’ obedience, speed and athleticism in three stages – Dressage, Marathon and Cones.

This is the Marathon stage – very fast and exacting. CHIO Aachen competitors come from all over the world.

Full disclosure: I am a lifelong equestrian. I competed on the West Coast of the U.S. in single horse Combined Driving Events and Pleasure Driving for several years with my Morgan carriage horse, Gem, rest her soul. I’ve never had more fun!

Columbus

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

Columbus

– Written by Noel Brazil
– Performed below by Mary Black

Better keep your distance from this whale
Better keep your boat from going astray
Find yourself a partner and treat them well
Try to give them shelter night and day
’cause here in this blue light
Far away from the fireside
Things can get twisted and crazy and crowded
You can’t even feel right

So you dream of Columbus
Ever time the panic starts
You dream of Columbus
With your maps and your beautiful charts
You dream of Columbus
With an ache in your travelling heart

See how the cormorant swoops and dives
Must be some thrill to go that deep
Down to the basement of this life
Down to where the mermaid gently sleeps
Not like here in this blue light
Far away from the fireside
Where things can get twisted and haunted and crowded
You can’t even feel alright

And as tide must ebb and flow
I am dragged down under
And I wait the livelong day
For an end to my hunger

So I dream of Columbus
Every time that the panic starts
I dream of Columbus
With my maps and my beautiful charts
I dream of Columbus
And there’s peace in a traveling heart
I dream of Columbus

Airborne at CHIO Aachen

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

Airborne at CHIO Aachen, the World Equestrian Festival at the Imperial City of Aachen, Germany, where horses fly.

According to legend, Charlemagne’s horse discovered Aachen’s hot springs when pawing the ground with its hooves, which led to establishment of the Imperial Palace and City of Aachen at the site of an ancient Roman settlement. Charlemagne is buried at Aachen.

Opera has Bayreuth – equestrian sports have Aachen.

Trestles in the Moclips River, Washington

Over the bridge that once rested on these trestles, the first coastal train of the Northern Pacific Railway ran across the Moclips River in Washington State at the town of the same name.

In 1911 Moclips was struck by a series of fatal storms, eventually washing much of the town away. Fires then destroyed much of Moclips along the beach.

I go to this area every year to watch as the steelhead trout and salmon spawn in the wild running river.

World Traveler

My Irish Setter Erin taking a break from our walk on the Arno River in Florence, Italy. Anno 1985. Erin was 15 years old. I got him when he was 8 weeks old.

In his lifetime, Erin traveled the United States, North Africa, Japan, and Europe. Not long after this photo, he would be on a plane with us to Japan, then back to Germany in 1986, where he died of old age at 17.

He’s buried in a Hun burial ground in the forest behind our house there north of Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany. 

More stories and photos with Erin, the world traveler:

Travels With Erin

North Africa Diary – Lost in the Medina  

Media Plage – Aussies Go Walkabout

How we came to live in North Africa at Mehdia Plage

 

Relaxing at our 2CV camp site in a sand dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean just outside of Agadir, Morocco.beach Africa

Visiting the stones at Carnac, Brittany, France.2cv-carnac.jpg

On the road, Costa del Sol, near Torremolinos, Spain.2CV theresa spain

The Design is in the Details

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Frustrated by all the people milling around while I was trying to take photos of iconic historical cars at the Kirkland Concours d’Elegance on the shores of Lake Washington, I decided to compensate by getting up close to the design elements on these elegant automobiles.  Here is a sample of that work, which sometimes drifts off to abstraction.

The Concours that year was a tribute to Carroll Shelby, featuring five unique Ford classes.  So I’ll begin with a couple minutes of the “GT40 Soundcheck.”  Yes, the ground was shaking.  Turn up your speakers if you want to experience the thunder.

 

A selection of my photos.  Please feel free to use with attribution.

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The Wild Pacific Trail at Ucluelet, British Columbia

Take a pictorial walk with me on The Wild Pacific Trail at Ucluelet, a tranquil village of about 2000 on the Ucluth Peninsula of Vancouver Island’s far west coast.  It’s about 288 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Victoria.

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Its location supports Ucleulet’s motto – “Living on the Edge” – as the peninsula is almost completely surrounded by water, making it more island than peninsula.  The Ucleulet Harbor provides easy water access to the ethereal mists of Barkley Sound to the south, featuring the Broken Group Islands of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  To the west is the thundering Pacific Ocean.

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It’s on this western shore you can walk The Wild Pacific Trail, which clings to the coastline as you meander the trails and boardwalks amid an old-growth coastal rainforest – a labyrinthine wildwood of trees, ferns and moss.  Without warning, the trail bursts onto spectacular views from the rocky shoreline of the roiling Pacific Ocean, Barkley Sound, and the Broken Group Islands.

The trail is an easy, relaxing hike, with two large parking areas, easy access (including disabled), and well-signed trails.  When I was there, signs instructed you on what to do in the unlikely case that you found yourself sharing the trail with a bear.  Sadly, I didn’t see one.

Photography by S.W. Cosgrove.

Looking south from the far end of the peninsula, towards Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands.  In the mist on the other side of the sound is Bamfield, a tiny resort hamlet that is best reached by packet boat from Port Alberni or by float plane.

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Here is a very engaging Blue Jay, who decided to accompany me.  Chatty bird, and quite friendly.

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Hidden in the woods on the other side of the water is the lodge that I stayed at.

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Following is the view from the private patio of the studio apartment I rented in an elegant new wood-built lodge that a young couple shared with visitors.  It was in a very quiet location, situated just a few steps from The Wild Pacific Trail.  Reasonably priced, very comfortable, with an oversized soaking tub.

The last afternoon, a storm blew in and rain pounded windows and deck.  Then, a half hour later, the sun came back out and dried everything off.

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Ucluelet Harbor

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