Tag Archives: road trip

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep

To many people New Zealand and sheep go hand-in-hand. It is true that sheep outnumber the locals by a wide margin. Due to the abundance of these cute creatures I made it a point in my New Zealand road-tripping to capture them whenever I had the chance.

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, Shakespear Regional Park in Auckland

I thought I’d share some larger versions of photos I took in my original New Zealand sheep post, plus some additional ones. Awwwwwwe indeed!

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, Shakespear Regional Park in Auckland

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, Shakespear Regional Park in Auckland

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, Shakespear Regional Park in Auckland

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, Shakespear Regional Park in Auckland

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, Shakespear Regional Park in Auckland

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, Shakespear Regional Park in Auckland

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, between Arthurs Pass and Christchurch

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, Firth of Thames

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, between Piha Beach and Bethells Beach

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, between Arthurs Pass and Christchurch

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, between Arthurs Pass and Christchurch

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, between Arthurs Pass and Christchurch

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, between Arthurs Pass and Christchurch

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, between Arthurs Pass and Christchurch

I captured all of these by just pulling off on to the side of the road. I didn’t get too close or cross onto someones property. To get a closer look, a New Zealand sheep farm is something I should look into visiting sometime down the road.

Road Trip Fun Capturing Cute New Zealand Sheep, between Arthurs Pass and Christchurch

Do you have any memorable moments capturing animals randomly in your travels?

An Ann Arbor Coffee and A Drive During the Polar Vortex

We just escaped what was deemed the “Polar Vortex” here in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Midwest. Temperatures were brutally cold never getting close to 0 degrees Fahrenheit for two days. You add in the wind and it was pure misery. That didn’t stop me from capturing the scene at dawn during an Ann Arbor coffee and a drive.

A lot of shops and places were closed during this time for good reason, but Roos Roast, a popular Ann Arbor coffee shop and roaster, was open. It was a great thing in that it gave people a place to come in and warm up and have some hot caffeinated beverages.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast coffee shop

You could tell how cold it was based on the ice on the windows which you can normally see right through.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast coffee shop

I absolutely love the Roos Roast coffee mugs. The coffee of choice to put in it on this morning was some basic drip coffee made from their signature Lobster Butter Love coffee beans. I always wanted to capture this mug with a Main Street backdrop. It took -16 degree (actual temperature) conditions for me to do so.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast morning coffee - Main Street

Magical. While I was capturing about a block away from the shop, I directed a couple of police officers that were looking for an open coffee shop. They had wondered where I got this cup of coffee.

No worries as I did not drink any coffee out here. My gloves were also on stand by. I took these shots and I was quickly back inside warming up. The good thing is that the bitter cold lad to a lot less traffic which enabled me to stand right in the middle of Main Street to capture.

Ann Arbor bucket list item, check!!!

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast morning coffee - Main Street

After freezing with my cup of coffee, then warming up, it was time for a drive. I headed for quick stroll down Huron River Drive. I’ve mentioned this route on nultiple occassions as it is beautiful no matter what time of year. That certainly holds true in arctic like conditions.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive - sunrise

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

The sun coming out in full swing did nothing for the temperature. It just magnified the winter beauty that this part of Ann Arbor and Huron River Drive gives off. Again -16 degrees, brrrr.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

It was a shivering but fun morning doing one of favorite Ann Arbor activities, getting a coffee and going for a drive down Huron River Drive.

Have you ever found yourself in bitter cold conditions in your travels? Ever come into contact with a Polar Vortex?

The 2018 Edition of Pure Michigan Fall Colors

This year’s edition of Autumn is almost done in Pure Michigan and the Midwest.

To be honest you really can’t go wrong anywhere this time of year in Michigan. The beautiful red, yellow and orange Michigan fall colors will pop out at you at a moment’s notice. What makes it exciting is that every year is different due to the weather. Things will change earlier or later and in different patterns then you expect. I kind of like the Fall colors mixed in with the greens of summer. The more colors to capture in one spot I say the better!

Most of my Fall color exploration was confined again to the Ann Arbor area. Well without further ado:

Parker Mill County Park, Ann Arbor Fall colors

A go to Fall spot, Parker Mill County Park on the east end of Ann Arbor.

Island Park, Ann Arbor

A scenic place for children to run and play in Ann Arbor at Island Park.

Fuller Park, Ann Arbor

Fall leaves dot the landscape at Fuller Park in Ann Arbor. The world-renowned University of Michigan hospital straight ahead.

Fall colors in Ann Arbor

Go-to Ann Arbor neighborhood spot to capture Fall colors. Argo Drive alongside Beckley Park.

Ann Arbor Autumn colors

Go-to Ann Arbor neighborhood spot to capture Fall colors. Argo Drive alongside Beckley Park.

Looking up, up, up for the bright colors of the season

Looking up, up, up for the bright colors of the season.

Frosty morning at Beckley Park in Ann Arbor

Frosty morning at Beckley Park in Ann Arbor.

Frosts, hard freezes and Fall colors work beautifully together

Frosts, hard freezes and Fall colors work beautifully together.

Hard freezes and frosts are beautiful to capture at dawn amongst the colors

Hard freezes and frosts are beautiful to capture at dawn amongst the colors.

Out on the open dirt road trail at Huron Meadows Metropark

Out on the open dirt road trail at Huron Meadows Metropark.

Huron Meadows Metropark, Brighton, Michigan fall foliage

I might like spending time at Huron Meadows Metropark in Brighton in Fall.

Huron Meadows Metropark, Brighton, Michigan

My favorite Fall tree which changes color before all the others. Fall has begun in Huron Meadows Metro Park in Brighton.

I head out on that Michigan dirt road once a week in Fall every year to capture Huron Meadows Metropark Fall colors.

Fall Roadtrip along Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor

A Fall drive along Huron River Drive is a must Ann Arbor and Michigan experience.

Fall Roadtrip along Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Always have the camera out and ready along Ann Arbor’s Huron River Drive.

Pure Michigan fall colors coming to life in Livingston County

Pure Michigan fall colors coming to life in Livingston County.

The colors of summer and Fall work beautifully together

The colors of summer and Fall work beautifully together.

Romantic Fall picnic anyone

Romantic Fall picnic anyone?!

Hanging out alongside the Huron River at dawn just outside Ann Arbor

Hanging out alongside the Huron River at dawn just outside Ann Arbor.

Historic Delhi road bridge, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Recommended stop. A drive or walk across the historic Delhi road bridge over the Huron River.

Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor Fall colors

Delhi Road at Huron River Drive just west of Ann Arbor.

Huron Meadows Metropark, Brighton, Michigan

You never know where you’ll find Michigan Fall color magic. At Huron Meadows Metropark.

The bright reds, oranges and yellows of the season

The bright reds, oranges and yellows of the season.

Love going into trees and looking straight up

Love going into trees and looking straight up.

Fall colors at Mount Brighton, Michigan

Colors popping at Mount Brighton. That means skiing down those hills is coming soon!

Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Strolling Kensington Metropark in Milford at dawn.

Autumn sunrise, Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Watching an Autumn sunrise over Kent Lake in Kensington Metropark.

Out on the open Kensington Metropark trail in Milford.

Out on the open Kensington Metropark trail in Milford.

Out on the open Pure Michigan Fall color trail, road trip

Out on the open Pure Michigan Fall color trail.

Random Washtenaw County dirt road Fall color exploration

Random Washtenaw County dirt road Fall color exploration.

Dirt road Fall color exploration

Random Washtenaw County dirt road Fall color exploration.

Barton Nature Area in Ann Arbor

A spot to just stare out without a care in the world. The bridge at Barton Nature Area in Ann Arbor.

Fuller Park, Ann Arbor

A scenic backdrop for kids to play at. At Fuller Park in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor Fall colors, Fuller Park

A scenic backdrop for kids to play at. At Fuller Park in Ann Arbor.

Island Park Fall goodness in Ann Arbor

Island Park Fall goodness in Ann Arbor.

Random dirt road exploration in Washtenaw County, Michigan

Random dirt road exploration in Washtenaw County.

Brighton and Livingston County, Michigan fall colors

Get out on Winans Lake Road in Brighton and Livingston County during the Fall season.

Corn maze at Chamber Farm on Farley, Pinckney, Michigan

Corn maze fun amongst the colors at Chambers Farm on Farley in Pinckney.

Check out some of the Michigan fall colors I captured last year in The 2017 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan.

Where have you gone around home or in your travels to capture this years Fall colors?

Out on the Open Road Ann Arbor Winter Style

Being “Out on the Open Road” can be a challenge in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Midwest during the winter months. Road conditions and the resulting slow times in the car can get on my nerves like many at times. It is was worth it though when I’m able to see the beautiful snow scenes that this time of year produces. This was especially true on some recent drives on and around Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. Well without further ado.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Out on the open road, Ann Arbor winter style.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The early morning brings with it the same scenic feeling.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Playing on the wintry road, to capture the scenes of winter.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rinse, repeat. More Ann Arbor Huron River Drive beauty.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Huron River is a must Ann Arbor drive no matter the time of the year.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Blue winter skies. The warmer temperatures causing all the heavy snow and branches to start falling onto the road.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

Out on the open Barton Nature Area pedestrian bridge.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

Out on the open Barton Nature Area snow-covered trail.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything on the pedestrian bridge over the Huron River.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything on the pedestrian bridge over the Huron River.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything in the Barton Nature Area.

Huron River and snow covered hills of Ann Arbor, Michigan

Looking out at the Huron River and wintry hills of Ann Arbor.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Out on the open road true Ann Arbor winter style.

Bird Rd. - Ann Arbor winter scene

A new dirt road find, the hilly Bird Road in Ann Arbor.

Do you have a favorite drive you like to road trip on over-and-over again during the winter months?

An Updated Ten Travel Tips for a Day Road Trip

It’s almost time to get out on the open road on a day road trip. Have you planned ahead? Spontaneity and just getting into the car and going can lead to some great trips no doubt. However there are some things that you should take into consideration before and during your roadie.

Day road trip tips - The Adventures of elATLboy.com

It’s been five years since I wrote my original post on this. The basics have stayed the same. A lot has changed though in terms of technology and in me getting more perspective from additional time on the road. Below is an update on my post and the day road trip tips I have found helpful.

1. Check the weather. The days leading up to a road trip and/or right before you get in the car, head to The Weather Channel website or app and check the forecast. You could also do a simple search like “Charleston weather” in Google, quickly becoming informed. Hmmm let’s see… winter storm? Maybe I should venture there tomorrow instead.

Day road trip tips - check the weather

Follow the weather on your phone throughout your adventure as well. You’ll increase the chances of not running into a sheet of ice (been there), high winds or getting caught up in a deluge of rain. You might change course on the spot. Who knows that could lead to an unexpected adventure and you’ll be safer.

Additional Tips: While you are at it check for major construction along with Googling “<NAME OF DESTINATON> traffic”.

2. Get a good night sleep. A day road trip could last a full 24 hours or more. I look at it like this. The longer you make the day, the further you can travel away from home and double back, meaning the more you can see. I love taking advantage of the extended daylight hours in the summer. If the sleep thing doesn’t work out then you are going to need…

3. …fuel, I mean coffee! Bring some from home. If desperate grab some at a travel center or truck stop ha-ha. As the day goes on make sure to refuel at indie, mom and pop coffee shops along the way. At least that’s my philosophy. I love experiencing something new, sometimes getting tips on things to do from bulletin boards or the locals sipping java inside. Drip Drop Drink in Muskegon is my-go when exploring the beach towns along Lake Michigan in Pure Michigan.

4. Charge, charge, charge. It’s not just you that needs to be fully charged. Make sure your Galaxy 7 or iPhone X and camera are ready to go. You will want to have enough juice to take pictures, post to Snapchat, Instagram live stories, ask for advice on Twitter, etc. Have those chargers and spare batteries, along with a portable power pack or two handy. A lot of people have USB ports in their vehicles these days. Bonus for getting extra juice while you are driving!

5. Fully stock your vehicle. Learning from experience, I make sure to have a blanket, bottled water, extra clothes, wind-shield washer fluid, flashlight, jumper cables, spare tire, emergency snack food, etc. Also check your oil and other fluids, along with your tires.

Day road trip tips - have a spare tire, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables

6. Have navigation help. Some people use Gladys (GPS), but many more gravitate to Google maps on their phone these days. The key is to have them available. Back to the word spontaneity. Make sure to put all navigational aids away at times for adventure sake. When I personally seek help I still like having my trusty, old-fashioned atlas alongside. The Waze app can help here as well.

7. Bring cash including change. You never know when you’ll need it for tolls and parking meters. When you call for help to fix a flat tire or for general road-side assistance, a lot of the time cash is the only payment option.

8. Hit the road on an empty stomach. You can snack and have your coffee, but be hungry and ready to eat so you can try some local cuisine. It’s not a day for McDonald’s or hitting up the vending machine at a rest area. How about a stop at Skyline Chili when road tripping through Cincinnati along I-75?! As far as chains go I will allow stopping at a random Waffle House ha-ha. Some of my best day road trip memories started or ended there.

Day road trip tips - stop at a Waffle House

9. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Hopefully there will be lots of getting out of the vehicle to explore. Some jogging, hiking and climbing could be in order. I once traveled fifteen miles on foot while in the heart of Chicago. With the cost of parking in a big city it’s better to centrally park and use public transportation or walk to everything.

10. Even with planning as described in the tips above make sure to have semi-plans. In other words be out there on the open road with an open mind. There it is yet again, my word of the day, spontaneity. Of course there will be places you marked to experience. You must also be willing to get sidetracked with random finds. The unexpected can be the most gratifying.

day road trip tips - lake mead, las vegas, nevada

Checkout my original day road trip tips post.

Any other day road trip recommendations? I can’t wait to see all of you out on the open road.