Saturday, May 31, 2014

InSPIREd Sunday - Immanuel Lutheran

On one of my many trips back and forth between West Central Minnesota and the airport in Minneapolis last year, I noticed a spire nestled in a grove of trees along Highway 10 northwest of Little Falls. It took a few more trips before I had the time to stop and check it out.

A short drive through a well-tended cemetery was required to reach the church itself.  Along the gravel lane leading to church was a small brick sign next to metal tower that disappeared into the tree branches. Of course I was curious so I got out of the car to investigate.

I read the inscription on the brick pillar acknowledging the names of the charter members of Darling Immanuel Lutheran Church. There was also a statement that the church was organized on April 3, 1893 and closed May 2, 1967. I then noticed the bell hanging on the tower with a metal cross on the top. There was no reference to history of the bell, but perhaps it was from the church itself.

I continued on up the lane to the church and saw another sign indicating the founding year of the church in 1893. The windows were boarded up but there weren't many signs of disrepair given its advanced age and the fact that it closed more than 45 years ago. Like the grounds surrounding it, somebody was still maintaining the church with care.

At first glance, the building seemed to be made of painted stonework but upon closer inspection revealed it to be metal siding. As I made my way around the front of the church, I noticed the doors were open. More than likely, this place is a target for mischief-makers. It wouldn't surprise me to know someone had been there recently and the caretakers had not yet come upon the intrusion.

I don't know why but the place gave me the heebie-jeebies as I walked around by myself. I guess because of the feeling of isolation of being so close to the highway and glimpsing the passing cars through the trees yet knowing they probably wouldn't see me.  I think the open doors of the church didn't help either. There was no way I was going in! Who knows what I would discover in there but I wasn't brave enough to find out. Even the sudden down-burst from the clouds didn't drive me to seek shelter indoors. Instead, I took refuge under a nearby leafy tree until the rain ceased.

I am glad I stopped though. It was an interesting church and I got to see what was hidden in the woods. I wonder how many people go whizzing by at 65 miles per hour and don't even realize it is there?

Linking to InSPIREd Sunday - a weekly meme of religious themed architecture.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

InSPIREd Sunday - Cormorant Lutheran

In honor of Memorial Day in the United States, a thank you to those who sacrificed all in the name of Freedom.

Cormorant Lutheran Church - Lake Park, MN

Linking to InSPIREd Sunday, a weekly meme sharing religious architecture from around the world.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Eastern Sierra Mountains

I have always enjoyed the view along US 395 in the foothills of the Eastern Sierras in California.

View from California Highway 190 Looking West Towards the Eastern face of the Sierra Mountains

More of the Eastern Sierras

Another View - Somewhere in there is Mt. Whitney, the Highest Peak in the Lower 48 States

Eastern Sierras Looking Northwest Towards Lone Pine, CA With Owens Lake in the Middle

Stopping in Lone Pine for Lunch

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Death Valley, Part 4 - Timing is Everything

Visiting Death Valley at the beginning of April was perfect timing in my opinion. It wasn't too hot yet (70 degs F during the day) and many of the flowers were in bloom. Enjoy!!

Beavertail Cactus

Beavertail Cactus

Beavertail Cactus Flower


Mojave Suncup

Mojave Aster

Purple Phacelia

After leaving the park boundaries, we passed through a zone at a still high elevation scattered with Joshua trees. I didn't realize we would find Joshua Trees here. I always thought they were only found farther south in the Mojave Desert. The trees were in bloom, too.

Joshua Tree

Almost Ready to Bloom

Joshua Tree Flower

Another Joshua Tree Flower

I love the desert in the Spring when the flowers are in bloom. This was an unplanned treat for us and am glad we decided to drive home through Death Valley.

Tomorrow, views of the Eastern Sierras.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Death Valley, Part 3 - The Road to Panamint Springs

After leaving the below sea level elevation of Mustard Canyon (-197 ft), it was time to climb and climb and climb some more. We were headed southwest on Hwy 190 toward the Panamint Mountains. Ohmigoodness, when we finally caught sight of the valley floor below us, it was breathtaking!

The Road Waaaay Down on the Valley Floor From High Up in the Panamint Range

Getting Closer
Reminds Me of a Slide at the Carnival. Weeeee!

Once we crossed the valley floor, you start the steep climb again up into the mountains, passing through Panamint Springs. We stopped at a view point once up on top.

Looking Back at the Panamint Valley from Father Crowley Viewpoint

From here, we continued westward towards the Eastern Sierras where we would turn and make our way north.

Tomorrow, the flora of Death Valley.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Death Valley, Part 2 - More Scenes from the Road

Harmony Borax Works

Coming into Mustard Canyon

Panoramic View from Desert Floor (click to enlarge)

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes Panorama (click to enlarge)

Mesquite Tree in the Dunes

Distant View

Coming Up Towne Pass

Recumbent Biker Heading Down Towne Pass

George and Sally
Tomorrow, let's drive to Panamint Springs

Monday, May 19, 2014

Death Valley, Part 1 - Colors in the Earth

At the beginning of April, we traveled through Death Valley National Park. Its a place I have always wanted to visit and luckily had the opportunity to spend a few hours there (better than none at all!).

I was fascinated with the multitude of colors and layers in the landscape as we journeyed through.

Heading toward the park via Bell Vista Road out of Pahrump, Nevada

Another view along Bell Vista Road

Tomorrow, more scenes from Death Valley.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pelicans Galore!

I woke up yesterday to sight of at least a hundred American White pelicans paddling around the lake. It was so much fun to watch them. A few times it looked like a feeding frenzy was occurring as the pelicans swarmed different areas near the shoreline.

This is my last weekend at the lakefront condo. It's been an interesting eight months with all of the different sights and sounds of experiencing life at the lake from Fall through Spring. I am going to miss the view and activity for sure.

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