Category Archives: recreation

A Death Valley Visit

<br /> Death Valley Visit<br />

After the 2023 Floods

A scenic two hour drive from the bustling streets of Las Vegas takes you to this expansive desert area. The place is called Death Valley and is the nation’s largest national park.

I’ve visited Death Valley many times before. On this trip I spent only a few hours there specifically to catch a glimpse of something special as you’ll soon find out.




As you can see here, many visitors trekked to Death Valley to view the lake in the Badwater basin


My drive to Death Valley was to see the “lake” that was formed by last summer’s rains. Once again I’m amazed to be a witness to mother nature’s way of creating scenes that I can thoroughly enjoy.

Written by:

Arnie Lee



A Visit To The Parks

Camping with Young Ones

I’m attracted to the national parks of the west. For each of my visits, I’m armed with a detailed list of attractions that I want to enjoy and photograph.

However, this past August’s visit was a little different.

I invited a granddaughter and grandnephew to accompany me on an end of summer excursion. We would go to a few of the parks and stay in a small popup camper.

So this series of photos are not my usual scenic variety. Instead they are a scrapbook of places that the kids and I visited.

Adeline and Elliott are surprised to find snow in August.

Standing beneath the elk arches in the Jackson, WY town square.

Looking at a grizzly behind glass at Jackson Lake Lodge

Riding the tram to the top at Jackson Hole Mountain

At the Willow Flats Overlook in the Tetons

Checking out the shoreline at Colter Bay
Nice view of the Tetons at Jackson Lake Lodge
Layers of travertine at Mammoth Hot Springs
Watching the flow at Tower Falls
Painted bison at a W. Yellowstone restaurant
Lots of steam and noise at Beryl Springs
A reprieve from the parks in Rapid City, SD
Fun at the water park
Presidential faces at Mt Rushmore
Last stop at Badlands Nat’l Park

It was fun visiting the parks again, but this time with the kids in mind instead of my usual photography expedition variety.

Written by:

Arnie Lee

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

This is not the rally that I remember

As a frequent visitor to the Tetons and Yellowstone, I often travel along Interstate 90 through Wyoming and South Dakota to reach these national parks. More than a few times I’ve passed through western South Dakota near the small town of Sturgis. Coincidentally the iconic Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that takes place each year in early August.

Leaving the national parks we passed and were passed by dozens (maybe hundreds) of motorcycle riders, pickup trucks and motorhomes towing trailers of motorcycles of all types and styles.

Here’s what I learned about the rally after talking to some of this year’s attendees.

One motorcyclist told me: “Attendance is way down”. This gentlemen, a senior about my age, tells me he’s been to the rally many time since the 1980s. The Dakota News Now (television station) said that attendance has been dropping steadily since 2015 when it was a record 740,000.

This year estimated attendance to be about 500,000 according to rally organizers. They attribute the drop to inflation, fuel cost, weather and aging demographic.

A group of motorcyclists were at the same hotel as we were staying. I mentioned to one of them that in the 1980s I used to see tents on the hills of Sturgis where motorcyclists would camp. He said that since then, so many attendees have become financially well off. His days of camping were long past and he pointed out his motor home saying that he drags his bike behind in a trailer from North Carolina and then drives his bike from the nearby RV park into Sturgis.

One of Sturgis’ nearby attractions is Mt. Rushmore National Monument. During our visit there we couldn’t help but notice the hundreds of rally attendees also at Mt. Rushmore. Here they were having an impromptu meeting to show their support and loyalty to our country’s veterans.
The city of Sturgis have been targeting younger attendees. They say that its efforts are paying off. A survey last year showed the average age of attendees was 50.8 years old compared with 53.5 years old in 2017. Most of the motorcyclists that I talked to were older than this 50.8 year average.

This same survey noted that 40% of rally goers in 2022 had household incomes of more than $100,000 a year. With the price of a road motorcycle hovering at the $20,000 mark, motorcycling most likely requires a decent income.

Written by:

Arnie Lee