Back Home From Vacation

Red Rocks, Colorado - CCC Statue
Red Rocks, Colorado – Honoring the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that helped with land conservation.

“National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the “tree army” that worked from 1933-1942 to preserve and protect America’s natural heritage.” ~

Saturday was National Public Lands Day, a day dear to my heart. I’ve been away in Colorado and Wyoming for the last two weeks, enjoying the great outdoors. I saw this statue in memory of the CCC men that helped shape some of our great national and state parks at Red Rocks, Colorado. I have previously posted about some of my family and their service in the  CCC in the states of Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Utah, during the Great Depression.

Historic Red Rocks, Colorado
Historic Red Rocks Amphitheater , Colorado. Copyright 2015 Maryann Barnes

Red Rocks Amphitheater has a lot of history gathered in the museum in the visitor center. Before we visited that morning there had been a 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb.

My husband and I celebrated National Grandparents Day with our two precious grandchildren, our daughters, and their husbands. This holiday has been celebrated in the United States since 1978, and is also noted in many other countries on other days of the year.

Grandparents Day - 2015 - Copyright Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters
National Grandparents Day. Copyright 2015 – Maryann Barnes

After visiting in Colorado with our family, my husband I headed to Jackson, Wyoming. There we settled into one of the historic cabins at Colter Bay Village, in Grand Teton National Park. It was nice to give up TV for the week, and to have very limited cell and internet coverage.

Colter Bay, Grand Teton National Park
Colter BayMarina, Grand Teton National Park

The rain we had the first few days translated into snow on the peaks of the majestic mountains. I was glad I had packed my down jacket and waterproof hiking boats. We stayed out at the marina one evening, and met a few other photographers waiting for the pumpkin hour, when the mountains start glowing with the evening sun.

IMG_3985We went to Yellowstone National Park through the south entrance for one of the days. What an unique place! We had been to the Grand Canyon before, but never the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The force of water is simply amazing.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

The next couple of days were sunny and clear and in the mid 70’s during the day. We saw many wild animals including herds of bison, elk, mule deer, a moose or two, and one black bear. I took this bison photo from the safety of our car. No bison selfies for me!

Colorado Wyoming 089My husband and I went on many hikes, carrying our trusty can of bear spray.

Colorado Wyoming 195
By the pines – 2015 – Copyright Maryan Barnes and Genealogy Sisters

This photo reminded me of one taken by my mother fifty years ago, below. I have always loved hiking by the evergreen trees. Oh, that heavenly smell!

Maryann - by the pines - 1965
Maryann – by the pines – 1965

It is great to be back home in Virginia, but I do miss our family, the  beautiful western landscapes, and clear water. Before my trip out west, I spent one week in New Jersey visiting family and friends. In late August my brother and I met with two of our father’s first cousins in New Jersey. They shared some amazing stories and photographs about their parents journey to America. I learned more about my Irish great-uncle, William John Doran, and his beautiful and kind English wife, Rosina Evans. I took this image of their wedding photograph with my iPhone.

William John doran and Rosina Evens - 1920 - Canning Town, West Ham, England
William John Doran and Rosina Evens – 1920 – Canning Town, West Ham, England


After learning more about our Irish roots, later that week we enjoyed some delicious homemade Polish food to celebrate our other side of the family! She also sells at a market in Hoboken, NJ.

Maria's Homemade Pierogies, 17 Bridge Street, Milford, NJ
Maria’s Homemade Pierogies, 17 Bridge Street, Milford, NJ

I’ll post more about my New Jersey visit later, and yes, like all good family researchers on vacation, I visited cemeteries! Happy trails!

5 thoughts on “Back Home From Vacation

  1. Sounds like a fabulous trip. We went to Great Teton and Yellowstone about two years ago and had a fabulous time. Hope you never had to use your bear spray!


    1. Thanks, Amy! We did have a fabulous time! Both of these national parks are magical places. You and I do seem to like a lot of the same things! We didn’t use the bear spray and donated it to a park employee before we left. When we were in Glacier National Park a few years ago we saw grizzly bears twice, luckily from our car, and man can they run fast! Always good to be prepared like a good Girl Scout!


      1. We bought bear spray, but after reading the directions, decided to hire a guide for walking in the parks except where there were lots of other people. We gave the spray to our guide!


    1. Janet, I know that I always look forward to the next trip and making plans. I hope you have time to visit some of the cemeteries your family were laid to rest, next time you travel.


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