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Natural Bridges

May 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

In my youth, I thought Natural Bridges National Monument was boring. No long hiking trails, just three bridges in a small canyon.  Now that I'm older and have the photo bug, it's become one of my favorite spots in Utah's Canyon Country. The bridges are fairly accessible, and the trails have character. And, the bridges are spectacular.

Sipapu BridgeSipapu Bridge


The Monument is near Blanding, Utah, in a somewhat remote location just south of the new Bears Ears Monument. To me its remoteness is part of its charm, few tourists and a better chance of getting a spot in the small campground.



The three bridges, Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo, are reached from the Monument's Scenic Drive, and while the hiking trails are steep, they are short, about a half-mile average. A trail in the canyon bottom allows one to walk from one to the other without coming back up, but it is a 10 mile loop to visit all three in one hike.

The first, Sipapu, is the biggest in height, and in my opinion has the most interesting trail.


Sipapu WindowSipapu Window


The next one is Kachina, the youngest and broadest. The hike down to this one is also a trip, with ladders to climb and interesting stone work. There is also an old native ruin nearby if you look around near the base of the bridge.


Kachina Bridge GlowKachina Bridge Glow


Owachomo is the oldest and thinnest, a ribbon of rock, and is by far the easiest to access. Just a short hike gets you under its thin span. This ease of access makes it my favorite to visit after dark.


Owachomo in Night LightOwachomo in Night LightOwachomo Bridge in LED, stars trails in the background


Owachomo Bridge in DaylightOwachomo Bridge in Daylight


If you're planning on visiting the Utah desert country, consider making a trip to Natural Bridges. Here's a link to the Monuments web site:

Natural Bridges National Monument


Ladder on Kachina TrailLadder on Kachina Trail Kachina BridgeKachina Bridge









Owachomo and North Star TrailsOwachomo and North Star Trails


Owachomo in MoonriseOwachomo in Moonrise


Sipapu ViewSipapu View

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February 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The Emerald Isle - Autumn 2016

November 28, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I had the good fortune to visit Ireland for the second time in the Fall of 2016. As on my first trip, the weather was fine, and my host and tour guide, the lovely Tess Hughes, took me to many of Ireland's treasures.

One of our favorite spots, Coole Park,  is only a short drive from Galway City in County Galway. Here Lady Gregory and WB Yeats wove a romantic history among the forest trails. Although the house no longer stands, you can still appreciate the environment that drew so many here. You will experience the natural world that Yeats captured in his poetry.

Walled GardenWalled GardenCoole Park, Ireland

Autumn StepsAutumn StepsCoole Park, Ireland

Kiltartan ChurchKiltartan ChurchKiltartan, Ireland

Another beautiful area is around Killarney National Park in County Kerry

Lough LeaneLough LeaneLough Leane and Killarney National Park

County Kerry, Ireland

Irish PastoralIrish PastoralCounty Kerry, Ireland

Mangerton ViewMangerton ViewView of the Mangerton Mountain area, Killarney National Park, Ireland

Killarney ViewKillarney ViewLooking south from Killarney National Park, Ireland

In the National Park is Muckross House. This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was responsible for its design. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843.

Muckross HouseMuckross HouseKillarney National Park, Ireland

Muckross CourtyardMuckross CourtyardMuckross House, Ireland

A lovely site is the village of Adare, a designated Heritage Town, one of the prettiest and friendliest villages in Ireland. It was founded in the 13th Century on the river Maigue.     http://www.adarevillage.com/

Adare ParkAdare ParkTown park in Adare, one of Ireland's prettiest villages.

Washing PoolWashing PoolWashing Pool, Adare, Ireland

Far to the north is County Sligo, Yeats country, and home to Glencar Waterfall

Glencar WaterfallGlencar WaterfallCounty Sligo, Ireland

River GarvogeRiver GarvogeSligo, Ireland

Harbor at MullaghmoreHarbor at MullaghmoreMullaghmore, Ireland

Church of St. ColumbaChurch of St. ColumbaChurch of St. Columba, County Sligo Ireland, burial site of W. B. Yeats

Lough of GlencarLough of GlencarGlencar Lough, Ireland Sheeps of the FieldSheeps of the FieldGlencar, Ireland

For the photographs from my 2012 visit, click here: http://www.nostalgiawest.com/p788250708


Thanks for looking, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Nostalgiawest!

September Facebook Appreciation

September 05, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Nostalgiawest's Facebook page has hit 1000 Likes!   https://www.facebook.com/nostalgiawest/

In celebration, we're offering 20% off all prints and canvas through September.

When checking out, enter the coupon code 1000likes to get your discount.

Thanks to everyone!

The Land of Dark Zen

July 02, 2016  •  1 Comment

Bob Fergeson, mystic, author/essayist, naturalist, photographer, has now turned his creative hand to fiction; integrating his repertoire of tradecrafts into this one-of-a-kind novel about true spiritual transformation. Osprey MornOsprey MornOsprey lit by sunrise, by full moon, Bayou Cane Knowing of what he speaks, this book carries the stamp of authenticity. There have been countless books and blogs written about the subject, but only a few using the novel as a medium. And even fewer that deal with it so directly and concretely. This books relies on none of the general platitudes and palliatives of popular new age style renderings.

Set in the bayou country of Fergeson’s native Louisiana, post-Katrina, this book is the pilgrim’s progress of a young man, Bobby Bordeaux, adrift and struggling with disconnection and competing values. He alternates his time between hosting swamp tours of the Tangipahoa River and Lake Pontchartrain, fishing, drawing, and hanging out with his girl friend. He has a passing knowledge of philosophy and psychology, and non-duality spiritual traditions. Dark Zen Cover PhotoDark Zen Cover Photo Then, through a chance encounter with an enigmatic but colorful down-to-earth fellow, OD Magee, who surprisingly lives down the river from his aunt and uncle’s store, Bobby finds a father figure and Zen-like mentor. A Vietnam vet who had a mystical awakening, and now lives the very Truth Bobby is seeking. He is introduced to a group of students and older folks who have been inspired by OD’s informal lectures at the university.

Along the way, Bobby is forced to question all his sacredly held beliefs and notions, and face the lies he has grown to rely on to prop up his increasingly flimsy self identity. Through one-on-one meetings with OD, he notices a disturbing but exhilarating energy emanating from this swamp rat of a zen teacher, Lighthouse sunsetLighthouse sunsetLighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain, Madisonville, Louisiana and a connection whereby the man’s inner voice seems to be present in Bobby’s head, stirring something awake he never knew was there. OD offers up some very fascinating techniques geared towards mediation and interior study; such as ‘breathing underwater’, ‘taking one’s self’ out of everyday situations, starving fear and ego. And how to become more whole via a higher nostalgia, the dissolving of binding energy knots, and using both of one’s masculinity and femininity to forward understanding. Until finally, a traumatic but catalytic event with OD changes everything. Cypress WaveCypress WaveCypress trees in the surf of Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana

Fergeson succeeds in conveying the big picture, but also richly painting a canvas with the unique beauty and light of his local region along with the folksy idiom and banter of its characters. And to highlight it all, each chapter ends with one of Fergeson’s signature photographs.

‘Dark Zen’ is a simply rendered but profound, multi-textured and layered epic in short form; inviting those who are new to the noble quest of Self Discovery to consider that something of this magnitude is available to one and all, and by the way, right here and now. - Paul Schmidt


Order your copy of Dark Zen from amazon:


Dark Zen - A Guru on the Bayou

Twin Poles - Bayou CaneTwin Poles - Bayou Cane