Travel by Any Means Necessary

Tag: waterfall Page 1 of 7

Wordless Wednesday: Sign

Sign at Tahquamenon Falls

Revisiting Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Upper Falls

Tahquamenon Falls, located near Paradise, Michigan is a common stop for travelers of the Upper Peninsula. Since my first visit to the park in 2010, not much has changed in the park. But recently, the Lower Falls area of the park got a big upgrade. During our time in St. Ignace for Labor Day, we made the drive to Tahquameon Falls State Park to check it out.

When you picture Tahquamenon Falls, I’m sure you picture the iconic upper falls (above). The lower falls area, while just as picturesque, was always less crowded. There were a few trails there and you could rent boats to paddle the river to explore an island between the falls. On our trip in 2021, we took our kayak and paddled out to explore the island where there were a handful of other people exploring.

Tahquamenon Falls Bridge

In 2022, a bridge opened that connected the island to the main viewing area at the Lower Falls. This accessible bridge connected the 4-acre island for people of all abilities to explore. There are now places on the island for people to swim in the falls, making this one of the few waterfalls in Michigan that you can swim in. It was great seeing people of all ages exploring the island in a way that was not possible when it was only accessible by boat.

When we first heard about this project, we were worried they were going to ruin the beautiful landscape of the Lower Falls, but they were able to tuck the bridge out of the way so it didn’t block the beautiful view (below).

Tahquamenon Lower Falls View Point

If you are planning a visit to Tahquamenon Falls, don’t skip the Lower Falls. With the addition of the bridge, there is so much to see and explore there. If you are there on a warm day, bring your swimsuit and plan to dip your toe into the Tahquamenon River!

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. To read campground reviews check out my Michigan Campground Reviews page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

Wordless Wednesday: Lower Falls

Tahquamenon Lower Falls

Wordless Wednesday: Rainier Waterfall

One Day in St. Lucia

The Pitons of St. Lucia

Unlike some of the other ports on this cruise, once I did a little research into St. Lucia, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I saw a picture of the Pitons and knew that I had to get that iconic St. Lucia shot (above!) The question was, which tour would be the best one to take to get us there?

Back at the end of March, to leave the port area in St. Lucia, you had to be on a government-approved tour and the easiest way to do that was to book through the cruise line. We chose the tour that Royal Caribbean called St. Lucia – Island Delights. This tour advertised a drive around the island to Soufriere where you would get a view of the Pitons after driving through a few St. Lucia fishing towns. After viewing the Pitons, the tour takes you to Morne Coubaril Estate for a guided tour of the estate, and a stop at the drive-through volcano (we ended up at Toraille Waterfall, instead, though) before enjoying a creole buffet lunch overlooking the Pitons.

View of the Pitons from our lunch spot

View of the Pitons from our lunch spot

It is a long drive on narrow, twisty roads from Castries, St. Lucia to Soufriere. I was very glad I didn’t have to be the one behind the wheel, but it was absolutely beautiful to watch the scenery go by. Most of St. Lucia is a rainforest so it rained on and off throughout our drive. The photo stops we made along the way were absolutely worth the trip, but the Morne Coubaril Estate tour ended up being a highlight of this whole cruise!

Our tour guide holding a fresh cacao podWhen we got to the estate, our tour guide pointed out the local flora, and then we got to see coconuts husked and drink fresh coconut water. It got even more interesting when we got to the cocoa house and we were able to taste a ripe cocoa bean (left). Let me tell you, it tastes nothing like you would expect, almost like fruit punch. Then, they explained the fermentation and drying process and we got to see the cocoa dance (how they polish the dried beans). After that, we walked to the sugar cane mill and got to taste the fresh cane juice. I have never experienced anything like this. This tour absolutely blew me away! As a lover of dark chocolate, you can be sure I picked up a bar of their estate dark chocolate in the gift shop!

Toraille WaterfallAfter the tour of the estate, we headed to the Toraille Waterfall (right). There were changing rooms for you to change so you could swim in the waterfall. Nowhere in our booking did it say to bring swimwear so no one in our group did. The waterfall was fine to see. I have seen many waterfalls, I was much more excited for the volcano, but it seems like they are changing that out for the waterfall now on this tour.

After taking a few shots of the waterfall, we headed to our buffet lunch overlooking the Pitons. I was really glad to get an authentic St. Lucia dining experience. All of the food was delicious and you could not beat the view (above). Our tour guide told us that bananas are the biggest industry in St. Lucia, so I was not surprised to see so many of them on the buffet, I just wish I wasn’t allergic!

Morne Coubaril Estate

St. Lucia ended up being our favorite port on the cruise and it may even be my favorite port stop on all of my cruises! If you have the opportunity to visit St. Lucia, take it! Definitely check out Morne Coubaril Estate and do the estate tour. It was an experience unlike anything else I’ve experienced in my life! I left my heart on this island and I cannot wait to return!

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip check out my Island a Day Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

Pin This:

St. Lucia Pinterest Graphic St. Lucia Pin

Wordless Wednesday: La Coca Falls

La Coca Falls

Hiking El Yunque National Forest

El Yunque Vista

El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest system. El Yunque is located near Rio Grande and is a 35-minute drive from the San Juan area. El Yunque is one of the most popular attractions on the island. Just like many of the national parks we visited last summer, a $2 reservation is required to drive into the National Forest. Reservations can be made up to a month in advance at

Posing at La Coca Falls

Once you get into the national forest, there are several places to get out and explore. The first is La Coca Falls (left), which is a large waterfall right at the side of the road. With an 85 foot drop, La Coca Falls is a great introduction to the rainforest and a wonderful photo opportunity.

The next stop is Yokahu tower (right). Built in the 1960s, Yokahu tower offers a 360-degree view of the rainforest and the coastline. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Virgin Islands. The forest service offers a concession stand in the tower and if you have a National Park passport, they have a stamp here.

Yokahu TowerWhen planning this trip, the La Mina Falls trail looked like one of the best, easier hikes in El Yunque, but unfortunately, it has not reopened after hurricane Maria. So, we decided to hike the Mt. Britton trail. When we visited, the road through the forest was closed at the picnic area, so that added an extra mile to this hike. According to the forest service’s Facebook page, the road should be closed farther down than it actually was when we visited. The roads through the forest are steep and winding and hiking on the road felt more difficult than the trail itself. If you are planning to hike the El Yunque or Mt. Britton trails, just be aware that the road closure adds additional mileage.

Mt. Britton TowerOnce on the trail, it was a beautiful trek through lush, tropical greenery. The trail is a 1.3 mile hike (0.8 miles each way) with 650 foot elevation gain. The forest service says this hike takes 45 minutes each way, but we went down much quicker than that! This is a steep hike so it can be tough on the knees. Make sure you have shoes with good traction as rain is frequent in the rainforest. The Mt. Britton tower (left) at the end of the trail, was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s and offers beautiful views of Puerto Rico, The Caribbean, and the Atlantic. The view from the top (top) makes the climb worth it!

Mt. Britton Tower from Below

We climbed all the way to that tower!

If you are staying in Puerto Rico for any length of time, you definitely have to check out El Yunque! With the current road construction, the forest service is limiting reservations even more. If you are unable to get a reservation, there are many tour companies that take visitors to El Yunque.

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip check out my Island a Day Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

Pin This:

Hiking El Yunque Pin El Yunque Pin

Wordless Wednesday: Oberlin Falls

Oberlin Falls

East Side of Glacier National Park

Wild Goose Island

After leaving Yellowstone in the morning, we arrived at the East Side of Glacier National Park after about seven hours on the road. The famous Going to the Sun Road hadn’t opened for the season yet, so the east side of the park was pretty quiet.

Baring FallsEven though we knew we couldn’t cross Logan Pass, we turned on our GyPSy guide and drove the part of the road that was open. One of the hikes the guide recommended as an easy hike on the east side of the park was the hike to Baring Falls (left). The hike is less than a mile round trip and was a good way to ease into hiking in Glacier with only 400 feet of change in elevation. At a 25 foot drop, Baring Falls is by no means the biggest waterfall in the area, but it is definitely one of the easiest hikes on the east side of the park. We saw a deer grazing near the water, which was a nice treat.

Room at Rising Sun Motor Inn

Our room at Rising Sun.

After our hike, we headed to our room for the first part of our time in Glacier at the Rising Sun Motor Inn. This location wasn’t my first choice, especially so early in the season with the Going to the Sun Road closed, but the room was available two months ahead, so we grabbed it. The motel-style hotel is not my favorite but I will take it if it allows me to sleep inside a National Park. The rooms were clean and the private bathroom was a big step up from our Old House Room at the Old Faithful Inn. We hardly saw anyone else around. The downside to staying at Rising Sun in 2021 was that the restaurant, Two Dog Flats, was closed for the season due to staffing shortages. I didn’t think anything of it when we got the email in advance. I figured we would be able to find some food outside the park in St. Mary. I did not realize how dismal the dining choices would be. If I had it to do over, I would’ve planned to cook on our camp stove in the Rising Sun Picnic area across the street.

Overall, I enjoyed our stay at Rising Sun, but if you’re booking early in the season, be aware that the Going to the Sun Road probably won’t open until the end of June or early July and that really limits what you can see. If Two Dog Flats is closed again, you may want to try to find lodging on the west side of the park where there are more services.

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, check out the Epic National Park Road Trip. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

Pin This:

Baring Falls Pin Glacier Pinterest Graphic

Wordless Wednesday: Firehole Falls

Page 1 of 7

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén