A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: MurkTravels

2020

what just happened?

sunny 80 °F
View Turkey 2020 & Montana & Wyoming 2020 & 14ers 2017+ & Colorado and Utah 2020 & Israel 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

Looking Back

2020:
Well, that was an interesting year.
There was some things that were new and crazy like the pandemic and my truck getting stolen and totaled. Meanwhile other things stayed the same just like any other year with camping, hiking, biking, running, volleyball, moving, and road trips.

Most activities this year was somehow affected by COVID related news, including working remotely for 41 weeks of the year. I had several concerts, events, and international travel cancelled. The trips would have been to Italy, Croatia, Austria, Canada, and the Cayman Islands.

However that allowed me to take more US based trips. I was able to check out a lot of National Parks included Rocky Mountain, Colorado Monument, Dinosaur Monument, Arches, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons. Plus had the time to see a lot of family, friends, and enjoy hobbies (all at a distance of course).

Well, here's the review:

Activities

Things that happened in 2020:

Big Travels

Quick Trips

Challenges

Events & other activities

  • moved to downtown Denver - February
  • had 4Runner stolen, along with all my camping and outdoor gear, to be found a week later totaled and trashed by drug addicts - August
  • concerts: none
  • races: none
  • volleyball, biking, running, walking, hiking
  • Denver Travel Show
  • Prudence turned 3 - August

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 03:21 Archived in USA Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes trees museums nature travel california colorado mountain egypt turkey utah camp africa usa rockies festival hike bike israel europe asia denver qatar roadtrip montana wyoming macedonia ultra challenge sup nationalparks 14er 2020 murktravels in_review fkkt Comments (0)

Skopje 2020 - North Macedonia

and Ohrid

sunny 50 °F
View Turkey 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

As an add-on to the Turkey trip, we spent a few days in Macedonia. We had time to check out Skopje (capital and city of statues), Mavrovo Lake and National Park, Matka Canyon, and Ohrid.

Recommend:

  • Day trip to Ohrid to see Lake Ohrid, the fortress and roman ruins, and the Church of Saint Clement
  • Matka Canyon hike
  • Senigallia boat hotel and the Old House restaurant in Skopje

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and for this trip: Macedonia album

There are LOTS of statues around town. We stop counting after a thousand. They are on every bridge and building and street corner.
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There are also many ruins of forts, castles, and roman theaters around the country.

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And many ornate church buildings

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And opportunity to enjoy nature and small towns.

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 20:26 Archived in Macedonia Tagged churches nature europe nationalparks 2020 northmacedonia Comments (0)

Istanbul 2020 - Turkey

Turkey for Thanksgiving - the country not the bird

sunny 40 °F
View Turkey 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

After being mostly contained all year (minus some road trips, camping, hiking, and seeing family) we decided it was time to break out of the country. It wasn't an easy decision. To travel during a pandemic, knowing that if everyone wouldn't have traveled anywhere for a month at the start of this thing, it would be over long ago.
We considered the safety of travel; however we, the airlines, the hotels, and almost everyone we interacted with took great precautions.
We considered the impacts to family and friends and even strangers; but we quarantined before and after and got tested several times.
We considered the financial impacts; it wasn't that much for us, but it was a huge difference to the groups we talked to that rely on tourism to live.

Our trip included a flight from Denver to DC, then a long ride to Doha Qatar. Once there, we couldn't leave the airport, so managed overnight there before heading onto Istanbul Turkey. We were in Turkey for Turkey Day ... although we ended up eating lamb instead. During the day was some sight seeing, and during night for a week or so was working, back on Denver time.

But then there was a full week of vacation. It included seeing more of Istanbul. It is such an interesting city where Europe, Asia, and the Middle East all meet and have cultural influence. I also spent a few days in the Cappadocia region. It's pretty much right in the middle of the country and is known for the fairy chimney rock formations and the underground cities and churches carved into that same rock.

We took a hot air balloon ride, visited countless mosques, had great local food, witnessed talented artists making Turkish rugs and pottery by hand, tasted local wine, toured underground cisterns, museums, castles, churches, did some shopping and bartering at the bazaars, slept in a cave (hotel), experienced a Turkish full service bath (hammam), and again ate some really good food.

We also add a few days of the vacation in North Macedonia.

Recommend - Istanbul:

  • Topkapi Palace
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Galata Tower - to watch the sunset
  • Dolmabache Palace
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Kadikoy & Moda
  • full Hammam experience

Recommend - Cappadocia:

  • watching a sunrise with a hot air balloon ride over the region
  • Goreme Open Air Museum
  • views from Uchisar castle
  • underground city tour

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and for this trip : Turkey album

Cappadocia
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Dolmabahce Palace
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views around Istanbul
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Beyazit and Ortakoy Mosques
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Istanbul at sunset from Galata Tower
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Links

MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 20:43 Archived in Turkey Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises churches boats museums travel turkey wine europe asia 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Crested Butte - Colorado USA

Fall Foliage Festival

sunny 75 °F

overview / intro

When it's the start of autumn, then it's time to vacation a bit to see the fall foliage. The northeast New England area may have claim to a lot of pretty colors, but Colorado is pretty picturesque too, if you know where to go. So we took a weekend to rent a condo and check out the changing colors of the leaves.

Crested Butte has one of the largest aspen grove regions in the world. They all go from lime green to greenish-yellow to bright yellow within a few weeks. There are usually some birch trees that include some red and orange colors as well. Then they are all back dropped by the dark green of all the evergreen trees and the gray of the Rocky Mountains.

Recommend:

  • Kebler Pass - Horse Ranch trailhead area.
  • downtown Crested Butte

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

The trees and mountains from a distance:

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Driving on the side roads provide pretty good views.

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And getting into the hiking trails if a must do. By the way, you are going to see a lot of yellow.

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 02:29 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature colorado usa hike 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Grand Tetons National Park - Wyoming USA

mountains and water

overcast 85 °F
View Montana & Wyoming 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

It was photogenic !
Yeah, I have about 1000 pictures of the lake and Teton mountains. Pretty much every stop or corner you take, it's a cool photo.

One day we spent on the water, doing both on a paddle board and a kayak.
Another day we spent chasing wildlife and doing a tour of photography spots.
And yet another day we spent hiking into a canyon between mountains within the range.

All of those were unique experiences and I highly recommend checking out the Tetons national park.

Recommend:

  • Snake River - SUP, kayak, or raft
  • Jackson Lake & Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon hike
  • Photography and wildlife tour

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Utah album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:34 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature camp usa hike wyoming nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming USA

the original

overcast 70 °F
View Montana & Wyoming 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

It was diverse !

This park has so many crazy sights to behold. There's the typical nature views of valleys, hills, forests, rivers, and lakes. But then there is the wildlife spotting with chances to see wolves, elk, bison, bears, birds, fish, and more. You can also see crazy rock formations, canyons with massive waterfalls (twice the height of Niagara), and huge open meadows. And of course, the highlights are the hot spring, geysers, mud pots, and all the colorful metals and organisms in the water around the vents.

We got lucky and we able to get one of the last campsites with only a few weeks before our trip. Normally, you need to plan and reserve them 5-6 months in advance. We pretty much only were there to cook meals and sleep, but though the campgrounds were very well run. We saw an elk grazing a few feet away one night.

Our first day including checking out West Yellowstone in Montana. After entering the park, we did part of the southwestern loop. This includes the Upper, Mid, and Lower geyser basin areas. All of them are must see experiences, and include the typical stop to see Old Faithful. I was surprised at how much activity there is in that small part of the park; we must have seen 100+ bubbling hot springs and geysers. We couldn't go any farther since a wildfire closed part of the road. So after that we had an hour drive across the middle of the park to our campsite at Bridge Bay.

The second day included sites along the south east loop. We started with the grand canyon of the Yellowstone river with multiple waterfall viewings. Then on to Mud Volcano area, Yellowstone Lake, and the west thumb Geyser area. That was a full day, so back to camp for an early night. And the next day we woke up at 4am to drive south out of the park and onto Grand Teton national park, where you have to arrive early to get first come first serve camping sites.

Recommend:
Pretty much everything in the park amazed me and would recommend it all.

  • Upper Geyser Basin, including Old Faithful and all the trails around it
  • Mid Geyser Basin, including the Grand Prismatic spring
  • Lower Geyser Basin, including the separate driving loop with Firehole Lake
  • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River
  • Upper Falls & Lower Falls viewpoints
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • West Thumb Geyser area
  • Mud Volcano

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Wyoming album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:19 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature lake sunsets camp usa hike wyoming nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Lake camping again 2020 - Montana USA

Cliff Lake

overcast 65 °F
View Montana & Wyoming 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

Spent a weekend camping in Montana, before heading into Wyoming for a national parks tour through Yellowstone and Tetons.
We just relaxed so much, we only took a few pictures of us when we were out on the paddle boards.

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Montana album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 16:58 Archived in USA Tagged camp usa hike montana sup 2020 Comments (0)

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