Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ The Fields of Autumn


Out in the pumpkin patch. Photo taken in Camera+ with an iPhone 6Plus. Edit in PicTapGo and PicMonkey.

Photo Challenge sponsored by Lens and Pens by Sally

Posted in mobile photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Sunday Traveler~ Saddle Up for Kalaupapa


The Sunday Traveler, crazy woman that she can be, chose the second most rigorous way to access the peninsula of Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai, the mule tour. There are only three ways that a tourist can get into Kalaupapa with the required permit, hiking in being the most challenging in my book, on a mule, or flying in on a tiny plane onto a little airstrip.


Let me explain that the trail down from “topside” onto the peninsula is on a cliff that starts at an elevation of 1,600 feet and goes STEEPLY down (reverse that to steeply up on the way back), is 3 1/2 miles in length, taking an hour and a half one way on mule, and involves 26 switchbacks that are narrow little turns in the cliff that must be cornered around. Let me also explain that the Sunday Traveler is somewhere in her 6th decade of life, but in fairly decent shape, and wasn’t too nervous about doing this. The early morning of arrival at the mule barn, I became a little more anxious. I hadn’t even been on a horse since riding on a beach on my honeymoon over 40 years ago. I had done a lot of reading, and knew that a mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey, and that they are extremely sure footed. Good thing!


The ride began at 0800, even this mule thought it was a tad early to be doing this kind of thing.


Some needed a little coaxing to come forth to meet their rider


Our group of nine got about five minutes of instruction from Kevan on how to maneuver our mule on how to get it to stop, go, turn right or left with just the right touch of the reins…and heel when it was being stubborn and wouldn’t go. I hated the heel part, being sensitive to its feelings, and tried talking to mine…well, you’ve heard the saying “being mule headed”, right?


My mule approached. Oh, yeah, she’s sizing me up. I see that little sideways glance. She knows I’m a pushover. And she gives me my first test after I get on, and goes over to a corner so I immediately have to call out to everyone…”how do we back them up?”


Then everyone is on and the mules test everyone by going wherever they want in the yard. It reminded me of bumper cars, only on mules

kalaupapa-mule-ride14All the mules have names, and we were told to remember our mule’s name because when mounting again for the trip back up, they would call out the mule’s name, not ours, and we’d have to know it to get on the right mule. My mule’s name was Tita, that means sister in Hawaiian; I laughed because in Spanish that is what some grandkids call their grandmother, and it’s what my grandkids call me.

This next photo is on the way back up the trail. Going down there was no way I was going to take my phone out of my bag, that I had so studiously picked and arranged to be easy to access while on board my sure footed beast. As we began the descent, there was no way I was loosening my death-defying grip on that saddle. Thoughts going through my head: what was I thinking?, am I crazy? yes you are (I was even answering myself), would it seem inappropriate to start screaming?


It had been raining a lot in the previous days and the trail was muddy and slippery. The mule would sort of hop down to the next step, and it seemed it would go down on its knees (do mules have knees? I also wondered), and I would grunt as my rear bounced up and then down on the saddle rather hard.

But as we rounded one switchback about 3/4 of the way down, the mules all stopped and I garnered the courage to grab my phone and take a photo of our first view of Kalaupapa


It was breathtaking, and I knew I had made the right choice on getting down onto the peninsula,where so many with Hansen’s (leprosy) had been left to fend for themselves for seven years until Father Damien (St. Damien) arrived in 1873 to become their caregiver and champion.

As we finally reached the bottom of the trail, I turned and saw my first glimpse of the cliffs from that vantage point



In the days that followed, I’m not sure what was more sore, my rear end or my hands from gripping the saddle so hard; but it was well worth it; every minute, every switchback.

Getting back topside, we ambled back towards the barn on the little road off the cliff

kalaupapa-mule-ride18And then we were presented with a most coveted certification


I’ll be back next week with photos and a few words on the time spent touring the National Historical Park of Kalaupapa, the patients, Saint Damien and Sister Saint Maryanne Cope.

Until then, aloha.


Posted in Hawaii | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Fall Prayer


Sun streaking through remaining leaves that have turned to gold, a final goodbye prayer of love to the world.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus in Camera+, and edited with the Dreamstate filter, followed by a little edit in Pixlr and PicMonkey to get to what I had in my mind’s eye as I walked by, glanced up into the sun, and saw this.

Have a visit with Sally for more entries in today’s challenge.

Posted in mobile photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The Sunday Traveler ~ Kalaupapa Overlook and Overview


Looking down the side of the cliffs that isolate the peninsula of Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai. The size of the cliffs seem dwarfed in photos. The Sunday Traveler stood on the top at the lookout, some 1600 feet up, to contemplate and get an understanding of the complete separation of the peninsula from the rest of the island. One can see how effectively it served as the place chosen to quarantine those afflicted with leprosy when it began to spread throughout the Hawaiian Islands in the 1860s through the 1940s.


Driving up to the lookout, on one of the highest sea cliffs on earth, the heat of the day began to dissipate, and the Sunday Traveler entered the small parking lot within Pala’au State Park. There is a short paved walk through woods to arrive at the overlook vantage point.



The winds were incredible as I got to the winding rock wall that protects this spot of wonder filled views, and served to enhance the feeling of this incredible place.

The following photo was taken with my DSLR on probably full zoom as I remember, to get this interesting photo of the more habitated spot of the peninsula.


There are only three ways to get onto the peninsula of Kalaupapa; hiking, by a guided mule tour, or by a small plane onto the little airstrip. The hike, which requires registration, and mule tour covers 3.2 miles down the cliffs (and back up) and involves 26 switchbacks. I’ll let you guess which way the Sunday Traveler chose to get onto the peninsula, and be back next Sunday to tell you more about the day spent on Kalaupapa.


Until then, Aloha.


Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White Seascape


As Sally says in her blog post today in this black and white photo challenge, “our engagement with nature is rarely subtle”. It is not. We can walk paths of serenity, and then encounter the beauty of nature’s strength, a reminder that its beauty is not necessarily passive, sometimes exploding against resistance. We should be aware.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus in Camera+, transferred back to the native camera and edited in those filters for black and white enhancements.

Photo challenge entries can be found at Lens and Pens by Sally


Posted in Black and White Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Sunday Traveler ~ Molokai, First Glimpses


A stop in the little main town of Kaunakakai to get supplies after getting my rental car at the airport, and cruise slowly east on the two lane road heading to the condo I had rented through Airbnb. The road is winding, with the ocean on my right at some spots, and then, after several miles, get in to areas of lush trees and brush on either side of the road. Winding around one of the first big curves, and I’m confronted with this! I’m awe struck, not having expected the mountainous parts of this little island; I knew from reading there were incredible cliffs on the north side of the island. A quick glance in the rear view mirror…no one coming. I pull over as far as I can and grab for my phone to snap a quick photo. I want to laugh and cry all at once, it’s so magnificent. And I just sit there for a while. There is very little traffic on Molokai, one main road that goes east or west, with a few roads up into the interior of the island going north (the island is only ten miles wide). There is not one signal light on Molokai…none. Stop signs, Yield signs, Do Not Pass signs, Go Slow, You’re on Molokai signs, but no red light/green light signal light. Anywhere. One car goes by, and around me, in the time I’m sitting there on the side of the road.


This trip had a lot of firsts for the Sunday Traveler. Completely solo, no backup from others, as in  the other volunteers on my San Miguel trip, or friends as on my Colorado trip; coming to Molokai to sort out this new normal after recently losing my husband. Let’s just see what I’m made of. I get to the condo, eagerly open the lock box to get the key for the front door. There is no key. It’s empty. A lock box is not large, I keep looking to be sure the key is not hiding in there somewhere. Rule number one paid off; I had the condo owner’s phone number plugged into my phone contacts. My heart was sinking fast, knowing he lives on another island, not Molokai. It’s late afternoon, it’s hot, and I have a car full of groceries that need a refrigerator sometime pretty soon. Plan B is quickly formulating in my mind; I can drive the 13 miles back to town, to the only hotel on the island, but then there’s the groceries.  The owner tells me he’ll call his partner to solve this little issue and will call me right back. I pace up and down, then look up and just know that this will be ok.


It was. The owner calls me back with the code he had to find to a second lock box that holds the key for the housekeeper. Aloha. I’m in. Lesson…always have a Plan B.


I couldn’t have been in a more beautiful spot with the above photo showing the view at the back of the condo, and the following photo a view to the front from the lanai


That’s a little glimpse of Maui on the left, and the island of Lanai on the right.

Everything was going to be more than ok.

Aloha until next week with more from Molokai.





Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro on Molokai


This Coleus plant, upon closer inspection, has reminders of islands and atolls, and tributaries flowing through the leaves. One leaf folded back gracefully to allow entry within to find the secrets that are said to be held on the island of Molokai.


Treasures from the ocean, washed up on shore; grapes from the gods of the deep?

iPhone 6Plus, edited in filters from Camera+ and PicMonkey, and the second photo edit in a new app I’ve found rather fun, Prisma.

Have a visit over at Lens and Pens by Sally for more macro photography

Posted in macro | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Sunday Traveler ~ Getting to Molokai


Molokai. 32 miles long, 10 miles wide. One of the smallest islands in Hawaii, and known as the Friendly Isle. It is. And it is the old Hawaii.


This two lane road is on the east side of the island, and pretty much what much of those 32 miles looks like. A guide book I read mentions that if it’s night life you want, you better swim on over to Maui, which is right across the water; so very true.


The Sunday Traveler flew into Honolulu on a comfy Hawaiian Airlines Airbus a330, and then made the transfer to a turboprop jet for the 25 minute flight to the small airport on Molokai.


More to come on the two weeks spent on the wonderful little island of Molokai.

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Sunday Traveler ~ In The Hood in San Miguel de Allende



The Sunday Traveler has given you the tour of most of the tourist areas of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; now in my closing post on The Sunday Traveler in San Miguel series, I will show you around the neighborhood I lived in for the month I was there volunteering at Casa de Los Angeles. Casa was out in the Colonia Santa Julia (San Miguel is divided up into little colonias/districts or neighborhoods that distinguish one from another in this sprawling town. You can give a cab driver an address, but if you tell him the colonia it goes much better in getting you where you want to go. The daycare center of Casa de Los Angeles and the volunteer house are out where the “real” people live in San Miguel, not a tourist to be seen.

From the rooftop of the volunteer house, San Miguel was laid out at my feet


Some of the photos I’ll show you here were taken from this vantage point with the zoom on my camera, and others are at street level as I wandered around the colonia just to take photos, or out to get food or catch the bus into the center of town (tourist areas).

from casa rooftop

The view from the rooftop gave me a little peek into other rooftops and neighborhood yards. A view of the everyday lives in San Miguel on the streets around me

from the roof

the bus into town

And the roof dog (that’s a “thing” in Mexico)


And then after a few mornings I was on a mission to find my alarm clock that went off punctually every morning around 0500…I finally found him in a neighbor’s yard a few houses over


I was grateful to be out in a colonia and experiencing the real San Miguel. The next photos were taken out in front of the volunteer house and down the street a few blocks

bus approaching

My grocery store of choice right across the street from volunteer house, had anything I might need

tiendita across house

On the days I decided to walk into town instead of take the bus I always met friendly people, and just join in the daily lives of those living in Colonia Santa Julia

walk into town





smahood9And in the evening I always went back to the volunteer house to enjoy sunsets up on the roof

sunset on casa roof

The month long experience in San Miguel de Allende has been a highlight of my life. One just has to go out and travel to experience more of life.

I’ll leave everyone off here in Mexico for now, and will return in a few weeks from another part of the world I’ll be visiting for a couple of weeks. Molokai on the horizon. You’ll be able to follow photos I’ll post from Molokai on Instagram at starting along about Tuesday when I arrive there.

Hasta entonces and Aloha



Posted in Travel to Mexico | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Fallen Leaf

Processed with Snapseed.

Processed with Snapseed.

Walks these days find me with head down enjoying all kinds of fall treasures.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, edited in Snapseed and PicMonkey.

More photos for today’s mobile macro challenge can be found on Sally’s blog, Lens and Pens by Sally.

Posted in mobile photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments