bucket list

Sapa - Vietnam

Sapa is a small hill tribe market town in the North of Vietnam. The town is home to different ethnic minorities, including the Hmong, Zao, and Tay tribes. The people of Sapa typically wear colourful embroidered clothing and elaborate headpieces, depending on which tribe they belong to. The village is surrounded by tiered rice terraces, with picturesque mountain range within sight. 

when u see Ross at a bar and don’t know how to go over and talk to him so u send him a tequila and then he comes over to u and drinks with u and calls u cute things and asks to take a pic and says he’s seen ur so far it’s alright tattoo on Instagram yeah this shit doesn’t happen but it did last night ???!?

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#TravelTuesday with Guest Photographer Bob Wick to Northern Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs! 

Some of my favorite photo locations are in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, located in northern Arizona along the Utah border. The area contains colorful sculpted rock formations that are beyond description.  Most famous is “The Wave” which has a very limited number of entry permits issued through a lottery to protect its unique and fragile features.  However, South Coyote Buttes (permit required) and the White Pocket (no permit needed) offer equally spectacular and unique formations.  The area offers year-round photo opportunities, although winter access to remote locations may be blocked by snow, and back roads become impassible when wet at any time of year. Summer visitors should bring plenty of water and plan outings to avoid the unrelenting mid-day sun. 

Photo tip: The many slickrock basins hold water at certain times and provide for great reflections of the adjoining formations. To capture water reflections, photograph in early morning and late evening when glare is lower and the water is more likely to be calm.  Optimally the sun should be shining on the subject that is being reflected.  Interesting skies with textured clouds also make excellent reflection subjects.

The Vermilion Cliffs themselves form a dramatic rampart in the southern part of the monument and offer endless photo angles. Make sure to stop at the California condor release site, just two miles up House Rock Road from the main highway. The majestic condors are visible year-round at the site which is used to reintroduce them into the wild. A very long telephoto lens is needed to get good photos of the condors.

Photo tip: The “golden hour”, such as the time close to sunrise and sunset, almost always offers the best light for photography and this is especially true in the Vermilion Cliffs and other areas of the Colorado Plateau. Here the rock colors come alive with vibrant reds, oranges and golds with low sun angles, but become washed out during the mid-day.  Photographing with sidelight (camera pointed 90 degrees from the sun) will ensure that you have more texture and three dimensional qualities to your images.

Check out our @esri Vermilion Cliffs National Monument multimedia storymap for more stunning photos, videos, helpful links and maps of the area: mypubliclands.tumblr.com/traveltuesdayarizonavermilioncliffs.

Tukad Unda Dam - Bali, Indonesia 

Located on one of Bali’s major rivers, the Tukad Unda Dam is a great place to meet the Balinese locals. Families from nearby towns and villages come to the river to bathe and wash their clothes. The children also enjoying playing and having water fights in the dam. Considered one of the most picturesque locations in Bali, the dams cascades also provide a great setting for photography.

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The 12 Days of National Conservation Lands Ends with the Top 15 Places on National Conservation Lands for Night Sky Viewing.

The stars really do come out at night on BLM’s National Conservation Lands – and lots of them! Far from city lights, these landscapes offer some of the most outstanding viewing opportunities anywhere.  Plan your 2016 trip to these locations with our interactive maps:  www.blm.gov/conservationlands

Alaska  

1. Steese National Conservation Area: Drive out the Steese Highway for some of the best northern lights viewing anywhere.   Don’t expect to see this amazing light show in summer – the midnight sun makes the sky too bright!

Arizona

2. Just beyond the glow of the City lights of Phoenix, the Sonoran Desert National Monument offers great dark skies to the south,  where the milky arcs across the sky.

3. The high elevations near Mount Trumbell and Mount Logan offer expansive vistas in the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument whose outstanding night sky viewing opportunities have resulted in its “International Night Sky Province” designation.

California

4. Several Wilderness Study Areas in the Eastern Sierra, including Slinkard (on Monitor Pass) and the Bodie Hills (near Bridgeport), are a world apart from California’s urban coastal areas and contain some of the darkest skies in the golden state.

5. California Coastal National Monument: Although clear skies are difficult to predict along the fogbound coast, the Big Sur, Mendocino Coast and King Range Coast are all far from city lights so you can see stars over the ocean.

Colorado

6. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument: Its easy to contemplate how “the ancient ones” studied the stars in this vast desert landscape near the four corners. Contact the Anasazi Heritage Center for ideas on camping/viewing locations.  

7. Alpine Loop: This BLM backcountry byway runs near the Uncompagre Wilderness and both Handies Peak and Redcloud Peak Wilderness Study Areas.  The thin air at 11,000 feet seems to make the stars here appear extra crisp.

Idaho

8. Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area: Just a stone’s throw from Boise, this area is truly on the edge of civilization. Overlooks along the north rim of the Snake River Canyon offer great viewing of the dark skies to the south.

Montana

9. Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument and Wild and Scenic River: Nothing is more relaxing than floating down a river and sleeping under the stars here in Big Sky Country at night.

Nevada

10. Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trail National Conservation Area: Just avoid the last week of August when Burning Man lights up the playa, and you’ll be treated to some of the darkest skies in the U.S.

New Mexico

11. Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument and Wild and Scenic River: Vast volcanic tablelands above the narrow gorge of the river and crisp high elevation rocky mountain skies offer excellent viewing opportunities.

Oregon

12. Steens Mountain Wilderness: Southeast Oregon’s highest peak offers hiking, camping and a scenic drive to the high elevation viewing areas.  

Utah

13. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument:  From spectacular Grand Staircase of cliffs and terraces to the wonders of the Escalante River canyons, the monument offers nearly 1.9 million acres to starwatch and explore.

Washington

14. Juniper Dunes Wilderness: Enjoy the open skies and rolling dunes here in the southeast part of the state.

Wyoming

15. South Pass – California-Oregon-Pony Express and Mormon Emigrant Trails: Its easy to imagine the feeling of vastness that the emigrants found here in the mid-1800s as they rested under the stars before hitching up the oxen to continue their arduous trek.  

Thank you for following the #conservationlands2015 celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands this year. Enjoy your public lands in 2016 with new printable monthly calendars, available on our My Public Lands Flickr: http://bit.ly/1x7ZAFV