Gallery: I want to meet you in the big sky country
For the keen traveller, what makes a place special? Sometimes it’s the place itself, a beautiful landscape that captures the heart. Sometimes it’s the people, making you feel comfortable and welcome. Or maybe it’s all about the activities, whether you’re into bird-watching or gallery hopping, an adrenaline-junkie or culture buff.
Like hallelujah in the big sky country
Just like forever and ever is wideChris Whitley
This week’s Lens Artists challenges guest host, Karina of Murtagh’s Meadow, asks us to share ‘places that are or were special’ to us, and I confess I struggled for a while in putting together this response. That’s partly because I have already shared my special places in previous blog posts. My home city of London; my ‘second home’, Newcastle; and my special memories of Paris. And partly because I realised, when I look further afield at all the places I’ve been privileged to visit, I don’t actually have a single special one.
But one thing that ties together many of the places that have most lifted my heart is a sense of openness. Despite being a city girl and loving to live in a city, when I travel I’m drawn most to big skies and vast landscapes, wide expanses of ocean or land. So here are just a few of such ‘big sky’ places that have felt very special to me.
The Atacama Desert, Chile
View from the Mirador de Kari just before sunset
Entering Wahiba Sands
The view from Sharaf al Alamayn
New Mexico, USA
In Bandelier National Monument
At the top of Emory Pass
The view from Capulin Volcano
A storm approaching Sandstone Bluffs in El Malpais National Park
Looking out from Jackson Lake Lodge in the Grand Teton National Park, late afternoon
View of the Big Horn area near Sheridan
Washington State, USA
On Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Peninsula
Early morning by Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula
An evening mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
The view from Mount Paektu, North Korea
What a thrilling challenge for you as well as for your lucky readers who are the recipients of your going through photos from old trips! Smiled at seeing the first few because we’ve also been to the same places, Sarah. I was very drawn to the Hurricane Ridge photo in Washington state as that was out of this world.
Thank you so much Annie 😊 I suspect we have a fair few travel destinations in common! I loved Hurricane Ridge – not only the views but also the freshness of the mountain air and the beautiful flowers (mainly lupines) and the deer we spotted there.
A marvellous collection of special views.
Thank you Manja 😊
Those are some awesome ‘big sky’ moments. Love them all.
Thank you Suzanne, I’m glad you liked them!
Oh yes, I do love the vastness and openness of places … it feels as if you can breath without thinking of anything else. My favourite … it’s a difficult one (your pictures are as beautiful as ever) … but if I have to choose, it will be the one in Botswana and the desert in Oman.
Thanks so much, and I’m not surprised to hear these places appeal to you too 😀 No need to choose favourites if you’d rather not – I certainly can’t!!
Love your taken on, Sarah. Beautiful places under the big sky through you lens. Yes, mountains are very special.
Thank you Amy 😀
Beautiful landscapes Sarah. How wonderful that you were able to experience them all.
Thank you Anne – I’ve been very lucky to have been able to visit such places!
Beautiful sky shots, Sarah! I loved the colors in the one of the Grand Tetons. Also liked the one from the Hurricane Ridge, a familiar landscape.
Thank you Siobhan 🙂 That Grand Tetons photo was taken on our silver wedding anniversary – we celebrated with a wonderful dinner and stay at the lodge! It seems a long while ago now. I confess I boosted the colours a little as it was taken so late in the day.
Beautiful place to celebrate your anniversary! No problem with me on enhancing your images.
What huge, gorgeous vistas, Sarah. Just breathtaking. You’ve included a few of my favorite places, but clearly I’ve got a lot more traveling to do!
Thanks Patti, glad you liked these and found some of your own favourite places among them, alongside more travel inspiration 😀
Yes, lots of inspiration!
Wow! So much Beauty! my eyes and heart just love this post!
Thank you Rose, that’s a lovely thing to say 😍
Oh, the Places We See
What great wide-open spaces! Love the panoramas you’ve shared and wish I could say I’ve seen them all. My favorite has to be the desert — so open, undulating, and interesting.
I’m particularly drawn to the desert too – there’s something so uncompromising yet beautiful about it 🙂
For me, my special places are all to do with people and my photographs of these places are invariably filled with the people involved. Otherwise, it is history that guides my footsteps and I can’t imagine visiting a place unless I can tie something to it, often quite esoteric stuff that no one else is interested in. Despite this, one of my special places will always be Lankawi because we met a lovely couple of lads there over 30 years ago who still visit me 4 or 5 times a year and with whom I spend the occasional holiday. No history, no great sights, it was a beach holiday for my husband but it turned out to be one of the best ever with days filled with talking, joking, laughing and swapping cassettes (remember them)?
Thanks for sharing that special memory Mari, and you’re right – often the people we meet can turn an unremarkable place into a special one 🙂 And of course I remember cassettes! I used to record favourites songs off the radio (and get annoyed when the DJ talked over the intro!) and make playlists (not that I called them that back then) for me then-boyfriend 🙂
Thank you Tanja 🙂
When one is as well travelled as you Sarah, it’s impossible to choose a “favourite”..hard enough to even choose a single favourite from a small category (eg favourite city, favourite coastal town, mountain village etc). This is a great choice though, sweeping views of open skies and open landscapes.
I know you’ve travelled more than enough to understand that impossibility! I can never decide a favourite place, nor even a favourite type of place, but I do feel there’s something special about anywhere that offers big skies and wide vistas 😀
the eternal traveller
So many stunning photos!
Thank you 😀
What a wonderful collection of images of places you’ve traveled, Sarah. Enjoyed them!
Thanks so much Jane 😊
As you’ve shown Sarah, the world is filled with beautiful places. It’s simply up to us to find, enjoy and appreciate them! A wonderful array of beauty
Ah yes, that’s so true Tina, there are many beautiful places for us to seek out 🙂 Thank you!
You’ve been to many beautiful places, Sarah, and what a blessing that is! I thought you were going to have photos from Montana, as they’re known as Big Sky Country. But I wasn’t disappointed by what I found. 🙂
I’d love to go to Montana Janet, it’s been on my wish-list for a while, but not made it yet! Glad I didn’t disappoint 😉
Your photos bring back memories of big skies in the northwestern states of the U.S. They also got me thinking about how some vast landscapes are more vast than others, even though there is the same amount of openness and sky. I think I will have to study landscapes from this perspective to better understand it. 🙂
That’s a really interesting observation Pat, and completely true. Some places really do give you this sensation much more than others. I’ll be interested to hear where your study takes you 🙂
This is a great take on the challenge – I have so enjoyed all your big open spaces.
Thank you very much Karina – for hosting as well as for this kind comment 😀
These are all so beautiful Sarah… takes my breath away even just in your photos, what more in person!
Thank you Teresa and you are right – it’s impossible to recreate the true impact of these huge open skies just in one image!
Terri Webster Schrandt
Incredible big skies, Sarah! Love to see the pics of Wyoming and Washington!
Thank you Terri 🙂 I loved both those states but perhaps New Mexico even more!
I agree about openness. I think I need mountains to stir my soul too. Hmm. Need to think about that post …
I really couldn’t decide on just one special place!