5 U.S. Road Trips to Take This Spring/Reblog

Winter’s clutches are starting to loosen just a bit, which means road trip season is just around the corner. If you’re planning a spring road trip, but are undecided about where to go, read on. These fabulous road trip ideas will inspire you to load up the car and embark on an adventure to welcome spring.

The Florida Keys Overseas Highway, Florida

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U.S. Route 1, also known as the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, is a classic drive that is perfect for a spring road trip, especially if the dregs of winter have you longing for palm trees and warm, salty air. Stretching 100 miles from Key Largo south to Key West, you’ll find a relaxed island atmosphere, beautiful beaches, parks, and towns, and some of the best seafood around. Plus, long stretches of the highway pass over the ocean, offering stunning turquoise views every mile of the road. Highlights of a Florida Keys road trip include John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, which is the nation’s first undersea park, kayaking at Long Key State Park in Marathon, and exploring the attractions, bars, and beaches in Key West.

Scenic Byway 12, Utah

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Arguably one of the most beautiful stretches of pavement in the country, Scenic Byway 12 spans 124 miles in Utah’s red-rock country. Most of the land on either side of the byway are public, and there are numerous places to stop, stretch your legs, and explore. Be sure to check out Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park and Kodachrome Basin State Park. This part of Utah is an outdoor lover’s paradise and even if you stay in the car most of the time you’ll feel at one with the great outdoors.

Oregon Coast Highway 101, Oregon

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Also known as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, Highway 101 begins in the Oregon town of Astoria and hugs the coast for hundreds of miles, passing secluded beaches, rocky headlands and quiet beach towns. While temps will still be chilly on your spring road trip, you’ll be glad to escape the traffic that can clog this coastal route during the summer months. Highlights of an Oregon Coast road trip include the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park near Astoria, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.

Finger Lakes Waterfall Road Trip, New York

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The Finger Lakes region of Western New York is characterized by deep, glacial lakes, incredible gorges and waterfalls, and an abundance of award-winning vineyards. Spring is a perfect time to visit the waterfalls of the Finger Lakes because the falls will be at capacity and the crowds will be minimal. Be sure to visit Taughannock Falls, which is the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. Other must-visit spots for waterfall hunting include Watkins Glen State Park, Robert Treman State Park and Buttermilk Falls State Park. All of these state parks include an easy-to-moderate gorge hike where you can get up close to dozens of beautiful waterfalls.

Natchez Trace, Mississippi to Tennessee

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The Natchez Trace Parkway travels 444 miles through three states and 10,000 years of North American history. This year-round road trip is a National Scenic Byway and an All-American Road. It is maintained by the National Park Service and travels from the lower Mississippi River, through Alabama, to the Appalachian foothills in Tennessee. Highlights of the Natchez Trace include cypress swamps, virgin forests and the Pharr Mounds — 2,000-year-old ancient Native American burial grounds. Along with historical stops and numerous hiking opportunities, the Natchez Trace also offers up huge servings of southern hospitality to go with fantastic culinary delights.

Tara is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for outdoor adventures. She currently blogs at Back Road Ramblers, where she shares travel tips, adventure destinations, and family vacation ideas for the wanderer in everyone. Her goal is to help people connect with the world and each other by encouraging them to embark on journeys big and small.

6 Active Volcanoes in Danger of Erupting

With 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, a volcanic eruption could happen in many places. While scientists monitor seismic activity to make predictions, they never truly know when the next catastrophe will occur. Here are six active volcanoes most in danger of erupting.

Popocatépetl, Mexico

Popocatépetl, Mexico

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Popocatépetl, meaning “smoking mountain,” is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico. The volcano, which is less than 60 miles from Mexico City, awoke from a 67-year slumber in 1994. Since then, it’s been active, although its intensity has varied. Since 2005, it’s been in a constant state of eruption, with steam and gas emitted on a regular basis.

According to legend, Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl, its neighboring volcano, are the burial sites for two Aztec lovers of the same names. Whenever the warrior Popocatépetl remembers his beloved, the volcano erupts — a sign of his undying passion for Iztaccihuatl. As recently as March 2019, the activity of the volcano has been steadily increasing, which could mean bigger eruptions on the way.

Mount Vesuvius, Italy

Mount Vesuvius, Italy

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Rising 4,000 feet over the city of Naples, Mount Vesuvius is in constant danger of erupting. Most famous for its total annihilation of the ancient city of Pompeii in 79 A.D., Vesuvius has erupted nearly three dozen times since then. In 1631, the volcano’s eruption is believed to have killed 6,000 people. The last eruption occurred in 1944, during the Second World War, at which point lava flowed from the mountain for two weeks. Today, three million people live in the volcano’s shadow, making it the most populated area directly by an active volcano in the world. Scientists and researchers are certain Vesuvius will erupt again, although there is no knowing when.

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Öraefajökull, Iceland

Öraefajökull, Iceland

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Known as the most dangerous active volcano in Iceland, Öraefajökull has a history of violent explosions. In 1362, Öraefajökull was responsible for the largest volcanic eruption in the history of Iceland. Although the exact death toll is unknown, it is believed to have killed all of the region’s inhabitants, destroying the land and making it uninhabitable for nearly 50 years. Hundreds of years later, in 1727, another smaller eruption took place and was much less destructive.

Believed to erupt every couple of hundreds of years, scientists remain on red alert for the next blast. Recent seismic unrest and an increased number of earthquakes mean that another catastrophe could occur at any time.

Karymsky, Russia

Karymsky, Russia

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Located on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Karymsky is part of the famed “Ring of Fire,” a circle of the world’s most active volcanoes. This beautiful and isolated region in Russia is home to miles of rugged wilderness and 68 active volcanoes, of which Karymsky is the most threatening. A 1996 eruption of the volcano caused the caldera’s lake to form a 30-foot tsunami wave, which ended up destroying the surrounding forest. Karymsky Lake, once home to millions of fish, turned to acid after the event. As no dead animals or marine life were found near the scene, scientists believe that the animal kingdom sensed the impending disaster and fled in order to survive. Despite this recent blast, Karymsky remains active —  in recent years it emitted ash plumes and displayed thermal anomalies. As a result, scientists will continue to monitor for the next eruption, which could be imminent.

Mount Merapi, Indonesia

Mount Merapi, Indonesia

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Indonesia’s most dangerous volcano is also responsible for one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in the 21st century. When Mount Merapi erupted in 2010, 353 people died, which is a relatively low death toll compared to previous eruptions. In 1930 the mountain’s pyroclastic flow killed 1,300 people.

Today, the Merapi Volcano Observatory monitors it regularly and provides warnings for nearby inhabitants. Regardless of its dangerously high death toll, Mount Merapi is revered among the Javanese. Every year, the Sultan of Yogyakarta offers fingernail clippings and locks to the ogre who, according to lore, lives inside the mountain. Perhaps these offerings are doing the trick, as Mount Merapi has been quiet lately. We only can hope it stays that way.

Mount St. Helens, Washington, U.S.A.

Mount St. Helens, Washington, U.S.A.

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Claimed to be “the most likely of the contiguous U.S. volcanoes to erupt in the future,” Washington’s Mount St. Helens has a deadly history. The stratovolcano erupted in 1980, triggered by an earthquake just below the mountain’s northern face. The result was the largest landslide in recorded history, along with a sudden blast that leveled off 1,300 feet of the mountain’s summit. Photos of the explosion demonstrate the complete devastation brought to the area — pyroclastic and mud flows obliterated the landscape and killed 57 people.

Today, tremors within the active volcano continue and people fear it will have a fatal blast again. A series of 40 earthquakes in the first days of 2018 prompted worry over an impending explosion, but an official at the U.S. Geological Survey classified it as “normal tectonic activity.” Regardless, it’s pretty clear that Mount St. Helens will blow at some point.

Anchor, Bible Gateway

Lost and Found

This content is drawn from: Luke 15:11-32

“But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”   Luke 15:32

I recently lost my favorite water bottle at a church event. It’s funny how such a small thing can feel so important. I searched high and low for that bottle, sent an email to the church, and returned the following day to search for it myself. I was about to give up on it when my wife received a call from the church saying they had indeed found a water bottle. When I went back a couple days later, I was thrilled to find it was mine. The first thought that came to mind was, “Once was lost but now is found.”

You may have had a similar experience at some time. Do you remember the delight you felt when your wallet or necklace or other material item was returned? Now magnify that joy a thousand or more times. That describes the elation of the father in Jesus’ lost son parable. And it is only a glimmer of God’s joy that abounds because He has found you and me!

Regardless of your social status, your title or occupation, or what country you live in, if you are in Christ Jesus, once you were lost and now you are found.

INSIGHT

“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound/ That saved a wretch like me!/ I once was lost, but now am found;/ Was blind, but now I see.” (John Newton, 1779)