Archive for January 17th, 2012

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Two weeks ago we ventured to Maui for a week of fitness and photography. Then this weekend, we headed out to the cool crisp air of Palos Forest Preserves for some winter hiking in the new fallen snow. It’s surreal to go from green mountains and blue oceans to white snow and brown branches. Both are visually striking in their own way.  Enjoy the pics from both trips below. Hopefully viewing them will either relax you, inspire you to get outdoors yourself, or just give your mind a break from staring at words or numbers on the computer screen!

Ocean waves mimic deep breathing...or is it vice versa. Image by J. Porys.

Palm trees and vibrant colored flowers are Maui standards. This photo was taken in front of a church. Image by J. Porys.

Driving up towards Haleakala Crater is like driving off the Earth into the sky.

The Road up to Haleakala Crater, Maui. Image by Sue Shekut

Hiking into the Crater we were enchanted by the floating mist as it rolled over the hills, wrapping itself around bushes, rocks and two young men with a jambox playing “I Shot the Sheriff,” reggae style, that passed us earlier in our hike. They were hiking the whole 27-mile path from one side of the Crater to the other side of the National park on the Hana side of the island.

Side of Haleakala Crator interier. Image by Sue Shekut

Of all the beautiful places in Maui, this was one view I could not get enough of! At this point were getting a little altitude sickness so we did not venture beyond this 8000 mile high vista. The actual crater goes up to 10,000 feet above sea level. But even at this altitude, we were able to fill our eyes with great natural beauty to savor for months and years to come!

Haleakala Crater, Maui. Image by Sue Shekut

But Maui isn’t all mountains and fog!

I love these trees and all the green! Image by Sue Shekut

Asian gardens in Iao Valley, Maui. Image by Sue Shekut

And of course, what is a Hawaiian adventure without the underwater sea explorations!

An underwater adventure starts....with big mounds of coral! Image by J Porys.

Maui Immersed. Image by J Porys.

Tied of Maui pics? It’s time to see the raw visual delights of a Northern Winter in Palos Forest Preserves.

Bare trees in Winter in the Chicago area have their own beauty. A stark contrast from the ocean. Image by Sue Shekut

The air was cold but clear and fresh this weekend. The sunlight in Palos casts its own warm glow through the trees.

Palos sunset in Chicagoland. Image by Sue Shekut

If you are really quiet and listen, you may be able to coax a dear to come nearby…or hear the a squirrel chattering up a tree.

This old tree has a lot of stories to tell...Image by Sue Shekut

Palos Forest Preserves are hikeable and mountain-bikeable year round!

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