steep valley with gray cliffs and waterfalls with Swiss chalets in foreground

My Favorite 5 – Spots

“If you are in a beautiful place where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset, then you are living like a lord.” – Nathan Phillips

During a recent visit to my wife’s high school English class, a question was asked about favorite places. A good question. A hard question. I first thought about cities, countries and national parks, but then decided to take a different approach.

If you could pick one favorite spot on the planet just to sit and grow old, what would it be?

I love being outdoors enjoying natural wonders. I also like quiet, so it would be somewhere away from traffic noise, honking horns and loud music. Perhaps a place I could string a hammock, let my thoughts drift and be content just falling asleep.

Here’s my list of special spots:

5. Grand Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, USA – I love national parks, especially Yellowstone. With its rich diversity of flora, fauna and geology, the world’s first doesn’t disappoint. And while many people think of Old Faithful, and rightly so, I would choose a spot beside the Grand Geyser. This amazing geothermal feature sprays and sloshes like a dancing fountain, often saving its most spectacular super burst for a grand finale finish. I could sit and watch it endlessly.


4. Wengen, Switzerland – There’s a small bench in front of a little church in this cliff side village where you can gaze up the length of Lauterbrunnen Valley at a myriad of waterfalls. On a clear evening the alpenglow paints the peaks pink on the Schilthorn. A tranquil, bucolic spot that soothes me just thinking about it. Sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words.


3. Boulders Beach near Cape Town, South Africa – This would likely be my first choice if scenic beauty was the only factor. Another spot with a little bench, the pastel colors of sand, sea and sky blend with the greenery of the nearby peaks. A colony of resident penguins and seasonal right whales add spice to the view, which is serenely spectacular.


2. Secret Cove, Maui, Hawaii – We chose this spot sight unseen for our wedding, and it truly exceeded expectations. Black lava rocks mix with pinkish sand and sea spray, along with a vista of nearby Molokini crater and Kaho’olawe island. And since all beaches in Hawaii are public, you can walk through a narrow tree tunnel to access the spot. I hope to return again.


1. Lake Murray, South Carolina – Some choices are made by memories. I lived on this long lake from 1989-2003 and will likely do so again. Watching flocks of purple marten birds swirl toward Lunch Island on a lazy summer evening is a treat. My special spot is a secret cleft in some rocks that forms a natural armchair, a perfect place to watch South Carolina sunsets.

EDITED Lake Murray view
In my mind I’m gone to Carolina” – James Taylor


What’s your special spot? Please share in the comment section!


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