Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where Was I 31 Years Ago This Month?

Rather than bore you with our preparations to leave our cabin in a few days I thought I'd show you the results of a small task I've been working on the past week or so.  I used to use Seattle Film Works to develop all my film and they produced prints and slides at the same time for a small additional cost.  Over a couple years I accumulated around 1,000 slides and misplaced the box they were stored in.  Well, I found it and decided to digitize all the slides.  Boring!

At the time the slides were taken I was traveling all over Africa on business and wound up in some scenic places.  Back then many countries would confiscate your camera if you took a picture of bridges, buildings, military installations and other sensitive spots.  I managed to take a few of these illegal pictures and as far as I know it didn't cause the collapse of the country.  Even though, I was in different countries a number of times where they had a coup just before I got there or had one while I was there and a couple times it happened just after I left.  Fun times!

One of my favorite places that I spent a little time in was Kenya in 1983.  I was there about two weeks and managed to get some time to take photos of the wildlife and scenery around Nairobi.  It was a little dangerous to travel to Mombassi at this time, so I skipped that part of the country.

The first special trip was to visit Treetops over night and photograph the wild animals at the water hole nearby.  Princess Elizabeth of England received word that her father (The King) had passed away while she was at Treetops that evening and she came down Queen Elizabeth.  I went up a Foreign Service Office and came down the same the next morning.  Nothing exciting like that happened while I was there.

"For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a Queen …..."
These now famous lines about the accession of Queen Elizabeth II were written in the visitors' log book of the "Treetops Lodge" by World renowned hunter Jim Corbett.

The original "Treetops" was built in 1930 and hosted many different famous people over the years.  That version was burned during the Mau Mau uprising and it was rebuilt once again a few years later.

The structure below was the present day one that I spent a night in and didn't get any sleep at all.  They have a salt lick near the building and the animals come out at night for water and to use the salt lick.  Also, the building was made out of wood and had small rooms and narrow hallways.  The windows had bar on them to keep out the animals and I didn't feel comfortable trying to sleep there.  Plus, all the action was on the veranda high up in the building.

Note the guide with the large rifle.

Water hole

Rhino near the building

There were rhinos, elephants, cape buffalo, hyenas and numerous other animals which came to the water hole that night.  My camera didn't take great night pictures so they tend to be grainy.

The next day we went to the Nairobi National Park right outside of Nairobi to check out the animals there. It was necessary to drive through the park in a car since it was so huge and there were a number of animals there weren't respective of our position in the food chain.  

I wanted to get a nice photo of the two 13ft long alligators sunning themselves by this water hole.  When I walked down closer I only saw one alligator and my friend Ron yelled that the other one was trying to circle behind me.  Thankfully I was still fast on my feet in those day and I scurried back to the car and safety.  Lesson learned.

 These hippos were just hanging out together in the old swimming hole.  Hippos are a very dangerous animal and don't take kindly to people disturbing them and I respected that.

 There were larger herds of these animals, but I wanted to only capture a few of them on film.  They didn't seem to mind us being there and ignored us for the most part.

This ostrich must have thought we were going to feed him and decided to walk up to the car.  They can be a little testy if they aren't fed and we continued on our way.

I thought the zebras were a fitting way to say The End to this blog for tonight.  

I do have a number of other photos and slides from the trip, but don't want to overwhelm you with them.



  1. What a trip... and fantastic photos! Of course the zebra was my favorite ;-)

  2. How fitting for me to read this blog post today! Yesterday, Ryan, Griffin & I went to the Lazy 5 Ranch & had a somewhat similar experience.
    You stay in your vehicles & traverse a bumpy dirt trail with "feed" for the animals. It seems they don't understand "personal space" and entered our windows numerous times! Most were funny & harmless... The young zebra was different. They warned us not to feed or pet them. Which I didn't, but I was rewarded with a bite on my elbow for listening to the rules!
    The rest of the day was very intriguing, funny & beautiful!
    Can't wait to see you!!!