How I Spent My Summer Vacation – Volume 4…

Olympic National Park – holy cow! What a fun and beautiful place. My lovely bride and I visited two of the three ecosystems: the Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

We arrived at the road to Hurricane Ridge in the late afternoon, and the skies were less than cooperative. The scenery going up to the Ridge, however, was spectacular.

We hit the roadside flowers seemingly at their peak. This is one of my favorite images.

We saw several Black Tail Deer. This buck was on the hillside above the road. One has to wonder what happened to his antlers.

Our obligatory self portrait at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center. More wild flowers in the meadow behind us!

And my feeble attempt at a panorama. Despite my poor attempt to capture it, the view was gorgeous!

We tried to visit the Hoh Rain Forest, but construction caused us to save it for another trip. We drove down the Pacific Coast instead.

This is the view from the Kalaloch Lodge dining patio. Great lunch there and the cabins looked interesting. During our trip planning, we tried to get a room there but they were full. Oh well…

This is a view from US 101.

We stopped at Beach 1 and walked down to the shore. We saw a pod of whales apparently feeding off shore – lots of fins, backs, and blows. Here’s our selfie watching whales.

The view up the shore line. It goes on for a long time…

There you have it – fun at Olympic National Park. The whale pictures weren’t very exciting, so I hope you like the scenery shots.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

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PS Challenge – September 24, 2017

Today’s PS Challenge image comes from Sonora Pass, a little over 9,000 feet elevation. My friend, Larry Burton, and I drove CA 108 to check on the fall colors the day before the snow flew and closed the road. We were amazed by the number of waterfalls still flowing and how green the vegetation still was. We also found flowers a little higher in elevation!

I like this color version of the image…

…but I was feeling my inner Ansel Adams as I was editing…

This Stemless Goldenweed is under several feet of snow now. I’m glad we got there when we did!

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

How I Spent My Summer Vacation! Volume 3…

After we drove by Mt. Rainier and up the Olympic Peninsula, my lovely bride and I arrived at Port Angeles WA to prepare for our adventure to Canada. We rode the MV Coho across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, British Columbia, for a fun day trip. I carried my Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II since we were going to be walking everywhere. You may have seen some of my Victoria images in my PS Challenge series.

The MV Coho in Victoria Harbor.

As the Coho entered Victoria Harbor, we were greeted by the beautiful Empress Hotel.

What a gorgeous building. I’d love to photograph it at night!

The Empress grounds were gorgeous and very well maintained. In this image, my lovely bride and frequent model stands near a pink Hydrangea at one of the corner gates.

We found an intimate little garden with these blue Hydrangeas. Hint – she loves Hydrangeas.

We walked around Victoria all morning. One stop was a knitting/yarn store Susan wanted to find. We found it, spent a little green (love the exchange rate!), and found a great place for lunch – Romeo’s! Great food! Here’s a few images from our walk.

This beautiful Totem Pole sits in front of the Parliament Building.

And here is the Parliament Building.

We came across this statue of an old sailor in front of a picture of Victoria Harbor circa 1905.

We saw several churches on our walk, one that had a wonderful cemetery with headstones that were very old. After walking 7 miles, we were both a little tired so we hopped a ride in one of the horse drawn carriages for a tour of the Victorian homes in the area.

Our driver took this picture for us. The horse’s name was Max and he did a great job. The driver explained the various commands she used and described the care of the horse, carriage and harnesses. The Parliament Building is in the background.

This is one of the many Victorian housed we passed on the tour. Owners can get government assistance in maintaining the exterior of these historic structures as long as they maintain the original appearance. Owners are free to do whatever they want to the interiors, but must maintain the integrity of the exterior. Max wouldn’t stop for pictures, so I shot this on the fly.

The carriage ride was only 30 minutes long, but the rest was welcome. We decided to rest a little more by taking a water taxi ride to Fisherman’s Wharf.

We saw many things that we don’t see here in Nevada…

…and we enjoyed sharing the Harbor with many Scenic tour float planes taking off and landing. Victoria Harbor is a very busy airport!

This image was featured in my PS challenge series. One of the many gorgeous views at Fisherman’s Wharf!

We saw very unusual sights among the house boats. My lovely bride thought it would be fun to live in one for a while.

Probably my most favorite image from the day. The MV Coho passing Fisherman’s Wharf on its way to Port Angeles.

We had a very fun day and saw so many beautiful things. We stopped by a visitor’s center and gathered information for our next trip. We’ve already picked a whale watching tour by boat with a trip to Buttchart Gardens!

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

PS Challenge – September 7, 2017

Round Top, above Winnemmucca Lake as seen from near Frog Lake, on the trail from Carson Pass.

I shot this image using bracketed exposure, merged in Adobe Camera Raw, processed further in PhotoShop with a filter from On1 Photo RAW.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

How I spent my summer vacation! Volume 2…

In my last post, I asked for discussion about the concept of vacations for people who are retired. One of my friends (thanks Tom!) suggested that for retirees, every day is Saturday and it’s not a vacation – it’s a lifestyle. Of course, my good friend has always been a profound individual. I like this idea very much and embrace it, but I’m not gonna change the title of this series. Sorry, my friend.

Volume 2 is sub-titled ‘the Mt. Rainier drive by.’ My lovely bride and I attended a very important birthday party that morning and didn’t get to Mt. Rainier National Park until very late in the afternoon. We didn’t stay very long, but will make more time on a future trip.¬†We approached the Park from Yakima WA and saw some beautiful views.

Taken from a view point on WA 12.

This was a popular spot. We took some pictures for a family in a big RV and they reciprocated. Thanks for not cutting our feet off!

Our objective was the Ohanapecosh Visitor’s Center at the Stevens Canyon Entrance (on WA 123, the southeast corner of Mt. Rainier National Park). We arrived just before closing and got the stamp in our U.S. Parks Passport. The views on the road were beautiful.

We knew we had found the right place!

I couldn’t pass up a sunburst shot through the trees! I’m just happy it came out as I envisioned it.

We continued to our stop for the night. The next morning we loaded up and got onto U.S. 101 on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula. This section of Highway 101 parallels a portion of the Hood Canal and Dabob Bay. Again, stunning views and a bonus for us!

Low tide in the Canal made for lots of beach, but the flowers along the Highway were beautiful!

Bonus! Whose heart doesn’t race when they encounter a Bald Eagle in the wild? This one was a little far off, but I tried for the shot anyway.

The engineer in me made me stop and make an image of this bridge. We had passed several of these and I decided to stop for this one. I love the textures from the moss or mold on the concrete.

Always remember: The best scenic turnouts are clearly designated by highway signs reading NO STOPPING ANYTIME.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

How I spent my summer vacation! Volume 1…

Now that my lovely bride has joined me in retirement, we repeatedly ask ourselves a couple questions. First, do we really need an alarm tomorrow? (The answer is generally a resounding no!) Second, if one is not taking time away from a job or other commitment, does one get to call it a ‘vacation’? (So far, we haven’t resolved this question.)

Since we haven’t resolved the second question, I decided to go ahead and call the coming series ‘How I spent my summer vacation!’ to help you all relate. In early July, my lovely bride and I venture north to see our grandson and celebrate his birthday (he turned 5 this year). We have been incorporating vacation-like activities into this annual trip, making it lots more fun. As part of our trip this year, we ventured into the Palouse Region in southeast Washington – a haven for photographers. Early July is not the best time to visit the Palouse for pictures, so we did the best we could and are planning to return during a more scenic time. (For more information on the Palouse Region and the photo opportunities there, visit the Pullman Chamber of Commerce website, http://www.pullmanchamber.com, or ¬†facebook.com/PicturePerfectPalouse.)

We enjoyed our brief visit and only saw a small part of the region, but came away with a few fun pictures.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

Located in the southwest corner of the Palouse Region, along the Snake River in Palouse Falls State Park, Palouse Falls offer a beautiful view.

This windmill was just over a ridge and has obviously seen better days.

The panoramic views are simply fantastic. The dust on the left of this image is actually a tractor preparing the land for the next crop.

Rolling along one of the many dirt roads in the area and marveling at the spring Wheat almost ready for harvest, we saw a couple dark spots. As we got closer, we recognized those ears. This doe was very accommodating as I parked and got out the camera.

Not one of the iconic barns in the region, but this one has character.

PS Challenge – August 27, 2017

I’m slowly working my way through my images from Yosemite National Park. I tackled some of the images from our trip on the Tioga Pass Road, crossing the Tuolumne Meadows, last Saturday. There weren’t as many people in that part of the Park compared to the Yosemite Valley, but the road had plenty of traffic and parking was a bit of a challenge. The smoke was much less, too.

This image is Lembert Dome, and I made the image looking northeast in the early afternoon. I blended the zero exposure and underexposed RAW format images in Adobe Camera Raw to bring out the sky, and applied a filter in Nik ColorEfex.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR