Monday, July 30, 2007

Crater Lake and the Canadian Rockies 2007

Crater Lake
We stopped at the Sundial Bridge in Redding on the road from Sacramento to Crater Lake. Stunning structure! Mom made reservations early enough so that we stayed at the lodge this time. 
We rolled in fairly late; I stayed up and snapped some time exposures of the clear, clear, clean sky over the lake. Caught some excellent star trails before the moon crept over the rim. The blue of the lake still defies description. Mom had been working out pretty extensively and agreed to hike down the rim to the lake for the 2-hour boat tour. The tough part is hiking back up the rim afterward. We took our time and made it without incident. On our way back from Canada, we stopped at Crater lake for the night. This time, she hiked with me to the top of Watch Tower peak. We were treated to some excellent late afternoon views. I had a close encounter with a deer on the hike back down!

The Canadian Rockies
Jean and I drove up to Lake Louise from Sacramento. Heather and Tyler flew into Calgary and drove to Lake Louise from there. We took in Lake Louise and Moraine Lake before heading up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. 

In Jasper, Heather got to experience the Canadian health care system firsthand. Not exactly the utopia Michael Moore made it out to be. Emboldened by my aerial Arizona adventures, I booked a scenic flight above the rugged Canadian Rockies on a wee Cessna. The seat was a bit cramped, but the views were spectacular. I did what I could to capture a few keepers; the photography was, um, challenging! We stayed at a cozy hotel in the heart of the townsite. The cold water was colder and the hot water was hotter than back home. 

Jean and I had a few photo outings and got up close and personal with a pair of elk. We all took a boat tour to Spirit Island on Maligne Lake. Tyler and I trekked down the Maligne Canyon a ways. And we hiked to the top of Whistler Mountain while Jean and Heather waited at the upper terminal of the Jasper Tramway.

Jean and I then stayed at the Moraine Lake Lodge. Wow. Moraine lake is the photo op of the Canadian Rockies. I hiked up to the highlands above the lake to see what I could see. Great exercise and some nice scenes. I did what I could to soak up the alpine images. We got rained on and never did get prime photo conditions for the lake shot, but you work with what you’ve got.

2007 07 Oregon Canadian Rockies

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Red Rocks: Arizona 2007

This year’s sojourn to the red rocks was a solo affair. Bummer in that I didn’t get to share the scenes live with anyone, but nice in that no one had to endure my chasing of the images.

Anyway, my destinations included the Barringer Meteor Crater, Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon. Like 600,000 other people do each year, I flew over the big ditch. Incredible views... and I didn’t even die!

I’ve never seen Grand Canyon so overrun with people, and I didn’t get much weather to work with. With global warming on the rise, summer hits the southwest about mid-March. Still though, I got a few nice keepers.

2007 04 Arizona

Monday, February 26, 2007

Yosemite Dressed in Snow 2007

Like it or not, we get a week off in February. Yosemite had been mostly dry and warm all winter. When the forecast called for snow, I booked a room at the lodge, loaded up the camera gear and hit the road.

As I drove in, it was still sunny and warm. But the temps dropped overnight and I woke up to wet, sticky snow. I spent a frantic day of trying to drive/hike to as many photo spots as I could get to amidst road closures and heavy snowfall conditions.

I caught a few keepers. And by the time I headed out the next day, Yosemite’s two-day Winter of ’07 was pretty much over. I lucked out on this one.

2007 02 Yosemite Dressed in Snow