Monday, May 27, 2013

Music Monday

Looking for something new to listen to.
Try these:

Best Day Of My Life
American Authors

Do or Die
Thirty Seconds To Mars

Next To Me
Emeli Sandé

Just Keep Breathing
We The Kings

Friday, May 24, 2013

Road Trip14

Liberty Lake, WA to Bozeman, MT

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Road Trip13

Brookings, OR Day4 then back up the coast to Yachats, OR.

It was overcast when we left Brookings and Azalea Park was nearby, so we stopped there again for photos.
(Last time the sun was too harsh for flower pics.)

Zoom in...

What is significant about these azalea (rhododendron) bushes is they are everywhere. People have them in their yards. They dot the city landscapes. And they are in full bloom right now and come in every color imaginable. They were so dang popular, I was surprised they weren't the state flower. Businesses even have "Azalea" in the title. I think they are the state flower of Washington state, however. [Coast Rhododendron/Pacific Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)] There were other flowers in the park besides azaleas, of course.

The next stop was a return to Harris Beach. There is supposed to be a rock arch there but we could not find it during our first visit.
As you will see, not readily apparent from a distance and easily missed...

We find a trail to trek down to the beach for a closer look at this rock...

One of the places we picked up on our way back up the coast was Bandon.
You take Beach Loop Road off Hwy 101 to see some very pretty panoramic views without having to trek down a long trail to the beach.
Here's a Bandon beach view with gorse blanketing the hills.

At Face Rock Viewpoint, there's a sign naming the rock formations.

After Yachats, OR it was return the same way we came.
Liberty Lake, WA, to Bozeman, MT is the prettiest part of our road journey to and from the coast, IMO.

Road Trip12

Brookings, OR Day3
To the Redwoods in CA.

Since we went down to Brookings, OR, we had to see the close-by Redwoods in CA.
I basically just wanted to wander down a trail of redwoods and that's it.
Way too much area to explore than we had time for.
The visitor center was still closed for the winter.
We were on Stout Grove loop trail.
A short trail, but it felt like you could get lost easily whenever you came to a fork in the trail indicating different routes you could take to go to trails we did not know. We just wanted to stay on the loop, but that was not easy to identify. Anyway, very easy to get disoriented and lost, IMO.
There was a group of college students on the trail near us with their professor and they were measuring some of the tree girths. I inquired and they said the largest so far was about 475 centimeters which google tells me is 15.584 feet. So probably not the biggest trees here.
I understand that these redwoods can get taller than a giant sequoia, but the giants get bigger in diameter and live longer.

2012 Visitor Guide (PDF, 4.96 MB)

So anyway, I got to hug me some redwoods! I loved them, of course. Loved the sensory experience of being among them.
I'd describe their trunks/bark as ropey and can twist as it goes up the tree.
Good photos are tough to get in this environment with the extreme high contrast, but here are a few I liked.
On the trail with people for sense of size:

A toppled over tree:

We drove down into nearby Crescent City for a bit. Went to an info center there.
Our Oregon coast trip extended down into California Crescent City and up to a little beyond Depoe Bay, OR.
Tomorrow we head back up to Yachats again, which is near Newport.

Road Trip11

Brookings, OR Day2
It was in the 80's, a little too warm for me. Cooler along the beaches, of course.

We went to the Azalea Park in Brookings, which is a pretty flower park, but the sun was too harsh on the flowers and I didn't like any of my pictures. I returned there later on a cloudy day, much better.

Then we went to Harris Beach.
This is my favorite pic from there:

Purposely trying to incorporate foreground trees in photo for a different composition.
We return to Harris Beach on another day for the mysterious arch that we could not find on this day. More on that later.

What I enjoyed the most out of the day was hiking down/up a very primitive and isolated trail to what was supposed to be a bridge view. Thomas Creek Bridge. The highest bridge in Oregon, crosses 345 feet above creek bottom. Well, the bridge view was obscured by trees so you couldn't see much. But I got invigorated walking on the trail. It was cool and shaded and NOBODY around, just the two of us. I forget that this is what Oregon is like. You can go off in the woods by yourself and not see another soul. Here's a pic of the trail:

Road Trip10

Newport, OR to Brookings, OR Day1

When we stayed at Newport we could often see lighted boats/ships out there far off the coast at night. A local told us they were probably clam ships. They must work in the middle of the night? The last morning we were in Newport, one boat/ship meandered close to the beach and I zoomed in with my camera and got a photo of it.

The name of the boat is "Timmy Boy."

Hwy 101
Mile-by-Mile Guide

Cape Perpetua - which is the highest point along the way so panoramic views and a must see for me.
Whoa, a little vertigo feeling up there looking down the very steep grade.
The photo is a little washed out because of high sun and high contrast.

And then the obligatory Heceta Head lighthouse (closed) photo as it's right there off the Hwy.

You don't always have ocean views as you drive Hwy101.
Sometimes you do:

Sometimes you don't:

I eventually ask the locals what this yellow stuff is covering the lush green hills around here.
Makes for a very pretty landscape photo.

The yellow blossom plant is called gorse.
It was intentionally introduced into the southern Oregon’s coastal ecosystem in the late 1800’s, so not a native plant.
It is invasive and undesirable, evidently.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Road Trip9

Newport, OR - Day6

Hwy 101
Mile-by-Mile Guide

141.0 Newport OR

147.2 Lost Creek State Park

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys):

I think I took a picture of him in North Dakota as a migrator.
But I think he is a year round resident here.
Lovely song.

150.9 Seal Rock State Park

Seal Rock was one happenin' place...

Seagull Drama:

Low Tiding/Tide Pooling:


Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus):


Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri):

A huge "swarm" of these flew in onto the beach suddenly and landed near me.

Didn't know about the Tsunami Zones along Oregon Coast:

The last tsunami of significance that affected the area was at Crescent City, CA in 1964. I'm not sure what Oregon coastal towns were affected by that or to what extent. But Crescent City had significant damage.

Headed up North of Newport as far as Boiler Bay:

Gotta watch the horizon line and keep it straight on ocean photos or it will really shout at you. Luckily, I have software that easily and quickly corrects my crooked horizon lines.

The ever present crow along the coast:

There are ravens too, but I think what I'm always seeing are crows. And they tolerate people well, so can get close up to them as in this picture.
The seagulls are very "tame" also. I walked right by one and he just sat there.