Shelter

Another TBT to last July in the Sisters Wilderness of Central Oregon.

My fantastic shelter, a Yama Mountain Gear Swiftline. This was the only shelter for Goddess and I during our 2015 PCT thru-hike. In 2017 it was my shelter during three weeks of trail maintenance on the PCT.*

For those of you who have kept track, it has been used and abused for well over 200 nights, packed for close to 3,000 miles.

One of these days, we’ll be sad to see it go. But it will be replaced with another of Gen Shimizu’s hand-crafted ultralight tents.

I was glad to capture the sun setting behind the tent this particular evening. A few days later, I would be diving into it quickly after dinner, glad for the protection from Oregon’s Air Force, the gazillion mosquitoes that would be plastered against the screen, hoping for a meal.

And while we are enjoying everything that this winter has to offer, looking at these pics has me looking forward to summer. But just a little bit. There’s still plenty of winter to enjoy.

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* full disclosure for those relatively new here – Yama Mountain Gear sponsored us during our PCT thru-hike, providing not only the tent pictured, but arranging for other gear and mentoring to help us succeed. We did. We have been under no obligation to continue discussing the products after 2015, but continue to do so because we truly believe that Gen crafts truly great lightweight and ultralight tents, as well as other gear..

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Cold Smoke

Yep, more snowboarding stories and pictures on this Monday. Hey, it’s what we do this time of year.

Last week saw us take a day trip over to Lookout Pass Ski, a small resort that sits right on the Idaho/Montana state line. That makes it sound far, but it’s really only an extra 45 minutes of driving each way, compared to our normal drive.

We had never been to Lookout. Our nearcay to Schweitzer the previous week kicked our exploration gears into drive. Plus, it helps to know when and where the deals are, something we weren’t quite up to speed on last winter.

This winter, I am definitely more dialed in on local conditions, which keyed us into Lookout during a weekday after they had received 5″+ of fresh powder, and more forecast during the day. The conditions were great, both on- and off-piste (trail). That’s important, as Goddess can enjoy good conditions on trail while I tear off through the trees or the steeps and we can meet up again further down the mountain.

Here’s a great example, with Goddess in the run. I head off into the trees to the left, keeping pace with her, or, if I get ahead, I can pop out, see how she’s doing, then pop back in. The best part is that we get to share the lift rides back up together.

Another bonus is that she can hear my hoots and hollers and know that I am safe. Unfortunately, that also means that she can hear the “Ow!” when I find myself in a tighter-than-expected spot and smack a hand against a tree.

Yes mom, I wear a helmet.

Goddess does shake her head, especially when I look down at this and get excited. I love chasing the spaces, especially as they come fast and I have to see and think 2-3 turns ahead. It’s a great mental and physical exercise. I mean, just look at all of those potential spaces and lines!

So much fun!

Plus, with the softer powder, it’s safer to nudge Goddess out of her comfort zone, watching her link turns down steeper runs than she would normally do. And it’s that powder that gives this post its name-cold smoke.

Once we get over towards Montana, the snowfall is more influenced by the cold, dry Arctic air out of Canada. Here in Washington, our snow is heavier and wetter, as the storms come off the northeast Pacific Ocean. Even though Lookout isn’t that far away, the differences are significant. Locally, the snow is good for building snowmen or snowballs, while at Lookout it would pour through the fingers like sand.

Not good for snowballs. But great for play!

https://giphy.com/embed/YcxfMzZqJROiQ

No, that’s not me, but you get the idea.

So with just 5″+ of much lighter snow, it was easy to lose visibility with a hard turn as the displaced snow—the cold smoke—flew up in my face. So there aren’t any other pictures from that day. We were having too much fun!

But the next day, I got some evening boarding in, back local in the heavier snow, which is still a heck of a lot of fun.

I do love the twilight view up there, especially as more snow was falling.

Hopefully you’re able to get out enjoy this rapidly retreating winter. We’re having a warm-up here, so we won’t be boarding this week, hoping for some fresh fluff with next weekend’s cool-down.

That means that next Monday won’t be a snowboarding post.

Any ideas on what it could be?

Middle Sunset

A TBT to last July, when I hiked back into the Sisters Wilderness of Central Oregon, relaxed by myself for night, then hiked back out to meet a trail crew, just to return to the same spot for a week.

This was the view from my tent site. Really not a bad way to spend summer evenings.

Winter Hike

Well, not so much a hike as a little jaunt. Nothing adventurous, just an afternoon out to check out the local snowshoe trails. That and get a closer look at this layer that will cause problems later this winter.

We had a good snow almost a week ago, followed by clear, cold days (and nights). That causes the hoar frost that you see in the picture to form on the snow. As more snow falls on top of it, it acts as a weaker layer, like ball bearings. It’s layers like this that crack and let avalanches flow.

This picture was taken about midway down one of my favorite ski mountain runs, where it will be controlled. In the backcountry, it won’t be. That’s when it’s  a problem.

Luckily we aren’t there yet, although there are a couple of similar layers deeper in the snowpack. We just didn’t have to deal with them today as we stuck to well-traveled trails on relatively gentle slopes and enjoyed some scenery.

And poor Goddess had to deal with my constant commands in order to get some pictures of her in the scenery. She sure is a good sport. Perhaps it was because she could walk in a well-packed path instead of having to break trail in deep snow.

We are thankful to have these resources just a short drive from the house. It sure makes it easier to get out and enjoy them, especially on days like this where the runs and trails are not crowded.

Hopefully the New Year is treating you well so far. Goddess and I do hope that the rest of the year treats you extremely well.

Moonset over Crater Lake

We are quite smoked in right now, as there are large forest fires to our northwest and the daily afternoon wind brings the smoke directly to us.

So no clear skies.  We may have to make a trip to find some fresh air.

Here’s a movie from last week’s overnight session at Crater Lake.  This was the scene that drove the trip, the moon setting over Wizard Island.

This time laps covers the eight minutes leading up to the moon setting.  I wanted to let it go until sunrise so you could see the sun start to touch the crater walls on the far side, but that just wasn’t going to happen.

As you’ll see, there are many black moving objects in the frame.  Those were mosquitoes that discovered us about 30 minutes before moonset.  By the time this movie was filming, I was working the cameras by a simple mosquito-avoidance technique – press the shutter, run up the road about 50 feet, run across the road to the opposite shoulder, run back to across from the cameras, then run up to press the shutter button.  Repeat.

So I got a bit of a workout.

Goddess and Skinny hung out in the car, but the pests managed to work their way inside too.  So what was meant to be a serene, zen-like experience was not quite what we hoped for.

But it was still amazing to watch.

No post-processing, since I’m really not a video guy.  But now I know to turn off the neutral density filter, which was causing the stepping down throughout the video.

It did an OK job of capturing the colors.  In real life, the pinks and blues were so much more vibrant.  I’ll get a shot up here soon.

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And just as a reminder, voting is still going on until Friday for the people’s choice award.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, please read here.  And thank you for your support!

Charioteer

Goddess and I had been discussing a specific photo shoot for a few weeks.  Specifically, a full moon setting over Crater Lake.

Basic in concept, a bit more technical in execution.

Especially since I’m technically-minded.

Meaning that I confirmed my shooting location down to 1/1000th of a degree, thanks to GPS.

That’s just what I do to make sure that I capture what I want.

In this case, I wanted to capture the moon setting over Wizard Island.

Thanks to The Photogrpaher’s Ephemeris, it was fairly easy to determine the spot that I needed to stand to capture the image that I wanted.

So it was planned, planned and planned.

But switching from a standard diurnal sleep schedule to one that allowed us to catch a moonset at 05:54am local time, some two hours away, took a bit of planning.

Luckily, our preparation sleep didn’t work out as planned.

So that meant that we started the drive to Crater Lake a few hours earlier than we had planned.  Which gave us the time to play a bit.

20 seconds at a time.

Charioteer

For those that keep track, that’s a 20-second exposure, two hundred times, at ISO800, with a 28/1.8 lens set at f4.0.  Stacked and processed.

So approximately 90 minutes of images to track the stars.

But what does “Charioteer” have to do with it?  It’s the Anglicized nickname of the constellation Auriga, of which its brightest star, just left of center, is rising from and to the right of the Llao Rock.  The star is known as Capella, third brightest in the northern celestial hemisphere.

Thankfully, we were helped by an almost full moon directly behind us, front lighting the all of the terrestrial features.  At the median time that the image was taken, the full moon wouldn’t be for another 10 hours, in the middle of the day.

That wouldn’t do.

But this will.

Oh, and for those of you that are curious about that bright streak in the lake, just lower right of Wizard Island, that is a pollen raft.  The pollen from the trees surrounding the lake will settle on the surface and the wind will push the particles together.  So you’ll often see expansive pollen rafts scattered about Crater Lake.  But the season has passed, leaving this one behind.

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For those of you who have enjoyed the images, you may not realize that I do offer my prints for sale.

Each image is a click-through, meaning if you click on it, it will take you to another site.  For those I think enough of to offer as a print, which are not all of them, it will take you to my web site where you can purchase them and have them delivered directly to you.  Without watermarks.

Since I have not done a very good job of making this known, I’m offering two coupons valid for the rest of July, 2013.  You just have to browse over to my online gallery.

For purchases up to $300 (before shipping), the discount is 15%.  Just use the code 13Summer when checking out.

For purchases above $300 (before shipping), the discount is 20%.  Just use the code 13Summer20 when checking out.

Unfortunately, only one coupon is valid per order.

If you are considering prints (e.g., not canvas or framed images) I cannot recommend the metallic finish enough.  Seriously.  It adds a dimension to the images that cannot be matched in any other finish.  Almost three-dimensional, especially when it comes to portraits and landscape.  It is my go-to finish for any prints I order, especially for my family portraits.

While I mainly post landscape images here, I do have several other genres that I enjoy capturing:  Travel, Architecture, Nature, Street and Autos.  Each genre is available directly from my main page.

Thank you for your consideration.  And for stopping by to read my rambles.

On Your Left

It’s been a couple of days.  A busy couple of days.

Over the weekend, a friend, nay, a brother in arms, and I rode the Seattle to Portland route together.  That’s Seattle, Washington to Portland, Oregon.

On bicycles.

Along with 9,998 other cyclists.

If you keep track, that’s 200 miles (322km).

Although we took the easy schedule and did it in two days.  A few others did it in one.

Perhaps next year.

It was a great experience, a well-supported ride through great terrain*.

But the best part was watching a friend ride his very first century (100-miler) on Saturday.  Then follow it up with his second-ever century on Sunday.

Strongly.

So we started out Saturday morning looking at Mount Rainier.  And finished mid-afternoon on Sunday looking at Mount Hood.  That makes it a great ride in my book.

So what does the title of this post have to do with anything?

Well, we kept a high enough pace each day that we spent a significant portion of each day passing other cyclists.  We passed far more than we passed.  And that makes it a good ride.

And the courteous thing to do while passing, especially on open roads, is to let the rider you are passing know that you are there.

“On your left”.

Or, as you get tired of saying it, simply “left”.  Either way gets the point across.

I’m coming through.

Although this photo is not part of the route, this photo was of a road that I look forward to taking the time to ride.  The McKenzie Highway (OR126), situated just north of the Three Sisters in Central Oregon.

It passes through lush forests and barren lava fields.  Gorgeous scenery.

Lava Fields

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For those of you who have enjoyed the images, you may not realize that I do offer my prints for sale.

Each image is a click-through, meaning if you click on it, it will take you to another site (although not this one).  For those I think enough of to offer as a print, which are not all of them (this one did not make that cut), it will take you to my web site where you can purchase them and have them delivered directly to you.  Without watermarks.

Since I have not done a very good job of making this known, I’m offering two coupons valid for the rest of July, 2013.  You just have to browse over to my online gallery.

For purchases up to $300 (before shipping), the discount is 15%.  Just use the code 13Summer when checking out.

For purchases above $300 (before shipping), the discount is 20%.  Just use the code 13Summer20 when checking out.

Unfortunately, only one coupon is valid per order.

If you are considering prints (e.g., not canvas or framed images) I cannot recommend the metallic finish enough.  Seriously.  It adds a dimension to the images that cannot be matched in any other finish.  Almost three-dimensional, especially when it comes to portraits and landscape.  It is my go-to finish for any prints I order, especially for my family portraits.

While I mainly post landscape images here, I do have several other genres that I enjoy capturing:  Travel, Architecture, Nature, Street and Autos.  Each genre is available directly from my main page.

Thank you for your consideration.  And for stopping by to read my rambles.

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* Official photos to follow.

Proxy

Another waterfall image, this time of Proxy Falls, found deep in the Three Sisters Wilderness, next to the McKenzie Highway in Oregon.  Just 10 miles or so from this image, which you might recall.

What makes this fall unique is that after it pours a hundred feet or so down the side of a mountain, the water collects in a pool.

There is no visible outlet to the pool.

It all drains through the bottom of the collecting pool, only to reappear several hundred yards down the mountain.

It is an amazing phenomenon to ponder, especially realizing how many hundreds of gallons pour over these rocks every minute.

Proxy

———————————————–

For those of you who have enjoyed the images, you may not realize that I do offer my prints for sale.

Each image is a click-through, meaning if you click on it, it will take you to another site.  For those I think enough of to offer as a print, which are not all of them, it will take you to my web site where you can purchase them and have them delivered directly to you.  Without watermarks.

Since I have not done a very good job of making this known, I’m offering two coupons valid for the rest of July, 2013.  You just have to browse over to my online gallery.

For purchases up to $300 (before shipping), the discount is 15%.  Just use the code 13Summer when checking out.

For purchases above $300 (before shipping), the discount is 20%.  Just use the code 13Summer20 when checking out.

Unfortunately, only one coupon is valid per order.

If you are considering prints (e.g., not canvas or framed images) I cannot recommend the metallic finish enough.  Seriously.  It adds a dimension to the images that cannot be matched in any other finish.  Almost three-dimensional, especially when it comes to portraits and landscape.  It is my go-to finish for any prints I order, especially for my family portraits.

While I mainly post landscape images here, I do have several other genres that I enjoy capturing:  Travel, Architecture, Nature, Street and Autos.  Each genre is available directly from my main page.

Thank you for your consideration.  And for stopping by to read my rambles.

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls is a nice waterfall just to the west of Bend, Oregon.

Goddess and I made the drive up on a sunny Sunday morning before leaving Bend.  It’s at the end of a dead-end road, but at the focal point for outdoor adventure.  Never mind the dozen or so road cyclists we passed on the way out, each turnoff had several cars with bike racks for those headed off to the trails or to fish the pristine water.

In other words, my kind of place.

I’m just working on convincing Goddess that it’s her kind of place too.

Although, with scenes like this right out the back door, I don’t think there needs to be much convincing.

Tumalo Falls

For those of you who have enjoyed the images, you may not realize that I do offer my prints for sale.

Each image is a click-through, meaning if you click on it, it will take you to another site.  For those I think enough of to offer as a print, which are not all of them, it will take you to my web site where you can purchase them and have them delivered directly to you.  Without watermarks.

Since I have not done a very good job of making this known, I’m offering two coupons valid for the rest of July, 2013.  You just have to browse over to my online gallery.

For purchases up to $300 (before shipping), the discount is 15%.  Just use the code 13Summer when checking out.

For purchases above $300 (before shipping), the discount is 20%.  Just use the code 13Summer20 when checking out.

Unfortunately, only one coupon is valid per order.

If you are considering prints (e.g., not canvas or framed images) I cannot recommend the metallic finish enough.  Seriously.  It adds a dimension to the images that cannot be matched in any other finish.  Almost three-dimensional, especially when it comes to portraits and landscape.  It is my go-to finish for any prints I order, especially for my family portraits.

While I mainly post landscape images here, I do have several other genres that I enjoy capturing:  Travel, Architecture, Nature, Street and Autos.  Each genre is available directly from my main page.

Thank you for your consideration.  And for stopping by to read my rambles.

Koosah Falls Detail

Well that was a string of desert photos.  I’m not done yet, but it’s time for a break.

Perhaps it should be considered a teaser from this weekend’s trip.

A waterfall on the lee-side of the Cascades.

Koosha Falls Detail

Koosha Falls is one of three major falls on the McKenzie river in Linn County, Oregon.  It is a beautiful place and I hope to get back there in better conditions.

It was too damn sunny!

So if the falls weren’t blown out, then the trees would be.

Of course, I could have taken the easy route and spit out one of those ghastly HDR images.

But that’s not me.

So instead it was time to focus on the details.  Which I love.

My favorite part of this image is that fine narrow fall to the left, landing on the rock below, splitting and continuing its path into the river.

Fine as wine.

Of course, there are so many details in the moss and rocks that are just as intriguing.

Anyway, this fall typically runs 64 feet (19.5 meters).  During high flow in spring, perhaps as high as 70 feet (21.3 meters).  As we were looking at it, I wondered out loud to Goddess – “I wonder if anyone has run it”.  But immediately dismissed that idea, since the best line, just outside image frame right, would be the left side of the falls (as the kayaker approaches).  However, that side of the fall lands very hard on a very large boulder, sending spray everywhere.

I quickly dismissed the idea.

Boy, was I wrong – click here to read (and see) an attempt.

My hat off to those that tackle big water.