Monthly Archives: September 2009

Continuing to Oregon

Redwood Trees

Redwood Trees

More on our short trip over Labor Day Weekend…

Part of the reason for driving up 101 was to spend a little time in the redwoods, my favorite trees. There is something extraordinary about the coastal redwoods. They are the tallest trees (but not the biggest), and they’re my favorite. Perhaps it goes back to our days as kids visiting grandparents in Boulder Creek and playing amongst the redwood trees. Perhaps it’s just because they seem so majestic to me. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always awed by them.

Along highway 101 in Northern California there are numerous redwood parks and groves that can be explored. I’ve only been to a very few, so we picked one new to us, Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. It’s just off the freeway, has a visitor center, and an easy-to-walk trail as well as longer trails. It’s perfect for a quick break from traveling. We used the restrooms, stopped in the visitor center briefly, and walked the trail. Bob rested on the many benches along the way while I spent time trying to photograph the giants. Because very little light filters down through the trees, it’s really difficult to get good photographs without a wide-angle lens and a tripod. I had the wide-angle but no tripod with me. I compensated by opening the aperture up wide (gives a shallower focus depth) and using a higher ISO, which adds (ugly) noise to the photo. Some of the pictures are OK at the size they are on this blog, but they aren’t good enough for enlargements. Still, they’re a reminder of a beautiful place we visited.

Elk at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park

Elk at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park

At the same location, there’s a large field where elk are often found and as we were about to leave we noticed a few of them, including this large buck. He was making his presence known to all. They were stopping traffic.

Lagoon south of Crescent City, CA

Lagoon south of Crescent City, CA

Just south of Crescent City, California is a roadside stop with a picturesque lagoon. I’ve stopped here before and have a few favorite photos of it. The fog was playing with the treetops and the place felt very serene.

Coast Sunset

Coast Sunset

Further up the road, probably in Oregon, we made one more stop so I could take a few quick shots of the setting sun. The sunset wasn’t much but the rocky coast is always interesting. Thanks to my camera time, we got to Bandon about an hour after we’d planned. Luckily, our “motel” was still open and ready for us!  🙂

Oregon Coast at Sunset

Oregon Coast at Sunset

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Coastal drive to Oregon

Beach at Trinidad, California

Beach at Trinidad, California

Bob and I visited family in Oregon over the Labor Day holiday weekend. I took 1 day off work so we could drive up on Friday, visit on Saturday and Sunday, and drive home Monday. I like to get up there at least once a year. I’m gradually working on my photos from the trip and here are some from the first leg.

Pampass Grass

Pampas Grass

We took 101 on the way up so we could make a couple of stops along the way. Highway 5 is faster but less interesting. Other than gas and restroom stops, our first stop was at the small town of Trinidad, which is on the coast just north of Eureka. It’s often fog-shrouded and this day was no different. The thing about fog, though, is that it is always moving so the scene is always changing. These pampas grasses were on the bluff over the beach.

Fishing boats in the fog at Trinidad, California

Fishing boats in the fog at Trinidad, California

While Bob spent some time working (laptop in the car) I explored the beach a little and took lots of photos of the fog, rocks, sand, and fishing boats in the cove. There were quite a few fishing boats out, often obscured by the fog, but now and then a spotlight would shine from a boat. It was a little eerie.

I found a steep set of steps that ended up on the beach. It was an odd feeling, going down those steps with no idea of how far down it was to the beach. I couldn’t see where I was headed because of the fog and brush around the steps. It wasn’t a long hike, though, and I came out onto the beach before very long. There were a few others exploring the beach, including a photographer. The many rocks, birds, and even seals made the place quite interesting.

Crab shell

Crab shell

Stairway

Stairway

Many crab shells littered the beach and the water and sand made interesting patterns. I could have spent another hour or two exploring here, but knew that we needed to get on the way. We stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a few things and use the restroom. I got one gala apple there and later wished I’d bought several. It was the best, sweetest, juiciest apple I can remember having. Then onward to the north.

To be continued…

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Twilight Chores

Cloud at Twilight

Cloud at Twilight

Thursday night is trash night at our house. Tonight I put off taking out the trash until it was almost dark. There was a hint of light left in the sky and when I looked up I saw this beautiful long veil of a cloud stretching across the sky. Hmmmm… the trash would have to wait. I grabbed my camera, switched to the wide angle lens, put it on my tripod and went outside to the parking lot next door. There was a bit of the sunset colors left in the west, so I took some shots of that with the buildings in silhouette, then turned the camera straight up for this cloud. This was the last shot I took – a 30 second exposure. I like the colors and the abstract design of it.

Oh yes, the trash chore eventually got finished.

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Whew! It’s been busy.

Bandon Beach Sunset, Oregon

Bandon Beach Sunset, Oregon

Somehow there have been a lot of things going on lately, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My husband and I recently came back from a quick trip to Oregon to visit family. Day 1 – drive up highway 101 through the redwoods (I love redwoods); Day 2 & 3 visiting; Day 4 – drive home on highway 5, which is faster but less interesting. We had a bit of rain, but it wasn’t heavy or constant so no big deal.

The last evening I went walking at the beach. It was rainy off and on and the wind was blowing, but those don’t stop one from having a nice beach walk. Other people were out there, too. The wind would blow a spray of water off the tops of the waves out in the ocean. That was pretty cool. You can almost see it in this shot, taken at the beach at Bandon on the Southern Oregon coast.

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