Anyone that has vacationed in the Hawaiian Islands knows that there are loads of helicopters around. The sightseeing flight operations are extensive and there are a variety of types that are used. The Astar was a big feature of these flights but the EC130 was developed to provide something best suited to these flights and it is now very widespread. There are other types in use too. I used a Robinson R44 for one of my flights for example.
There are the occasional MD500s around too which is what you expect to see if you ever watched the original Magnum PI TV series. The helicopter area at Lihue was a busy place to be with a steady stream of operators moving from the different pads. I wasn’t on vacation to spend time watching helicopters but of course I managed to slip a little time in with them!
Our January visit to San Francisco included a visit to the park above the Transbay Transit Center. We did walk down through the Center itself while we were there. It was a weekend and therefore pretty quiet. From the park, you can see the glass dome over the center below. We peered in while we were up there prior to heading downstairs. We also saw a pretty interesting cable stayed bridge that brings a roadway in for the buses to arrive and depart.
Inside, the use of the glass domes makes for a pretty airy feeling space. When no one is around, it all feels pretty relaxing. I imagine during rush hour (or what was rush hour before we stopped going to work) it would be a bit less relaxed and rather more urgent!
One morning during our visit to Tofino, when I headed outside, there was a heavy frost on the seats around the fire pit. The armrest of the seat had some beautiful ice crystals formed upon its surface. They looked so intricate and crisp. When looking through the viewfinder, you could find yourself unaware of what you were looking at. I liked both the wide “carpet” of crystals as well as looking close in at the details.
In the early 2000s, Nancy and I took a trip up to Yorkshire for a long weekend in February. We were staying in Pickering and we got there just before a decent snow storm arrived. By the time the snow started, we were comfortably tucked up in the hotel bar but the following day, any chance of going somewhere was out of the question as the town had temporarily been cut off by the snow. The day after, the roads had been cleared and we took a drive north.
We ended up spending some time in Whitby. A historic port town, Captain James Cook first went to see from there. It has the ruins of an Abbey on the hill overlooking the harbor and the town rises from the water in a style you would expect of such an old English town to do. We went to a really nice pub for lunch as a recall where we had excellent fish and chips – formulaic I know but still bloody good! I scanned these images when making a surge through my old film shots so I thought I would go back about 20 years to something from the old country.
Previous posts have included some of the frosty scenes from the beach at Tofino during our visit there last year. Aside from the logs, the strands of kelp that had become washed up on the beach were also frosted. The kelp itself seemed to have maintained its moisture without being damaged by freezing but the surface had accumulated a layer of frost that looked really pretty in the early morning light. As the sun got high enough to warm the kelp up, the frost was soon gone.
More photos from old vacations. This time we have moved from Arizona to Utah and to Bryce Canyon. This was a place I was absolutely blown away by. Photos of the canyon and the hoodoos within had got me interested in the place but seeing it was quite stunning. We were staying on the rim so hiking down in to the canyon or taking the trail around the rim was really easy for us. It might be true that I spent so much time trying to take some photos on the way around the rim trail that we got to the lot farther around too late for the shuttle and had to walk back again. I think that proved to be good fortune as the views get better as the sun gets lower.
When you are within the canyon, the hoodoos rise up around you and you get a sense of the scale which you don’t from outside. The peace and calm when you are down in there is very special. I may not be a spiritual person but I certainly felt really at ease as we walked through the trails. Here are a few of the shots I took during that trip. There are other parts of Utah that we haven’t explored yet and I hope any trip back includes the opportunity to visit Bryce again.
Well over 10 years ago, I was invited by a rail vehicle manufacturer to an industry event that they were holding to promote one of their vehicles. It was held at the TTCI test facility outside Pueblo in Colorado. Pueblo also has an aviation museum so it was inconceivable that I would go all that way and not check it out while I was there.
Most of the exhibits are outside in some pretty harsh sun so they are rather sun-bleached. There is an interesting mix of old types on display while a few are indoors and look in better condition. Helicopters and vintage fighters are always going to be good for me so hopefully there is something in here you like.
Lockdown continues to be an opportunity to go back to previous photos and these come from our trip to San Francisco in January. What a long time ago that now seems and how strange it is to think of a time when we freely traveled across the country. On our first evening, we met up with friends for a drink and some food. We met them down around Embarcadero. At the end of the evening, before heading back to our hotel, I took some photos of the area. The Ferry Building was nicely light as was the Bay Bridge. It was a lovely evening to be out which I guess is indicative of the benefits of Northern California in the winter!
A while back I posted about the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. We saw it while walking on the Pacific Coast Trail. At the time of that post, I said I would post more from the rest of the trail. I guess I have finally got around to doing so. The beginning of the trail took us past the lighthouse but it was a bit backlit. As we walked further around the coastline, the light came to be behind us more and the view of the various inlets and islands got to be very nice.
It was such a tranquil spot. I suspect November is not the busiest time of year and the trails might be a lot more crowded in peak season but the sun was out and it was really lovely to be there. The rocky coastline looks like it is something that you need to know your way around carefully if you are in a boat. The presence of a lighthouse tells you that plenty have come to grief in the past. On a day like the one we had, though, it couldn’t have seemed more appealing.
Nancy and I took a trip to Arizona and Utah many years ago. It proved to be a really excellent trip and we saw some amazing locations. The first stop on the trip was the Grand Canyon. While the majority of visitors go to the South Rim of the canyon, this trip took us to the North Rim. The two locations are not far apart but to get from one to the other involves hours of driving. Apparently, there is some canyon in the way!
The North Rim is accessible for a smaller part of the year because it gets snowed in and doesn’t clear out until late in spring. The views are supposed to be similar on either side but the lack of people at the North Rim makes it a more peaceful place to visit apparently (I haven’t been to the South Rim so can’t speak with authority). The scenery was definitely beautiful. We had some cloudy times and some very clear weather. At night you could look at an amazing night sky.
The problem with the Grand Canyon is that there is little you can do to convey the scale. Images are really not able to provide an understanding of just how vast the place is. You can see it is pretty, but the experience is not reproduced. To be honest, even when I was there, I found it hard to appreciate the scale. With so little to reference, you struggle to realize what is close and what is far away. Occasionally, if you see a boat on the Colorado River, you realize just how immense it all is. Awesome is a word that should be used when describing the Grand Canyon!
I haven’t looked at these pictures for years. I realize that I took some of them as examples at the time and then focused on those. I haven’t been through some of the others. With newer processing techniques, there is plenty to be done with some of the shots I have overlooked. I shall be playing with this for quite a while I think.