Category Archives: Travel

Spooky Tree Trunk

The Pacific Northwest provides a lot of dark and damp environments within which things can grow.  The shady environment is not just good for them but it also provides a spooky setting for visiting humans.  As we walked down through the trees to get to Short Sand Beach in Oswald West State park, we passed a tree along the trail that looked like exactly the sort of thing a set designer would come up with for some supernatural movie.  It looked like it was designed to capture the unwary.  On a sunny day, it was interesting.  On a dark and cold evening, it might be a little less appealing.

A Tree Trunk Supporting Sea Life

The Pacific Northwest shorelines are strewn with tree trunk.  Whether they have been washed in to the see or are strays from the logging business, doesn’t matter.  There are tons of them everywhere.  This one was on Cannon Beach.  I have no idea where it originally came from but it had washed up here at some point and got quite established in the sand.  The surface of the wood had become the home of a multitude of sea creatures.  It was festooned with them.  I wonder how much they depend on it staying there or, if it gets washed out again in the next storm, they would be in trouble.

Arrowhead Of Snow

The water in Crater Lake was very smooth when we were there which made for great reflections of the rim of the caldera.  One the other side of the crater, there was a snow bank on the side of the bowl which looked like a parallelogram.  With the reflection in the water, I thought it looked a bit like an arrowhead.  I am not much of a visionary when it comes to abstract images but even I saw this and thought it looked promising.

Remote Location For A Getaway

The Watchman Peak overlook at Crater Lake site beneath a peak.  I don’t know the name of it but I am going to make a guess that it is Watchman Peak.  Sitting on the top of it is a small stone hut.  (It is possible that it isn’t small and that the distance just makes it look that way – Father Dougal, are you listening?). It was surrounded by snow so access looked pretty tricky but, if you want to go somewhere to avoid the masses for a while, I would think this place would do the trick – particularly in winter!

How Stable Is This Snow?

While Mark and I were visiting Crater Lake, we saw a guy wandering down the hill to get a better shot.  The only problem was that he was on the snow bank and there was no way of knowing whether the snow was on solid rock or even was stable.  It didn’t seem like a good place to go and stand, even if the photo was better for it.  A short while later, I was looking up at the side of a cliff and saw this snow build up on the cliff edge.  This looked like just the sort of thing that could go at any time.  I wondered whether the space the guy had been on was more reliable than this!

Stop At The Side Of The Road For A Mountain

Driving down through Oregon, you have no shortage of mountains to see.  There are plenty of volcanos in the state and other mountains which may or may not be volcanic.  On a longer drive, you find yourself trying to work out which mountain is which.  Normally they are far enough away to not make a picture worthwhile.  However, as we came over a ridge and dropped down the other side, the view dead ahead was too good to ignore.  I just pulled to the side of the road and grabbed a few shots.  A car was pulling away as I approached so, clearly, this was not an original idea!

Lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill

Playing catch up with some older topics today.  Our trip to Fort Rodd Hill made it on to the blog a long time ago but what I never got around to including was the lighthouse.  We walked down the hill from the fort to see the lighthouse.  We had been looking at it from the fort itself, but it was not a long walk to get down to the water and see where it was situated.

The entrance to the harbor will have been vital from the earliest days that the British established a navy base at Esquimalt.  This lighthouse would have guided generations of ships into the port.  I assume that it is now more symbolic than anything else.  The modern navigation systems will provide accurate guidance, but it is still a landmark.

Return To Crater Lake

Nancy and I made a trip to Oregon many years ago and included Crater Lake as part of our itinerary.  It was a beautiful spot but the only downside was that there was a lot of fire activity in the state at that time and the view across the crater was a little obscured.  We could still see across but it was all a bit washed out.  I have been pondering a return ever since.

Since the road trip with Mark took us down to Klamath Falls, Crater Lake was only a short distance away.  One afternoon, after we had wrapped up the aviation photos for the day, we decided to make the trip to the mountain.  Not only did it make the possible plan to go there when heading to Medford the following day simpler it also meant it was a weekday and the visitor count might be a little lower.

There was no traffic on the road to the mountain which made it very relaxing.  It is a steady climb to get there with a steeper climb for the final section.  We got to the Rim Village area pretty easily and the conditions were fantastic.  The late afternoon light was really great and, while there were plenty of people around, it wasn’t crowded.  We also found that the rim road was open to the north entrance along the west rim but the east rim was still closed – presumably because the snow was still blocking things.  With the sun being in the west, this meant we had access to the best side.

There are plentiful pull offs along the rim road and we stopped at pretty much all of them.  Each one provided a slightly different perspective on the view and it is so beautiful, you don’t get tired of having different views all of the time.  (It is true that you can get a little blasé quite quickly about just how stunning it is, though.)

Interchange Construction

Continuing my theme of aerial photos from my flight to DC, as we got in to the metro area, I could see a major interchange under construction on one of the highways.  I’m sure, if I could be bothered, it would be possible to work out which highway this is and where the interchange is being built but I’m not that interested.  If you happen to recognize it, I would be fine knowing since that would require no effort on my part!  The evening light angle meant the shape of the construction was picked out with more clarity.  I wonder when it is due to be completed?

SoFi Stadium

When I last went to LA, the racetrack in Inglewood had been flattened and construction was underway on the new football stadium.  Since then it was completed and opened as SoFi stadium.  I was keen to see it in person having seen it on TV a lot.  I made sure to be sitting on the left of the plane thinking I could get some shots of it from the air.  Having previously photographed the racetrack, I mistakenly thought it would be further south and had a longer lens on the camera.  The stadium is closer to the approach path so I had way too much lens and only got shots of parts of it.

However, after my meetings wrapped up, as I headed back to the airport, I did drive by the stadium.  There were tours available but I didn’t have too much time so instead parked up and walked around a bit of the outside.  I mainly used my phone to take some shots – good for shooting through fences – and also stitched together some shots to make some panos.

The stadium is really impressive to see in person.  There is plenty of development going on in the area around it and I imagine it is going to quite transform Inglewood over time.  Whether that is for the better or not, we shall see.  The landscaping certainly adds to the impressiveness and the overall structure is far larger than just the football stadium which seem to sit inside it and feel rather dwarfed.  If you get a chance to go by, I would certainly recommend it.  Spending billions on sports stadiums is a controversial topic but this one has certainly got something special about it which is what you would hope for when it cost as much as it did!