My first unpredictable Alaskan Adventure

Day 2 on the boat. We went for a short walk on an island to go stream fishing. We have no fishing experience, but that was ok. They set us up, showed us what to do, how to look like a fishingperson, and turned us loose. The spot was gorgeous. So serene it felt like we were in the most remote part of the world. Neither of us caught any fish. I did catch a lot of plants and some amazing photos of Eagles. They were hanging around overhead. One even ate a fish that someone in the group caught. We did not get to see that happen but saw the remnants of the dead fish body after the eagle was done it’s lunch. An eagle was on a small island in the stream watching fish. Alaska-2015-07-669Then it went up on a very low nearby tree branch. I sat and watched and shot photos for about 20 minutes. I was hoping to catch it diving for a fish. That didn’t happen, but I did get some great shots sitting still and also in flight. Back on the boat for lunch where we had fresh king salmon caught yesterday by the professor and his wife. Non-Sweet Family People.

The afternoon activity was a “meadow walk”. Wifey decided to skip that and turn me loose. It’s a good thing she did. It turned into a disaster in some people’s eyes. For me it was the highlight of the trip so far and nothing but fun. The closest thing I will ever get to an actual Alaskan adventure. I was secretly hoping they would have to air drop us some supplies and tents. It was supposed to be a nice leisurely walk around a beautiful meadow. This meadow was at the edge of the forest tree line. We got dropped off on shore by a skiff. The tides changed quickly and we were all of a sudden trudging through water looking for ways to avoid deeper water. Alaska-2015-07-738We backtracked, rerouted, and kept trying to stay dry from the ankles up. Larry, our guide, was trying to keep his guests safe and dry. It got to a point that was unavoidable. We had to wade through waste high water. I loved it, some of the other people not so much. There were 7 of us including Larry the guide. I thought we might live on this island now. I was quietly forming alliances in the background, figuring out who we would sacrifice first to the Bear God. After we took the plunge, got soaking wet all over, we were able to get back on the skiff to bring us home. What was supposed to be an hour or so of leisurely meadow walking turned into several hours of bushwhacking, wading through water, and crossing head high grass fields. I did get to eat all the salmon berries I could handle most of the walk. A treat within a treat. Some pictures HERE if you are interested.

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Yosemite 2014 – Getting lost in the woods – Glen Aulin & Pacific Crest Trail

2014-09-Yosemite-688The final hike of the trip was a doozie. It had everything you might want in an adventure. Action, suspense, drama, cowboys, people getting lost, and waterfalls. The journey for the final day was mostly a circle starting from our tents, heading to the high country camp Glen Aulin, and then back down to civilization and Tioga Road. We started early and picked up the Pacific Crest Trail not far from our campsite. The PCT is the west coast equivalent of the Appalachian Trail on the east coast. It is a footpath through the wilderness that runs from Mexico to Canada. It has been my life long dream to set foot on the PCT since I first heard about it 2 months ago. Imagine how excited Josh and I were when we saw Pacific Crest Trail on the Yosemite map of the high country. It didn’t matter where that trail was, once we saw it, we were going to walk on it. The walk up to Glen Aulin was beautiful, mostly along a river with sporadic waterfalls. The only downfall was the time when Josh and Matt lost me. We were all together one minute, and then separated for the next hour or two. I was never worried, I had a GPS machine, and they had the power of numbers, although one of those numbers was Josh. I realized there was a problem when I ran into a cowboy, yes a real life cowboy, riding a horse, wearing chaps and a duster, carrying a gun, and leading a large line of donkeys. I asked the cowboy if he saw 2 other hikers the way he came from. He said no, I said no problem I’d meet them at Glen Aulin. He told me Glen Aulin was behind me. I wanted to argue because I’m so smart, but he was a cowboy with a gun. I turned around and starting running in the other direction hoping to catch the other guys as quickly as possible. Running might be overstating the forward movements I was making, but I tried. I went about 2 miles out of the way, which does not sound like a lot of distance, but it is a lot at that elevation, incline, and running as fast as possible. I finally met them just as they were getting to Glen Aulin. They were planning to wait for me there if the need arose. I think I pissed one or both of them off, I apologized and explained what happened. It was an honest mistake, even a sweet boy like me, with my own GPS machine could get turned around and go the wrong way in the woods.

From Glen Aulin it was mostly down hill and back to Tioga Road. This was not a full loop, we got picked up by Dan and Drew at a parking area near the trailhead. I really wanted to hitchhike back the 10+ miles, but nobody else was into that idea. I hang out with unadventurous bums. The last of Yosemite 2014 pictures can be found HERE. Also a “Best Of” pictures page is HERE. Thanks for reading.

Learning to photograph waterfalls, contain your excitement please

Learning to photograph waterfalls is something I became obsessed with recently. The opportunity does not arise very often to shoot waterfalls, considering where I live. But I did a lot of reading, and finally had the opportunity earlier this month while on Orcas Island Washington. I am pretty happy with my first attempt after jamming my brain with knowledge. HERE are a few pictures.