Thursday, June 30, 2005

On the Floating Duck

On the Floating Duck

After the Science Fiction Museum we dicided to have a tour of Seattle on the amphibious duck tour. We drove around Seattle seeing all the major highlights then we drove into Lake Union which is right in the middle of Seattle. It is connected on the east side by Lake Washington and on the west side it is connected to Puget Sound by a canal and locks. The lake is also a runway for a airline (Kenmore Air), that uses mostly floatplanes. There is a good picture of the whole lake from the Space Needle, just click on the picture to see more.

The Space Needle and Other Tourist Hotspots

One Way to Get Us Both in the Picture

The Space Needle is such a unique landmark that it seemed mandatory as a visitor to go to the top of it. Everybody asks, "Did you go to the Space Needle? You have to go to the space needle." It's not the highest building in Seattle, (the highest is the Bank of America Building) but it has an exceptional view. It's located a little bit outside the downtown area so there is a clear view of Seattle's tallest buildings, the bodies of water and the mountains. It was a clear day in Seattle but when we looked back from where we came from, Mt. Rainier, it was covered in clouds again. There is a restaurant in the Needle but we decided not to go, mainly because we are not willing to pay $24 for a simple hamburger.

Melting Candy?

Science Fiction Museum

This weird looking building is the Science Fiction Museum and the Experience Music Project, which is a rock-and-roll museum. We decided to go to the Science Fiction Museum. To the right of the building there are two large white vehicles that look like busses. These are the amphibious ducks we went on for a tour of Seattle.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier 2

When we arrived at Mount Rainier National Park, the sky was cloudy. The clouds were so low, that we were practically in them. We could not see the mountain. After two days of clouds, mist, and rain, the clouds finally parted to reveal this majestic mountain. We hiked along the Glacier Moraine trail. We had great veiws of the mountain and glaciers from the trail.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Wildlife

Bald Eagle

After Lake Quinault, we drove around the Olympic Penninsula. We stopped at the coast and then drove to Seal Rock Campground in the Olympic National Forest. The campground was right on Dabob Bay, which is connected to the Hood Canal. It rained through most of the night. The next morning was still gray and cloudy, but the water was smooth. There were many oyster shells along the beach and under water. People are allowed to harvest up to 18 oyster shells a day, as long as they shuck and leave the shells where taken. We were too busy paddling to collect any oysters. We saw crabs crawling under the water. The water was only a few feet deep where we were paddling. We also saw many, many seals. At one point, there were over 20 seals surrounding us on our boat. It was hard to capture the seals with the digital camera because they would disappear under the water. However, Ed was able to take a picture of this majestic Bald Eagle resting on the shore. It was wonderful to see all of this wildlife all in one place.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Patrick the Starfish

Starfish

This little guy reminded me of Patrick, Spongebob's friend. We saw other starfish clinging to rocks when we stopped at a beach on the Olympic Peninsula. This was probably our last chance to see the Pacific Ocean on this trip. We were lucky the past few days by not having rain in a temperate rain forest but today it was gray and raining. We drove around the peninsula to the east side hoping we would be able to use our kayak at Seal Rock Campground.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Lake Quinault

Quilault Mirror

After we bought our new kayak in Portland, we drove to the Washington coast. We camped at a county campground near Bruceport. We could see the northern part of Willapa bay from our campsite. The next morning, we headed to Quinault Lake in the Olympic National Forest. The lake itself is regulated by the Quinault Indian Nation. It is a great lake for paddlers because they do not allow jet skis, water skiers, and very fast moving motor boats. The first time we paddled on the lake, it was very choppy. We were excited to use our new boat and we went in the lake our first afternoon there. The wind and waves gain strength in the afternoon. The picture here was the third time we went in the lake. The water was like glass that morning and we had a wonderful time paddling.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Michelle Taking Pictures

Michelle and Ed on Lake Quinault

I usually sit in the front seat of the kayak. When we want a picture of both of us in the boat, I hold the camera up and just click. I can't see what Ed is doing behind me, and he often surprises me with silly faces. Click on the photo to see some of Ed's silly gestures.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Out with the old, In with the new

Out with the old, In with the new

While we were in Portland, we decided to upgrade our kayak. We bought a 16-foot tandem kayak with an open cockpit to replace our 12-foot long tandem sit-on-top kayak. Here is a picture of both kayaks, with the new one being strapped to the rack. We had to get a new and better rack to support this new boat. We were really excited to use our new kayak.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Some Kind of Rose

We arrived in Portland at a perfect time to see the roses in bloom at Washington Park. There were so many kinds of roses that we don't know all of their names, but a rose is a rose is a rose.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Timberline Lodge

Side view of Timberline Lodge

On our way from Hood River to Portland, we took a side trip to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. This is where some of the outside scenes of The Shining were filmed. We are not purposely seeking out film locations, but it is certainly fun to see them.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sunset in Hood River

Sunset in Hood River

Another beautiful sunset in the idyllic town of Hood River, Oregon. The sunset is over the Columbia river as seen from Mary and Bruce's house. They invited us over for a lovely dinner on Father's Day to celebrate fathers and those who have fathers.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Playing Around

Playing Around

Jihelah is being whipped around by the host, John, with an oversize rubber band. The party was a celebration of John and Adelle's completion of this year's edition of "The American Alpine Journal". Congratulations to them! We met many of Osher and Feliza's friends at the party. They were all very interesting and welcoming.

Michelle, Naomi, Feliza, Jihelah, and Ed

Vista over the Columbia River

We're taking a break from our bike ride at a vista looking over the Columbia River. There is a paved biking trail that goes from Hood River to the next town to the east called Mosier. Osher took this picture with our camera.

Helping out on the farm

Building a chicken coop

Outside the town of Hood River, I'm helping Osher (a.k.a. Lee) build a chicken coop. I only met Osher and his family once before at our wedding, but it was good to stay with them and get to know them better. Like us, they also enjoy traveling. They have been all around the world with their kids.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Red Barn

Red Barn

We're staying here a few days. The cousin put us up in the barn. Said don't mess with the chickens. Real Nice!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Posting to the Blog

Baker Street Bed and Breakfast

After being eaten alive in the morning by mosquitos, and after driving all over Astoria, and after tasting some wine at a local vineyard, and after eating a great meal at the Golden Valley Brewery, Michelle updates the weblog at the Baker Street Bed and Breakfast.

Elk Cove Vinyard

Elk Cove Winery Landscape

As we were driving inland, we had to stop in the Willamette Wine Area. This is Elk Cove Vinyard. We bought the Pinot Gris. From here we drove to McMinnville.

Flavel House Museum

Flavel House Museum

We drove from Cape Lookout State Park north towards Astoria. We stayed at Fort Stevens State Park. There were over 600 campsites...and there were over a million mosquitos invading our campsite. We also had a curious racoon and a burrowing mole staying at our campsite too.

Astoria has very interesting architecture. This is the Flaval House Museum. Click on this picture for other cool houses, including the one that The Goonies was filmed (remember that flick from the 80's?).

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

View From Cape Lookout

More Views From Cape Lookout

We hiked along the Cape Lookout trail. The trail followed a ridge through the forest to the end of the cape. The hike was 2.4 miles in one direction, but the hike was not difficult. The views were spectacular.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Velella Velella Jellyfish

Velella Velella Jellyfish

These jelly fish were washed up on many of the Oregon beaches we visited. They float on top of the water and use their tiny sail to travel around. They are only a few inches long. When the winds are strong, they wash up on the shores in large numbers.

We camped at Cape Lookout Campground. Our site was not near the beach, but it took us a mere 5 minutes to walk there. We found out that this evening there was a large earthquake off the coast of northern California and that there was a brief tsunami warning for most of the area that we were travelling in.

Morning at Tillicum Beach

Morning at Tillicum Beach

This is our campsite at Tillicum Beach. The weather was good and the view was great. There were lots of large RVs at the site, but we picked a great spot where they didn't block our view. We drove from this campsite and ate at a chowder house in the town of Yachats. I still don't know the difference between New England Clam Chowder and Oregon Clam Chowder.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Sunset at Tillicum Beach

Sunset from Campsite with Both

The view of the sunset was wonderful from our campsite. We walked along the beach before sunset. It was very windy and cold.

Sea Lions Resting on the Rocks

Sea Lions and a Bird

There were sea lions resting on the rock beneath this lookout point along Highway 101.

Heceta Lighthouse

Ed in front of Heceta Lighthouse

From Eugene we drove to Siuslaw National Forest where we stayed at a campground near the coast (Rock Creek Campground). Rock Creek flowed past our campsite. These creeks flow directly into the ocean. This is Ed in front of Heceta Lighthouse in the distance.

A lovely visitor to our campsite.

Slug at Rock Creek

After Eugene we stayed at Rock Creek camp, which was beautiful but very wet. It rained during the night, soaking everything. We managed to stay dry and we had the tent dryed out at the next campsite.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Oregon Duck

Oregon Duck has me Hypnotized

We drove to Eugene from Umpqua National Forest. It was University of Oregon's graduation weekend, so many places were crowded in the town. Here is Ed posing with a big duck in the downtown area. The duck is the mascot of the University of Oregon.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

South Umpqua Falls

Umpqua Falls

From Lake Shasta, we drove into Oregon and camped in the Rogue River National Forest. We continued north into Umpqua National Forest. We found a great campsite right by Buckeye Creek. We visited the South Umpqua Falls where Ed played in the water.

Waking up next to a creek

Waking up next to a creek

The sound of the creek is very relaxing, and waking up with the creek right in front of the tent is pretty cool too.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lake Shasta

Michelle and Ed on Kayak

We drove from Lassen National Park through Redding to Lake Shasta Recreation Area. We camped right by the lake. It was raining, but it cleared up the next day. We paddled around the lake for a few hours, enjoying the sun. We went swimming. The water was cold but refreshing.

The Thing from the Deep

From the Deep

Finally, after days of rain and snow the sun came out. We are at a place warm enough to go swimming.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Lassen National Park

Ed at Sulphur Vents

We drove from Tahoe through Plumas National Forest where we stayed the night at Spanish Creek Campground. Then we drove to Lassen National Park. This is Ed standing in front of some sulphur vents. Later in the season, we would have been able to see more vents, geysers, and springs, but the snow was still covering most of the trails. While we were driving through Lassen National Park, it was snowing and 30 degrees outside.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Lake Tahoe

Enjoying the beach

We drove from Reno to Lake Tahoe. We stayed the night at Sugarpine Point State Park. It snowed on us! Good thing that we put up the rain/snow fly on our tent. The snow melted quickly the next morning. We drove south from the campground to this beach to see the lake up close.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Frank, Michelle, and Ed

Frank, Michelle, and Ed

What a coincidence! Frank, my brother-in-law, happened to be in Reno at the same time as we were. We met up with him at the Eldorado Casino in downtown Reno. Frank and Ed played Texas Hold 'Em while I tried my luck at video poker. Apparently, luck was not on my side...but it was fun! We also listened to a band at one of the casino's many clubs. Frank..thanks for the drinks!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Reno, Nevada

Reno Sign

We drove from Mono Lake to Reno, Nevada. We weren't planning on visiting Reno but we needed to do laundry and a shower would be nice. We wanted to check out the city a little while we are here.

Don't forget to click on the pictures to see more of us, and check out the slideshow option in flickr.

Us at Mono Lake

Us at Mono Lake

Here we are at Mono Lake. We decided not to kayak in the lake because the salinity is 3 times more than the ocean. The water feels slimy and leaves a residue on the skin. The bird season doesn't start until late June, at which time many species of migratory birds stop at the lake for refueling. The strange looking towers behind us are called tufa towers. For more information about the lake click on this link.

Attack of the Alkali Flies

Attack of the Alkali Flies

Swarms of flies inhabit the shores of Mono Lake. They may look menacing but they are actually quite harmless.

Our Camp at Lee Vining Creek

Our Camp at Lee Vining Creek

This is where we stayed near Mono Lake. This picture is our campsite taken from across Lee Vining Creek. We were visited by some deer at dusk.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Sonora Pass

Ed walking in the snow

From Pinecrest we drove east on Highway 108 through Sonora Pass. The pass is at an elevation of 9624 Feet. Here is Ed walking through the snow. He is still wearing his swim trunks from paddling at Pinecrest Lake! At times the highway is at a 15% grade, so it was slow going. But that allowed us time to view the beautiful scenery.

Ed Stranded in the middle of Pinecrest Lake

Ed Stranded in the middle of Pinecrest Lake

Pinecrest Lake is at an elevation of 5600 Feet. It is surrounded by wooded forests and vacation cabins. We could still see snow on the mountains. We paddled from the southwest side of the lake to the other side. I was getting tired of hanging out with Ed, so I left him stranded on this little tiny rock island in the middle of the lake.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Yosemite Valley

Us at Yosemite

This is our last attempt at getting us both in the picture at the same time while standing in front of Yosemite Valley. In the distance you can see Bridalveil falls. The Merced River is running through the valley. We wanted to drive from Yosemite to the east side to get to Mono Lake, but the Tioga pass was closed due to snow. So instead we drove northwest to Highway 108 through Pinecrest.

Mist of Bridalveil Falls

Mist of Bridalveil Falls

We walked the trail to the Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite. I used my underwater camera casing to take pictures in the mist of Bridalveil Falls. Everyone near the falls was getting soaked.

Us At Yosemite Falls

Ed and Michelle in front of Yosemite Falls

We drove from Fresno to Yosemite National Park. The park camping areas were all full. We camped at Sweetwater campground in the Stanislaus National Forest on the west side of Yosemite. It was a great camping site other than the many mosquitos hungry for our blood. After a peaceful night sleep, we drove back into Yosemite to see all the beautiful locations.