Saturday, November 14, 2009

OK, everybody, sorry the Oregon post is a little addled but for the life of me I can't figure out how to edit it! Anyhow, here's a bit more info. Mike, Mel, Byron, and myself flew into Portland on a Thurs. night. We stayed at a little rented house in John's Landing, which was a nice neighborhood, close to everything and nice enough that Byron and I could go for exercise walks in the morning. Our first day in Portland I met up with Tiel and we spent the day cruising around, seeing the sights. Mike, Mel, and Byron went out to Albeke farms in the hopes of picking apples, but were told only grapes and some late veggies were available for picking, so they picked the grapes. They also hit the local Costco (I came home to find our travel laptop had given birth to a mini netbook!) and a couple of other shopping destinations. The second day we drove out to the Columbia river gorge with Tiel and Todd for a day of waterfall viewing (lovely!) and more shopping.
On Sunday we drove out to the coast, getting a lovely tour of the countryside (the gps took us there via the back roads) and got to our rented condo (on a cliff overlooking the beach, with steps leading down) in time for sunset and low tide, which gave us the chance to check out the tide pools - lots of barnacles, colorful starfish, and sea anemones. We were also there for the full moon, which was just gorgeous! The next day we drove up the coast to Cannon Beach and Haystack rock, stopping at Tillamook farms for cheese and ice cream on the way back down.
Our last full day started out exploring the aquarium in Newport, where I went on the octopus encounter tour, and driving back to Portland for a last night of attempting to fit the incredible amount of stuff we bought into the airline-approved amount of luggage we had (we did make it, but just barely)!
All and all, an excellent trip!

Photos from the Oregon Trip

Some misc. photos from the Oregon trip. The octopus is a Pacific Giant that they use as an encounter animal at the aquarium in Newport. I went on the octopus encounter and got to touch and interact with it.

We stayed in a vacation rental on a small cliff overlooking the beach on the coast. The sunrise photos are from the beach, and the moonrise photo shows the other houses on the cliff. The large rock is Haystack rock at Cannon Beach, several hours drive up the coast. The tide pool life (sea stars and anemone) were found in the tide pools at the beach where we stayed.

The waterfall, snail, mushrooms, and plant silhouette are taken in Portland, on our drive through the Columbia river gulch.

We lucked out and had excellent weather the whole trip! Mike, myself, Melissa, and Byron went, and we met up with Tiel and Todd in Portland and drove around and did lots of shopping and sightseeing. It was a short trip, only two days in Portland and three on the coast.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hidden Canyon hike

This was a two mile round trip up a steep switchback trail to the opening of a small slot canyon between two of Zion's towering cliffs. We hiked about half a mile up the slot until it was blocked by a rockfall, seeing a lovely little arch and enjoying the cool, quiet atmosphere.
The photos: Double arch alcove in the Kolob section of Zion national park. This was reached after a lovely six mile hike up a meandering creek, which took us way longer than expected as we stopped to photograph the wildflowers, butterflies, and lizards that we saw along the way.

There's a photo of a butterfly on wildflowers, blooming cliffrose, the Zion cliffs on our one stormy day, and a fallen log in Hidden Canyon, a short slot canyon reached via a steep climb up a mile high switchback trail.

Vegas/Zion/Grand Canyon

Mike and I have returned from a short anniversary trip to Vegas/Zion/Grand Canyon. We flew in to Vegas, drove up to Zion for three days where we did several hikes, drove to North rim Grand for one day, and then spent three days back in Vegas.
It was a lovely short trip, with spring springing and butterflies, lizards, and wildflowers everywhere. We had amazingly good weather, about 10 degrees cooler than usual due to a system rolling through to the North.