Monday, November 30, 2009

Ocean Waves

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Wild weather framed a Thanksgiving trip to the Oregon Coast. Gale force winds, sheets of rain, a quilt of black and blue sky, and eerie moments of calm winds punctuated the weekend. High surf warnings impact beach walks, but create spectacular spray as the waves crash into the rocky headlands. Even the downpours provided either photographic opportunities or periods of indoor exploration.

Colony Rock
We took the free 'Back Wing' tour of the Hatfield Marine Science Center to learn about the behind-the-scenes operation of the center. Pretty fascinating process that the aquatic creatures go through prior to their release into the exhibits or back into the wild. Hopefully, one contact will turn into a personality profile piece, while the concept of what to do on a rainy day at the coast will also manifest into a short article.
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse also provided us with an elevated view of the ocean activity. Waves crashing over Colony Rock produced "Oohs" and "Aahs" from the crowd. Brown pelicans, common murres, gulls, and a few surf scoters passed by below the observation deck. They too were taking advantage of the proverbial calm in the middle of a storm.
This just goes to show you that there is always a story, like a cloud's silver lining, to be found no matter what the weather. Queries are out; stay tuned.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Walking the Wonderland

Spray Park

I hiked the 93-mile Wonderland Trail (WT) in Mt. Rainier National Park this September. Incredible and awesome are understatements. I had an 8 day permit and hiked counter-clockwise starting and ending at Longmire. The majority of hikers that I met were hiking the trail clockwise, but everyone gets in their 23,000 plus feet of elevation change no matter which way they go.

The hike was part personal celebration and part work project. Although my book contract for another Pocket Guide died on the production table, I can not fault the publisher. Disappointed, sure. But what I learned from the hike is to take it one step at a time. So now I'm working on some articles about hiking the WT.

Spray Falls

Fryingpan Creek

Ghost Cloud

Indian Bar