American Northwest Trip, 2017: Virginia Cascades and Firehole Canyon in Yellowstone

These photos are from two drives I took off the beaten path in Yellowstone National Park, both narrow, one-way roads along the sides of canyons. The first was the Virginia Cascades Drive, which does not appear to get much traffic, but still enough cars to make it difficult to pull over for good views of the falls, so the highlight of this drive ended up being my stop at the pretty, quiet meadow above the falls. The second drive was Firehole Canyon, which is a bit more popular but still relatively quiet compared to the main attractions of the park, with more places to pull over for beautiful views of the canyon rapids and falls. There is also a swimming area here, though I did not partake.

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London Trip, 2016: The Thames at Night

These photos are from our stroll along the Thames back in February of 2016 (we were in London for my sister-in-law’s wedding). It was a cold, but nice night–I was happy to finally have my wife with me on a trip abroad. Sadly, it would turn out to be our last bit of fun before I became deathly ill for the rest of the trip, followed by my wife a couple of days later. We had been planning to take a train to Bath the following day but instead I spent it in the hotel room, with my poor wife wandering the city looking for medicine. Then at the end of the trip, she had it worse than me to the point where we had to stay an extra night just so she would be well enough to fly home. Good times. Anyway, I got some cool photos out of the experience…

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Canada Trip, 2016: Franey Mountain

The centerpiece of our stay in Cape Breton was our hike of Franey Mountain, an 1,100-foot ascent that took us between 3 and 4 total hours up and down. It could have been done more quickly but we took our time, soaking in and photographing the beautiful scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands along the way (as well as a pretty bird that I believe was a ruffed grouse).

There are two trails that lead to the top. The one we chose for the climb turned out to be the better one in terms of the views–we chose the other trail for the hike back down, which was much less challenging but also much less interesting from a scenery perspective. I don’t remember which was which, but if you’re looking at a map, the straighter looking trail is probably the less interesting one. Either way, you are likely to take both: one on the way up and the other on the way down.

Overall, it’s a beautiful hike. Climbers who reach the peak are rewarded with spectacular views of lush green mountains along a picturesque coast, as well as the opportunity to sign the hiker’s guest book attached to an Adirondack chair at the top. If you find yourself in Cape Breton, Franey Mountain is definitely worth a visit.

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Backyard Wildlife – 2020

This is a collection of wildlife photos taken over the past year, primarily from my back yard (the first two fawn photos were taken in a nearby retention pond and the robin chick nest was in a bush in my front yard). Most of the deer photos were taken through a window so as not to scare them away. However, for a few of the later photos of a young buck, I was able to step outside because he wasn’t afraid of humans, which resulted in higher quality shots.

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Cape May – September, 2020

After canceling our trip to Cape May last June because of the pandemic, we decided to rent a house in Cape May Point for a week in late September. Cape May Point is a quiet, less-populated area away from the usual tourist spots, so we thought it would be a good location to have a socially distanced vacation.

Here are a few photos from that trip. I got some nice shots of Monarch butterflies hanging out in the tree outside our house. Cape May is a popular stop for the Monarchs along their southern migration, and there were tons of them flying around during the week we were there.

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Upstate New York Trip, 2015: Watkins Glen State Park

The photos below are from my hike through Watkins Glen State Park, a hidden gem located right on the main street running through the town of Watkins Glen. It’s hard to imagine that such a serene and gorgeous oasis of nature could be located so close to a bustling town (it was really bustling when I was there thanks to a car parade), but this park is such a place. It does not take long as you venture into the park for civilization to completely fall away to the point where you feel like you’re hiking through sublime wilderness.

The park has frequently been likened to Rivendell (of Lord of the Rings fame)—and with its myriad waterfalls, cascades, and stone bridges, it’s easy to see why. It is well worth the visit, and if you pair it with a visit to Letchworth (as we did), you will see two of the most beautiful state parks this country has to offer.

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California Trip, 2014: The Road Back from Yosemite

My drive back to San Francisco from Yosemite was quite an adventure. I took a scenic drive along Route 49, also known as the Gold Rush Trail, which winds up and down mountains, featuring beautiful scenery and numerous hairpin turns without any railings. The more treacherous turns are not pictured here because I was too busy trying to stay on the road to think about stopping to photograph them. 🙂

Most of the time I had the entire road to myself. When I stepped outside to take photos it was so quiet that I could hear a pin drop. Overall, it was definitely a detour worth taking. The road continues north well past where I exited; it would be cool to do the whole thing someday.

Click on any photo to open a gallery. The first photo is from the road out of Yosemite, the rest are from Route 49.

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Seattle Trip, 2019: Uptown Seattle

These photos are from my walks around uptown Seattle, mostly in the area of the Seattle Center, which was near my hotel.

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Glacier National Park, 2019: Two Medicine Lake

These photos were shot around Two Medicine Lake, located in the Two Medicine region of Glacier National Park, a lesser-seen area of the park that takes a bit of driving to get to, but is worth the trip if you have the time.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone

These photos are from my hike of the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, a geyser-rich geothermal area that includes the Old Faithful, Beehive, and Castle geysers, along with more than four-hundred others. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, walking among all of these cones, boiling springs, bursting geysers, and steam plumes really drives home the reality that you are standing on top of a super volcano. I didn’t have time to explore the entire basin, but I saw a good portion of it. Toward the end of my hike I caught the eruption of the Lion Geyser from a distance, documented in a couple of the photos.

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