Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Safe Harbor

After returning to our little home from San Juan Island, and a well deserved nights rest we booked a place on the ferry from Whidbey island to Port Townsend on the Olympic peninsula.

From Port Townsend we traveled inland to Port Angeles, when we got there it was raining off and on, and the sky was heavily overcast. After spending some time at the coast there whishing the skies would clear just a little to add some color to the dark gray clouds. After watching the antics of a little raccoon that was begging food from the others parked there, then looking at a couple of little shops we left Port Angeles, and headed into the Olympic national park, the route we took went up the hill to Hurricane ridge, but that is a story for another day.

After our trip up the mountain it was time to head back to Port Townsend and the ferry back to Whidbey island. As we pulled into Port Townsend we took a wrong turn which took us down the main road into the city, happily we found a bunch of historic, and interesting buildings there, if you get a chance you need to just take a moment to drive through the city, and look at the history of this port town. Unfortunately because of the weather we didn't really take the time to do any shopping there.

As evening came to Port Townsend the storm began to break up, the skies started to clear, and the winds calmed. The fishing, and leisure boats had been moored safely behind the breakwater in the bay at Point Hudson waiting out the bad weather.

As the cool of the evening breeze flushed our faces we walked down the wooden docs reading the names on the various boats that were moored there, and listening to the hustle and bustle that was taking place at the restaurant that sits across the way.

The storm clouds, and breaking light gave way to a beautiful rainbow. The red, and pink of the setting sun highlighted the dark clouds that hung low over the Pacific Ocean, reflecting on the calm waters of the bay.

As the rainbow began to fade into the night it's rich colors of red yellow and blue blended with the colors that were cast on the clouds from the setting sun. I sat up my tripod, and secured the camera, then began photographing the changing light, what a beautiful evening end to a wonderful day of exploring.

The beauty of this wonderful world never cease to amaze.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Pillars of the Earth

In our smallish town of Midway Utah we have a "not so" local celebration over the labor day weekend called Midway Swiss Days. During Swiss Days we get over one hundred thousand visitors.

You can buy just about anything at Swiss days, they have food booths, fine art painting booths, craft booths, Photography booths, one person even sells appointments for his portrait studio, it is amazing what can be bought at Swiss days.

I have a boot at Swiss Days where I sell my fine art photography, one of the images I had in the booth this year to act as a "draw" to get people to come to my boot was "The Pillars of the Earth" shown here. I answered literally thousands of questions about this image, I know I answered that many because I gave away that many business cards, and everyone who came into the booth asked the same question: "Where is that?"! I thought since it had been asked so many times it might make a great story for a blog, when I tell them it is Jackson Lake, near Yellowstone National Park they would tell me something to the effect of "I was just up there and I didn't see that", and so the story begins!

On a trip to Yellowstone, my wife and I were traveling along highway 89, which takes you into the park, along it's way it passes by Jackson Lake. As we drove by the lake I asked my wife, she was driving, to pull into a pull out along the north end of the lake, I wanted to see if I thought it would be worth it to come back later in the evening to get some sunset photos of the Tetons in the distance.

When we got there I got out of the car and walked over to the bank where it dropped off to the beach below, as I stood there looking, there were all of these rock cairns that people with far to much time on their hands had built along the shoreline. I walked down to take a better look at them, and noticed this little bridge that some one had built, standing all of one foot tall, I know in the photo it looks like it is at least fifteen feet tall, it is all a matter of perspective. I thought it was a quite cool little bridge. As I looked around it I noticed that you could see Mount Moran framed in the opening of the bridge if you got down low enough.

 I was not able to make it back that evening to take the photos I wanted, so the next day, after worrying all night long that someone would come along and knock it over I made plans to be there for sunset. As we drove up, almost holding my breath for fear it would be gone I walked to the edge and looked, to my happy surprise it was still there.

To get this photograph I had to take the center post out of my tripod, and turn it upside down so I could mount the camera under the tripod rather than on top of it so as to be low enough to get the shot and still be able to use the tripod. I set up the camera, with a moderate wide angle lens, to wide and it would look like the Tetons were a million miles away. After getting the camera set up I sat in the dirt, getting a few odd looks from passers by, and began to take the photos. I made several exposures thinking I would need to do an HDR of this, but my Sony camera has enough latitude that I was able to get it in a single exposure.

So now you know the secret of why you don't see this bridge as you drive by Jackson Lake on your way to Yellowstone.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Evening at Friday Harbor"

One of the things we did during our stay on Whidbey island is take a ferry from Anacortes to San Juan Island.
We booked reservations on the ferry, we had been told if we wanted to actually make it to San Juan we should get reservations because it is a very popular destination, they were correct, glad we made the reservations, which was quite easy, you just go to their web site, and it guides you through the process. We had made our reservations for late morning, and the return trip for the last run of the day, 10:00 PM. We were still on Utah time, so that made getting there easy, the ride from Anacortes to Friday Harbor takes about one hour, but the ride home, come to find out, takes over two because the last run hits all of the San Juan islands, letting people off for the night, and picking people up for the return to Anacortes. So we never made it back to Anacortes until midnight Washington time, then the hour drive back to Coupeville, we got back to the little home we had rented at 2:00 AM Utah time, it was a long day, but well worth it.
It was an interesting ride, both to and from San Juan Island, we met new people, got to listen to some nice music provided by a small band, I wish I could remember their name, the music had a kind of Celtic feel to it!
On the way there we went out onto the deck to watch the smaller islands go by as we sailed along, but it was cold, and trying to rain on us, which would prove to be the menu of the day as far as weather was concerned.
We seen many interesting things, one of the more interesting things, at least to me, were the Red Foxes that are on the island, from what I understand they are not indigenous to the island, and had been brought there several years ago, anyway they were like dogs, they would com right up to your car, and look at you. On one occasion I was set up on a little mound hoping to get photographs of the cattle point lighthouse, as I was waiting for the sky to clear, it never did, this little red fox came right up the trail, looked at me for a minute then headed off through the long grass to the coast.
As we waited out the rain, and the overcast skies, we decided to head back to Friday Harbor so we would be there to catch the ferry back to Anacortes, and home.
As we walked along the sidewalks in Friday Harbor, the sun began to set, as the rain storm ended, and the skies cleared. The lights of the harbor came on, reflecting in the still waters of the harbor that were protected from the Pacific Ocean. As the waves came and went boats gently rocked, the docks rose and fell, the sky clearing from gray to blue, it was a beautiful night along the boardwalk that lines the harbor just north of the ferry landing.

What a beautiful ending to an eventful trip around San Juan Island.