Last weekend was Julie’s wedding – it was fah-bu-luhs! They held it at the pear orchard where her dad lives near Hood River. Amazing venue btw, I think I may have to steal the idea … (read, I will steal the idea for next summer – mark your calendars 7-13-13)
While the professional photographer was taking her traditional shots near some large fruit boxes, Briana asked me to come over and get some family shots with her husband, Ben, and her two children.
Her son Addison’s smirk cracks me up. He did it in nearly all the shots. Scroll to the bottom to see the slideshow.
I love how these turned out!
Here’s a few of Adam and me and our puppers.
Yay, super duper moon tonight. I thought we’d miss it entirely, but around 7 p.m. the clouds that had blanketed Corvallis all day lift, lucky me!
I’m not prepared – figuring the clouds would foil me as they did when I wanted to shoot the last lunar eclipse – so I didn’t wander around town today looking for a good spot to shoot like I thought I would. With the moonrise coming (scheduled for 8:24p), I talk Adam into going out to Bald Hill farm with our bikes and Yoshi at 7:15.
We bike the path until I find a nice hill ( I worried it was on someone’s property, but went ahead and set up, anyway). Then I check my compas, set up the tripod to that.
And am ready to go, it’s 7:50.
Then I check my iPhone Star Walk app, and it says the moon is actually a little more north – I move and set up again. Am ready to go … again … by 8:10.
Then we wait. It’s pretty darn cold out here. Yoshi’s even getting cold; course, he had a haircut Monday, so he’s practically naked. I’d be cold, too.
The moon’s supposed to come up at 8:24. By 8:30, I’m like wtf is up? I check Star Walk, it says it’s coming up? What gives?
THEN, I notice the semitransparent, nearly not there, huge as hell half circle coming up about 30 degrees south from where Star Walk says the moon is.
Thanks for nothing Star Walk app.
Here’s how ghostly the moon was first coming up. We missed the first half of it coming up because we weren’t looking in the right direction and it was barely there anyway. Maybe that’s a result of the haze? It was so big I wasn’t even sure it WAS the moon, thinking it was a cloud that just happened to be in a perfect circle (dur!)
Here’s my best close up. We were treated to a beautiful pink orb.
Because it was so barely there (isn’t this moon supposed to be 30 percent brighter than normal? It sure wasn’t putting that face on for us tonight) I had to drop down the shutter speed to get in more light , which means the moon has some movement so it’s not as completely crisp as I would have preferred (darn atmosphere!). But the purpose of tonight’s trip was to capture the horizon illusion, and I think I did – that was fun! In this one, notice Reser Stadium in the lower left corner.
Here’s a bunch o cold crazies!
I’ve got Lightroom 4 installed now, and this weekend provided plenty of opportunity to take a million shots so I could put my new program to use. I carried up my Canon 7D SLR and my Canon Digital Rebel. Although the camera gear probably added a few more pounds to my load, I’m glad I brought it (even if my camera bag drowned in the treck up in rain and snot – I really need to figure out how to wash the poor thing.)
For this set, I created 4 watermark templates in LR4 and applied one to every photo so I can get the hang of it and see how well this design works. This really bogged down my editing process, and I may need to figure out a new procedure.
After going to Five Mile Butte last fall, I fell in love with the place and immediately booked again as soon as I returned home.
Being in the Hood National Forest, the tower gets a lot of snow. The description on the website says the gate to the top is open after March 15, so I stupidly assumed that meant snow would be gone by then, or at least be thin enough our Subaru could handle the drive up. You know what they say … don’t assume.
I called the ranger station on Monday to get the combination to the tower and asked about road conditions for our drive up on Thursday (we had it reserved for March 29-April 1). She laughed at me when I asked if my Subaru could make it to the top. OK … change of plans – my party of 5 would have to park at Billy Bob sno park, three miles from the tower, and hike in the rest of the way with our gear.
No problem, we’re young and fit (mostly) – we can handle a 3 mile hike with 30 pounds of gear. Huzzah!
Yeah, that attitude lasted all of 20 minutes after we started packing in. It was raining, at least 35 degrees out, and those packs were getting heavier by the minute (I blame the rain weighing them down.)
Here’s Megan about a mile and half in. She’s a trooper and dragged 3 gallons of water and 5 liters of wine on a sled.
After THREE rediculously strenuous hours, during which we encountered rain, freezing rain, blizzards and 3-feet-deep snow toward the top, we made it to the tower. Next time, if there is a next time, we bring snow shoes …
Thankfully, the forest service installed a new mattress since the last time I was there. Lucky for us, we had the cabin toasty in no time.
We made sure to pack the necessities.
Scary/slippery! There’s 41 steps, up three flights, the last being the steepest.
The fog socked us in the first two days – the snow and wind were relentless.
Here’s Yoshi on the catwalk. We had to carry him up and down because he’s too scared. Also note the pee bucket, lol. A precious gift from the forest service.
The wood stove in this thing is amazing. We had it at or near 80 degrees the entire time. Sometimes it was too hot! Overnight lows outside dipped to 23.
On Saturday, the clouds finally cleared and we played in the snow, went sledding and built snowmen. Several of these snowmen were already there when we showed up.
We walked out Saturday to meet up with Julie and Tom. They’d planned to come up Friday after five, but after our 3+ hour walk up we convinced them to wait until the next morning. Here’s our trail heading west from the tower. It only took them an hour and a half to make it up – better weather makes a difference!
A fun group of campers!
Although we had some sunny skies on the walk out Sunday, the wind was brutal and picked up the new snow. A few more feet fell in the three days we were there.
Yoshi’s super dog! He had a blast until the snow got too deep for him to go on and we had to carry him for about 2 miles.
The snow was thigh-deep in some places. I think it’s time to invest in some snow shoes!
So nice to get back to Billy Bob and see our vehicles were still there.
At the time I said I wouldn’t do it again, but I lied. I’d love to book this again for a winter stay – after I get snow shoes and learn how to pack a little lighter. I wonder if we should have left Yoshi home because the thick snow was too much for his little body and he kept developing huge snow balls on his chest. Although he had a blast, we were lucky we didn’t have to carry him on the way up (when we all reached our physical limits). I wonder if it’d be worth crating him and strapping his crate to a sled … Next time.
Oy, with my new camera, it sure is easy to fill up hard drive space and memory cards. The ability to take 4 photos a second when the setting is set to burst is also highly addictive with a fast moving pupper who’s full of energy. I think the hardest part for me will be to learn that it’s OK to delete 9 of the 10 photos in a burst – they’re all pretty much the same photo and I’m not making a movie here.
One of the best things about burst is it allows me to for sure get one in focus shot of Yoyo as he’s moving or playing. These are from Marys Peak from a couple weeks ago.
We were lucky for this day, we had wonderful weather.
In this shot, notice the view we had up there, we could see several mountains clearly, yes several. We tried to figure it out as we were up there but I’m confident we could see Rainer, Mount St. Helens, some other peak, the Three Sisters and Mount Hood, which you can see behind Yoshi in this photo.
We didn’t have a sled so we improvised with our butts.
Yoyo was WORN OUT by the end of the day.
(For serious, our dog is too damn cute)
I have more photos to share from this day, but this’ll do for now.
I lub this.
Yesterday, Adam and I tried again to hike to the top of Marys Peak. We did a few weeks ago but didn’t set out early enough and quickly realized it was too much of a hike for Dewey. So this time we left the house earlier, left Dewey at home and brought snow gear to wear.
I’m glad I always carry chains in the winter. We didn’t make it a half mile up Marys Peak road before the tires lost grip and we had to chain up.
Here’s how the roads were:
Here’s the car at Conner’s Campground:
I have lots of wonderful photos to edit through, but first I need to find some space on my hard drive =X
My new 2 TB external from Best Buy should help me solve that issue.
So I’ll save those for another post.
Here’s what we saw as we were heading off the mountain:
A couple of cars pulled off where we did to catch the gorgeous colors. As we were getting back in the car, a car pulled in behind us that slid some on the ice and the driver slightly lost control (they didn’t have chains). As we were pulling out of the parking lot to leave, that car ended up pulling out a couple hundred yards behind us. I was cruising at, oh, 5 mph because of the chains and ice and gravity – being cautious. That car quickly caught up with us and I pulled to the side to let them pass (I didn’t want unsafe driver bashing into me on the way down). As they sped past me, I turned to Adam, “How much you want to bet we’ll pass them spun out on the side of the road before we get to the bottom?)
2 miles later …
Their car was sideways with their trunk INCHES from a cliff.
We pulled off and offered to help them out. After assessing the situation, we figured we *might* have a chance to push the car back on the pavement – and hopefully it wouldn’t slide back anymore. Another driver pulled over to help push and, between the 4 of us, we managed to push it back up and all ended well. But wow, I wish I had gotten a photo – this guy’s car was so close to tumbling over into a ravine. Adam said from the trail of their tire tracks, they’d slid back quite a bit trying to salvage the situation before we arrived.
So please people!
1) carry traction when you’re in conditions and
2) don’t drive like you’re on the freeway when you’re driving on an inch of ice with an 8 percent downgrade.
Adam and I took a hike on the East Ridge Trail on Saturday. We only made it to the first switch back before we realized we weren’t wearing the right gear for hiking in snow (we passed a group of guys coming down the trail who were carrying snow shoes).
It was beautiful up there.