Thursday, October 15, 2015

See Seattle, WA

Bask in the Afternoon Rain

Seattle, Washington, Oregon too for that matter, experiences rain 280 days out of the year. At times, that is an exaggeration but not far from it. You'll more often than not be caught in the rain during the rainy season; plan wisely.

Points of Interest in Seattle

Pike Place closing time
Pike Place Market After Hours by Calvin Hodgson CC by SA 4.0

Every city has fascinating, must-see points of interest. Some known lesser than others. Seattle is, of course, most famous for its Pike Place Market which certainly is on the map if you come from afar. Living in Portland, we decided not to go during the hustle and bustle of the market at high noon. Crowded during any part of the day.
The Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57
Seattle Great Ferris Wheel by Calvin Hodgson CC by SA 4.0

The Seattle Great Ferris Wheel is but a skip and a hop away from Pike Place. On Pier 57, also known as Miner's Landing, this place features many restaurants indoors and shops. I personally only went to the restaurants where I got a big slice of pizza. Yum!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Super Blood Moon at Astoria Oregon

Super Blood Moon as seen from Astoria, Oregon


The super blood moon rises over Astoria. Four moons in one shot.
Super Blood Moon Time-lapse by Calvin Hodgson CC by SA 4.0

It was quite a sight for the world to see. The Super Blood Moon is a rare occurrence that happens only once in 20 to 30 years. The next one will not be around until 2033. It is called a super blood moon because it is a full moon that is closer to the Earth than it normally would be.

The shot above was just so fun to shoot from atop of the Astoria Column here in Oregon. This is a time-lapse of the moon. Tripods and a shutter cable release are critical to taking a steady shot. As is having a capable camera with a long focal length to be able to capture the moon. No, your iPhone won't cut it. Much too wide field of view lacking dedicated full manual controls.

Let's just say, there were many people at this popular destination. Even with the column being under repair, many came out tonight to glimpse the blood moon.

Super Blood Moon with Astoria Column in foreground
Astoria Column w/ Super blood moon by Calvin Hodgson CC by SA 4.0

It was around 7:15 p.m. and we all were eagerly awaiting the rise of the blood moon. Little did we know that the moon was already in full eclipse by the time the sun was setting just behind us in the west. It was already rising before becoming just barely visible to the east. It was a spectacular view as the night went on.

I could not help thinking about how the view would have looked from Saddle mountain. I have not been up there yet and it sounds like quite a hike. Yet, the view would be less obstructed and there would not be as many artificial lights. This is just south of Astoria and east of Seaside.

In any case, wear warm clothes next time. You are going to be out for an hour as it passes through the Earth's shadow. Plus, be fortunate enough that the forecast does not call for clouds. Ruins any chance to see a blood moon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Not So Sunny Seaside, Oregon

Low Tide Time

While Seaside, OR does not have any tidal pools during low tide there is an abundance of sand dollars.
Fishermen are fishing in the early morning while the tide is out
Out at Low Tide by Calvin Hodgson CC-by-SA

Sand Dollar Under Sand
Sand Dollars under Sand by Florida Fish and Wildlife CC-by-ND 2.0


Seriously, you can't walk 10 feet sometimes without finding a sand dollar. There were many on the beaches that you could have made a necklace with the amount you find. There were a few that looked "fresh" but with no little creature inside the shell. They may have been recently eaten by a crab or a hungry seagull.

Sand Dollar with a Caterpillar
Caterpillar on Sand Dollar by Calvin Hodgson CC-by-SA

Ecola State Park

Located right between Seaside and Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park is right off U.S. 101 going into Cannon Beach downtown area. Instead, you go towards the right, or Northwest for you navigators. There is a fork in the road. The one going left leads towards some great views of the beach view. Cannon Beach is hidden away.

The path on the right goes towards what was La Push beach in the movie Twilight but is actually Indian Beach right here in Oregon. Along the way, you may find some Elk. We were lucky enough to see some. Keep your cameras ready!

An Elk Looking My Way
It's... watching by Calvin Hodgson CC-by-SA

The park has many trails. One going south leads back to the beach below. It did go further south, but the path was closed off. On the north trail, you can get a better view of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. It is out by itself detached from the coast. So unless you have a boat you are not getting close to it.
The lighthouse in the picture below is just a small spot on the horizon. Follow the Flickr link for a bigger image. I don't put full-size images on this site to keep load times reasonable.
Ecola State Park View of the Pacific Ocean
Dreadful Weather by Calvin Hodgson CC-by-SA

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Wonderful Cannon Beach in Spring

Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

Let's face it, Oregon is generally cold and rainy 3 seasons out of the year. The beaches are no exception to this. With bone-chilling water temperatures of just 54 °F in May, you won't see many wading into the ocean nor any sunbathing. Much too cold for any of those activities; the summer is much more promising. This begs the question: What is there to do on the Oregon coast?

Cannon Beach Walk

Cannon Beach attracts many tourists from far away. The main draw, of course, being Haystack Rock. As seen in The Goonies.


Cloudy day on Cannon Beach by Calvin Hodgson CC-by-SA

This 235-foot tall behemoth is a good mile walk from the downtown of Cannon Beach. Being very well-known, expect lots of people to be around, especially in the summer. During low tide, there are many tidal pools next to Haystack Rock which we did not get to see this time around since it is well 1. Cold and 2. Soon to be high tide.
If you ever get a chance to go during low tide be aware of when the tide comes in. Many a traveler has been stuck out there needing rescue.

There are also many seagulls to chase or that might interrupt your picnic to feast on your Lay's potato chips.