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29 Oct 2017

Fall colors at Heather Lake

On Saturday we ventured out into the cascades once again. This time we were in search of fall colors.

We missed the main show by about a week but the fall colors were still out in force. The hike starts deep in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and winds for roughly 2 miles up rough rooted, rocky and wet terrain. As elevation gain isn’t hugely significant for this trail (only 1000′) the hike itself is not too strenuous. (more…)

06 Oct 2017

Annette Lake with special guest!

I’ve been so wrapped up with vacations and work that I forgot to post about our hike to Annette Lake with our friend Christy.

The hike starts in North Bend just off I-90 and winds up into the mountains for a little over 3.5 miles. The hike itself isn’t too different from most others but there are some really awesome log crossings and beautiful flowers along the way. By the time we reached the lake we couldn’t wait to take a dip. Loki & I ended up going for a swim while Christine & Christy relaxed in the shallows.

Also thanks to Christy for some photos of Christine & I! Finally some behind the scenes shots 🙂 (more…)

17 Sep 2017

Finishing off a trail we didn’t complete last year

Last year we hiked to Bridal Veil Falls and skipped the extra two mile hike to Lake Serene.

It’s been on our minds ever since and finally we’ve made it back. The hike was a leg killer but the views at the top of the valley and of the lake are amazing. It’s a totally different world up there. The best part for me were the granite spires looming over the crystal clear waters and the pikas. The pika were everywhere up there. Christine relaxed in the sun and I sat in the rocks with the pika. Perfect day 🙂 (more…)

04 Aug 2017

The Adventure Beagle hits the trail once again!

Some of you might have noticed the lack of a certain howling commando in our recent hiking photos.

Loki sustained a leg injury 2 months ago and it rendered him a stay at home pup. We got him x-rayed and tested but no break or tear was found. He just needed a lot time and rest.

We restricted him to super short potty breaks and very little horse play in the apartment (even though he really tried to get us to play).

So now that he’s had his rest, I’ve begun gradually building up his hiking muscles for the past couple weeks. And this past weekend, Christine and I agreed that we should start pushing him a bit farther.

We choose Discovery Park here in Seattle for it’s ease of access. If he needed a break or to be picked up, it wouldn’t be a strenuous ordeal getting him out and back to the car.

You can see he did really well and was happy to get on the trails once again! (more…)

03 Aug 2017

Heat, smoke and Blue Angels!

This week is a bit of a weird one.

We’ve got unusually intense heat here in Seattle and given that 75% of the Puget Sound population doesn’t have air conditioners (including us), it’s proving to be quite interesting.

Even Canada is having issues with the heat. They’ve got seriously huge forest fires sending smoke hundreds of miles down the coast. Seattle seems to be bathing in it. One awesome bi-product of the smoke is amazing sunrises and sunsets.

This morning I got a few shots of the sun trying to peer through the smoke.

And another interesting thing this week is Seafair. Every year Seattle brings in the Blue Angels to show off their stuff. Today, I was brought to an invite only helipad Blue Angels party. We got to watch as the F-18’s practiced flying over and sometimes through the city.

Good times! (more…)

26 Jul 2017

The wildflowers have exploded at Mount Rainier

For this past adventure, Christine led me to Mount Rainier National Park.

She had learned from a co-worker that now is the time to visit Berkeley Park for wildflowers. So that’s just what we did. Waking up at 5AM is a bit rough but we wanted to beat the crowds. And thankfully we did. Only a handful of cars were at the Visitor Center by the time we arrived. Even from the parking lot the park was showing its stuff.

The mountain itself is always impressive (even from our West Seattle apartment) but to see Rainier this close is really something special. As we followed the trail on our flower seeking trek the glacier capped peak loomed overhead. Shortly after starting the hike though, our attention was pulled away from the mountain and towards the ground.

As far as the eye can see at some points, flowers filled the ground all the way to the horizon.

We followed the trail down the valley for roughly 3.5 miles until we decided to head back. Dark clouds were starting to form around Rainier and we didn’t want to get stuck in any late afternoon showers.

This is an easy hike for flower seekers and the mountain views are an added bonus. (more…)

18 Jul 2017

Now presenting the gorgeous Lake 22!

Christine and I decided to check out the mysteriously named Lake 22 this weekend.

The hike to the lake combines the best of mountain rainforests, old-growth, wetlands, and mountain views, yet it is readily accessible. Well sort of. The hike itself is generally pretty straightforward but incredibly rocky. Tricky footing and pointy rocks left our feet in need of a serious break by the time we reached our destination.

The views were stunning. Photos make this place look small but the lake is huge and deep with crystal clear waters. You can easily see to the bottom, some 20 feet down (probably more). And the lake itself is surrounded by a gentle path that takes you right up to the base of the surrounding mountains. We stopped a few times to rest our feet and also explore the snowy fields under the cliffs.

Not a bad place to explore for an afternoon if you ask me! (more…)

13 Jul 2017
02 Jul 2017

Visited Mount St Helens for the first time!

This place is amazing. We timed our visit out perfectly and got an awesome wildflower show.

On our visit yesterday we hiked out towards Harry’s Ridge, named for an old man who refused to leave his home when the volcano exploded 37 years ago. Christine and I made it just a little over 2 miles in before we turned back to catch the sunset at Loowit Viewpoint. (more…)

29 Dec 2016

Obama Creates Two National Monument in Southwest

Adventure Journal | Steve Casimiro | December 28, 2016

Move was widely expected, but conservationists, environmentalists rejoice nonetheless.

That President Barack Obama has been considering creating a new national monument on Cedar Mesa in southern Utah has been no great secret, but fans of federal public lands were thrilled today when Obama actually went through with it and signed the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in being and also created the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.

“For hundreds of generations,” Obama’s Bears Ears proclamation says, “native peoples lived in the surrounding deep sandstone canyons, desert mesas, and meadow mountaintops, which constitute one of the densest and most significant cultural landscapes in the United States. Abundant rock art, ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial sites, and countless other artifacts provide an extraordinary archaeological and cultural record that is important to us all, but most notably the land is profoundly sacred to many Native American tribes, including the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah Ouray, Hopi Nation, and Zuni Tribe.”

13 Dec 2016

Recreation Is Tougher on Critters Than You Might Think

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Adventure Journal | Taylor Grant | December 13, 2016

Non-motorized has more impact than motorized? A new study shows some surprising results.

Most of us human-powered adventurers like to think we move through the wilderness with a minimum of impact. Leave no trace, right? That’s for motorcycles and ATVs and snow machines. Well, not so fast. A new study, or rather, a meta-study of other studies, found that the effect of human recreation on animals is tangible, substantial, widespread, and greater than previously thought.

The study was a joint effort by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Colorado State University, and University of California-Berkeley. It looked at 274 other studies worldwide and found that they documented human impact on animals in 93 percent of the cases, most of it negative. Surprisingly, signs pointed to non-motorized recreation having a greater negative effect that motorized.

06 Dec 2016

How the Parks of Tomorrow Will Be Different

National Geographic | Michelle Nijhuis | November 20, 2016

America’s most special places will always be beautiful, but a warming climate forces us to accept that they can’t be frozen in time.

Assateague Island National Seashore, which sits on a 37-mile-long sliver of land just off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, is gradually shuffling west. Over centuries, as hurricanes and nor’easters drive sand from its Atlantic beaches across the island and into its bayside marshes, the entire island is scooting closer to the coast.

“It’s neat, isn’t it?” says Ishmael Ennis, hunching against a stiff spring wind. “Evolution!” He grins at the beach before him. It’s littered with tree stumps, gnarled branches, and chunks of peat the size of seat cushions—the remains of a marsh that once formed the western shore of the island. Later buried by storm-shifted sand, it’s now resurfacing to the east, as the island shuffles on.

22 Nov 2016

Behind the Photo: Morning Fire Detail

The night was a rocky one for me.

Thunderstorms battered the area with winds knocking my car around and lightning fracturing the sky. I was quite literally in the middle of the storm. I can only best describe it as a sight to be seen but not slept through.

So, being awake considerably earlier than usual, I was first in line to get up to Clingman’s Dome. But with the storms from the night prior, many threatening looking clouds lingered around. I was actually worried I wouldn’t get any star or sunrise photos.
(more…)

04 Nov 2016

Common Traits That Make Great Photos, Part 2

Outdoor Photographer | Russ Burden | October 24, 2016

Take a moment to think about the most famous photo you know. What made you choose that picture?

In last week’s tip (Common Traits That Make Great Photos, Part 1), I explained how dramatic light, good subjects and good composition can help you create images that leave an impact. This week, in part two of this two-part series, I’ll share three more common traits that make great photos.

Trait #4 – Decisive Moment: The decisive moment is a term made famous by Henri Cartier-Bresson. He was a street photographer who intuitively knew the precise second to press the shutter. He didn’t rely on high-speed motor drive. It’s a lot easier to capture the decisive moment with today’s technology and frame per second rate, but it still requires anticipation, knowledge of the subject and fast reflexes.

03 Nov 2016

Common Traits That Make Great Photos, Part 1

Outdoor Photographer | Russ Burden | October 17, 2016

Take a moment to think about the most famous photo you know. What made you choose that picture?

Think of another equally powerful one. What made you choose that image? Come up with an additional five. Were they all black-and-white, color or a combination? Were there emotional ties to any? Were any of family members? Were they of a specific genre—for instance nature, news event or portrait? Were there commonalities among them—things like dramatic light, strong composition, impact, saturated color, etc.? The reason I asked the above questions is to get you to think about why certain images leave an impact. In this two-part series, I share six common traits that make great photos that leave an impression.

02 Nov 2016

Help From Above: Aerial Photography For Science

Outdoor Photographer | Christopher Boyer | October 24, 2016

Aerial photography makes it possible to collect data for conservation research that would be difficult, if not impossible, to get on foot or by other means

It’s still dark when I climb into Red Plane, Four-Six-Bravo. As it is with my cameras, vision is not necessary to operate the buttons, dials and switches—muscle memory guides me through the startup sequence: magnetos, mixture, throttle, master, prop, starter button. The engine catches after the third revolution, oil pressure climbs into the green, and moments later I’m ascending southbound over Montana’s Gallatin Valley, a faint glow on the eastern horizon.

My GPS displays a tortuous path through some of the highest, most remote and most beautiful terrain in Montana and northern Wyoming, where I will locate and photograph 145 high-elevation ice patches scattered through the Teton, Gros Ventre, Hoback and Wind River mountain ranges.

31 Oct 2016

International Community Creates Massive Marine Reserve

Adventure Journal | Brian Khan | October 31, 2016

24 countries agree to preserve 600,000 square miles of Antarctic waters.

The creatures of the Southern Ocean just got a lot more space to roam freely. On Thursday, 24 countries and the European Union agreed to set aside a 600,000-square-mile swath of ocean — roughly twice the size of Texas — off the coast of Antarctica as a marine protected area.

It’s taken years of negotiations to get to this point, but the end result is the largest marine protected area ever created. More than two-thirds of the ocean set aside was designated a marine reserve, closing it to fishing and making it a particularly safe space for marine life to weather the pressures of climate change and overfishing. It’s a technique that’s had success in other parts of the world and in addition, scientists will also be able to use the Ross Sea as a baseline in the coming years to assess the impacts of climate change on the marine food web.

23 Oct 2016

Behind the Photo: South Fork

My first backpacking trip happened in one of my favorite parks. I had built up the Tetons in my mind for so many years and yet when I arrived, it still managed to surpass all of my dreams.

Our trip consisted of a simple out and back, overnight trip up Cascade Canyon to a campground about a mile down the South Fork of the Teton Crest Trail. The hike was easy going and the views were spectacular. Along the way we encountered quite a few moose and, what came as a big surprise for me, were the pika. I normally expect to see them at much higher elevation but they were everywhere!
(more…)

20 Oct 2016

Utah Sells Critical Desert Land to Farm Corporation

Adventure Journal | Steve Casimiro | October 20, 2016

Really think the feds should turn over lands to the states? Environmentalists are up in arms over land dump to private hands.

Comb Ridge is a dramatic reef of rock that stretches for 80 miles across northern Arizona and southern Utah and has served as barrier, landmark, and home back through the millennia. And through all those years, across the majority of that land, it’s remained open and public. But the state of Utah, which is the most vociferous of the states demanding the federal lands be turned over to state control, just sold 391 acres of Comb Ridge to a private party, Lyman Family Farms.

The transaction went through despite the strong opposition of locals and environmentalists.

18 Oct 2016

Planet Earth II – The Planet’s Wilder Side

Fstoppers | Wouter du Toit | October 18, 2016

We know that if something is narrated by David Attenborough, it’s going to be special.

And to make it even more of a go-see, the original score is produced by award-winning Hans Zimmer who gave us the score to Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Inception to name a few. BBC used the latest filming technologies to get up close and personal to these creatures we seldom see or think about as being part of this eco-system on Earth.

The shots are incredible. The camera gets up close to the animals. Whether it’s birds, a monkey jumping from one branch to the next in a dense forest or the battles between two males just shows how much more there is to see in this natural kingdom and how new technologies can make it possible.

07 Oct 2016

Nevada BLM Lands Suffer Vandalism, Neglect

Adventure Journal | Anna V. Smith – High Country News | October 07, 2016

The feds withdrew from Gold Butte after being shot at—now this remote slice of desert is under assault

In June 2015, for the first time since federal officers confronted Cliven Bundy and militia members over Bundy’s illegal grazing in 2014, the Bureau of Land Management sent a survey crew to the Gold Butte area near Bunkerville, Nevada. The three surveyors from the Great Basin Institute were there to inventory springs, cattle troughs and seeps. According to contemporary news reports, they encountered Cliven Bundy and his son, Ryan Bundy, who spoke with them briefly and asked what they were doing. Later that night, as the surveyors were getting into their tents, a vehicle lit up the camp with its headlights as it drove by, and shortly afterward, three gunshots rang out nearby. An hour later, they heard three more shots. The surveyors packed up in the dark, left, and did not come back. Cliven Bundy told reporters he had not fired the shots, and the BLM kept out of Gold Butte.

07 Oct 2016

Finding The Right Track

Mountain Goat at Logan Pass - Glacier National Park, Montana

Outdoor Photographer | Text & Photography By Melissa Groo | January 14, 2016

Now, more than ever, we need an open discussion on the ethics of wildlife photography

This is the best time in history to be a wildlife photographer, and this is the worst time in history to be a wild animal. That statement might sound extreme, but consider the facts.

It has never been easier to find a wild subject. Online databases, photography forums, texting and social media yield instant information on the location of a bird or other animal—often with GPS coordinates. Workshops that promise spectacular shots of wildlife in thrilling destinations abound. Thermal-imaging devices locate dens and nests; camera traps, drones and buggies find and track elusive animals.

03 Oct 2016

Seven Life Lessons Photographer Jimmy Nelson Has Learned From Photography

Fstoppers | Dustin Levine | October 3, 2016

Photographer Jimmy Nelson has spent over 30 years traveling around the globe taking pictures, mostly photographing indigenous cultures by using his camera as a tool to make contact and build relationships with unknown communities around the planet.

In this video, Nelson shares seven life lessons that he has personally learned through his photography experiences during his worldwide adventures.

The Seven Lessons

  • Humor
  • Knowledge
  • Vulnerability
  • […]
02 Oct 2016

Focus, Near And Far

Outdoor Photographer | George Lepp | October 2, 2016

Glass Vs. Air For Close Focus

Q: When would it be best to use macro diopters vs. extension tubes? I do a lot of backpacking, and I’m looking to make my camera kit as versatile as possible with the least amount of weight. –Seminar Participant

A: A great variety of tools and techniques will bring you closer to your subject, but the fact that you’re looking to stay compact and lightweight for backpacking will narrow the choices somewhat.

21 Sep 2016

Techniques For Fall Color Photography

Chimney Tops Panorama – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Outdoor Photographer | Text & Photography By Kurt Budliger | September 21, 2016

No matter where you live or travel this fall season, try these 10 creative techniques to make your best autumn images yet

As a Vermont-based photographer, there is no better time of year to be prowling the back roads than late September and early October. In fact, there is no place I would rather be, and I plan my entire schedule around being home for this amazing time of year. If you have never experienced an autumn season in New England, you definitely should add it to your bucket list. For those who can’t make the pilgrimage to New England, there are many other fantastic locations throughout the U.S. and abroad for great fall color. No matter where you live or travel this fall season, try these 10 creative techniques for fall color photography to make your best autumn images yet.

14 Sep 2016

Seeing In Black And White

Perfect Fins – Arches National Park, Utah

Outdoor Photographer | Text & Photography By William Neill | September 14, 2016

When you get to a certain age, one often looks back at events that shaped who you are, and how you got there.

I am from the Baby Boomer generation, so forgive me for dwelling on the past for a moment here. I have been making many black-and-white images lately, and often while doing so, I’ve remembered a few of the key influences that have affected my explorations into monochromatic photography.

In college, I took two basic black-and-white photo courses in my university’s art department. My professor disliked Ansel Adams’s work, was not into “pretty” nature photography, and had a distain for color images. As a somewhat rebellious 21-year-old growing up in the 1970s, his opinions were a “perfect storm” for me to resist his efforts to guide my creative efforts away from what inspired me to photograph: wilderness and color imagery. The professor and I battled through our opposing viewpoints for those two semesters. I wanted to do color so badly that I started toning my black-and-white darkroom prints with a blue tint! Not a good look, but I was a stubborn redhead! The reason I made photographs was to record and share the natural beauty I was experiencing in wild places.

11 Aug 2016

The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go – Part 2

Source: Emerald City and Beyond

On the way back down to the Park Butte trail, I thought about calling it quits for the day.

DSC_4855Hikers on the way up Railroad Grade Trail.

I wanted to make it to the top, but I wasn’t sure my feet or Loki’s could handle it with the extra mileage we had just done. Plus I only had one granola bar left until I returned to the car. Loki on the other hand was stacked with treats and food, so he was good to go.

Personally I hate feeling like I missed out on experiencing something, so not continuing to the top would have been disappointing. (more…)

31 Jul 2016

The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go – Part 1

Source: Emerald City and Beyond

For this weekend’s adventure Loki and I took to the mountains sans Christine…

No we didn’t leave her behind. She just unfortunately had to work all weekend.

So where to go? Last weekend I was so impressed with the view of Mount Baker from Sauk Mountain I decided to get up close and personal with it.

The trail I chose was a 7.5 mile round trip with 2,200 feet of elevation gain that would lead us to a viewpoint called Park Butte. Not an easy hike but I knew Adventure Beagle and I could handle it.

To start this adventure off right we hit the road at 3am to make it there before sunrise. Turns out Loki is even grumpier about having to wake up early than Christine is.

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Two hours later we arrived at the trailhead just before sunrise. To my surprise the parking lot was pretty full already. I found out later most of the cars belonged to people who had camped out on the mountain the night before. After Loki finished up his breakfast we started our trek into one of the most beautiful areas I’ve ever hiked. (more…)

25 Jul 2016

Mountain Views

Source: Emerald City and Beyond

Some trails are hard to get to when you have a small car with low ground clearance…

Case in point

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but that section of the road was pretty rough. It had started out bumpy but manageable, requiring some thoughtful maneuvering around the sections of potholes and deep divets that popped up during the 7.9 mile stretch. Less than 1/4 mile from the top we got to this section, and we decided it would be smarter to leave the car behind and walk the rest of the way to the trailhead.

We had decided to switch things up and go for a sunset hike as opposed to an early morning one. Jason wanted to attempt some sunset photos, and since Sauk Mountain is a popular spot, we figured there would be less people around later in the day.

 

Read the full article here: Emerald City and Beyond

18 Jul 2016

Hiking for Noobs

Source: Emerald City and Beyond

While Jason has spent countless hours out on trails being one with nature, before moving here I could count on one hand the number of times I had gone hiking.

Walking for hours carrying a heavy backpack just didn’t appeal to me, I preferred to spend my weekends sleeping in and nursing a hangover or two. As I’ve gotten older though, the hangovers seem to last forever, and I don’t need to sleep in as much since I’m used to going to bed early for work (hellooo adulthood). Jason has used this change in events to his advantage, and now we regularly wake up early on the weekends to hit the trails while less people are around and the light is best for taking photos.

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Read the full article here: Emerald City and Beyond

05 Jul 2016

Sunsets and Sand

Source: Emerald City and Beyond

With cool mornings and a more temperate climate, summer in Seattle feels more like a spring or fall than anything else.

While our friends and families have been sweating it out for the past month back on the east coast, we’re still leaving the house wearing a light jacket most days.

Last weekend we decided that a trip to the beach was just what we needed to feel like summer had really begun. After a last-minute hotel room score and a 5 hour drive through Friday rush-hour traffic, we found ourselves in Cannon Beach admiring one of Oregon’s most recognizable landmarks.

DSC_3454Haystack Rock

In between checking out the town, lying on the beach, and laughing at Loki trying to catch seagulls, Jason managed to get some awesome photos of all the beautiful scenery.

Read the full article here: Emerald City and Beyond