Maine 2017 – Portland, ME


Monday was a walking tour of Portland day. As is a bit of a theme, we didn’t have specific plans or schedule. We drove into Portland and lucked out with some free parking on the edge of town. We wandered the waterfront docks, shops, etc and then looped up through the heart of town. We weren’t specifically in need of any stuff and neither of us really shops just to shop, so it was mostly just a walking tour of the city. Continue reading

Oregon – Day 4 – Oregon Coast

Day 4 entailed a lot of driving, with a few stops along the Oregon coast mixed in.  Our first attempt was a lighthouse very near Newport, but the line of cars just to get into the park was extending beyond visible range of the entrance so we took the hint from a few others in line, turned around and continued on.

Pacific City Dune
Pacific City Dune where you can also see the cars parked off on the sand.

The next stop was in Pacific City at a beach.  I’m not sure what the initial motivation for going to *that* beach was, but when we got there it seemed like the thing to do was drive down onto the sand.  Many vehicles, including a few cars were out there and we figured it must have been well enough packed sand to manage driving around.  I really should have given more though to what was going to happen if we *couldn’t* drive around on the beach sand before pulling off the concrete ramp.  At the end of the ramp was maybe 20-25ft of loose sand – we got through it to the packed area just fine, and once on the more packed sand could indeed drive around just fine.  We got out and walked around a bit, but my desire to go wander was greatly limited by my realization that we might be stuck on the beach, which was too bad because there was a sizable dune that would have been fun to climb.

The Focus is a little front wheel drive car with standard all season tires and minimal ground clearance.  These things should have registered earlier.  I gave a few cautious tries getting through the sand, not wanting to get so far in that we couldn’t back out.  After parking again to sit and consider the optinos, on the third try I got a bit more speed and just went for it figuring if we didn’t make it the difference of being down on the packed sand vs. stuck in the deep sand wasn’t going to be of much consequence.  Fortunately, the result was a successful departure from the beach.  On the way out, we noticed a tow truck at the ready up in the paved lot and realized that should have been a warning on the way in.

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Grand Haven Lighthouse Sunset

Grand Haven Lighthouse

Grand Haven Lighthouse Sunset – a bit grainy (this one is just one shot with the shadows brought up a lot) but nice none the less.

Remember when Lake Michigan was below freezing and Lake Michigan was ice as far as you could see?  You do now… As the temperature is cooling down I figured everyone would like a little reminder of what the landscape will be like in 5 or so months.

Picture taken with Sony a6000, SELP55210 lens @ 55mm, f/11, 1/160, ISO 100.

Grand Island Lighthouse

Grand Island Lighthouse

If you look at the very top of this picture, you can see the top of the Grand Island Lighthouse, which is situated on the bluff a the North end of the island.  It’s not immediately visible due to the angle looking up the cliff, but if you paddle out into Lake Superior a bit it can be seen.

Picture taken with Panasonic Lumix TS-4, lens @ 17mm (98mm eqiv), f/5.7, 1/400 sec, ISO 100.

Manitou Passage Lighthouse

Manitou Passage Lighthouse

Last lighthouse for a bit… maybe.  The light(house) in the middle of the Manitou Passage about three miles off the mainland and off the shore of North Manitou Island.  As you can sort of see, it’s a residence for birds now and thanks to that it stinks pretty horribly and is worth going on the windward side of when passing – if you look at the GPS tracklog you can see the space between the coming and going paths in the middle of the passage where we did just that.

Picture taken with Pentax Optio W60, lens @ 5mm (28mm eq), f/4.2, 1/250 sec, ISO 50

Round Island Lighthouse

Round Island Lighthouse

This picture is so-so, but it fits the lighthouse theme… the Round Island Lighthouse opposite Mackinac Island across the channel there.  I’ve successfully watched fireworks from this lighthouse, which I highly recommend.

Picture taken with Pentax Optio W60, lens @ 6.1mm (34mm eq), f/6.1, 1/20 sec, ISO 200

South Manitou Lighthouse

South Manitou Lighthouse

The South Manitou Lighthouse from the water upon arrival after one of our early and poorly coordinated (read: stupid) crossings.  We actually saved most of the stupid for the return trip which had worse conditions and way more distance between the three of us such that we were effectively all out there alone with no support.

Picture taken with Optio 33WR, lens @ 6.9mm (37mm eq), f/6.9, 1/200 sec, ISO —

Au Sable Light House

Au Sable Light House

Happy 4th of July!  More of a snapshot than a well composed photo, but this is the Au Sable Light House in Pictured Rocks.  Still, it ended up pretty simple and clean so I like it.  I didn’t plan it to be the 4th of July pic, and looking at it now it’s kind of ironic that it has a flagpole with no flag.  That was not intentional.

Picture taken with Canon 300D, EF-S 18-55mm lens @ 18mm, f/10, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

Walking on Water

Grand Haven

I’m paranoid when it comes to this kind of activity – I don’t like the idea of falling through the ice into 32 degree water.  Not that it wouldn’t have been cool to go tromp around on the icebergs, but when I can see the melt spots, I’m staying off that ice.  Other people don’t have these concerns apparently.  It may not be obvious, but those are footprints criss-crossing every which way out there.  There was also a pretty established trail right along the channel.  Picture taken from the safety of the break wall with concrete underneath the three feet of snow under my feet.

I think this is the last view I captured from the lake on Sunday, so we’ll move on to something else tomorrow.

Pictures taken with Sony a6000, E PZ 16-50mm lens @ 42mm, f/5.6, 1/20 sec, ISO 100.