Sunday, July 23, 2017



This is the beginning of a week of travel and photography along the Oregon Coast.  I flew into Portland where I had about a 90 minute layover before I would meet the others in our group. Our tour leader and  coordinator, Mark, had rented three vehicles for the ten of us. You must remember that we all had rubber boots for wading, tripods, camera gear, and of course our personal belongings. Yes, we lug a lot of gear around. 

Once we were assembled we headed off to Newport which is located on the coast Southwest of Portland. Once in Newport we made a supply stop for snacks, and then headed for our accommodations which were in two beach houses located just South of town, and within walking distance of the beach.

After quickly stashing our gear in our house and getting out boots, tripods, etc. we headed for an early dinner at Clearwater Restaurant which was right on the water. There was a small colony of sea lions lounging below the restaurant. We had a delicious dinner before heading off to Seal Rock Beach for some photography.
Sea Stack Row

Surf and Stacks

Surf Explosion

Regrettably there was a good layer of overcast skies which did not make for any really memorable photography. We headed back to our houses about 2130.

Surf Falls

Smooth Surf


As sunrise was about 0530 it was an early departure time. We want to be at the location of choice by 0500 at the latest, getting up and out started for me about 0400. This is how it would be for the whole trip: early mornings, late nights, and a little sleep.

We returned to the same general area as last night. The skies had not changed much so we spent time trying to find good beach detail to photograph under cloudy skies.
Barnacles and Rocks

Barnacle Covered Rocks

Small Stream heading to the Ocean

After breakfast at the Pig and Pancake, where Lin and I enjoyed an excellent Crab Eggs Benedict, we headed off to Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
The lighthouse has a clear and commanding view out to sea. We enjoyed the docent tour where we were able to go up to the floor where the lens is located.
Yaquina Head Light

Spiral Staircase to the Light

Light Reflection

 After the tour we walked a short distance to a Northern overlook from which we could see a  large colony of common murres and some cormorants. What we really got interested in were a couple of bald eagles who were “buzzing” the area. There was some serious hunting going on. We watched and also photographed an eagle fly over the colony, and then return on the hunt for a meal.  I got a good series of images which are probably AOK for a slide show. The Eagle captured a murre and proceeded to make a meal out of it. The activity was at quite a distance, but it was certainly a great experience, Following is a series from the eagle hunt and feasting. As you can see there were a couple of ravens who were very attentive, and looking for a meal as well.

As the afternoon gray returned, we returned to Newport. A couple of us went off to Walmart to get some boots for wading in the surf. I found a suitable pair to replace my water sandal/wetsuit sock combination which was not working well.

There was not going to be any sunset to speak of so we were soon off to dinner and an early end of the day.

Sparrow (Fox, Song, or Hybrid?)

Monday, July 3, 2017


Saturday morning is devoted to the Mule Days Parade. We do not go often, and use this time to escape to the mountains for a hike, fishing, and/or photography. This year DawnMarie was a participant and recruited Tina to join her. We decided to stay out of town for most of the day.
   Justin joined us for breakfast in Big Pine at the Country Kitchen, and then we headed South to the Lone Pine area. Our first stop was Manzanar Relocation Camp. Manzanar is most widely known as the site of one of ten American concentration camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed (incarcerated) during World War II from December 1942 to 1945.  Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California's Owen’s Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, Manzanar is approximately 230 miles (370 km) north of Los Angeles. In February, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the Secretary of War to establish Military Areas and to remove from those areas anyone who might threaten the war effort. Without due process, the government gave everyone of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast only days to decide what to do with their houses, farms, businesses, and other possessions. Most families sold their belongings at a significant loss. No Japanese Americans were incarcerated if they lived on the East Coast!! The camp was very basic and with the bare minimum of facilities. There was little or no privacy in the barracks—and not much outside. The 200 to 400 people living in each block, consisting of 14 barracks each divided into four rooms, shared men’s and women’s toilets and showers, a laundry room, and a mess hall. Any combination of eight individuals was allotted a 20-by-25-foot room. An oil stove, a single hanging light bulb, cots, blankets, and mattresses filled with straw were the only furnishings provided.

Coming from Los Angeles and other communities in California and Washington, Manzanar’s internees were unaccustomed to the harsh desert environment. Summer temperatures soared as high as 110ºF. In winter, temperatures frequently plunged below freezing.
After exploring the museum and one of the block houses we headed for Whitney Portal. 13.7 miles (22 km) west of Lone Pine at an elevation of 8,374 feet (2,552 m).[1] Whitney Portal is the gateway to Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States; it is the trailhead for the Mount Whitney Trail. We enjoyed a little walking around the area, and viewing the wonderful and fast flowing waterfall. 


MT. WHITNEY, To The Right



Once down off the steep part of the Whitney Portal Road, we turned North on Movie Road and drove into the Alabama Hills
 (It was the middle of a hot afternoon, so I did not do any photography here.) Here is an image from the web. One can spend hours or days here with a camera.
FROM THE WEB (Not my work :-))
The hills are named after the C.S.S. Alabama of the Civil War. More than 400 movies and hundreds of television episodes have been shot in the Alabama Hills, located just west of Lone Pine, California. The rounded contours of the Alabama Hills contrast with the sharp ridges of the Sierra Nevada to the west. Though this might suggest that they formed from a different orogeny, the Alabama Hills are the same age as the nearby Sierras. The difference in wear can be accounted for by different patterns of erosion. There are two main types of rock exposed at Alabama Hills. One is an orange, drab weathered metamorphic volcanic rock that is 150-200 million years old. The other type of rock exposed here is 82- to 85-million-year-old biotite monzogranite which weathers to potato-shaped large boulders, many of which stand on end due to spheroidal weathering acting on many nearly vertical joints in the rock.
Since the early 1920s, 150 movies and about a dozen television shows have been filmed here, including Tom Mix films, Hopalong Cassidy films, The Gene Autry Show, The Lone Ranger and Bonanza. Meanwhile Classics such as Gunga Din, The Walking Hills, Yellow Sky, Springfield Rifle, The Violent Men, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott "Ranown" westerns, part of How the West Was Won, and Joe Kidd. In the late 1940s and early 50s the area was also a popular location for the films of B-western actor Tim Holt.
Once out of the Alabama Hills we headed back to Bishop for the late afternoon, and then the evening events in the main arena.
Back at the Fairgrounds I found a fairly close parking space for the duration. We went off to the City Park to browse the various vendors, and make a few purchases. Our first stop was the Garlic Festival Stand where I purchased pickled garlic and a couple of marinades for fish and chicken. George found a new leather fanny pack, and I found a very nice straw hat that had a four inch brim all around. This will replace my old straw cowboy hat. Our final stop was at Schat’s Bakkery once again to get loaves of bread for  friends back in San Diego, and some croissants for our drive home in the morning.
The evening show was fun once again. I did not take my camera this evening, and once again enjoyed the various races and the team packing race. It was a good relaxed trip overall. It was great to get together with Tina and Justin. We enjoyed some good food together, and good times at the various shows.


Today was an earlier start for Tina and we made it just in time for her classes in Western Dressage. Took a number of photos once again. 

We had a quiet afternoon with no competing by Tina or DawnMarie. We used the time to relax and socialize with acquaintances at the Fairgrounds. A friend of our other daughter, Klara, found us and so we shared tales with her as well. The evening was going to be laundry day for Tina so we went off on our own once again. We dined on the Fairgrounds on a teriyaki chicken dish before heading back to our motel. We enjoyed a quiet evening and early bedtime.

This morning we drove up Big Pine Canyon  to explore and hike on the trail which follows along the South Fork of Big Pine Creek. The weather was  pleasant and we enjoyed the start of Spring at 8000 feet. Along the way we came across a small herd of deer. We hiked in about 1.5 miles before turning around and returning to our car which was parked near the entrance to Glacier Lodge. 




The water was flowing fast and furious which was nice to see.

Creek in Big Pine Canyon

We got to Bishop around mid-day. The afternoon show was full of activities.
Grandstand View Looking toward White Mountains
Tina competed in two Western Pleasure classes,

Tina and Ima in Western Pleasure Class

Tina and Ima

and DawnMarie and her Mom,  VidaRose, in donkey Western Pleasure classes.
Thankfully we were still allowed to sit in the main grandstands which are covered and so we did not bake in the afternoon sun. These classes were  very large and so they divided them and made for a long afternoon. In these classes the mule is judged on quality of gaits, lead changes at the lope, and response to the rider, manners and disposition.

Becca Garrett, A Very Talented Rider on a Beautiful Donkey
For dinner, we enjoyed Indian Frybread Tacos before heading to the Arena for the evening activities. 
A new event this year was Bridleless Western Riding. 

All went well and there were no mishaps. The Justin Children’s Boot Race is always a fun event led by the show clowns. This year there was a false start which could never be corrected and finally they just gave in to the mass chaos.
The Chariot Race was once again fun to watch. We also enjoyed the Barrel Racing which I did not photograph due to darkness. 


The team packing event is also a good show as you watch how the various Pack Teams race to get the various items securely onto their animals. They are judged on time, and the correct use of the various hitches used to secure the gear.