20180928

Friday Photography



Unknown - The ruins of a beautiful stone mosque emerging from the edge of the Mokattam Hills of Cairo.

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20180924

Mount Rainier National Park

We said our goodbyes to Oregon and crossed the Bridge of the Gods on our way into Washington State. We made a 3ish hour drive, most of it through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and with no bars! We stopped for a moment to see Mount St. Helen (which I did not know was an active volcano, that last erupted in 1980) before heading to Mount Rainier.

 
At Mount Rainier National Park there are a multitude of hikes to choose from.. we started with the kid friendly Grove of the Patriarchs. It is approxamately a 1 mile loop where you walk along the Ohanapecosh River to an island of ancient Western red-cedar, Douglas-fir, and Western hemlock.



We crossed a small suspension to get to the island.


Some of the trees here were over 1000 years old and as wide as 50ft in circumference.



 
We ended up spending far more time at the Grove running circles around the trees.. Initially after this particular hike we had planned on hiking the Paradise trail but instead decided to do Sunrise instead.. Sunrise is the park highest visitor center at an elevation of 6400 feet. It was stunning.. the drive up was a bit scary.. mainly because since I wan't doing the driving I had the opportunity to look down and see just how far down the drop was.. Mount Hood was a nothing compared to the glory of Mount Rainier.. 



Magnificent!

Afterwards we headed to Seattle

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20180921

Friday Photography



City of the Dead - The Cairo Necropolis also known as the City of Dead is an Islamic cemetery at the foot of the the Mokattam Hills in southeastern Cairo, Egypt. Here people work and live among the dead to be closer to their loved ones or because this is all they can afford.

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20180917

Exploring Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

After Crater Lake we headed back north and checked into a hotel at Cascade Locks. Cascade Locks is a city along the Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia River Gorge marks the state line between Oregon and Washington.


This was our view at breakfast, the Bridge of the Gods connecting Oregon and Washington. The plan was to drive down the Columbia River Scenic Highway and visit some waterfalls. Especially the famous Multnomah Falls but we found out that morning that the entire area was closed! :( 


We sadly crossed off all the waterfalls and moved on to the next thing on our to do list while also quickly trying to figure out what we were going to do with the rest of our day. We crossed the Bridge of the Gods and drove into Washington heading to Beacon Rock State Park. Beacon Rock is 848 feet tall and is composed of basalt (the rapid cooling of lava). Henry Biddle purchased the rock in 1915 for $1 and during the next three years constructed a trail with 51 switchbacks, handrails and bridges. 



We drove back to Oregon and took a little lunch break in Cascade Lock Marina Park.. let the boys run around while we tried to figure out what do to next.. Mount Hood seemed like the obvious choice.. but where to start?

We started with Trillium Lake.. 


It was a very very short walk to the lake from the parking lot. The lake was beautiful.. I wished we had know earlier that the waterfalls were going to be a bust and we were going to end up at this stunning lake.. we would have brought our swim clothes.. instead we dipped our feet in the cold water and took in the beauty of Mount Hood. 

After the lake we drove up to Timberline Lodge to get a closer look at the mountain.. 


While it was cool Mount Hood looked way cooler from afar..

The boys wanted to hike some more so we drove to Mirror Lake Trail Head.. 


While it was only a 2 mile loop it was a bit harder that we had thought.. and it was starting to get late.. we didn't want to be driving down the winding roads in the dark again.. plus we had to think of dinner.. we started the hike on H's insistence but very soon begun to think it wasn't the best idea.. and had to talk him out of it..


We stopped at the Saw Tooth Roadhouse for some seriously amazing pizza..


and then enjoyed watching the sun go down as we made our way back to Cascade Locks..


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20180914

Friday Photography



Under the Umbrella - A beautiful summer day on the Jersey Shore. The Ocean City beach dotted with umbrellas and relaxing beach goers.

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20180910

Crater Lake

We stayed home on Labor Day weekend.. had family over.. visited family.. relaxed.. and then the boys had their first days of school, extra curricular classes resumed and we have started to fall back into out routines. I posted their first day of school pictures on Instagram
Coming back to our summer vacation.. it all started in Portland, then a day along the Oregon Coast. We spent the night in Florence. We woke up the next morning.. again relatively early and started the 4 hour drive to Crater Lake. We made a quick stop for some coffee and donuts. Two 16oz cappuccino's and a giant glazed doughnut roll all for a whopping $3.50. 


It was a hot hazy day. When we got closer to Crater Lake we learnt that because of the heat there had been a few forest fires in the area. Unfortunately that resulted in lack of clarity the day of and in the pictures.

We decided to only drive the rim.. 






We had gotten the boys binoculars and they loved them.



Did you know Crater Lake is a caldera lake? A caldera forms when a volcano implodes creating a crater. Crater Lake was formed 150 years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. It is considered the deepest lake in the United States and 9th in the world. The lake features two small islands, Wizard Island where tour boats dock and you can get off and explore further on your own. The other much smaller island is knows as Ship Wreck.


As seen above are the pinnacles. While not part of the lake, they are part of Crater Lake National Park, these towering needle-like formations of rock are called fossil fumaroles. After the volcano's collapse all the hot gases and steam trapped beneath the ground needed to be released so these vents were created. Slowly thanks to erosion the rock around the vents fell away leaving us with these unique pinnacles. (sorry for the geography lessons.. M and I just found it all so fascinating)

We headed back north.. a 4 hour drive to Cascade Locks. We hit traffic.. had to stop to eat and before we knew it it was getting dark, the roads winding.. especially when we entered the Mount Hood area and we had no service and while we didn't say it then we were both thinking the same truth.. if something were to happen to us no one would ever know. I know it seems morbid but when we finally reached our destination, tucked in the boys and got into bed we talked about how scary that was.. I knew we were driving cliff side.. not knowing how great the drop was on the other side.. (we drove that same road the next morning and the drop was steep!) barely any cars passed us.. what exactly are you supposed to do in such a circumstance. We thought we should start checking in with a family member.. but we didn't want to worry anyone unnecessarily.. In the end we decided to time thing better and make sure we are never on the road (especially that kind of road) that late.. 

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