Pacific Northwest | July | 2016 | Week 1

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And here we go! This will be a long post, with close to 100 images, so be aware!


A note about the photos--all open up in a fullscreen-type window when clicked, so if you want to click on the ones you like they'll open and fill your screen!


| Day 1 |

     The morning started early--Beth and I got up just before four to get me to the airport.  Check in went well, and I had about a half hour before my first flight (I had two, with a layover in Dallas).  On the first flight I had a good window seat, but still somewhat obstructed by the wing and engine.  I was so excited and couldn't sleep, so I watched the clouds and landscape pass as we flew.  We flew over beautiful low-level clouds that made the East Coast look like an ocean, some large cumulonimbus and cumulus clouds, and some really fascinating suburbs outside of Dallas.

This was our plane from Hartford to Dallas.

And this one of the cool clouds we passed close to.


And the fascinatingly neat and organized suburbia we passed over when landing in Dallas.

     I didn't do much in Dallas as I only had an hour layover, but I did stop and see the Dallas Cowboys Bar that was right next to my gate, at the suggestion of Beth.  

An iPhone snap of the bar.

     And just like that, after an overpriced coffee and sandwich, I was off again! This time our plane had it's sights on Seattle, and I had a wing-heavy view from the window.  That being said, I tested out my GoPro's selfie ability in the plane, and took a few other photos along the way. 

I would say it did a pretty good job, eh? I'm constantly surprised at how well this little 12mp camera does!

I found these really beautiful mountains somewhere in Northwest Texas, and the clouds lined up over them so perfectly!  For this flight I had moved my 85mm lens from my carry-on into my backpack, and this ended up being my flight-workhorse lens as it allowed me to shoot "past" the wing.

And just another view of similar mountains, again in Northwest Texas I believe.

And here we are, about to land in Seattle!  There were lots of low-level clouds (which, seems to be the norm over there), but I found this view of an inlet as we emerged from the clouds. 

     Once we landed and I got my bags (no baggage loss on this trip!), I met my Uncle Todd outside the airport and he took me on a small tour of the sights.  We were staying in a house in West Seattle that he had rented for the week, and on our way over we stopped at Seacrest Park in West Seattle, which affords killer views of downtown Seattle.

The clouds cleared a bit and we were blessed with perfect cumulus clouds for photography!

And here's a closer view, from the larger panorama you see below.

It's funny, I'm not much of a panorama guru nor do I take many panorama's, but on this trip I took so many!  It seems like the west coast is just made of panoramic views.

And last but not least, a close-up from afar of the Space Needle.

     And after that pit-stop to get my photo-fix, we dropped our stuff at the house and roamed around West Seattle for a while.  Grabbed some food, and stopped at a Radio Shack so I could pick up a charging cord for my GoPro (the only thing I forgot on the whole trip!).  After dinner and some more relaxation I headed down to Alki Beach Park, which affords stunning views of the Olympic Mountains in Olympic National Park.

Again, panorama city!

     After being on the beach for a little while, a young couple came down and the guy set off on the water on a paddleboard. I chatted up the girlfriend/wife/fiance (not sure which) and she said they were out crabbing.  He came back with two crab-pots full of Dungeness and Pacific Rock Crabs.  As a biological oceanographer, I was obviously pretty excited to see west-coast sea creatures. 

My first run-in with a Pacific Rock Crab (Cancer productus).   

     And that's it for day one.  It was a long day, and I think I went to bed around midnight local time (made for a long day), but I soon learned that this trip would be full of long and fun days!

| Day 2 |

     Day 2 started out slowly, and involved us packing our belongings and leaving the house in West Seattle.  Our plan for the day? Drop our bags off at the train station, and then spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful city of Seattle.

This house was awesome, and here you can see some of our house-mates.

Our first stop in exploring Seattle was the Space Needle--Uncle Todd hates heights, so I went up myself. I found it really cool, but after being awed by the views from the One World Observatory in NYC, I think it'll be tough to find a place that tops that. 

The needle is pretty awesome up close. 

And affords really nice views of the city of Seattle.  I wish I could have seen Rainier, but it was too cloudy!

And these organized rows of houses when you look in the opposite direction.

After the needle, we grabbed some food at a local pub and headed down to Pikes Place.  I finally saw the original Starbucks! (but the line was a mile I didn't go in). The market was incredible, with I think the coolest thing being just how many fresh cut flowers there were, and for cheap.

This guy was really good at throwing fish--he even threw an octopus, but I missed focus. Here you can see him throwing a good-sized Ling Cod.

I did see lots of wild salmon... it all looked so good.

After the market we slowly made our way to the train station, where I picked up my pelican case full of camera gear (the baggage manager was worried about losing it across the border and held it for me to pickup), and we hopped aboard the Amtrak Cascades and were Vancouver bound.

The train station in Seattle had beautiful ceilings.

The engine itself was an interesting, but with how much my dad loves trains I had to take a picture. 

We passed by this cool abandoned boat somewhere in northwest Washington.

The train ride was pretty awesome; for much of the time it followed the coast of Puget Sound where we could see the Olympic Mountains and a few others I don't know the name of.  Driving would have been cool, but I'm glad we opted for the train.

| Day 3 |

The majority of our third day was spent exploring the city of Vancouver... and boy did we explore! I know my sense of direction isn't the best, so we managed to cover what felt like every street in town.  I think that was the last time Uncle Todd left me in charge of directions...

This is one of the views from Marinaside Cresent in the south end of Vancouver.  There were a million people running, jogging, biking, rowing, etc.  I learned that I a) really like Vancouver and b) it's a very active community. 

I found it interesting that almost all of the buildings looked like this--it was a city very different from NYC, where almost none of the buildings look the same. 

Coffee (and particularly Americanos) kept me going on this trip.  

I feel like I would LOVE to live and travel in a bus like this...

Almost all of the public transit in Vancouver is electric, and all the streets were covered in this spiderweb of cables.  It made the city seem cleaner, but also more cluttered at the same time. 

We then made our way to the North End of Vancouver, where we could see Vancouver Harbor, and the mountains just north of Vancouver, as well as a nice view of North Vancouver across the harbor.  

The amount of plane traffic from these water planes was wild--there must have been one coming or going every few minutes!

And again, the same style buildings.

We continued our exploring by heading to the Japanese Gardens, which was actually surprisingly nice given that it was in the middle of a city. 

Uncle Todd said he could see George Washington in this rock--what do you see?

If you look towards the top, you can see hints of the city. 

Uncle Todd decided it was time for a nap, so I hopped in a cab and headed back to the North End to take pictures for a while.

I wouldn't say I ran a lot of long-exposures on this trip, but the few I did I'm pretty happy with.  

I'm also really glad I picked up that telephoto lens--it was great for isolating mountains from the landscape!

North Vancouver looks nice, especially from this angle. 

And here's a close-up.

| Day 4 |

Goodbye Vancouver! Our morning flight was pretty uneventful, and the dweeb in the window seat next to me closed the window and slept, so I didn't get many photos.

Ha! Uncle Todd hates prop-planes, but apparently WestJet isn't only jets! It was a big prop plane though, so not bad like the tiny ones.

This is the only one I got from the trip through the window in front of us.

We didn't know what to do with the rest of our day, so we decided to get a rental car and drive through the mountains.  We headed towards the Seven Sisters, which were northwest of our home base (Terrace).

Every corner had killer views.

Hello Seven Sisters!

I couldn't choose just one of the four closeups below, so enjoy all four.

Like I said, Every. Damn. Corner.

I'm not sure which mountains these were, but they were pretty!

| Day 5 |

This was a day to relax--we practiced my fly-casting, regrouped, and then got picked up and brought to the Pioneer Lodge, which would be our home base until Saturday morning.

Two from Germany, one from Holland, one from Texas, and us two goons from the East Coast.

We even had our own cabin!

| Day 6 |

Our first day of fishing! We spent all of our day in a drift boat on the Kitimat river, where we caught Chum Salmon, Pink Salmon, and I even hooked into a tiny Steelhead Smolt!

My first Chum! It was so awesome catching this sized fish on a 13.5 foot fly rod.

And our guide Alan was pretty awesome.  He did a pretty solid job of teaching us how to double-spey. 

And I convinced him to be a hand model for me.

The water color was one of my favorite things.

Uncle Todd hooked into some nice fish as well.

I think this is one of my favorite portraits from the trip--the color, the light, the fish... it all came together.

The GoPro does such a good job sometimes!

The color of the water, the fish jumping over your line, the cool air, the sound of eagles...I fell in love with BC this day.