Lassen Volcanic National Park – 2003

lassen volcano national park

One of the longest trips by motor coach I ever remember was in 2003 when I visited Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California close to the Oregon border.

lassen volcano national park

A friend was supposed to accompany me on this Sierra Club trip but bowed out upon learning that the park was 600 miles (965 km) north of Los Angeles and the bus would take more than eleven hours to reach the park… with a few pit stops here and there.

lassen volcano national park

I decided to go anyway and take my chances on a seat mate/room mate assigned to me by the leader.

lassen volcano national park

I won’t go into THAT story, but let’s just say I ended up sitting on about 1/3 of my seat… enough said!

lassen volcano national park

A few nights ago I made the trip out to the garage and hauled in boxes of photos I had taken since the 1970s. Prints, negatives, CDs, floppy drives, slides… you name the media and I have photos stored on it.

lassen volcano national park

It was exciting and nostalgic looking at all the photos… wonderful memories. Even before the advent of digital cameras I was sending out my negatives to be digitized on CDs and other storage disks that I can no longer retrieve.

lassen volcano national park

To the best of my knowledge, these photos were all taken with my very first point & shoot digital camera. Made by Olympus, it was maybe 1.5 pixels and required a handful of AA batteries. But at the time I was happy to be on the cutting edge of camera technology.

lassen volcano national park

I took all the images into Lightroom and did synchronized batch processing so I didn’t have to work on each one individually. It did a pretty good job considering what it had to work with. If you could see what the originals looked like, you would agree. There’s only so much magic Lightroom can do!

lassen volcano national park

Despite my room mate I had an enjoyable time. You have to take what you are given and make the best of it. I even thanked her at the end of the trip for being a good room mate… she didn’t snore and she didn’t hog the bathroom… two biggies for me! She just looked at me, didn’t say a word, and lumbered off the bus. Whatever!

lassen volcano national park

Lassen is one of the most beautiful national parks I have visited. Because it is so far off the beaten track it doesn’t have as many visitors as some other parks. That’s fine with me, but it does deserve to be visited.

lassen volcano national park

And I have to say, after not looking at these photos for fourteen years, I’m not unhappy with them. That little one megapixel camera didn’t do such a bad job and I am thrilled to find I have that trip recorded for posterity… that’s what is important here.

lassen volcano national park

I would absolutely LOVE to return to Lassen with my DSLR and shoot some higher quality pictures. Next time I would prefer to do it without the eleven-hour bus trip (and don’t let’s forget the eleven hours back again on 1/3 of a seat) and fly instead.

From the website: Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to steaming fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. Jagged peaks tell the story of its eruptive past while hot water continues to shape the land. Lassen Volcanic offers opportunities to discover the wonder and mysteries of volcanoes and hot water for visitors willing to explore the undiscovered.

You can read more about the history and culture here:https://www.nps.gov/lavo/learn/historyculture/index.htm

Please click on any image below for slide show:

 

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

 

Travertine terraces at Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs

mammoth hot springs

Out first stop in Yellowstone National Park was at Mammoth Hot Springs.

mammoth hot springs

I seriously felt like I had just stepped out of the space craft on to the surface of another planet.

I really like this scene above of a photographer in this photographer’s paradise.

mammoth hot springs

According to the National Park Service website: Travertine terraces are formed from limestone. Thermal water rises through the limestone, carrying high amounts of the dissolved limestone (calcium carbonate). At the surface, carbon dioxide is released and calcium carbonate is deposited, forming travertine, the chalky white mineral forming the rock of travertine terraces. The formations resemble a cave turned inside out. Colorful stripes are formed by thermophiles, or heat-loving organisms.

mammoth hot springs

I’ve been in love with travertine ever since I led the Marble Masterpieces tour for the Los Angeles Conservancy for many years. So it was pretty amazing to see it forming under my feet.

mammoth hot springs

If you’ve ever visited the Getty Center in Brentwood (Los Angeles, California) the whole complex is built in travertine. (Click here to view one of my posts about the Getty.)

mammoth hot springs

I love reflections and random objects and making connections, so this combination of live trees reflected in the water and a dead tree in the foreground spoke to me. These unexpected opportunities are why I enjoy photography.

mammoth hot springs

From the National Park Service website: Mammoth Hot Springs are a surface expression of the deep volcanic forces at work in Yellowstone. Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, scientists surmise that the heat from the hot springs comes from the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone thermal areas.

mammoth hot springs

In the center you can see the Historic District. From the National Park Service website: The Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District includes Fort Yellowstone, where 35 structures remain from the 1890s and early 1900s when the US Army administered the park. Significant conservation policies were developed here that led to the origin of the National Park Service. The Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District has statewide significance as the administrative and concession headquarters of the largest national park in Wyoming. Fort Yellowstone is also listed as a National Historic Landmark District, the highest designation.

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mammoth hot springs

mammoth hot springs

This last guy is called Liberty Cap, formed by a steady flow of hot water emerging from a single source which deposited layers of travertine. The cone continued to grow as long as there was a source of water which evidently dried up.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

Views from the Craig Thomas Visitor Center, Grand Tetons

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

The best part about the Craig Thomas Visitor Center is that it is located in Moose, Wyoming! I happen to love everything MOOSE. On my second trip to Alaska I saw plenty of them and came home with all kinds of MOOSE crap, er, I mean lovely MOOSE souvenirs.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

To my dismay, on this trip to Big Sky Country I saw no MOOSE (meese?). Plenty of bison and elk but none of my favorites. So the name of this town had to suffice…

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

But, how can I complain when the views from here were so gorgeous?

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

As you can see from the photo at top, the architecture of the building rivaled the surrounding landscape, and that’s saying a lot.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

I couldn’t decide if the colors of the trees, the textures of the grasses or the majestic views of the Tetons were the most beautiful. This whole trip was an embarrassment of riches.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

As you can imagine it took me quite a while to walk over to the visitor center… I didn’t want to be indoors when faced with this luscious outdoors.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

I would walk a few inches and another view worthy of photographing would present itself.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Inside the center was an interesting display of Native American Indian artifacts from the Vernon Collection.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Oh, wait, I was mistaken… I DID see a MOOSE… isn’t he elegant? Do you think my HOA would mind if I put him in front of the building?

Craig Thomas Visitor Center

This last photo was actually the first photo I took at the visitor center. 99% of my photos are “as shot” with sometimes some cropping and always post-processed in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. But I’m not a photojournalist and once in a while I go above and beyond. This is one such case. When I shot this I knew I would have to do a little Photoshop magic to get the image I saw in my mind. In the foreground was a parking lot. So I had to move the bench a couple of feet and make the parking spaces disappear to make it work.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

This is the photo as my camera saw it. I shoot all my photos in RAW (and hi-res JPEG as a backup) and I have learned with digital photography it’s better to over-expose so I can bring out the details or dramatic effect in Lightroom.

However, no amount of Lightrooming or Photoshopping will compensate for a bad photograph in the camera… make no mistake about that! Photography is much art as skill as far as I am concerned. Ansel Adams always made his photos look like his own personal vision of the scene.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

Lower Falls at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park

lower falls yellowstone

The Lower Falls are the second most photographed area of Yellowstone (Old Faithful not too surprisingly the most photoed). It is located at the head of the “Grand Canyon” of the Yellowstone River.

lower falls yellowstone

At 308 feet (although in 1867 it was described as “thousands of feet”) it is quite impressive. Look at that vapor trail at the bottom… I didn’t notice it until I saw my photo!

lower falls yellowstone

According to Yellowstone.net: The canyon’s colors were created by hot water acting on volcanic rock. It was not these colors, but the river’s yellow banks at its distant confluence with the Missouri River, that occasioned the Minnetaree Indian name which French trappers translated as roche jaune, yellow stone.

lower falls yellowstone

There’s a nice trail along the Yellowstone River that I walked along. Give me free time on any trip to wander off by myself to take pictures and I am happy.

lower falls yellowstone

My friend J and others went off on a hike but I wanted private time with my camera!

lower falls yellowstone

And soon it was time to catch up with my companions and hear their stories!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I really wish I had taken better notes on my trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We zipped around to so many places I lost track of where we were, so trying to identify my photos is proving to be very difficult! Next time I take a trip I am documenting it at least hourly.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

However, I am pretty sure all the photos on this post were taken in the vicinity of the Lamar Valley. Yes, those are American bison you see above. Some of my companions had a discussion regarding the difference between bison and buffalo. They are indeed different. Bison are found in North America. The two main buffalo species are located in Africa and Asia.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

As usual on my trips I really didn’t know what to expect. All I knew about Yellowstone was Old Faithful and I also knew the Grand Tetons were big. End of story!

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I was totally unprepared for the stunning beauty of Big Sky Country.

Big Sky Country

We traveled through both Montana and Wyoming.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

As a city girl I am not used to such wide open spaces. But I totally embraced the idea of such freedom.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Miles and miles of pine trees interspersed with the brilliant yellows of the aspens.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

And those skies… endless blue with fantastical cloud formations we don’t see in LA.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I love fences and we saw all kinds on this trip. My friend J who was my roommate said she has a habit of singing songs that come to mind when she is traveling around. My contribution was “Don’t Fence Me In!”

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We also saw a million “water features,” a term I was reminded is used at the Disney theme parks! In this case it was rivers, lakes and ponds.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I took about 1,700 photos during the six-day trip in the motor coach (not counting the first and last days which were primarily transportation days to and from the airport).

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I had to break the photos up into nineteen folders in the Lightroom catalog. This is merely one of those folders. I don’t know if I will ever be able to upload everything to my blog. So this is just a taste.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

The color palette was mostly greens, browns, purples and blues with accents of the yellow aspens.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I was so taken with the grand vistas I had to force myself to scale down from time to time to see things like this moss on the rocks.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We had great weather most of the time… both J and I have great weather karma so the weather forecasts of doom and gloom didn’t have a chance.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Oh, those clouds… if you painted a picture they would look unreal.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We had quite a few stops for photo opportunities. My finger couldn’t stop clicking away.

lamar-valley-091916-191-c-500px lamar-valley-091916-251-c-500px lamar-valley-091916-267-c-500px Yellowstone Lamar Valley

As much as I would like to think some day I will return to this glorious region I know that will never happen. Too many other places in the US I have not seen yet!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

Hanging out in the Hoh Rain Forest

Hoh Rain Forest

The Hoh Rain Forest is located on the west side of Olympic National Park, Washington, less than an hour’s drive from Forks where we were staying. (See my blog post about the feline greeter here.)

The forest receives an annual total rain of 140 to 170 inches… that’s 12 to 14 feet (3.5 to 4.25 meters). I can only relate that to Los Angeles where during the past few years we have been lucky to get 6 to 8 inches a year. Send some of that extra wet stuff our way!

I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around amongst the lush green coniferous and deciduous trees accompanied by mosses and ferns.

Please click on an image to start the slideshow and walk along with me:

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

Twilight at Rialto Beach

Rialto beach sunsetAfter a wonderful morning walking along Rialto Beach (see blog post here), we returned to our hotel in Forks.

Forks lays claims to two things: being the rainiest town in the contiguous United States (and living in drought-stricken LA I wouldn’t mind living there right now) and as the town where author Stephenie Meyer based her Twilight saga novels.

After dinner in town some of us made the fourteen-mile trip back to the beach for the sunset.
While it wasn’t the greatest sunset I have ever witnessed, the beauty was seeing the cloud formations and water in the ever-changing light. And, after all, each sunset is special in its own way as the laws of probability say it cannot be duplicated.

rialto beach sunset

And sharing the experience with many other people who had come to the beach probably with the same hope of observing something magical.

rialto beach sunset

I have a special affinity for the ocean. As much as I love the mountains, the desert, the forests… even lakes… nothing does it for me like the ocean.

rialto beach sunset

The combination of the clouds, the water, the rocks and the fading sun… all encountered in silence… was worth making the trip back rather than catching the latest news on CNN back at the motel.

rialto beach sunset rialto-beach-072016-263-C-600px

rialto beach sunset

I could understand how Stephenie Meyer could imagine vampires lurking, waiting for the last embers of the sun to disappear into the horizon.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!