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Entries in national park (28)


Yosemite - stitch shots

There are only two stitch shots worth sharing from the Yosemite trip..

The first one is a vertical series of the Vernal falls

Second one is a horizontal sweep of half dome as the sun set behind us. The sun puts a clear shadow of other side on the peaks and it is one of the most amazing sites we have seen in any national park.

Yosemite is a god send..



Yosemite National Park - Photoblog

We (us and the cousin family) decided to go to Yosemite two days ago. It was supposed to be a day trip. We left at 8AM. Wanted to reach by noon, eat lunch near a river or creek, then go on a trail or hike to a place we have not been to, have dinner at curry village, then go up to glacier point for sunset and be back by 1:00 in the night.

It was a nice plan which we did execute till the lunch part. We had to overcome two obstacles.

a. It was free day and that meant an overwhelming crowd and no parking. We searched for parking for approximately an hour and forty minutes. We were this close to giving up and heading back home when we decided to make one last try and miraculously we found parking. It was a good thing we did not give up because we definitely would have missed some great sights.

b. The 0.8 mile hike to the foot bridge at Vernal falls was supposed to be mild difficulty. It was mild for healthy men and women who looked like horses with not an ounce of fat on their bodies and had rippling muscles to show! The me who has not seen any exercise in years and had to hike the paved trail which was at a 60 degree angle was struggling to just keep up.

Again the kids co-operated on flat terrain and protested during inclines. The older kids starting saying things like "my heart hurts" or "my lung aches". We kept promising a most beautiful sight, just like the other parents on the trail. The older kids really enjoyed it when we finally got there but the three/ four year olds were just bummed out.

At one point the little one just lifted her hand heavenward and said "thookie" (lift me). On any day, would just lift her up, give her a big kiss and carry her. Not on this hike. She pleaded and I made the mistake of lifting her. Immediately all eyes were on me. Every parent on the trail promptly reprimanded me indirectly or directly for setting a bad example. All the kids started lifting their hands up and saying "thookie" in their respective mother tongues! Apparently lifting kids on trails like this is banned. I just didn't know.

But we all did pull through to the foot bridge and it was gorgeous. Suddenly there was a cool mist as the river gushed through rocks. There were rainbows everywhere. The temperature dropped a good ten degrees. There was a water fountain and a rest room!

After spending almost a half hour at the bridge, the ladies and kids made their way back to the MIL who wisely stayed put at the trailhead. Balaji and me decided to go on the rest of the trail towards the top of the falls. It was the most exercise I have ever gotten in any two hours but was worth it!

After coming back, have decided to start working out more seriously so more such adventures can be enjoyed without getting bummed out too soon..

The self imposed ban on fries, chips and sodas and the local biking has definitely helped, but not enough to go on hikes. I am very much a work in progress...

On the bright side, I did get creative during the last hike. It was difficult enough to carry my own bodyweight. So ditched the tripod with the ladies and took only the camera and used my hat as a camera stand of sorts for self timer. The iPhone doubled up as a camcorder..

If you go on this hike, take one of those Niagara falls type raincoats with you. Should come in handy to protect the camera from getting wet as you go up.

All said and done, another great local trip.



Ho Rain Forest - Olympic National park

The only park where we have seen

a. snow covered forests
b. green rain forests
c. beaches
d. meadows
e. snow capped mountains
f. hurricane ridges
g. rivers
h. streams
i. Lakes
j. hot springs

etc. etc. (we have not fully gone on all roads within the park by van, so there is no talk of things not seen by foot)

is Olympic National park. Truly beautiful.

On our last trip the able adults who had any strength left (or were desperate to take photos) went on a trail into the Ho rain forest to see the Moses trees. The entire area of trees is covered in a thick green Moss and reminds you of Jurassic Park. The ferns growing everywhere give you the added effect of being in a primordial place. Truly scary and awe inspiring at the same time.

Here are five of my photographs from the Ho rainforest (taken about three weeks ago.. It feels like three months ago already!).

Talking of going by foot vs. going by car/van or caravan, there will be a post tomorrow on the public transportation system in the US of A!



Sunset at La Push Beach - Olympic National Park

The sunset, stitched from a set of 14 photos (out of the 125 that were taken over a span of 3 or 4 minutes from various locations along the rocks) that were shot in manual mode. (we still get slight lines between the shots)

ps. original photo is 19.8 MB and cannot be uploaded to blogger. This is the version condensed to just under 8 MB.

pps. If you want to try this, pick one good location first. Then put tripod on rocks. Preferably large rocks.

ppps. The sun sets in an arc especially if you are not looking directly at it. If you try to get it to go right down between the thumb and the rock, you should have a good feel for the exact angle at which the sun is arcing down. Otherwise, you will end up hobbling on large rocks with a fully open tripod and make a spectacle of yourself.

pppps. this was shot with the EOS 400D aka the digital rebel.



Mount Rainier

Just the highlight of a day trip from Seattle..

Paradise and the reflection lakes are indeed paradise!

More to follow..