aurora hunting

to see Aurora Borealis, you’d normally think of Alaska, Finland, Iceland, Greenland (basically a country ending in ‘land’), amirite?

well, we were in for a treat this past Sunday night as the KP Index was 7 – 9 all the way down in Washington state. in other words, NORTHERN LIGHTS. boom shaka laka laka, boooom!

before going any further, if you ever have any desire to check out the northern lights check out this amazing site: http://www.aurora-service.org/aurora-forecast/ which provided us all of the details needed.

the day started off chill. we camped at the colonial creek campground in North Cascades National Park. i went for a little stroll down to the lake to see what the fuss was all about. i decided after seeing it, that it was pretty chill.

we then went driving around the park to find a good look out. we didn’t end up going here, but check out this view. not bad, right?

this was the beginning of the show. we were sort of aiming our cameras in different directions to see what we could pick up. the purples were the first colors that showed.

while waiting, the milky way was out kicking @$$

then the colors started coming out.

at first we were bummed with these clouds, but then after seeing the streak it was creating with the long exposures i stopped minding. since i didn’t have a good foreground this sort of helped add an additional element to the shots.

it’s like a rainbow.

so friggin dope.

 

the ‘columns’ then began shooting up. this was all happening between the 1am-2am window and then it kind of died down. we then headed to another lookout to see if we could see anything there. we didn’t see anything but the milky way was really bold and prominent in the sky so i got some shots of that.

thanks for reading and please give me some feedback on these shots. we had an amazing time and can’t believe we could see this all the way down in washington. what a memorable night!

yellowstones cracks, veins, gases, and elements

this was day 2 of our trip to Yellowstone, back in August 2016. If you haven’t already, check out day 1.

the day started off with fog. the sun silently peered through the clouds and eventually burned through.


clearing it’s way for a bright ambush of patchy blue clouds


the landscape of Yellowstone is full of surprises. earths presence, if no where else, is strongly felt in Yellowstone.

the inner matter of earth, is literally flowing out of and settling into yellowstone.

providing science experiments. fermentations. gases. oils. pressure.


that come together and create masterpieces


reflecting the sky through it’s cracks, veins, smells, and elements

sometimes, even looking like the landscape of a war ground when the vents letting out gases appear to be the smoke of a burned land


and then there’s old faithful – good for it’s name. reliable.


the keepers of the land

what sometimes may be tempting, can be quite dangerous

the earth is stewing

the veins, stretch long and touch us

so deep, they go

and with colors, that burn the eye

life, flourishes

there’s something so wild about this place, that makes us all so curious

yellowstone … need i say more?

ok, i’m not gonna lie. if you don’t like waterfalls then this blog post won’t be for you.

[archives: August 11, 2016]

OOF (out of focus)

ahhh, the great outdoors

check out the gnarly approaching rain clouds. half of the img = blue skies, the other half = crazy storm

look at the size of the mouth on that thing

attention is in the details

can i fit in too, guys?

just, beautiful

look at that palette of colors!

mah goodness

some beautiful hills

hi d3r

oh, itZ m33h

pretty accurate and literal name

definitely loved these stop-offs

painted

plant your roots deep

jealous of the trees daily view

a tall photo

by this time, the storm started to roll in along with the booming thunder

the details of nature

go see this place. now. like. seriously. now. go.

Aliens, UFOs, and Blinding White Sand

Roswell, New Mexico. For some reason I’ve always to visit this strange city. As a kid I was scared to death of UFOs and the thoughts of extra terrestrial life gave me nightmares. But I continued to watch Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack and would literally run in and outside as fast as I could when my mom asked me to take the trash out in the evening time as a result. Roswell always symbolized to me – if not somewhat naively – the destination for Alien lifeforms and collection of all things UFOs/aliens. I was right about the second part of that as we saw plastered all over town signage and cheesy marketing posters of aliens.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Because this was a pit stop for us we only had time for one attraction it seemed the most efficient use of our time to head to the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

Let’s just say you have to go to truly experience the museum. For $5 it’s a solid 1 hour of entertainment. I’m not taking a position on UFOs and E.T. and what happened in Corona, New Mexico here, but I will say that the documentation, artifacts, and other memorabilia at the museum is truly priceless.

roswell-and-white-sands-monument-7roswell-and-white-sands-monument-6roswell-and-white-sands-monument-5roswell-and-white-sands-monument-8roswell-and-white-sands-monument-9

we left the museum, and started our journey to Tempe, AZ. En route was White Sands National Monument. This was an unplanned trip, but once we saw it on our route we instantly allotted extra time to pick up yet another stamp in our National Park Passport stamp.

roswell-and-white-sands-monument-10

we normally take pretty good pics in front of the National Park Service signs, however, this sign for some reason got the best of us. My eyes are shut and Atalie’s sunglasses are a bit slanted.

roswell-and-white-sands-monument-12roswell-and-white-sands-monument-16roswell-and-white-sands-monument-15

it was quite windy and you can see in the pic above the sand blowing in the distance. this is not enough to deter these two children at the center of the image running with their sled to slide down the gentle dunes.

roswell-and-white-sands-monument-14

the footprints in the sand looked so cool

roswell-and-white-sands-monument-13

This 1.5 hour stop ended up being one of my favorite memories of this trip. The park is a hidden gem, and seeing the achievement of nature to produce this 275 square mile wonder field over the last 10,000 years blows my mind. But the narrator in the NPS video said, 10,000 years is “yesterday” in geological terms. Wonder what the next 10,000 years will do to the dunes.

We hope that the next time we’ll be able to sled in the sand like the kids pictured above and hike 1 mile out and camp in the middle of the dunes.

na na na na na na, BATMAN!

ok, so we didn’t see any bats. the bats migrate to Carlsbad Caverns during the spring through late Autumn, but we did see some awesome stalagmites, stalagtites, and other really cool scientific-y speleological formations.

don’t know what speleology is? neither did i. i’m here to hook you up.

2016-11-27_06-53-02

carlsbad-cavern-np-1

this marks the 36th National Park (out of 59) that we’ve been to together. If you didn’t know, we have a goal to see every park by the age of 35.

carlsbad-cavern-np-2

in order to get to the massive cave system one must go through the natural entrance (which we didn’t do) or go down an elevator.

i was immediately shocked by the operation in the base of the big room. it sadly resembled the look and feel of a theme park. there were cheap, processed, fast foods and cheesy, overpriced souvenirs for purchase. want a corny pic with your family with the cave as your backdrop? – similar to the way you receive a pic post theme park ride – they got you covered. now, i know that the park system has to succumb to this likely 3rd party vendor to manage the tourist economy in the park to generate revenue, but i still can’t help to crumble in sadness when i see it.

carlsbad-cavern-np-3

long carrots?

carlsbad-cavern-np-20

they called this doll theatre? or something to that tune.

carlsbad-cavern-np-19

it was very challenging taking pics in the cave without the use of flash – which mostly would wash out the images – so i did my best to reduce shake. had to crank up the ISO which increases the graininess in some of these imgs.

carlsbad-cavern-np-18

if jellyfish mated with coral reef?

carlsbad-cavern-np-17

idk about you, but i see a walrus.

carlsbad-cavern-np-16

side profile of walrus.

carlsbad-cavern-np-15

clever

carlsbad-cavern-np-14

would you go down?

carlsbad-cavern-np-13

it’s the cave monster

2016-11-27_07-18-28.png

carlsbad-cavern-np-12

the stalagmite columns in the appropriately named “Hall of Giants” were flippin’ massive. the worlds tallest stalagmite exists here with the measured stats of 16 feet width, 62 feet in height. It took only 280 million years of water dripping from the 285 foot ceiling for this formation to birth. grab yourself some popcorn.

fact credit: http://www.city-data.com/articles/Giant-Dome-Carlsbad-Caverns-National.html

carlsbad-cavern-np-11

lion tail.

i see upside down kale. or brocoli.

carlsbad-cavern-np-10

carlsbad-cavern-np-9

carlsbad-cavern-np-8

now, i haven’t been to Spain to see the famed Sagrada Familia, but thanks to the int3rw3bz I have seen many images of it. When in caverns and I see a mighty room dangling with stalagtites that are brightly lit, I see this as nature’s version of the Sagrada Familia. But upside down.

2016-11-27_07-32-41.png

img credit: http://www.inspiredspaces.com.au/wp-content/uploads/La-Sagrada-Familia-Exterior.jpg

 

carlsbad-cavern-np-7

creepy

carlsbad-cavern-np-6

mother earth, most beautiful designer ever, so beautifully decorates her halls, rooms in caverns with some impressive drapery (drapes).

carlsbad-cavern-np-5

carlsbad-cavern-np-4

thanks for giving this a read.

don’t look down

It took three years from the first time I went to Yosemite and saw Half Dome before I actually had a chance to hike it. I was convinced that Half Dome was a huge hologram and totally not real. Turns out, it’s real.

The morning started out pretty early

But I’m told the early bird catches the worm..or something like that

Since this is at the end of summer Nevada falls and Vernal falls weren’t in their full glory; still cool to see

Why is Nevada falls called Nevada falls anyway? It’s not in Nevada.. (too lazy to Google)

We saw ants climbing up this hill, so we went to go have a look

Oh wait, those were people.

People holding on to these cables with all their will and might.

Including this guy. Hi, it’s me.

Don’t turn around.

The views from Half Dome were above average (sarcasm).

This guy was lazy so he used a rope instead of climbing. You can’t always cut corners in life (again, sarcasm).

So there you have it. I finally climbed Half Dome. It was pretty awesome. I definitely poo’ed my pants climbing up and down the cables. If you’re stupid, I recommend you do it.

Bad@$$ Badlands

It was a scorcher…

but who cares, right? When you got views like this.

off, for a very short walk we went

magnificent views, 360 degrees around

the elements, and fragility of time

but you didn’t come hear for metaphors, you wanted to see sunsets

I got your back


I’m still amazed at the ISO range on cameras and how they can capture quality when you’re in a moving car.

the heat, well that didn’t really leave. But the clouds started coming..not before I could snap this full moon shot. 105mm is all I gots.

twilight…not the book or movie series


First attempt at capturing lightning. Didn’t find a space dark enough, but also sheltered.

All in all, pretty amazing day back in August. Badlands, definitely bad@$$. Will need to make a return trip soon.