Monday, June 29, 2009

Hiking on the Lewis River

We spent Thursday and Friday nights camping out at Lower Falls Rec. Area, which is roughly 2 hours away from us, up in the forest between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams. It's gorgeous up there, and the weather was wonderful, so we had a great time exploring the area.
Lower Falls Rec Area is named after--what else?--Lower Falls, the third of three big waterfalls on the Lewis River. They're all fairly close together, so it's easy to hike past all three in a few hours. The campground by Lower Falls isn't amazing, but nice enough, and with the falls so close, it's hard to complain. They've done a nice job of making the river and the falls really accessible; there's multiple viewpoints and stairs down to the river.
Looking down the river to the edge where the falls begin. The water is really smooth in places, but the current is quite strong.
A rainbow created by mists from the falls.
Lower Falls
Middle Falls
At places, the trail was overhung by cliffs. It was weird to look up and see all that rock and vegetation hanging over our heads.
A huge, really tall tree. Maybe it was a survivor from an older forest.
Upper Falls
There was a viewpoint at the top where you could get really close to the falls. This is zoomed in on that. It's amazing to see how powerful these waterfalls are!
One of the bridges over a creek was broken, so there were signs posted on the trail in either direction to let people know that it was "closed."
Still passable.
Experimenting with campfire pictures. I set my camera up on my tripod, and did a really wide aperture and slow shutter speed.
Mt. St. Helens on the way home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Begins

Even though I didn't do nearly a full load of classes this past quarter, I still find myself glad to be finished with them for the summer. One thing I didn't complete was a Whitefield course. That will wait to be completed until whenever I feel ready to get back into some school work--fall at the latest. Right now I really just want to enjoy summer. Hopefully I'll be able to put that time to good use by doing some good reading and catching up on stuff that gets dropped behind when there are higher priorities like finishing assignments on time.

This past week we got to spend time with some out-of-town guests--some very good friends and my grandma. One of the highlights of the week was going to the Coast on Saturday with Grandma. We went to Seaside for the first time, and in our opinion it's definitely not as good as Cannon Beach, which we also went to. The two towns are just fifteen minutes or so apart. Seaside doesn't have the same artsy, quaint feel that Cannon Beach does. Its beach is bigger, but I don't think that really makes it better. I love the Coast; it was good to get back again.
End of the Trail Monument in Seaside
The beach at Seaside
Haystack Rock