Point Reyes National Seashore Part II

Sculptured Beach BW
Sculptured Beach BW
Sculptured Beach
Sculptured Beach

We were only in Point Reyes for a few days and it was difficult to decide what to do. I was very impressed with how many trail and possibilities for backcountry and day-hiking the park had to offer. Shirin, Liz, and I did a good day-hike starting at the Laguna Trailhead. From there we followed the Coast Trail to Sculptured Beach (see map here). The hike was about 4 km one way and we timed our arrival to Sculptured Beach at low-tide. Sculptured Beach usually has good tidepools, but we did not luck out with the tides. We could still see some great mussel beds. I created two albums of this day-trip, one black and white album and one color-album.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore

North of San Francisco and along Highway 1 are some of the most beautiful areas in the US. The drive on Highway 1, sometimes called the Pacific Coast Highway, is spectacular. The road winds along dramatic cliffs, passing through lovely small towns and beach areas.  Liz, Shirin, and I took this trip in early November with Point Reyes National Seashore as our destination. Point Reyes National Seashore is part of the National Park system and occupies much of the Point Reyes Peninsula, which is geologically separated from the main land by the rift zone of the San Andreas Fault. The park offers great trails for hiking, fantastic views, and is a great place to wind down and relax. I created a black and white album from our trip to the lighthouse .

Boone Hall plantation, Charleston, South Carolina

During our trip to Charleston in October, we did a number of day trips. One day we went Boone Hall plantation just 30 minutes by car from Charleston. I knew about this plantation from the TV-series North and South, which ran on Norwegian television during the 1980s, and I have always remembered the impressive oak “alley” in front of the main building of the plantation. In addition, the plantation had several slave quarters, some of which were still standing because they were made of brick. The land around the plantation was impressive, particularly the huge, beautiful live oaks that had Spanish moss hanging from them. We also saw the salt marshes and the river surrounding the property on the Western side. Pictures from Boone Hall plantation are found here.

Cloudberry picking in Birtedalen

Cloudberry
Cloudberry in Birtedalen

This autumn I went with my family to our cabin, which is located in a town named Birtedalen in the southern Norwegian county ofTelemark. We spent several days at the cabin enjoying both sun and rain. The big undertaking this summer was replacing the soil on the cabin roof, which my brother-in-law Geir and my dad managed to do in two days. The grass on the roof has now grown tall and green. Another of our annual autumn events is the hunt for the cloudberries, which is one of my dad’s favorite things to do. You have to commit to some long hikes and have a lot of patience in the search for these berries. But once you find a field of them, the sight of orange cloudberries everywhere is very rewarding. I have added some pictures from our trip to the cabin and also some pictures from one of the cloudberry hikes we did.

Charleston, South Carolina

After a hectic summer, Liz and I finally managed to get some vacation together.  We decided to travel to South Carolina to visit the historic city of Charleston.  After having lived happily in North Carolina, we were looking forward to enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the South, and the warm, sunny weather.  Most days the temperature was around 85F (28C) and I even got to go swimming in the ocean.  One day we rented a kayak and went shell collecting on Crab Island just outside of the harbor area of the Shem Creek River in the Mount Pleasant area outside of Charleston.   A dolphin swam a couple of feet from our kayak, which was thrilling.  We did not get any pictures of that moment, but other great moments from this trip are found here.

Flowers and trees

Flowers in Florida
Flowers in Florida

Liz and I have often taken small hikes and excursions on the weekends to botanical gardens, parks, or into the forest. On those trips I usually brought my camera and tried to capture the season through images. I really enjoy taking close-ups of flowers and trees that have bright nice colors. I collected some of those pictures into a gallery published here.

Iceland

Gullfoss waterfalls

Last week I went to Iceland and had the chance to see some of the sights the volcanic island has to offer. I went on a bus ride that takes you to the amazing waterfall of Gullfoss, to the old Geysir, to Pingvellir the location of Icelands first goverment the Allting, and through some volcanic dramatic scenery between the sites. I really enjoyed Iceland for being hospitable to tourists, offering very good seafood, nice cafes and bars, and dramatic surroundings. On Iceland you may also experience blue lagoons of high mineral rich water, naturally heated by geothermal energy, which definately were relaxing. I have experimented a little with a new approach to putting pictures online which you can see for some selcted pictures from Iceland.

Desert Botanical Garden, and Montezuma Castle, Arizona

Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff
Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff

The drive from Grand Canyon to Phoenix offers a lovely panoramic view of the desert and plains of Arizona. On the way, we stopped in the nice town of Flagstaff and visited the Montezuma Castle. The Montezuma Castle is one of a number of preserved anicent dwellings in northern Arizona that offer a glimpse of how the Native Americans of the area lived (NPS). On our drive to Phoenix, we visited the Desert Botanical Garden which has a enormous collection of cactii. At the time when we visited there was also an impressive art exhibit by Chihuly.  The Botanical Garden was a must see.  Pictures are out online here.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Butchart Gardens, BC, Canada
Butchart Gardens, BC, Canada

Last summer I went to Victoria, British Columbia and experienced some great days by the Pacific Ocean. Victoria is a nice trading-post type of town at the southern tip of Vancouver Island (wikipedia). I had some nice days there and I enjoyed running in Beacon Hill Park, went to the Royal British Columbia Museum. One day I went by bus to see the Butchart Gardens, which were really impressive and a great opportunity to take some pictures of flowers. I also rented a car and took a day trip to East Sooke Park, about 1.5 hours drive from Victoria. I hiked for a few hours through thick forest until I emerged at cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I have put some pictures from my trip to Victoria online.