Last week I had the good fortune of going to Juneau in Alaska for a workshop. I had never been to Alaska before and I was really looking forward to visiting the old stomping grounds of gold spectators and other adventurers. Juneau did not disappoint and showed itself from both the rainy, dark foggy side to the light and bright with fantastic views of mountain peaks and glaciers. Although I did not see any bears this time and the salmon run was done for this time of year, I was very pleased with the nautre I could observed in this little town far north in the US, which can only be accessed by plane and boat. I had the opportunity to go for a couple of short hikes with my gracious hosts. Pictures from my trip are found here.
One of my favorite places to visit in the US is San Francisco. I have made a new collection with photos from May 2009, October 2009, and October 2010. I have converted some of the photos into black and white. Check out the collection here.
I recently traveled to Portland, Oregon on the west coast of the US. Portland gave me the feeling of being in a cool, altenative European city. The city has a ton of micro-breweries, nice restuarants, a good music scene, and beautiful scenery. The city also has a fair share of old iron bridges crossing the Willamette River. The pictures I put online are part of my ongoing experimentation with black and white photography. Click here to see them.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
After I lived in Woods Hole for half a year in 2005 I always jump on any chance I get to go back to that quaint little town, and so I did last December when I got to go for a few days. Woods Hole is truely a wonderful little place, perfectly surrounded by water. Although much of the ocean properties are private, there are several beaches and small forests where you can go hiking and running and just enjoy the scenery. One of my favorite places in Woods Hole is Nobska Light, and I always go for a walk to the lighthouse whenever in town. This time I also took a couple of pictures.
The location by the water, the hillsides, the streetcars, the people, and the laidback feeling of San Francisco makes it one of the most intriguing and attractive cities in the US. I enjoy hiking around the city with the occasional stop at a cafe, bar, or a gastropub such as the Monks Kettle, before stopping at one of the many really good restaurants. Also, the city now has a new aquarium at the California Acadademy of Sciences that alone is worth the trip to the city. I have collected some pictures from San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from May 2009.