Category: Travel

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Travel Wrap-up: The world hurts less

April 24, 2010 | 1 comment { Travel }
Aileen on the Cable Car

I owe an update. Boy howdy, I owe an update. Where did all of those days just go? Gone. This past week has been one of the more blistering ones of late. I spent five days in San Francisco attending DrupalCon and suffering from massive camera equipment misplacement (about which I have already lamented) and a visual migraine aura so long-lasting and freaky that I had to seek medical attention.

Travel: A World of Hurt

April 18, 2010 | 2 comments { Photography, Travel }

I’m going to skip to the chase: I left my camera, a Canon 5D Mark II, and a Canon USM 17-40mm lens under seat 1A of Horizon flight 2609 PDX -> OAK yesterday. I’m busily trying to expand my professional and technical horizons at DrupalCon San Francisco at the moment, but I’m dolorously heartsick.

I have all sorts of good excuses about how this happened: bulkhead seating, my camera getting separated from the rest of my carry-on items by a helpful flight attendant named Cliff, a good conversation partner/someone I know next to me in 1B. But still. I feel like a daft moron.

Photo of Canon EOS 5D by Thomas Hawk

Travel: Almost Entirely Pleasant

March 30, 2010 | 1 comment { Life, Travel }
IMG_56745616 x 3744

I’m going to go ahead and say it. The Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, Terminal C, architecture circa a long ass time ago when it was apparently in vogue to make things look and feel unpleasant (I think maybe of the Fluorescent Tube and Beige School, Low Ceiling/Concrete genre) is, for its size and class, the ugliest airport structure I have endured in recent memory. Of course, I’m not exactly an expert on the subject. But I know what I (don’t) like.

This past weekend has been almost unendurable in its pleasantness. Staying at my in-laws in Arroyo Grande, I woke each morning with a dumb grin on my face, bouncing against walls and windows like a terrier until I was allowed out to the beach or hillside. Two birds of paradise bloomed in the front yard. There were palm trees. Boing boing!

Iceland: A challenge even for the cuisine-bold

March 15, 2010 | 5 comments { Food, Travel }
No, thanks

I am seriously pro-food. I like to think about food, read about food, gently prod food, ferment food, garnish food, smell food, buy food, seek food and experience new food. I regale the difference between 6-month and 12-month Manchego, care whether asparagus is in season, and am honestly fond of (not just making a point of) eating sweetbreads (thymus and pancreas, usually, of calf), bone marrow, squid and fermented fish sauce. However, my upcoming trip to Iceland is making me gustatorily anxious.

Icelandic food specialties read more like grievous and fatal fraternity hazing rituals than anything that a human with extant taste buds and olfactory capability would submit to willingly. The regional recipes manage to get an F- on each of the rough trinity of food-is-yummy criteria, offending the user psychologically, aesthetically, and sensually.

Video: Coastal Spring Rain

March 3, 2010 | 1 comment { Life, Travel }
Screen shot 2010-03-01 at 9.41.53 PM

Rain and sunbreaks at the Beckmans’, in the spruce forest above Cannon Beach. This was the first weekend that I was willing to believe it might possibly be spring sometime soon. The rain showers, though some of them were quite dense, were soft and almost warm. I shot this with my regular camera (Canon 5D Mark II), which does video. I under-utilize that feature!

My First Tsunami

March 2, 2010 | 4 comments { Books & Learning, Travel }
Tsunami Wavelet

Curiosity. I have it. The frightful 8.8 magnitude quake that jolted poor Chile last Saturday sent out reverberations: the threat of tsunamis all through the Pacific world. As it happened, I was scheduled to spend the weekend at my friend Emma’s family’s house in the misty, spruce-studded hills just above Cannon Beach. The tsunami was scheduled to reach that part of the Oregon coast at right around 3PM local time. I needed to see what this looked like.

It looked like nothing. Too subtle for humans to notice, but very much there. The water changes caused by the far-flung tsunami were merely a foot or so along the western edge of Oregon, but the fluctuations were very real.

Art Question: What’s your favorite art museum?

February 19, 2010 | 8 comments { Life, Travel }
Lyza at the Pergamon

I have a habit of, when I travel, absconding immediately to the nearest art museum. I neglect even the most vital tourist activities (various towers, mountain peaks, cathedrals, piazzas, antiquities, Disney parks, stadia, canals, funiculars, and botanical gardens), often at great experiential expense.

Simply put, here is a list of notable (note that I’ve excluded the Portland Art Museum and anything billed as an art collection in Las Vegas, et cetera) art museums I have visited. You will find reading a list of notable art museums I have visited interesting. You will.

And then you will tell me your favorites.

Oregon: Most Scenic Places

February 17, 2010 | 2 comments { Travel }

While driving through the Santiam Pass today along highway 22, it occurred to me that I don’t have a favorite. Favorite thing to look at in Oregon, that is. I asked David what he thought the most scenic thing in Oregon was and he was befuddled and had no answers really, either.

Here are a few obvious choices for scenery destinations in Oregon, along with a few personal faves. What are yours?

Knowledge and Travel: Pine Mountain Observatory, Messier Objects

February 16, 2010 { Books & Learning, Photography, Travel }

It had been my hope to merge my current site theme (The Heavens) with a winter weekend in Sunriver, Oregon. The high desert resort community usually has cold, clear weather at this time of year, and is far away from significant light pollution. That is, the stars can be heavenly, and I have in the past dabbled with entry-level astrophotography there with somewhat acceptable results.

I wanted to write for you about taking photos of stars. Alas, lingering between me and said celestial objects was a stubborn and weepy slab of clouds and mist that did not lift for the entire four days I was out there.

After plan B failed, too, I just had to make something up. Enjoy this latest post in my “heavens” theme series.

Along the Deschutes: Three eras, one place

February 14, 2010 { Travel }

Today I returned to a site that unites three eras of history.

At the Besson site along the Deschutes River in central Oregon, a wide swath of rocky and sandy ground bubbles lightly and forms a series of streams that join and then flow into the Deschutes just beyond. It’s a slightly magical place, with odd-colored algae, deeply black basaltic rocks, and roiling underwater silt where the water burbles in. The place looks quite different than it did last year; the patterns of precipitation and season change the locations and intensity of the springs.

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From the Archive

From the archive, a few random posts that you might not have seen before.

Wonderful games with Caslon