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Sunday, May 31, 2009


Like many families, we traditionally make a gingerbread house or two sometime during the holidays.

Our daughter Amy's in-laws, the Hobbs, make some incredible architectural creations during that same period. We've seen cottages, castles, and cathedrals complete with flying buttresses.

Like all families, they have the dilemma of what to do with these mostly inedible artifacts when the New Year rolls around. Being very resourceful, the Hobbs have created a second family tradition: "the Gingerbread Massacre."

Click here to see video footage of this rare combination of talent: the culinary sharpshooter.
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Saturday, May 30, 2009


After passing through Yellowstone, we spent the night in Livingston MT and the next morning we hit the road, stopping shortly at the Missouri Headwaters State Park.

This is what the Missouri River looks like when it is first formed by the confluence of the Madison and Jefferson Rivers. We were also told that the river was running very high because of all the melting snow in the mountains.

We took several scenic routes rather than staying on the interstate, and at one point we took a Forest Service road a few miles up one valley and then got out to hike up to one of the smaller peaks.

And here's the view we got from the top.

The trees at the top of the ridge had been hit by a fire somewhat recently. We got a good look at a somewhat rare Three-toed Woodpecker which is usually seen near newly dead forests.

I experimented with some slow shutter speeds and the mountain stream.

This tree made a great bridge across the stream.

The rocks made a nice picture.

We spent Friday night in Coeur D'Alene ID, and then drove across WA on Saturday. Again, we took a scenic route through the Cascades rather than taking the more traveled route.

I got the tripod out at one point to try some HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, and this is one of the resulting images.

Here's another HDR shot.

The scenery was gorgeous and the lighting was nearly perfect.

Although we were driving into the sun for much of the time, which made photos hard.

Well, that's all the photos of the trip. I'm hoping to find some good places to get some good shots of Mt. Ranier and the Seattle skyline sometime soon.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Time for the next picture presentation of my trip out to Seattle - The Absaroka Mountain Range and the wildlife of Yellowstone!

After passing through the Bighorn Mountains as detailed in my last post, we crossed a span of desert brushland, picked up some KFC chicken for lunch/dinner and headed into the Absaroka Mountain range which borders the East side of Yellowstone NP.

The scenery was lovely as we climbed up to the pass.
And then we got the view from the pass itself! (Side note: a couple summers ago when our family took a trip out to WY, several of us guys climbed up from the river to the peak at the middle of the right edge of the image.)

Here's the road winding down into the valley.

And the interesting landscape that the river carved out.

I sorely wished that I had a wide angle lens along to capture the HUGE expanse of mountain scenery that we saw. This mountain photo was actually a compilation of 4 images pieced together.

Once we got into the limits of Yellowstone, the mountains were not quite as impressive, but the wildlife was very abundant. Here is a pair of Common Mergansers taking flight.

An American Bison - commonly referred to as a buffalo, though technically not related to the true buffaloes.

A Pronghorn "Antelope" though also not technically related to the true antelopes. (What is it with our mammals and their technically incorrect names?)

A Bighorn Sheep (actually is a member of the sheep family this time)

An Elk to round out the collection of mammals - though we did miss a few that are known to reside in Yellowstone.

We stopped for a restroom break at the Mammoth Hot Springs and took a short walk through the colorful rimstone dams.

This was an interesting combination - a hole, a sign reading "Danger - Keep off thermal area" and numerous footprints leading past the sign to the hole. I wonder in which order they appeared.....

Well, that's all for now. More pictures still to come...


The Pirates Ship, in Penzance Bay

An actual photo of Logan Rock, near Penzance Bay, picture by Rupert Kirk Wood.

The beach at Penzance, Cornwall, England (pretend). Adam, our set designer, wanted to accurately depict the scene. (I had asked for N.C. Wyeth clouds, which may not be accurate for England's climate.)

The Chapel of General Stanley's Estate.
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Paul takes charge.

Benjamin horsing around, it's a typical day!

The lovely lady helpers.

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Aarrgh! The Sail is coming apart.

Swab that deck matey!

What a great crew.

Farewell, Penzance, you will always hold a special place in our hearts.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I have reached my apartment in Seattle and finally gotten around to sorting through some of the 500+ photos in order to post them. It's getting late, so I only have time to post a few, but here are photos from the Bighorn Mountains in WY.

We quickly gained altitude and the view was magnificent and provided the opportunity for a few shots of Josiah posing in front of the view.

And "falling" off the mountain....

We soon encountered some snow and decided to go for a walk. It turned out to be a bit deeper than expected, and we soaked our shoes.

The snow quickly became MUCH deeper as can be seen here.

And here is Josiah standing on top of the 20+ foot high wall where the snowplow carved out a path for the road.

And we finally reached an equally impressive view on the other side.

More pictures of the mountains and wildlife near Yellowstone next!