Tag: Vacation


Central Oregon Vacation

I was lucky enough to spend a week in the Bend, OR area for a family vacation.  Full of good times, beautiful locations and fun adventures!  Mountain biking, White Water Rafting, ATV’ing, Photography, hiking, lightning, sun, card games, Timbers winning and the USA Women’s Soccer team becoming World Champions!!

Since this was a family vacation, majority of these photos are taken with my phone in lieu of my big setup. There are quite a lot of photos just as a heads up.

Be sure to click on the photos for a larger view, especially the panorama shots.

MTB Ride along the Deschutes River Trail

A popular but gorgeous trail that follows along the Deschutes River.  Pretty easy trail overall with no real hard technical sections save for a few rocks that may be difficult to get up without using your feet.  Great views along the river by some rapids, waterfalls and some areas to stop and take a quick dip in the river.

Edison Butte OHV (ATV)

We decided to hit up Edison Butte OHV area for our ATV rides.  Having never been here, I looked up some youtube videos of the area, and found mostly Jeeps and 4×4 rigs. After talking with a local, he still recommended this area, so we went!  It was a lot of fun and a great ride for me. A couple gorgeous views as we made our climb as well. Some areas where you could go faster, but there was quite a bit of rock crawling/climbing over sharp lava rocks that was slow and technical. Not a trail I’d take a beginner on or someone who doesn’t have good control of their bike, but it wasn’t overly difficult and we made it with no flats!  If you look at the trail map below, we started on the right hand side and made a big loop up to Kwohl Butte Shelter, down to Sheridan Mtn. Shelter and then followed trail 3 back up to our trailhead and parking area.  Some sections were really dusty and I was glad to be taking the lead as you’ll see the results of my two riding partners with dirt mustaches!

White Water Rafting on the Deschutes River

A few of us went white water rafting as well!  About half of us have done this before, and even this same section of river, but it had been many years.  This was a ton of fun!  Our raft was feared early on by the others as Nick decided to take a flying leap through the air to take out another guide into the river.  From then on, the other rafts would always turn away as we neared.  Couple people also had the pleasure of falling into the river on a couple rapids.

These photos are courtesy of the photographer with High Desert River Outfitters, the company we went with.

Hiking at Smith Rock State Park

Nearing the end of our trip, we wanted to check out Smith Rock.  Having never really spent any time here, we were all impressed and amazed with how gorgeous the area was.  Two of my brothers and I decided to take the harder hike and go up Misery Ridge Trail for the better views and it did not disappoint!  It was a tiring hike, but totally worth it.  Next time I will bring my bike and do some riding here as well.  In a couple photos you can see my standing on a rock near Monkey Face rock, and in a couple others if you look real close, you can see a climber making his way up Monkey Face as well.

Painted Hills

We hit up Smith Rock in the morning and then headed for the Painted Hills.  This is an absolutely stunning and unique area that everyone has to see in person to believe it. The textures and colors are just unreal.  We didn’t do much hiking here since the temperatures were the hottest of our entire trip topping out at 103 degrees, ouch!  We still couldn’t help but to get out for some very short distances to get some views and pictures.

Sparks Lake Sunset

One evening I decided to duck out and check out Sparks Lake for the sunset. I brought all my camera gear along in case it turned epic.  If you haven’t seen my shots from my first trip here last year, the sky had to be rather impressive to top that one.  This was not such a night, but this location is just so peaceful and amazing to be at regardless of the color in the sky.  The first 3 shots here were taken with my DSLR and the rest with my phone.

That’s about it! Was a really great and fun week for all.  Do you have any favorite spots in the Central Oregon Area? I’d love to hear them and put them on my list for my next visit!  Have any favorite photos from the area? I’d love to see those as well.


Whistler Vacation

For the last week and a half or so, I was on a family vacation!  Of course this means I took a lot of pictures and enjoyed a lot of activities with the family.  Our destination was Mt. Whistler with a few stops along the way.

Seattle, Mt. St. Helens, Stanley Park, ATV rides, Zip lines, getting a new transmission for our car in Canada and seeing some beautiful waterfalls and mountain ranges are some things and places we did and saw.

Read on to see the pictures and videos captured from this trip (roughly in the order they were done). It was quite fun!

Mt. St. Helens

 We started our trek up to visit some family to celebrate my nieces 4th birthday!! This was done at a bowling alley with lots of other kids and of course it was fun and enjoyable.  After that we drove on up to Centralia, WA to stay a night. During this time we visited some of the observation centers for Mt. St. Helens!

I’ve always wanted to visit this place and especially take a helicopter ride into the mountain. Sadly we weren’t able to do that, but we were able to get some breath taking views of the mountain and valleys surrounding it.

Check out the few photos in the slider below, or if you want to see bigger versions check out the gallery link by clicking here.  Highly recommend viewing larger for better color, detail and perspective, especially for the panoramas.


Needing to pass some time during the day on Sunday, we decided to look for something to do in Seattle. Of course there’s A LOT to do here, but we didn’t want to spend much money.  What we found was pretty awesome though. 

Located at South Lake Union park, the Center For Wooden Boats offers rides in sail boats and such during the week.  On Sunday though, they offer them for free!  On nice days, there’s a line early on to sign up for times later in the day. We arrived early to get a spot in line, and lucky for us, the people in front of us were signing up for a time slot later in the day. So we went right away.

We didn’t go on a sailboat though, we went on a small steam powered boat! it was really cool and a pleasant time on the water with awesome views of the city.

Watch the slideshow below or view larger versions of the images by clicking here!

Stanley Park

After the boat ride in Seattle, we headed to cross the border and meet up with some other family in the Vancouver, BC area.  We stayed here for a couple nights and ran into some trouble.  The transmission on one of our vehicles died and we had to get a new one.  We were able to drive it carefully, but it was stuck in one gear and what not.  While checking it out along side the road at the house we stayed in, a guy who works at a car shop happened to drive by!  He gave us directions to where the shop was and we went there first thing in the morning.  They were able to diagnose the problem, and get a transmission replacement picked up and put in the very next day. Was great and fast service.  The shop was Port Moody Auto Repair, in the town aptly named Port Moody.

Meanwhile, we ventured into Vancouver proper and went to the big Stanley Park.  A lot to do here and one can easily spend a couple of days. We spent a full day day here at the park and saw some interesting things such as a Black Squirrel, and some fighter jets flying overhead as well.  This was on Canada Day, so it was a VERY busy city and traffic was terrible when attempting to leave.

Check out the slideshow below or view the larger versions by clicking here!

I had to add this picture below because it was quite funny to watch.  Of course I am bias towards my nieces, but they have to be the cutest ever!  Below is one of my nieces and her dad.  He was trying to teach her how to throw rocks and lifting your leg to do it.  She got all the steps down, just in the wrong order.  She would stay planted and throw, then lift the leg after the fact, and it was the same side leg as the throwing arm. Quite fun to watch. 

 Niece and her father throwing rocks at the beach,
Niece and her father throwing rocks at the beach,

Whistler Fun Stuff

Mt. Whistler was the main event for our vacation.  I thoroughly loved the area and could easily see myself living in a place like this if it weren’t so dang expensive.  Mountains everywhere, lakes and rivers everywhere, pretty much any activity you can think of is close by, lots of people from all over the world, all seasons and lots of wildlife.  What’s not to love about this area? I can’t think of anything!!!

I borrowed a friends GoPro camera in hopes of capturing some video of the fun things we did.  I don’t know if I’d call any of it successful, but there is video from myself going down the big zip lines, and then the next day with my sister going down the zip lines.  The group that went with my sister did a lot more interesting stuff, like going upside down and what not.  I also used the camera to make a timelapse of our ATV ride we went on.

First up comes my perspective of the zip lines.  The longest line was roughly 2200 feet long and they say you reach 55-60mph!  There is audio in the videos, but it’s mostly muffled voices and the loud noise of the zipline above you, so you aren’t missing anything by having it muted.


Below is from my sisters perspective.  They did more riding upside down and what not as well!

A couple days later, we were deciding on what else we wanted to do.  A few of us really wanted to ride some ATV’s and others weren’t so keen on it.  We had a 2 year old with us, and she was to young to ride on an ATV anyways, so we found some Jeep tours! Some family went on the Jeep tour up the mountain, and others went on the ATV’s.  Here’s a timelapse at 30fps from my perspective on the ATV. 

Waterfalls and Forest

There is no shortage of waterfalls nearby Whistler as well. We were only able to hit up 4 or so, but all were quite enjoyable and rather easy to get to.  Shannon Falls was by far the most beautiful with the way it cascaded down the cliff.  It is also by far the most popular and very easy to get to, but still stunning even with all the people.  The others we visited were Brandywhine Falls, Nairn Falls and Alexander Falls.

Watch the slideshow below or view the larger and better versions by going to the full album by clicking here

Sunrise and Sunset

A few days were perfectly clear with no clouds, and others had a great amount of clouds for shooting!  In the evenings and early morning we hung out as a family, so I did all my shooting from our balcony, but it still had some beautiful views!

As with the others, watch the slideshow below or if you want to view the larger and better versions, visit the gallery by clicking here! I highly recommend viewing larger, especially for the panoramas.

Short timelapse of a sunrise as well. 

So there you have it…

All the worthwhile stuff from the trip!  It was definitely a fun time with TONS of stuff to do.  We only did a few small things, and there’s a lot more if we go back. Bungee jumping, white water rafting, jet boats, sky diving, over night hiking/camping at some high lakes etc…  

If  you’ve been up to the Mt. Whistler area, what did you do? Id love to hear what others did during their stay here.  Also let me know what you think about the stuff I captured.