Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Re-discovering Los Angeles and Around - part 1

LA Skyline and Fountain
Last Thursday, I went to LA to wander and explore in this vibrant city with my friend most of the time and my cousin joined us Saturday. I had a wonderful 4 day Los Angeles vacation, thanks to Malu for showing me around the beautiful spots in her adopted city.
Light poles @ Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Monday, August 27, 2012

K Ka-Boom at Kelso Sand Dunes

Nature has its special way of always bringing out the child in us. There is just so much to experience in our natural world. On our way home from Utah during our last thanksgiving trip, my husband asked if there is another sand dune we will pass along the way that we have not seen yet. Hmmm, sand dunes again? There is just something with the sand that draws us into it, it may be the inspiring artistical ripples wonderfully carved by the wind, or it may be the complexity of how it was formed, or it may just simply be enjoying the different gifts and the many faces of our wonderful world.
Me @ Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, California

Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

From the Geyser Hill, to the other parts of Upper Geyser Basin, to Midway Geyser Basin, we continue moving North from the Old Faithful Lodge to Lower Geyser Basin in the Fountain Paint Pot area.
Bacterial Mat, Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
Silex Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Images from Midway Geyser Basin, Excelsior Group, Yellowstone National Park
The Excelsior Group in Midway Geyser Basin is no doubt my most favorite feature in Yellowstone National Park. Maybe, Midway Geyser Basin awed us beyond compare because we already had seen so much beautiful scenery and amazing features in Yellowstone that we thought with all the beauty we had seen, what else was there? Midway Geyser Basin answered us: "there are more!"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Snorkeling With The Sharks, the Leopard Sharks :)

Leopard Sharks and Paddle Boarders, La Jolla Shores Beach
I have been having a time of my life lately snorkeling with the sharks! Yes, you read it right, sharks! But before you get scared, let me clarify these are the leopard sharks, not the white sharks! We were snorkeling not only with a few leopard sharks, but surrounded by hundreds of them! Would you want to swim with the sharks too? That is, the friendly, harmless to humans leopard sharks?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wind Surfing and Kite Boarding at Columbia River Gorge

Mt. Hood from Hood River, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area encompasses the entire length of the Columbia River Gorge, spanning two states, Washington and Oregon. The place is most popular for wind and water recreation, but of course, with its surrounding mountains, this place is also popular for outdoor photographers, mountain bikers and hikers. There is actually an activity for almost everyone.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


When we went to Alaska last year, one of our wishes was to see puffins in the wild. Indeed we saw some during our Kenai Fjords National Park Glacier and wildlife cruise. However, they were so far afar from our boat that we were not able to really get an up close picture of puffin.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Part 2 of Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

saw mill geyser
Sawmill Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
In my previous post  Upper Geyser Basin (part 1), after watching Old Faithful geyser erupt, we followed the paved trail and some elevated board walks to Geyser Hill. After Geyser Hill, we continued walking North. The first erupting geyser we saw after Geyser Hill was Sawmill Geyser. If you look at the picture above, Sawmill is a fountain type geyser. The bursting water stream comes through a pool of water. Sawmill's eruption can exceed 35 feet. Eruptions commonly last 30 to 50 minutes but can last from as little as 9 minutes to over 4 hours. At the time we were there, it definitely lasted more than 30 minutes. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park (Part 1)

old faithful
Old Faithful Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
There is more to Old Faithful area than Old Faithful Geyser. However, coming to Old Faithful with limited idea what was around, except Old Faithful, we started by following 95+% of the tourists. We crowded near the Old Faithful area waiting for Old Faithful to erupt. Though I was quiet at all times during the wait, but deep inside me, I was like the whining kids, crying to their mom, "MOM, I am bored! Can we do something else?" And mom had to explain, "shhhh, let us wait a little bit, for in just a short while, Old Faithful will erupt!"
chipmunk (?) entertaining us while waiting for Old Faithful to erupt

Thursday, August 02, 2012

String Lake Trailhead to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, Grand Teton

Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park, WY
Hidden Falls is a 200 ft cascade found at the Cascade Canyon of Grand Teton National Park. There are three options that I know of to reach Hidden Falls and the Cascade Canyon Trail, which is probably the most popular trail system in the park, therefore, expect company in your hike.