Category: Travelogue

Seaweed picking at the Coast

I went with Alisha and classmates to the coast to collect seaweed and chill at the beach. I took a number of macros at low tide which proved to be pretty difficult considering the waves crashing around and the razor sharp barnacles and my fear or broadcasting buttcrack to the world at large. Additionally since its somewhat relevant I put up a picture of my newest painting which is based on the San Juan islands (yeah thats right Orcas peeps!)

View the rest of the photos here

Possibly my favorite frame ever.

Wave crest and Star filled twilight detail.

indian beach wave

Surf Crash – Indian Beach – Ecola State Park – Oregon Coast

Surf and Two Starfish

Starfish vs Waves – Ecola State Park – Oregon Coast

bubbles above anenome

Bubbles in pool above sea anemones

Neon Anenome off Oregon Coast

Sea Anemone macro

Tide Pool traffic jam

Beach Still Life

Seaweed Hunting

Starfish Macro

Starfish arms


Starfish and Surf

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Hello everyone, Alisha and I went on a little mini-vacation in Eastern Washington and went for a few hikes – including one to one of Alishas favorite places – Emerald lake – which is a mountain lake you have to hike miles over a mountain to get to – In the summer the upper lake dries up and the lake bed is left to slowly dry leaving large cracked earth. There are also beautiful mint fields, deep emerald lake and flower filled meadows. Below are a number of the macro photos I took here and in Priest Lake Idaho.

Cracked Lake Bed, Emeral Lake Trail, colville, Washington

Fractal Drying – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Cracked Lake Bed, Emeral Lake Trail, colville, Washington

Lake Bed Composition – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Grasshopper macro

Large Grasshopper – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Underlying structure – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Bursts – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Baby Frog Macro – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Lichen Macro

Creeping Lichen  – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Lichen Macro Photo

Lichen Composition – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Tree Sap over Lichen

Tree sap over chartreuse lichen – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Rock Lichen Ecology – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Throrofare Liminal Zone – Priest Lake, ID

More Lichen – Emerald Lake, Colville, WA

Shipwrex – Priest Lake, ID

Trout Lake from Above –  Colville, WA

Trees –  Colville, WA


You can view all the photos here

Glacier Hiking Trip

Alisha and I just finished planning our 72 mile late summer back country expedition into Glacier National Park – I made a google map of this to get an idea of distance per day and elevation changes.

Heres the stats

10 Days

73 miles

3 Passes

1 River Fording

4 suspension bridges

I will update this page once we return with photos! but for now feel free to peep our map

View Glacier Hike in a larger map

Christmas Travelogue

Alisha and I had initially talked of not going anywhere or doing anything for Christmas. Somehow that slowly morphed into going to see Alishas family for Christmas. Dont ask me how I just work here. But dont get me wrong it was a LOT of fun and just what we both needed after a semester of school and work for Alisha and Non-stop work for several months for me.

Right before we left Portland got hit with a foot or two of snow and was left paralyzed for 3-4 days due to its lack of snowtrucks, refusal to use salt, and a number of other factors. My love affair for my Subaru was taken up a few more notches as we trucked all over town doing donuts in parking lots and having other forms of irresponsible fun. 84 was closed until the morning we left to goto Eastern Washington.

Frozen rain on Pine

Before leaving I ran out to grab some photos of this pine bough which was covered in frozen snow and in fact grabbed a number of great photos.

Sunset ion Dekum

Ice Covered Trees at Sunset on Dekum Street


Our drive up eastern Washington on 395 – You can’t see it – but there is a car less than 20 feet in front of us. This is what one of my friends terms “white knuckle driving” The roads were thankfully mostly clear and free of icy patches otherwise we would have been stuck.

Dear Portland, while it was cute to see you flail under a few inches of snow you should step aside and let Spokane show you what real snow looks like. 3-4 feet!

Goofball - kris and alisha

Every time i see this picture I think “Goofball” so thats what it is. I can’t tell if its the aspherical distortion or our silly smiles but we do indeed look goofy.

Christmas Bow-keh

The name for the quality of transition from clarity in focus to a soft out of focus blur is called “Bokeh” but for this picture I wonder if it should be called BowKeh – thank you thank you I appear here every Thursday evening.

Macro Photograph of Ice Crystals

Ice Crystal Macro

After 4 days straight of fatty foods, cookies and obscene amounts of wine, I couldn’t ignore my inner nerd any longer and set up a science experiment where I tried to capture some photos of Ice Crystals – it worked out ok but given the fixed lighting and the lack of my 2x doubler I feel I was only able to scratch the surface of what is possible.

Speaking of frozen water… on our way out of Portland we dropped by multnomah Falls late at night and I set up a prolonged exposure in hopes of catching the awesomeness of the frozen waterfall… this was the best I could muster with the near total lack of light.

Thats it for this time… check out the rest of the photos here

Hawaii By Pictures

Greetings and welcome to another installment of my travelogue, the internets’ answer to the yawn inducing slide-shows of yon. Alisha and I have spent the past three weeks hiking, camping exploring and snorkling just about every place we could find and all the while I’ve been putting my new ebay bargain 55mm Micro Nikkor macro lens through the paces. As you can see from the photos they are much clearer and cleaner than before mostly thanks to this sharp lens.

Much to the chagrin of everyone we traveled with I took hundreds of photos, stopping every few feet to stick my camera in something or anothers grill. Rather than inundate you with all these I figured I would simply just go over my favorite areas and photos from there.

Ill start with Waipio Valley; an incredibly steep walled valley with a grade so steep it will make you cry. Its a mile walk (or drive if you have 4wd and nerves of steel) to the bottom and its more or less straight down the whole way. We were treated to some incredible aerial views of the marshes and taro root patches on the steep hike down.

Far End of Waipio Valley

The far end of Waipio valley with the barely visible trail leading into Waimanu Valley – A journey for another trip.

Waipio Valley Marsh

We decided we wanted to go all the way to the waterfall and were pretty prepared for the task. After we hiked to the bottom of valley and walked further in towards the back we then hiked along side the stream until we hit a large chest deep reservoir which we had to ford. Youll have to excuse the blurryness of the photo for this reason Its difficult to properly shoot when you are half submerged in water.

Alisha fording

Alisha rocking it Indiana Jones stylee

We knew the journey was inevitably going to end up fruitless since Hi’ilawe Falls was all but a trickle that day as well as being overcast; (It was raging a few weeks before) however we hiked as far as we could in until the trail disappeared and left us boulder hopping in the middle of the river to as near to the base as we could get. Once again, a journey for another day. I won’t even bother to include the obligatory photo I shot as it will just make you sad. Instead, do as I do, and imagine a 1400 foot water fall in full throttle cascading down onto piles of mossy green boulders ahhhh much better. I did get a chance to snap a photo of a dragonfly

Hawaiian Dragonfly

We spent several days at Volcanoes National Park right down the street from where we stayed and did the Napau Trail which is a 7 mile hike which goes 4 miles through the lava wasteland. I

Alisha Loves drippy the hut

Alisha loves Lava the Hut



A sneak peek at what we can look forward to after the fundamentalists play out their apocalypse myths

Just when you think you cant handle any more you come to the edge of Makaopuhi Crater and instantly you are immersed in a rainforest with old growth Hapu’u Fern Trees. Its a little jarring Nows as good a time as any to share my fantastic collection of unfurling fern fronds

Napau Trail Fern forest

This is where we camped! an Uluhe Fern Forest right next to Pu’u O’o, the active vent where the lava was flowing.


View the Fern Page



Whats a visit to Volcanoes without a pic of the crater?

Not to give you the impression that we didnt spend a bunch of time in the water, unfortunately I couldn’t photograph the astounding reefs we snorkled but none the less the reefs out of water were fun to photograph in moderate surf. I still haven’t been clobbered by a rogue wave so Im keeping my fingers crossed.

scrub bubble anenomes

Anenome Scrub Bubbles which live on rocks in some of the most intense pounding surf I’ve ever see. The will also clean your bathtub.

A Dried Scrub Bubble (my name) and its Hexagonal armor and shell underneath. This guy is now a part of my collectors cabinet, well if it survivies the flight back

Postcard Fodder: Insert your chesy comment here.

Hounouanoua (place of refuge) if you commited some transgression punishible by death and could get here before people caught you – your sins would be pardoned – Basically a get out of jail free card.

The macro lens strikes again – this is right after I cleaned my CCD sensor for the first time and removed a dusty film which was leaving specs, ghosts and generally degrading the quality of my images. I for one can see the improvement in clarity . Word to the wise: if you have a digital SLR 1) Theres only one place to get a CCD cleaning kit in Hawaii and thats at the lighthaus in Kona and it costs damn near 60 dollars (as opposed to 15 on ebay) 2) dont be tempted, as I was, to think you could blow a little speck of dust off with your mouth. You cant. Youll get specks of spittle on your sensor. It was a photography nightmare.


Some more random plants and insect photos

In Kona at Lava Java there is an armada of these pint sized vultures waiting to swoop down and clean your plate as soon as you walk away. However they dont mind being handfed.

Lava textures just for the hell of it. Luckily I took these photos before the allure of the lava wore off completely- well… cooled lava that is. We did the frowned upon, not so often talked about, and sort of dangerous night hike from the viewing area right up to the edge of where the lava meets the water. The viewing area officially closes at 10 and if you show up after you can walk as close to the lava as your common sense will allow, for me that was a respectful distance, you know… where the lava stone under your feet is hot, there are steam cracks with intense hot steam coming out all around and the eruption ahead of you is spewing grapefruit sized chunks of molten rock in the air. If anyone else chooses to do this of their own volition I would highly recommend reading as much as you can on all the NGS Hawaii National Parks lava update site to make sure its not a very bad idea. Anyways on with the eruption photos – all are timelapse and the semi erie lighting is partially due to the full moon and the vog overhead.

hawaiis' pu'u o'o lava tube eruption


Mahalo Bitches!

Google Maps Travelogue

This is the beginning of my visual navigation for all the travelogues I post of our adventures. Click on the dots to read the blog postings.

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50+ mile back-country Yellowstone hike.

The first time Alisha and I went to the Yellowstone back-country office we were given a piece of information which really changed how we viewed the park from then on. We were told that less than one tenth of one percent (one out of every thousand) of the visitors ever leave the pre-marked boardwalk trails. In fact considering that from the parking lot to the boardwalk back to the car its possible most of them never actually set foot on the ground itself.

True, Yellowstone is a mecca for Americas adventurous soft serve licking crowds, True, you will see chub-a-lubby American potatoes practically begging the buffalo to gore them as they stick cameras in their shaggy faces and pose in order to have pictures to show for their wild expedition and sadly but true there are thousands of them and miles of cars and trendy Yellowstone national park merchandise. All that’s forgotten more or less as soon as you set foot on trail and head into the back-country.

In order to do anything over a 2 day hike you will need to fill out a form and pick 1st 2nd and 3rd choices for which spots you want to camp out. There’s a 20 dollar fee to reserve your camp sites. Visit the NPS Yellowstone back-country for more information.

For those interested I created a google map with pin marks if this trip.

Day 1 – Lone Star Geyser – Lower Geyser Basin

We started two miles south of Old Faithful. 3 miles in we ran into Lone Star Geyser which goes off every three hours. We were lucky enough to arrive just as it was doing its thing

An hour or two before sunset and 4 miles later we set up camp and then decided to tack on an additional 6 miles to see the lower geyser basin which isn’t too terribly different from a lot of the other geothermal activity in Yellowstone except for the complete lack of people and boardwalks which makes all the difference in the world.

The photo above is a valley near sunset en route to the geyser basin

I really enjoy the sort of textures that happen near geothermal activity. My highlight of the geyser basin were the twin fumaroles. It sounded like satan gargling asphalt. I tempted fate to see what was inside. (Can you imagine the headline on the news? At 11 – Local Idiot gets face blasted off by steam after sticking head in fumarole)

Day 2 Yellowstone Valley & 3 River Junction

The second day was around 11 miles or so. The first photo is some weird bacterial mat with air bubbles trapped in it that we found in a river. Ill probably use this for art at some point

Alisha befriended an amanita, which for the record… was already knocked over before we got there and not plucked so we could take a picture with it

The valley is pretty amazing. In the photo below you can see the Bechler River to the right but running along side it is a small stream made of the runoff from hot springs. The temperature in these streams was pretty hot I would guess 170 degrees.

Inside the stream were the strangest thermophiles Ive ever seen. If anyone know for sure what these are please contact me. My shot in the dark guess is that they are strands of thermophile bacterial growth. The slow hypnotic undulation of this hot water forest was the highlight of my day, but as you know I’m geeky like that.

Lone Star Geyser

A close second favorite spot of the day was Leather Pond. Large thick bacterial matts growing at the bottom of this small pond. My first thought was of large vats of kombucha and probably went as far as thinking “I wonder what it tastes like” before I shut that thought process down and headed towards our destination.

I have to recommend this camp site if you are in the area. I believe its Abigail Falls, but the campsite is amazing! Right on the base of this huge towering waterfall which we watched the sun set on. We started climbing it but to the left and right were some seriously spooky caves and rock pits which could have easily made dens for any number of large animals that we didn’t want to encounter.

Day 3 Downward to Bechler Meadows

By day three the hiking is taking a toll on us. We are beat. Its another 12-14 mile day and luckily its all downhill with a 3,000 foot elevation change, but with a 40 pound pack and several blisters that’s a small consolation ;)

This was the day of the waterfalls it seems. Here’s Alisha all explored-out at the mornings first waterfall.

I snuck up behind a dragonfly and ended up a little confused. Can dragonflies hear? This one didn’t notice me in its peripheral vision or hear the sound of my shutters but as soon as I stepped into its field of vision it bolted. Click the image for some great wing detail

Not too much happened this day. Long arduous and we filled the space talking about food.

Day4 Union Falls and Beyond

So we wake up exhausted and sore. It seems we planned our trip poorly and didn’t forsee how beat we would be. This day is the biggest of our hikes. To make matters worse we didn’t get our first choice campground and the one we got was 5 miles further out of the way. This was close to a 16 mile day because we decided to check out union falls anyways which added another couple of miles to our plate. I’m glad we did because the rest of the hike was ummm how do I say this? oh yeah BORING!

There was nothing else picture worthy this day which dragged on forever. We stopped to eat once, took a small nap in a meadow and plowed on relentlessly. Time was killed and filled by us talking about what we wanted to eat most. The consensus was that a big fat calzone was the most mouthwatering thing we could think of. Our meals had been too scarce for the amount of energy we were expending and if we overate we would be out of food. Next time I’m bringing a calzone!

We came to the point where we departed from the trail we would follow the next day. Another 5 miles to Abuela Lake. So we went ahead and forded a river (which I wasnt looking forward too first thing in the morning) The way we ended up taking took us outside the park borders and we ended up at a construction site for some kind of rock quarry which was the visual equivelant of nails on a chalkboard. I really bummed me out actually.


We wake up an hour before sunrise once again BEAT to tackle the 18 mile day which is all uphill with a 3000 foot elevation change. We are five miles off the trail, have to pass that horrible construction site with its orange water and mountains of broken stones, then have to ford a freezing river with really sharp slate… and then walk 13 miles uphill? FORGET THAT! hell no. It was the quarry that was the deal breaker for me.

So we took our time this morning and watched the sunrise on the lake and I got some amazing photos of the full moon setting and the fog burning off the lake. Im starting with my favorite

So we walk five miles to the main rode and then hitchhike the 12 to our car which our friend had moved to the trail-head. We decided then to kinda sorta start working on our wedding reception which was in two days. (like how we roll? we are pros!) But before we left Yellowstone I wanted to stop at this Basalt column rock-face we found last year but I didn’t get any good pictures of because the light was poor. It was the same this time around and I’ve come to the conclusion that a picture couldn’t capture the sheer magnitude of it – Heres my failed attempt

Near Tower Junction you can see the some really amazing rock formations from a high vantage point. This is one of my favorite spots in Yellowstone.

And then we went home. Our next back-country hike will be a 100+ mile hike in Glacier National Park in the summer of 2008.

You can view the rest of the photos here

Tales from the Tour
I would write Tales from the Tour in dripping blood horror movie letters if
I could but Ive seemed to have forgotten the html code for it – what was it
again? backslash horror?

So yeah! Im back in San Francisco; first day of sleeping in my own bed and
relaxing. The tour was great! I’ve put most of the pictures online and
really trimmed back on all the unnecessary ones.

Im not going to bore you with a day by day recounting but just touch on some
of the moments that still make me smile and laugh

Our First gig was in Ashland on Thursday at the Mobius which as you can see
by this picture is a very nice little spot.

Small crowd and quaint little town. After that we headed back down to Mt.
Shasta to camp out for three days at Ancient Souls Festival with an armada
of friends.

We spent a lot of time chatting it up with Carson and Jamie who are the
cutest couple in the world – in fact, so infectiously cute you simply can’t
tolerate it and want to crush them just to make the cuteness stop. If you
dont understand this level of cuteness you’ve probably been spending too
much time in California and I will hereby refer you to pictures of baby
chicks and 9 week old kittens which you can study until you comprehend this
level of cuteness and end your daydreams of bashing me with your PETA signs.

My highlight at Ancient Souls was chilling with Michael around the campfire
all night until sunrise when the electric blue of the impending sunrise
sharply contrasted with the fiery oranges and reds reflecting off everyones
face as they huddled around the fire; creating this intensely tribal
atmosphere. Though the second most memorable moment was a dj who was playing
the most godawful house remixes of Genesis and Billy Idol – White Wedding in
these minute to two minute long epic trainwreck mixs. I hear at one point he
was trainwrecking the mix – complete shoes in the dryer/ galloping horse
style and stood back all proud and threw his hands up as if to say “look ma,
no hands”


After Ancient Souls we drove towards Crater Lake, stopping in Klammath
Falls, which is the largest town Ive ever been to that was completely devoid
of corporate logos, chains, and mcdonalds… nothing. It looked like it was
frozen in time 20 years ago. We had to do some hunting in order to get our
fix of espresso and Mexican food (which we didnt eat right away)

Soon after, we arrived in Crated Lake, which is the deepest lake in the US
and one of the deepest in the world (which gives it this incredibly deep
blue color).

We climbed up on the rim and opened our lunch and realized that we were
having the best burrito of our life. The logic went a little like this.
kris: Wow. this place is really beautiful, definitely the most beautiful
place I’ve ever had a burrito.
jack: This is one of the better tasting burritos I’ve ever had too and it
was only 4.50!
kris: It would be next to impossible to top this burrito experience so this
has got to be the best burrito we will ever have in this life time.
heres a photo after “The Burrito Experience” tm

So thats it… Crater Lake was out of control beautiful this day to the
point where we were numbed by it… kind of like if you’ve ever been to
Bryce or seen the General Sherman sequoia tree (largest living thing on the
planet) and just shrugged because you’d been looking at immensely large
trees all day but then when you get home and see your pictures you are like
DAMN! that place is nice!
Heres a pile of pretty pictures taken this day

We headed out right away to drive through the Three Sisters Wilderness in
Oregon to get to our camp ground and Terwilliger Springs on Cougar Lake. We
got to the campground, set up, and decided that a late night dip in the hot
springs would help us sleep better, especially since we were so dirty we had
permanant trailing little clouds of dust behind us like Linus. We arrived at
the entrance to the hot springs and the sign was doing everything in its
meager authoritarian word power to convince us that we were supposed to
behave and be proper law abiding citizens and come back during normal hours
of operation – sunrise to sunset. After reading about the fines we decided
that any possible fine would be worth the experience (though we did make the
proper donation for our usage) and went ahead and hiked for 15 minutes to
the springs in total darkness though the forest.

When we arrived and dipped into the 104 degree pools all worries and
tensions melted away within 15 minutes which was good timing because thats
when the full moon broke the top of a large pine covered mountain and its
majestic face shone moonbeams through the steaming springs and bounced
rippling white light from the top of the dancing water to our faces. The
moon was visible for about 30 minutes until it hid behind another mountain
and we decided to get some sleep. (to my non-hippy friends – save your
comments about that being the worst hippy pagan poetry you’ve ever read or
else Ill have to send you some that will make mine look good)

First thing in the morning we went back to the springs for a daytime
experience, of course I thought at this point that last nights experience
was tops… but wouldn’t you know it… it got better the path to the
springs that was nothing but dark gliding shapes at night looked like an
enchanted forest in the daytime

with tons of mushroooms everywhere – Amanita Muscaria anyone?

Heres a shot of the hotsprings

Morning sunbeams shining through the mouth of the hotsprings

So we then headed up to Portland for a couple more gigs. Met tons of great
people and really explored this awesome town. Portland you get 4 stars from
heres some randomness…

We went to the street fair that happens the last thursday of the month on
Alberta street. Saw tons of great art and even had a crowd rocking out to
some latin house spilling out into the street. I met the author of my
favorite zine… Ten Foot Rule and bought a little dollar zine off him that
was all about “Starting your own damn tour” – absolutely classic. Chatted
for awhile about why san fran sucks and why portland is cool.

here’s Jack playing like hes the shit. We got to cruise around town in this
bad boy… its simply too pimping for those of us who like to be the center
of attention without everyone noticing.

yep hippy haven.
alright… I thought Jack was pointing out this car and so I walked up to
check it out not even noticing the cat freaking out and hissing at us… but
yet he didnt move… just hissed and hissed. we had to actually orchestrate
the picture to get the cat to hiss just as we took the picture to really
capture the scene… what a little asshole.

Portland is probably the purest manifestation of the american dream ive seen
to date. If I ever decided I wanted to have kids and settle down it would be
in a place like this

We went up to Seattle for a few days and I found “the record” that rocked my
world at burningman, drank the worlds best lattes, and played at Oseao for a
cool mandala / visionary artwork gallery opening

I even got to play some sweet brazillian jazz, quiet nights for quiet stars.

after that we went to Portland, played at Ohm, and started our journey home
the next day.
Jack snagged a picture of me standing in front of Mt Shasta.

Meanwhile there was an epic sunset that started hours before the sun even
hid itself behind the mountains… rain clouds being torn asunder, shafts of
light breaking the cumulonimbus fluff and all kinds of color.

and onto the epic sunset on shasta which ended our tour properly

so there you have it. I went on tour and all i got were these stupid
the rest of the pictures are here