Our Life in the Pacific Northwest

Archive for the tag “hiking”

Time for a new camera bag?

I’ve had my camera bag/backpack for about 7 years. I chose the backpack style so I could bring it on hikes and carry it comfortably on photo shoots. It’s been on overnight backpacking trips, beaches, airplanes, camping, and everywhere else I’ve dragged it. It’s been used and abused and I’ve been told it’s time for a new one from more than a few people. Ok, so the zipper on the inside pocket doesn’t zip and the outside is worn and there’s a splotch of green spray paint from a senior photo shoot (ahh the memories!) on the front, but it has character and it has been with me through many amazing experiences!

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My camera backpack was made by Lowepro which is a popular camera bag brand. They don’t have this particular model available anymore but I believe it’s an older version of the Photo Classic AW (pictured below) in a smaller size. The newer model can hold two camera bodies and has enough room for lenses and equipment and is priced at $119.00

Photo_Classic_HotPointsLowepro Classic AW

One of the best features is the  All Weather cover. It is hidden in the bottom of the bag in a sleeve. When the weather turns bad you pull it out and it wraps around the bag to protect it like a rain coat. This has saved me numerous times! It also has a strap and loop on the front to keep your tripod secured.

I’ve really used this bag. Like really used it. Most days I have it with me and like I said before, it’s been everywhere so durability would be my number one compliment for this bag.It fits all of my equipment comfortably, has storage for memory cards and a zippered pouch where I keep extra batteries and little gadgets like my remote shutter release. It has a storage pocket on the front that zips and is big enough for my wallet, keys, gum, pens, thumb drives, business cards and whatever else I would normally carry in a purse. It has large mesh pockets on each side where I keep a water bottle and my cell phone.

    I like the simplicity of this bag. It’s basic, straightforward and economical. I believe I paid under $100.   It has been on my shoulder almost every day for many years and it’ll probably stay there for at least a few more.

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Dungeness Spit Hike

Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge/Dungeness Recreation Area
Sequim Wa.
Olympic Peninsula

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I’ve had my eye on this hike for a really long time, so I chose Dungeness Spit for our family camping trip last summer. A “Spit” is  a narrow point of land extending into a body of water. Dungeness Spit is the longest natural sand spit in the United States and there is a working lighthouse at the end of the 5 mile trek. You can read more about the New Dungeness Lighthouse here.

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Dungeness Recreation Area Campground

Dungeness Recreation Area Campground

Sequim Washington

Olympic Peninsula

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Dungeness Recreation Area is known as the portal to the Dungeness Spit. When I found this out I was ecstatic! Dungeness Spit hike was on my to do list for a long time but since there is no overnight backpacking and I live hours (and a ferry ride) away I didn’t think it was possible. Since this campground is only half reserve-able and there were none left for that weekend, I felt anxious about chancing the drive all the way there. We planned this trip with our friends who couldn’t arrive until Friday night so we left early (6:30 am) Friday morning  in hopes that at least one camper would be leaving at a check out time. Fortunately for us several people were leaving, probably to avoid the busy weekend. The first site we found was decent but a little small for two families. We started to set up and noticed a couple packing up at what looked like a group site. They walked over to us as they were leaving and told us that their site was the best in the campground and that we should snatch it up before someone else grabbed it.

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New Dungeness Lighthouse

New Dungeness Lighthouse
Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
Sequim Washington

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New Dungeness Lighthouse is located on Dungeness Spit on the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge in the town of Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula. To get to the lighthouse you must hike 5 miles on a natural sand spit.  A “Spit” is  a narrow point of land extending into a body of water. The hike is long but worth it. You definitely need to time your hike according to the tides. During low tide there is enough sand to walk comfortably. At high tide you’ll be walking on logs and rocks and it will take you much longer. Check out my Dungeness Spit Hike post for more info.

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Big Four Ice Caves

Big Four Ice Caves

Mountain Loop Hwy/Verlot

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

July 18, 2010

 

I wasn’t going to write a blog on this particular day spent at the ice caves, but decided I should as a reminder and a warning about the dangers of entering or getting too close to the ice caves.

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Rialto Beach, Extreme Low Tide Day 1

 

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park   July 11 2010

Hole in the Wall Hike

Northwest Washington Coast                                                          

Day 1

One of 2 parts

This is a hike I have been dreaming of doing for 3 years. I visited Rialto Beach back in September of 2007 in hopes of seeing the low tide and to find the “Starfish Rock” (a large boulder covered in starfish) that I had seen on another website. We tried to get there early enough but didn’t quite make it. Even though we missed it I was fascinated by this beach and vowed to come back for an overnight hike on a day when there was an extreme low tide. There are only about 3 really low tides of the year, so 3 years later (yes it took 3 years! I was pregnant during one of those years so cut me some slack. : ) I finally had the chance to make this journey I have been dreaming about.  If you want to read my previous blog entry on Rialto Beach here is the link.   Rialto Beach Hike.

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Rialto Beach Hike, Extreme Low Tide – Day 2

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park

Hole in the Wall Hike

Northwest Washington Coast                                          Day 2

 As soon as it was light I  got up and walked to the beach to watch the tide begin to go out.  I skipped breakfast since I was so eager to get to Hole in the Wall and again, it was another incredible experience for me. I saw a couple of early morning hikers and I watched the surf  gradually lowering to reveal tons of rocks that weren’t there the day before. My hiking companions decided to sleep in since we didn’t get much rest during the night. So once again I was on my own to explore this amazing place at such an incredible low tide. The sun was coming up creating beautiful colors and the beach had a touch of early morning fog. It was going to be a perfect day!

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Round Lake State Park, Idaho

Round Lake  State Park

Near Sandpoint Idaho

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 Sunset from the Tromp the Swamp hike.

I asked my husband to find a state park in Northern Idaho near Silverwood theme park for our family vacation. I mentioned Priest Lake assuming that he would reserve one of their 435 campsites on the lake since it is so large and popular. When he told me he reserved a campsite for 3 days at a place called ‘Round Lake’ I was pretty annoyed. I gave him one thing to do and he found the smallest campground at a lake I had never heard of.  🙂 It was too late to change it, so I decided to make the best of it. I must say now that I was incredibly suprised at how beautiful, serene and awesome Round Lake was.

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Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls/Trail

Snoqualmie, Washington

                                                                                                                                              

I have been visiting Snoqualmie Falls since I moved here in 1989. The falls have always held a special place in my memory, and every time I go I am taken back to a time when all of the Pacific Northwest was new and exciting to me. I was 18 and my best friend and I would hike down the trail and race each other on the rocks to see who could get closer to the falls the quickest. I often wonder how we did that without ever falling. Such fond memories. My husband and I went on one of our first dates here as well.

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