Monday, May 28, 2012

Sweet Creek Falls, Oregon- The Rainforest of the Pacific Northwest

Parts of the West Coast of Oregon, get so much rain, they are considered "rainforests," defined as a forested area that gets over 80 inches of rain a year. 
This hike of Sweet Creek Falls was undertaken in January, during the winter, and the green barked trees, in fact covered with moss were stunning. 
Though this are is closest to Eugene, about 60 miles away, if you are in the vicinity, well. the pictures speak for themselves!  

Video: Sweet Creek Falls Trail- Gorgeous

The massive trunk of an ancient tree

gorgeous colors

Sweet Creek Falls

So mossy! So much water

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hiking The Santa Monica Mountains- Los Angeles, USA

Los Angeles isn't all concrete jungle and Hollywood. About an hour outside of West LA, in the Malibu area, are the highest peaks of the Santa Monica Mountains. The trail we took is the "Solstice Trail" (Take Yerba Buena Road way up the hill from the Pacific Coast Highway if you are interested.) 
I went on this hike at the end of May, before the summer heat wilted the flowers, and browned the vegetation. 
The amazing rock formations with the Pacific Ocean acting as a backdrop, made for spectacular vistas, and allowed my mind to relax into a meditative state, as I gazed at nature's beauty.

Bee pollinating cactus flower

okay, it's not Mount Everest


poison oak- do avoid!

Awesome rock formation and photo!

So, if you are going to visit the Los Angeles area, and you like being in nature, do consider venturing out for hike in through the mountains. 

PS- thanks to my friend Annelize for the first few pics! We were both on photo duty, and she's a wonderful photographer. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thrills- Bungee Jumping + Jet Skiing in Pattaya, Thailand

Bungee and Jet Ski

Until now, bungee jumping, has somehow evaded my fairly lengthy adventurer resume.
Using a pulley system, we ascend two hundred feet into the air in a man made platform. I fully expected myself to be laughing at the top. I’m an experienced skydiver, regularly parting ways with airplanes at 13,000 feet. This was going to be easy. This was gonna be a breeze.
Unfortunately, I forgot my intense fear of heights, and looking down at the ground from two hundred feet is far more frightening than skydiving altitudes. (It seems more real.)
“One, two, three, GO!” yelled the jump master.
But I hung onto the railing, the unfamiliar feeling of fear aching in my body.
“It’s safe right?”
“One million percent,” he replied.
Let it loose! I jumped up as high I could and felt the exhilarating feeling of acceleration pull me downward. I have to say, I LIVE for that feeling! The aliveness, nothing else is present, except for the RAPIDLY approaching earth.
“Aaahhhhhh!” I let a scream, but it was pleasure. This feeling is what I live for! I felt pumped for hours afterwards, I’m definitely doing it again.

I suppose that is why I went jet skiing after I got back to my hotel. Going fifty miles per hour on the open water, jumping waves, the spray in your face is absolutely exhilarating. This is living!

My stay in Pattaya lasted three days. Not that it’s not a nice vacation, relative to say, Lincoln Nebraska, but of the places I have been to in Thailand, it’s the place I would be least likely to return to. Sure, you can jet-ski, parasail (which I also did, believing as I was flying through the air I was Peter Pan) but on the whole, I’d recommend skipping Pattaya.