Settled In Marin

Sat, Aug 26, 2017

Carol and I are back in the RV park near Corte Madera, just a short drove from our home in Mill Valley.

Since we’ve leased our home for another year, we’ll be spending year two in our Airstream.  But no adventure this time.  Two months in Marin.  Another in Southern Cal on our way to AZ.  Then four months in Palm Creek RV in Casa Grande, AZ and then back to the RV Park next April for the spring and summer.  Easy Peasy.

Without the adventure, I’ll probably be off-line until we hit the road in Nov.

Happy travels, everyone.

The Post Eclipse Carmageddon

Wed, Aug 23, 2017

Central Oregon was a popular place to see the eclipse.  And why not?  The likelihood of a clear sky was somewhere in the upper 90%.  The highest across the path of totality.

In the days leading up to the eclipse, there were plenty of doom and gloom traffic forecasts but that didn’t happen (except at the entrances to the festivals).  Reason is that people came in over a three or four day period.

But then the post eclipse crowd hit the road and all hell brook loose.  Highway 97 that connects Madras and Bend to Interstate 5 was jammed.  Since we planned to use the same route, we knew we could be in trouble.  But boy, we had no idea.

On Tue morning, we made it exactly 78.3 miles during the first four hours of nonstop driving.  A mere 19 mph on a highway with a 65 mph limit.  And no crashes to slow things down.  Congestion, pure and simple.  Yuck.


The Great Solar Eclipse

Mon, Aug 21, 2017

Today’s the big day and we have clear skies here in Redmond, OR for the 9:06 AM start.

I’ve been practicing by shooting the sun the past few days.  Been playing with exposure, settings, etc and at different times of the day.  But the morning is where it’s at and I’ve settled on 1/1000 sec, ISO 200 and f8.

I’m shooting my Nikon D800, 200mm f2 lens coupled to my TC-20E III teleconverter giving an effective 400mm focal length.  This is a full frame camera but I’ll be shooting in DX mode to reduce the file size since all of the shots will be cropped anyway.  I used a Baader solar filter that’s known for sharpness.

The sun has a solar cycle in which the sun spot activity varies from its minimum to maximum.  The period is 11 years and unfortunately we’re right at the minimum.  So I was pleased to see some sun spots since there weren’t any a few days ago.

I took ten photos showing the progression of the eclipse.  The sun’s natural color is white but I’ve colored it yellow to give a more pleasing image.  Here they are:


Sorry no pictures of totality but it was spectacular and eerie at the same time.  Can’t wait to see it again.

Eclipse Sun Rise

Mon, Aug 21, 2017

We woke up this morning excited as if it were Christmas for an 8 yr old.  Went outside to check it out and there were clouds to the east.  Uh oh 😦

No worries as the eclipse was still three hours away and sure enough, the sky was perfectly clear by the 9:06 start 🙂


Eclipse Day Minus 1

Sun, Aug 20, 2017

We’ve regrouped with our Baja friends, the ’86ers’, at a site near Redmond, OR.

We’re about 25 niles south of Madras in the southern part of the path of totality.  We’ll have about 48 seconds of darkness instead of the 2-1/2 minutes further north.

As many of you may know, there are several large forest fires burning to the west of us.  The wind forecast is favorable and we don’t expect the smoke to affect us.

Here’s a shot looking down the street and that’s the smoke.  Thank goodness for the northerly wind. 🙂


The Milli Fire

Thu, Aug 17, 2017

A wildfire burning near the Sisters Wilderness Area in the Deschutes National Forest grew overnight, leading communities nearby to plan for evacuations.  The Milli Fire has grown to 3,500 acres with no containment.

Last night, we began smelling smoke and we woke to ash in our Airstream.  For some reason, Airstream decided to use screens with mesh that’s a little too big for my taste.

Here’s my camera that was sitting by the window.


With thousands poring into the area for Monday’s eclipse, this could be real bummer 😦

Floating the Deschutes

Wed, Aug 16, 2017

Carol and I went to Bend’s Old Mill District for a cold one.  So called because the area was formerly occupied by two lumber mills.  It’s right on the Deschutes river, naturally, since the lumberjacks floated the logs down the river to the mill.

The river is the main attraction in Bend and boy do they know how to use it.  Check out this crowd on a lazy Wed afternoon.  Wonder what its like on the weekend?


Oregonians Sure Love Their Outdoors

Mon, Aug 14, 2017

We’re settled in the Crown Villa RV Park in Bend, OR and we sure are enjoying it.

Bend is on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range where the Ponderosa Pine forest transitions into the high desert.  That means warm days and cool evenings.  Not as nice as California coastal weather but last night’s 46F sure was welcomed after last week’s high 90’s.

One thing I’ve noticed is that nearly every SUV has a rack for bikes or kayaks or some other toys.  There are even surfers enjoying the rushing water of the Deschutes River.

Check it out.


Falls at Klamath Falls?

Sat, Aug 12, 2017

We’re camped in Klamath Falls and I’ve been wondering ‘where are the falls’?  So I hopped on my bike this morning for a look.

There’s a river that connects Upper Klamath Lake with Lake Ewauna and that looked like the spot.  But when I got there, all I saw was a little damn and hydroelectric power.  So that’s it?

A google search of ‘are there falls in Klamath Falls?’ pretty much says ‘no’.  But there were rapids back in the day.

Here’s what’s left of the falls: