November 2022 was a heck of a month. Not only did we have some U.S. Elections (ending with the Democrats narrowly holding onto the Senate,) but we also got to celebrate my choice for my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. And, besides those things, I embarked on my first trip outside of the United States and Canada since the summer of 2019!
It has been a busy month, made all the more so by travel that was probably faster than it ought to be. So, some of these frames were taken on stopovers, or brief moments where I was catching my breath and had phone service. And so they are pretty interesting.
When Chelsea and I first sat down and watched all of the entrants for the 2021 Eurovision song competition, Maro was one of our favorite entrants. Her soulful voice made its way into our hearts.
When Chelsea saw that she was playing a show on a particular friday night in Portland, the decision to spend a weekend down there was an easy one. I hadn't really given Portland a proper visit, only stopped by a now-closed storefront for a chocolatier, so I was eager to get to know the city better.
Meanwhile, I had a great experience borrowing the 300mm f/4 PRO Lens through the Olympus Test & Wow Program. The program has a few other lenses available that I wanted to try -- mainly the f/4 zooms. But, I was also interested in the 25mm f/1.2 prime lens.
I used this lens for all of my photography around Portland, from flowers to woof-woofs to the concert. Man, was I impressed!
Just like my last Olympus Test & Wow Post, all of my images (more than I've embedded in the post) can be found in a Flickr album.
You're Steve. You want to go out of town for Labor Day weekend, and you don't want to go somewhere too crowded. Also, you're going to be bringing your comrade Chelsea along, and so you ought to actually plan something and make reservations.
Originally, I hadn't been thinking of leaving Washington State; what advantage was there to visiting Canada when they have the same bogus Labor Day holiday on the same exact day as the United States. But, when spitballing ideas, Lake Osoyoos came up.
Though its slender body crosses the U.S.-Canada border, most of the infrastructure, accomodations, cool stuff to visit, and indeed, most of the lake itself is on the Canadian side.
October of 2022 was a heck of a month. It was the second straight month where air quality in Seattle was a total wildcard. Nearby wildfires and wind patterns occasionally catapulted us to the tippy top of the rankings for the city with the worst air quality worldwide. Thankfully, our times as world champions were brief.
In between that, I had a lot of fun during this month: hosting some house guests from out of town, paying a final snowy visit to Mt. Rainier, and driving to Montana and back again to celebrate (and photograph) friends' engagement.
Naturally, all of this informed my participation in weekly photography challenges.
During my stint in New York City, I had more frequent trips to the west coast than ever before. I was working as part of a "distributed team," most of whom were on the west coast, so it was absolutely cheaper to make the east coast people fly over repeatedly whenever there was a reason to try to get people face-to-face. As ever, I had interest in "work-adjacent personal travel."
In past visits to Seattle, I had tacked on stops at Olympic National Park and Vancouver (post forthcoming). This time, I thought I'd visit the Canadian city of Victoria, famous for its gardens and its beautiful architecture.
Of course, October might not have been the best choice of time to do it.
The terms and conditions for a BC Ferries ticket are crystal clear:
"Arrive at the terminal 90 to 120 minutes prior to scheduled departure"
Still, I wasn't that concerned about hitting the 120 minute mark when the time came to leave Terrace. It was a cool 1.5 hour drive from there to the ferry terminal, which seemed like a completely OK amount of driving to do before a 10:30 AM ferry. I just had to get to the Prince Rupert Ferry Terminal on Kainen Island, and from there, take a ~7 hour ferry to Skidegate Landing, Graham Island, Haida Gwaii.
Do the math and you'll find that I merely had to check out between six and seven. Which I did. And I hit the dusty trail. And realized I probably forgot my book. And turned around. And collected my book. And left again. And waisted some of that precious buffer time.
And, then, I was back on my way along the Yellowhead Highway, through beautiful peaks of the Costal Mountains, along the Skeena River, and past many lovely lakes.
The moment I crossed the Galloway Rapids Bridge onto Kainen Island, I left mainland North American behind. I would spend the next 10 days visiting Haida Gwaii, and several days after that on other islands. Other than a detour to a historic cannery, I was about to spend roughtly ~17 days island hopping. (For some definition of island hopping.)
I figured that petrol would be pricier on Haida Gwaii -- it had to take the same ferry I did -- so, I gassed up in Prince Rupert, and drove directly to the ferry terminal. The line of cars stretched far beyond the gates.
I didn't want to leave Maui. After all, I had been on some long flights to get there, and I would only be returning back to my parents' house in Pennsylvania. Extending my stay was an easy decision, once I realized I could adjust my return flight without too much expense.