Tag Archives: Waterfalls

Oregon 2023

Our summer vacation was in Oregon and it was super fun to visit Bend, Cannon City, and, Portland again. We last visited the areas like a decade ago and it was neat to re-visit some of our favorites and explore new areas.

Bend was neat. This time we didn’t hike South Sister, thank goodness, but we did visit Sparks Lake and see a stellar sunrise. Hiking around the area and visiting Newberry Volcanic National Monument was super fun too.

Catching Cannon City a bit after sunrise was pretty special. Seeing the early morning clouds burn off and hanging out on the beach while the tourist world wakes up was fun. Since Oregon is two hours different than Minnesota we found ourselves waking up crazy early to go do things. We aren’t really ocean people so we didn’t really go into the water but playing AROUND the ocean, hiking around the ocean, and visiting the little tourist shops in the quaint tourist town turned out to be quite a bit of fun.

We had a blast in Portland. The food trucks were fabulous, the nearby hikes were accessible and easy for us to do as a family, the weather was great, Tilamook / Umpqua ice cream was STELLAR, and, I learned the incredible joy of shopping at Winco where everything is so cheap even Arizona Iced Tea is only $0.78. Eating the fresh fruit from the Hood River Fruit Loop tour and engorging ourselves on fresh Rainier Cherries, a cherry which is really difficult to get in Minnesota, was wonderful.

Honestly, what I was expecting in Portland was far different than what we experienced. It feels silly to write now but I had expected the city of Portland to be a lot more lawless and filled with homeless than what it actually was. It turned out to be exactly as I had remembered my prior visits to Portland. The issues plaguing many large cities due to COVID / COVID lockdowns, policing / policing response, and proliferation of drugs. News, “news”, and social media have been filled with content about how dangerous cities are and Portland was commonly referenced as one of the lawless places just like Minneapolis. It turns out it was all bullshit. Downtown Portland was fine for us. Sure, we weren’t out at night and we weren’t trying to involve ourselves in drug deals so maybe we just weren’t part of the lawlessness scene during this visit.

The weather was perfect for us. So perfect we were thinking about moving to the area. Then it rained for like three days straight so we looked up how much sunshine the area gets. Amazingly, it’s cloudier in Portland than it is in Minneapolis, and, I think it’s really cloudy in Minneapolis. Yikes.

That’s about it. Lots of photos of hiking. We had a wonderful time and look forward to going back! Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.

Victoria Falls 2015

Victoria Falls was stunning. We spent multiple days visiting the falls and enjoying its splendor. The view changed throughout the day as the sun moved across the sky: some areas became more clear, rainbows would appear only to disappear later. It was really easy to spend all day at the parks watching the waterfalls. No amount of videos or photos could have prepared us for how awesome the falls were. That said, there were some pretty large negatives in our visit which would preclude us from recommending anyone to visit unless for some specific circumstances

Victoria Falls straddles the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and each side has national parks / viewpoints to see the falls. We visited both sides over the course of five days and were extremely surprised with what we found. Both Zambia and Zimbabwe are poor but Zimbabwe is REALLY poor. It is the most poor nation we have visited and there are only 22 other nations more poor than Zimbabwe in terms of average incomes and purchasing power. Zimbabwe had hyperinflation for a number of years and now uses the USD as their official currency. We ended up buying some of their old hyperinflated currency as souvenirs so now I can say Jacquelyn and I are officially billionaires many times over :).

While both nations are very poor, everything is a very bad value. This part of our trip has earned the distinction of being the absolute worst value we have ever encountered. The costs of things made absolutely no sense – we were paying greater than Western Europe / US prices for commodity items. Prior to our travel to the area, we had learned things were a bit expensive but we were not prepared for being treated like walking / talking ATMs. At times, setting our money on fire would have been more enjoyable than the services or items we received at the price we paid. Just an example: we take a lot of photos during our travels in the last year and we regularly back the photos up to the cloud for safe keeping. One restaurant we visited wanted $1 per 8MB of data; at that rate we would have spent nearly $150,000 backing up all our of our photos to the cloud. If I asked a local to shove a stick in my eye I’m convinced it would cost no less than $45 which is shocking as a stick in the eye should be free. Visiting Victoria Falls simply a bad deal.

We felt really happy at the falls and really enjoyed our time in the parks. Everything outside of the parks suffered from serious disorganization and basic activities, like checking in at the airport, became pretty large ordeals. This is similar to other poor nations we have visited but it was some of the worst we have experienced.

So, at the end of the day, we are glad we saw the falls but we won’t go back.

Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.

Prospect Mountain (ADKs) and Kaaterskill Falls (Catskills), NY

I ran up to Lake George and hiked up Prospect Mountain in the Adirondacks. It wasn’t an overly long trail it’s just that it went up the side of the mountain with little to no switch backs for about 1,200ft. Much like all the mountains in this area, the switchbacks were missing. No idea if the technology hasn’t arrived yet or what. It was a good view on top and a beautiful day. Next, I ran down to the Catskills to hike Kaaterskills Falls. It was a fun, short hike to the base of the falls. The cool breeze felt great on such a hot and muggy day.

Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.

Huyck & Potterskill Preserves, Rennselaerville & Rotterdam, NY 2014

I ran down to Rennselaerville, NY, to hike around Huyck Preserve. Very beautiful falls, a neat park all-around. It was a gorgeous day for a hike and there was hardly anyone around. I’m still trying out my new 70-300MM lens and forgot to bring my 16-35MM so all of the pictures are ‘close’ :).

After going to Huyck Preserve I ran up to Rotterdam to see the Potterskill Preserve. The trails were a lot more rigorous and the falls were much more of a trickle. It was still a fun time and I enjoyed the 7mi loop. This time, I made sure to bring my 16-35MM :).

Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.



Albany in the Spring 2014

We’ve been enjoying the spring here in Albany. Lot’s of grilling in the parks and a little bit of hiking. We ran out to Utica to visit Matt’s Brewery – the place that makes Sanarac beer, my favorite beer! It was a very fun visit and had “Strange Flavor Chicken” at a local Chinese restaurant.  I also found a great spot to take photos of downtown Albany at night!

Enjoy the pictures!

Chris W.