Green Lake with full moon

Above: A full moon and city lights are reflected in Green Lake, a suburb of Seattle. April 13, 2014. 

The weekly photo challenge is nighttime. A perfect opportunity to share a serene scene in a Seattle suburb. 

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Angle Rocks in spring and fall

Above: Sun shines on a granite tor of Angle Rocks and trees in golden fall colors, to the right the Chena River snakes through a valley cast in shadows. September 11, 2014.

Angle Rocks is almost assuredly the most popular hiking spot near Fairbanks. It’s a 3.5-mile loop in the Chena River State Recreation Area, about 45 miles from Fairbanks, that takes trekkers through and around a variety of tors formed from granite.

The tors were formed hundreds of millions of years ago when magma bubbled up from the Earth’s mantel, but failed break through the ground. They then slowly become revealed as erosion striped the surrounding land, exposing the giant rocks.

I hiked Angle Rocks twice this summer, once in spring and once in fall. Both seasons provided fantastic and vibrant colors. The cool and calm spring greens and the energetic and exciting gold of fall.

Animal Eyes at the Marlin

My annual summer hiatus from blogging is nearing an end. Though with the record-setting rain Fairbanks had this summer, as reported by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, I easily could have found more time for blogging. Thanks to all those who continued to visit.

Animal Eyes is a Portland-based band comprised entirely of members from Alaska, who all met in Portland. It’s a small world. They rocked hard and long, during this June 31 concert at local dive bar The Marlin.

Animal Eyes performs at The Marlin on June 31, 2014.

Animal Eyes performs at The Marlin on June 31, 2014.

Lights strung around The Marline during an Animal Eyes concert.

Lights strung around The Marlin during an Animal Eyes concert.

Amsterdam Street Three

Stealing a kiss on a canal in Amsterdam.

Stealing a kiss on a canal in Amsterdam.

Final installment of Amsterdam street photography. As with the previous two posts canals and bicycles are prominent. Never have I seen the possibilities of street photography as in Amsterdam, The few I’ve shared don’t scratch the surface. 

Amsterdam is a young town, with a energy and openness like none other. 

Being from a small town I underestimate how fast scenes in cities  evolve, many times I should have been using a faster shutter speed.  

Bike sharing is incredibly.

Bike sharing is incredibly.

Even boats around canals are incredibly popular.

Evening boat rides around canals are incredibly popular.

Some boaters passed a serenade.

Some boaters passed a serenade.

Amsterdam Street Part Two

Time to look at more pictures from Amsterdam, one of the best spots to people watch I’ve ever encountered.    

Public transport in Amsterdam.

Public transport in Amsterdam.

Failed focus in this image. So many layers, but the focus in in the wrong spot. Should be on the boater.

Failed focus in this image. So many layers, but the focus in in the wrong spot. Should be on the boater.

Canal boaters frequently fill boats to max capacity.

Canal boaters frequently fill boats to max capacity.

Kids on bikes in precarious positions are commonplace in Amsterdam.

Kids on bikes in precarious positions are commonplace in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam street part one

Above: Houseboats line one of many canals at sunset in Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam is a thriving city of diversity with immense cultural importance. Spectacular and somber museums, unique window shopping and an openness to marijuana all make Amsterdam a bit mind bending.

Easily one of the most enjoyable aspects of Amsterdam for me was simple people watching. Unfortunately, like much of my street photography, I struggled with sharp images or misplaced focus. I think the city had a certain hustle, — cars, mopeds, bikes and boats — I had never experienced before, and it took me awhile to catch up.

Though Amsterdam could easily become overwhelming it’s someplace I would like to return. 

Perhaps my favorite image from Amsterdam. The family feels timeless — mother and children in motion, an impressive bike. The background is strong with of many micro layers. 

A determined mother shuttles children in a large basket on a bicycle.

A determined mother shuttles children in a large basket on a bicycle.

Juxtapose

Juxtapose

Baby on bike with rain and blur.

Baby on bike with rain and blur.

 

Far Mountain Traverse

Above: The view south from the top of Far Mountain, northeast of Fairbanks. Smoke rises far in the distance from a wildfire more than 100 miles south.

Far Mountain Traverse is roughly a 28-mile hike that starts and ends at Chena Hot Springs. The loop has a total elevation gain around 15,000 feet, with a summit of more than 4000 feet — one of the highest peaks in the surrounding area. 

In addition to considerable mileage: rock fields, granite tors, smoke clouds from wildfires, mild bushwhacking and a lot of mosquitos. All standard Alaska backcountry. 

One thought I had during the hike was to reach Far Mountain, then pack raft out. I found a very in-depth blog post about just such an adventure at Go Play Outside, a fun Alaska excursion blog with extensive information. A hike a raft is doable.