hike

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Along the way, I tried to capture all different kinds of images from the hike. This was my first time in Harper’s Ferry and seeing the viewpoint from Maryland Heights, so I was like a kid in the candy store with all these amazing views. When I saw this house, I couldn’t resist capturing it. It was just so cute sitting on top of a hill like that.

I pulled out my 70-200mm to zoom in on it. I wanted it to feel like it was the only house among the wilderness, even though it’s not really the case. LOL, maybe I still had Falling Waters in my mind. If you look closely enough, you can still see a little house close to the top right-hand corner of the image. Instagram vs. Reality.

My camera settings for this image are F6.3 at 1/1000th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7Ii and 70-200mm zoom.

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This hike was pretty intense. A lot steeper than I had anticipated but I’m so glad we did it. Let me rephrase that, I’m so glad we did it as early in the morning as we did.

Living in the Washington DC area, Harper’s Ferry is only an hour’s drive from us. So I thought that would make it an easy drive to go for sunrise. We arrived at about 6:45 am, 30 minutes before the sunrise so when we got out of the car and we had to use our flashlights to find the trailhead. That was the easy part. Almost immediately you’re climbing up the side of the mountain and I was huffin’ and puffin by 7:15 am. LOL.

But the views during that early morning light was so nice. Once we finally arrived to this viewpoint along the Maryland Heights Hike, we were so happy we were the only ones there. We were free to roam and take as many pictures as we wanted and didn’t have to worry about being in other people’s way. I had previously read online that this view can get crowded. So I think we were really lucky we got there so early. But on the way down, I could see there were a lot of people going up.

So if you’re planning on going on the hike, I’d highly recommend going as early as you can. In case you were wondering, we only did the red trail. The blue trail was even higher up and a little more than I wanted to do so early in the morning. So the red trail was good enough to see the amazing views 🙂

My camera settings for this image are F6.3 at 1/400th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7Ii and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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One place that I’d love to be in the fall time would be Oregon. Gah, I seriously loved visiting the state. It was amazing in the late summer. I can’t even imagine what it would be like in the fall or even spring.

This image was taken along the Drift Creek Falls Hike. Towards the end of the hike, you have to cross this suspension bridge in order to see the waterfall. It actually flows right underneath so the views start when you’re on the bridge. It was a little shakey which made me a bit nervous, but Andrew seemed to have no problems with it. He had no hesitation when I asked him to go back to the center of the bridge and walk back.

I think my favorite part of this image (besides Andrew) is the framing of the leaves. If I didn’t look at it through my camera lens, I probably would have not noticed how perfectly they frame the bridge. I especially like how the leaves in the front are glowing yellow while the trees in the back are so dark green. It makes it look like a really long bridge, which it was! And I actually kinda like the bright lens flare on the top left. I think it adds even more direction in the image that leads your eye to Andrew.

My camera settings for this image are F9 at 1/125th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 24-70mm lens.

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I feel in love with Oregon. I loved every minute we were there. I felt so at peace and calm during our whole road trip across the state, I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s considering visiting the Pacific Northwest.

The real reason we went was to celebrate my birthday and to visit a place we had never been to. Portland was a city that both Andrew and I had heard was a fun place to be but never been. But we also knew it was the place to be if you like good food and weird things. Both did not disappoint!

Since this was our first time visiting Oregon, we didn’t really know what to expect. We’ve been back for less than a month, I already know of somethings that I would do differently. With that said, we will be back again. Both Andrew and I left with the feeling of wanting to see and do more. But I think that’s the sign of an amazing trip. Prior to the trip, I did tons of research on the Oregon coast on Pinterest and asked some friends who I knew had visited before. Through my research, I quickly realized that Oregon is a very dog-friendly state. Minus Crater Lake that doesn’t allow dogs in most areas of the park, Frankie was allowed everywhere else we wanted to go. So we booked 3 plane tickets off we went!

Here is a recap of everything we did and the things I would do differently next time:

Day 1: Fly into Portland

We arrived early in the afternoon, grabbed our rental car and went straight to pick up the essentials: Blue Star Donuts. I know I don’t normally give food recommendations but if you like fancy donuts, then Blue Star is where you want to be. I’ll have another donut recommendation later on our trip that ended up being our favorite.

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While planning for our trip to Oregon, Toketee Falls was high on my list of things to do. It looked so beautiful from all the pictures I saw and the best part about it is that the hike wasn’t too far. It was the perfect stop on our way to Bend, Oregon to get out and stretch our legs for a bit.

What you don’t see from all the Instagram and Pinterest posts is that this place is PACKED! Out of all the places we went to, this was by far the hardest place to find parking and the busiest trail. There were several times where we had to wait for people to pass in order to continue on to the trail. Regardless of how many people were there, it was still very cool to see and I’d recommend if you are in the area.

Although this was technically not on the trail, it looked like it could have been a short detour. There were a lot of people who were climbing around these rocks that Andrew and I decided to go down to see what it looked like. As Andrew was exploring, I captured this of him and Frankie. Yep, that’s Frank in the red backpack. He’s just not looking at the camera. LOL.

My camera settings for this image are F9 at 1/20th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 24-70mm.

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If you remember Memorial Day weekend 2018, I went on the Old Rag Hike trail in the Shenandoah Mountains with my cousins. Well, a few weeks before Memorial Day weekend this year, I was trying to come up with a plan and asked everyone again if they wanted to go on another hike. Luckily, most were free and we ended up going on a hike that none of us had ever been before, Hawksbill Summit Trail.

It was a short stroll compared to Old Rag, but the elevation on the hike was no joke. In about 3/4th of a mile, you climb an elevation of 672 feet. So pretty much going straight uphill the entire way. I’m not exactly sure how long it took us but I want to say less than an hour. Once you get to the top, it’s totally worth it.

Luckily we started the day early by starting the hike at 9 am. There weren’t many other people on the trail yet and the trees covered the sun for most of the way which probably made the whole experience that much easier. By the time we reached the summit a few clouds had rolled in so I asked my cousin, Mona to sit on some rocks and pose for me. I loved how the jagged rocks were sticking out of the mountain. It was a little iffy actually getting her to that spot though.

You may have caught my other cousin, Karen on the summit too in last week’s post. LOL.

Overall, I would do this hike again if I were looking for a quick hike in the Shenandoah Mountains. It was strenuous enough to get a good sweat in, but it didn’t take all day which was nice.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm