rocks

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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

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Before settling into San Diego, we spent the last few days of 2018 in Joshua Tree National Park. I was so excited because I’ve never been but have always heard how amazing it is. It totally lived up to expectations. It is beautiful.

The if-y part about it was the government shut down. We arrived just days after it started and wasn’t sure what it would be like in the park. Since it was our first time, I don’t know if it was quieter than usual but it was definietly like we had the park all to ourselves. With a couple of random people who would drive by, it was great to explore without having to worry about being in anyone else’s way. But on second thought, it could have been the temperatures that deviated people from visiting. It was cold! and so windy.

I captured this image on the very first day of 2019. It was a sunrise hike to welcome in the new year and the last thing we did before leaving Joshua Tree. If you’re traveling with kids, Joshua Tree is a great place for them to explore. These huge boulder rocks are along several very easy trails and if they’re anything like, Axl, he loved climbing on all of them. The only hard part was getting him up before sunrise. LOL.

I was standing on some rocks when I heard from a distance, “Tita Angela, you are so far away!” I turned around and saw his little head peeking through the rocks and thought it was the cutest little scene. I’m so glad he enjoyed the national park and look forward to hiking with him in different places as he grows up.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/100th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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A little travel flashback to last year in Maine. This was my first time in Maine and loved it. As soon as you stepped off the plane you could just tell that the air was different. I believe the word that I’m looking for is clean…

And I loved how close and convient Portland Head Light was to everything. I don’t remember exactly but it was like a 15-20 minute drive from our hotel and an even easier walk from the parking lot to this vantage point. But if I had my way, I would spend more time in Maine again this fall, especially in Portland. We only got to spend one night there but it was the cutest little town. I definietly did not get to see enough of it. Don’t even get me started on the lobster rolls. I’m pretty sure I had at least one every day that I was there ๐Ÿ™‚

But if you have been keeping up with my current travel updates on Instagram stories, you’ll know that Andrew and I are on a ferry back to Bergen before we make the trek back home to Virginia. Planning this trip was fun but it depended a lot on this ferry. It was the only way Andrew and I would have been able to road trip around Norway without having to make a complete circle driving around. This was definietly the easiest and fastest way to do it. Hopefully the fun-ist way to do it too. I was super excited to see the sunrise from the water.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 8 seconds and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I did not use a tripod for this image, instead I just held my breath and balanced my camera on top of a rock and hoped it turned out well.

 

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Like I said last week, the hike up old rag was strenuous. It was hot, humid and I was sweating all over the place. In total it took us about 6 hours to complete. You know you’re on top of the mountain when you have these huge rocks you have to climb. I had no idea that it would require so much upper body strength. Shout out to my cousin, Brian who I’ve been working out with 3-4 times a week. I feel like all that working out prepared me for this hike and this hike only. LOL. I had done the trail before but always needed assistance climbing up the rocks. This time I didn’t need any! I came home with a lot of bruises, but at least I didn’t need anyone’s hand to help pull me up ๐Ÿ™‚

We were super lucky though. Right when we were done with the rock climbing part and we were about to reach the part where you just walk down the mountain, it started pouring. Like lightning, thunder, soaking wet! I can not imagine what it was like for the people who had to rock climb in all that rain because it was intense! But for us walking down it felt so good. I feel like it relieved us of the heat, all the steaminess of our sweat and humidity went away and it just felt so refreshing. Luckily, I packed a rain sleeve for my camera so all my electronics in my backpack was safe. I didn’t even think to bring one for myself. As long as my camera was ok, I’ll be ok.

We ended up walking a good 3-4 miles in non-stop rain. It wasn’t too bad but neither one of us wanted to stop for a break so it went by super quickly.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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Speaking of a lot of images, over Memorial Day weekend my cousins, Andrew and I went on a hike in the Shenandoah Mountains. It was amazing. Andrew and I had done the Old Rag hike twice already but it’s been a couple of years. I kinda forgot what it was like.

This time it was hot and super humid. *note to self, don’t wear grey shirts when going on a hike. You’ll get very visible sweat stains and it’s not cute.*

I don’t remember it being as strenuous as it was but the views are hard to beat. I took so many pictures during the hike that it’s going to be a while before I’ll be able to get through them all. I did post a few on my instagram stories a couple of days ago and this one was one of my favorites. We were on top of the mountain when there was a place where you could either climb down these huge boulders, gently and safely ORRRRR jump like this guy did. I chose the first option but while I was waiting for everyone else to cross, I saw this guy with his running start. I was able to get into position quick enough to capture his leap. I love it because it sort of looks like he’s walking on an invisible tight rope. I checked my camera to see if I got the shot, looked up and he was gone. He must have been running to his friends or something because it was literally dust behind him. I wanted to get his email address so I could send him the whole series of jump, but oh well. Maybe next time.

In order to capture the jump, I had to put my camera on burst mode. My camera settings for this image was F5.0 at 1/800th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm.

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Sometimes I run out of things to talk about in these blog posts. So I googled one of those online quiz thingys and thought I’d answer some of them for you. Let’s see how this goes…

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
My cousins on my mom’s side all call me ‘Angie’. My cousins on my dad’s side call me ‘Ang’. Somewhere between middle school and high school friends started calling me ‘Pangie’. I respond by all those names but always just introduce myself as ‘Angela’. I like it when people call me by nicknames though. It makes me feel like they’re comfortable enough with me to call me by another name.

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I’ve started all of them. I’ve finished about half. I’m mostly into self improvement books and biographies.

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?
Not often at all but I used to all the time when I was bored in school. If I do, it’s like those line pattern things that quickly fill up the whole page.

4. What do you do if you canโ€™t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?
I usually get out of bed and go sit on the couch or something and read until I feel sleepy enough to fall asleep.

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?
2 days max but I would need my camera, laptop (only for photoshop) and a puzzle.

6. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?
My husband, Andrew for sure! He’s always doing nice things for people, even without them knowing.

7. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.
Ummm… Yes! Daily blogging, I maintain an exercise routine of M,W,F and Saturday workouts, every morning I eat the same exact breakfest, the list seriously goes on and on.

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?
Slip in and look for someone I know. If I don’t know anyone, I head straight to the bar ๐Ÿ™‚

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?
I’m guessing my strongest sense is sight? But if I had to give one up it would be smell as long as I could still taste without my smell.

10. Which animals scare you most? Why?
Ostriches. They are the root of my fear of birds. When I was little I had a reoccurring nightmare that one would pop it’s little head out of the ground, chase me, and peck at my hair. They’re big, scary and I don’t like them.

LOL How was that? Let me know if you liked this and maybe I’ll do more in the future.

The camera settings for this image is F4 at 2.5 seconds ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm lens and 10 stop neutral density filter.