Professor Straw

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Lake Clark Alaska
Lake Clark Alaska - May 2004
The Lake Clark panorama was stitched together from 10 photos using GIMP and the Pandora plug-in.  Click on the photo to get the full sized (1.4MB) jpg image.  I have created a pdf file (3MB) of the image that can be taken to a printer like Kinkos.  The pdf image is 48 inches x 6.5 inches and cost me $21 to have printed.

June, 2007 - Pictures of Silver Creek Falls and a video (48MB) of North Falls
I had been wanting to get out to Silver Creek Falls for much of the spring, but was delayed.  The falls are always beautiful, but the earlier in spring you go the more water there is running down the creeks.  This park is a very popular and somewhat busy park.  There are an abundance of picnic tables and paths around open grass.  The actual creek trail is about 8 miles, but not many people get out and see the whole thing.  There are much shorter trails and loops that can be taken.  Parking cost $3.  The pdf map shows each of the 10 falls and how to get to each one.    

October, 2006 - Pictures of kayaking on Olallie Lake
Kayaking is something I have wanted to try for some time, so my boys and I finally rented three kayaks from Joe's(formerly G.I. Joe's) and headed up to Olallie Lake.  For beginners, the deal at Joe's is excellent.  You can rent a kayak, paddle, and life vest for only $25 a day ($35 for the tandem kayak, which I want to try next time).  Joe's lets you pick the kayak up after lunch on the day before and return the kayak before lunch on the day after, so you end up getting a 48 hour rental for $25.
Olallie Lake is incredible because of the view of Mt. Jefferson and because by law no motorized boats are allowed on the lake.  In addition, there is a small store and a number of campgrounds (cost info) with outhouses.  It is an excellent location to try your hand at kayaking. When traveling to Olallie take Forest Service Road 4220 down from the North rather than trying to come in from the South past Breitenbush Lake.  FSR4220 from the North is a gravel road and will take you a good 1/2 hour, but the road is good enough that I have seen small cars and motorcycles at Olallie Lake.

September, 2006 -
Pictures of scouting for elk in the Umatilla National Forest
I took two of my children on an elk scouting trip with my brother-in-law and two of his children.  We had hoped to do some hiking in the Wenaha-Tucannon wilderness area, but the wilderness area was closed due to the Columbia Complex area fire.  The fire was entirely on the Washington side, but they did close the Oregon side of the wilderness area for a couple of days.  In spite of the closure we enjoyed hiking and looking for elk.  Our party saw about a dozen elk and three deer.
August, 2006 - Pictures of two hikes into Pamelia Lake 
I became reacquainted with backpacking this summer (2006) when I took two different trips to Pamelia Lake in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness area. Pamelia Lake is a limited access area, so you are required to get a free wilderness permit before you head up.  You can call the Detroit Ranger District and request a permit.  They will mail it directly to you.  As you can see from the pictures the area is beautiful.  Keep in mind that most of the pictures were taken on day hikes around Pamelia Lake.  The pictures from Grizzly Peak were taken on a six hour day hike where we started heading North and West from Pamelia up the Grizzly Peak trail, hiked South along the Grizzly Peak ridge, and returned on the trial that comes into the South of Pamelia Lake.  The pictures taken on the PCT were on a ten hour day hike where we started heading North and East up to the PCT, hiked South on the PCT, and then returned on the trail the comes into the South of Pamelia Lake.