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McWay Falls – Big Sur

McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is one of the most photographed spots in the world.

Why …?

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Because it’s spectacularly beautiful.

It’s one of the few spots where you can see a (full size) waterfall tumble into the ocean.

There’s a part of me that doesn’t even want to photograph iconic photography locations.

What could I possibly add to the Golden Gate Bridge, for example,

That my friend, Joe Azure, hasn’t already  done exceptionally well?

I hesitated at McWay Falls in Big Sur for that exact reason.

Everyone takes photos of McWay Falls.

Every single person who travels past.

Every single professional photographer who has the opportunity.

But?

When I saw two people on the (supposedly) inaccessible beach,

I realized I had an opportunity to capture McWay Falls a little differently than most people do.

By the way, I don’t condone people finding their way to a beach they aren’t supposed to be on.

The location isn’t the safest place to be, and I certainly don’t want to see it ruined by people trampling all over it.

And yet,

There they were.

People.

And they provided a rarely seen sense of scale to the eighty foot waterfall.

I found myself wondering if they arrived on the other side of the cove via boat?

Or maybe they scaled down the cliffs?

Regardless, there they were.

By capturing the moment, maybe others will enjoy wondering the same thing.

How did they get there?

How did they leave when the time came?

If I were on that beach by the waterfall would I ever leave?

Would you?

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Monsoon Weather

We’ve recently had hot, humid, weather due to the Arizona/California desert monsoons.

I’m not a fan of humidity.

If I can, I hibernate until it goes away.

Monsoon weather does make for striking photos, though.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I took the above photo on Sunday.

It rained a (very) little on my drive to the beach.

In the photo, you can see the rain falling in the distance out at sea.

Towards the end of my visit, the lifeguard pulled everyone out of the water due to an approaching lightning storm.

Lightning storms don’t happen here.

I don’t know if anyone really believed him as he tried to warn people.

(Although, you can see how ominous the clouds were in the above photo.)

I’m sure many of you have heard one person was injured on Catalina Island due to the lightning.

One person died and several more were injured at Venice Beach in L.A. County.

The whole thing is very abnormal for Southern California.

We have extreme drought conditions here.

Rain would be welcome.

Lightning, however, is not.

Lightning creates wild fires ….

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The Oregon Coast

When I was a child, my family vacationed in Oregon for a couple weeks most summers.

One of my dad’s best friends had moved to Oregon after college.

He owned a lot of acreage with rivers, and streams, and forests, and animals.

We’d go visit and camp out on his land.

It was kid heaven.

(Apparently it was also adult heaven.  My parents decided to retire there.)

Many of those trips also involved a few days of play on the Oregon coast.

It was often cold and foggy, but that didn’t stop the beaches from being magical.

I was fortunate to re-visit a lot of the Oregon coast while on my recent road trip.

I was extra-fortunate to be there when it wasn’t cold and/or foggy … definitely a rarity.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I thought I’d share a few of the photos I took as I traveled up and down the coast.

I really like this long exposure shot because you can get a concept of how huge the rocks are, by noting how small the man standing on them appears.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

The Oregon coast changes in appearance, of course, at different locations.

Still, I found it beautiful everywhere I went.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I took this next photo of a beach path in a small coastal town named Yachats.  (Pronounced yah-hots.)

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Nearby, Cape Perpetua was amazing.

I spent a few hours hiking while I was there.

(Did you know hiking with a  shitload  lot of gear on your back gets very tiring?)

I could have stayed at Cape Perpetua for weeks hiking and photographing different areas.

It’s such a beautiful location.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I’m sure I’ll have more posts about my visit to Oregon in the future.

But, hopefully you got a nice overview of the coast from today’s photos.

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Home Sweet Home

Ahhh … it sure feels nice to be home.

Orange County Sunset:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I keep flashing back to the spectacular beauty of the last couple weeks.

I admit, I do so longingly.

At the same time, I’m really looking forward to the weekend and getting my “real” life caught up.

I, of course, have a zillion post-road-trip things that need to be taken care of.

My biggest priority, however, is getting help for my bum arm.

I’m seeing Paul Newman this morning and I might stay there  for the weekend   until he kicks me out.

Between his vacation and my Road Trip Adventure, it has been four and a half weeks since he’s worked on my arm.

But who  besides my arm  is counting, right?

During those four-plus weeks, I’ve pushed my damaged body to the limits.

I’ve spent many nights in too much pain to sleep.

I have no regrets about the trip.

In many ways, it was a trip of a lifetime.

But, now that I’m home -

Spending time with Paul Newman is at the very top of my priority list.

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Road Tripping – Day #14

Today ends my (very long!) road trip.

I leave beautiful Cambria and drive about six hours to get home.

Sunset in Cambria:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I’m so glad I took this journey.

The time with my parents was very overdue.

I was able to visit some of the most beautiful places in California by driving instead of flying.

A part of me hates to end this trip and return to reality.

Another part of me is looking forward to a day without hours upon hours of driving ahead of me.

It’s exhausting to be on the road every single day.

I’m sure I’ll be sharing many photos from this trip in future posts.

I can’t wait to go through all my photos!

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Road Tripping – Day #13

I’m at an adorable Inn in beautiful Cambria.

Yesterday I drove down Pacific Coast Highway (or as some people call it  PCH  Route 1) through Big Sur.

It was beautiful …

Big Sur (from Coast Highway):  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Just as beautiful, in fact, as it was when I drove UP the same route approximately two weeks ago.

The water was looking very tropical in color – both my son and I commented it looked like “Hawaii” water.

I saw a lot of whales.

At one point, we sat on a bluff on the side of the road and watched whales for quite some time.

We also saw seals and dolphin.

When I arrived in Cambria there were a few problems with my hotel room.

The hotel management was awesome and apologetic.

They upgraded me to a beautiful, ocean view, room with a fireplace.

I also met some very nice people here.

I’ve been to Cambria many times in my life, but for this trip the town seems to be sparkling especially bright.

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Road Tripping – Day #12

My brain is turning to mush.

Is it really Day #12 of my road trip?

What day of the week is it?

Where am I?

It’s all turning into one big road trip blur.

(It’s a good thing I have all my photos to keep things straight!)

I’m in Monterey, California now.

Monterey, CA:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Yesterday, I traveled from Mendocino down through beautiful Anderson Valley.

I’m gradually making my way towards home.

California sure is a gorgeous state.

It was raining when I arrived in Monterey.

I checked into my hotel and took an hour to decompress from the drive.

Then I walked a couple blocks to a Starbucks where I connected to WiFi for long enough to delete a few hundred emails.

(There was a temporary WiFi problem at my hotel.)

By then, the sun had come out.

My son and I walked to Fisherman’s Wharf.

We decided to walk, and walk, and then walk some more.

(We needed it after five hours of driving.)

We saw a lot of seals and one enormous sea lion.

And …?

Otters.

We saw lots and lots of otters.

One of them was kind enough to let me take his photo.

He was eating his dinner – mussels he had just caught.

He cracked the shells quite loudly with his sharp teeth.

Otter:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Wasn’t it nice of him to let me take his photo while he was eating?

I think I want a pet otter … they’re so cute!

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Road Tripping – Day #11

I’m in Mendocino, California.

It’s nice to be back in my home state.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Mendocino before.

(Unless I was here as a very young child.)

It was a treacherous, white knuckle, drive to get here.

I even had to brake suddenly for a fawn who decided to walk in front of my car.

She was adorable.

It’s beautiful here – forest meets sea.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I spent the afternoon of Day #11 hiking in Van Damme State Park.

It was, quite simply, breathtaking.

I’ll try to get some pictures from the park up soon.

I’ve been to so many amazing places on this road trip.

It has been spectacular.

I’ve got a few more days ahead of me.

Some of those days will be filled with long, brutal, driving hours.

I know the remainder of the trip will be wonderful.

At the same time, it’s been a very long road trip.

I’m getting a little car/hotel weary.

I’ve been living out of a suitcase for what seems like ages.

When I finally do make it home,

It will feel fantastic to sleep in my own bed.

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Road Tripping – Days 9 & 10

There’s so much to update you on,

And so little time (since I’m still on the road).

I left my parent’s house and drove to the Oregon coast to shoot for a few days.

I’ve been getting some great photos.

The Oregon coastline is beautiful and very dramatic.

Of course, I’ve had almost no time to upload and/or edit photos.

I can’t wait to tell you all the great stories from this trip, but I want to do so WITH the correlating photos.

Here’s a shot of me (my ass?) my son took yesterday.

Suzanne Haggerty Oregon Coast © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

My son has been shooting my Sony RX 100 III on this trip.

And, in case you think road tripping is all fun and laughs ….

Here’s a photo I took out of a hotel room I had in Eureka, CA one night:

Eureka © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

There were flies in my hotel room when I arrived.

There was a man outside my window discussing his parole officer.

I’m sure there are very nice areas in Eureka, but I wasn’t in them.

Road tripping - it’s an adventure!

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Road Tripping Day #8

Yesterday was a “get things done” day.

If you take an extended road trip, you have to have a day like that sometimes.

I had a few minor things taken care of on my (still very dirty!) car.

I did several loads of laundry.

I researched hotels and locations for my return trip.

I got some groceries.

(Some of the groceries will be for a snack bag in my car as I drive home – some I purchased for my folks.)

I gave my mom iPad, email, facebook, and texting lessons.

I took photos of both my parents.

I’ve been away from home for over a week.

I needed a day to get my life somewhat in order.

I love road trips.

I love adventures.

I’m not looking forward to many more hours in the car.

I am looking forward to all the other aspects of my ongoing road trip.

(I haven’t worn one drop of makeup, not even mascara, since I began this trip!)

On the bummer side, my arm *seriously* misses Paul Newman.

When the pain gets too bad I  drink  send him random text messages so he doesn’t forget me.

(Ha!  He wishes!)

I didn’t take photos (except of my parents) yesterday.

Here’s a photo I took a few days ago though.

I got up early one road-trip morning and took this at Natural Bridge Park in Santa Cruz.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I’ve been to so many beautiful places on this trip.

When you fly on a plane to see family and friends, you miss out on so much.

Of course, it isn’t very often when any of us can take two weeks off for a road trip.

Fortunately, I have a job that mixes well with travel.

P.S.  Did I mention the cheap, sketchy, hotels?