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Umpqua lighthouse trip 8/3/18

Went on another camping trip down to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park, on the Oregon Coast. we started off stopping at the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene. The Owls were exquisite:

All of the raptors here have been brought from all over the states for rehab. The birds that can't be reintroduced into the wild for various reasons, end up as residents here. Birds of prey are my favorite, so I had a blast here, naturally.

who knew turkey vulture feathers were irridescent??

we made it to our campsite at the state park, and set up camp. We did a walk around the lake that was connected to our campground, and headed out to the lighthouse for sunset. 

once it got dark, we were treated to an awesome light show from the lighthouse, and then dazzling stars

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We headed down to Coos Bay. Nice and sunny! It was low 70s on the coast on Friday, but Saturday was a little cooler, in the 60s. 

then it all turned to fog

with all the dunes in this part of the coast, brings in all the ATVs.

some weirdness on the coast...with full overcast there was no sunset or stars :(

It's Sunday. so we mosey our way up the 101. We stopped at Haceta Head Lighthouse, which was another cool, old lighthouse. Being near the sea lion caves, there were a bunch of sealions swimming around.

Some more from this park. Beautiful views everywhere!

Next up is actually probably my favorite spot on the coast! Cape Perpetua/Thors Well near Yachats, OR. the ocean is so dramatic here, and you really fee the power of the ocean here.

waves splashing out of the well

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Cape Foulweather: known for its amazing whale watching - we saw some distant ones!

That's all for now!

New Zealand Day 3 and 4 - Rotorua

Day 3 I took the 4.5 hour Intercity bus ride from Auckland to Rotorua. When I arrived, I immediately went to the Mountain Bike Shot (what else would you do when you're injured and cant ride bikes?) I chatted one of the mechanics at the shop (Sebastian I believe his name was.) Well, small world! We got to talking, and he lived in Portland as well, 12-15 years ago. So I bring up MBO (mountain bike Oregon) and it turns out, he helped create MBO, and some of the local trails, as well! Some of the trails were even named after him and his then gf. 

After chatting for about an hour, I headed over to my airbnb to check in. I was greeted with the sweetest boxer. Within minutes, I was giving him belly rubs, and became best mates. Steve's airbnb was conveniently located right next to the Redwoods! What a pleasant odd surprise to see California Redwoods in New Zealand, of all places. Apparently they were brought over and planted in the early 1900s.   Bonus: there are lots of tramping and mountain bike trails weaved into this beautiful forest.

I did two trails. Today I did the overlook trail, which was a nice, quiet trail that took you through the redwoods and to a viewpoint to look above the trees. The next day I did there red loop with Julian.

Above: some up close shots of the ferns and the overlook at the top.

Above: more shots through the beautiful forest.

Above: One of the longest, straightest, flattest trails I've ever been on. There was a walk in the treetops that I did not do ($25).

Now is where things start to get interesting. Rotorua has a lot of geothermic activity (I call it the yellowstone of NZ) with lots of boiling mud pools, geysirs, hot springs and hot pools.

Above: great sunset with the steam from a hot spring (too hot to get into)

Above: Lake Rotorua

Above: miscellaneous pictures around town

above: My buddy Julian joined me (living near Buffalo, NY - my hometown) on Day 4 

On the way to Taupo we stopped at Rainbow mountain (beautiful teal water). The boiling mud pools were in Te puia. The last picture was Lady Knox. We missed lady Knox erupting by a couple hours :(. Not pictured was one of the highlights of my trip. This was Kerosene Creek. It's a creek flowing with hot water! There was a mini waterfall flowing with ~110-120F water that you could stand under and felt incredible on my sprained neck! Thats all for now! Next up will be Taupo, Plimerton, and Upper Hutt. Stay tuned. If you want to stay up to date, please subscribe, and you'll be informed everytime there is a new post!