Round Bales in Oregon



I almost forgot that on our recent Oregon road trip, I took a few shots with my cell phone. This one, taken from a moving car, captures a field of round bales of hay. I accustomed to seeing the rectangular ones. But for big farmers–I read this–the round version is more cost effective and efficient than the smaller, rectangular bale.

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But the story here is my SLR vs. a cell phone. I prefer the SLR but a phone camera is easy to carry and quick to use. And if I’m not going to enlarge the shot more than 8×10, the cell phone works great. The big downside is that sometimes I can’t see the phone screen in bright sunlight. But I assume there is a phone camera out there that takes care of this glare problem. Whatever.

Shasta Magic


OK, this isn’t the Swiss Alps, but Northern California’s Mt. Shasta casts a “magic” spell of sorts on motorists who see it from Interstate Freeway 5. I took this shot in the first leg of our Oregon road trip. We were following some big rigs with rows of evergreens in the foreground when at 65 mph,  we rounded a bend in the freeway and there it was–out of scale and unexpected, a snow capped mountain on a hot day in June. Amazing!Shasta2Shasta1

End of Oregon Road Trip

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We drove 1,400 miles, mostly through Oregon with great weather and little traffic. People were friendly, although there were pockets of anger: protests in Portland and “hands off my guns” messages on car windows.  There was no sales tax: a $5 hamburger was $5 out the door. You weren’t allowed to pump your own gas–New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states with that rule–and the freeway speed limit was five to ten mph less than California’s. And it was green, green, green. We never saw the rain that locals say happens all the time. The parting shot, above, was taken from the dunes overlooking Cannon Beach.

Monday’s Path: Astoria

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It’s been awhile, too long,in fact, since I’ve been on a path with an unknown ending. Our Oregon road trip included at stop at the coast city of Astoria where brightly painted houses dot the hillside. We took a walking tour on sidewalks until we found a steep  path veering upwards into the woods. It was one of those trails where we wondered what was around the corner?  Turned out to be short-lived but well worth the walk.

Oregon Road Trip: Astoria


The 1985 cult adventure/comedy, The Goonies, was based and filmed, in part, in Astoria, an old coastal city in Oregon.  The old, colorful houses placed on hilly terrain make for great film opportunities. We arrived on a day with billowy clouds amid blue skies. Every camera shot was enhanced by dramatic lighting. On the downside there were telephone wires everywhere. A local brochure says Astoria was positioned to be another San Francisco until two fires in the early 20th Century destroyed much of the the city’s rich architecture. Regardless, it still has San Francisco-like hills and old houses.