Well, been a while again. After a year or so of barely using my DSLR, sold it and got the new GoPro Hero3+. Small, easy to use and I can definitely throw it in while fishing, surfing, skiing, boating, etc. in Alaska and don’t have to worry about ruining it. Tested it out last weekend and was surprised at the image quality while shooting stills. Had an amazing weekend surfing on the the North Gulf Coast enjoying good weather and some unusual summer swell.
The snow has been painfully slow getting here this year. As of right now, I am only looking at a few inches of snow out my window. I went skiing once and it was a bit skinny. That said, I have been keeping busy and getting shape continuing to learn how to surf. Such an easy trip from Anchorage down to Seward and then out to the break. Suprisingly the past three trips have been sunny which is absolutely unheard of in South-Central Alaska. All of our surfing has been from a boat, so I don’t have many photos from the shore, however, here are a few from before and after the many surf sessions this fall. Probably not the best place to perfect my surfing, but probably one of the more scenic spots to surf in the world.
Last weekend we had the pleasure of floating the Nelchina and Tazlina rivers in South-Central Alaska. The rivers are located just on the northern side of the Chugach Mountain Range. We had 8 people, 1 dog, too much gear, and 4 different boats – two 16′ rafts, a packraft, and a whitewater canoe. The Little Nelchina was pretty small for a big raft, the Nelchina was a calm and smooth glacial river, Tazlina Lake was a great booze cruise with a 5 h.p. outboard, and the Tazlina River we had some good waves and a quick pace. Overall a 78 mile high quality float and good times had by all (possibly too good of a time). Some images from the trip…
We had the great fortune to be camping the night of the “super-moon” in the City of Rocks, Idaho. The moon lived up to all the hype about how bright it was. We lucked out and had zero clouds in the sky all night. Here are some photos – believe it or not, these were all taken at night.
To finish off my trip to Vietnam, I had a day layover in Seoul, Korea. While it was a pain in the butt extending the trip home for another day, it was definitely great to be able to spend a day in Seoul. I almost decided not to go into the city because the Seoul/Incheon airport was by far the nicest airport I have ever been in. Instead, I opted to try not to sleep and head into the city. I was able to visit a palace, eat lunch and hit a shopping district before I had to head back to the airport to take off back to America. Overall, being in Korea was like being in Manhattan after spending a few weeks in Vietnam. This is my last blog entry from my trip to Vietnam.
Here are some photos I captured during my short stay in Korea:
My second stop in Vietnam was Halong Bay. Everyone I spoke to about about the must-see places in Vietnam mentioned that Halong Bay was not to be missed. They were right – it truly was a unique experience. First, the drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay is long and bumpy – the roads were in good condition for the most part, but there were definitely areas where I was questioning the wellbeing of our van’s suspension. We actually did not go into Halong City, and instead departed from Tuan Chau Island. It was under a lot of development and only partially finished. I am sure that within 5 years it will be a bustling tourist destination. We then spent two days on a junk (that is what they call the boats) out in the bay seeing floating fishing villages, pester farms, massive caves, sea kayaking and just taking the scenery. It was a very beautiful place and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I sure hope the amount of tourism there does not impact it any further – it was busy now and I cannot imagine it when it gets busier.
Here are some of the images I captured while in Halong Bay:
Finally, I am sitting down to reminisce about my travels in Vietnam. I had no intention of ever visiting the region because there are so many places that I want to travel in the world before that, but I had a great excuse to go there for my masters program last October. The trip went way faster than I thought – only an 11 hour flight to Seoul, Korea and then 4 more hours to Hanoi. Spent the first week in Hanoi wandering around the various markets, visiting museums and taking in the culture. I also had the opportunity to visit a factory where they make credit cards, talk to business leaders, and attend lectures by economists from the Communist Party of Vietnam. Overall a very fascinating country and I would highly recommend to anyone considering going.
Hanoi is loud, busy, wet, smelly, colorful, hot and much more. Here are some of the images I captured along the way. Stay tuned for week 2 in Vietnam.
See more photos here in my SmugMug gallery: Click Here