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  • helentao 11:26 pm on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    channel islands: santa cruz 

    sal, jenn and i had decided we wanted to go on a photography trip. so we picked a weekend and planned. i invited my parents along since i was supposed to vacation with them but didnt have the time. so it ended up being my parents, my younger sister, two cousins, sal, jenn and me.

    destination? santa cruz island of channel islands national park. most of the sites were booked, so i ended up reserving the del norte backcountry campsite. not gonna lie, it was pretty tough carrying 25-30lbs on your back…especially since there were some pretty intense ascents and descents.

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    we hadn’t even left yet and sal’s already trying to kill jenn.

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    luckily this was before i fell asleep on the ferry (i get sooo seasick). look how cute they are!

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    then i woke up just in time to go out and get some shots as we came up to the island :)

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    finally there. landed at about 2pm

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    took this pic to show you what the first mile was like. 600 feet elevation gain…it was horrible. then we thought it would be easier the rest of the way…but instead we just went downhill…then uphill…then downhill…then uphill……….

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    so on the channel island hiking guide, it just said 600 feet elevation gain in the first mile. it didn’t mention anything special about the other 2.4 miles…so we thought it would be pretty easy. but we were wrong.

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    my parents were such troopers. they did every single hike that we did. and they brought a lot of food for us (we didn’t think we needed it, but we were so grateful later). my dads backpack mustve been like 35+ lbs!!

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    here we are at chinese harbor. the bottom is actually a cobblestone beach. we didnt actually make it down there because it was getting really late…and some experienced hikers told us that is was a very, very steep climb down. probably good that we didnt go down there because i dont think id be here typing this blog if we did. out of the 6 miles to chinese harbor, i think we did around 4…and we did it right after we set up camp!

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    fox. they were really little. i had to chase it just to get a picture.

    the next morning we started hiking again at 6:30am to make it back to the dock for our guided hike at 9:30.

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    dont we look like such happy campers?

    you know how in movies when people have a revelation or something and they play that music that just goes like “ahhh” (in an angelic voice?)

    well this is how i felt when we reached the dock.

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    (just follow the light!)

    okay actually the picture was a mistake. i was playing with my camera settings and accidentally did this.

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    this is what the dock really looks like.

    some detail shots:

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    a giant log by the dock.

    we waited for a while because our guide was late. luckily that gave us some time to take a lot of pictures.

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    this picture calms me. sal, this could be you someday…haha

    so before we found out that the guide was on his way, we were pretty ready to leave. but its a good thing we didnt. the pelican bay hike was probably my favorite. i was so exhausted but the views were absolutely amazing. the hike had to be with a guide because we were walking into the nature conservatory land.

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    we saw a santa cruz island scrub jay.

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    the guide showed us these lemonade berries. we got to try it…they were delicious! wish i got some to bring home.

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    the bay. look how blue the water is. i just wanted to jump in and swim back to the dock…totally over hiking.

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    starfish! one of the few things in the bay.

    overall, approximately 20 miles in 26 hours. pretty proud of us!

    hopefully we’ll get to go on another trip soon [but not too soon :)]

    • cece 2:32 pm on August 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow Lennie I didn’t know you had a blog. Nice pictures!

  • helentao 10:46 pm on June 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fountain, water   


    sorry i’ve been mia lately. its wedding season for me so i’ve been quite busy with that. on the bright side, i do have a lot of pictures (of flowers haha) so ill be doing a few posts in the next two days. just wanted to post two pictures that i took that i love love love! we’ve been trying to work on bokeh…pretty hard for me to do at night with no tripod (grrr shaky hands!).

    these two pictures below are of the fountain that’s in rancho las lomas in silverado. more on that tomorrow.

    i love how you can see every droplet of water.

  • helentao 11:51 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beach, kids, ocean   


    every year, the company i work for does the California Coastal Cleanup. if you’re not involved in it, you really should try it out. it’s really fun and rewarding! work events are nice because they let me bring my camera to take pictures of everyone. its nice to document our accomplishments. there’s also been a small baby boom amongst the coworkers who i’m close to and since i love kids, i can’t resist taking pictures of them when we’re together!

    and unlike sal, i asked for permission before taking pictures of their kids and posting them.

    so cute

    isn’t this the most precious picture?? so much love. <3

  • helentao 6:06 am on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    project #2: anything blue 

    makes me think of the beach. i love the beach…it’s such a relaxing place. i love the sound of the waves and the feel of the sun.

    ┬áthere is one slightly bad thing at the beach. im always worried that they’ll take my food :(

    more pictures to come!

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