October 2007 Archive - Divine Reflections Photography Blog

Summer Vacation 2007: Salem and Ashland

Riding the Lithia Park Merry-Go-Round

Super 8 Motel, Ashland, Oregon (August 11)


Sunny and beautiful

  • Visited the state capitol building in Salem, Oregon.

  • Climbed the 121 steps to the top of the capitol rotunda
  • Played in Lithia Park in Ashland
  • Shopped in downtown Ashland
  • Attended a performance of Tartuffe at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Rachelle, Ariana, and I had never attended a live performance of a play before, so Crystal graciously agreed to hang out with Emily while we saw Tartuffe. We experienced something that I will never forget. Professional actors, great writing, and fabulous comedy made for an excellent production.


This was the end of our trip. :(

Jumping into the Pool

Oregon Pioneer Statue

Rachelle at the Playground

Sliding into the Pool

Capitol Fountain

Posted by Greg on October 22, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under coates family, photos, summer vacation 2007 and trip reports.

Summer Vacation 2007: Columbia River Gorge

Touching Wahkeena Falls

Super 8 Motel, Gresham, Oregon (August 10)


Mostly sunny.

  • Viewed the gorge from Women's Forum and the Vista House
  • Hiked to Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Shepperds Dell Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Multnomah Falls
  • Saw the roadside view of Horsetail Falls
  • Played in the park in Cascade Locks

Seeing six big waterfalls in one afternoon is a special experience. There aren't too many places in the world where this is possible, but the gorge is one of them.

We found a bird's nest on the restroom building at the Bridal Veil Falls parking lot. We were able to see the mother bird fly in several times to feed her hungry babies.

Columbia River Gorge Family Portrait

Multnomah Falls

Rachelle at Bridal Veil Falls

Shepperds Dell Falls

Latourell Falls

Wahkeena Falls

Hungry Bird Babies

Multnomah Falls Detail

Posted by Greg on October 19, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under coates family, photos, summer vacation 2007 and trip reports.

New RSS feed

I'm happy to announce that we've added an RSS feed to our blog! Click on the preceding link or the link directly below the calendar in the sidebar to subscribe so that you can read about our latest work in your favorite feed reader.

Posted by Greg on October 18, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Summer Vacation 2007: Portland

Rachelle in the Lovejoy Fountain

Super 8 Motel, Gresham, Oregon (August 7-9)


Varied. We got a bit of rain one morning, and it was partly cloudy to sunny the rest of the time.

  • Took a MAX train from our hotel to downtown Portland
  • Walked around the downtown Farmer's Market
  • Looked at The Old Church and saw a concert of pieces selected from the musical Honk!
  • Toured the Portland Art Museum
  • Saw an outdoor concert by Pepe and the Bottle Blondes
  • Toured the Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown
  • Explored the Portland Children's Museum, including the Rembrandt exhibit of works by Dutch painters including Rembrandt himself
  • Walked around the grounds of the Pittock Mansion
  • Looked at the flowers in the Rose Garden in Washington Park
  • Played at the playground in Washington Park
  • Examined the Illume outdoor photo exhibit
  • Visited the Grotto, a peaceful Catholic shrine in a Portland suburb. Took the elevator to the garden on the top level
Food Notes

We decided to try some new foods when we ate at the Heathman in downtown Portland. Crystal ordered rabbit, and I ordered quail. Both were excellent.

When we were in Chinatown, we asked a police officer where to find the best authentic Chinese food. He recommended a restaurant, and we were treated to the best Chinese food I've eaten.


The Old Church in Portland contains a Hook & Hastings pipe organ that was originally installed in 1883 and restored in 1997. I was given an opportunity to play this beautiful, historic instrument.

The venue for the Pepe and the Bottle Blondes concert included a dance floor that was largely ignored by the spectators. Rachelle walked around asking all of the kids in the front of the crowd if they'd like to dance. She and the children filled the floor for three or four songs.

The Portland Children's Museum offered face painting as an activity for its visitors. First, Rachelle painted Emily's face. She like that and decided that she wanted to paint the faces of her sisters. They are great sports, so they let her. Several minutes later, I had three paint-covered daughters. They spent the rest of the day walking around Portland as highly decorated siblings, drawing looks from most passers-by.

Portland gets the award for nicest big city that I've visited. In fact, it is the only big city that I've visited so far where I feel I could actually live if I was forced to move to a city. It was clean, it was beautiful, and they have great parks and a great public transportation system. The police officers that I spoke too talked about the low crime rate in the downtown area. And it's close to an absurd number of beautiful natural settings.

Rinsing in Washington Park

Making a Clay Souvenir

Pittock Mansion

Dodging Birds

View of Portland

The Old Church

Jumping Down Stairs

Saint Anne's Chapel, The Grotto

Post-Dance Hug

Posted by Greg on October 17, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under coates family, photos, summer vacation 2007 and trip reports.

Summer Vacation 2007: Mount St. Helens

Rebirth in the Monument

Seaquest State Park, Washington (August 5-6)


Cloudy at times. Foggy at times. Rain the first night.

  • Drove into Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
  • Examined exhibits at the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center and the Johnston Ridge Observatory
  • Listened to a ranger talk about the regeneration of life in the monument at Coldwater Ridge
  • Built a gargantuan bonfire the last night in camp. We wanted use all of our wood.

The ranger talk that we attended at the visitor center was highly informative. I was amazed at the amount of regeneration that has occurred in the park since the eruption. Also, I found the land surprisingly beautiful in spite of the past destruction.


We never did get to see Mount St. Helens because of the clouds and fog.

This was our last campground of the trip. We all immediately started suffering from camping withdrawal.

Coldwater Lake

View from Johnston Ridge Observatory

Sleepy Girls

Posted by Greg on October 15, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under coates family, photos, summer vacation 2007 and trip reports.

Summer Vacation 2007: Mount Ranier National Park

Mount Ranier from Reflection Lakes

Ohanepekosh Campground, Washington (August 2-4)


Partly to mostly cloudy. Foggy in Paradise. Rain one night.

  • Shopped at mall in Seattle so we would miss the rush hour traffic through downtown
  • Drove to Paradise twice
  • Hiked the Nisqually Vista trail
  • Saw the Box Canyon of the Cowlitz
  • Attended a worship service at the campground
  • Walked to the overlook of Narada Falls
  • Ate lunch at the National Park Inn
Food Notes

We grilled beef and vegetable kabobs over the campfire one night. We had learned from past mistakes and had proper tools so we didn't burn them this time. I think this was the best camp meal of the entire trip.


Beauty abounded on the Nisqually Vista hike. The wildflowers were blooming profusely, and the greenery was abundant. Whoever named Paradise did so appropriately.

We focused on family time on this trip, including a lot of time playing games. In our campground here, we played Scrabble. Other games we had with us included cards and Yahtzee. Lots of family bonding occurred as a result of our focused time together.

Worship in the natural cathedral of the forest seemed fitting. The experience was special.


I didn't pay enough attention to the National Park Service website when I planned this part of our trip. We arrived at Mount Ranier pretty late because we wanted to miss the traffic through Seattle. We got to the road that we were planning to take through the park only to find it still closed because of severe flood damage. The detour took over two hours, and we didn't get to camp until after midnight that night. But at least we had reservations and didn't have to sleep in the van!

We had clear views of the mountain most of the time we were in Seattle and the San Juan Islands. We only got fleeting glimpses of the mountain while we were in the park, and we never were able to see it up close from Paradise.

Paradise Flowers

Looking at the Canyon

In a Rock

Mount Ranier

Narada Falls

Paradise Meadows

Posted by Greg on October 12, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under coates family, photos, summer vacation 2007 and trip reports.