Balabanova All Over

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[Niagara Falls, NY] After driving in the snow yesterday, I was super excited to be taking a bus tour today, meaning someone else was driving! Today’s excursion to Niagara Falls was an optional add-on to the conference itself, so that meant I was also not going to be alone – I was sure other conference attendees would take the trip. My prayers for good weather had partially come through. It was no… Read More

[Keaau, HI] The highlight of our day today was supposed to be a sunset tour of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain on earth when using the height of the mountain from the seafloor up (rather than from sea level). However, the rain that we encountered yesterday had apparently continued on today on the mountain, and the road between the Visitor station (at ~9000 ft) and the summit (~14000 ft) was closed. Our… Read More

[Hood River, OR] The Columbia Gorge is famous for all of its waterfalls, and even though we’d covered two on our first afternoon here, including the famous Multnomah, there were plenty left to see. Our first stop was Elowah Falls. The trailhead was located in what’s called John Yeon Scenic Corridor at the very East end of Columbia River Scenic Highway. The corridor is named after John Yeon, a timber magnate who… Read More

[Hood River, OR] We woke up to a gorgeous fall day in Hood River. The skies were clear, the temperature was in the 40s but rising, and a forecasted daytime high in the low 60s meant perfect hiking weather. We had a wonderful home-made breakfast in the dining room downstairs, which had a huge picture window facing the Columbia River. The fall colors were on full display, and we couldn’t wait to… Read More

[Hood River, OR] The Columbia River Gorge, which begins just a few miles east of Portland and stretches for nearly 70 miles along the shores of the Columbia River, is a dramatic landscape of mountains, cliffs and waterfalls created by massive ice age floods” – so read the first sentence of my Frommer’s guide to Oregon. One can spend days hiking around the gorge, going up and down the numerous trails that… Read More