Archive for January, 2010

Normally, I’m down for helping out with my dad’s crazy schemes. Usually, I join in enthusiastically, whether I think it’s a good idea or not.  Maybe it’s because we’re the only men in the family but we’ve always had a bit of an implicit understanding that if the one of us  needs a partner-in-crime that other will show up to help.

But when he woke me up on the Sunday before finals week this year, a day more responsible (read: boring) students than I spend studying, wanting to drag me off to the coast I’ll admit I was hesitant.  When he showed me an article on the cover of the Register-Guard about a mass migration of sea lions to the Oregon coast he managed to sell me on the idea that it was a unique opportunity to do some nature photography.

The coast is just over an hour from Eugene and we managed to find the beach mentioned in the newspaper article fairly easily and there were indeed a lot of sea lions.  How many sea lions?  Take a look at the photo below:

You see what looks like driftwood down there?  That’s them.  It’s all sea lions.  Several thousand of them in fact.  You can see them more clearly here:

The one thing you miss in the photos is the impact of how loud they all are, bellowing and making noise down there.  The beach that they are on is at the bottom of a cliff and are not accessible by land, unless you are brave, foolhardy or have climbing gear.  I scrambled down about as far as I could safely go to take the closer up pictures.  I might have been able to get all the way down if I’d tried, being either brave or foolhardy myself, but I don’t think it would have gone well for me to get over-close to a bunch of 700 pound (300kg) bull sea lions.

The moral of this story is to allow yourself to be spontaneous once in a while.  This is example is a fun good one because it is recent and I have interesting pictures of it but some of the coolest things that I did while I was traveling were unplanned.  If you get out there then neat opportunities will present themselves and you’ll have great experiences if you go for it once in a while.  I happened to be in Paris one year when the Tour de France finished up there, I stumbled across the filming of a movie in Rome and when I was in New York I happened to walk by an amazing Himalayan restaurant in Queens that I decided on a whim to eat at.  Having a plan is a smart way to travel;  you won’t be able to see everything you want to if you don’t, but if you don’t let yourself just explore and have fun sometimes you’ll miss out on a lot too.


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