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TheCreepyLurker

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Share your best!  Give us the story behind it.  

 

Limit, 1 photo per post.  No double posting within the same day.  

 

1697638704_Lais-DSC00306-180106-Edit.thumb.jpg.63e5cc2561191842b664b356a915ebfa.jpg

 

Taken last year near Carlton Peak in Northern Minnesota.  Snow had just started flying and continued through that afternoon/night.  We were at the top of Carlton Peak when it started snowing, near white out by the time we got down.  Taken about the same time as my picture in the RL Picture Thread.

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I intend to post more pictures here in the future so why do I start with this one? Well.. I took this picture on September 30th, 2015 at Narita International Airport in Japan. This can is the very first thing I bought in Japan. The first time I used Yen. The first time I set a foot in a convenience store in Japan. And it reminds me of what travelling 25 hours without sleep does to your brain. Because that drink is in fact beer which I did not realize when I bought it because I missed that it said "お酒" (alcohol). I thought it was lemonade. But it gives me so much nostalgia to think about this. I was so excited and filled with expectations of things that were to come. If the time in my life was returned and I was asked whether I would do it exactly the same way again, the answer would always be yes. Which is why this very plain photography of a can of beer is dear to me.

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Of all the places, there's a bird nest on my bathroom window/vent-thingy. It already laid a few eggs, I don't know wtf the bird was thinking since the bird and it next generation of kids will be getting to see me naked for the next few months or so when I shower

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I was at a festival of a friend's university in November 2015. It was really fun but also very loud. So at one point I left to walk around the area and stopped at a bridge and just looked at the trains arriving and departing.

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A number of years ago, we went on a trip to Oregon and using an old camera my grandfather passed on to me, I was able to take a picture of this really ugly looking bear amazingly walking on its hind legs.  It was the oddest thing ever.  I felt like it was a mystical beast of some sort that few others had ever seen before, however, I was advised it had to have been just a really funny bear.  Anyways, here is the pic:

 

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Really funny bear... Like this one: @Bear ?

 

So a few of you may know that I take an annual trip up north (as if Minneapolis wasn't far enough north) to find some snow and ice. This year, we left home early Friday morning and were on the trail by early afternoon. 

 

A large snowstorm had hit the area just under a week before. When we got there, we found a packed trail, indicating sometime had been on the before us. It would be a fairly easy hike, only using spikes. After about a half mile, we found the tracks stopped. The prior adventures had turned around. So did we. But only to get snowshoes. Armed with the right gear, we moved quick over the packed section but slowed when we hit 2 feet of powdery snow and steep climbs to our overlook. The hike lasted longer than we expected, but it meant we were at the peak for sunset. And mother nature didn't disappoint.

 

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We hauled ass to get back to the car before it got too dark. It was a great start to the annual trip.

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🙉 🙊 🙈

 

Although the proverb from which the three apes (Japanese: sanzaru or san'en) originate is based on a Chinese tale about confucianism, the creation of the actual proverb based on said tale in combination with the connection to apes originates in Japan. The popularization of these three apes that symbolize the proverbial "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" to the West came through Western scholars and especially Lafcadio Hearn. In Japanese, the proverb goes as follow: "見ざる、聞かざる、言わざる" (mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru; do not see, do not hear, do not speak). Funnily, the word for ape or monkey (猿, saru) does not actually appear in this proverb. However, the grammatical form ーざる (zaru) was used in Classical Japanese as a negation. Since saru (monkey) and zaru (do not / no) sound similar, this proverb has been connected to apes in Japan. The man to blame for this is Hidari Jingoro, who would in the 17th century encarve the three apes in a woodcut that hangs at the top of a former horse stable (since horses once were worshipped at shrines and temples and still are sometimes) that belongs to the Tosho-gu shrine in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. The Tosho-gu shrine is the resting place of famous Japanese warrior Tokugawa Ieyasu who would lead his forces into the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 in order to emerge as the ruler over all of Japan (minus Hokkaido) and to introduce the Edo era, one of the most prosperous times of Japanese history with over 200 years of relative peace. His resting place is arguably one of the most famous (and expensive) shrines in all of Japan. The color woodcut depicting the famous proverb and the apes has been the origin of its popularization. And this is exactly where I took this picture on January 19th, 2019.

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This is my Grandfather in 1944 during training and before heading off to war.  He was B-29 pilot in the United States Army Air Corp and flew in the Pacific theater.  If you know your history and you understand the intent of the B-29 (the longest range bomber of the day with a range over 5,500 miles) you can understand where his targets resided.  He started off of Guam and flew nearly directly north.  His first missions from Guam took place while the American's only held a small portion of the island, to the point before his first mission, he walked the dirt hills along side the runway and fell through a hole into a small Japanese soldier's hide-out.  It took him a moment to figure out where he was, but the light of a small fire and the light from the hole he had created by falling in, the smell of rice, and the Japanese rising sun on a flag against one wall made him realize immediately where he was - thankfully the soldier who called that position his hideout, was not there at that time.  He jumped out, ran back to some soldiers and advised them what he had seen.  Soon after, a group of soldiers with weapons, hand grenades, and flame throwers walked that group of dirt hills, and could not find the opening that my Grandfather fell in to, so a series of bulldozers covered the area in dirt to ensure the aircrew's had safety from those hide-outs that had not been known about prior.

 

My Grandfather's first 7 missions were marred with issues.  B-29s were shot at by Japanese zeroes, some ditched after losing too much engine thrust after rounds ripped through their engines and were later picked up by American subs between Guam and their targets, but fortunately for him he never lost enough engine power to lose altitude and was always able to make it "back home to Guam".  In one of his early missions, flying behind and higher than another group of loose planes and a group of planes in diamond formation, he saw the diamond formation successfully defend and take out some of the Japanese zeroes whereas the group of loose planes were picked off one by one to the zeroes.  Seeing this, he told himself when he gained squadron command, he would demand his crews to fly a "loose diamond formation" so they could quickly come together for a "tight diamond formation" when zeroes were sighted.  Prior to his 8th mission, my Grandfather became his squadron's leader, a group of 9 planes that were to fly together. (11 men for each plane; 99 men total; he always said the army never trusted a Lieutenant with more than one hundred men!  --  each plane had a pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, navigator, engineer, two radiomen, and 4 gunners)  His first command to his pilots and co-pilots in his squadron was to enact the diamond formation at all times once they were able to come together after take off, until such time that the bombardier took over and split off to their respective target.  Once the bomb run was over, the pilots regained control, would turn the planes around, come back together in a diamond formation and return to Guam.  This was not received well by his fellow pilots, because it was much more demanding of the pilots for the full duration of the trip, but it did mean a greater chance for survival, and that to my Grandfather meant more that the burden incurred by the pilots.

 

Mission 8-20, they flew in loose diamond formation and were never seriously targeted by the zeroes.  Once zeroes were sighted, they were able to come together in a tight diamond formation (nose behind and below the wing of the plane in front by less than ten feet, often as close as three feet apart; 1 in front, then 2, then 3, then 2, and finally 1 to form the "diamond") in a matter of moments and would always have 9 guns to fire at any incoming zero (each B-29 had 4 machine gunners; no matter which direction the zero came in from, there were always 9 guns to fire at them, few zeroes tried, even fewer that did survived.  This marked a series of very successful missions for my Grandfather's squadron.  Upon his 20th mission, he was told that his job was done and he could head home.  However, seeing that his 2nd in command and next squadron leader was not in the same frame of mind in regards to the diamond formation, he felt it necessary to stay on for the sake of "his 99" since he was not able to convince the leadership to select a different squadron leader.  The Army Air Corp was more than happy to offer him an additional 10 missions, so he resumed his squadron leader role for missions 21-30.

 

On one of these missions (I don't remember which # - but his log book lists it - I think it is #24), upon take off, his plane had some mechanical issues and almost as soon as they took off had to dump their payload over the ocean, circle around and land since they were not going to make it all the way to their target and back with a weakened set of engines.  The remaining portion of his squadron continued on without them, and this time seeing that the squadron leader was not there, the 2nd in command apparently said "hell with the diamond", and a few hundred miles out from their target, his group of loose flying planes were picked off and a few of the planes, including the 2nd in command's, went down in to the sea off the target coast.  The remainder turned around and limped back to Guam.  My grandfather knew there was an issue immediately seeing them return back hours earlier than they were suppose to and short a few planes.  The de-brief made it clear where the blame was to lie.  This, along with other situations, led to the military enacting an official policy on flying in a diamond formation in the Pacific.  The policies up to this point had been largely following those in Europe for the B-17s where loose flying was the requirement given the air dominance of the American's and British over the Germans at this time (meaning no air to air attacks expected) and the sheer amount of flack that the Germans could shoot in to the air.  Any tight pack of planes was actually an easier target for the German anti-air teams, and thus that policy was put in place in the Pacific as well, despite there being drastically different conditions.  In the Pacific, their was no anti-air flack being shot at the B-29s as the majority of the trip was over the ocean and often at far higher in altitude, but there were many Japanese zeroes that would swoop in suddenly (often from the sun to avoid being seen).  This marked a turning point for the American B-29s where far less were lost and many more zeroes were shot down.

 

Once again,  upon completion of mission 30; My Grandfather was advised that he could head home, and he once again turned it down in favor of an additional ten missions.  During these ten missions, the Pacific war begin to change dramatically.  First, American's began to take full control of the sky because of a combination of factors; partly American bombs from B-29s had destroyed much of the major factories of the Japanese and secondly, the American navy and army had fighters that could compete with and take out what remaining zeroes were left flying.  Towards the end of this group of missions, the US Army Air Corp had switched B-29s to incendiary bombs to literally rain fire down on their targets and would lower down to 10,000 feet to better hit their targets.  On one such run, planes that were a few minutes ahead of them had hit an explosives factory that caused such a huge explosion that my Grandfather's plane went from 10,000 feet to 20,000 feet just from the uplift of the explosion, he said since they were on the bombing run and not yet released their bombs, that the bombardier had to then quickly re-calculate for their new altitude and realized that they were already beyond the target so they had to switch to a secondary target on their swing back around.  Upon regaining control of the plane after the bombardier had released all his bombs, he realized that they had some damage to their full lines, and was happy that the American Marines had recently taken Iwo Jima so they could make an emergency landing there to fix up the equipment before returning a few days later to Guam.  On his next mission, his plane was not fully repaired he felt after a full load was placed on it, and he decided to be safe, dropped the payload in to the ocean and landed at Iwo Jima for the second time in a matter of a few days to the "delight" of the mechanics who worked on the plane previously.  This time they fixed it proper and my Grandfather was able to fly back to Guam the following day.  Once again, upon completion of mission 40, the Army Air Corp command advised him he could head home, and he again stated he was ready for his next ten missions, the Army Air Corp of course obliged him.

 

On mission 41-50; the war had made a dramatic swing since his first missions.  By this time, the zeroes were all but gone and they were able to fly low level bombing runs at 10,000 feet and all but ensure targets were hit.  During one such run, the bombardier did not hand back the controls to the pilots, left the bomb bay doors open, and made a gradual turn back south.  However secondary targets were not targeted, and the bombardier communicated to the pilot and co-pilot; "we've got some bombs stuck up in the bay".  The bombardier, a father and the second oldest man in the squadron to my Grandfather (both were 22), was so pale upon the idea of going out in to the bay, that my Grandfather said "I'll take care of it".  He proceeded to crawl out in to the bomb bay and kick off 6 bombs that were hung up in the bomb releases.  Once all were out, he yelled at the bombardier to close the doors, the doors closed and the wind subsided, and he was able to crawl back out much to his relief.  He remembers looking down as the final bomb released remembering that they were going to hit rice fields, and he wondered if that farmer ever cursed his name for destroying part of his crop.  After mission 50; the Commander called my Grandfather in expecting to hear him say "sign me up for 10 more missions", but he had seen enough.  It was time for him to head home.  He was on a ship halfway between Hawaii and California in August of 1945 when he heard of the atomic bombs and soon after heard of the Japanese surrender.

 

Many years later, during the Korean war in the early '50s, my Grandfather was called back, now in to the Air Force (created in 1947 after a spin off from the Army), to help train new pilots to fly the B-29.  Soon after, a new plane came in to service, and once again, the Air Force turned to my Grandfather to be a trainer for new pilots of the B-52 SuperFortress.  He did that for a while in California, but decided after a conversation with my Grandmother that with multiple children (one of whom was my father) that the best thing to do was to head back home to the farm in rural Central Minnesota and grow the family there.  Given his service in the military; NorthWest Orient offered him a pilot position to fly DC-6Bs from Minneapolis to Tokyo.  Also at that time, another fine establishment offered him employment, the United States Postal Service.  He of course, went with the one that offered him the better deal, and retired as a rural letter carrier in the '80s which allowed him to farm and raise his family on an 80 acre piece he bought sight unseen in 1945, just down the road from his father.

 

For his 75th birthday, in August of 1997, we took a giant family trip to Rapid City and to Ellsworth Air Force Base (My Grandfather, Grandmother, all 6 of his children, their spouses, and their grandchildren).  Much to his surprise, they had a working B-29 plane there for an upcoming air show.  He asked if they were going to fly it in the air show that was later that week, and they asked around, and it turned out they couldn't because the pilots set to fly it weren't able to attend.  He said that it was too bad, he thought it was one of the planes he had trained soldiers on in California in the '50s...  and after much discussion, that plane flew in the air show.  To this day I'm still surprised they let a 75 year old take that plane up for the air show.  I'm pretty sure my whole family was proud, crying, or both when he flew over the crowd and we heard the announcer say "Happy 75th Birthday to this pilot" and his name rang across the loudspeaker.  I never saw him with a bigger grin on his face than when he was in that plane or just getting off it.

 

He passed away in early December, 2016; 75 years later and a few days shy of the day that he said changed his life, and the life of his generation.

 

My Grandfather was a pretty amazing man.  I am proud to have heard some of his amazing stories, read his diary and log book, and see some of his things he used at that time.  It helps me to put in perspective just how good we all have it today.

 

(Sorry for the long write - I didn't intend for it to be this way)

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22 minutes ago, RedFive said:

(Sorry for the long write - I didn't intend for it to be this way)

Holy crap, Red.  Both for the length but also the stories. 

 

Thank you to your grandfather for the leadership and service he provided during his years.  

 

o7

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Well, you set a really high bar that I know I'll never meet, @RedFive.  So, swallowing my pride, I'll get this going again with another photo.  

 

 

Gooseberry Falls State Park, and specifically the falls on the Gooseberry River, is a staple of Lake Superior's North Shore.  The Gooseberry River runs into Lake Superior in the park but not being going over a series of fairly dramatic water falls.  I've had the fortune of visiting these falls during all seasons and with high and low water (I've not yet seen the falls break up yet, that's on the bucket list).  It's an easy stop with a nice big rest area, visitor center, and a short walk down paved trails to the falls themselves.  There's a bit longer and more rugged trails in the park (I've been on all of them multiple times), but the falls are the reason most people visit.  

 

As we were headed back home from last year's winter adventure, we decided to swing in for a quick stop to stretch our legs before the 3 hour ride home, get some fresh air, and see the ice formations.  The scene when we got there was entertaining.  After watching unprepared people slip and slide up and down the trail and snapping a few photos of the ice itself, a few groups of people made their way out onto the frozen river in spite of the many warnings posted to the contrary.  Every year there are stories of people falling in/breaking through the ice, and drowning.  I may venture slightly onto the river but only near the edges and if the weather has been conducive to ice formation for the prior days/weeks.  Thankfully these folks made it back to their cars safely, but the way this scene played out was really pretty funny.  I was in this vantage point looking to capture some detail images of the ice when these people strolled into the frame.  So, I zoomed out and took their picture instead.  I really like how imposing the wall of ice feels contrasted to these adventurers.  The sign adds a bit of comedic value.  

 

42842346_Lais-DSC00365-180107.thumb.jpg.fd6d49c5e2ba9247e2cba74f134eca36.jpg

 

@Smith, when you visit MN, we'll go hang out at these falls.  We'll do the Fifth Falls loop.  I'll bring the snowshoes and/or ice spikes.  

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3 hours ago, TheCreepyLurker said:

Well, you set a really high bar that I know I'll never meet, @RedFive.  So, swallowing my pride, I'll get this going again with another photo.  

 

 

Gooseberry Falls State Park, and specifically the falls on the Gooseberry River, is a staple of Lake Superior's North Shore.  The Gooseberry River runs into Lake Superior in the park but not being going over a series of fairly dramatic water falls.  I've had the fortune of visiting these falls during all seasons and with high and low water (I've not yet seen the falls break up yet, that's on the bucket list).  It's an easy stop with a nice big rest area, visitor center, and a short walk down paved trails to the falls themselves.  There's a bit longer and more rugged trails in the park (I've been on all of them multiple times), but the falls are the reason most people visit.  

 

As we were headed back home from last year's winter adventure, we decided to swing in for a quick stop to stretch our legs before the 3 hour ride home, get some fresh air, and see the ice formations.  The scene when we got there was entertaining.  After watching unprepared people slip and slide up and down the trail and snapping a few photos of the ice itself, a few groups of people made their way out onto the frozen river in spite of the many warnings posted to the contrary.  Every year there are stories of people falling in/breaking through the ice, and drowning.  I may venture slightly onto the river but only near the edges and if the weather has been conducive to ice formation for the prior days/weeks.  Thankfully these folks made it back to their cars safely, but the way this scene played out was really pretty funny.  I was in this vantage point looking to capture some detail images of the ice when these people strolled into the frame.  So, I zoomed out and took their picture instead.  I really like how imposing the wall of ice feels contrasted to these adventurers.  The sign adds a bit of comedic value.  

 

42842346_Lais-DSC00365-180107.thumb.jpg.fd6d49c5e2ba9247e2cba74f134eca36.jpg

 

@Smith, when you visit MN, we'll go hang out at these falls.  We'll do the Fifth Falls loop.  I'll bring the snowshoes and/or ice spikes.  

 

<_<

 

Looks a bit cold

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Located in the city of Hamamatsu (Shizuoka Prefecture), the Nakatajima Sand Dunes (中田島砂丘; Nakatajima-sakyû) are one of the three largest of its kind in Japan. The walk from its entrance to the sea is about 600 meters and walking along the entire dunes from East to West (or West to East?) is a walk of 4 kilometers. The Nakatajima Sand Dunes are a popular spot for wind surfing and flying kites. They have existed for over one thousand years and are the result of deposits and sand that came following down to the coast through the Tenryu River from the Japanese Alps. However, due to dam projects and concrete barriers, the dunes are shrinking.

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So in my prior role at work, I had the opportunity to do a fair amount of international travel.  I'm not personally too much of a fan of the logistics and headaches of travel, but I do enjoy the change in pace, getting to see the sights, and getting to know the people in a new place.  I always found South Korea to be very comfortable and familiar.  The fashion is very western in style.  The cars drive on the right (and the correct) side of the road.  I can't read a damn thing and only know/knew a few words in Korean but I had the fortune of traveling with our local sales manager who could help keep me out of trouble and enjoying the sights.  

 

One night, after a long day visiting customers and suppliers, we got dropped off at the hotel and I stopped into my hotel room to change clothes and grab my camera.  I was in the Pangyo Techno Valley, a highly commercial area that was rapidly growing.  New construction with cranes were everywhere.  But I found a nice park to walk through, some nice trails that made their way into the hills, and eventually found a really nice pavilion overlooking the new construction in the Valley.  It was all wood construction with ornate and very vibrant painting inside.  The contrast between the old style architecture and the new construction was striking.  I spent a long time hanging out up here, enjoying the sights and taking photos.  

 

This image was my favorite and very technically challenging to create.  Given that it was night time with lots of bring lights from the Valley, the shadows were deep and the highlights white.  In order to get the perspective I wanted (not having a fisheye lens), I knew I had to take a two panoramic image (think two rows of images).  Each image that was stitched together was a composite of 3 images at different exposure levels to account for the dynamic range I was trying to capture.  The final image is a whopping 14,309 x 5,813 pixels or 83MP.  The largest image I've ever made.  I am so happy with how the image turned out.  Not only because of the time I spent to take the several dozen images that went into the final render, but also because it actually captured the feel of the place.  Look up and you're in a different time.  Ornate painting, handmade craftsmanship.  Look out, and you're in the boom of a modern city.  I went back to the hotel happy.  Refreshed from the walk.  Energized by what I had seen.  And ready to prepare for the next day with a good night of sleep.  

 

14479896412_128c606ac0_o.thumb.jpg.df92194dd9761354942d88229056f0f4.jpg

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Kanteibyo is a temple located in the city of Yokohama, the second largest city of Japan. The temple is part of the city's Chinatown which is not only the largest of its kinds in Japan, beating out the ones in Kobe and Nagasaki, but also the largest Chinatown in Asia (since China obviously has no Chinatowns...). The temple is dedicated to the Chinese general Guan Yu who lived during the 1st and 2nd century. Although I am not very knowledgable in terms of Chinese history, I know from a bit of internet research I did a while ago that Guan Yu contributed to the end of the Han dynasty and took an important role in the founding of the state of Shu Han which was one of the three large kingdoms during the "Three Kingdoms" era of Chinese history. And one thing I do now about the Three Kingdoms period is that despite its briefness, it is one of the periods of Chinese history that has had the most influence on Chinese literature, art, culture, computer games, etc.

 

It is said that the current Kanteibyo is the temple's fourth reincarnation. The reason for that being that the temple has previously been destroyed three times. The first time was in 1923 when the great Kanto Earthquake struck the region. Over 140,000 people were killed in Tokyo, Yokohama and the surroundings and those parts of Yokohama that were not destroyed mostly burned down. The second time the temple was destroyed was during World War II when it was bombed. The third time the temple was destroyed was during a fire in 1986. Each time, it was rebuilt at the same place. The current temple was opened in 1990.

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During our trip to the Canadian Rockies a few years ago, my wife and I had planned to spend a week in Jasper National Park, and another week in the legendary Banff National Park.  (both are wonderful, go spend as much time as you can in these places)  We had hikes and drives, glaciers and mountains, and scenery and fun.  There's really very little reason to leave these parks to see something else.  But we received a tip from a family we hiked with to Sentinel Pass (check it out, it's a highlight of our trip in the Valley of Ten Peaks) that Yoho National Park just across the border from Banff (Alberta to British Columbia ) was worth visiting.  Specifically Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls were high on the list.  

 

It's a fun drive up to the Falls complete with switchbacks, mountain views, marshy areas and the like.  We made it there in the late afternoon and had brought some stuff to make dinner.  We hiked up to the base of the falls where it was really misty.  The wind was blowing the bottom of the falls so much that there was very little "stream" making it's way to the valley floor.  It was all mist.  Somehow the stream continued anyway...  We made our way back to the parking lot and set up at one of the picnic tables looking towards the falls to make dinner.  Before long, we noticed our picnic table was being shaded by the mountain to our backs.  It was still fairly early and the falls were still lit but, it was dark for us.  I pulled out the camera when I recognized what was happening.  

 

The beautiful silhouetted trees in the foreground really anchor the photo for me and drive the focus up to the falls where the subtle color from the small rainbow grabs the eye.  It's fun to wander around the rest of the image and finally notice the beautiful blue sky and big puffy clouds.  It was truly a gorgeous night and well worth taking an afternoon to leave Banff.  Takakkaw Falls in British Columbia's Yoho National Park, is Canada's second highest waterfall. 

 

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As an aside, it anyone is interested in visiting these parks, feel free to let me know.  I'd be happy to offer tips on places to visit, things to see, etc...  

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Couples can get married at top of the Yokohama Marine Tower, an approximately 100 meter tall building located at Yokohama harbor. Those who do may add their own customized name tag to the wall that is where the stairs are at when you go down from the top plattform to the second plattform (I don't really know why there are two since there's almost no difference in terms of height).

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Previously, I made mention of Gooseberry Falls State Park and the irony of the folks standing on the ice at the base of the falls. 

 

To give added perspective, I felt it prudent to share an image of the falls at a different time of year.  I'm happily sharing my favorite photo of the Middle Falls.  There's a total of 4 falls over the course of the last mile of the Gooseberry River as it descends to Lake Superior.  (Upper, Middle, Lower, and Fifth Falls - Yes, that's not a typo.  No I have no idea where the Fourth Falls are.  Fifth Falls is actually above the Upper Falls too.)  In mid-July, a few weeks before Mrs. Lurker became Mrs. Lurker, we took a camping trip up north.  The weather was wonderful, the hiking gorgeous, and were treated to an outstanding lightning storm on Sunday evening as we extended our stay through Monday.  Overnight, it poured and poured.  Thankfully our gear held out and we stayed warm and dry in the tent.  

 

Naturally, everything was pretty wet when we packed up on Monday morning to begin our trek back home.  Being that Gooseberry Falls SP was right on our way home, we decided to swing in and see what the rainfall would do to the river.  Neither of us knew how quickly the river would respond.  We were treated to the highest water levels I've ever seen (still true today).  Standing near the falls, the concussion of the water hitting the rocks at the bottom of the falls was so intense you could feel it in your body.  To the point that it became uncomfortable and you'd had to walk away before feeling ill.  Most of the walkways were flooded below the falls.  Stairways that normally would allow you on the rocks around the fringe of the river were now stairways into a terrifying current.  

 

Thankfully, the bridge well below the falls was on high enough ground to allow passage to the other side of the river where there is a challenging trail onto the bluffs up above the river that allow you to look down on the falls.  This image is from that trail.  The Middle Falls is roughly 180 feet wide and 30 feet tall.  Note, the color of the river is caused by the vegetation further inland.  It's normally more clear but stained a dark brown color.  In this photo, because of all of the recent rain and fresh runoff, there is a lot of soil that was pulled into the river causing it to be more cloudy than normal.  

 

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