Plans for 2018!

I wanted to thank you for you patience with the lack of content for the remainder of 2017.  I had every intention of returning to publishing stories and videos once school started again, but life had some other plans:

Our boys are now in different schools and have different schedules and sports.  My wife has been traveling more for work.  There were a few important projects that needed to be wrapped up.   And I have made a commitment to put a healthy life first, meaning taking time to workout, cook healthy meals, and maintain friendships ahead of making content.

With that said, here is my plan for 2018.  My main focus will be on writing, with the goal of finishing up the story of our missionary lives before the end of the year.   I hope to hold loosely to the goal of publishing a story every two weeks or so.  As far as Divergent Explorers, I have about 35 videos waiting for editing, and we have been busy making plans for future adventures.  While my focus will be on writing, I still hope to publish videos intermittently.  As far as Social Media is involved, I hope to startup regular instagram posts and weekly Facebook updates again.

Thanks for following along and I hope to get some new content out soon!

~Joel

What it’s like to fly to Hawaii!

Despite traveling a lot as a kid, there was one place that I was never able to visit – Hawaii.  Listening to my friends stories of their vacations and seeing films on TV, I could only imagine what it was like to go for myself.  And that’s where this video comes in.  We recorded a bunch of videos to answer the question – what’s it really like to go to Hawaii.  Today we are going to show you what the flight is like on our five and a half hour flight from Portland, Oregon to Kahului, Maui.  So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

Our Video:

Our other videos:  Come along with us as we go surfing, snorkeling, zip lining, boating and hiking throughout the North Coast of Maui!

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

Have you ever wondered what it takes to keep an aquarium running?  This week we give you a sneak peak, with a preview of the Oregon Coast Aquariums behind the scenes tour.

Our Preview:

Our Guide:

Our Explorers Guide to the Oregon Coast Aquarium giving you a tour of the attractions and our blog with tips about planning your visit can be found here: Explorers Guide to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Weblinks

More information about the Oregon Coast Aquarium can be found at their website www.aquarium.org.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is located on 39 acres of land next to the Yaquina Bay estuaries of Newport, Oregon.  The museum has 250 species of marine life, is visited by 400,000 people per year and is ranked as one of the top ten aquariums of North America.  This week, we are going to take you on a tour and explore the exhibits at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Our Video

One of the best summaries of information about the Aquarium and its attractions is their Media Kit found under their Media Relations page.  It has facts about the museum, attendance, each exhibit, adventures, conservation & rehabilitation, education, and their timeline.  Here is the link to their 2016 report, but don’t know how long the link will be valid: Media Kit.

*Update – Several parts of the Shipwrecks of the Sea exhibit are currently undergoing construction for a new exhibit called Big Bites.  

Our Tips for Visiting

  • Seeing the whole Aquarium will take half the day with kids making it perfect for a morning or afternoon activity.
  • If you are concerned about the cost of visiting, their website has a variety of discounts listed on their Visitor Tips page, and watch Groupon for periodic sales of tickets that go for about 40% off.
  • If you are going to visit more than once per year, Membership makes a lot of since the Aquarium is a 501(c)3, you can deduct your membership cost from your taxes (consult your accountant first)
  • At $15 a person, the Behind the Scenes tour is one of the most reasonably priced add-on experiences we have found.  Join us for our next video where we take you on a preview of what you would see and learn.
  • The museum has a volunteer to staff ratio of 4:1, meaning they are always looking for help.  One of the most interesting opportunities is for experienced divers who can help clean and take care of the tanks.
  • The food at the Cafe is slightly better than normal museum faire.  If you are looking for something different and in the area, Rogue River Brewery has a popular (and busy) restaurant right down the street or Newport across the bridge has plenty of offerings.

Weblinks

More information about the Oregon Coast Aquarium can be found at their website www.aquarium.org.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

Welcome to our new Website!

For the past several months, I have been using one website for two different projects – a divergent life with stories about growing up as a missionary kid and divergent explorers with videos about traveling Oregon and beyond.  But the time has come to give each the home it deserves.  I have been working hard on reformatting this website solely for my writings and created an entirely new website to host our travel videos.

Over at www.adivergentlife.com, the have been some major changes:

  • I have pulled down all of the Divergent Explorers content and moved it to this site.
  • I have changed the categories on the sidebar to Locations & Themes, making it easier to find writings from a certain time or place.
  • I have updated photos, menus and the extra content to streamline the website and feature the stories from living overseas (the writings have stayed the same).

New to THIS website,

  • We have a brand new layout with photos featuring the activities of each location.
  • A new about us post including an introduction to Divergent Explorers.
  • Posts categorized by travel locations to make it easier to find activities in a certain area (from the drop down at the top of the page or links on the left sidebar).
  • I have updated all of the posts with new information to help you plan your visits.

If you want to follow along with us at both of our sites, here are our connection points:

You can follow along with our writings at www.adivergentlife.com via

  • E-mail – click the “Follow blog via E-mail” button on the right sidebar
  • WordPress blog – click the blue “Follow” button for WordPress on the right sidebar
  • Facebook – click the “Like” button inside the photo on the right sidebar.

You can following along with us on our travel videos at www.divergentexplorers.com via

  • WordPress blog – click the blue “Follow” button for WordPress on the left sidebar.
  • E-mail – click the “Follow blog via E-mail” button on the left sidebar.
  • Facebook – click the “Like” button inside the photo on the left sidebar.
  • YouTube – Go to our YouTube page and click the Subscribe button.
  • Instagram – Go to our Instagram page and click Follow.

Thank you for following along and we hope that you can join us in both our writings and our travels!

~joel

In this short video, we give you a preview of the exhibits at the Hatfield Marine Science Center to help you plan your visit.

Weblinks

Visit their Plan your Visit page for general information, their Visitor Center page for a calendar of events, or you can watch the Giant Pacific Octopus on their Octocam page.  The octopus on display is normally donated by fishermen who accidentally find one in their catch.  When a new one is donated, the existing one is released back into the wild.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is peached on a rocky outcrop just north of Newport, Oregon.  The beautiful whitewashed 93 foot tower has been in continuous use for the last 144 years.  This week, we take you on a tour of the inside of the lighthouse, learn its history, and help you plan your visit.

Introduction

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is a beautiful 93 foot tall whitewashed lighthouse sitting on a rocky outcrop in Newport Oregon.  The activities here are a unique cooperation – the Bureau of Land Management owns the land, and the non-profit Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses operates the tours.

Activities 

yaquina

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is part of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural area with five main attractions.

  • Quarry Cove is what remains of an old quarry, and today it is home to a handicapped accessible manmade tide pool zone.
  • The Museum has exhibits about tide pools, sea life, how the lighthouse works and a movie theatre that shows how the lighthouse was constructed.  There are also an area with games and toys from the early 1900s and a gift shop with plenty of souvenirs.
  • Salal Hill is a short 1/3 mile hike that leads 177 feet up from the lighthouse for expansive views of the coastline and lighthouse below.
  • Cobble Beach features a beach made out of large rounded stones and offers an excellent tide pooling area during low tide.
  • Yaquina Head Lighthouse was first lit on ??? , shining its light 18.5 miles out to sea. The lighthouse is 93 feet tall, made out of brick and cast iron, and still in active use today.

How to tour the Lighthouse:

  1. Information about Lighthouse Tours including times and restrictions (age, height and heels) can be found here.
  2. Go to the Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses page to setup a date and time for your tour. During the winter months, you call in to the front desk, but during the summer they have an online registration system.  Try to book a few days before to make sure you get a spot!
  3. Show up to the right lighthouse.  There are two Yaquina Lighthouses in Newport, separated by six miles.  You want the tall white one found at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area 😉 During our visit, I typed Yaquina into my phone and blindly followed the directions.  When we arrived, I realized we were at the wrong lighthouse and had to book it across town to the right one.
  4. Show up to the lighthouse an hour early.  Your tour time is when the door opens for your tour and there are a few things you will need to have completed:
    • Waited in a line of traffic to pay your fee to get into the area.
    • Walked into the museum to pickup your tickets for your tour time (the tour guides won’t let you in without one).
    • Be standing next to the lighthouse door at your tour time.  If you arrive ahead of time, you can look through the museum or drive down to find a parking spot next to the lighthouse.  If you are running late, you will need to walk the 1/2 mile trail down to the lighthouse instead of driving for risk of the parking spots being full.
  5. Relax and enjoy.  The tours last for 30-45 minutes and stop in four places – the two lighthouse rooms, the base of the lighthouse and an enclosed area at the top of the lighthouse.  The windows and large landings make this climb much more enjoyable than climbing the Astoria Column.

Tips for Visiting

  • Give yourself at least half a day to see all the sights.
  • Visit Quarry Cove or Cobble Beach one hour before or after high tide to see the tide pool zones.
  • If you are visiting in December-January or May-June, keep a look out from the observation point next to the lighthouse for migrating grey whales.  18,000 whales twice a year between their feeding grounds in Baja, Mexico and Alaska.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

Exploring Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua is filled with popular attractions such as Devil’s Churn, West Shelter Overlook, the Giant Spruce Tree, Thor’s Well and Spouting Horn to name a few – and even more amazing is that they are all within a few miles of each other.  This week we learn the history, see the sights, and help you plan your visit to Cape Perpetua on the rocky Oregon coast.

Introduction

Cape Perpetua is located along the rocky central Oregon coast and is part of the massive 630,000 acre Siuslaw National Forest.  The coastline is famous for sights of violent waves crashing against the rocks creating large sprays of water.  On land, the area is part of a Sitka spruce forest with miles of hiking trails, a campground, and a road that leads to an overlook of the whole coastline.

Programs

The main visitors center features a gift shop, expansive windows for watching the ocean or the 18,000 grey whales during their spring or fall migrations, and several ranger led programs.  There are guided hikes, tide pooling, a Jr. Ranger Program and various other events.  For more information, visit their USFS site or you can follow them on Facebook.

Tips for Visiting

  • Give yourself at least half a day to see all the sights.
  • Visit the shore one hour before or after high tide to see Thor’s well or Spouting Horn.
  • The most dramatic waves and sprays occur during the stormy winter months.
  • Although there is tide pooling here, there is better tidepooling elsewhere along the coast (see our Seal Rock Tidepooling Video)
  • Be careful down on the shore – especially when the waves are big.

History

During the video, I gave a condensed version of the story, but here is the long one:

On February 2nd, 1778, two weeks after making the first modern discovery of the Hawaiian Islands, Captain James Cook set sail with his two ships across the Pacific Ocean.  Five days later on March 7th, in the midst of a strong storm, a piece of the Oregon coastline was sighted and named cape foul weather.   Fearing being dashed against the rocks, the ships headed back out to sea and four days later, the ships returned to see a tall mountain they named Cape Perpetua.  It could have been after St. Perpetua, or because they were fighting bad weather and the peak was perpetually in their sight.  Either way, the name stuck.

For the past 6,000 years, the Siuslaw Indians frequently fished and gathered here at the rocky outcrops along the central Oregon coast – as noted by huge piles of discarded shells, called middens, which can be seen along the trails.  As settlers arrived, the area remained largely inaccessible until 1914, when a path and wooden bridge were built, allowing travel to the area between Yachats and Florence.  In 1933 during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps were brought in to create the Camp Perpetua campground, hiking trails and the West Shelter observation point.  From the shelter, an observer could see 37 miles out to sea, and during WWII, the shelter was used as a costal watch station.  Finally, in the 1960’s, a visitors center was constructed and today Field Rangers lead guided hikes and offer family friendly programs during the summer months.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

 

2016 Portland Bridge Pedal

Every year Portland shuts down all of the major road, bridges and highways for one of the largest community bike rides in the world, with 18,000 people participating.  This week, we take you on the 13 mile, six bridge ride of the 2016 Providence Bridge Pedal with two videos – one showing the sights and action of the ride and the other showing a 20x time lapse of the entire route.  Enjoy!

Our Video

We also made a 20x Hyperlapse Video, so people could see the whole route:

About the Bridge Pedal

The Portland Bridge Pedal started in 1996, when 7,500 people joined a bike ride over two of Portland’s bridges.  Today, over 18,000 people participate in one of the largest community bike rides in the world.  The ride shuts down almost all of the major crossings in Portland (including I5), much to the dismay of travelers and businesses.  There are five different routes offered ranging from 3 miles to 37, the most popular being the 13 mile six bridge ride (the one featured in the video).  The cost for the six bridge ride is $30 per adult and pricing is per bike, so tandem bikes or bikes with trailers count as one.  For more information, visit the event website at http://www.providence.org/bridge-pedal.  Thank you to the staff and volunteers that help make this event a success!

About the Video

The video was shot using three GoPro Hero 4 Silver cameras.  One was mounted to the handlebar and the side/rear facing cameras were mounted to the trailer bar.  The front camera footage was stabilized using Microsoft Hyperlapse Pro for longer cuts and the footage was edited in Final Cut Pro X.

About the Bike Trailer

The bike trailer is one of the Original WeeHoo’s – back when they had heavy frames and only one model.  Today they are much lighter and offer a range of trailers.  We purchased ours at REI and you can find more information at https://rideweehoo.com.

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Weblinks

More information about the Providence Bridge Pedal  can be found at their website: http://www.providence.org/bridge-pedal.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

 

Oregon Zoo Animal Tour

Each time I visit the Oregon Zoo, I wonder about who the animals at the zoo are and where they came from.  So this week, we made a video that introduces you to the animals at the major exhibits.

Our Video

If you want to learn more about the Oregon Zoo or how to plan your visit, please see our Portlander’s Guide to the Oregon Zoo!

Weblinks

There are a couple of places I got my information from:

  • Oregon Zoo Animal List – This lists all of the different animals at the zoo, and most pages about the animals will include the names and a sentence or two about them.
  • Oregon Zoo Exhibit List – This lists all of the exhibits so you can find out which animals are in what area of the zoo.
  • Arrivals and Departures – This section of the Oregon Zoo blog lists when new animals come to the zoo to stay or for rehabilitation, and when animals at the zoo are released or pass on.
  • …and of course, google searches about some of the animals…

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

This week, we bring you the Portlander’s Guide to the Oregon Zoo – where we talk about how to get there, what there is to see and do, what the food options are and discuss the animal and construction changes – all to help you plan your own visit to the Zoo!

Our Video

For more information about the animals living at the Zoo, please watch our video: Oregon Zoo Animal Tour!

Weblinks

Here are a list of links that can help you plan your visit to the zoo:

  • Today at the Zoo (includes the free daily animal activities or Wildlife Live performances during the summer)
  • Kids Camps
  • Behind the Scenes Tours
  • A New Zoo – information about the changes taking place!
  • Oregon Zoo – Comprehensive Capital Master Plan – If you are super interested in what is happening at the zoo, this PDF is for you.  It details the changes in store for the animals and habitats and you get to learn a fair amount.  Hippos are on their way out to make room for a larger black rhino habitat, the chimpanzees and mandrills will have an expansive new area of their own, and the sunbears and amur cats won’t be left out  with their own flexible habitats in the new African savannah habitat.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

 

Biking Fort Stevens

This week, go on a bike ride on the trails between Fort Stevens and the campgrounds, and fall in love with its trails (pun intended).

Despite Ethan’s fall (from trying to pop a wheelie!), this was a much more enjoyable bike ride than the Astoria Riverwalk a few miles away.

Our Video

For more information on some of the sights that we passed, watch our series of videos about Fort Stevens: History of Fort StevensFort Stevens Historical Tour or Stories of Battery Russell videos.

No children were harmed in the filming of this episode… well, maybe just a few scratches.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

Divergent Kids Name Change Announcement

So that announcement we talked about in last weeks video?  You may have noticed that this past week our name and logo have been changed, and we also have this nifty new intro scene.  But why change the name and why now?  Our video explains it all…

When we set out, we knew that we wanted to make travel videos and that the kids would always be apart of them.  It seemed to reason to center the channel around the kids experiences of their travels and from their points of view; heirgo the Divergent Kids name.

As we have gone along though, there have been a few realizations.  First, putting a camera on a kid is the same as putting one on a rodeo bull, and I have spent hours trying to get adequate footage from my running, playing and active boys cameras.  Second, there is only so much that people can watch kids running around, playing, arguing and laughing at each other.  Third, I have always had a long term vision for this channel – and three or four years from now, our boys won’t be kids anymore.  Fourth and most importantly, the videos I am most interested in making, and the ones people are most interested in watching, focus on the places we go to – what it is like, its story, and tips for going there yourself.

And it is for all of those reasons and more, that we are changing our name to Divergent Kids to Divergent Explorers.  We want people to come explore fun activities and locations from Oregon to around the World with us.  So what’s going to be different?  Just the name.  The videos will still have the boys and I in them, the style and feel will be the same, and our focus will be on brining you entertaining videos about fun activities and locations to visit.

Which brings us to our next video: our introduction video where we discuss the goals of our channel and where we hope to go with it (literally!).

Thanks for coming along with us and we look forward to exploring with you!

If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

Three boys, three days, and our stories of heading out to the North Oregon Coast to film our first series of videos for Divergent Explorers.  Come along with us as we go behind the scenes to see how we made our videos and the lessons we learned!

Our Video

For a full list of our videos from Northwest Oregon – select “North Oregon Coast” from the Locations & Themes drop down menu at the top of our website 😉

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC

 

Stories of Battery Russell

Battery Russell has an amazing history – the site of the only attack of a mainland military installation since the War of 1812.  Today we take a look at the construction, history, battle, and aftermath as we bring you the Stories of Battery Russell.

Our Video

When we first visited Battery Russell, I left with more questions about the site than answers.  What was this building?  What was this room used for?  What are the stories that happened here?  Walking through the empty rooms, I made it my goal to answer my own questions about the site – and share it with others.  This past month we have been focusing on Fort Stevens: the History of Fort Stevens (one of our most popular videos) and Fort Stevens Historical Tour where we walk through the Fort and discuss how it functioned.  We hope you enjoyed and learned about this amazing location – I know I did!

Weblinks

For more information about the attack near Battery Russell – the first attack against a mainland military installation since 1812, see the links below:

Much of the information, photos and videos used in this video came from the Costal Defense Study Group.  They have information about forts all over the country, how they worked and declassified historical documentation.

If you enjoyed our video and think your friends would like it, we would love for you to share it using one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in coming along with us on all of our travels, you can join us on FacebookYouTubeInstagramWordPress or via e-mail.  Thanks for exploring with us!

© Divergent Life Media, LLC