Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rural Oregon

A few miles out of Eugene. We were on our way to wineries, but these scenes were actually more photogenic.

Photos: Barn—Oregon, 2009; White Door—Oregon, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Way of the Geezer: The Drive to Fresno

After packing his gear away Mike drives into the small mountain town of Shaver Lake, famous for its Big Chunky. (A kind of cinnamon-y pull-apart bread.) Uh-oh, not being called a Big Chunky anymore. Just "Chunky Bread." Someday Mike must actually sample a Chunky.

Then down, down, down to a memorable Fresno moonrise photo op, but on the way down taking time to pull over to the side of the road to snap a photo of a ramshackle white shed.
Photos: Chunky Bread—Sierra Nevada, 2009; White Shed—Central California, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Dog Blogging

This dog's owners have considerately furnished him (her?) a nice little dog window so passersby can pet him (her?).

Photo: Dog through Dog Window—Eugene, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big Mountain #2

Mt. Shasta, as seen through the "haze," taken on the way from Klamath Falls to Marin.

Someday I should go there at sunset. Or sunrise.

Photo: Mt. Shasta—Siskiyou County, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hood River

Old signs like this are impossible to resist. Note the depiction of Mt. Hood in the upper right corner of the sign.

It was incredibly hot that day . . . there was a spell of very hot weather covering the northern Oregon area, including Hood River. We had planned to stay for a few days, but left early.

Photo: Kresse Drug—Hood River, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Mountain #1

Mt. Hood, at a point where the "haze" had diminished due to elevation, with pear trees in the foreground.

As the road lost elevation, the "haze" crept back.

Photos: Mt. Hood and Pear Trees—Oregon, 2009; Trees & Ridges—Oregon, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Way of the Geezer: The Hike Out

No one else avails themselves of the nice forested Blizzard Camp campsite, so Mike has the whole night to himself.

The last stretch out in the morning is longish but OK, passing by little springs with lush ferns, finally winding down through jumbled granite steps and scattering quail to the trailhead at Wishon Reservoir.

How nice! The smog, which has really been aggravating Mike, is beginning to clear out! Puffy clouds over the lake!

Photos: Ferns—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Boat—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Trailhead—Sierra Nevada, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Way of the Geezer: Back to Blizzard Camp

Mike gets up early and packs his gear into the backpack. (Actually, the same Gregory Forester backpack that he’s already complained about. The Osprey backpack that he was trying at Point Reyes didn’t really work out.)

So now it’s the downhill slog, trying to remain attentive and resist spacing out. Back down to Blizzard Camp and running water where the tent is set up under the forest canopy. The sound of Woodchuck Creek can be heard throughout the night.

Photos: Lower Branches—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Woodchuck Creek—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Blizzard Camp—Sierra Nevada, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Way of the Geezer: Sierra Morning

Mike wakes up early in the morning, as usual. By 5:30 AM he can detect a faint hint of light in the eastern sky, but it’s not until 6:15-6:30 that it’s light enough to think about getting up.

He fusses around in the tent, reaching down for his Marmot DriClime jacket, putting it on, then gets the Patagonia MicroPuff outer jacket out of its stuff sack where it had served as a pillow and puts it on as well.

After wrestling into his pants and socks, he rotates around inside the tent, reaches over and unzips the tent door and, with some difficulty, stands up. His boots are now in front of him on the ground, ready for him to shove first one foot, then the other, into them.

All right! Now he can stagger around the campsite! If he could only reach down to tie his bootlaces! Maybe in a little while . . .


(Later). 7:18 AM. Sunrise. The sun immediately takes the chill out of the air, so Mike takes off his outer jacket and drapes it over the tent fly. Water is boiled: first coffee, then cocoa are made. After a while he takes a walk down to the lake to contemplate his shadow in the ripples.

Photos: Cocoa & Tent—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Shadow, Woodchuck Lake—Sierra Nevada, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Cow Blogging

91 degrees. Clouds moving in from Tropical Storm Linda.

Photo: Cows—Marin County, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Way of the Geezer: Camp at Woodchuck Lake

After a hard uphill grind of 2-3 hours Mike finally arrives at Woodchuck Lake.

Water! What a relief!

He fusses a bit, then selects a campsite within easy walking distance of the lake’s shoreline. He sets up his small one-man Big Agnes tent then proceeds to space out.

Photos: Woodchuck Lake—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Tent at Woodchuck Lake—Sierra Nevada, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Repackaging Freeze-Dried Food: Instructions

At home:

—Open up the freeze-dried package.
—Carefully divide the contents into two parts (using quantity or weight).
—Use a vacuum sealer to repackage the two meals.

(UPDATE: August 2014. I've found that the vacuum sealer isn't necessary. Just two zip lock bags firmly sealed will do if the dividing process is done just before the trip.)

To reconstitute:

—Cut open the vacuum sealed package and transfer contents to a one quart freezer bag.
—Pour the required amount of boiling water into the bag (I started using slightly more than called-for).
—Seal the one quart bag and wait 8 minutes.
—Open and eat. I used a long-handled spoon that I found at REI.

In summary: this worked quite well, I would say. It freed-up a remarkable amount of space in the bear canister, leaving extra room for toiletries, candy bars, etc.
Photo: Repackaged Food—Marin County, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Way of the Geezer: False Hellebores

Mike leaves the Mountain Tea campsite early and heads on up to Woodchuck Lake. There's a high overcast resulting in muted forest light. Although not wet, much of the area still has somewhat dampish soil. Also found: a quantity of False Hellebores lining the trail (one of Mike’s favorite subjects.)

Photos: False Hellebore—Sierra Nevada, 2009; False Hellebores—Sierra Nevada, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Way of the Geezer: The Hike In

After some embarrassing wrong turns Mike finally locates Wishon Reservoir and his trailhead. He joyfully hoists the backpack onto his back and immediately crumples to the ground.

OK, maybe he doesn’t crumple to the ground. He actually starts up the trail, coming to the charming little sign pointing the way to “Woodchuck Country.” (Marmots, of course. As it turns out, Mike only sees one marmot the entire trip.) Mike has been here a few times before, but somehow the trail has gotten much steeper and longer in the interim.

He crosses Woodchuck Creek at the poetically named Blizzard Camp (on the USGS topo) and from there on the trail ascends . . . and ascends. Youch! The trail is interminable!

It’s late in the afternoon before he arrives at some familiar landmarks: Loper Peak, the meadow, and then . . . the bubbling creek. What a minute. There’s no bubbling creek! What th’ . . .

As it turns out, the past year’s low-rain season has left virtually all of the smaller creeks dry. Mike has to scoop some water out of some mosquito ponds and boil it. He decides to call the result “Mountain Tea.”

Photos: Dry Creek—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Boiling Water—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Woodchuck Country—Sierra Nevada, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Comment publishing may be delayed for a few days.

But blog entries will continue!

-the mikereport

The Way of the Geezer: Pre-Backpack Omelet Dinner

Mike usually car camps the night before he starts his backpack. Sometimes he’ll throw a PrestoLog® into the firepit to create that campfire illusion.

His pre-backpack dinner consists—always—of a bacon-cheese omelet and a bagel with cream cheese.

And, of course, a pre-dinner Heineken . . . then maybe some Chardonnay.

Photo: Omelet Mise En Place, Dinkey Creek Campground—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Dinkey Creek Campground—Sierra Nevada, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Farmers Market Video

Taken sitting in my booth last Saturday in Oakland. Had to make this really low quality in order for it to upload.

Strolling Around Fresno

'Nuff said.

Photos: Cadillac for Sale—Fresno, 2009; VW—Fresno, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

. . . from the archives #53: Cow & Church—Bodega Bay, 1983

Yes, this post could also be called Monday Cow Blogging. I think that this was taken with a 4x5 view camera using a roll-film adapter. My getup (tripod, focusing cloth, light meter etc.) undoubtedly provoked this cow’s curiosity.

This church was also photographed by Ansel Adams, who was able to be in front of the church on a nice dirt road. Alas, I could not be in front of the church due to the nice paved road and the parking lot full of cars.

Photo: Cow & Church—Bodega Bay, 1983

Sunday, September 13, 2009


As I was walking down Blackstone Ave in Fresno in the 100+ heat I suddenly noticed this extraordinary sight before me: the moon rising through clouds in back of the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

In a panic I scrambled to locate my camera, then realized that it was hanging around my neck.

Utilizing my technical knowledge of my camera’s JPG technology I exposed this one photo—and this one only.

Over the succeeding days I’ve had time to contemplate just what makes this image stand out, while others, alas, so clearly fail. Some might call it fortune or luck, but for me it was simply a matter of being there, and being prepared.

Photo: Moonrise—Fresno, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Walking Around Mill Valley

From the Dec 11, 1998 N.Y. Times review of Star Trek: Insurrection:

What might heaven in outer space look like? Why, of course, like northern California. The Ba'ku suggest tranquilized residents of such affluent Marin County towns as Mill Valley, dreamily discharging their daily tasks in a world that has completely forsworn modern technology. Picard becomes deeply taken with Anij (Donna Murphy), a 309-year-old beauty who wears low-cut gowns and speaks in a voice that throbs with the calm wisdom of centuries. Anij discourses knowingly about the eternity of the moment.

'Nuff said.

Photos: Porsche—Marin County, 2009; Rolls Royce—Marin County, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dr Glubka

. . . is moving. Actually, has already moved. Also, a self-portrait.

Photo: Dr Glubka—Eugene, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pig Day 2009

Hali and Mike attended Pig Day in 2009, in Eugene.

A whole barbecued pig! With genuine Alabama BBQ sauce!

Delicious! (One could easily use up one’s exclamation mark quota.)

And the draft beer. Did I mention the draft beer?

Photos: Mopping the Pig—Eugene, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pig Day 1985

Hali and Mike attended Pig Day in 1985, in Eugene.

A whole barbecued pig! With genuine Alabama BBQ sauce!

Delicious! (One could easily use up one’s exclamation mark quota.)

And the draft beer. Did I mention the draft beer?

Photos: Pig—Eugene, 1985

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dueling Federal Buildings

. . . or, should we say, complimentary Federal Buildings.

Top photo is of the Federal Building on 7th & Mission in San Francisco, designed by Thom Mayne. Yes, I worked there for a short period of time.

Bottom photo is of the Wayne Morse Courthouse Building in Eugene, also designed by Thom Mayne.

Thom Mayne is a Santa Monica-based architect, head of the pleasingly cyperpunk-sounding firm Morphosis. To quote Wikipedia: The work of Morphosis has a layered quality. The designs often include multiple organizational systems which find unique expression while contributing to a coherent whole.

Um, OK.

Photos: Federal Building—San Francisco, 2007; Wayne Morse Courthouse Building—Eugene, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Horse Blogging

Horses grazing with the Sawtooth Ridge in the background. Taken from my car stopped in the middle of the road on the way to Twin Lakes from Bridgeport.

Photo: Horses, Sawtooth Ridge—Sierra Nevada, 2001

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer Fog

Coastal fog showing above the dry hills and redwoods of the San Geronimo Valley.

Please compare to the Storm Clouds photo.

Photo: Summer Clouds—Marin County, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Alder: JPG Experiment

Taken as a jpg, rather than raw.

Looks OK!

Photo: Alder & Fence—Marin County, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

. . . from the archives #52: Baby Seymour—Eugene, 1984

Mike was wandering around an old cemetery in Eugene with tripod and twin-lens reflex when he spotted Baby Seymour’s tombstone almost covered with ivy. After developing the negative and printing it, he noticed the spider lurking in the lower right.

Although the current removal of the vines and debris is more respectful, photographically speaking the overgrown look is much preferred.

Photo: Baby Seymour—Eugene, 1984

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eugene Cemetery

The Eugene Masonic Cemetery, that is, complete with its own website.

Mike wandered around in the growing twilight, the setting sun reflecting off the tombstones. Indeed, he had been here before . . . now, when was it?

Photos: Cemetery—Eugene, 2009; Baby Seymour & Shadow—Eugene, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Novato Hike

We had a nice little hike in the Open Space district near Novato a few weeks ago. Incredible blue sky, a few sunny spots but mostly walking though the forest.

Photos: Dried Grass & Hill—Marin County, 2009; Leaves—Marin County, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Farmers Market (Eugene)

As is our wont, we showed up at the Saturday morning Farmers Market in Eugene.

An abundance of goodies, including some never-before-seen mushrooms (at least by us.)

And the best: pepper roasting. You could smell them for a block!

Photos: Greens, Farmers Market—Eugene, 2009; Roasting Peppers—Eugene, 2009