Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Way of the Geezer: Lake Ediza Trail, 2010 (#3)

Upon arrival at Shadow Lake the landscape changes. The grinding uphill is replaced by a stroll in the woods (for a while, at least) featuring views of the far peaks and glimpses of Shadow Lake from between the trees.

Photos: Shadow Lake—Sierra Nevada, 2010; Pine Trees, Shadow Lake—Sierra Nevada, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Way of the Geezer: Lake Ediza Trail, 2010 (#2)

From the bridge over the river on up to Shadow Lake: very tough! Switchbacks and granite staircases, all in full sun. (Mike is grateful for his early start.) Occasional shade from a juniper. The last stretch overlooking a deep crevasse with Shadow Creek splashing in the depths, detailed granite walls opposite.

Photos: Juniper—Sierra Nevada, 2010; Granite Wall—Sierra Nevada, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Way of the Geezer: Lake Ediza Trail, 2010 (#1)

Mike started out early from the Agnew Meadows trailhead at 8:45 AM. He had bypassed the Devils Postpile shuttle system by car camping overnight at the Minaret Falls campground (this time of the year there was no problem getting a site.) He passed the Ansel Adams Wilderness boundary sign (annoyingly sans-serif) and after a long slog downhill (going to be very tough on the way back) he came to the bridge over the San Joaquin River. No dangerous wadings-across any more!

Photos: Agnew Meadows—Sierra Nevada, 2010; Ansel Adams Wilderness Sign—Sierra Nevada, 2010; Bridge, San Joaquin River—Sierra Nevada, 2005

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Squirrel Blogging

Seen at Mike's car camp site at Minaret Falls Campground as he was preparing to start his backpack. They were chasing each other 'round and 'round the tree . . . it was quite dizzying.

Photo: Squirrels—Sierra Nevada, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Driving Through Yosemite

Mike's last few camping/backpacking trips have been in the Devils Postpile area on the eastern side of the Sierra. In order to get there from the Bay Area, one is "required" to drive through Yosemite using the Tioga Road. Of course, for the many years Mike lived in Los Angeles the Tioga Road was the Holy Grail of vacations and a primary destination, so it's interesting to note that he often uses it now simply as a highway.

On a recent Monday a storm front had just passed through, leaving some high clouds in its wake. Mike took advantage of the temporary overcast, pulling over at the Yosemite Creek picnic area to take some pix of one of his favorite junipers.

Photo: Juniper—Yosemite, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tomato Failure

Very depressing tomato season here. We came very close to having zero tomatoes ripen. Of course the weather was partly to blame (unseasonably cool and overcast). But then, when the sun did appear its rays bounced off the concrete pavement in the backyard to create an "oven effect," in some cases cooking the tomatoes while still on the vine.

There were a few Sweet 100s to be had, and maybe one or two Early Girls, thus averting a complete failure.

But no heirlooms ever came close. At least we got some fried green tomatoes.

Photo: Green Tomatoes (September)—Marin County, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lake Ediza Trail, 1989 (#2)

The following days featured cloudless blue skies. Kay, Laura and Mike dayhiked from their camp to Lake Ediza, then to Iceberg Lake, and then struggled up the steep knapsack trail to Cecile Lake, nestled high amidst the Minarets. The next day Kay and Laura went cross-country to the Nydiver Lakes while Mike strolled the trail in search of pix.

Photos: Cecile Lake—Sierra Nevada, 1989; Tree—Sierra Nevada, 1989

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lake Ediza Trail, 1989 (#1)

In 1989 Mike returned to hike the Lake Ediza trail with Kay, his sister-in-law, and her friend Laura. While hiking in, a hailstorm struck just as the hikers reached Shadow Lake. The hikers paused until the storm started to clear, then made their way up to what Mike described as the "Rain Trip Meadow" where Kay found a great campsite opposite the original Rain Trip site (now in a no-camping zone because of its proximity to Shadow Creek.)

Photos: Clearing Storm, Shadow Lake—Sierra Nevada, 1989; Hail, Shadow Lake—Sierra Nevada, 1989

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lake Ediza Trail, 1976 (Rain Trip)

When we reached the banks of the San Joaquin we halted and stared in dismay. The river was flowing in flood stage, at least two feet higher than it was when we had crossed it three days earlier. And, of course, memory does not serve: some recall that the rain stopped at the point of crossing the river; others believe that the rain was still continuing. And now? Now, we simply call it “the Rain Trip.” Details of the Rain Trip, a long-planned backpacking event in August, 1976, have now faded into the mists of time, but taken as a whole the experience of a flooded High Sierra still remains remarkably fresh.

At the beginning of the hike the sky was overcast in the morning, unusual for August, but the old Sierra hands poo-pooed the idea of any significant rainfall: “Don't worry. It always clouds up in the afternoon. Tomorrow morning will be gorgeous.” Alas, unknown to the old Sierra hands, the overcast represented the advance tendrils of a devastating tropical storm, which even at that moment was sweeping in from the Gulf of California and pounding the Southern California desert. At some point in the afternoon of the first day, it began to sprinkle. The old Sierra hands poo-pooed the sprinkle and set up camp along Shadow Creek. Hali & I were there, along with Joe (brother) and Joe (brother-in-law), two other couples, two Irish setters and one sheltie.

There was light rain in the morning. Well. There was nothing to do but adapt to the new conditions and plan a day hike up to Lake Ediza. During the hike the rain increased in intensity; back at camp puddles began to form requiring that the tents be moved. The day hikers moved in a constant, sometimes tantalizingly bright, overcast, and the rain. “The Minarets would be up there if you could see them.” After the hike the campers, all in ponchos and raingear, gathered in the dwindling light and the downpour for dinner, amid a gathering consensus that it was time to get the hell out. The cry went up: “We aren't carrying any booze out. Everything has to be gone by tomorrow.” And all the while, my brother's peanut butter and honey sandwich went unnoticed at the bottom of his pack.

Early next morning, Hali and Mike laid inside their teepee-like Sierra Designs tent, listening to the unnatural early-morning downpour. They heard footsteps, and then brother Joe's voice:

“Wow . . . you know . . . Shadow Creek? Whoa! It’s now a river. Wait . . . there goes a log.”

Mike’s stomach began to churn.

Shortly thereafter, the Joes, who were packed first, headed on down, only to return ominously a few minutes later. The reason for their return: what had been a rivulet was now an impassable torrent; what had been a meadow was now a lake. What followed was an actually quite dangerous flight by the whole party that included wading through water waist-high and an extremely hazardous crossing of the San Joaquin River, this last involving a human chain across the river. Brother Joe crossed once with his pack and then returned to carry Maggie (the sheltie) over. After the crossing, most of the hikers spent their time jogging around an outhouse to fight off hypothermia. And as if in compensation, fate arranged that the storm clouds would began to dissipate and that we were able to locate a friend’s cabin to stay in that night.

The (comparatively) luxurious surroundings of the cabin and the subsequent (dry) trip back to Los Angeles only served to heighten the trip’s seeming unreality, which the intervening years have only enhanced. And now? Now, we simply call it “the Rain Trip.”

Photo: Meadow in Rain—Sierra Nevada, 1976

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peoples Park, More

Interesting shot of a boarded-up window with anti-windowbreaking comments affixed . . . aftermath of the Peoples Park riots. See related post and comments here.

Photo: Boarded-Up Window—Berkeley, 1969

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Lion & Bird Blogging

Seen at the Legion of Honor, Marin Headlands in the background.

Earlier lion photo here.

Photo: Lion & Birds—San Francisco, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Some San Francisco Shots

It's been a while since I posted some SF pix. These were taken near the REI store on Brannan.

Photos: End Langton—San Francisco, 2010; Pillars & Building—San Francisco, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not Just For UPS Drivers . . .

. . . rules for everyone.

Photo: UPS Sign—Marin County, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010


Wonderful new development near Manteca: movies, fountains 'n such. Taken with the Canon G9 as a three-photo merge. Yes, a really big print could be made out of this.

Photo: Showplace—Central California, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sacramento Valley

On the way to the Sierra, near the town of rapidly-growing Manteca. (All those formerly little towns are rapidly-growing.) Route 120 is lined with fruit stands and adjacent odd little sights.

Photos: Mood 'n Food—Sacramento Valley, 2010; Lavender—Sacramento Valley, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pre-Cut Mats & etc.

The only pre-cut mats I currently use are these little 8x10 mats. They have a generically-sized cutout area that can be used either horizontally or vertically. It follows that most of my prints are therefore cropped somewhat. I try to compensate for this by signing both the mat (in pencil) and the photo (in archival ink). If someone wants to take out the photo down the road they'll have an uncropped, signed print.

That's the theory, anyway. In practice, these 8x10 frames, of which I have around 20 for sale in my booth for $30.00 each, don't really sell at all. I think that they're perceived as being too small.

Photo: 2005 Redwood Pix in 8x10 Format Frame with Pre-Cut Mat—Marin County, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Way of the Geezer: Sky Trail Mud

There are parts of Sky Trail that are very muddy and impossible to avoid. (Even in August!) It's at such times that the value of Gore-Tex boots becomes evident.

Seriously, the Park Service should revamp the trail, 'cause a lot of vegetation is getting squished.

Photos: Sky Trail—Point Reyes, 2010; Boots—Point Reyes, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Turkey Vulture Blogging

Mike doesn't have any real telephoto capability, so we are able to see that the bird was swooping very low over his campsite at Point Reyes. Probably checking out Mike's wonderful freeze-dried meal.

Photo: Turkey Vulture—Point Reyes, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sky Trail Forest

Very mysterious and still . . . the only sound the moisture from fog dripping off the trees.

Both pix hand-held, requiring high ISO.

Photo: Forest #1—Point Reyes, 2010; Forest #2—Point Reyes, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

# 911

. . . in Sausalito.

Photo: 911 Wall—Sausalito, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Way of the Geezer: Freeze Dried Repackaging in Action

Earlier post is here.

Above please see my exquisite freeze-dried spaghetti meal, after emptying the contents of the vacuum sealed food pouch into the zip-lock bag, the pouring of the required amount of boiling water into the bag, and patiently waiting the 8-minute reconstitution time.


Photo: Freeze-Dried Meal—Point Reyes, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Way of the Geezer: Ocean at Coast Camp

The hike from Bear Valley to Coast Camp is pretty tough! Mike managed to make it, though. He dumped his pack on the campsite table, relaxed a bit, then hobbled down to the water's edge. The fog had temporarily moved offshore allowing for some sunlit ocean shots.

Photos: Ocean—Point Reyes, 2010; Fog & Ocean—Point Reyes, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mount Vision Fire

The trail to Coast Camp travels through the site of the 1995 Mount Vision fire. Although there are still stark reminders of the event, it's obvious that new growth continues apace. (Nice essay here.)

Photos: Burnt Trees—Point Reyes, 2010; New Tree—Point Reyes, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Point Reyes Backpack

Mike did an overnight backpack in mid-July in order to try out a new Gregory backpack. His testing ground was Point Reyes: the route from Bear Valley to Coast Camp. Seen above: Coast Trail from the Woodward Valley Trail. Coast Camp is located near the eucalyptus tree seen in mid-photo.

Photo: Coast Trail & Limantour Estero—Point Reyes, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Spider Blogging

Photos: Spider Web—Marin County, 2010; Spider Spinning—Marin County, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

False Hellebore

More false hellebore shots. Above vertical photo with lupin, below seen in blossom.

Very cool. More pix of this photogenic plant here, here, and here.

Photos: Hellebore & Lupin—Sierra Nevada, 2010; Hellebore Blossom—Sierra Nevada, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Virginia Adams

Taken during a photo workshop I attended in 1987. Compare to photo of mantel taken a few years earlier.

Clearly, wanting to use available light, I was forced to use a too-slow shutter speed, thereby resulting in a fuzzy image which no amount of Photoshop sharpening will fix.

Photo: Virginia Adams—Monterey County, 1987

Friday, September 3, 2010

Toy Train Redux

That toy train, seen before, now seen again at the San Anselmo Festival. Although Mike did better in San Anselmo than he did in Alameda, still: one wonders if a toy train riding around ringing its bell is all that conducive to the sale of art.

Photo: Toy Train Bell—Marin County, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Marin Hills

Photos taken one month apart, in late May and late June.

Photos: Hills & Clouds—Marin County, 2010; Hills & Fire Road—Marin County, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Commander's Palace Dessert

We were there for brunch. If memory serves, yes, it was as good as it looks.

Earlier Commander's Palace photo here.

Photo: Dessert, Commander's Palace—New Orleans, 2004