Friday, September 30, 2011


Evening Alpenglow, Yosemite  2011

After the helicopter left for parts unknown, Mike hiked up to join Mark and his mules for the night. Since Hali and Mike were the only ones on this trip there was no barrier to a return to Tuolumne Meadows the next day. Mark sauteed some chicken breasts for dinner while Mike tried to bring some order into the various duffels and camping equipment that had been utilized during the medevac.

And while he was doing his chores he couldn't help but notice the clouds and the last rays of sunlight hitting some distant peaks. He got out the Nikon D90 for its only use in the high country.

Mike decided not to set up the somewhat complicated Big Agnes tent and slept on the ground. During the night the mules who had been led across the creek to graze decided to come back over and started to clomp around the campsite. However, none of them ever actually stepped on Mike.

Came mighty close, though.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yosemite Accident Video

Mule Episode from Mike Mundy on Vimeo.

The Vimeo link might provide a potentially bigger picture.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yosemite Accident II

Hali, Ray, Helicopter, Yosemite  2011

After the helicopter landed, Ray Drutis—a combination NPS Park Ranger and paramedic—emerged and took charge as an attentive audience looked on.

Audience, Yosemite  2011

Video tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yosemite Accident I

Granite Section of Trail, Yosemite  2011

After crossing Return Creek, the riders headed up a moderate manzanita-covered slope; eventually the trail began to parallel  Spiller Creek. At one point the trail narrowed and crossed directly over a sloping section of polished granite. Mike was directly in back of Hali and Chip, so he saw the whole thing: Chip's front hoofs slipped on the granite, he attempted to regain his balance using his rear hoofs, which also slipped. By now he was weaving and bobbing, not wanting to fall down. Eventually he righted himself and continued on . . . but without Hali. She had been dumped onto the granite.

It was immediately evident that she had sustained some kind of serious injury, since she couldn't move her right leg. Luckily Chip hadn't fallen on her, nor had she lost consciousness. (As an experienced horse rider, she possibly was more aware, and prepared for, this experience.) 

The accident happened at 2:00 PM. Eventually Ivana left to return to Glen Aulin to phone for a helicopter and Mark helped Hali scoot off the trail. 

As it happened, a seasonal USGS survey crew was on the trail with a satellite phone; Mark was able to contact Yosemite HQ and requested a helicopter evacuation. The welcome sound of helicopter rotors was finally heard sounding through the canyon at 6:00 PM.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Horse Blogging

Maple, Tuolumne River, Yosemite  2011

Mike's photogenic horse, Maple, as she contemplates the snowmelt-fed water of the Tuolumne River.

Mike's not an expert, of course, but Maple was to all appearances a very competent steed. He noticed that she took care to study the terrain in front of her with the goal of picking the easiest option (which almost always was the safest.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Indian Paintbrush, Yosemite  2011

Well . . . there was supposed to be an abundance of wildflowers this year, owing to the great water supply. But, we really didn't see all that many. Of course, we did see some nice ones, to be sure.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Return Creek I

Return Creek, Yosemite  2011

After the meadows we dropped down, down, down, through stands of Mountain Hemlocks to Return Creek.

a) There were a lot of flies attacking the animals. Very aggravating.
b) Water levels were very high. Mike would have some problems if he was backpacking.

We ate lunch while creek viewing.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Hali & Ivana, Yosemite  2011

Stream & Meadow, Yosemite  2011

The next day a steep ascent from our camp, then forest, then a series of large meadows punctuated by large granite outcroppings.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne

Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, Yosemite  2011

Early the next morning Mike scrambled up to the ridge above the campsite for a panoramic westwards look at the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Glen Aulin

Waterfall, Glen Aulin, Yosemite  2011

Glen Aulin Store, Yosemite  2011

5:15 PM. The riders finally reached the High Sierra camp at Glen Aulin ("Beautiful Valley" in Gaelic, according to Wikipedia) and made camp a short distance north of it. Another spectacular waterfall and a group of tent cabins . . . reservations only available through a lottery system.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuolumne River Waterfall

Tuolumne River Waterfall, Yosemite  2011

Probably this waterfall has a specific name, but Mike couldn't take the time to consult his map since he was on a horse negotiating an insanely steep descent on a slippery cobblestone-like granite trail. (He was using his tried and true lanyard with the Canon G12.)

At least he had the presence of mind to take a vertical shot.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Mule Blogging

Mule, Yosemite  2011

One of the pack mules, set loose to graze, but perhaps thinking that I had some very nice secret treats.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Hikers, Sierra Nevada  2011

2:30 PM: Finally on the trail! Interesting that once there, Hali (on Chip the mule) and Mike (on Maple the horse) became photo-worthy subjects for various groups of hikers. As they did in turn for Mike and his Canon G12.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

At The Trailhead

Mule with Gear, Yosemite 2011

Trailhead at Tuolumne Meadows. Mule in the process of being piled high with food and equipment for the journey. Not only do they carry a lot of weight, but the center of gravity seems off somehow . . . that load gets really high off the ground. Really seems as if it's going to tip over, but it never does.

Friday, September 16, 2011

At The Stable

Loading Mules, Sierra Nevada  2011
After much back-and-forth telephoning it was decided that we should drive to the stable located near Tom's Place, and from there to be driven back to Tuolumne Meadows. (The last in a series of sucessive changes.)

The overall plan was to head north on the Pacific Crest Trail (from Tuolumne Meadows) and exit near Bridgeport, where we would be transported back to our car.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mosquito Repellent

Mosquito Repellent, Marin County 2011

As we prepared to head north on the Pacific Crest Trail, word came to us from multiple, unimpeachable sources that the mosquitoes were really bad in the high country. All of these reports brought on a severe case of Mosquito Paranoia, resulting in our last minute purchasing of way more repellent than we could have possibly used.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Drive Through Yosemite

Creek, Mt. Dana ,Yosemite 2011

Although the trailhead for this year's August horsepacking trip was located at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite, due to logistical reasons Hali and Mike drove past the meadows (with a lunch stop sitting on a rock near the Visitors' Center) and over Tioga Pass to stay the night at Mammoth Lakes.

Anyway, Mike didn't take any pictures on the way, but he did manage to get this shot of Mt. Dana from Tioga Road on the way back.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Modesto In-N-Out Burger

In -N-Out Counter, Modesto  2011

In-N-Out Meal, Modesto  2011

Recently Mike was surprised to find himself eating Meal #3 at the Modesto In-N-Out Burger on Pelandale Avenue.

Sure, it was OK. But Mike somehow remains immune to the In-N-Out fever.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Phoebe Blogging

Phoebe, Marin County  2011

Taken by delicately lifting one slat of the window blinds and jamming the G12 up to the window glass, then taking multiple shots.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Memorial, San Rafael  2011

. . . in San Rafael, next to my gym.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Privet (Fairfax), Marin County  2011

A volunteer tree in our back yard; I let it grow because nothing else would. They're all over Marin, the seeds spread by birds.

Officially, a "Texas Wax-Leafed Privet."

Friday, September 9, 2011


Gnome (Fairfax), Marin County  2011

I see this as somehow related to the little umbrella seen earlier.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Uh-Oh (NEX-7)

New camera just introduced by Sony: the NEX-7.

More details here. Discussion at The Online Photographer here. Looks good, in spite of my earlier ill-fated Sony purchase.

By the way, some have decried Sony's lack of various-sized lens options for this camera. But Mike almost never uses extra lenses.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BMW / Blue Building

BMW Hood, San Francisco  2011

Blue Building, San Francisco  2011

Blue building reflected in BMW hood; blue building.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bolinas Interlude #4

Paulina's Friend, Marin County  2011

Paulina's friend.

This reminds me a little of Christina's World. Or it would if Wyeth's painting had a potluck barbecue setup and salad fixins' in the foreground.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Cow Blogging

Cows, Monterey County  2011

From my trip through Monterey County earlier this year. Compare to earlier Marin County cow shot.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bolinas Interlude #3

Tomato & Purple Okra, Marin County  2011

Found still-life: tomato and purple okra.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bolinas Interlude #2

Grass & Shed, Marin County  2011

Taken with the Canon G12.

It's interesting to note how Mike's background using a 4x5 view camera influences his current compositions.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bolinas Interlude #1

Clothesline, Marin County  2011

Taken at Margaret's birthday celebration in Bolinas, on an overcast August day . . . very Andrew Wyeth-y.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bounce House

Bounce House, Self-Portrait, Marin County  2011

They (the Bounce Houses) used to be where the Kettle Korn booth is. Mike prefers the Kettle Korn.