Friday, November 30, 2012

Aspens - 1

Aspens & Clouds - Utah  2012

After leaving the national monument the road began to climb sharply. Mike had reached Dixie National Forest, and with it, aspens!

More stops! For the first time during his trip Mike was impressed with the haze-free view along with some extremely dramatic clouds.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument - 3

Highway 12 - Utah  2012

Infiniti, Highway 12 - Utah  2012

"Highway 12 now follows the 2nd Powell Expedition's exact route."

Of course Mike had to stop several times for photos. This day was shaping up to be a long one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Last Blank Spot On The Map: Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument - 2

Powell Point - Utah  2012

Last Blank Spot - Utah  2012

"In 1871 this region was part of the last uncharted territory in the continental United States."

So reads the sign. So the Second Powell Expedition filled in the blanks in subsequent years.

Yet, maybe it would have been cool if someone had said at the time, "Hey, maybe we should just leave it uncharted! So people could explore it on their own in the future."

Crazy idea, of course. Especially now that we can get a nice view of the monument's snow-flecked slopes from overhead using Google Maps.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument - 1

Escalante Landscape - Utah  2012

After leaving Bryce Canyon, Mike ventured eastwards towards Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This is an immense area full of cliffs, ravines and canyons which one could easily dedicate a number of weeks to explore. But Mike only had a few hours.

By then, the angle of the sun was no longer providing the early morning light seen in Bryce.

This national monument was established by President Clinton in 1996. Of course his action was controversial.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Horse Blogging

Horses - Utah  2012
How pastoral! Up above, the glimmerings of Bryce Canyon's spires, down below in the meadow, horses grazing. At least they were ignoring the photographer . . . usually they walk over to see if there's an apple, or carrot available.

In fact, the horses were to be found on the far edge of a little cemetery, which is why Mike had stopped in the first place.

Cemetery - Utah  2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dogwood & Oak

Dogwood, Oak - Yosemite  2012

Hali and Mike visited Yosemite in late October, the dogwood trees providing bursts of color. This example is near the parking lot in Yosemite Village. (They were there in search of a sandwich for lunch . . . quite a few establishments had shut down "for the season.")

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stay Puft

Stay Puft - San Francisco  2012

Public Street - San Francisco  2012

In San Francisco recently . . . visiting the loft on Langton Street. Right around the corner from the San Francisco REI! Took these photos while getting a new pair of mocs at REI.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge - San Francisco  2012

Bay Bridge (above) - San Francisco  2012

Top photo taken during a recent ferry trip to San Francisco.

Bottom photo taken during an recent airplane approach to the Oakland airport which involved taking an unusual loop around San Francisco bay before landing.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Turkeys, Swimming Pool - Marin  2008

Turkeys! And swimming pool.

Also, turkey bin at Costco.

We are not having turkey. We are having rotisserie BBQ chicken.

Turkey Bin (Costco) - Marin County  2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Point (vertical) - Utah  2012

Bryce Point (merge) - Utah  2012

Based on some pre-trip research, Mike had decided to head straight for Bryce Point, "famous for its extraordinary sunrises." The park entrance station wasn't open yet, so no delay there. Then, whizzing along, monitoring the various signs, until finally a left turn onto the road to Bryce Point.

Admittedly, the sunrise did look great. And finally, some nice clouds!

Of course, there were 10 or so photographers already there with their hefty Nikons and Canons and their bulky tripods. Mike had to sneak into their midst with his teeny Olympus.

By the time he left two tour buses had pulled into the parking lot with a third waiting impatiently, and the viewpoint was suddenly getting crowded.

NPS: Bryce Point.

Bryce Point - Utah  2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Red Canyon

Red Canyon, Moon - Utah  2012

Juniper, Snow (Red Canyon) - Utah  1996

Red Canyon is a highly scenic area, overshadowed by its proximity to Bryce Canyon. Mike stopped at a scenic pulloff to take a few snaps. He realized that he had camped here before, in 1996.

That was the time that he clambered out of the camper shell in the morning to encounter a fresh layer of snow. A more detailed story has already been posted.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Pelican Blogging

Pelican - Marin County  2012

Pelicans - Marin County  2012

At the Corte Madera wetlands.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Panguitch - 4

Panguitch Storefronts, Moon - Utah  2012

Cold morning in Panguitch. Mike decided to leave its smokey environs behind and head east towards Bryce Canyon and beyond.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Panguitch - 3

Cowboy (Panguitch) - Utah  2012

Indian (Panguitch) - Utah  2012

More pix from the stroll around the town. Things seemed to be just a little bit quiet.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Panguitch - 2

Blue Pine Motel (Panguitch) - Utah  2012

Gem (Panguitch) - Utah  2012

A view of Mike's funky cinderblock-constructed motel under smoky skies, and a few other Panguitch sightems.

Blue Tables (Panguitch) - Utah  2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Panguitch - 1

Smoke (Panguitch) - Utah  2012

Henrie's Drive-In (Panguitch) - Utah

Mike was going to stay two nights in Panguitch, Utah, a small town in the Zion-Bryce vicinity. But when he arrived he was dismayed to find that a faroff forest fire was lending a Mordor-like aspect to the scene. So he only paid for one night, thinking to leave early next morning and have a two-night stay in Monticello. But he found some time to walk around the town in the strange half-light of the smoke-filtered sun.

For dinner: a very nice burger found at Henrie's Drive-In!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Zion Tunnel

Climbers (Zion) - Utah  2012

Taking Pix (Zion) - Utah  2012

Mike zipped through Zion National Park in about a half-hour, not liking his time there to be that short, but  . . . oh well!

There was a delay at the tunnel going out of the park, probably to accomodate RV's coming through. So there was a chance to get out of the car and check out some climbers.

Then, the chance to negotiate the famous mile-long Zion tunnel!

Tunnel (Zion) - Utah  2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Zion National Park

Road & Cliffs (Zion) - Utah  2012

Cliffs (Zion) - Utah  2012

The sheer number of people wanting to visit Utah's national parks - even in the (supposedly) off-season of October - was somewhat confounding. Showing up around noon at Zion National Park is just not going to work: even to check out the Visitor Center required taking a shuttle from outside the park. (Of course, the main scenic road through Zion is accessible by shuttle only. But Mike had known that in advance.)

Maybe the park boundaries could have been larger from the beginning? Probably not.

So, a drive-though, parking at a few pull-offs, checking out the vistas and the cliffs. Might be interesting to plan a winter visit.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Dog Blogging

Dog Looking - Mazatlan  2002

Dog Looking at Photographer - Mazatlan  2002

While Dan and I were taking photos in a (kind of) dicey section of Mazatlan, this dog was very busy making what appeared to be his regular rounds.

I'm sure we all remember the Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem:

The dog trots freely in the street
and sees reality
and the things he sees
are bigger than himself
and the things he sees
are his reality

(Full text here.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Taylor Creek Hike (Zion) - 2

Leaves, Red & Green (Zion) - Utah  2012

Taylor Creek, Rock Wall (Zion) - Utah  2012

It was still early enough that no sunlight was reaching the bottom of the canyon, thus enabling Mike to get some uncontrasty photos.

To be honest, Mike didn't actually go to the end of the trail. He had to retrace his steps and start the drive towards the main section of Zion National Park.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Fog, Self Portrait - Marin County  2012

Fog, Motorcycle - Marin County  2012

Fog in San Rafael. Very gloomy and mysterious.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Taylor Creek Hike (Zion) - 1

Taylor Creek (Zion) - Utah  2012

Zion Wilderness (Zion) - Utah  2012

The Taylor Creek trailhead is located almost at the midpoint of the Kolob Canyons drive. Mike found it fun to don hiking shoes, grab his camera and hiking pole and start off. The trail itself is fairly straight, but the creek that it follows is very curvilinear, so that stream crossings came fast and furious. Luckily, by October the water level was quite low so that there were no problems. Also fun: crossing into Zion wilderness and getting views of sunlit far distant spires.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Zion National Park: Kolub Canyons

Aspen & Sage (Zion) - Utah  2012

Rock Walls (Zion) - Utah  2012

Realizing that the main section of Zion might be quite crowded Mike opted for a short trip to the northern section of the park, containing the Kolub Canyons scenic drive. This turned out to be actually quite smart, since Mike's early arrival, combined with the separate nature of the area, made for an enjoyable visit (in sharp contrast to the main part of the park, later in the day. More on that later.)

Cliffs and foliage were still in shadow when he got there, the sun almost up and highlighting the rock walls.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Red Cliffs, Moon

Red Cliffs, Moon - Utah  2012

Leaving St. George pre-sunrise Mike drove north on highway 15; after he had gone some miles past the city he noticed the sun starting to hit the cliffs off to his left with the moon hovering overhead. Of course there was no opportunity to pull off . . . he had to wait until the next offramp. And then, once at the offramp, he turned in the incorrect direction. After a U-turn and some minutes driving back in the opposite way he came to a nice overlook and took this photo.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

St. George - 2

Carousel Truck (St. George) - Utah  2012

Carousel Seat (St. George) - Utah  2012

Mike found this carousel in the process of being either assembled or taken apart in a park near his motel.

He left St. George early in the morning the next day, being observant of the motel sign, and headed north for Zion National Park.

Motel Sign (St. George) - Utah  2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Cat Blogging

Culvert - New Mexico  2012
This is "Culvert," Kay's older cat, at his leisure in his New Mexico backyard taking in some sun after a chill morning.

Culvert, because, yes, he was found in a culvert.