Sunday, June 11, 2017

June 10: Hiking Club on Mt Islip

It's drizzley and glum under that marine layer
 Hiking Club spent the day hiking 7 miles roundtrip to Mt Islip's 8250' summit. While the entire coast was under a deep marine layer all day, we were up in the sunshine admiring the view.
We met our friends from the Honda Hiking Club on the summit, who hiked came up from the LA side.
Little Jimmy Spring is flowing just like it always is

May 13: Hiking Club on Liebre Mountain

On the summit
Hiking Club made 12 miles today (6 out-and-back on the PCT), on an enjoyable cool spring day. A good time was had by all.
At the upper edge of the 2004 Pine Fire burn, the Colter Pines are 20 feet high. Here you can see the remnants of the previous forest, and the pathway that PCTA Trail Gorillas cut through the pile of blowdowns. Not many dead trees still stand but the new ones are growing fast.

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 1 at Kennedy Space Center

I had an extra day on a work trip to spend at KSC.  The main part of the museum has the 'rocket garden' and shuttle Atlantis. I took the bus tour out to see the big transporter, launch pads, and all the great stuff in the Saturn V building.
The 'rocket garden' included one of each of the 50's and 60's rockets

The SRB's and fuel tank are as big as they look

Shuttle Atlantis

The crawler. Top speed, 0.5 MPH. That is a full-sized Ford van to the left of the transporter
I touched a piece of moon rock!
A Saturn V

A rover that didn't take the trip. I noted that it was propped up, probably because on Earth it can't support its own weight
The Apollo 14 capsule.

Alan Shepherd's moon suit. It still has moon dust on it!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

April 29 on Mt Baden-Powell

Mark, Jerri and I climbed Mt Baden-Powell in the snow on a beautiful sunny spring day. It was in the 90s at home, up here it was perfect.
These crampons are great, and a lot of fun to use
The upper half was buried in snow, where you lose the trail and just head straight up
The day was beautiful
On the ridgeline, looking down into Big Rock Creek drainage 3500' below
Mt Baldy - 8 miles distant, across a mile deep gorge, same proportion as Grand Canyon.

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 1 Hiking Club at Malibu Creek State Park

Upper Malibu Creek

At the production location for MASH. With a replica signpost, and a rusty old ambulance behind us

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Famous Five go to Death Valley

With Nina in town, our campsites reserved, and four days, everything was set.
Day 1: On an evening hike in Mosaic Canyon
Japanese lanterns add cheer to our Furnace Creek campsite
Ubehebe Pk, left of center, and attendants (Mark Ammerman)
Day 2 was our longest day, 170 miles R/T to Racetrack Playa to climb Ubehebe Peak in the southern Last Chance Range. 54 of those miles are on the world's worst washboard. After a stop for a photo at Teakettle Junction we parked and began our 2000' climb. The route to the saddle on the right is on an old miners' trail, then we followed a CL2/3 use path to the summit.
TJ, with the snowcapped Inyo Range to the west. (Mark Ammerman)
A giant  dust devil swirling across the lakebed behind The Grandstand
On the miners' trail (Mark Ammerman)
Looking down on the playa from atop the ridgeline
On the summit, looking north
Heading back down (Mark Ammerman)
The Grandstand is a remnant outcrop surrounded by sediment from the surrounding mountains, forming a surreal island  in the middle of the Racetrack, and its most haunting feature. (Mark Ammerman)
(Mark Ammerman)
Views from the summit are pretty amazing, even by Death Valley standards. The Last Chance Range forms the divide between vast but utterly empty basins. 

We return to the valley as Ubehebe Peak's shadow crawls dramatically across the playa
We spent the other days doing other hikes, and we even found a waterfall in one canyon. But this hike was our favorite.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

March 25 on Slide Mountain

Purple lupines
 The hike to the fire tower on Slide Mountain will make you earn it, 11 miles R/T and 2000' of gain. Today I climbed it with six friends. Weather was kind, and the mountains are as green as ever this year.
The fire tower was built in the 1960's

Nina and me on top of the roof

The view south, looking down deep, wild and remote Piru Gorge

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 10: Springtime green

Photos from my local favorite hike in Towsley Canyon. I have never seen it this green before, and water is still running in the creeks all the way down to the road.

after all the rain and now warm sunshine, poppies are coming out

Saturday, March 4, 2017

It was a good day in LA

My buddy Paul was in LA for an extra day, so I took the day off and we rode the Metrolink downtown and walked from Union Station through Chinatown, Olvera Street, ate lunch at Philippe's, saw all the movie palaces on Broadway, Disney Concert Hall, Pershing and Grand Parks, and finished with supper on Olvera Street. It was a good day.
The magnificent art deco Eastern Building
FirstBank building
Returning to Union Station
Sunset from Union Station

Sunday, February 26, 2017

January 29 Rescue in the Upper Arroyo Seco

Mark and I got to watch the Sheriff's rescue helicopter plucked a fall victim out of the Arroyo below Switzer Falls.  The Arroyo is a deep forested gorge there, and on a breezy day the pilot was probably nervous as he positioned to retrieve the victim. Anyway kids, don't try to climb waterfalls, and don't let Mom try it either.

It looked like this in the bottom to another who was there:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November 25 in Topanga State Park

Overlooking Santa Monica Bay
A beautiful day with Friends Mark and Barbara on a ten mile hike in our beautiful Topanga State Park.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November Club Hike: Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area

Our November hike was 7 miles at Devil's Punchbowl County Park, on the north side of the San Gabriels. Weather was perfect, sun wasn't hot, and a good time was had by all. I hope the day was as good for the other 12 as it was for me.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Oct 15: Full Moon Hike with Hiking Club

Our October hike coincided with the full Hunter's Moon, and this month the Honda Hikers joined us for a big group of 28! We climbed Mt Lowe in the foothills above Pasadena just as the weather changed, and we got some great photos.
Moonrise over Mt Baldy
We summitted just as the first clouds rolled in to obscure the city view
The moon's weird illumination  through the clouds
Hiking down. This area burned in 2009, so a lot of dead brush still stands
Spooky. Wish I had tried taking video of this
On the return hike, in the Mueller Tunnel. Way cool...