Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 10: Hiking Club night hike

So we had about 24 signed up for a night hike above LA but with all the smoke in the air there was just seven of us that showed.
Looking west, toward the fires which burned the mountains in the distance
Looking south toward downtown LA
For 24 hrs the offshore wind stopped, and the onshore flow normalized, causing all the smoke over the ocean to drift back inland over LA.  We could spot absolutely no fires burning in the distance, but they resumed the next morning when offshore wind restarted.  The good news is, the Pacific Ocean makes a pretty good firebreak. The bad news is for you if you picked the Malibu coast to live, given that this exact scenario plays out every couple of years.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July 28 in Chicago

On the Chicago River

It was a beautiful sunny day, in the 70s

"The Honorable Richard J. Daley Plaza. That's where they got that Picasso."

"The Office of the Assessor of Cook County"

If you fail to recognize these then you haven't seen THIS enough times

Monday, July 30, 2018

July 7 in the South Sierras

Where the trail breaks out of the  forest, with Cirque Peak behind
 One of my favorite dayhikes in the Sierras is the 15-mile loop from the Cottonwood Lakes, cross-country over the summit of Cirque Peak, down to the PCT, and return through Horseshoe Meadows.
After departing the Army Pass trail in the upper basin, the hike climbs a route up the north face
Saw these two bighorn rams on the climb up. View full size to find them.
On the 12,900' summit
View north includes 14'ers Mt Whitney and Mt Williamson
Looking SW, on the cross-country route back to treeline and the PCT.  That's Big Whitney Meadow below.
Next morning, I get to watch the rising sun's rays hit the peaks of the Eastern Sierra from the porch of the Dow Villa.

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 1-3 at Joshua Tree NP

This is why you come to JT, to get sunset pics like this
 This week my friend Nina was out from Albuquerque, and we spent three days hiking in Joshua Tree. Well, the hikes were more in the early morning and late evening due to the heat. The high desert can really can go either way the first weekend of June, we know, but the best part is the crowds disappear after Memorial Day Weekend.

Best sunsets in the world

Hazy early morning shot. Back out there, this was more a route than a trail

Saturday night's sunset hike

Sunday morning, early. It was already starting to feel hot by 0800.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

May 12: Hiking Club on Mt Waterman

Giant incense cedars at this elevation
 Mt Waterman is an 8000' peak in the central San Gabriel range.  Its summit can be hiked on about a 6-mile loop that climbs 1000'. The day was perfect, the air up there was clear and dry and cool, and a good time was had by all.
Looking down on the Mt Wilson Observatory, and LA behind it, down in the haze

Looking east toward Mt Baden-Powell and Mt Baldy

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

GC Money Shots

After I got Kay's GoPro videos, I combed thru em for some fun screen grabs.  Enjoy these photos thru Redwall, Hance, Grapevine and Sockdologer Rapids

We thought our guide may have disliked Nina, she always got a faceful while Rob looks on, kinda bored.  Anyway these were all taken by the GoPro while it was safely strapped onto the front gearbag pile on the paddleraft.  The videos are great to watch, but huge in filesize, but I thought the little camera's resolution and clarity were incredible.  Even all the water droplets look like they're hung in space, unblurred...

Monday, May 7, 2018

May 1-6 Rafting Trip at Grand Canyon

Our group of 13 friends from Hiking Club did this upper half-canyon 5-day trip with hike out on day 6.   Below are a few representative photos, but you can see Mark's photos or Sharon's photos online too, and I'd encourage you to have a look at them also.
This outfitted trip offered a daily choice between oar boats, paddle raft, or a hard shell dory. We were accompanied by 8 fun new friends who stayed on the trip for the entire canyon. We were sad to say bye to our new friends, but the big climbout on the Bright Angel Trail awaited.
Our first photo on the river!  The paddlers depart Lee's Ferry.  Does it look cold? Umm, it is.

Meanwhile, at the South Rim... (key the sad trombone)
So Day 2 was freezing cold and it sucked and I won't bother posting photos until Day 3.
We're back!!  Day 3, in Mile 31 we stop for a hike in the Redwall Limestone layer
Yes, that's more like it
In Redwall Cavern, the largest in the canyon

We celebrated Tohru's birthday, and he got cake and a psychedelic hula skirt. The props came from an endless bag that the guides brought.
floating down the inner gorge, where the rock is 2 bn y/o
On day 6, out of the boats and ready to hike out on the Bright Angel Trail! I had fun hiking behind Tohru and watching incoming hikers laugh at his skirt.
The Devil's Corkscrew, in the lower end of the BA Trail. Thankfully, high clouds helped dent the heat today. The South Rim is a 4500' climb from the river in about 7 miles
Our group got greatly spread out, but here's our subgroup after 5 hrs, ready to reach the South Rim. A shuttle back to Flagstaff, showers, and beds await.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

March 17 - Hiking Club in Solstice Canyon, Malibu

Looking downcanyon
We were out for an 8-mile hike on the first sunny day after a week or so of intermittent storms.

 Solstice Canyon once was a ranch, but the area burned out in 1982, and the family sold or donated it to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. They had a really nice home in the canyon, next to a waterfall and surrounded by tropical trees they planted.
Malibu coastline and LA
The view of Santa Monica Bay is superb from the hike's high point, a thousand feet above the ocean.  Those big houses are owned by movie stars, including Charles Nelson Reilly, Larry "Bud" Melman, and Mister Ed.
Santa Catalina Island, 44 mi offshore
Point Dume jutting out from the Malibu coastline

Sunday, March 4, 2018

February 24 Hiking Club in Downtown LA

The art deco LA City Library, against a backdrop of office buildings from the last 50 years, including the newly built, spired Wilshire Grand Center in back
The 73-story US Bank Tower, center, is the tallest habitable building in LA

On Broadway: the Orpheum Theater and the art deco Eastern Building
We had a group of 21 on this year's LA Conservancy guided tour.  This year it was the art deco buildings tour, and though we saw a dozen great examples, it was such a great day for picturetaking that I'm posting some of the other buildings. Our 'urban canyon' hikes every February are some of our funnest outings.