Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Paul and I drove from Grand Rapids MI down to our hometown of Wheaton again this year, and took Bry and Maria. Overnighted there, then spent today in Chicago at the Adler Planetarium. Here's a pic of us having lunch, with the Chicago skyline behind. It was a bright sunny day outside, quite a nice visit.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving at the Beach

Had a club hike planned for today, but with the recent weather, which often means uncertain trailhead access and mountain conditions, I opted for a beach hike. So today was a 7-mile walk from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Pier and back. But the weather cleared and it was a perfect day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Club Hike to the Topanga Overlook

Had a great club hike yesterday in Topanga State Park, here's a group photo of our group of 24. On Friday an offshore wind cleared out the basin, so we got treated to a clear view overlooking Santa Monica Bay...

Friday, October 17, 2008

October in Zion NP

Spent a few days hiking in Zion National Park, and camped in one of the park's campgrounds. Here's a shot from atop Angel's Landing, and here's a video of the hike to the top, which is a quite remarkable hike. This was the fourth time I have made this hike. The weather was perfect, but unfortunately the park was mobbed because, evidently, Utah public schools had a fall break. So the next two days I picked other less popular hikes...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sept 6 on Mt Whitney

This year I used the Mountaineers' Route instead of the trail. It's a route pioneered by John Muir, the upper 2000' or so ascending a steep chute on the NE side of the peak. I met my hiking buddy Mark on the summit, and we descended by the main trail. Here's a fun video (5.3Mb) of that day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Full Moon Hike

26 Hiking Club members were out to hike under a full moon this weekend, here's my best photo of the evening, once again from the Mt Lowe summit.
There was a lunar eclipse tonight, which was over before the moon even rose on the US' west coast. No matter to us, though. The view from Mt Lowe is breathtaking, as you can even see as far south as Orange County. We watched the nightly fireworks going off at Disneyland.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Climbing Sierra Peaks

Hiking Club was climbing peaks in the Sierras this weekend. Friday we hiked from Whitney Portal to Meysan Lakes Basin, made a camp at 11,200', and Saturday climbed 13,770' Mt Irvine and 12,200' Candlelight Peak. Click on our summit photo, or watch the vid here.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Night Hike in the Desert

Tonight I did a moonlight hike at Saddleback Butte State Park, in the desert about 20 miles east of Lancaster. I climbed the butte, in the background of this photo. Didn't see anybody else on the trail, but the view from the summit was fantastic. I watched the full moon rise, and took this photo on the hike back.

Friday, July 11, 2008

July 4th in the Sierras

I hiked for 4 days in the south Sierras with a buddy last weekend, and we even climbed a 14'er along the way. Visited Miter Basin on the backside (photo) which was spectacular, and then on Saturday climbed Mt Langley. Now much of the route above treeline on Mt Langley is across deep gravel, which makes for tough climbing, but the trip down is fun as you can bound down it with long strides like on sand dunes. Here's a video of highlights.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Downtown LA From Mt Lowe Summit

I took this one last night on a hike with hiking buddy Mark to the summit of Mt Lowe. It's a little grainy since it's on super zoom, but you can see the fog starting to roll into the downtown.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

On The Pacific Crest Trail

I took this photo while out on 'PCT Patrol' today. Before it gets too hot, I decided to get out one more time on the southern part of my section, to dayhike up to Pelona Ridge. Here's a sunflower, with Bouquet Reservoir in the distance.
By the road I found a pair of through-hikers waiting out the midday heat under an oak. One was spooning a goopy peanut buttery concoction onto a peta, and the other was eating tuna straight from a can, with two more cans on deck. Far from gourmet....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Santa Rosa Island

I just got back from hiking for four days out on Santa Rosa Island. The hikes were great, but the boat ride out was four hours on a rocky ocean, and I got pretty seasick. I can't remember when I ever felt worse, but I recovered well. Anyway, Santa Rosa Island is quite remote, and has lots of wildlife. A few more pics and a vid are here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Favorite Swimmin' Hole

It got hot this week, so today I hiked to my favorite swimming hole in the San Gabriels. The swim felt great, and I even had the place to myself.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

5-Day Backpack Trip in Paria Canyon

Just returned from a week in Southern UT / Northern AZ, where our group of six backpacked down Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River to the Colorado. Along the way is great canyon scenery. Check out photos here, and a trip video here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


It's been about five years since we had a good crop of poppies here, but 2008 is a good year. Here's a vid (no sound, 472kb) from my visit to the reserve today.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hiking in Sespe Wilderness

Had a foursome for hiking this weekend in Sespe Wilderness near Ojai. First time there, and it's quite a scenic place, with lots of open space and running water. It's the home of the endangered California Condor, AND as it turns out, the endangered Arroyo Toad. Geez. Seems like, out here you can't even swing a dead sea otter around your head without hitting some endangered species. Anyway, it's a good thing for both animals that we don't protect endangered species based on good looks. (Disclaimer: no toads were harmed in the making of this blog entry.)
Check out Mark's awesome pano stitch here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Canoe Trip On the Colorado River

Spent the weekend on a canoe trip downstream from Hoover Dam, where it's called Black Canyon. A great trip. This was as much a scouting trip for our hiking club as anything, as a few of us glommed on to a Honda Hiking Club trip.
After an awesome hike from Boulder City to Hoover Dam on Friday, on Saturday we put in at the base of Hoover Dam and canoed ten miles down Black Canyon to a place on the Arizona side called Willow Beach. Most of the time on the trip is exploring slotcanyons and visiting hot springs. We camped Saturday night at the canyon mouth at Arizona Hot Springs. There was a group of Icelanders there, and probably they thought our hot springs were pretty lame. Anyway, a slideshow of photos is here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Photos from Superstition Wilderness

Photos from hiking in the Supers are now up here.

Today was the March club hike, to Echo Mountain in the San Gabriels. It was a great day for hiking!

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's The Grobber

I just got back from the Phoenix area, where I spent a few days hiking, and while there I stopped in to see my old buddy from 1st grade, Dan "The Grobber" Gronseth. Sure, Dan is an artist, Phoenix Park Ranger, great family guy, and all that, but most importantly, if you ever found yourself in Grand Rapids MI in the early 1980's, and wondered, "Who is driving THAT CAR?!", it was The Grobber.
Dan and I lived a few houses apart in Wheaton, IL, and we were in the same grade. We walked to school every day together, usually with his older brother, whose favorite kid to beat up was me. I also remember once defending his sister's honor by punching a big third-grade bully named Cook in the eye. He should have beat the tar out of me, but he just ran home crying. I know - fantastic, but true. Wheaton was pure violence. But I digress. Anyway, it was great to see Dan, and he's even exhibiting some of his art right now in Phoenix.
I have pics from my hikes in the Superstitions, and I'm still sorting through them to make a slideshow. Check back soon...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hiking Club In Downtown LA

This month's club hike was different: a guided walking tour of the LA downtown. Left at home were the hiking sticks, bug juice and water filters. Weather was spectacular today, 70 degrees and clear. The 'hike' included a visit to a swanky rooftop bar in a midcentury modern hotel where I'm sure Austin Powers would have felt at home. Enjoy the photos, or watch the video here. The last bit was shot inside the city library, which is four stories below ground and three above, so the platform I shot from is dizzyingly high...

Saturday, January 26, 2008


After several days under rain clouds, today the sun is out shining bright and the mountains are covered in deep snow. Here's the view from the Mt Wilson cam this morning:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A PCT Workday

Today was a PCT workday out by Green Valley, here's a photo of me and some of the volunteer adopters. Today was one of those beautiful sunny winter days when being out in the sun feels great.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lunch in Holland, MI

Happy 2008! So now I'm back in Lancaster, with the remainder of this week off. Today I'm hanging out in my friendly neighborhood internet cafe. And quite predictably, I have a head cold, which I'd have gotten regardless of where I went for the holidays, it doesn't matter because I always get a cold right after Christmas, so I'm resigned that it's just my lot in life to be sick every New Years.
The weather is supposed to turn rotten tomorrow, so I might go in to work for a few hours anyway. This Saturday is a PCT workday, but right now it looks like several days of rain are in front of us.
Anyway, included in Lu's pics was this one she took of Paully and me last week when we had lunch in Holland MI. That was a fun day...