Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hiking Club in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin

On August 31, Hiking Club did a long looping dayhike in the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia NP of the south Sierras.  The intent was to climb nearby 14,042' Mt Langley, but stormy weather prevented our foursome from summiting.  After making the decision to abort, a thunderstorm enveloped the area peaks and we descended back down into the basin. The weather did, however, offer great opportunities for photography.
One of the Cottonwood Lakes and Mt Langley
Cottonwood Lake #5 and Army Pass in the background
Atop Army Pass
Atop the plateau, hiking across to New Army Pass.  Mt Langley is behind at left, under storm clouds
Looking down New Army Pass at the South Fork Lakes
Looking north up the Owens Valley from Cottonwood Rd

John Muir Trail: Mono Creek to Devil's Postpile

This year's John Muir Trail segment brings my JMT mileage to 107 miles, about half of the trail.  Our threesome started at Rock Creek on August 13, connecting with the JMT via 12000' Mono Pass and finishing at Red's Meadow.  Day 1 included climbing 12800' Starr Mtn, adjacent to Mono Pass.
In six days we got no rain, no forest fire smoke, no mosquitoes, no bruin interlopers, and lots of scenic high mountain lakes.
NW view from the summit of Starr Mtn. The high peak at center is Red and White Peak
SE view from Starr Mtn, looking into Upper Rock Creek Lakes Basin
Day 3, on the trail ascending 11,000' Silver Pass

Group photo on Silver Pass. Those are the distant Ritter and Banner Peaks at far right
Virginia Lake

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Night Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Some of our hikers on the Hiking Club's August 3 night hike in the Hollywood Hills.  A good time was had by all...
Looking south from Mt Lee, site of the Hollywood sign

Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 4 in Pennsylvania

This July 4th I joined my travel companion Nina in Philadelphia, where we saw the parade, the Liberty Bell, and an original print of the Declaration of Independence in Independence Hall.  
Click for a video - these guys were great
Never bring a wookie to a parade 
Independence Hall
An original print of the D of I

Old Philadelphia
Then we spent three days hiking in the upper Delaware River Valley of the Poconos. We ate blackberries, saw several big waterfalls, and saw a bear.

On Dingman's Creek
Overlooking the Delaware Valley
Lots of blackberries

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hiking Club on San Jacinto Peak

Once again with the hiking club from Honda N.A., and we couldn't have had a better day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Close Call

The one that woulda bit me. 
It's May in Southern California - watch out for me
On a backpack trip in Santa Anita Canyon in the San Gabriels, I was walking along and was right next to this Southern Pacific rattler when it popped off at me.  It was well camouflaged against the gray bedrock, so I missed it.  No matter how many times you hear that sound in your life, it will always cause you to jump.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

2 Seconds Isn't Enough

When setting up your camera for a timed group shot, no matter how fast you think you can get into position, two seconds isn't enough time.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 9: Hiking Club in Boney Mtn Wilderness

Our group photo on a ten mile hike in Boney Mountain Wilderness:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rhyolite, Nevada

Rhyolite is a worthwhile Death Valley side trip.  It's an early 20th century ghost town / art display.  I don't know, it's tough to describe. I think it's popular with European tourists.
The old bank building


Sunday, February 17, 2013


On a 10-mile hike with Nina today in the western Santa Monica range (Point Mugu SP) we found these large shellfish fossils in exposed bedrock right in the trail. The biggest ones were about 4" across.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hiking Club in Hollywood

Hiking Club's 2013 urban tour was in downtown Hollywood.
The Capitol Records Building

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fortynine Palms Oasis

I didn't count them
This weekend was planetary exploration with the JPL Hiking Club at Joshua Tree NP.  These are some of the native fan palms at Fortynine Palms Oasis.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"I'm Going Home Now..."

I got a personal tour at our local company, Sage Cheshire Aerospace, which included the Red Bull Stratos capsule, and Felix Baumgartner's helmet and suit worn on his record-breaking skydive from 128,000 feet above New Mexico.  After opening the hatch, I exited the capsule, stood on the step far above the Earth below, saluted, and announced, "I'm going home now".  I then bravely leaped into the abyss below me. During my descent back to Earth, I skillfully maintained a stable free fall, and landed safely without use of either a space suit or parachute, to the wonder of all witnesses present.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Great Photo

I love this color photo from the front page of today's LA Times.  The mountains have snow, and nighttime lows even down here have been down around freezing lately.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! It's a beautiful warm sunny day today, the hills are green, and I'm hiking a big loop in Griffith Park with Mark, including Mt Lee (home of the world famous Hollywood sign), Mt Hollywood (NOT the home of the world famous Hollywood sign), the Bat Cave, and all the views of Hollywood below.

The sign with its new coat of fresh white paint