Friday, November 30, 2012

Venice Pier, CA

Venice Pier, CA

Venice Beach, CA

Venice Beach, CA

Marina Del Rey Pier, CA
These few pictures are from geocaching excursions.  Enjoy! There's more on SmugBug.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Zion National Park

Walter's Wiggles, Angles Landing
 Zion National Park, UT
My last National Park was Zion.  One of the more well known parks through out the world.  My first hike was Angel's Landing.  Its a 5.4 mile round trip hike but it is soooo steep. There are few pictures and videos I would have like to get but here is the next best thing...others who did.

Watchman's Trail
Zion National Park, UT

Zion National Park, UT
Zion National Park, UT
Day 2 here was in the narrows.  I got a walking stick and am so glad that I did.  I left early in the morning before the rush and headed in for two hours.  I have no idea how far that was. GPS doesn't do so good in these canyons.  This hike for sure is up there on the favorites list.  If i ever come again i would do the two day over night, 16 mile hike.  I continue to be amazed at the power of water and how it can carve canyons like this.  So cool.
The Narrows
Zion National Park, UT
The Narrows
Zion National Park, UT

The Narrows
Zion National Park, UT

Rachael in the Narrows
Zion National Park, UT

Thanks for reading.  Hope you get to go sometime!
A few more pictures are posted on SmugMug

Bryce Canyon National Park

Rainbow Point


The next stop was Bryce Canyon.  Time again was limiting factor and I mostly drove to the end of this one and back stopping at recommended stops.  

Glen Canyon National Recreational Area

Trail to Joshua Hamblin Arch
So the next stretch of my trip was getting to Joshua Hamblin Arch which is deep in Glen Canyon.  After going to the rangers station I headed to "hole in a rock" road for 33 miles in my rental car. I figured it would take about 45min to an hour to get to the trail head.  Wrong, more like 2.5 hours.  The road was in bad need of grading.  I had to go around 10-20m/hr to prevent the car from jiggling apart.  The ripples in the road were so bad.   After a bit of a slow start, I finally found the trail head (above picture), a dried up river bed call "hurricane wash."  I quickly packed my pack for an overnight hike and hit the trail at 4pm.  I was slightly worried as I saw some dark clouds in distance and it had slightly rained on my way there.  They say to be cautious for flash floods in such conditions.  So I went for it seeing that the rain was done and keeping in mind I could always turn back.

The first 3 miles were brutal; dry, hot and every thing looking the same. I could feel sunburn penetrating my skin knowing I was going to be sorry later.  Finally I started to see water in the river bed.  I had my GPS and topo map but some where I made a wrong turn and things were not looking right.  So I turned around and soon found a couple sloshing through the water back from the arch asking me where to go.  I found it more funny than being lost that I was trying to keep my feet dry when it was obvious there was no point and eventually I would be going knee deep in water or mud at some points.  After comparing notes we figured it all out.  They said there was a mild amount of flash flooding, they made it through so off I went.

After getting in another mile, a few too many times I stepped into very silty soil that appears solid but brought me thigh deep into muck: very frightening.  I learned quickly how to avoid this stuff. 

Seven miles later and near dusk I finally made it.  I passed by the one group of campers that were there, said hello and asked if they had found the natural springs the ranger had spoke off.  No luck.  Not too much later I realized I forgot to bring that extra bottle of water that was still in the car.  So I took my handy light zapper water purifier and proceeded to drink the silty water. Yuck.  Oh well, I set up camp ate cold can of soup, called Rolland on the sat phone to say I was alive and OK and hit the hay.  

I wasn't sure how long I would stay due to my water supply being so yucky.  So I got up early and headed on for a morning of hiking to the natural arch I wanted to see. Right around the corner from where I set up camp was the springs.  Yay!  Crystal clear and cold.  I drank til my belly said no more filled up my bottles and headed on with a lighter step.  

Natural Arch, in the Coyote Gulch, Glen Canyon Recreational Area.
Two more miles in I found Natural Arch.  (above)

Joshua Hamblin Arch 
Then checked out Joshua Hamblin Arch.

This picture above is a crazy site where the picture cannot even start to express the scale of this area.  After millions of years this river meanders resulting in a cave like area and a cool little beach across the way which makes for a nice camp site.

Any way, the rest of the day I hiked on out of there and headed for the car.  The water levels from the day before had receded making the hike a little easier.  Then once again I hit the desert- no shade stretch and nearly had heat stroke. I ran out of water with about 2 more miles to go, and my phobia of contracting some sort of contact dermatitis (poison ivy ect.) from the weeds near the river kicked in.  I turned into "got get out of here" mode and pushed on.  I finally made it to the car.  I took a "shower" from my shower bag in hopes to avoid the poison ivy if it was on me and proceeded to drive the 33 very uncomfortable miles back to the civilization.  

That night was a hotel night and laundry night!  

National Park Drive By

Driving through Dixie National Forest
My next stop was going to be in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  I was happy to find out that I would be driving through a few other national parks that I had read about.  I found myself stopping to get a few pics some of the miraculous landscapes. But I was also on a time constriction so the stops were limited.  One stop that I didn't get any pictures of was in Canyon Reef National Park.  In the middle of this huge canyon and red walls was a little u-pick apple orchard where I stopped to grab a few.  

Some where on High way 12.
Southern Utah landscape is so diverse.  One minute its towering red rock, next you are in a forest, then passing by mighty canyons.  Abruptly, the speed limit drops to 25m/hr due to curvy roads and steep drop offs, then back to dry dessert and cracked up river beds, then comes a meadow with horses grazing.  Pretty great.

Trip to Utah, Part 1 "Arches National Park"

Park Ave, Arches National Park, UT
Arches National Park, UT
This area of rock has been carved out by water over time.  It is pretty crazy what flowing water over millions if years can do.  Wait til you see more pictures from Zion National Park.

Park Ave, Arches National Park, UT

Arches National Park, UT
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a week to explore the southern part of Utah and check out a few of national parks there.  The first park was Arches National Park.  Spent two days there doing a lot of hiking, applying sun screen, and taking a ton of pictures.  Thank goodness I took the rental car...I needed that air conditioning badly, it was HOT.  I did some camping for the second time in my life and I will say it is much cheaper than hotel every night.  I highly recommend it.  I basically was living out of the car and pitching the tent half of the trip.  The first night was right outside of the park and on the Colorado river.  Stars at night are brilliant in this area!

Fiery Furnace at Sunset, Arches National Park, UT
They say the rocks at fiery furnace at sunset literally look like they are on fire.  Its true, the sun light at this time really bring out the reds, oranges and yellows of these rocks.  There was a small group of other photographers and their tripods all set up here when i arrived.  I took it as a sign to stick around as the sun made its way down.

Arches National Park, UT

Navajo Arch, Arches National Park, UT
This particular arch was very cool it opened up into a cave like area.  Didn't seem to be as popular as other sites so it was not polluted with so many people.

Double O Arch, Arches National Park, UT
The double o arch was very hug and there is even another arch underneath it. The scale of this thing was so big I couldn't get it all in my wide angle lens.  The hike to get to this thing was pretty strenuous and awesome at the same time.  It would bring you high points that gave you great views.  At one point the trail was along a "fin."  Fins are those long rock structures that you can sort of see in the background of the above photo.  At times it really gave you a top of the work feeling.

Arches National Park, UT

Broken Arch, Arches National Park, UT

Arches National Park, UT

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ice Berg Straight ahead! Columbia Glacier

Berg patrol

Jannelle, Deb, Rolland, Bianca

Columbia Bay

SV Precipice

The mountain is emerging from under the glacier.

Cordova, AK

Precipice on the tidal grid for a hull repaint.

Cordova, AK

A couple weeks ago I headed to Cordova, AK to meet up with the Trowbridges.  As usual, we had a good time and even got to take a couple day boat trip to see some glaciers in Columbia bay.  I have to admit I was a little nervous when approaching the icebergs.  I was quickly reminded that I didn't need to be worried, besides this was nothing compared to Northwest Passage done a couple summers ago by the Trowbridge family.  Plus, the myth that "bergs" are bigger underneath than on top...just a myth.  Between the 4 of us girls we took turns with 'berg"  watch, while skipper maneuvered "Precipice."  By moving approximately 1m/hr we manually pushed away the little bergs and stayed clear of the big ones.  At times we would latch onto a medium sized one and use it as a plow on the front of the boat.  Worked pretty nice once we finally found on just the right size.  Occasionally we would hear a loud thunder clap type noise which was the "calving" of the glaciers, when huge chunks fall off and cause a huge splash and small waves even from a mile away.   
Columbia glacier used to be just one glacier but now has receded to four different ones.  Pretty cool. We wanted to get closer in but the icebergs were getting a little too thick.  We didn't want to get locked in, we were probably about a mile still from the actual edge of it.   

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life on a boat

Life on a boat

I pulled this picture from the archives.  Saw this while out with the camera one day.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Glaciers of Alaska

A couple of weeks ago a took a flight to Alaska to see the Trowbridge family.  On the way I was amazed to see multiple Glaciers.  They were every where!  I had no idea they were in such abundance!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Santa Monica Pier 2

Took a walk down to Santa Monica again to practice with night photography.  This seems to be a hot spot for night photography there must have been about 5-6 others with their tripods and such.  Any way...enjoy.