Browsing Category "Parks"
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Death Valley in Black and White

By     |    Mar 16, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    1 Comment

I only took black and white pics in Death Valley this time through. Got a couple good ones. I think B&W is more forgiving of tough exposures, but I still managed to only really like about 10% of the photos I took. Here are my favorites: Let me know if you want any of these for your walls. Besides framed 14″x10″ prints for $99, we’re going to start doing unframed […]

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Paul on the moon.

Goodbye for the Third Time, Death Valley

By     |    Mar 16, 2012
Posted in: California, Nevada, Parks     |    No Comments

We went back to Death Valley for the third time, a place we said we wouldn’t visit again on this trip, at least until we got a more rugged version of our Toyota Sienna (lift kit, anyone?). But it was a place that I still thought about, endlessly, and I’m so happy we had a chance to return. We managed to find plenty of new things to see, along with […]

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A great weathered trail marker.

Death Valley’s Gower Gulch Loop Hike through Golden Canyon

By     |    Mar 14, 2012
Posted in: California, Hikes, Parks     |    2 Comments

The first time we were in Death Valley, we tried to do the Golden Canyon/Gower Gulch Loop hike. We tried, but didn’t succeed, because the beginning of the hike, the Golden Canyon portion, is on the tourist must-do list. It was so busy the last time we were here that we turned around and found another canyon, the fabulous Desolation Canyon, that just happened to be deserted and beautiful. To […]

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Crazies in the parking lot.

Crazies in the Death Valley Desert

By     |    Mar 14, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    No Comments

“Excuse me,” the guy asked Lisa, “how do we procure a campsite?” That’s what this hipster said — “procure.” He and his significant other had just parked at the campsite next to ours inside Death Valley’s Emigrant Campground. They were on what sounded like their first camping trip. Lisa told them — they’re free, just set your shit up (but she said it nicely). “Can you build campfires here?” a […]

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That's us. That spot on the horizon is our campground.

An Ode to Death Valley

By     |    Mar 13, 2012
Posted in: California, Ode to _, Parks     |    2 Comments

Oh, Death Valley, how I love thee! Let me count the ways… You’re silent. I don’t mean quiet – I mean silent. As soon as I’m a mile away from a road, the only thing making noise is me. Maybe there’s a little wind, or birds chirping, or ravens croaking, or a plane tearing overhead on its way to LA. But usually not. The soundtrack tends to be made up […]

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Finding Denmark in Solvang, California

By     |    Mar 2, 2012
Posted in: California, Drives, Parks     |    2 Comments

First, we didn’t like Dodge City. It just wasn’t touristy enough. There was no old-timey bar, no real downtown, just a comical re-creation of fakeness off the main drag, a drag still used for moving cattle, from, unfortunately, just outside of town where we found huge feedlots filled with both cows and stank. It was too real. Then Tombstone was too touristy, stagecoaches with lip-syncing tour guide drivers and everyone […]

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Balboa Park's fountain and promenade.

Griffith Park vs. Balboa Park Smackdown

By     |    Feb 28, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    1 Comment

Southern California is home to two great cities and both have great city parks. The crown jewel of San Diego is Balboa Park, home to the San Diego Zoo. The gem of LA is Griffith Park, home to the Hollywood sign and the LA Observatory. But which park has what it takes to be Southern California’s King Kong Champion of the World City Park? Let’s see … Attractions: Observatory + […]

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Our tent, Rocky Jr.

Molera State Park is…Fantastical

By     |    Feb 27, 2012
Posted in: California, Hikes, Parks     |    No Comments

It has occurred to me that I use the P-word too much. That’s P as in Paradise, of course. Give me clear skies, temps between 65 and 95 (I’m flexible), nice vistas, good trails, and few humans, and I’m in paradise. That’s why I’m trying to think of a new word to describe Andrew Molera State Park on the Big Sur coast. Fantastical? Superb? Awesome? Suggestions are welcome. The campground […]

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Beach walking.

Jalama Beach: Cheeseburgers in Paradise

By     |    Feb 21, 2012
Posted in: California, Food, Hikes, Parks     |    2 Comments

Look at Jalama Beach on a map — it doesn’t look like much, does it? It’s just a tiny red dot, close to evil-sounding towns like Solvang and Lompoc. It’s on a sharp bend in the Californian coast, where the land had been moving west but suddenly decided to correct itself and proceed again to the north. To the north, Jalama Beach is bounded by a large air force base. To […]

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Notice that Paul has both a reflection and a shadow. Cool.

Likes: Long Walks on the Beach

By     |    Feb 8, 2012
Posted in: California, Hikes, Parks     |    3 Comments

I’m standing on the beach north of San Diego, and I’m feeling a sense of completion, of contentment. I’m about as far west (and south) as I can physically get in this great country. And I’m toasty warm. But Paul wants more — he looks out at the ocean and wants to keep going, until he can’t see land on any side. I don’t get that. All I want to […]

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