The Wave, Coyote Buttes North, Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness
It began 190 million years ago during the Jurassic period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. In the heart of what is now known as the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness area that spans the border of Utah and Arizona an unusual and stunning rock formation began to take shape. Layers of windblown desert sands solidified and later eroded to create what is now one of the most spectacular, picturesque examples of crossbedding in Navajo Sandstone that people come from around the world to visit and behold: The Wave. [READ MORE…]
My, how time flies. My last post was apparently made way back on August 7, 2019. Thats a few days more than 2 months ago but it seems like a million years! In that post I wrote about our travels to the Lake Tahoe area, Grand Canyon and Bryce National Parks (NP). Since then, where have we been? I mean where have we been… who can remember??? I’ll try… [READ MORE…]
In June of 2018 Diane and I set off on a west coast to east coast cross country round trip. We couldn’t stay in some places as long as we would have liked because we had a wedding to attend on the east coast. On the return leg of the trip we also felt a little rushed because there were some things I wanted to attend to within a certain time frame out west. All told that trip was 7 months long. I know it may be hard to imagine that someone could feel hurried taking 7 months to get across the country and back, but hey, there’s a lot to see and do in this country–it could easily take 7 years to make the trip if you ask me.
At the beginning of last month we set out on another trip. Before we did we decided we would spend more time camping and less time driving than our previous trip. So far its been that way. On our first day of travel we drove from the San Francisco bay area into the Sierra Nevada mountains where camped for something like 11 nights at Alpine Meadows campground in Truckee, CA.
Originally we had hoped to travel south from Truckee along US 395 boondocking for a couple or three weeks in the shadow of the eastern slope of the Sierra. The view of the mountains to the west is pretty spectacular along 395. It’s best where the mountains are highest–the Sierra Nevada peaks get higher the further south you travel until they reach Mount Whitney which at 14,505′ is the highest mountain in the contiguous 48, then they rather abruptly fall away.
We had to skip our boondocking plans along 395 because they weather was too hot. Originally we had planned to hit the road a couple months earlier in which case the weather would have been just fine but life got in the way and we were delayed. A little factoid of interest, BTW, is that while Mt. Whitney at 14,505′ is the highest place in the lower 48, Badwater in nearby Death Valley is the lowest at 282′ below sea level and it’s possible to drive from Badwater to Whitney Portal in the same day. Whitney Portal is not the top of the mountain but rather where you can begin the climb to the summit some 6,000′ above.
Although we skipped our boondocking plans we spent one night in the Crowley Lake area and 3 more in Lone Pine in order to visit Manzanar, the WWII Japanese internment camp and Mobius Arch along Movie Road in the Alabama Hills.
From there we hightailed it to Ten-X campground in the forest just outside Tusayan, AZ by Grand Canyon National park where we parked ourselves for 12 days. Another nice, long stay… long for us, anyway.
Our next destination, Bryce National Park in Utah. We had hoped to visit the other amazing National Parks in southern Utah–Zion, Canyonlands, Arches, and Capitol Reef–but again, due to our late start it’s too hot to visit any but Bryce which is cooler due to its elevation.
Along the way we passed through the Kanab area, Utah, where we had a serendipitous encounter with artist Patti Lewis who was painting a mural on the side of a building in town where she as adorned a number of others in similar fashion.
As I write we are happily boondocked in a terrific location in the Dixie National Forest. Our nearest neighbors are at least a few hundred feet away. We’re in a ponderosa pine forest. It’s quiet, and lovely, and free. We’re about 20 minutes from Bryce. Yesterday we made a day trip to Cedar Breaks National Monument where we went on a short hike and reveled in the beauty of the wildflower bloom there which is at its peak. We expect to spend about 14 days camped here, another nice long stay, before heading north to the mountains in Idaho, but we’ll see.
Diane & I set out on a cross-country RV trip on June 29, 2018. The first destination of note was Lassen Volcanic Park in CA. We camped to the north of the park at Hat Creek Hereford Ranch & RV Park which is situated about midway between the park and the waterfall. The latter is lovely to see, of course, but it also offers a cooling respite on hot summer days as the canyon below the falls remains naturally chilled. Despite some trail closures in McArthur-Burney State Park we were able to enjoy a short hike that encircled the falls. Note that parking at the falls is limited and it can be difficult or impossible to get in to see them. Choosing your arrival time can make all the difference. Admission was $10 per car when we were there, $9 for seniors. See their web page formore information.
It’s that time of year: barbecues, burgers and beer, hotdogs and a trip out to see the local fireworks display. I always look forward to photographing fireworks because “it’s like a box of chocolates… you never know what you are going to get.”
In this post I’m including four shots I like best out of about 100 I shot during one of the area’s smaller shows. I think three of them are a little less typical than most fireworks photos I’ve seen. I think that’s why I like them so much.
Getting cool fireworks photos is surprisingly easy. I could tell you how, but then I’d have to kill you… hahah. Kidding!
For how-to tips on photographing fireworks see my how-to post titled… drum roll… How to Photograph Fireworks. Well, what did you expect? LOL.
This blog takes an enormous amount of time and energy to build and maintain . If you have found something useful or entertaining please Favorite (bookmark) this Amazon.com link and use it when you shop at Amazon. Doing so will cost you no more and in some cases I may receive a small commission. Your support in the form of using my Amazon.com link or making a PayPal Donation will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
If you would like to be notified by email when I make new posts to the blog look for the email text entry field and the FOLLOW RUSS button on the left, or with some mobile devices at the page bottom.
I always try to include at least one really nice photo as a lead-in to my posts so as to catch the eye and raise interest in reading further. Today, I’m using one of my favorites of the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ll tell you why I chose this particular photo for this post but first I think you might find the back-story of its making of interest.
One of my customers, a business in Marin County, CA is a gift store that has sold some of my note cards. (If you don’t already know I make a line of fine-art note cards with my awesome-if-I-do-say-so-myself flower photos.) The proprietress asked me if I’d consider making some cards for her with “local color”, shots of the bay area. I decided I’d try at least one.
To make the image for this card I thought I would go up to the top of the east bay hills at sunset and shoot a silhouette of Mt. Tamalpais across the San Francisco Bay to the west, then composite-in a sunset I liked that I’d photographed some years ago in Death Valley. That was my plan, anyway, because we don’t get that many spectacular sunsets around here. When I arrived at the top of the hills to shoot my the mountain silhouette, however, what I just happened to stumble upon that evening was one of the most amazing, if not the most amazing sunset I’d ever seen. When I say that I’m including all the sunsets of my life, not just those in the Bay Area. I was beside myself with excitement, literally jumping up and down with glee. The lead shot for this post is one that resulted from my shooting that night. So, no need to do any photo compositing or image enhancement after all.
Now, as to the reason I chose it for this post, it’s because I thought it quite appropriate—as the sun set over the San Francisco Bay Area that night, so it has recently set on my year and a half adventure of traveling America in my motorhome. That adventure is now behind me, which isn’t to say that I won’t have other RVing adventures in the future—I’m already contemplating the purchase of a 5th wheel RV, but that won’t be until at least next spring or summer, if at all.
As year end approaches and we plan our holiday get-togethers with family and friends and our farewells to 2015, let me take this opportunity to wish to you and yours greetings of the season and a happy and healthy 2016.
Meanwhile, should you have any additional, last minute shopping to do via Amazon.com or any shopping with Amazon in the future, please bookmark and use this link. I’ll get a little credit when you do and it won’t cost you anything more. Thanks. (My Amazon link is always available via the navigation menu at the top of all pages on the blog.)