along the trail

hoover-dam-railroad-trail

I have been going through photos from the first trip this past spring, and happened upon this one, from a lovely afternoon in Boulder City, Nevada. The National Park Service has built a gorgeous hiking trail that follows the railroad line that brought supplies and building materials to the construction site of the Hoover (neé Boulder) Dam back in the late 1920s.  The trail follows Lake Mead and ends up at the dam 3.7 miles later.

We had a great hike[1.Although I couldn’t enter the dam’s damn visitor center because I refused to give up my Leatherman. Really? What am I going to do?], and I got this nice shot  of Susan in one of the huge railroad tunnels along the trail. (Click to see it bigger.)

cathedral in the forest

canopy

Spent a beautiful afternoon hiking along the Salmon River (outside of Welches, Oregon) last week. The trail, part of the Mt. Hood Wilderness, meanders along the river through a forest full of old-growth trees, something you don’t see a lot of out here. All afternoon, I was taken with the dance of sunlight and shade above me, and spent most of my camera time shooting directly up.

sunset, Pine Valley Peak

sunset, pine valley peak

This was a glorious evening, spent in a little-visited part of Zion National Park, Kolob Canyons. I was up at about 7,000 feet, with snow on the ground, a brisk wind in the air and a temperature of 39°F. That said, I was prepared for both the elements and a gorgeous sunset. I wasn’t disappointed.

This is a three-image panorama, taken with the Sony A7RII and the Sony/Zeiss FE 16-35 mm f/4 lens.[1.I keep thinking that the lens isn’t all that great, when compared with my trusty old Canon 16-35 mm F/2.8L, and then I see something like this when I’m back at my Mac.] I have a couple of other sunset images to post from this evening (I posted a version of one on Facebook the other day, but I still need to go through the batch to find the right one.)

[where is this? | see it bigger]

sunset in the valley (panorama)

sunset in the valley pano

I’m currently camped in Valley of Fire State Park, north of Las Vegas. I’ve been coming here for years, but I have never seen the desert as green as it is right now; this is a banner year for the deserts of southern California and Nevada, and we’ve been lucky to see the blooms (although we wish we had made a detour to Death Valley on our way down).

There are wildflowers everywhere, but what’s really stuck with me is the different shades of green that are everywhere — even up into the mountains. There are shades of green that range from the bright greens you see in a baseball park, to the earthy slate greens of olive branches, to the warm yellowish greens of spring trees in Portland. I’ve been struggling with trying to get that range photographically. Here’s one attempt, from this beautiful valley I’ve been looking at every evening.

Click to see it larger.[1. I know there’s an issue with the top of the image getting cut off when you view it larger; I’m looking into it, but won’t really be able to get it fixed until I’m in a place with better–and more regular–wifi.]

What means grief?

what means grief

Grief never really goes away. It lessens over time, receding into the shadows of your consciousness, but it will always be present. You can never let it go completely.

You might think that it can be tamed, this grief, but it cannot; it has burrowed and become a spirit inside of you, one that demands to be part of you for as long as you draw a breath. And you feel that this state of affairs is the correct one; after all, you don’t want to forget that which made you grieve. That would be a rejection of the life you had before grief came calling.

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dawn on Lake Cahuilla

moon over cahuillaThe mornings down here in the Palm Desert area have been wonderfully cool, with beautiful skies; they’re a good contrast to the full-on heat of the midday sun. Most mornings, Susan and I have been enjoying coffee in our little camp, and I haven’t been motivated to get the full camera rig out. (Truth be told, it’s not terribly photogenic, this spot.)

This morning, I was up a bit earlier than usual, and was captivated by the waning crescent moon above the hills behind camp. So I went off to shoot for a bit, and walked away with two nice images to start the day. (Click to see them bigger.)

sunrise over lake cahuilla

Tehachapi sunset

tehachapi-sunset-pano

Our adventure has started! We’ve been driving for three days, and it’s been a bunch of fun traveling through some of my old stomping grounds in California. I’ll have more to post once we’re settled in our first extended camp, but I wanted to add this photo, from last night. (Click to see it bigger.)

One place I’ve driven through for years is Tehachapi. It’s one of those beautiful spaces that I have admired through the windshield, but I have never stopped, even for gas, if I recall correctly. Last night, Susan and I were thinking about pushing on to Barstow, but decided to call it a day a bit early, and we found this beautiful campground high above it all in Tehachapi, and just in time for a gorgeous sunset. Not bad for day three.

Today, it’s on to Palm Desert, where we’ll be encamped for at least a week.

departures and explorations

road

January 2016 marks a big change for me: I am jobless for the first time in more than a decade, but I am not looking for work. Instead, I am preparing for a voyage of uncertain exploration, and I’m unbelievably excited about it all.

The short story is this: last fall, Susan and I purchased a small travel trailer,[1. A 17-foot, very cozy fiberglass trailer made by Casita. We love it.] and our hope is to spend much of this year wandering throughout America (and possibly parts of Canada). My goal for our travels is simple: to photograph the beauty that surrounds us, and to write about some of the things that have been rolling around in my head for the past few years.

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