Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Untitled It has been awhile since I've out with a pack, carrying at least 30 pounds (I don't weigh. Don't see the point.), and I could feel my body complaining for days afterward. Warren Lake, near Truckee is a beautiful trail, and like all beauties, it's difficult. About 14 miles roundtrip with a mad scramble towards the end. You could do it in a day hike, but then it would all be a rush both ways. Get in, get out. Move move move. 

I do this to relax, you know. It clears the head, and I've needed that badly as of late. It always feels like I need it badly. I was listening to a podcast the other day that said you need to treat sleep like food, as an essential bodily need. I've disregarded that little gem for years and it catches up. I think it catches up in the way you think, in the places your mind wanders towards - dark places. Your body longs for sleep, and it will get it from you or make wakefulness unbearable. 

All pictures were taken while it was sunny. In reality, temperatures ranged from hot to cold to hail. I don't show those parts. I would highly suggest just getting a GPS tracker and parking at the very beginning of the entrance. It's easy to lose your way, and technology can help.

Untitled Untitled

Thursday, July 16, 2015



Two things that have been on my mind lately, catching waterfalls and cleaning my mental thought processes. To help move this along, I've been reading/attempting to read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (it's akin to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - but for the brain). And I thought I would share some excerpts.

"Spend not the remnant of thy days in thoughts and fancies concerning other men, when it is not in relation to some common good, when by it thou art hindered from some other better work. That is, spend not thy time in thinking, what such a man doth, and to what end; what he saith, and what he thinks, and what he is about, and such other things or curiosities which make a man to rove and wander from the care and observation of that part of himself, which is rational, and overruling. See therefore in the whole series and connection of they thoughts, that thou be careful to prevent what is idle and impertinent: but especially, whatsoever is curious and malicious: that thou must use thyself to think only of such things, of which if a man upon a sudden should ask thee what it is that thou art now thinking, thou mayest answer This, and That, freely and boldly, that so by thy thoughts it may presently appear that in all thee is sincere, and peaceable; as becometh one that is made for society, and regards not pleasures, nor gives way to any voluptuous imaginations at all: free from all contentiousness, envy, suspicion, and from whatsoever else thou wouldest blush to confess thy thoughts were set upon."

That is a very high bar, I think, to cleanse your thoughts so perfectly that you can allow yourself to be entirely transparent. You see the pattern: he lays out the common traps human pitfalls: envy, petty thoughts, malice and then lays out the standard: freedom from these hidden thoughts, thought which would otherwise make you blush in the light of day.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015



Going to camp in the desert in summer is not the best idea I've ever had. Every picture is taken around dusk right before sunset, which offers the softest lighting, but that is not why I took them. I took pictures around this time because for most of the day it was dead hot, at least 100 degrees. You can feel yourself baking in the heat.   

Here's the cactus garden. The needles are so sharp that even a touch will break skin. So I took a shot in close up with my lens.

If you can stand it until sunset, though, you will get your reward. The weather goes from baking to perfect. And you can sleep in your tent without the rain flap, and watch the stars all night long until you fall sleep. Untitled Untitled

Thursday, March 12, 2015


waking up2

While in Peru, I met three women, all of them wore eyelash extensions like they were t-shirts. You go out onto the Inca trail, you take only the basics with you. You leave the rest behind. They considered eyelash extensions to be a staple, somewhat the way I view SPF 50 and a proper water filter. And in a way, they were going about the Inca trail differently. They were horseback riding their way to Machu Picchu. This would cut the normal three day journey down to two. And it would require considerable skill. I asked one of them how she learned to ride. Well, she said, both her friends had been trained to ride and had 10 years of experience on horses. She, on the other hand, had always been something of an adventuress. She had seen a horse in Bermuda, and she had taken it into her head to learn how to ride it. And now here she was, in Peru ready to embark.

The memory surfaced recently, when I was preparing to go snow camping. It's a combination of backpacking, snowshoeing, and camping all in one. I had gotten it into my head somehow that this was a great idea, and it stressed me out. I had to invest in real gear. Some people like that part, buying shiny new things. I hate that part. I wish everything were free, especially down-filled pants. But if I trotted out into the snow in jeans and a t-shirt, I would probably die. Cotton kills, as the saying goes.

How did I get here? At some vague point in time about two years ago, I decided to change into a different person. This other person, I decided, would be someone who liked the outdoors. Now, I have neither a hero's heart nor a puppy's spirt. I was built for quiet contemplation. But sometimes, it's nice to try on a different persona, a different mindset, and to look out at the world as opportunity for adventure.

So what I have here is a cave I dug for myself to sleep in. The walls and floor were made of snow, and when I woke up, my boots were frozen stiff. The next day, I summited an unknown peak and looked down. I was adventuring. 

views frozen boots At the Top Sharp angles2 walking

Monday, February 9, 2015


Sandy hill
It rained all weekend, which was badly needed, but being cooped up indoors means that you have time to miss the green.  So I took a virtual meander through my memory cards and found these from Del Valle Regional Park. 

It's a nice and easy stroll, with some rolling hills (see above) and very little elevation gain. There's a expansive lake which I captured a tiny piece of, and which is probably the park's best and main feature. When the weather is more accommodating, you can kayak, boat, fish, and possibly even swim. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good shot, it probably seems squat and dirty from that angle, so you're just going to have to take my word for it. 
red trees lake

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Red Rock2
Red Rock Canyon
I been away from this site for awhile, partly from lack of discipline, and partly to discipline myself to get away from my computer. This thing sucks up way too much time. Do I want to look back on my life and recall that 70% of it was spent online? So that was my train of thought

In order to distract myself, I went here: Red Rock Canyon, a little ways outside Las Vegas. Most people come to Vegas to indulge in their vices, and I came here and got lost. This park is good for climbers, and people that stay on the road. It's a relaxing scenic drive, and everyone you see teetering out in the fringes is most likely bushwhacking. That's where I was, mucking about.

There are hardly any signs to show you where you are, and no one mentioned this little detail on Trip Advisor. But if you keep the main road in sight and don't have a tendency to wander, the scenery will grip you. The rock is red in color, and thereby gives the park it's name, I assume. Nature rarely gives you this much color to work with, this much texture.  When I got back, I assumed I had become a much better photographer.

Red Rock10 Red Rock1 Red Rock19
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