Pilot Cumulus

A flashback to a day last spring.

Goddess and I were sitting with a friend on a bluff overlooking the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon, watching the rain showers roll past.

There are five climbers silhouetted on the summit of Pilot Rock that are only visible in the original image.  Discovering them made me smile, thinking of another day a couple of years ago where we made that same climb with friends.

Late Dunes

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California

We missed the fabled “superbloom” by a couple of weeks, but arrived just in time for California’s spring break.  Luckily we were able to secure a “camp spot” in the middle of a graded gravel parking lot not far from this view.

Back to the Old

After almost a year and a half of strictly phone captured/created images, I am now back to importing images from my DSLR and processing on the computer.

It was interesting to see how quickly I was back in the groove of things, remembering shortcuts and keystrokes for tools in Lightroom and Photoshop.  I couldn’t tell you what I had for lunch yesterday, but I had no problems with my workflow.

I was pleased with that.

Long-time readers may recall that we finished our thru-hike last October.  By the end of the month, Goddess and I were down in San Diego to visit friends, pick up our car and all of my camera gear.  After that I was shooting not just with the phone, but the DSLRs that I missed so much on the trail.

Since then I have filled a few memory cards with images as we traveled across the US, hopped over to Europe over the holidays, back to and across the US, over to South Korea, then back to the US.  Once back, we did another cross-country round trip.

I actually reached a point last spring where I had filled all of my available memory cards.  In a panic, we were lucky to find an actual photography-focused store in Moab, Utah, where I was able to pick up another card.

A couple of weeks later, we swung into Ashland, Oregon, where we lived before our hike.  I tossed all of the full memory cards in our safe deposit box for safe-keeping.

That’s where they sit to this day.

So all of the photos that I took from November until March are stored away until we can get back down there to collect them.

Everything I have access to now is from late-March until now. So the pictures I will be posting here are completely random, unrelated to how we traveled.

Yet exactly how we traveled.

For those who we visited as we meandered the world, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Late March, Southern Utah.

After leaving Moab and the incredible beauty of Arches National Park (those pics are in storage), we headed southwest, camping in Capitol Reef National Park (pics in storage), then Kodachrome Basin State Park, where we set up base to explore the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park (guess where those pics are).

For days I had been excited about the prospect of Zion National Park.  It’s my favorite national park in the US and it would be Goddess’ first visit.

We had been flying by the seat of our pants, making up our stops as we went along.

This time it bit us in the butt.

Not having to worry about kids and schedules, we were not tracking that it was spring break in Utah.

Goddess’ first visit to Zion National Park consisted of entering through the east gate and driving right out the west gate.  A quick check of the campgrounds showed them all full.  One spot was available for the price of a decent hotel room, so we passed on it and drove a few hours to get an actual decent hotel room.

This was one of the views as we exited the park.

Signal Peak, shrouded in snow-showers.

I am always amazed when I hear folks say that the desert is drab and boring.  Then saddened, because they clearly don’t know how to look at a desert.  Some come around, but most often don’t.

If you’re one of those that don’t think that deserts are interesting, stick around.

I may just change your mind.

Who would have thought that I would have a more difficult time remembering how to use WordPress on the computer than Photoshop?  Guess which is significantly more complicated.

Final Stretch

It has been a crazy week since we’ve moved out of the house. But it has all been good.








In a nutshell, we tied up a few loose ends in Oregon and headed south. 

We spent the weekend with our resupply goddess getting a late delivery of food put together;

We drove south through California’s central valley.  We were planning on taking a couple of days to get to San Diego, but got word that there were just a handful of spaces left at our planned auto storage facility that were first-come, first-served, so we pushed hard to get there and get our spot.  We did;

Then it was last-minute chores of sending out resupply boxes and getting everything ready. But since San Diego is my old stomping grounds as a teenager and Jennifer has never been here, there was food to be enjoyed and places to see.

We will catch a breather before we hit the trail.

I hope.


The packing continues.

We got the entire house packed, cleaned and handed over the other day. We wanted to spend yesterday napping, but there is still plenty to do.

It doesn’t help that, thanks to a shipping snafu, that we are still waiting on delivery of about 120 meals worth of dehydrated vegetables and protein.

Here’s our hotel room right now. I suspect the housekeeping staff is shaking their heads every time they walk past the open door.


It’s a last minute sanity check, as we have realized that some important items are now somewhere in the storage unit. No show-stoppers, but things we will need to find (not likely right now) or replace.

Once this is done, on to the last minute packing of meals as tracking tells us that the food shipment is in town as of yesterday, but apparently too far from the mailbox to pick up.

The adventure begins and continues.

Just a Small Part

Since my first visit when I was 10 or so, this valley has always been my ultimate cathedral.

By late June of this year, it will be just a small part of an amazing experience.

But don’t ever think that it lessens the majesty of this valley.

Video courtesy of Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill.

Whale Shark

Our home for the summer received a quality control shakedown after being created this week.

Gen Shimizu, the genius behind Yama Mountain Gear, posted a pic and asked if it looked like a shark.

It does.  A Whale Shark.

Does anyone else see a shark? #yamamountaingear #swiftlinetent

A photo posted by YAMA Mountain Gear (@yamamountaingear) on

At 36.5oz actual weight, I’ll barely notice it in my pack.  But we will both enjoy this Yama Mountain Gear Swiftline 2-person tent on those wet and windy nights.



It has been a while since I’ve put up a photo post that wasn’t related to our prep for our upcoming hike.

Here’s a fun one from our visit with friends the week before last.  While we spent quite a while doing more formal portrait and pregnancy bump shots, a lot of the fun was when everyone was hanging out and the pictures just happened.

Like when Dad had to feel the kicks of their first child.



Wow, has it really been two weeks since the last post?

In the immortal words of Bob Marley, we’re jammin’.

We spent a week in Kansas experiencing what we’ve been missing here – winter.  A nice bout of snowfall and single-digit temperatures, made all the more enjoyable by spending the time with very dear friends.

Plus, they gave me the opportunity to shoot “baby bump” pictures for them as they’re just a couple of weeks from having their first child.  I’ve never had experience and it was nothing short of amazing.

Once we got back, we had to hit the slopes.  It’s late-spring conditions here, with the nights on the mountain not getting below freezing.  So we had a day of pushing slush and skipping rocks, but it was a great time.

Then a full weekend of trail-related activities.

Friday night had us at a local screening of a movie called “Only the Essential“, a documentary of a couple of hikers on their thru-hike of the PCT back in 2013.  It was a heck of a lot of fun to see the spots through someone else’s vision.

The best part was the Q&A session afterwards, when an audience member asked the producers what the most eye-opening moment was for them during the hike.  Colin Arisman responded, relaying the moment when he realized that he truly was house-less.   The look on Goddess’ face was priceless.

That part is really sinking in.

The rest of the weekend was trail work with the Siskiyou Mountain Club, building rock steps, build drains, clearing brush, clearing fallen trees and rehabilitating old, faded trail tread.

Misery WhipTaking a break.

Bean Meadow SunriseWatching sunrise on a morning when people were fretting over whether their clock was telling them the right time or not.  Sunrise is sunrise.

Boccard Point ViewView from Boccard Point in the Soda Mountain Wilderness.  That’s Pilot Rock to the left, Mount Ashland in the distance, just right of frame center.

We worked the majority of the trail from Pilot Rock to this viewpoint, skipping just a couple of miles of deadfall trees because it was late Saturday afternoon and we needed to set up camp before sunset.

Those will be taken care of next weekend.