Photography

Teaching Old Lenses New Tricks

Let me start out by saying this post is a little nerdy. Nerdy, but fun. Maybe even practical. I have a few Mamiya 645 lenses sitting in the cabinet and […]

Geology

Gold Country Nugget

The desk clerk said “Monday and Tuesday nights are good nights to stay. The rooms are quiet. There’s no Karaoke in the bar on Monday and Tuesday nights..”  I’m guessing that’s […]

Geology

Rock nut? Listen Up

I’ve had the bug to get back over to the Long Valley Caldera along the eastern Sierra region since I drove through the area a few years ago. On that […]

Geology

Little Lakes, Big Views

  I’ve wanted to see some alpine lakes in the California Sierra for quite some time but always assumed that would require some serious backpacking and probably a sobering elevation […]

Hiking

Twice in a Lifetime

As I’ve confessed before, I’m a bit of a wildflower junkie.  Last year (March 2016) I read an article about the once in a generation ‘superbloom’ in Death Valley. So […]

Missions

The Mission San Miguel Archangel

It is 104˚ in San Miguel. I have stopped at this small outpost in the Salinas Valley after picking up a load of fence panels for the ranch at the […]

Big Trees

Big Basin, Big Trees

  The big trees can be hazardous… I spent so much time looking up instead of at the trail beneath my feet that I stumbled at least 15 times on the […]

Geology

The Pinnacles, in Full Bloom

The big El Nino was a bit of a bust. We did get more rain than we’ve had in the previous five winters around here, but nothing like the ‘biggest […]

Desert

Red Rock Wonder

I was driving up off the Mojave on CA 14 on my way to Death Valley to shoot the rumored ‘Superbloom’ out there this year.  As I drove up a […]

Desert

Death Valley Comes to Life

I’ve got this thing about shooting wildflowers.  I think it’s something about filling the viewfinder with the vivid colors and symmetry that can be a little elusive, all while outside […]

Hiking

The Color Green

With no meaningful rain in the the last four years, whatever color was in the oak leaves had drained away along with the water table, leaving wooded views so muted that […]

Big Sur

Ewoldsen: A Better Way to the Top

Note: Because of the 2016 Soberanes fire, this trail, along with all trails on the east side of Hwy 1 in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park are closed until further […]

Big Sur

McWaaaay (lotta people) Falls

   Note: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (where McWay Falls is located) is open, but the trails on the east side of Hwy 1 are closed until further notice because […]

Beaches

Third Time’s the Charm

  Note: (January 11, 2018) ANDREW MOLERA State Park is open. The seasonal footbridge crossing the Big Sur River has been removed. Hikers must wade across the river to access these open trails: […]

Beaches

Epiphany, with a View

  Note: This trail on the east side of Hwy 1 in currently closed due to the 2016 Soberanes fire.  The trails and the beach on the west side of […]

Beaches

Water, woods and wrocks

Limekiln State Park was one of the state parks on Highway 1 we hadn’t seen yet, so Susie and I packed ourselves and a cooler into the trusty Element, left […]

Big Trees

Wah-wahs in the Woods

Nellie and Shiloh needed a vacation. At some point last winter I went to a snowshoeing class at the REI in Marina.  I was the only person there, and Sierra, […]

Beaches

Two for One

Note: (January 2018) This trial is open on the west side of Hwy 1, but many of the trails on the east side of Hwy 1 throughout Big Sur are […]

Hiking

Fields of Gold

    Well, actually, you have to work a bit before you get to the fields of gold. Before that, there’s a 7 mile washboard road that’s a field of […]

Uncategorized

Bath Time in Birdland

I was walking around the ranch on a hot and dry Sunday. I noticed that one of the drip irrigation lines had a crack in it.  I looked up and […]

Hiking

Best Views, No Bull

Toro County Park, dammit. It took two, seven-mile hikes to get it right. The first time I set out on foot at Toro County Park I parked right there at […]

Missions

Mission: The Sequel

We didn’t plan on making back-to-back mission trips, but Susie and I had to swing by LA Hearne in King City for some ranch supplies and decided to travel about […]

Missions

The Mission

I try and limit my posts to our trudging about in the great outdoors around Monterey and central California, but occasionally we find some great indoors to visit and write […]

Beaches

The Birds: Zmudowski State Beach

I took advantage of the late summer light last week and squeezed a little more into a day that would have normally ended when I packed up and left my […]

Hiking

Just Add Water: San Luis NWR

Our stop here was really an afterthought. Susie and I were on our way to the Hite Cove Trail in the Sierra National Forest and decided to layover in Merced […]

Hiking

Wild for Flowers, Sierra National Forest

We all know the best way to tackle a big project is to break it down into small pieces. That’s sort of how we ended up on the Hite Cove […]

Geology

Arroyo Seco Gorge(ous)

This is about the fourth trip Susie and I have made to the trail along Arroyo Seco Gorge, which is about 45 minutes southeast of the ranch by Carmel Valley […]

Hiking

Garland Ranch: I Can See for Miles

  For the past few years I’ve been driving past Garland Ranch Regional Park a couple of times a week and have always wanted to hike up to the top […]

Hiking

Big Birds, Big Boulders: Pinnacles National Park

Here’s the thing.  From the parking lot it doesn’t look like much.  Yes, the rocks you see when you get out of your car are a little unusual. The smooth […]

Hiking

Head for the Hills: Fort Ord National Monument

The thing is, from the road the hills don’t look all that steep.  They look like hills of the ‘gentle rolling’ genre and seem relatively tame after a trip to […]

Big Sur

Big Sur, Big Trees

  Note: (January 2018) Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is open, but due to the 2016 Soberanes fire and extreme rain in the 2016-2017 winter, many trails remain closed. Check […]

Beaches

Bike Ride: Monterey to Castroville

First of all, I’m not a hard-core, 150 miles-a-week, 8% grade, off a jump, broken-collarbone bike guy. I’ll huff my heavy Trek 4300 up a rise looking for still lower […]

Beaches

Rocks and Rollers, Soberanes Point

Note: (January 2018) This part of Garrapata State Park (west of Hwy 1) is open, but because of the 2016 Soberanes fire, the park remains closed on the east side […]

Beaches

Phil’s Fish Market

On any trip up Hwy 1 that takes us past Moss Landing, or even close, we are compelled to take a slight detour toward the beach and harbor, and stop […]

Beaches

Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge

Note: In the winter months the access road to the refuge may be impassible. There is also a hunting season for the refuge, usually October through January.   I drive across […]

Hiking

Monterey Fog from 4,800 feet

Susan and I headed out to Chews Ridge, which is in the mountains behind the ranch, about 30 minutes and 3000 feet higher and stumbled on this view of the […]

Beaches

Beach Fix: Garrapata State Park

Note: (January 2017) The ocean side of Garrapata State Park is open, the park on the east side of Hwy 1 remains closed due to the 2016 Soberanes fire and […]

Beaches

Classic California Coast, Right Next Door

Point Lobos State Preserve is always our first stop when guests come into town; it’s a close-by, crash course on the coastal ecosystems that puts you face to face with […]