When I moved back to California last August, I became enamored, again, with the Pacific coastline, where the land meets the sea. And the colors that come out in the evenings' magic hour make the photographs lovelier. All these are from last year in 2015. Above and below: From Mt Tamalpais State Park above Stinson...
The tip of Bolinas shows in the distance.
Martin's Beach south of Half Moon Bay
Part of the Golden Gate Bridge shows through the mountains from along the Coyote Ridge Trail in the Marin Headlands.
Black Sands Beach, Marin Headlands
Sunrise view from my balcony
Before I started working again and before the snows hit the Sierras, I drove down from the Bay Area, into the smoke-choked central valley - billowing with smoke from the biggest fire of 2015 spreading into Kings Canyon. I drove to the seemingly infamous Mineral King trailhead in Sequoia National Park. Peter Beckman, founder of the delicious Santa Cruz sourdough bread company of his name - who also drives a VW diesel wagon - advised me to take a cross country route (i.e. no trail) over a few high mountain masses before connecting back to a trail for my 50 mile loop to Kern Hot Springs.
The smoke was starting to clear up the further east I pushed. Atop the first pass...
Descending to Spring Lake...
Heading up to the next pass
And later the same day from Mineral King I made it to the top of aptly-named Hands and Knees Pass. The loose scree and lack of trail with my backpack full of food made the climb a bit sketchy but also exhilarating.
Solo hiking means more selfies.
Next morning closer to a real trail at Little Five Lakes
wild (and delicious) sierra onion
The air was fairly clear during my hike but mid-afternoon the second day - the smoke started pouring over the 12,000 ft high mountain ridges that had been blocking the smoke in the central valley from coming up into the mountains.
Descending down into Kern Canyon...
the tub...and the water is dang hot from the source!
mellow path in idyllic kern canyon
Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes.
Although the clouds were rolling in, I held hope that it would suddenly clear up for a sunset view atop Franklin Pass.
Instead I faced thick clouds with high freezing wind with hardly any visibility. I was worried about losing the trail up top but managed to stay on the mountain and on the trial.
A hike isn't an adventure unless you add a harrowing moment.
Brrrr! Frosty morning at Franklin Lake
Black bear near Mineral King trailhead
27 mile hike to Kern Canyon hot springs - 23 miles back to the car
The lamplighters circumambulate the Man prior to lighting him up on Saturday night.
The man blows up.
In the glow of the burning man.
Trevor and Cheer's boing board and their VW bus
Bridget, Larry and Daddy O
Trevor and Cheer
Our neighbors' art car, the Neverwas Haul, a self-propelled 3-story Victorian house
R-Evolution at sunrise on Monday morning...
Monday morning, Burners gather around the embers from Sunday evening's Temple fire and waited for the sun to rise...
And that guy took off running naked towards the rising sun in the desert.
And then he stopped.