Archive for April, 2010

Coyote Canyon, Anza Borrego Desert

April 30, 2010 11:57 am

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Hiking and camping in the Coyote Canyon in Anza Borrego (wiki) just East of San Diego. We just drove down from a night of camping in freezing cold in Mt. Laguna 5000+ feet just West of Anza Borrego.   Today’s plan was to drive to lower Coyote Canyon, pitch tent just before the 3rd water crossing on the trail and hike the rest of the way to an oasis in Sheep Canyon “3.5 miles away”.   3.5 miles later in 90 degree heat, the oasis looked like it was still along the horizon! The scenery was awesome, though.  The desert was as colorful as ever thanks to its spring-time bloom.  Flowers of all sizes and colors painted the landscape.

Getting There:

Getting to the trailhead requires a 4×4 with good clearance to go over rocks, cross streams and not get stuck in the sand.

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The Hike:

The hike we were originally informed would be a round trip of 7-miles through desert heat.  So we filled up our water bottles, got our sunblocks, hats, sunglasses and took off.  We didn’t quite make it to the destination due to underestimating the distance.  We later found out from a guide book that the distance was closer to 10 miles and not 7 miles!

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The Bloom:

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Night Shots:

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Vic#2 painting the picture with the word, “Anza”

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Obligatory star trail shot.

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Vic#1, Vic#2, James Ng.


The wonderful world of Macro Photography

April 22, 2010 10:23 pm

Treated myself to a nice heavy lens (Canon 100mm f2.8 macro) and my first chance to really make use of it with the blooming flowers around kuya’s house.  Making this my official entry to the macro world.

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Mariano’s Baptism

April 19, 2010 9:21 am

It was little Mariano’s baptism weekend! Pictures below:

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Cold weekend in Yosemite

April 6, 2010 2:59 pm

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Introduced Ning to Yosemite National Park and some camping experience in the cold.  Other campers were my friend from work, Martin and his wife, Fannie, as well as my old camping buddy from San Diego, “Vic#2″ Chen.  I started out the little road trip with some Backayard Jerk Chicken (my last good meal before I live off of freeze-dried food for the weekend) while I packed the car with all the gear while waiting for Ning from her commute from work.

We ended up leaving the bay area around 8pm to Rendezvous with Vic#2 where the 5 and the 120 freeways meet in Manteca.  The poor guy took the day off to drive all day from San Diego.  Vic#2 left SD just after noon and was delayed  a couple of hours by LA traffic and didn’t arrive to Manteca ’til about 10pm.   Ning and I were the first to arrive to Manteca and decided to kill some time at Starbucks until Vic#2 arrived.   When Vic#2 arrived, we grabbed a quick dinner, loaded up his gear into my car and parked it in a residential neighborhood.  He drives a Subaru Outback wagon, which blends into Manteca Suburbia perfectly. Martin and Fannie drove separately and left the Bay Area shortly after us only to turn back around because Martin left his wallet back home.  Now they weren’t sure whether to continue with the plan or just drive first thing Saturday morning.  They braved the night and decided to catch up with us.

It was in the 30s and raining when we arrived to Hodgdon Campsite which is, fortunately, right inside the entrance of the park.  We struggled to find our campsite because…well, it was past 1 am, it was raining, there was snow on the ground, and the parking spots labeled for *our* campsite had cars parked in them.   I guess it took us quite a bit of time of walking around to find the campsite cuz eventually, Martin and Fannie showed up and we still didn’t find our spot.  I firmly believed people were squatting on our spot since we just couldn’t find our campsite in any of the empty spots.  So with a bit of walking around other campers’ tents, I finally found our spot and there was one big tent that was taking up quite a bit of space from our spot.

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Now that we found our spot, it was on to the next challenge!  If you’re not a patient person, I don’t recommend you setting up a tent after a long drive at 2 am, in the freezing rain, and on snow-covered ground.  I’ve set up my tent many many times and I can probably put it together with my eyes closed.  Vic#2 rented a tent from REI, and Martin borrowed a tent from a coworker so NONE of us had any idea how these tents are set-up.  I know I should be feeling bad for our neighbors for all the noise we were making snapping the poles together and all the rustling from moving the tents around (and of course the cussing), but it’s their own damn fault for squatting on our site anyway.  When we finally got our tents up, I opened up my pack of Blue Moon and the dudes celebrated our success with a bottle of beer each and quickly called it a night.  Tomorrow’s gonna be a long day