Archive for the 'Outdoors' category

Anza Borrego Time Lapse Video

December 30, 2010 5:30 pm

I was sitting shotgun in my buddy’s Subary  with 5D handheld against the roof through Anza Borrego Desert.

Fish Creek, Anza Borrego Desert

May 9, 2010 11:39 pm
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Entrance to Fish Creek

View Slideshow Here

This is the 2nd day of our stay in the Anza Borrego Desert.    Today we drove out of Coyote Canyon,  attempted to find “The Slot” and ended up taking the wrong turn and Vic#2′s trusty suby just couldn’t make it up the steep, dirt road.

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Photo doesn’t give this hill justice. It was steep with huge dips and very loose dirt. Unfortunately, the suby just couldn’t conquer this hill.

We ended up just leaving the car at the bottom of the hill and hiked in to find “The Slot”.   Once we got to the top of the hill, we were greeted by insane winds.  Strong enough to hold you up while leaning against it.

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Vic#2 and Fredrik leaning against the wind.

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The wind was really kicking our butts and we decided to skip this part of the trip and to use the rest of our time finding a spot for us to camp out for the night and to explore Fish Creek.

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Driving into Fish Creek

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Entering the Split Mountain area/Fish Creek

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Vic#2 fixing the stabilizer bar that came loose from all the off-roading.

Meanwhile, as Vic#2 is trying to fix his suspension…you can’t really ignore all the things to see around the area…

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After agreeing on a safe spot to camp, we only had a couple of hours of sunlight left to explore the area and hiked our way up into the wind caves.

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James & Fredrik at the Wind Caves trailhead.

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View of the Elephant Knees right before getting to the Wind Caves.

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Wind Caves with the elephant knees in the background

I’m glad we skipped the first “hike” of the day because we probably would’ve missed the sunset from this spot…

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View of Fish Creek. Sunset colors painted this beautiful desert landscape

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Yea, no color for this one =P

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Elephant Knees. Sunset colors painted this beautiful desert landscape.

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The last of the sun's rays making the desert glow.

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The last of the sun's rays making the desert glow.

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The clouds were also giving us a show that evening.

More photos from the hike:

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View  Slideshow Here

Cold Weekendin Yosemite Pt.2

May 3, 2010 3:53 pm
20100403_Yosemite_0020.jpgFirst glimpse of the park as you approach from the West entrance.

It’s been almost a month since I posted the first blog about the Yosemite weekend.  This post will go over the remainder of that weekend.

The original plan for this trip was to drive into the park Friday night, wake up early Saturday morning, backpack and and spend the night in Little Yosemite Valley, hike out, and go home Sunday.  With the stormy weather this just wasn’t the easiest thing to do.  Going to the visitor center should always be one of the first stops when entering the park to get current trail conditions and get the latest information from the park officials.  Due to the recent storm, the Mist Trail has been closed due to dangerous conditions, but part of the John Muir Trail is open, although the higher sections of the trail had lots of ice and snow along the trail making bits of the hike quite difficult and very dangerous.  With this information, we decided not to backpack to Yosemite Valley but instead find a spot in Camp 4, and go on the original route as a day hike instead.

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The group having lunch at Clark Point.  We turned around from this point since the trail to the top of Vernal Falls was closed off.  Plus the higher we got in elevation, the snow was just harder to hike through.
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Ning & I

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Ning maneuvering her way down one of the many switchbacks dangerously covered with ice.
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Recently fallen tree blocking the trail with debris all over.

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View of the Yosemite Falls from the trail.

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View of Half Dome from the middle of the Valley

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El Capitan and Half dome towering over the valley.

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View of Yosemite Falls from the Valley floor.

More Photos:

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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.


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