Monterey


Monterey at night

Monterey at night

After our hike in the pinnacles Dan, Martin and myself had a nice quiet day in Santa Cruz, we visited the art museum, wandered around down town and played the new board game that they got.Then I was on the road again this time a short drive to Monterrey. I was staying at the Monterey hostel so it was a short walk down to the waterfront by cannery row to take a few night shots.

seal pup

seal pup

The next morning I headed out along the beach to where harbour seals had gathered in a cove with their new pups.

I also walked along Cannery row and photographed some of the historical buildings such as “Doc’s” laboratory, this is Ed Rickets original  Pacific biological laboratories building.

Pacific biological laboratories

Pacific biological laboratories

Pacific Biological laboratories

Pacific Biological laboratories

By then it was late enough in the morning that the aquarium was opened and so I decided to go on in and take a few more pictures.

Monterrey Aquarium

Monterrey Aquarium

Monterey Aquarium

Monterey Aquarium

Monterey aquarium

Monterey aquarium

I still had one more stop before heading on to Bakersfield, but I’ll write about that next time.

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New year New Changes


Once more I find myself apologizing for the lack of posts lately. This time I have a good excuse, really. I do. For several years now I’ve been saying I should go back to school and complete my degree. I’ve managed to coble quite a few college credits but since I keep changing my major/career goals they’re all over the place. For that matter I still haven’t settled on a major but I’m hoping to meet with a counsellor and have them look over my transcripts before making a decision in that regard. Anyway I came to the conclusion that I would never take enough classes to finish any degree while working full time so I quit! This will of course mean some major life changes. I’m spending the next two months tying up loose ends here In Sacramento. Then I’ll be moving to Southern California where hopefully I can find part time work to supplement my income while I go to school. It’s amazing how busy I’ve been since I quit working! Today I completed step one which was completely emptying the contents of my storage unit. It’s amazing how much junk I’ve collected over the years. Sorting through it has been interesting, but I’m confident now that I’ll be able to condense it down to just a couple of boxes of the most important things.  Course the dive gear, camping equipment, caving gear and all my photo gear has to come with, so maybe more then a couple boxes will be necessary:)

It’s all been a little scary and nerve wracking after all change isn’t easy, but I’m truly excited to see what the future has in store and just think of all the new places I’ll be photographing and blogging about now.

I’m sure the bug is excited to hit some new roads and trails.

Baja Bug

My Bug

Oh and Happy  NEW YEAR !

 

Bugarama


Bugarama

Bugarama

Last weekend I took my newly fixed up baja bug and headed on down to Bugarama to check out all the other bugs. There was some wonderful looking cars on display and a massive area of parts for sale so I had a great time wandering around. I came to a stop though when I spotted this lowered landrover though.  Wondering a. why would someone lower a landrover and b. why was it at bugarama?

Land Rover

Land Rover

A quick look at the back answered this question.

Air cooled landrover engine?

Air cooled landrover engine?

Yes, that’s an air cooled vw engine. A pretty impressive mod job if I ever saw one.
Later on they started the races and here there really was more to the cars then meets the eye, as some old beat up looking cars srceamed down the track at speeds in excess of 100 mph while some shiny like new cars didn’t do as well.

VW BUS

This VW bus went over 95mph!

This red bug deployed its braking parachute at the start of its run and still finished going over 90mph!

red bug

red bug

I spent a fair bit of the afternoon hanging out with some kind folks who drove up from Manteca and who were nice enough to let me have a seat in the sun shade they’d brought. In spite of that I managed to get to much sun and was a little on the pink side the next day. So notes for next time- bring a chair, bring a sunshade, more sunscreen and more water. Of course then it’ll be raining but hey its worth a try.

Its a dogs life

Its a dogs life!
Everyone seemed to enjoy bugarama

Can’t wait for the next one.

Gone to Oregon


Weed

The town of Weed with Mount Shasta in the background

    This years Speleo-ed was held in Bend Oregon. A bit of a drive in my Baja Bug, so I allowed extra time for the trip up. Arriving at a rest stop near the north end of lake Shasta I was surprised to see a familiar face, three in fact. Mark, Kadean and Eric were driving up early to Speleo-ed as well. They decided to change their plans to stay near Bend and instead camp out at the state park north of Klamath falls that I had picked out as a good stop for the night. with all of us sharing a camp site this turned out to be a very good deal. They even had hot showers, though there wasn’t a lot of water pressure. We enjoyed a great sunset at a river that flowed past the campground. I heard several loud splashes from beavers jumping in but none stuck around to be photographed.
Sunset

Sunset

     That night it got really cold. I had packed an extra sleeping bag in anticipation of the forecasted 31 degrees but this was a fair bit colder than that. The next morning there was ice on the freeze proof water spigot! A volunteer at the logging museum informed us it had gotten down to around 20 the previous night. Now I remember why I usually head south for vacations.  A couple of chipmunks came and checked out our campsite as I enjoyed my morning coffee.
Chipmunk

Chipmunk, morning stretches

     We had a great time visiting the outdoor displays at the logging museum as the sun was out and the day was warming up rapidly. We even saw an Osprey nesting in a tall tree nearby.
Osprey in its nest

Osprey in its nest

 Next we backtracked a few miles to head up to Crater lake. I had heard they had cleared enough snow to get to the overlook and wanted to take a few pictures of this scenic lake. As it turned out I was very lucky because we arrived when the lake was completely smooth and it’s mirror like surface made for some very nice pictures. I had a great time and even remembered to remove the uv filter from my lens in order to take several shots that I could stitch together later into a nice panorama.
 From there we headed back down to Jo’s motel for lunch and then it was on to Bend for Speleo-Ed. I arrived just in time for dinner at the Sundance ranch. After dinner we had a great presentation on what the cavers in Oregon had been up to including a video of a cave under a glacier. It looked like a great adventure but when the camera started freezing over it sure looked cold!
The next day we had some great presentations, including Pikas- cute little things, and more info on lava then I could have imagined. Then we got to the good part,  photography! Brent did a great job showing us some interesting lighting that made for wonderful pictures. He showed me how to take advantage of the zoom function in live view which was something I hadn’t played with much. I’m going to have to play with it some more though as I found my external flashes wouldn’t trigger with live view turned on. I found this out when we headed over to skeleton cave to try out the techniques we were learning. Marianne and I commented that the large lava tube didn’t feel like we were caving as we didn’t have to squeeze to get anywhere and for the most part it was just walking in a huge passage with nice flat floors. We found a nice curve in the passage where we got to take a few pictures so I had a great time.
lava tube

lava tube

That night we had a wonderful dinner put on by the Western Cave Conservancy, the business meeting went on too long as usual, which meant the auction went late but finally we got to the now traditional schnapps and liquor tasting. Shortly afterwards I headed for bed as I knew I was getting up early for a long drive the next day. I was heading to meetup  with parents, my Brother and his family in order to observe the eclipse. Our original plan was to meetup at the visitor center in Lassen but that was such a popular spot they weren’t letting people in. We did find a wonderful little meadow with a store and great view of the eclipse. Only problem was there were about a million mosquitoes waiting for us. We survived the onslaught and thanks to the generosity of our fellow eclipse watchers(one loaned me a welding glass and another a piece of mylar) I was able to get several pictures of the event.
Eclipse

Eclipse

 We then had a good family visit.
Michael

Michael

Grandpa

Whos that guy with the beard?

 The next day after dinner at the Cotton Candy diner in Chester my parents followed me over to I5 and we headed south. We made one more stop at Granzellas before I was on my way home. It was a lot of driving but well worth it and the bug did just fine. Another great adventure.
Wild flowers

Wild flowers

Sunset along I5

Sunset along I5

On the road again


Upgraded baja bug

Upgraded baja bug

baja bug

baja bug

 
After some extensive work done by Tunas buggy works I got my bug back on the road just in time for this years speleo-ed. This was to prove a good test of the road worthyness of the work done on the bug as I was looking at over 1000 miles of driving, a lot of steep mountain roads and plenty of bumpy dirt roads. It was a great trip and I’ll write more about it once I finish going through the hundreds of pictures I took. Here’s a few of the bug though. 

 

Sunset baja bug

Sunset baja bug