Painted Cave


Took a break from the heat by heading to the coast. Island Packers has a combo trip that goes to Prisoners harbor on Santa Cruz Island and then on around to Painted cave. We had a great trip out as the ocean was particularly calm so we were able to see even more dolphins then I spotted on previous trips.

The cave is big enough (approx. 1225′ long) they can drive the whole boat inside it! Dad spotted some interesting Dudlyea growing near the entrance.

Back at the Harbor, we got a little confused since I was used to landing at Scorpion bay and prisoners harbor is a completely different end of the island! We went for a short walk then ate lunch and watched an island fox sneak around looking for leftovers.

All too soon it was time for the trip home. We had a delicious sea food dinner in Ventura before heading back to the heat.

Flight in the City of Angels


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I rode my motorcycle to head out and escape the dust and heat of the valley. My first stop was near hungry Valley state recreation area to check out the wildflowers.

Next up was a brief stop at pyramid lake to enjoy the view.

Since it was such a nice day I decided to keep on riding and headed on to L.A.

I had been watching the tv show Bosch online and read some of the books as well, which mentioned the Angels flight funicular was running again. I had missed out on riding it years ago when I lived in Long Beach for awhile, so I decided to go check it out. I wasn’t able to park near the train as the Los Angeles Fire Department was involved in some sort of operations nearby. I found plenty of spots a few blocks away though and walked back.

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The train cost a dollar to ride up the hill so I hopped onboard.

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The view from on top was good and I walked around for a bit checking out the architecture of the nearby buildings.

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Coming back down the hill I crossed the street and checked out the underground market.

I made my way back to where I parked the bike and rode on to another spot frequently mentioned in the Bosch stories- Echo park.

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After dinner at a nearby taco truck, it was time to hit the road for the long ride home. Another great day out on the bike.

L.A for the Day


This time I decided to escape the central valley heat and dust by heading West. Reaching Tejon pass on the motorcycle I was thoroughly enjoying the cooler air when I smelled smoke. I spotted a fire helicopter flying overhead and figured they were already at work fighting fires in the area. Continuing on to Santa Clarita I saw a column of thick smoke rising from a nearby hillside.

img_0682-x2 I pulled over to take a picture and while I was doing this a Sheriffs vehicle came flying up the road with lights and sirens, He pulled over long enough to ask if I saw any houses in danger then continued on up the hill to check for himself. Shortly afterwards a whole cadre of Highway patrol, fire trucks and fire crews began arriving. I decided to clear out and avoid being in their way so I was heading towards L.A again.

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I took surface streets down towards North Hollywood and by then I was getting pretty hungry so I pulled over at Joe’s Felafels in Universal City.

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I love the fact they had a pita oven behind the counter so you can watch the fresh pita being pulled out before its brought to your table. Mmmm.

I continued on surface streets over to Sunset then headed West through Beverly hills and on to Venice Beach. Here the traffic was thick so I parked several blocks back from the beach and enjoyed the walk. img_0720-x2

 

I hung out at the beach for a couple hours then I decided to head South. I found a hill overlooking the south side of LAX which gave an excellent vantage for plane watching I hung out for a little while watching the planes take off and land.

I knew it would be getting to sunset time soon so I hopped back on the bike and cruised over to Hermosa beach.

My last stop in L.A was back up Mulholland drive to enjoy the famous view of the lights of the city.

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Though I did stop again in Santa Clarita where I was saddened to see the fire was still raging though fire crews were still hard at work.

img_1081-x2 Soon I was out of the smoke though and heading back into the stifling warm air of the valley. At least I’d had a nice day away from it ūüôā

Check out the rest of the Gallery here.

Whitney Portal


I decided to head out this weekend on the motorcycle and escape the heat here in Bakersfield. In hindsight maybe heading into the desert wasn’t the best choice for this but overall it worked out very well. Early morning riding past Tehachapi was nice and cool and it wasn’t till I neared Mojave that the smoke from nearby forest fires clouded the air.

I continued North up through Red rock Canyon and soon I was riding in clean cool air again though as the sun beat down it was getting noticeably warmer. By midday it was becoming hot so I was glad to take a ride up Whitney Portal road. This very steep road soon had me up at cooler climes and I was able to relax near a stream for awhile. I had intended to pop into the portal shop for a bite to eat but there was a considerable crowd up by the trail head/ parking area so I decided to make my way down back towards 395 instead. Progressing along the interstate it wasn’t long before I realized¬† a. it was pretty darn hot out and b. the air quality was significantly worsening as more smoke flowed out of the forest fires.¬† The smoggy skies did make for an impressive sunset as I passed back through Red Rock Canyon so I stopped for a few pictures and as I headed towards Mojave a gusty wind started blowing which while it made riding a little uncomfortable did cool things off.

450 miles later I was home, a very enjoyable outing.

See the rest of the pictures HERE

PackSaddle 2016


 

Waterfall at the creek

Creek

Last year I managed a visit up to Packsaddle cave but it was mid summer and I headed up a bit late in the day which made for a too warm trip. Well honestly it was hot but I survived. This year I joined a local hiking group and they wisely headed up early in the morning and picked a weekend when the weather was really very pleasant. I managed to pack extra water and even had some ice left in one of the bottles upon returning to the motorcycle for the ride home.

As evidenced in the photos there was more water present then last year which in turn meant more wildflowers and unfortunately more poison oak but I think we managed to avoid it all.

Hiking across the ridge

Hiking across the ridge

 

wildflowers

wildflowers

Hiking up the hill

Hiking up the hill, if you look real careful there’s people up near the top ūüôā

It was a surprisingly large group, close to 30 people but everyone seemed to enjoy the hike and no one complained that I took my time coming up the hill as I stopped to take just one or two more pictures.

lupine

lupine

Finally we reached the cave. Here I was disappointed to find my flashes weren’t triggering from the radio transmitters but I did have optical slave as an option so I took a couple shots with that and found that my dive light made a fairly good substitute as well.

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flash using optical slave in the cave

dive light

dive light

So at least I got a few in cave pics then it was time to hike back down the hill.

There were still plenty of flowers to photograph on the way back

Mariposa Lilly

Mariposa Lilly

and I got back to the motorcycle early enough to enjoy a pleasant ride through the canyon before heading down to the valley where it was getting pretty warm again.

More wild flowers

More wild flowers