- Combined FleetDecoded: The Secret History of American Intelligence and the Japanese Navy during World War II by John Prados - extremely detailed account of US intelligence in the Pacific War but overly detailed on operations and tactics
- USN Carriers v IJN Carriers1942: The Pacific 1942 by Mark Stile
- World War II US Fast Carrier TaskForce Tactics: 1942 - 1945 by Brian Lane Herder
- Carrier Warfare in the Pacific: An Oral History by E. T. Woolridge
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Well before current travel restrictions were in place, we had reserved a spot at Parsons Landing on Catalina Island. However, the the boats were shutdown until right before our scheduled departure. We took the morning drive up to San Pedro and took the 1:15 hour ride over to Two Harbors. After checking in, we started hiking along the road to Parsons Landing.
As the crow flies, it is probably only a couple miles to Emerald Bay, but you have to traverse all the intermediate canyons and landings to it ends up being a 2 hour hike to Emerald Bay. From there, you head overland a bit to get to Parsons. We got there early and without shade it was kind of boring although the views were great. All eight sites were booked but it didn't seem crowded at all.
After a great night's sleep, we slowly packed up and hiked back to Two Harbors to catch the boat back. There were lots of people at Two Harbors on Sunday morning. They even used a big boat to fit everyone. We got in line early to ensure we got an outdoor spot.
Overall, it was a fun little overnight backpack.
|View from site 8|
|Jyoti hiking in the grasslands|
|No summer camp this year :(|
|Overlooking Two Harbors|
A couple of interesting items in environment news. Its seems that some folks are having seconds thoughts about the "end of the world" narrative about "human-cause" climate change.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Travel has opened up enough to allow us to reschedule our Oregon wine country trip that was canceled earlier in the year.
Leaving San Diego, the airport was pretty empty. The only shop open was a coffee shop and everyone was wearing masks. We flew on a brand new Embraer E75 which has 2+2 seating. Couples and families occupied the same side but others were had empty seats next to them.
Once in Portland, we headed south to McMinnville, our base camp for the trip. We stayed at a renovated old building that was very nice. About half of the business still looked to be closed. The restaurants that were open were doing pretty good business and were glad to have customers.
Over the next 3 days, we visited many wineries. I overdid the tasting the first day but remembered to use the spit bucket later.
Tuesday, June 09, 2020
A couple friends and I headed up to the San Bernadino mountains and San Gorgonio Wilderness for a long awaited return to backpacking! The plan was to drive up to Forsee trailhead and hike to Trail Forks and camp for the night. Then, hit the summit and see how many of the 9 peaks we could bag before camping at either Shields Flat or Trail Forks again. Next morning, quickly hike down and drive home. Things didn't go quite as planned.
The weather this trip was the most difficult I have had to deal with. It was lightly raining the entire drive up. Then at the trailhead, it was sunny and warm. We sweated the first several miles. Then a bitter cold wind started up. By dinner time, it was very cold (low 40's) and windy (~20 to 30 mph gusts). Thing is none us were really prepared for much colder temperatures. Night was nice for a while until the wind picked up again. We estimate it was mid 30's by morning. At the summit, it was even colder and we only stayed for a few minutes to take pix before rapidly heading down to find shelter among the stubby pines for lunch.
Everyone had forgot some piece of needed gear. I forgot my rain jacket (grabbed my rain pants by mistake) and took my warm weather quilt. I would have been fine in warmer base layers but don't own any; that might be my next gear purchase.
The Ray-way tarp did great. I pitched it perpendicular to the wind at the lowest I have pitched it. I avoided most of the wind and didn't get any flapping.
I carried my BV500 in my new Zpacks Arc Blast. It fit nicely and wasn't a bother. I think the arc in the pack does a great job of keeping the hard plastic away from your spine. I did get some rubbing along my hip bones but that always happens. Overall, the Arc Blast is welcome replacement pack.
I have been keeping in good shape during the lock down but nothing compares to alpine hiking. Rich and I bagged the summit and Jepson but were too beat to try any other peaks. The ups and downs along the ridge trail between Anderson and Dollar Saddle were tough. There were also many snow patches to cross which slowed us down some.
I found a great website for backpacking recipes run by a nutritionist: Backcountry Foodie. It is vegetarian focused which I am trying more and more. I also enjoy the thought put into each recipe and the instructions. I tried out the Garlic Parmesan Ramen and White Chocolate Coconut Pudding. They were very good. I highly recommend getting a subscription.
|Get the gear!|
|Crossing a snow field|
|Above the clouds|
|At the summit|
|Extra low tarp pitch|
|Trying to keep our stoves out of the wind|
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
We finally got out of the house and made a road trip to visit my parents in their new home in Tucson. it is a bit of a drive but not too bad. The weather was hot but quite nice with cool mornings and breezes.
My parents' house backs up to Tucson Mountain park and they get quite a bit of wildlife passing by. We saw deer, quail, coyotes and many types of birds. They have seen bobcat and javelina as well. We did some hikes in the park, played games and had a good time with my parents and my aunt and uncle.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
As the "curve" is getting squashed, it is time to start planning to venture out again.
What is open?
Contrary to popular beliefs and reporting, much of the California backcountry has been open albeit to various extents. National Parks have all been pretty much closed. Most Forest Service lands have been open to hiking but established campground and facilities have been closed. All state lands have been closed. County and city lands don't provide much in the way of long distance hiking so aren't a concern for this discussion. One tricky aspect to permitting is actually getting your permit. Inyo NF is taking reservations starting June 1 but if the ranger stations are still closed, there is no way to get your permit. SEKI is accepting permit applications but they don't guarantee a response. Some districts will issue permits via email so those are a safe bet. Be sure to check the websites of the land manager where you plan to hike for the latest information.
What is safe?
Everyone has their own opinion on this (whether fact-based or not). Andrew Skurka is putting up a great set of guidelines for judging risk and safety for backcountry outings. Skurka is focusing on guiding groups but his principles apply for solo and Scout groups as well. The data shows that outdoor activities is very safe, especially the farther you get from the road. I predict coming across other folks but will have a buff for face covering as appropriate. My current short term planning is to hike within a tank's worth of gas therefore I won't have to stop anywhere along the way between home and the trailhead. If trends in the data continue, then I will consider dropping this restriction from summer which means getting to the Sierras.
On the trail
I don't plan on making any changes to my gear for the trail. I will be taking extra water in the car so I don't have to fill up from municipal sources which may be closed.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
It has taken governments quite a while to get their data together and start reporting it in a meaningful way.
Here is the latest and best sources for San Diego county and California:
Here is the latest and best sources for San Diego county and California:
- California Raw data - some of these sources seem to be way out of date but better than nothing if you want to do your own analysis
- California Hospital Data - a nice Tableau dashboard for current hospitalizations; would be nice to have a graph over time
- California Cases and Deaths - another state dashboard for cases, tests, and deaths; has nice time charts
- San Diego County Dashboard - very useful graphs that can be used to judge progress against the state's metrics
- San Diego County Weekly Watch (pdf) - a good stack of charts; lots of demographics which are very useful IMO but some useful trend charts
- San Diego Union Tribune - some useful dashboards especially the 14-day rolling average of positive tests