Sunday, December 31, 2023

Baltimore Christmas 2023

  • Mt. Vernon tour; great even with the rain
  • Center Club for dinner and annual meeting
  • Lots of games
  • Walking the dogs
  • Taking a flight with Kevin and dad

Lily's first flight

Preflight at Martin State Airport

Backseat selfie

George Washington's Tomb

Mt. Vernon

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Time Team Drinking Game

Rules: during an episode of Time Team, take the listed number of drinks when the listed item is seen.

1 Drink

  • Phil's Daisy Duke's
  • Helen's Daisy Duke's
  • Raksha's laugh
  • Bridget's belly
  • Anyone's butt crack
  • Anyone's cleavage
  • Mick drinking wine
  • Francis making a wild ass guess that has no chance of holding to day three
  • Ian operating a digger
  • Stewart riding a bike
  • Matt volunteered for re-enactment duty
  • Tony hauling tea
2 Drinks
  • John Gator doing any sort of excavation
  • Victor speaking
  • Trench opened on the basis of a strong geophys anomaly that results in something modern
  • Robin smoking
3 Drinks
  • Mick drinking something other than wine
  • Carrenza's belly
Note these rules are based on the original series not the reboot.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Thanksgiving Desert Jeep Trip

For Thanksgiving weekend, Jo and I headed into the desert for a planned overnight jeep trip.  We headed into Borrego Springs and made a stop at the visitor center and enjoyed the nice nature walk there.  Then we hit Font's Point which has spectacular views.  Next, we headed up Coyote Canyon.  The road was in better shape than I expected and people were already setting up camp along the road and creek.  However, we were blocked at the gate.  The gate is normally closed during summer months to protect the habitat for bighorn sheep; but it should be opened by now.  We parked at the gate and started hiking in to check it out.  It was evident right away that the road was gone as the creek now flowed strongly where the road used to be.  It seems the recent storms rechanneled the stream away from its normal course at 3rd crossing which is now dry.  Heading farther in, the road up the to the next valley was severely eroded and mostly unpassable to cars.  I don't see this road being opened up anytime soon, if ever, especially given the way the state parks runs its business.  Anyway we turned back and hit Inspiration Canyon which was awesome and decided to head home since it was getting cold and windy.  On the way out, we hit Old Culp Valley Road which was very lush.

At Font's Point

Overlooking Borrego Badlands

Creek running through Coyote Canyon road

Eroded Coyote Canyon road

Hiking into Collins Valley

Green desert!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Atlanta Fall Visit

Jo and I had a great time in Atlanta visiting relatives.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Not Death Valley 2023 Jeep Trip

Due to the closures in Death Valley, this year's trip was done farther north in and around the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Day 1 started in Bridgeport and we headed up into the mountains.  The scenery was great with lots of golden-leaved aspens.  Lots of water crossings as well.  The "high point" was Mt. Patterson, the highest point in California that you can drive to. We camped at Belfort ghost town where I did some exploring amongst the old mining camp.

Belfort sunset

Line up in Bridgeport

Lobdell Lake

Trail up Mount Patterson

Atop Mount Patterson

Belfort ghost town

Camping out of the jeep

On Day 2 we headed downhill in great terrain and then into Sweetwater ranch.  After a short drive along NV 338 we got back on trail headed west. We met up with Desert Creek and stopped for a great spot for lunch.  We then headed along the creek, crossing it a few times until we reached camp at the old NF campground.

Great views

Lunch along Desert Creek

Camping along Desert Creek

We started Day 3 by continuing along the creek and reaching NV 338 again.  After heading south on the pavement, we turned off at East Walker River. From there we headed mostly south through the Masonic mining district until we hit the Bodie ghost town and had lunch.  Our planned route from Bodie was closed so we continued south to CA 167 at Mono Lake.  There was quite a bit of pavement miles back into Nevada and turned off at Rattlesnake Flat. We headed through the Excelsior Mountains and made camp in a great spot.  That night was windy and a bit rainy.

Lining up near NV 338

Views of the Sweetwater Mountains

Masonic mining district

Backside of Masonic Mountain


Long straight empty highway

Camp in the Excelsior Mountains

On Day 4, we headed south and stopped at Cow Camp and then into Tells Marsh and stopped at the old Marietta ghost town.  From there we headed mainly east through the Burro reserve until we got to NV 360 we were finally aired up our tires.  From there, I made the 8 hour drive home.

Heading out of the canyon

Cow camp

"Wild" burros

Marietta ghost town

Friday, October 13, 2023

Not my UCLA (updated)

This is not the UCLA I attended.  Disgraceful.

Here is a recent commentary on the event.  The sources don't really sound like they were at the actual event but there is some clarification.

Sunday, October 01, 2023

Orosco Ridge Jeep Trail

I took a few hours and hit a local San Diego trail, Orosco Ridge.  It was a nice trail with great views, Pamo Valley is a literal hidden gem in the county.

Overlooking Pamo Valley

Looking to the West

Another great view


Monday, September 11, 2023

Thursday, September 07, 2023

JMT - 10 years after

I was always planning on doing more intermediate and long trails but life intervenes.


Jyoti and I took a long-awaited trip to Yellowstone.

Day 1

  • Flew into Bozeman (very nice airport)
  • Stopped at Mountain Grizzly Center
  • Entered park via north entrance
  • Checked out visitor center at Mammoth
  • Drove around upper loop
  • Dinner at hotel dining room
Cozy mountain cabin or Bozeman airport?

Bella at the Mountain Grizzly Encounter

Entering Yellowstone

Cloud skies over Mammoth Hot Springs

Exploring the geothermal activity

Our cabin

Day 2

  • Bunson Peak hike - awesome; saw mountain goats, pika, grouse
  • Hiked lower falls
  • Dinner in Gardiner; got groceries (highly recommended)
  • Walked around old Fort Yellowstone
  • Lots of elk wandering around town eating the grass
Bunsen Peak comms hut

View from Bunsen Peak

Waterfall at Golden Gate

Creek next to Mammoth springs

Roosevelt Arch

Day 3

  • Drove to Lamar Valley; saw lots of bison and pronghorn antelope
  • Hiked Trout Lake
  • Drove south to Canyon area
  • Drove south rim of Yellowstone Canyon
  • Dinner at Canyon Village (not recommended)
Roosevelt Lodge

Lamar Valley

Hiking Trout Lake

Lamar River

View from Brinks of the Upper Falls

Upper Yellowstone Falls

View from Artists Point

Day 4

  • Hiked Mount Washburn - very windy and cold but awesome hike
  • Drove north rim of Yellowstone Canyon
  • Drove to Norris to check out the geothermal feature; it was quite smelly and we felt a bit sick
  • All day was windy
  • Grill was closed so we got stuff from grocery store for dinner
View from Mt. Washburn observation deck

Hazy view from Mt. Washburn

Bear track in the mud

View from Brinks of the Lower Falls

View of Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Norris Visitor Center

Norris Geyser Basin

Day 5

  • Drove south rim of Yellowstone Canyon
  • Checked out Lake area; super nice Lake Yellowstone Hotel
  • Drove to Old Faithful area
  • Hiked lower basin
  • Watched Old Faithful from hotel terrace
  • Another cheese and crackers dinner
Kirkland Cascades

Old Faithful Inn

Mud Volcano (very smelly)

Marmot on the rocks

Hiking Storm Point

Hiking towards Pelican Valley

On the terrace at Old Faithful Inn waiting for the geyser

Day 6

  • Checked out middle and upper geyser basins
  • Very crowded
  • Nice (but not great) dinner at hotel dining room
Geyser basin

Steamy spring

Lots of colors in the springs

Bison by the road

Day 7

  • Drove to Grand Teton National Park and did loop drive
  • Had fun at historical display at Mormon's Row
  • Great dinner at Lake Jackson Lodge Mural Room
View of the Tetons

Mormon Row barn

Mormon row

Lake Jackson Lodge lobby

Day 8

  • Woke up early to check out the morning views
  • Took Jenny Lake ferry to Cascade Canyon
  • Hiked up canyon; started raining at the end; hiked back in 2 hours of rain; saw moose and pikas
  • Had lunch at lodge and changed into dry clothes
  • Drove long drive through thunderstorms to Bozeman
  • Stayed at Fox Hollow Inn
Morning view of Lake Jackson

Hidden Falls

View from Inspiration Point

Hiking Cascade Canyon

Antelopes on the range

It was a great trip!  Next time, we want to spend more time in the Tower area and Lamar Valley to see bears and wolves.  Also, need another few days in Grand Teton.