22 March 2018

Utah-ing: Galactic Disappointment

Had a chance to make a quick jaunt out to Utah. Wisdoc (ATL) and Wisdaughter (LA) wanted to meet up for a ski weekend. Now, I can ski; it's just that I have a bit of trouble stopping, and I'm getting to the point in my life where I don't really like to fall much. So I decided to find other adventures. I had hoped—and planned—to spend one night in what's called a Dark Sky Park (no light pollution) and try to take photos of the Milky Way galactic center which rises in March around 3:00 am. Unfortunately for me but luckily for the girls, it snowed every night. Did not venture out much after dark, but I found a few other interesting sites within a couple hours drive of Park City to take the cameras out for a trot.

Saltaire Music Venue near Great Salt Lake State Park. (Olympus OM-D E-M5; Olympus 17mm lens 1:1.8; polarized filter)
The Great Salt Lake
Antelope Island State Park in the middle of the Great Salt Lake—the Dark Sky Park where I was hoping to take my shot at the galactic center.
The Tree of Life: Roadside Attraction at Mile Marker 26 on I-80 going west, on the north side of the highway. (iPhone X)
Even Atlas Obscura isn't quite sure what this thing is supposed to be. 
Bonneville Salt Flats at the last Rest Area on I-80 in Utah before getting to Nevada.
Propping my iPhone X on the salt, foregrounding a rock. Bonneville Salt Flats. Click the pic to enlarge and see the granules of salt. It was a hard, solid crust.
Bonneville Salt Flat speedway off Exit 4. Flooded. Water's about 1" deep all the way to the horizon.
A group of University of Utah students doing a film shoot.
Obviously I found them to be a great subject.
Same.
Same.
Emerald colored lake. I-80.
Same with cool vanishing point.
The next day I went snowmobiling. First time. 5" fresh powder!!
Scene from 9000'.
Rest stop cabin at 9000'.
Literally the most adorable diner ever. Imported from New England. National Historic Register. Oakley, UT. Great lunch after snowmobile morning, btw!!
Wisdaughter on the streets of Park City. Last night.

05 January 2018

Desert Hiking, Coachella Valley

Now that the holidays are over, I have time (and energy) to post some pix from my other* hikes in/around the Coachella Valley.

Enjoy!! (As always, click pics to embiggen.)

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*Other, that is, than the two hikes up in Joshua Tree for which see previous post.
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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve: Welcome Center
"Hey guys, wait up! I'm trying to take some pictures here!" Desert hiking is different.
Palm Oasis plus distant San Andreas fault lines.
Only California native palm species. Ancient.
I thought those long frond things were called skirts or aprons. But no! They're called petticoats.
Palm Oasis
Wind farm on the Coachella Valley floor (400' elev) looking up to Mount San Jacinto (8500' elev)
View south across Palm Springs toward Mexico from Mount San Jacinto State park.
Hiking Mount San Jacinto. To get up here, you take a tram that rises from approx. 3000' elevation to the top!
Alpine Meadow
Yet another palm oasis. This one in Indian Canyons on the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of the  Cahuilla Indians.
Oasis.
Note how the petticoats have been burned off the trunks. Wild fires swept through here a few years back, but these trees withstood it.
It's a good guess there's water underground around there. Denuded, unburnt stand of palms.
Western hiking, yo!
Jim H. of the desert