Posts Tagged ‘National Park’

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Thanksgiving Perambulation

January 26, 2012

Hold on to your butts.  This is a long one.

I had some time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, whether I wanted it or not.  Being that the four day weekend wasn’t quite long enough to drive the 2200 miles to Ohio and back, I instead took the time for a mini road trip.  I had wanted to head back out to Joshua Tree, if nothing else to see what it looked like when it wasn’t gloomy and raining all day, had been meaning to get up to San Francisco to visit some friends for a while, and there was a green spot on the map between SanFran and LA called Pinnacles National Monument that looked interesting.

Joshua Tree, Take Two

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Day Trip to Joshua Tree National Park

January 24, 2012

Right.  ‘Been a while.  I was about to whip up a post about my holiday travels, only to have it dawn on me that I haven’t posted anything since September.  So instead of going all Dr. Who on you and skipping around in chronology, I’m going to spend a few posts catching up with myself.  First up is a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park back in November.

The park is two hours and change from downtown LA.  I got into the town of Joshua Tree midmorning looking for breakfast.  The only place I found open was The Joshua Tree Saloon, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  One of the regulars was wearing a t-shirt that read “In dog beers, I’ve only had one.”  At one point, he was talking about getting thrown out of a series of bars in the early 70’s and explained, “That’s why I stopped drinking so much…  Oh wait, I didn’t stop drinking so much.  I stopped drinking so little.”

Anyway, they served a pretty decent impression of biscuits and gravy, so I ate my fill, and so engorged, found the park visitors center to rustle up a map or two.

I didn’t have a whole lot of time, and Joshua Tree encompasses over 1000 square miles, so I didn’t want to burn what few daylight hours I had left driving all over.  I spent most of the afternoon in and around nearby Hidden Valley (No relation to the salad dressing).  There aren’t any trails to speak of, but Joshua Tree has a fairly laissez-faire policy towards backcountry use, and Hidden Valley is a veritable playland for scrambling and climbing.

The road into Hidden Valley

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Patriotic… Cowboy Hat!

July 4, 2011

I’ve never really been much for holidays, and it doesn’t take much extravagant patriotism to weird me out, so you can imagine how excited I get about the 4th of July.

Woo. Hoo.

That being said, I do rather like America.  Sure, we’ve go our problems.  The economy is so murky we may as well just give in and start a barter economy based on the debris from the manufacturing sector.  The Congress can’t find it’s own ass with both hands and a flashlight.  Firefly still hasn’t made a proper comeback.  But still, there’s a lot to love here.

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Day 42: From Heber, UT to Denver, CO

November 11, 2008

Today was a long drive along Route 40, a quick side trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, and the arrival into the outskirts of Denver.

Some photos from the road:

Wow. And I thought Bong Recreation Area was akwardly named.

Wow. And I thought "Bong State Recreation Area" was akwardly named.

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Day 33: From Sequoia National Park to Kings Canyon National Park

November 5, 2008

Today, it rained. Not a lot, but enough to keep the camera in the pack more often than not. I took what shots I could, and then high tailed it back to the car and some dry clothes.

It’s difficult to convey how big these tree truly are.

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Day 6 – From Glacier National Park to Bonners Ferry, Idaho

October 6, 2008

Today wasn’t a total wash, though it was just as dreary as yesterday. With the weather threatening rain, I decided against any long hikes today. I don’t have much in the way of rain gear, and I can’t risk getting sick while on the road. So, just another quick couple hours on the trails it was, then due West I went.

Photos from the hike:

Is it just me, or does this guy look more like hes dancing than drowning?

Is it just me, or does this guy look more like he's dancing than drowning?

(More after the jump)

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Day 5 – From Great Falls, MO to Glacier National Park

October 6, 2008

More stuff you don’t see in BG, this was the view outside my car window when I woke up (on the edge of the parking lot at the Flying J Travel center outside of Great Falls):

Morning by the Flying J

Morning by the Flying J

After breakfast, I spent most of the morning in the truckers lounge, sifting through 680 digital photos, cropping, editing, etc. Then it was westward once again. I got to the Saint Mary entrance of Glacier about 3:30, and thankfully the visitor’s center was still open. It turns out the only road through the park is closed for construction 13 miles in (yet another bump on the road due to visiting these parks in the off season), so all I could do today was a short drive to where the road closed and an very short day hike. I didn’t get on the trail until four thirty, and the forecast called for sunset at 7:01, so all I could do was go out an hour and fifteen minutes and come back. Still, it was nice little hike. It’s been dreary and raining most of the day, which is fine for hiking (I actually like a soft rain when hiking through woods), but kind of puts a damper on photographic ambitions. Never the less, I got a few decent exposures today:

The view from Route 89 on the East edge of Glacier National Park

The view from Route 89 on the East edge of Glacier National Park

(More after the jump)

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