March 30th, 2018

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March 28--South, or Cats are on the upgrade. Upgrade?

I am a few days lade it posting, mostly because I have been out doing a lot of stuff the past couple of days. I decided to make the most of my spring break. Tuesday Malida was off, and she wanted to go to Lodi, which is about 20 minutes south of us. Lodi used to be a nowhere kind of place, but now it is becoming a wine destination, so the little downtown main street has been revitalized with shops, restaurants, and wine tasting places.

We wandered around for a while and had lunch at a place I like. I captured some Ingress portals, and someone else came along behind me and linked them all up. We spent some time looking through antique shops and an old used bookstore. Malida loves old bookstores, and always comes away with at least a few books. She walked out with A Wrinkle in Time.

a monument to wine

We didn't do any wine tasting other than one place that had some sparkling wine that Malida wanted, and we bought two bottles. We are all set for the next two new year's celebrations.

I was going to try and compress three days into one post, but there's just too much. More coming.
  • Current Music
    Bruce Springsteen--Thunder Road
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March 29--West, or Crash-barrier waltzer

I have had a plan for this day for a few weeks. I wanted to go back to Point Reyes and scope out a few more places, but wanted to get there early. Malida needed to get up at 3:30 am to go to work, and my plan was to get up at the same time and head down in time to make it for the sunrise. So that's what I did.

The sunrise was supposed to be at about 7 am, and it was a little more than a two hour drive to get to where I wanted to be. I actually had two spots in mind--one nearer and one a little further down the road. I left the house at 4:30, thinking about how cool it was that I was able to get up early and drive somewhere interetsting.

I got to the nearer spot about 15 minutes before the sun came up. The further spot will have to wait for another day. I walked out to where I needed to be and watched the light come up. It was a beautiful morning.

boat sunrise

I spent about an hour there. While I was photographing, the little stream I had to jump across to get to where I was got way wider and deeper, and I ended up having to wade through it to get back to my car. I had my boots and a change of socks in the car, so it was all good. I headed down the road to a little diner and had a cup of coffee before moving on.

My plan was to explore the north end of Point Reyes. In all my years of going there, I had never been to the north end. It was about a 6 mile drive to the end of the road and the beginning of the trail that heads north to Tomales Point. The trail begins at an old ranch.

pierce point ranch

Pierce Point Ranch. I will come back here during my photo class field trip.

I took some pictures and then headed up the trail. It is about 5 1/2 miles to the point, but I only planned to go halfway, as I had other things to see. It was a lovely day--clear, and the temperature in the high 60s. There were quite a few people out on the trail.

elk

I saw hundreds of elk along the way. It is a protected area for elk, so there are a lot of them. I got enough elk pictures to last the rest of my life.

stones

A line of granite stones that traverses the point, running roughly southwest to northeast for about 260 meters. To the southwest, the stones point the Farallon Islands, which are about 20 miles out. It was too hazy to see that far today. To the northeast, the stones point to Mount St. Helena, which is probably about 40 miles away. No one knows who placed the stones. The Coast Miwok tribes that lived in the area called them the Spirit Jumping-Off Rocks. I sat near the stones for a while, looking out at the ocean. Pretty much everyone who walked past on the trail paid no attention to them, but for me, it was one of the highlights of the day. I love finding stuff like this.

I took a lot longer out there than I expected, and was tired when I got back the car. I headed down to Drake's beach to take a look at the cliffs for a potential future sunset photo before I headed home. There were some elephant seals lying out on the beach.

elephant seals

I headed home and got back at about 8 pm, dog-tired I took close to 900 pictures. I made a bunch of notes about where I want to photograph during the field trip. It was a good day.
  • Current Music
    The Lemon Twigs--Tailor Made
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March 30--Southwest, or On a hazy day...

Malida was off, and wanted to go somewhere, so we decided to go down to Mount Diablo, which is the highest spot in the Bay Area. then we changed our minds and decided to stay home and do laundry and stuff. Then we changed our minds again and headed out, a bit later than we planned.

diablo from cosumnes

We can see Diablo from where we live. I guess it is about 60 or so miles to the southeast of us, though about 100 miles to drive. This was taken a while back form when we were out at Cosumnes Preserve taking sunset pictures.

I used to go camping up there a lot when I was a kid. Lots of great places to hike. It is alway super-green in the spring, but gets brown pretty quickly, and they close it because of the fire hazard. Kind of like a big potential torch sitting in the middle of a huge urban area.

We got to the summit at about 2 pm and hiked around for a while. It was pretty hazy to the west, but you could still kind of see San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge. It was clearer to the east, and I took some panos.

looking east

Looking east. We live somewhere between the left side of the frame and the smaller peak in the middle. You can see a river heading east, which is the Sacramento River. I could barely make out the Sierras in the distance.

photographer

Malida on the peak taking some shots. She had fun photographing things, and has filled up her memory card this past week. She is not one to download her pictures every day, like me.

After hiking, we headed down toward the north gate. I like that area, because when it is green, it is really green.

spring

Malida needed to get a "spring" shot for her class, and got it here. Once we were done, we drove down to Suisun City and had dinner in a Greek place. The food was great. We drove home along the Sacramento River, and got to see the sunset.

sunset on the Sacramento River

Another good day.
  • Current Music
    Roseanne Cash--The Walking Wounded