Monday, March 24, 2008

Grey Whales

This weekend (sat) we went whale watching off the coast of Ventura Harbor.  Melis, my Dad, Di and I went on a 3 hour boat ride to Anacapa Island to see some grey whales.  We saw a few whales about 75 feet out from our boat.  It was pretty awesome to see.  Last September Melis and I took a 8 our cruise and didn't see a single whale but we did see a lot of dolphins.  This time it was just the opposite.  We saw a few grey whales and no dolphins.  It was a great day out and luckily I got a few good shots in.  The company that we used was Island Packers.  I think it would be fun to camp over night on one of the islands.  Maybe I can do that this summer.  Anyway,  I  plotted the route we took on my GPS unit.  I will attach a picture of the route the boat took during our excursion.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snow Camping: Rock Creek Lake

This past weekend I went snow camping with my WTC class. We went up to the sierras to Rock Creek area. We arrived around 9:30 pm and it was probably around 20 degrees. Cary and I lugged our backpacks to palisades campground and set up our 4 season tent. I had 4 layers on including my awesome Patagonia down parka. I have never camped in the snow let alone backpacking and snowshoeing in 20 degree weather. The first night the wind was howling, I don't think I fell asleep, just closed my eyes. It was definitely a learning experience as far as layering clothes and how to keep warm. The next morning we packed up our tent and backpacked to Rock Creek Lake Campground. This was a short 3 mile hike. We basically followed the creek up crossing over some snow bridges as well. The weather was nice Saturday, it didn't start snowing until we got to camp in the afternoon. It proceeded to snow until the night. Luckily we were able to still have a fire, the wind was not bad the second night.

Saturday afternoon, we set up camp and melted water, I helped create a snow fire ring for the evenings fire. Saturday night I felt more comfortable sleeping, even though I had two pairs of fleece pants, 2 pairs of socks plus down booties and 3 layers on my chest plus a beanie! To get an idea of how cold it was I bought a water bottle insulator for my water bottle and the water inside it still froze! Sunday we woke up and went on a hike above Rock Creek Lake. It was absolutely breathtaking. I could spend a whole week there shooting photographs without getting bored. The hike was fun, it was snowing out and the lake appeared to be frozen over. Later on that morning we packed up our stuff and backpacked out via the fire road. We enjoyed strawberry shortcakes Pat(one of the WTC leaders) brought for us. On the bus ride home we stopped by the pizza factory in Bishop and had some pizza and beer. Overall, it was stink'n cold but well worth it. I look forward to more snow trips, it is so beautiful and hardy anybody around. Good times!

Location: Rock Creek Lake (Eastern Sierras)
Campsites: Palisades & Rock Creek Lake
Total Miles 8 (3 there,2 on hike, 3 out)
Temps night : Teens
Temps day : 20's

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Mt. Pinos

Yesterday I went with my WTC class to Mt. Pinos near Frazier Park for a snow hike. Mt. Pinos is about 1 hr and 15 minutes north on the 5 from Pasadena. We exited Frazier park exit and drove up past Los Padres camp ground until we reached the end of the road where there was a local store and a big parking lot. The snow hike was a lot of fun. We glissaded down hills, practiced various forms of snow shoeing and traversing and also had a snow lecture about snow and avalanches. All pretty interesting. It was a beautiful day, about 50 degrees and sunny out. The snow however, was icy and consolidated. It hasn't snowed up there for awhile. Overall it was a short hike but it took us awhile due to our large group size and various training activities. I am really enjoying the snow experience and am looking forward to the WTC snow camp weekend in 2 weeks. We are camping in the snow up in the Sierras.

Oh, I started to feel a little sick due to the elevation and lack of sugar in my body. It was a good wake up call that I really need to eat and drink more on the trail. When I start feeling light headed I sit down for a little bit and eat. That usually helps me out and gets me feeling better within a 20 minutes.

Trip Profile:

  • Elevation Start 8300ft
  • Elevation End 8830ft
  • Total Elevation 530ft
  • Distance 4 miles (round trip)
  • Start 9:30 End 4:30
  • Chula Vista Parking lot to Mt. Pinos