CA-ghost towns, national parks, etc.

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NVSteve
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CA-ghost towns, national parks, etc.

Postby NVSteve » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:20 pm

I spent the last 2 weeks of August in CA and NV seeing places I hadn't been to in a while. First stop was the rest area on the salt flats near the border with NV. I wasn't wearing my shades, so I was completely blinded by the light:

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Made it to Virginia City and crashed the night at my parents' house, then drove down to Bodie first thing in the morning:

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My favorite picture out of the 300 or so I shot there:

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A view of Bodie from the road to my next stop, just a few miles away, of Masonic:

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Lots of dark clouds in the afternoon. Masonic is another ghost town of sorts, although there are very few buildings left:

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Sunset looking east:

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And looking west after the sun had pretty much set:

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Early morning at the camp:

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A couple miles up the mountain at the big mill remains:

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Got up the next morning, grabbed a bite to eat in Bridgeport, then headed up Tioga Pass into Yosemite. I actually lucked out about 2 months ago and found 1 solitary campsite available in the valley. Normally these things are sold out a year in advance. Everyone's seen Yosemite, so I'm only going to post a couple from there:

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This guy (the squirrel you can barely make out) ran up on the table next to our site, grabbed the edge of a paper towel roll & ran off. There was, at one point, a whole roll of paper towels unfurled a few hundred feet across the campsites. Pretty amusing to watch:

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As to Yosemite itself, I really don't feel the need to visit there again for many years to come. It felt more like a shopping mall during Christmas than anything else.

We drove down into the central valley, through Fresno (gag), then back up into the Sierra to Kings Canyon National Park. We found a great campsite pretty much on the edge of a cliff that overlooks the central valley:

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The name of the game here is trees. Lots of giant Sequoia all over the place. The big one near our camp, the General Grant Tree, is 46' in diameter:

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Down the road into Sequoia National Park. We parked the car at the General Sherman Tree:

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Then we took off on a 6 mile loop through a massive grove of Sequoia:

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We then drove to the coast, immediately taking us into the cold coastal fog, and stayed at a state park about 5 miles from Hearst Castle:

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This was close to sunset. I was flying my stunt kite, but the wind became a bit too strong. I like this picture for some reason:

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Hearst Castle:

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I have no idea why I can't get 3 women to pose nude for me:

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Then it was up to Monterey for 2 hours in the aquarium before it closed:

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Back to NV & kayaking day trips to Tahoe & Independence Lake:

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Of course I parked my kayak right next to a fight. This beetle looking thing was losing in a big way:

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One of the other places we went, a mountain peak composed entirely of crystal (incredibly, it's name is Crystal Peak), was a very hot ordeal. Plinking away at rock with a rock hammer & no shade was pretty harsh. One little section of one of the roads leading out was basically just a really long dropoff. I swear the thing is almost vertical. I popped it into 1st, 4L, then clicked the hill descent switch. Absolutely amazing. I did nothing but steer & the Pathie just inched down the slope, making those disturbing grinding noises similar to when the VDC kicks in.


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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:03 pm

Killer pictures. What kind of camera do you have? I'm sure it's some ridiculously nice SLR. I'm going to steal some of your locations and visit in Nov. Will be a bit chilly but I don't care. I'd really like to go through Bodie. I'm going to try to work that in if I can.

Citcope
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Postby Citcope » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:34 pm

very nice pics. I too would like to know what kind of camera you used.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:26 am

blink32 wrote:Killer pictures. What kind of camera do you have? I'm sure it's some ridiculously nice SLR. I'm going to steal some of your locations and visit in Nov. Will be a bit chilly but I don't care. I'd really like to go through Bodie. I'm going to try to work that in if I can.
If you do make it to Bodie, Death Valley is literally just down the road. I remember camping in Masonic/Bodie area a number of times in October & waking up to ice on the sleeping bag. I knew the area was cold, so I just looked it up-average low of 16F, average high of 51F for November. You hadn't mentioned anything about lodging, so I don't know if you plan to camp or not. When/if you have any revisions to your trip in place, I might be able to suggest a few places to stay.

I assume you are aware of, and plan to purchase, one of the annual National Parks & Federal Lands passes?

I've been shooting with an Olympus E-3 DSLR since last year. I had another Olympus DSLR before that, so I already had a few good lenses to make me want another Olympus. I was kind of limited with what I could buy because I needed weatherproof lenses & a weatherproof body to deal with the types of places I travel to.

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pdslug
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Postby pdslug » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:49 pm

Great pics - as always. I really like the ocean and clouds scene near sunset - nice light.

boogyman
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Postby boogyman » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:35 pm

I know why you liked the one picture. It was the sun reflecting off your ladies legs. Had to say it, since everyone was thinking it.

All kidding aside, the pictures are really cool. The waterfall w/ the rainbow is awesome. It's neat to see the old buildings that have survived the years.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:33 pm

Here's a crappy closeup of the salt flats:

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The salt is like cement. Take a few steps and you end up with 1" of salt caked on the bottom of your shoes. Because of that, my girlfriend took advantage of this:

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I also forgot to post the obligatory shot of a black bear (this one in Sequoia). I didn't get any good ones because it was always such a rush type of shot:

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This one's for boogyman and his comment about my gf's legs. This was one of the 50 million (or so) Europeans in Yosemite:

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Certainly made me want to ask a lot of people if they wanted to go for a run with me :wink:

KEVSTER
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Postby KEVSTER » Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:49 pm

Awsome time, nice pics, I need to do something like that, I like old towns and history. I Gotta do more , we only have 1 life, better enjoy it and see as much as we can.


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