Over the last 4 years Just Kidding, Happy Pants and I (Gottago) aka Melissa, Jen and Linda, have done an 8 day northbound section backpack on the PCT over the girl’s work vacations. We initially started at the Mexico/Ca border Monument and have backpacked to where we left off at Soledad Canyon Road this year.
I’ve done this section 3 times before but had forgotten how hard it was. Climbing Baden Powell on the second day was no easy feat carrying 5 day’s worth of supplies. We were not prepared for the ice on the trail 1/4 of a mile from the top of Baden Powell’s 9,000 plus foot mountain. Nor had we trained liked we had in the past. We wanted to go lighter but gave up gear and clothing weight rather than food weight (we all like our food and fear not having enough) so experienced some chilly days and nights. (I had forgotten we were doing this section 2-3 weeks earlier than I had in the past so it was colder!).
We always have a good time. We laugh a lot. But our 12 hour hiking days and 14 – 15 miles felt long and hard. Getting to a campsite at night is always the highlight of the day. We love taking photos and even not so great sunsets don’t stop us from getting our cameras out and shooting for a half hour or more.
Here are a few more photos (I posted some on FB already). I keep saying I’m going to start using my blog rather than posting on FB and hopefully I will.
An overview of the PCT section we hiked.
The last day hiking toward Acton and Soledad Canyon Rd.
Happy Pants (Jen) and Just Kidding (Melissa).
Just Kidding (Melissa) hiking into the setting sun.
Look at the deer I found in an old tree stump.
So many pictures and not enough time to see them all.
Click the link if you would like to see an Animoto Video Show of some pictures I took at Frank’s 5th Annual Holiday Party.
If you have the time and interest, I’ve posted all my fav Salton Sea photos I shot last weekend here at this link: http://gottago.smugmug.com/Classes-Workshops/20141205-Salton-Sea-Keith-Skelto/
I’ve been sick with a cold since I returned from Keith’s California Photography Workshops at the Salton Sea. The upside of being sick is that I’ve spent the last two days completely going through the editing and posting of my favorite 88 photos! That’s a lot of keepers for me.
I can’t seem to stop going to the Salton Sea. I’m finding it is almost a sure bet I’ll come across some incredibly beautiful shots there. The beauty comes in all different forms, colors, shapes and sizes. I really never know what I’m going to shoot or what I anticipate seeing there. It is always different and a surprise! And I have come to realize I am never disappointed. So why not go back, right?
This past weekend even I surprised myself with how many varied shots I got. I’ve heard it said many times that if you get one good photo out of 500 that’s good. The more I shoot and the longer I shoot while I’m out there shooting, that percentage of good shots increases. I’m finally seeing my own progress, but not without the help of many friends, family and other photographers who have been very positively generous with their feedback on my photographs lately.
Enjoy and come on down to the Salton Sea with me sometime.
After dinner shoot on our way back home of some small town structures shot with shutter speeds slow enough to capture the car and truck headlights as they go through town.
The Geothermal Plants make nice subjects in the morning and evening sunlight.
A quick trip to the Salton Sea Recreation Park at mid-day left us with few photo ops. This is not a high bird activity time as most of the migratory birds have gone south.
I just got back this afternoon from a Salton Sea Workshop lead by Keith Skelton. I shot Thursday through Sunday and had a great time with the other photographers and also got some nice photos…..this is always a good thing!
I edited about 29 photos from today’s shoot and posted them all on my Smugmug Portfolio site. If you are interested in taking a peek, here is the link: http://gottago.smugmug.com/Classes-Workshops/20141205-Salton-Sea-Keith-Skelto/
Here is a teaser……
Arrived at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge at 5:40am and we 11 photographers all quietly waited for the action.
My car after driving on muddy dirt roads this morning to Salton Sea locals we’ll be shooting over the weekend. Once home on Dec. 8, 2014, I had my car washed (first by hand/then by machine) at a car wash to the cost of $47 incuding a tip.
Our fearless workshop leader, allowing me for the first time to shoot him while he stood still for 5 seconds!!! Thanks Keith Skelton:-)
After sunset, before it gets too dark is always the best time to shoot this kind of shot.
JJ pretending to shoot something so I could take his photo and use the great light put out by the Geothermal plant behind him.
It took two tries but Ken was willing to hold this pose for 5 seconds without moving. Thanks Ken.
I cropped in on this photo for a composition I liked as the there was another tree that spoiled the look I was after.
Jen wanted me to crop down on the Comorant tree so only some of the birds were showing and closeup.
This is the look I like of the Comorant tree on Lark Street north of Westmoreland.
This shot was a bit iffy but it is a reminder of a great evening meeting new friends in Keith’s workshop and reuniting with old friends from when I first took up Photography seriously 7 years ago. It was great seeing Judy and Teri again!!!
A verticle of our tree. Keith always brings us back to shoot the Cormorants that are always in this tree. Thanks to the Comorants for staying perched as long as they did. Next time though Keith, please let us ALL know when you are going to walk up so close that the birds take off:-)
Geothermal plants everywhere make for nice dark photography shots.
Lots of birds, no light!!! Boo hoo.
Kept look back Northeast at this geothermal plant. So wanted this photo to have more contrast. Impossible.
OOOh, did we get muddy walking around this morning. And driving is a little iffy on some of the dirt roads.
Checked out a road in the Sony Bono Rec Area and found these guys. Too much mud to go further down the road. The hunters are camped here too.
Leaving to go to have breakfast I couldn’t stop shooting away. Poor JJ. He was very hungry, but most patient with my obsessive photo taking.
We really got skunked this morning on good light so trying to make a photograph without light is pretty difficult. Hence the enhancement border:-)
I rented a wide angle lens….14 mm L series Canon and haven’t pulled it out to use it yet. This was taken from inside the car with my 16-35 mm L lens. I intend to use the wide angle lens low and close tomorrow!
Off Road Vehicles playing.
We couldn’t walk in beyond the road in this area. So I went looking for a variety of shots other than shooting the same sand dunes.
JJ shooting up a storm late this afternoon and getting some great sand dune shots at the Albondogones (sp) Dunes Wilderness east of Brawley CA near the Salton Sea.
Tractor tracks certainly made their mark.
Shot some of these fellows trying to pan with their motion. Wish I’d gotten their email addresses so I could have sent them some of the shots.
Duane is 63 years old. Still works. But finds time to bike 500 miles in a week doing sections hoping to soon complete his adventure to bike from the east coast of the US to the west coast. He began his adventure in 1997. Really nice guy. His wife shadows him while he rides.
Quick grabs as these guys speed up the sand dunes.
Twenty minutes before sunset, we were headed somewhere else but pulled over when we noticed the colorful reflections in this water source.
Interesting sun setting tonight. Not a lot of color in the sky like I’d hoped but enjoyed this unique cloud shrouded sun setting.
Day is done. We were going to continue shooting some night shots elsewhere but Carl’s Jr. and a cheeseburger dinner were calling out to us. Night.
To view more photos from today’s shoot if you like: click on the following link~
Red Tailed Hawk I got lucky and was patient enough to capture while up in Idyllwild today shooting in many scenic locals.
Hoping I don’t remember today how good the double scoop ice cream cone tasted last night at Ben & Jerry’s.
Jen ahead but not as far as this lens makes it seem!
Thanks Jen for letting me post this pic of you:-) Must learn quickly how to shoot people with this lens or I’ll lose my right to photograph Jen:-)
Ben runs daily. Ben runs up and down and up and down. Ben RUNS. And he looks so cute in his winter running attire.