Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Backpacking Items

Staff, Backpack, Bear Canister - Sierra Nevada  2014

Steripen - Sierra Nevada  2014
Top: as mentioned earlier Mike hadn't remembered to take his regular aluminum hiking pole. As a substitute he pressed into service a nicely-formed lodgepole pine branch. It came in quite useful, maybe even better in some respects than the metal one. Also in photo: Gregory backpack and bear canister in the background.

Bottom: Mike using a Steripen to purify a canteen's worth of creek water. He's always suspected that high-elevation Sierra streams really don't need "purifying," but the Steripen was on sale at Costco a year ago so he bought it then and used it for the first time this trip.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Minarets, Reflections

Minarets, Reflections - Sierra Nevada  2014

Mike made his way around the unnamed lake to get this shot of Minaret reflections.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Trout Blogging

Trout - Sierra Nevada  2014

Swimming away from the photographer.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Sunrise, Minarets - Sierra Nevada  2014

During the night it rained some, not heavy. Once Mike heard the rumble of thunder off in the distance. Also, wind, sounding more fierce than it really was.

In the morning: a clear sky and the rising sun illuminating the Minarets. Great view, enhanced by Mike's usual early morning hot cocoa.

Making Cocoa - Sierra Nevada  2014

Hot Cocoa - Sierra Nevada  2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tokyo Black and White

Dearest, Self-Portrait (Tokyo) - Japan  2014

Kiosk (Tokyo) - Japan  2014

Top photo taken with an Olympus E-PL5 with a Panasonic 14-42mm lens.

Bottom photo taken with an Olympus E-M1 with an Olympus 14-150mm lens.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tech in the Mountains

iPhone, Kindle - Sierra Nevada  2014

Mike knew from previous trips that the Mammoth Lakes area has good Verizon coverage. He decided to experiment by taking his iPhone with him.

It worked! Wow . . . checking out the weather reports from your wilderness camp. Sending and receiving texts . . .

Hm. We will have to think on this. (Also, a Kindle of course.)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wandering Around the Campsite

Trees, Reflections - Sierra Nevada  2014

Branches, Granite - Sierra Nevada  2014

Top: Mike's "secret" lake, detail.

Bottom: Branches and granite, detail.

And to reiterate: prior to making these exposures Mike knew in precise detail just how he would render these subjects in black and white. Sure. (Insert appropriate emoticon here.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Minarets, Backlit

Minarets, Backlit - Sierra Nevada  2014

As the sun began to set behind the Minarets Mike was treated to a very striking display.

Photo taken with an Olympus E-PL5 and a 12-50mm lens. Mike would like to be able to send this combo back in time to his earlier self for use during those first energy-filled backpack trips.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lake, Reflections

Reflections - Sierra Nevada  2014

At one point during the overhead cloud display Mike wandered over the hill from his camp and was rewarded by a secret lake. Not exactly a secret, because it shows up on the topo as a small unnamed lake near the Minaret Mine junction. Still, Mike had never seen it before since it's not within view of the trail. Nice . . . Mike's own private lake!

Topo Map Selection (Harrison)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Deer Blogging

Deer - Sierra Nevada  2014

As Mike was eating his freeze-dried chili mac dinner this deer wandered by. Ambled off after a few minutes of curious staring.

The chili mac substance wasn't really all that inviting, although Mike normally doesn't have that much appetite when backpacking in altitude anyway.

More on freeze-dried food repackaging:


Repackaging in Action.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Minarets & Cloud

Minarets, Cloud - Sierra Nevada  2014

Back at camp Mike attempted to busy himself with preparations for possible rain, but in reality he was almost completely absorbed in the atmospheric conditions surrounding the Minarets.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

San Francisco Sightems

Softball - San Francisco  2014

Motorcycle Cops, Mexican Restaurant - San Francisco  2014

Top: action sports, softball in this case.

Bottom: Motorcycle cops in a Mexican restaurant. Please compare to earlier 2003 photo taken on Market Street.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Minaret Lake

Minaret Lake - Sierra Nevada  2014

Mountains, Clouds - Sierra Nevada  2014

Mike clambered over some boulders and forded the lake outlet to get to this Minaret Lake view. Alas, he ended up not staying there very long at all . . . ominous clouds were starting to drift in from the east, looking suspiciously monsoonal in nature. Mike has uncomfortable memories of monsoonal rainfall in the Sierra. He decided to go back down to his campsite.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hike to Minaret Lake

False Hellebore, Minarets - Sierra Nevada  2014

Mike got to his camping spot very early, and since there was still plenty of time left in the day he decided to continue going up the trail with his daypack. He ended up going much farther than he had planned, all the way to Minaret Lake. The heights kept beckoning, as they say.

Just before the final switchback he spotted the above composition: false hellebore surrounded by mountain willows and backed up by the Minarets. Yikes!