Monday, December 31, 2007

Marin Headlands

A few weekends ago Andy and I went hiking in Marin headlands. There is an amazing trail up a hill where all sorts of old military junk is slowly decaying.

The view of the backside of the golden gate is pretty amazing with the green hillside.
A few rooms were built into the hillside to be hidden from the enemy, covered over by dirt and grass. Over the years they've collapsed in on themselves, but some tunnels are still visible.

Some old gun batteries also dot the hillside.

The best part of the hike was an abandoned missile site at the top of the hill. There are all sorts of abandoned buildings with weird pipes and electricity boxes. In the middle a huge elevated concrete platform has begun to collapse sideways. awesome.

There was some amazing grafitti as well. My favorite read "911 was an inside job!".

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Fair Sutro

A few weekends ago Allegra and I went to the beach to see the destruction from the recent oil spill.
The sand was an odd black color.

On our way back we stopped by Twin Peaks, which we had never been to before. It has amazing 360 degree views of the city, including our favorite local landmark, the Sutro Tower.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Death Valley Part II (or, I Shouldn't Be Alive)

So I liked that weird show on Discovery Channel, "I shouldn't be Alive" about stupid tourists naively making potentially fatal mistakes out in the wilderness. Well this day was one of those days. We intended to go to Keene Wonder Mine (a strenuous multiple hour hike).

The day began innocently enough.

After scaling a several thousand foot mountain, checking out some caves (I stayed cautiously outside), and seeing some awesome old mining equiptment, we had a great idea.

Instead of dealing with a grueling downhill hike, lets take the ravine (potential flash flood zone) back to the parking lot. We saw other hikers down there.
So we frolicked in the ravine. All sorts of cool mining carts and old miner detritus was down there. It was a treasure trove of goodies.

Andy was beside himself with all the mining carts.

And then, amongst amazing natural marble slides, we discover our folly. After about 5 hours of hiking, we encounter a dead end. a 30 foot drop.

Needless to say my pictures end here. We hightailed it out of there (it was close to dark) and my joints were screaming by the time we made it back to the car. Thank god for no twisted ankles. No one would have found us, we were that remote. Turns out our hikers we saw in the ravine had repelling equipment and were pros. Go figure.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Did I mention I Passed!

I just passed the first of my LCSW tests. WOOHOO! The next will be harder, but I am halfway to my license. What a good feeling!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Death Valley part I

Since I'm probably not going anywhere fun for awhile, I will subject you to lots of pictures of death valley. Also, it is hard not to take amazing pictures there.
Rhyolite is a Nevada ghost town, which is the only place to ever mine Rhyolite, an (apparently) useless mineral.

Despite its ghostiness, you can still reach out and touch someone there. I think. Lord knows my cell didnt get reception the entire weekend.
Rhyolite is strange because it has crumbling CONCRETE buildings. the same shade as the dirt and rock.
The concrete ruins were alongside buildings with found rock masonry.
This mine outside Big Pine was surrounded by weird white powdery rock. Several collapsed shacks and all kinds of machinery and tin cans were about. Oh yeah, this was several miles down a dirt road (and hours from civilization, we were about to find out)

If there is one ubiquitous sign of miners, its discarded, rusty tin cans.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Desert Landscapes

I have too many wonderful pictures from our recent trip to Death Valley to begin to tell the amazing story. So instead I am posting a few desert landscape pictures. You would think the desert all looks the same, but this is far from truth. It boggles the mind to think all these pictures came from the same place. You go around one mountain, and suddenly, everything has changed.

Oh yeah, and the skyscapes are just as varied in the desert too.

Monday, November 5, 2007

4 year anniversary--To Santa Cruz!

This past weekend Leggy and I went to Santa Cruz to celebrate our four year anniversary.
We stayed at the luxurious Econo Lodge and did it up, tourist style.

The weather was amazing, as we frolicked on the beach, went on rides at the boardwalk, and cruised west cliff drive.

We topped off the trip with a visit to the Tech Museum, which now has BODYWORLDS 2 on exhibit. We spent an hour gawking at the (more often than not) ridiculously posed skinned cadavers. It is macabre and fascinating! I'll never look at my own body quite the same way; its kind of disturbing to see how fragile all our fleshy parts are.
I'm sad to see our summer go; it was the best one ever.

Hiking in East Bay Hills

A couple weeks ago I went hiking in the East Bay Hills. At Joquin Miller Park near Chabot space center has some amazing trees and views of the bay.

This is an easy trail, so its great to take visitors or parents. I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Going to the chapel

A few weeks ago my cousin got married on a caraval cruise ship. Everyone got all dressed up!

Grandma got down on the dance floor!

Allegra looked gorgeous, of course.

Who are these guys?

While I was down I also got to see my brother and meet his girlfriend. It was really great to see him, he looks great!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rained Out

We went back to the Tahoe National Forest to explore some more ghost towns a few weeks ago.
While exploring a different area near the Yuba River (in the rain), we found Bullards' Bar Reservoir.

This picture does not do justice how amazing the fog looked rising from the mountains.

(Not) Suprisingly, no one was out for watersports in the rain. Lucky for us, because the reservoir was an amazing emerald color and perfectly still.

Andy in the mist

French Corral had one notable building, but was a less-than impressive ghost town.

Bridgeport, however, contained the longest single span covered bridge in the US. Bridgeport also had several adorable deer families chillin' in the grasses.

The highlight of our trip, after a sleepless night in the rain in a tent, was the Fruit Jar Pickers of Rough and Ready, California. An amazing ensemble band, they accept everyone and encourage everyone to sing their folksy standards (especially the old folks in the audience). 20 musicians showed up this particular sunday, including 3 mandolins, 3 banjos, one washboards, and a homemade standup base.

Another great trip! Thanks for driving Andy!