Sunday, May 7, 2017

Lincoln Park Golf Course

May 3, 2017



Sam, my dad and I went golfing on Wednesday.  Dad hadn't golfed since his heart surgery and I haven't swung the clubs for about a year, so we went to Lincoln Park in San Francisco.  It's a short, forgiving course with spectacular views.  That picture above is me on the 17th tee.  Sam always takes pictures of my butt.

Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
The golf course is hilly and surrounds the Legion of Honor, which is a small art museum.  The sixth tee is in the back of the museum.

Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
The 17th tee has one of the nicest views of the Golden Gate that you'll find.  It's a long par 3 that I've only hit once.

Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA

Muir Woods National Monument & Point Reyes National Seashore

May 2, 2017



I took my parents to Muir Woods and Point Reyes on Tuesday.  Those are two of my favorite weekend destinations.  They're even better to visit mid-week given the large weekend crowds.

California Giant Salamander -- Muir Woods National Monument, CA
We saw a good amount of wildlife on this day trip.  The first animal was a surprise.  It was a California giant salamander resting in the creek just above the first bridge in Muir Woods.  It was a huge salamander.  I'd guess it was at least five inches long, maybe more.  I say it was a surprise because the last thing I expect to see in Muir Woods is wildlife.  Even birds are a rare sight in the woods, although the occasional song can be heard from high up in the trees.  I've seen a couple of squirrels near the visitor's center and that's about it.  So, seeing this salamander was pretty cool.

Muir Woods National Monument, CA

Muir Woods National Monument, CA
Tuesday was a bright, sunny day.  Too much sun is a bit of a problem when taking photos in Muir Woods.  It's normally a rainy day destination for me because I don't have to fight the high contrast of light and dark under the redwood canopy when the sky is covered with clouds.  I enjoyed the challenge on this trip, though, and although the hots have their flaws I think I did better than I could have a couple of years ago.

Muir Woods National Monument, CA
Muir Woods National Monument, CA
After Muir Woods we had lunch at Pelican Inn.  I'd hoped to drive up Highway 1 to Point Reyes but the road is washed out in both directions around the Inn.  So, we drove back out to 101 and then over to the Point.

Cattle & Tule Elk -- Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
My parents had never seen elephant seals, so we headed out to Chimney Rock to see the seals.  Along the way we saw the Southern herd of tule elk hanging out with cattle.  They're often visible near the turn off to Drake's Beach, but this is the best look I've ever gotten of this group of elk.

White-crowned Sparrow -- Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
There were a lot of elephant seals on the beach.  They were all pups.  The adults have left for the season, leaving the pups behind for a few months until they are ready to head off into the ocean on their own.  These pups were pretty big, though.  At first I wasn't convinced that there weren't some adults hanging behind, but the ranger at the visitor center said that there only pups on the beach and although they were large, they looked more like sea lions than elephant seals so I slowly became convinced.

Elephant Seal -- Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
Elephant Seal -- Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
Elephant Seal -- Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
Elephant Seal -- Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
Elephant Seal -- Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Land's End

April 30, 2017



I know, it's been a while since I've posted anything here.  I haven't been getting out all that much this year.  Things are fine, I've just been working on music on the weekends, as well as the occasional chores on the yard my wife imagines up.

Sutro Baths, San Francisco, CA
My parents were here for a few days.  On Sunday, we went out to Land's End in San Francisco.  That's out on the coastline just North of the Sutro Baths ruins and the Cliff House.

Land's End, San Francisco, CA
My mother had a destination in mind, something she'd seen online.  About a mile up the trail was a labyrinth.  I had no idea what she was talking about.

Land's End, San Francisco, CA
It was pretty cool.  It's a circular maze made out of rocks.  We had to descend at least a hundred feet down to it from the trail and I was worried about my mom making it.  She had heart surgery last year.  She didn't have any problems with it.  She walked the maze and easily made it back to the trail.  I was impressed.

Land's End, San Francisco, CA

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving



As has been the custom of late, I took the week of Thanksgiving off for a little adventure.  I drive up to Salem, Oregon every year and I like to take the long way around.  My plan was the good old stand by route, Salem via Redwood and Olympic National Parks.

Mount Shasta, CA
It was not to be.

My dad had a mild heart attack the weekend before Thanksgiving and had a triple bypass on Monday.  Instead of a leisurely drive up the coast I bombed up I-5 on Sunday.

Yet another family emergency.  That seems to be all I blog about these days.

American Kestrel -- Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, OR
On top of all the time spent in the hospital, it rained most of the time I was up there.  It wasn't the kind of rain you can just button up your jacket and go out for a hike in, either.  It dumped buckets for a good part of the time I was up there.  Pongo and I drove out to the coast anyway, but it was too wet to do anything outside.  We got some smoked salmon at Barnacle Bill's and some cheese and fudge at the Tillamook Cheese factory but stayed in the car for the rest of that afternoon trip.

Bald Eagle -- Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, OR
The Willamette Queen -- Salem, OR
Salem, OR
Actually, we had one good day for getting outside.  It was Black Friday.  Based on the crowd at Silver Falls State Park, the stores probably weren't as crowded as they have been in the past.  Dogs aren't allowed on the Canyon Trail where most of the waterfalls can be experienced, but they are allowed almost everywhere else.  I wore Pongo out hiking on some of those other trails.  Poor guy.

South Fall -- Silver Falls State Park, OR
South Fall -- Silver Falls State Park, OR
South Fall -- Silver Falls State Park, OR
There is a quarter mile trail to the Upper North Fall that dogs are allowed on, so we were able to see one of the waterfalls up close.  I took some pictures there that all turned out blurry because I couldn't keep the lens dry from the mist and the rain.

Lower North Fall -- Silver Falls State Park, OR
Lower North Fall -- Silver Falls State Park, OR
Upper North Fall -- Silver Falls State Park, OR
For the record, by dad is doing well.  He was on his feet the very next day after surgery and was at home watching John Wayne movies and football on Thanksgiving day.  He's grouchy from being bossed around, but he's just going to have to deal with that for a little while.

Silver Falls State Park, OR
Soundtrack:

  • The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
  • The Police - Message in a Box [1]
  • Pearl Jam - Ten
  • Pond - Pond
  • Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
  • Wilco - The Whole Love
  • Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Monday, October 24, 2016

Newport, Oregon

October 15, 2016



This was not a road trip I had been looking forward to, but it was probably inevitable.  An uncle of mine had been fighting cancer for a few years and he finally succumbed at the beginning of October.  I was down in Nevada at the time and I didn't think I'd have a chance to make it up for the funeral.  However, things worked out in terms of scheduling and I was able to attend.

California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion
I drove up to Salem on Friday night.  I got in around 1:30 or so in the morning.  The next morning we drove out to Newport to meet up for breakfast with most of our extended family.  After eating and mingling, we still had some time before the funeral.  My brother, nephew and I drove down to the wharf to see the sea lions.  A big storm was blowing through.  The waves were crazy and the sea lions were feisty.  The photos I took there were just about all that I shot on this brief trip.

California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
The sea lions in these photos are all males, or so my brother tells me.  The ladies all stay down in California while the males come up to Newport to hang out.  I suppose they may be found on other areas along the coast as well.  They're a rowdy bunch, I can see why the ladies don't bother accompanying them.

California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR
California Sea Lion -- Newport, OR