Blog: Not the Usual Places

  1. Love Letter to a Lion

    I’ve had a relationship with a mountain lion in a remote desert canyon for the past three years. We’ve never met up in “person” but I’m there frequently enough I know he knows my scent and has watched me as I explore his territory. I’ve seen his pug marks in

  2. Malpais Mesa Hike Video

    Malpais Mesa Wilderness is one of the most arid regions I’ve ventured into. There are no springs and receives an infinitesimal amount of precipitation annually, positioned as it is in the Sierra Range’s rain shadow. Despite this, creatures still thrive here though not as densely as in other areas with…

  3. Assault on Peak 7189

    Peak 7189 is the conical peak with the pale band near the summit, center right. Click the photo for a larger version. On May 25, 2009, Tim and Corinne - friends and avid desert hikers - met near an old talc mine in the Malpais Mesa Wilderness to climb a…

  4. The Grave Markers of Centennial Flat

    Every time I drive out to my desert areas I pass this cross. I always assumed it was just another memorial to a tragic car accident but on my last trip curiosity compelled me to stop. And stumbled onto a forgotten corner of history.  In fading letters carved into the…

  5. Flora in the San Gabriels

    Since my Mojave hangouts are all in the process of turning into an oven for the next couple months, I’ve been doing a little exploring closer to home in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California, located in the Angeles National Forest. The hike was from Islip Saddle up to…

  6. Hidden Mine

    It’s remarkable that largely untouched sites linger in this day and age. Usually they’re found in obscure regions most people pass over - the less sexy places, if you will. The impulse to explore the immediately interesting areas is strong but doing so can cause you to miss things in…

  7. New Sites

    I was hiking toward a previously unexplored canyon when I looked down a wash and had that “those rocks look right” moment you get sometimes. Found this small site and what appears to be a grinding slick atop one of the boulders. In my experience, small petroglyph sites, particularly near…

  8. Eureka Dreamscapes


  9. It Doesn’t Always Go Smoothly

    You’ve seen my photographs and heard my stories and from the outside I’m sure it seems like one ongoing adventure but a lot goes into prepping for trips: research, mapping routes, devising plans, putting together supplies, firewood, etc. And then there are the electronics. Determining optimal lenses, charging batteries, charging…

  10. Cowhorn Valley

    Cowhorn Valley is a high desert valley at an elevation of around 6800 feet in the Inyo National Forest. Long vistas of sage, tawny in winter spread across the valley and up the mountain slopes. Scattered juniper and pinyon pines, dark against the sage, line the ridges. It is a…

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