Blog: Not the Usual Places

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Eureka Dreamscapes


  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Return to the Mountain

    This is a wondrous place. At the highest points it is primarily a mixed pinyon and juniper forest with ground cover consisting mainly of sagebrush and rabbitbrush. The rabbitbrush’s yellow blooms are a vivid counterpoint to the endless subtle shades of green that typify the region. In the canyons where…

  9. A Trip to Death Valley’s Backcountry

    Recently ventured up into new territory for me at the invite of a fellow desert explorer. My Nissan Frontier handled the roads up to the camping spot handily despite not having four wheel drive. It would not have made it further along however but Kevin volunteered the mountain goat qualities…

  10. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

    I’m standing on a pale slope. Limestone falls away in plates forever. Bristlecone stands twisted, pirouettes like horn on the mountainside. Some have split and fallen two-pronged and yet live. Green needles, vibrant against the pallor of all else. To the northwest clouds gather and I can see long filmy

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