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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Hiking'

A Pastoral Scene‏

September 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Since returning from Alaska a week ago, I’ve been hiking every day. But until today I didn’t get any photographs I liked.

This morning I made a four-mile hike along South Boulder Creek. It’s a trail that I’ve hiked many times before. But today was the first time that the old barn in these pictures caught my attention.

My Apartment is Right Between the Barn and the Mountains

My Apartment is Right Between the Barn and the Mountains

Close Up of the Barn

Close Up of the Barn

Even in late summer we can find beauty, when we look for it.

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Alaska’s Rainforest‏

August 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments

On my first day in Alaska to visit my friend John it rained all day. So we hiked in the rainforest. Nothing could have been more fitting.

We drove 34 miles southeast from John’s condo in Anchorage to Girdwood, where we hiked the Winner Creek Trail, a five-mile roundtrip in the Chugach National Forest. This is the northern tip of the North American coastal rainforest. It’s lush and lovely.

Red Flowers in the Rainforest

Devil's Club Flowers in the Rainforest

[Read more →]

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Posted in: Alaska, Hiking

Yellowstone Bonuses‏

August 21st, 2009 · 1 Comment

As I wrote in my previous photo essay, my sojourn this week to Yellowstone National Park met my three expectations. And a lot more.

The two waterfalls that I saw along the Snake River in Idaho couldn’t compare with three in Yellowstone. Even the 30 drop of Lewis Falls exceeds that of Idaho Falls.

Lewis Falls, Named for Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark Fame

Lewis Falls, Named for Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark Fame

Here is 132 foot Tower Falls. It’s name comes from the rock turrets above the falls:

Tower Falls and its Rocky Towers

Tower Falls and its Rocky Towers

Most famous of all is Lower Yellowstone Falls, which plunges 308 feet in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. “Note the beautiful green stripe in the water that forms the falls,” says my Yellowstone guide book. [Read more →]

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High Sierra Trek: Coming Out of the Wilderness‏

August 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We came out of the wilderness from our two-week High Sierra trek on Saturday, August 15. Actually, we came out of three designated Wilderness areas, Emigrant, Yosemite, and Hoover. We came out at the Green Creek Trailhead, down at 7,995 feet, just 13 miles from Bridgeport, California.

When we got up at 5:45 a.m. the temperature was 23.8 degrees. We left at 7 a.m., early, because two of our party had a long drive that we accommodated. In fact, because we left the wilderness at 1 p.m., I made a 250 mile drive to Winnemucca, Nevada, instead of staying overnight at Bridgeport as planned.

Hoover Lake is in the Hoover Wilderness, Both Named in Honor of President Herbert Hoover

Hoover Lake is in the Hoover Wilderness, Both Named in Honor of President Herbert Hoover

The Sierra Nevada has stunning beauty that is quite different from the beauty of the Rockies that I know. That was the best part of the trek. But the group I traveled with was one of the best reasons to spend two weeks in close company. It surely one of the nicest, most positive, appreciative, helpful, sharing group that I have ever know. I intend to keep in touch with them. [Read more →]

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High Sierra Trek: Marv’s Birthday‏

August 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments

On our two week trek through the High Sierra, when day 11 dawned at Hook Lake we celebrated another birthday. It was Marv’s 73rd.

Somebody suggested that we sing happy birthday to him. Not to spoil the effect, John and I each lip-synced.

RC, John, Susan, and David Sing "Happy Birthday, Dear Marvin" - (Photo Courtesy of RC Vasavada)

RC, John, Susan, and David Sing "Happy Birthday, Dear Marvin" - (Photo Courtesy of RC Vasavada)

We camped just a few feet from Hook Lake.

Hook Lake was Still in the Morning

Hook Lake was Still in the Morning

We hiked this day down from Hook Lake to Return Creek at 9,380 feet in Virginia Canyon, our final campsite. I love the creeks but while crossing one on this day I slipped on a rock and got two bootfulls of water up to about a foot. Fortunately, I was able to use the extra pair of sock that I carry in my pack, but my boots hadn’t dried out five hours later when we reached camp. [Read more →]

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High Sierra Trek: Back to Yosemite Wilderness‏

August 16th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Through the Hike Sierra on our sixth trail day we hiked in the Hoover Wilderness from Stella Lake to Kirkwood Creek, elevation 8,700. Our seventh day took us up to beautiful Kerrick Meadow at 9,360 in the Yosemite Wilderness.

Leaving Stella Lake we spotted beautiful flowers and mushrooms:

Little Pink Elephants

Little Pink Elephants

Big Tan Mushroom

Big Tan Mushroom

The weather turned much warmer after two cold days. We had a much more pleasant day on the trail. But we crossed the West Walker River by mistake. [Read more →]

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High Sierra Trek: Cold and Snow‏

August 16th, 2009 · No Comments

The rain that we prepared for on the evening of our third day of trekking the High Sierra never arrived. Instead, a cold front came in, whipped by wind far above us, as we could see by looking at the fast-moving clouds.

The morning of the fourth day cooled off to the lower 40s. Clouds covered the entire sky.

Then, as we packed up ready to break camp, snow started to fall on us. Then, lightening strikes began, some as close as 1,000 feet from us. Marv says that the rule is 1,000 feet per second difference between seeing the lightening and hearing the thunder. The snow turned into hail and followed us all the way to our camp that evening at Horse Meadow, elevation 8,450.

Bundled up Against the Snow on the Trail

Bundled up Against the Snow on the Trail

We had planned to hike up to Grizzly Meadow at 9,620. But Marv changing our plans again so that we could avoid the danger of the open high country en route to that camp. [Read more →]

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High Sierra Trek: Birthday at Emigrant Lake‏

August 16th, 2009 · No Comments

On the third day of our trek through the High Sierra the omens were auspicious for my 74th birthday. We camped at Emigrant Lake, elevation 8,890. Almost all night the moon was full and fully visible through the mesh of my tent that I had pitched without the rainfly.

Then when I got up and joined the other four members of our group, Susan immediately wished me a happy birthday. Then, Marv showed up with a 14 inch rainbow trout that he had just caught in honor of my birthday.

RC Cooked the Trout that Marv Caught for my Birthday

RC Cooked the Trout that Marv Caught for my Birthday

I very much enjoyed the fresh wild trout that RC had cooked perfectly. I offer to share it with the others. But they declined. [Read more →]

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High Sierra Trek: Entering the Wilderness‏

August 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We were a small group of Sierra Club members hiking through the High Sierra this month. Four of us signed up for the trek, but at the last minute one of us, Ginger Harmon of Carmel, California, had to pull out because she suffered a recurrence of a medical problem. That left me, Susan DeWind of Middlebury, Vermont, and Ravindra C. “RC” Vasavada of Sea Ranch, California, to hike with the support of Leader Marvin Schinnerer, Assistant Leader John Horrell, and Wrangler Marty Johnson on his horse leading the five mules that carried most of our gear.

RC, Susan, Marv, John, and I Before Starting our Trek

RC, Susan, Marv, John, and I Before Starting our Trek

As soon as I read about this outing in the January issue of Sierra Magazine I knew that I had to do it. Having the mules to carry our tents, sleeping bags, and food made it possible for us to get away from civilization for two weeks. Previously, I’ve never been able to stay in the wilderness for more than six days when carrying everything in my backpack. [Read more →]

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The Hike Begins

August 1st, 2009 · No Comments

The hike starts Sunday afternoon from Kennedy Meadow at the entrance to the Emigrant Wilderness and will come out on August 15 at the Green River Trailhead. It’s 50 miles away from Kennedy Meadow by road and 100 miles by the trails we will take.

I arrived in Bridgeport, California, early this afternoon. The motel where I am spending the night is about 14 miles from Green Creek. As soon as I arrived in Bridgeport I made sure that I knew exactly where to meet the rest of the group at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.

I will leave my SUV at the Green Creek Trailhead at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning and catch a ride with another member of the group to Kennedy Meadow. As a result, when we come out of the wilderness I will be able to leave directly from this trailhead.

The group consists of just six people, Trip Leader Marv Shinnerer, Assistant Trip Leader John Horrell, and three Sierra Club members, Ravindra Vasavada, Susan DeWind, and Ginger Harmon, besides myself. Plus five mules.

The logistics of arranging all of this have been formidable for me and even more so for Marv and John. We have exchanged literally dozens of email messages and phone calls over the past few months, in fact since December, when I signed up for the hike immediately after reading about it in the Sierra Club magazine.

Bridgeport is only about 115 miles from Reno, where I stayed the previous two nights. But I made three detours today that added 310 more miles on my SUV’s odometer.

First I drove almost all the way around the largest Alpine Lake in North America. It’s so big that two states have to share it; two-thirds are in California, and one-third is in Nevada. Lake Tahoe is 21 miles long and 12 miles wide. The surface of the lake is 6,223 feet.

Lake Tahoe from the Nevada Side

Lake Tahoe from the Nevada Side

Emerald Bay is on the California Side

Emerald Bay is on the California Side

When I got to the motel in Bridgeport, the owner said my room wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours. No problem. [Read more →]

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Posted in: Hiking