Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hike the High Country: The Duck Lake Hike (Part 3)

(GPS: N 37 32.700 W 118 58.100)

Time to wrap this one up. So after the pass we decided to go to the very end of the lake which would descend a few hundred feet. Along the way I saw some deer and this crazy tree:
Almost there. Just around this corner.
I looked down. Yeah, not a good idea to slip and fall here.
A little further down, and we reached the end of the lake.
It was very quiet here. I just enjoyed the overwhelming silence.
I looked at where the trail continued, but there were no signs there. I'm was pretty sure that it connected with the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail within a few miles. In any case, we spent about thirty minutes here, and turned around.

It took us a few hours to get back to the trailhead, but we ended up taking another side trail on the way back so we passed by Emerald Lake which you can see a picture of in this blog HERE.

So all in all, not my first choice for a hike, but a pretty good substitute. Btw, you might be wondering why they call it "Duck Lake"? Does the lake look like a duck? Is there a history of ducks migrating here at some point? The only ducks we saw were back at Skelton Lake sleeping just inside the lake near the shore. Not that I care too much, but if you know the answer leave a comment or an e-mail.

Hike the High Country: Duck Lake (Youtube Video)

The music used from is called Thunderbird and Townie Loop.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hike the High Country: The Duck Lake Hike (Part 2)

(GPS: N 37 33.500 W 118 57.750)

So after getting out of the forest area, entering the mountain trail terrain, and having the sun out a little more I was enjoying the hike. I knew I was pretty close to Duck Pass. I could hear the cross-country runners cheering each other and other hikers up the final part. This being the final ascent:
 No cheering for me though as I was a little later. That's the price I paid for taking pictures and video along the trail. I didn't care though. I was happy to walk though Duck Pass. 
 Right after you clear the pass you get to see a small part of the big treasure here in the back country: Duck Lake.
Duck Lake is probably one of the biggest lakes I have seen in the High Sierra back country. Here is the middle portion:
 At this point I was told we would continue to the end of the lake. I agreed. I was already tired, but I did want to continue to see what was at the end of the lake.
I will wrap this up in the next blog.

Hike the High Country: Duck Lake (Youtube Video)

The music used from is called Thunderbird and Townie Loop.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hike the High Country: The Duck Lake Hike (Part 1)

(N 37 35.500 W 118 59.450)

This is the first of a three part series of a common hike done out of Mammoth, CA. Honesty, it wasn't my first choice, but I went along with it. Normally, on most hikes that I have had on this blog I am pretty much in charge and kind of have an idea where I am going. On this one I let the other two with me dictate the pace and take me to the unknown.

As we drove into Mammoth my morale for doing the hike was not great since I saw how bad the smoke was all around. I mentioned this quite a lot in the past few blogs, and for the few hikes I did, it wasn't that bad. You still will see some haze as I go along.

The gps coords get you to close to where we parked. Off we went that early morning up the trail. It switch backed quite a bit for the first fifty or so minutes. Not too long after that we passed by Arrowhead Lake, but did not stop at it. Not too long after that was Skelton Lake, and we did stop there.
 There was a lot of haze there as you can see in the background. If I were to turn the camera to the right the sun was hitting the area in such a way that it was really smokey looking there. Not so on the way back. At this point, many cross-country high school runners would pass us on to the pass. Apparently, doing their training here which is admirable.

After the lake I was getting tired of just walking around in the forest. You could not see very far ahead or around. I was not sure how far we were from where we would end. Then, I saw another lake ahead.
 This is Barney Lake. It had a nice color to it.
 The hike started to get more interesting around here. We were leaving the forest area, and entering mountain terrain. Now I started to wake up a bit and things were alive.
 Now we are getting somewhere! A nice rocky terrain trail that started to lift up over the area. Can you see the person ahead?
 After getting up high enough there was a nice ridge point to look back and take pictures of where I had been. You get a good shot of seeing all of Barney Lake and Mammoth Mountain in the background.
I was tired, but I was enjoying this hike now. I also knew that in all likelihood we were near the pass so the hike would be basically over. Well, sort of.

Hike the High Country: Duck Lake (Youtube Video)

The music used from is called Thunderbird and Townie Loop.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Being Thankful and Looking Ahead

I must admit that the last few months were rather rough on me. As I said previously, I had a bunch of stress this past year that was the worst during the end of the summer and early fall that made me not want to do very much blogging. Unfortunately, because of some personal things that needed to be taken care of, I was unable to visit the Eastern Sierra for the fall colors in time. That was a major downer for me. It was near the end of October that the worst of it was over. Then almost days after that I injured my back somehow, and my recovery time was really slow. I still feel some soreness, but I can walk and bend down again.

In any case, that is all over now, and for that reason I am thankful! I’ve had reasonable good health, and if I can walk, then I can hike. Now, it might be another few months before that takes place again, but it is something I look forward to.

So as far as the blog is concerned, I’ve decided to wait until early 2019 before I start releasing new content. If something comes up by Christmas that I think is worth showing then I will do it, but most of what I have in mind will start sometime in January.

So I wish all my loyal readers happy holidays through the month of December. I going to be spending the next month working on various projects that I hope will be fun to talk about during the 2019. So assuming nothing dramatic happens…I’ll catch up with you on the trail at that time.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

It's Armistice Day (WW1 Ends 100 Years Ago)

So after about four years we have hit the end of the centenary of the WW1 time period. As history goes, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 there was a cease fire to the war to end all wars. Of course, we know that in reality this was just the beginning of two wars.

This will probably mark the end of my posting of pictures of military aircraft on the blog for quite some time. About seven months ago I noted the death of the Red Baron. I wanted to end this with two other planes.
  First, the Sopwith Camel is probably the classic aircraft (apart from the German Fokker Dr.1) that everyone associates with World War 1.
If anything, Snoopy from the Peanuts series is the one who keeps these planes alive in the popular world. However, even that is dwindling. I'll get back to this in a moment.
This is the Hanriot HD.1. This one was built in France and is a veteran of the war. It was used off a base in Dunkirk, France. There it defended bombers that tried to sink u-boats. Long story short, it was sent to America after the war where French ace Charles Nungesser purchased it to fly in movies and as a "barnstormer" (used for flying tricks in a flying circus).
Nungesser always had this insignia on his planes. So he added this insignia to this Hanriot.Kind of cool in a creepy way! These planes are now owned by the Planes of Fame in Chino, CA.

Knights of the Air (Youtube Video)

The following I decided to cut out of the video at the beginning "voice" portion since I sounded like I was really angry, and it didn't quite fit the flow of how I wanted to present the video.  I found this out at the Planes of Fame tribute to the Great War last weekend. It was tne thing that pretty much shell shocked the audience.

The Cal State University system has decided that a course in world history is no longer needed as part of the general education program. WHAT!!! You read it right. Unless you take history as an elective or decide to major in it, you can go through the university in California without a course in world history!

This is disturbing. It has further convinced me that education has just become a money making scheme rather than a serious academic place. Degrees and "qualifications" are becoming meaningless unless you had one a few decades ago. As the saying goes, unless you study history you are doomed to repeat it. As I have said before, what bothers me is not so much the difference of opinions I see young students have online, but all these utopian ideas being thrown out as if they have not been tried over and over again during the 20th century. I could say a lot more, but maybe some other time.

In any case, I wish you all well today on this day of peace.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Hike to the Great Pumpkin! (Halloween 2018)

(GPS: N33 55.870 W117 31.065)

Happy Halloween!

So a few weeks ago I headed off to Norco, CA to look for the legendary Great Pumpkin. Interesting enough, the area I was heading to is very much a cowboy/horse culture. I was amazed at all the establishments dedicated to cowboy clothing, saloons, veterinarians for horses, etc. that you would think ended in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Even my trips to isolated areas in CA and nearby states have not made me feel like I was being thrown back to that era.

There are various ways to get to the trailhead(s) and it really depends how long of a hike you want. For me, this was not intended to be much of a hike. I wanted to get to the end of it as soon as possible. So, I didn't take the longest route. In fact, this was really not much of hike if you compare it to what I normally show on this blog. It was short, but the uphill is a few hundred feet which will get you breathing quickly. Overall, it took me about ten minutes to get to the gps points listed above from where I parked in a residential area. The normal route starts a little lower in an equestrian area.

So off I went on this trail which as stated is more uphill than lengthy. One does need to be careful because they are some deep dips in the trail at points. Remember this area was designed for horses.
One of those big dips is just ahead. If you look carefully you can see something up above looking down on me.

After ten minutes, and some huffing and puffing, I reached the final ascent to the Great Pumpkin.

Actually, this is known as Pumpkin Rock which history goes back to the 1990's. Prior to that it was used differently, but these days it is kept orange all year long.

Looking over the city of Norco.

Unfortunately, Pumpkin Rock gets its share of graffiti. What you are seeing is sort of tame to what I have read in the past. Fortunately, that gets cleaned up and painted over by the locals.

So, this is the oddity I wanted to share for this Halloween. I had my mind set on doing something else for this Halloween, but it didn't work out. However, there is a good chance that will happen for next year's Halloween (2019). So get back to me a year from today!

The music from is called, "Come Play with Me" which can be found HERE.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Looking back on the Summer of 2018

Dusting off some cobwebs...we are now officially in the fall here in the north.

Well, it has been a while. This is one of those years that my productivity on the blog has been almost down to nothing. As I warned years ago, this would be the way things are. Sometimes I will have a bunch of new things to talk about, but if I don't I just remain silent.

With that said, I did get some things done this summer that I might start talking about soon or at the very worst at the beginning of 2019. I have some life stressors that have to be dealt with first. I could throw up a bunch of stuff right now, but I wouldn't be as motivated to talk about or enjoy it. I found that it is best to wait and be patient.

In any case, let me tell you what happened over the past six months as sort of a sneak peak. Originally, I planned a few mountain hikes with my brother. He decided he wanted to take his vacation time at the beginning of August. I said, "Okay, but as usual, we run the risk of fires in Yosemite which ruins everything." Time went on.

Sure enough as we got close to vacation time fires started to light up the Eastern Sierra. Once you know the fires are going climbing mountains seems like a waste of time. Smoke everywhere makes the views bad. We had been through this before. I've talked it about so much one year on the blog I felt bad how negative I was. You look forward to something for so long only to have it ruined. "There is always next year."

We made best of the situation and did some other hikes instead. Interesting enough I was rather happy that at some of the most important points of those hikes the smoke was not too bad. Here is an example of Emerald Lake in Mammoth which was on the way back to the car:

Not bad. Of course, by the time we got home the fire was finally put out. Oh well. "There is always next year." The cycle continues.

I did do a lot of work at one of the movie locations I visited last October. I think I might need to go visit it one more time though for a better introduction and a pickup shot or two. It is one I think most people that like what I do will enjoy. Yes, it has been forever on this one, but this is the most progress I have made on it.

There are other things I am pursuing. One thing I hope to have is some new technology for a different perspective on some of the locations I have visited.

So I am still alive. New content will be coming at some point. I hope you all have been doing well or hanging in there the past year.

See you later on down the hiking trail of life...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Death of the Red Baron (100th Anniversary)

(AKA A Ghostrider in the Sky)

I wanted to make a note that today April 21, 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the shooting down and death of Manfred Baron von Richthofen. Who is better known as the Red Baron ace of WW1. I'm not an expert on his life so it is probably better to link to his wikipedia entry, and you can google away his name since there is tons of information out there. I should note he had 80 victories for Germany during the war. It is believed that he was not shot down by another pilot, but shot down by Australian Sergeant Popkin underneath him on the ground firing his vickers gun at him.
My little tribute to him will consist of pictures of the Fokker Dr. I (Dridecker or Triplane) which is the type of plane he made famous and was also shot down in. It wasn't the only plane he flew, but any depiction of him in popular lore will have him with this plane. I took these at the Planes of Fame museum in Chino.
Focker Dr. 1 (Dreidecker) (Front)
One thing that is interesting about this historical period for readers of this blog is we are transitioning away from the 100th anniversaries of Western Anericana (Gunfighters, Outlaws, etc.). While I consider most of what we would refer to as the "old west" ending around the 1890's, a case can be made that it extended to the years right before WW1 in certain regions. Those regions were still using horses as a primary means of travel. There were automobiles, but not everyone owned one or had roads to drive them. Some towns were isolated, maybe not as much as 30 years prior, but isolated enough that they still had to protect themselves and property from those who would take it. For example, it was only about nine years ago that I had a 100th anniversary blog about the hanging of Jim Miller.
Side View
So, that period of the old west was only a few years before what would become military industrial complex that is still with us today. WW1 would bring about the notion of total war where every member of society is connected to war and military in some way.
So back to the Red Baron, he was admired for his skill as one of the first fighter pilots. In a sense, the fascination with him that some have had is like the gunfighters of the old west. He was a pioneer and somewhat of a cowboy/gunfighter in the sky. Not on a horse, but on a new strange flying machine.
Front Engine
A few years ago I saw a poll that said most people in Germany do not know who this person was anymore. I think some said that the name Red Baron had to do with a pizza brand. ;) He has been forgotten. There are some good reasons why that is probably the case since Germany seems to not want to glorify those who fought in two wars that most consider them responsible for. On the other hand, many in America probably only know him as being Snoopy the dog's eternal enemy in the Peanuts comics/cartoons. In any case, I thought I would bring your attention to this person who was famous for his time period.

Manfred von Richthofen (Wikipedia) 

Fokker Dr. I (Wikipedia)

WW1 Aircraft (Flickr Pictures)

WW1 Aircraft (My blog from last year)

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Lundy Lake to the May Lundy Mining Settlement

(N 37 59.970 W 119 14.950)

Happy Easter and April Fools Day! Which is kind of a weird thing to have together. I was going to call this blog, "Investigating the remains of May Lundy," but then I might get responses like, "What happened to her? I didn't even know she was sick?" Then the joke would be on me. In any case, this is the first blog of the year, so let's get to it:

Last July my brother and I went back to the May Lundy mining settlement in Lake Canyon. We had done this before some eight years back, but I never blogged about it on here. I hinted at it in another blog entry, but never came through with any blog entry about it. So, after last summer with new pictures and updated video clips, here we go...
Lundy to Lake Canyon (1 of 31)
We started out at Lundy Lake. On the other side of the lake, back in that canyon is where I like to go for fall colors in October. I've shown that on here before. This time we will headed to the left side of this picture and up.
Lundy to Lake Canyon (2 of 31)
Looking back down you can see how far the trail takes you. Actually, this is an old mining road that one can imagine small wagons, horses, and equipment being brought up this trail.

Turning around (doing a 180) from this picture, we headed up and back into the canyon. Much of the trail at this point was walking through water and ice. Many parts of the trail seemed like walking in a stream due to the melted ice. 2017 was a good year for snowfall.

Along the road we started to see traces of human artifacts. There are many along the way. Eventually, we encountered two vats along with some walls. Then I caught up with my brother at an overlook of the remains of the mining settlement. This is very close to where the GPS coordinates above will get you.
Lundy to Lake Canyon (10 of 31)Below is where we spent most of our time. You can see a bunch of the mining equipment remains down below. This was where the May Lundy Mill was at. To the right and looking up the mountainside is this:
Lundy to Lake Canyon (11 of 31)
The May Lundy mine is up there. If you look closely in that picture you can see the frames that were part of the tramway that would come down the slope to the mill.
Lundy to Lake Canyon (26 of 31)
You can see some of the mining machinery here. Basically, this area was mined from 1880-1914 with a few revivals going into the early 1940's. 
Lundy to Lake Canyon (15 of 31)
And more. To keep this blog short, I will link to my the rest of the pictures I uploaded on Flickr down below to show the rest of the machinery as well as some of the remaining buildings. The Youtube video will be linked too that shows more as well.
Lundy to Lake Canyon (31 of 31)
After we finished looking around we visited Oneida Lake a little further in the canyon. We then turned around, spent a little more time looking around the mining area, then headed back down.

Here are the links you will want for a lot more than I presented here:

To the Remains of May Lundy Mining Settlement (Youtube Video)

Lundy Lake to the May Lundy Mining Settlement (Flickr Pictures)

For further reference:

Lundy by Alan H. Patera

Lundy: Gem of the Eastern Sierra by Jim Hanna (Not on amazon from what I can see. Somewhat rare. Google it.)

The music from used for the video is called, Concentration, which can be found HERE.

*Special Note for this blog. There is a lot more that can be done in this canyon. Further on higher up on the May Lundy Mine side is the Tip Top Mines and the Summit Mine. My brother and I were talking about going back someday to find those. If you or anyone has been up there recently (say in the past ten years or so) and knows the route rather well then please comment or e-mail me. I would like to converse a little over this one with someone before I do it. Normally, I lock the comments over a period of time, but for this one I will keep it open in case someone wants to say something about this. Thanks!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Having a Blue Christmas

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and hope you can enjoy the rest of the holiday season. As I said earlier this year I didn't really have anything planned for any Christmas theme blog this year with new videos or pictures. So, I will just go with this one which is a fall colors picture with a slight transition into snow conditions, but not quite there yet look:
Merry Christmas Card 2017
I'm actually not having a "Blue Christmas". Things are actually quite good for me right now. Around a month ago right after Thanksgiving, 911 had to be called for a family member to be taken to the hospital. The issue was not life threatening and of all the emergency trips to the hospital you have to take this was a good one to have since I was not stressed about the outcome. In a few hours everyone was back home.

However, what shook me up was being in the waiting area, and a couple were fighting back and forth. I don't know the story since I couldn't hear everything and I wasn't really trying to listen, but it had to deal with an elderly person they were there for. I didn't really want to hear what they were saying because it was causing my calm self to start stressing. Eventually, the woman walked off to be with the elderly person inside. I really didn't want to be there. Even though my situation was going to turn out alright I don't know if their situation did. I ended up being stressed from that visit for a few days even though it had nothing to do with me or my family.

That's kind of the way I feel about the internet in general. For every happy day I have there are tons of people in social media that are having a bad day. Likewise, for every bad day I have there are tons of people having a great day. In either case, it can suck the life out of me. That's while I can't constantly take part in all the social media out there. I have to keep things kind of limited or I would probably be down all the time. I love people, but I'm not a superhero. 

So, if you are having a Blue Christmas, lacking the Christmas spirit, or just down these holidays, then I wish you well riding this out. As I heard someone say recently, "the trials of life do not take holidays." Please talk to others close to you. For me, January is the rough month and a big let down. In all of this, remember what the point of Christmas is about. It's not about buying gifts, Santa Claus, being good to someone, or being with family. Those are secondary. It's the same way I think about Thanksgiving. Too many people talk about what they are thankful for and usually some talk about pilgrims and Indians. The object of what you are thanking is the true meaning behind the day. Whether you have a good or bad mental state right now does not change the fact of the good news of a baby born long ago and what he represents (a baby born with a death sentence). The world as it is, will not always be like this.

On a lighter note, I better get to bed before Santa gets here. I'm holding out for a new camcorder. :)