Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back at 2010

Holy Cow! I wrote up over 90 blog entries this year! That is a personal record, and I had no intention of doing that. I actually had more than that, but some of those were just temporary FYI types that I took down after a few weeks. Also, I could have added a lot more. In 2008, I had 80, but I took some down since they just linked to things that are no longer around. In any case, my goal was to have something up about once a week, but that 90 goes way beyond that!

Looking back on this year I started out this blog wanted to "reboot" it. Meaning that in a way I was starting over, not entirely from scratch, but since I was starting to video in HD I was going to be re-doing a lot of things over.

I started out showing a few movie locations and what is, for me, an important old west gravesite. That one I held off showing for some years, finally posted it, and at the time I said it was not up on Find A Grave. Then a few weeks later it mysteriously showed up on there. What a coincidence after all these years! LOL! Let's just say that I thought that might happen. Gravesites are not really my emphasis, but I have a few others like that. I am holding off from posting them until I can actually go to where the history took place.

One thing that was frustrating for me this year is I really did not do any summit hikes. I did a bunch of hikes to different places, but not any Sierra mountain climbs to the top. The big problem I had was I was sick a lot during the first six months of the year. Then the weather pattern was very strange in that it was cooler in So. California compared to the very hot and dry weather at my summer place. There were other issues as well, so looking back to what I posted in February about Mt. Starr was the last of my hikes to a Sierra summit. That I hope changes in the next year or so because going deep into the backcountry is the heart and soul of this blog.

The things I did for Mammoth, CA back in April and May I really enjoyed. Those I had wanted to do for some years. I actually did get back there this year for a few hours due to some relatives wanted to go there. You will eventually see that in a few months. There is more I could do there, but that is not really a high priority with me right now.

As the summer was coming this year I started putting up more of my hikes into the Black Star Canyon area. There was one of those hikes that I knew was not going to be too impressive, but you get to see Black Star Canyon from a different point. That was to setup the falls a few weeks later. There is a certain mystique about that place with people believing it is haunted. I sort of played on that with my videos on Black Star Canyon. Without all of that, it is the closest thing I have to an escape from the city even though the city is not that far away. Of course, I am constantly getting e-mailed over Black Star Canyon and the falls. How do I say this, I get some of the really strangest e-mails about this area. Which I kind of knew was going to happen. Someday I may do one more investigation over there for one more area, but I feel I have this one essentially covered. Oh yeah, DON'T CROSS OVER, UNDER, OR THROUGH THE BARBED WIRED FENCES. IT'S TRESPASSING. DON'T RUIN THIS EXPERIENCE FOR OTHERS.

While I did a bunch of Iverson Ranch, Corriganville, and the Alabama Hills movie locations my favorite was the one I did at Red Rock Canyon. That one Gary Cooper gunfight location took me years get up because I kept waiting for the best footage. Then after I got okay footage and was ready to present was the time I stopped making videos for a while. Then after I started doing videos in HD I had to go back to Red Rock Canyon on the way home and have not been back there since. So, I was really happy to finally get that one up.

Of course, I think my Halloween series this year was the best I have done and probably marks the end of that sort of thing with me. Those took me years to get around to doing. I have had some other ideas I could do and have been given a few suggestions. If I were ever to really travel much further away I think I would be more inspired to do more like that, but as it is I liked what I did with that. BTW, as an aside, I was going to put up a video of the Whaley House. I had covered that before showing what it looked like in the 1990's, but the place is a lot different now since it has different "ownership." I had always looked forward to doing a video of that place. Long story short, I totally lost respect for that place and just see it as a money making machine now. It totally lost its mystique with me, and I do not feel right putting anything up regarding it anymore. I was going to give a long writeup about why I do not like it anymore, but did not want that to distract with what I put up in October. Spend your money as you see fit, but I cannot recommend the place anymore.

That Gem Lake hike I put up in November was a really great autumn hike for me. It is always great looking down at areas I have driven on before. It answered some questions some friends and I have always had about the Edison Co. using a track up there. Although not perfect, I liked the video and music I had with that one. One of the odd things about that one was the distances made me feel like I was looking at toy train tracks, minatures of the town below, etc. There is an effect that people use in photoshop to create that, but I thought that the video and some of the pictures already had a little of that.

Of course, I pretty much dedicated this month to Bodie ghost town. This was really just an update of things I have done in the past. I tried to add a little more to it this time around, and there are tons of other old pictures and footage I could show, but I am satisfied with what I put up. So, in a way, I hope to have put that one to rest. However, if you watched the second video of that series then you will have seen I pointed out something in that town relating to my favorite ghost town. That has yet to come.

So, overall, it was a good year for the blog. I want to thank all of you that have tuned in from time to time to see what I have done. Thanks for all the e-mail, comments, and telling others too. Not everything I put up do I consider gold, some is filler, some are clankers, but I do think you will see something of interest from time to time.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year. Sometime this next week, I will talk about the direction I will be taking this blog in 2011.