June 10, 2011

Coming Winter

By morning the storm clouds have dispersed and fresh snow on the surrounding peaks reflects the rising sun. We drive into Mammoth for breakfast waiting for the temperatures to rise as the sun ascends. Our journey is nearing it's end so we drag our feet and spend a bit more time bouldering on some volcanic tuff amongst towering Jeffrey pines before packing up for one last time.

June 3, 2011


A natural rock garden on the edge of the mighty Sierra, once a quite place to stroll among the erratic weathered granite boulders, now a playground for climbers from near and far. Despite their popularity, there is still something special at this place, something meditative, something zen. There is a reverence shown toward the rocks, the hills, the environment and each other. Despite the sporadic screams of climbers pushing their limits on minute edges of rock, there is a serenity that extends beyond the number of cars parked along the side of the road.

May 30, 2011

Desolation and Intrigue - Death Valley

A lonely dirt road leads off the main highway and continues out through a desolate landscape. We are only a few hours from the bright lights and glitter of Las Vegas, yet worlds away. Among lava rocks, and desert shrubs. After a long drive out of the rain in Zion, it nice to have a bit of time to get out, wander around and explore. We set up camp, pop up the ECamper, and put together some dinner on the camp stove. We are alone, and only the occasional car speeding by on the highway off in the distance interrupts the silence. It almost an eerie feeling. Even though we are outside the actual national park, we sense that there is something unique about this landscape.

May 27, 2011

Zion National Park - Forces of Nature

Below gathering storm clouds, the warm hues of immense rock walls reflect a subtle pleasant ambience. Standing at the base of towering sandstone walls, it's difficult to imagine that we are standing at the same elevation as the top of the Grand Canyon. Nearly a thousand meters more of solid rock ascend above us. The scale of not only our immediate surroundings, but the entire Great Basin extending beyond to the south and west inspire us.  We hike a steep trail upwards, slowly, enjoying the vibrance of the occasional maple in autumn splendor. We follow the pace of our young explorers, climbing over rocks, navigating the narrow trail. We have the entire afternoon to our disposal, we aren't an a hurry. Elias and FrĂȘney determine our pace and final destination.

May 23, 2011

Castles Made of Sand - Bryce Canyon

Out in the high desert of southern Utah, we follow a narrow path among pine and fir. Suddenly the horizon opens up and we emerge onto the edge of a plateau.  Below and beyond a maze of eroded rock stretches as far as the eye can see. The power of the Colorado River and it's many tributaries, continue to mold a meandering path through the fragile sandstone. The jagged spires of Bryce Canyon stand guard again the impending forces of nature, castles made of sand, fragile relics of a landscape shaped by the relentless forces of water over countless millenia.