San Francisco Winter 2010.   ~mike gradziel.
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party fixings party fixings party fixings
springtime in Clayton springtime in Clayton springtime in Clayton
cows in the salinas valley karen, berto, doug joy and mike in santa barbara
santa barbara beach santa barbara beach a waterfall in santa monica
hiking dinner in Pasadena JPL with burned hils and washed-out gravel
venice beach venice beach venice beach
venice beach

It's been a while since last I wrote. Items of note: went to Pasadena last weekend, first time back since I moved 15 months ago. Not homesick, thankfully; rather I am assured more than ever that the SF Bay area is more my style. Los Angeles has its color in the nightlife, the beach scenes, the nice cars and restaurants and web of freeways jammed with tens of thousands of cars. And it is always hot - it's a desert all year. I like having some color in the land too, and I really like the sunlight fading in our cool evening fog, the redwood trees and big waves, and a little more green in the hills up here. Speaking of waves, a few weeks ago we tried to make a beach crossing in Point Reyes that is only possible a few times a year when the tide is extra-low. Trouble was, there were big storms in the Pacific that week and the waves were monstrous. And echoes of a tsunami from Chile were sweeping past the beach as we tried to round the first rocky point. Doug and I both got washed into the rocks; I lost my favorite hat and escaped up a 30 foot cliff, then descended the other side by rope which I fortunately was carrying in my pack. It was the first time in my life that I actually needed to use a rope and had one too; there was no other way down. We'll try again in May. Beyond the rocky point there is impressive sea life and untouched beaches and sea caves - you actually go through some tunnels to gain access to farther beaches, and you must round the final point before the tide comes in. Even though we didn't get far, it was worth it. I love watching massive, gigantic, absolutely huge waves. Check out my new photos.

   March 2010
a small tsunami from chile came by around 2pm walking down to the beach mcclures beach, point reyes
heavy surf at mcclures beach heavy surf at mcclures beach heavy surf at mcclures beach
heavy surf at mcclures beach heavy surf at mcclures beach doug at the impassable first point
mike and doug try to round the point - by joy mike climbing - by joy mike rappelling down the cliff - by joy
late sun at mcclures beach - by joy mike after dunking under wave mike likes spherical rocks
late sun at mcclures beach - by joy

the first moving trip, feb 2010 back yard garden beds new pot rack
loading compost in petaluma joy with emmett, the friendly goose mike clears gravel from the yard
preparing the yard for planting succulents in pots turning the soil

A waterfall on the eastern wall of El Capitan lights up as if on fire this time of year - late February - in the minutes before sunset. Lots of photographers were waiting for days at the prime viewing spots, hoping for the perfect shot which is elusive on account of clouds and changing weather. I thought our evening it was really quite good. Trails were crowded - remember to stay away on future holiday weekends; we had to take a shuttle bus to Badger Pass where parking lots were full and the whole way out to Dewey Point and back, on hard packed melting snow, we walked with hundreds of companions. Out at the point we strapped on snowshoes and escaped the crowds. It's so satisfying to break through trackless deep snow, and then come back to the cabin and eat enormous bowls of steaming hot chili, sit by the fireplace, and be entertained by Zuma, a living teddy bear who I some day hope to adopt for a weekend if Mandie and John are going out of town.

   February 2010
along the Merced River, Yosemite Merced River and Yosemite Falls Tunnel View - Yosemite
crowds at Tunnel View, Yosemite Joy walking past big trees Approaching Dewey Point
Dewey Point Dewey Point Dewey Point view
Joy and me me at Dewey Point, by Joy Dewey Point
little people, Dewey Point Dewey Point me at the valley edge, by Joy
Joy and me snowshoeing Joy climbs a hill my favorite cabin
horsetail falls at sunset horsetail falls at sunset, by Joy photographers gathered to see horseshoe falls
mmm chili Joy with Zuma Zuma, a living teddy bear

Off to Colorado to visit family for a few days. Sorry Grandpa couldn't have been there too. Time won't stop, will it.

   December 2009
near Boulder, Colorado near Boulder, Colorado near Boulder, Colorado

Went for a hike in the redwood forest with Doug, at Purisima Creek off Skyline. Beautiful sunset except we were three miles from the car. I hitched a ride with an interesting couple who live up there in the hills.

   November 2009
Joy in the redwoods circle of trees evening sun
hiking Purisima Creek evening sun

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