Let the Winter Fun Begin!

Winter fun in Summit County Colorado!  As we watched from the living room window over the course of a week, Lake Dillon froze.  (We also got out for a little skiing.)

Henry Coe State Park Hike June 20

Henry Coe photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkinkade/
Henry Coe State Park is a rare and precious combination of wild lands on the doorstep of a major metropolitan area.  Its been one of my favorite places since a backpacking trip deep in the park when a rottweiler-sized cat came down to the stream across from camp to get a drink…and ran once it realized people were about.   Watching the big cat drink was a wonderful sight to behold — and not one I’d particularly expect to see at park headquarters.

Unfortunately, our access to Henry Coe State Park is threatened by the CA budget crisis withdrawing funding for state parks.    I’m not only concerned about not being able to use Coe — I’m also worried that a closed park is less likely to be preserved as it becomes an easier target for development.

SOS is an organization committed to keeping our state parks open.   They have called for a show of support for the parks in the form of visiting a state park sometime on the weekend of June 20-21, 2009 and taking photos of ourselves with banners for a video they are producing.

I plan to be at Henry Coe State Park Headquarters to take the photos and I want you to join in.   Everyone is welcome for the photo.    

Henry Coe State Park HQ is off 101 near Morgan Hill, 60mins from Redwood City. Click for general directionsClick for google map  The HQ has restrooms and drinking water available.

If you want to be photographed with a sign, you can print your favorite of the signs on the SOS Weekend page.    If enough people RSVP by Thursday 6/18 to say they’ll be there, I’ll have a larger banner made up.

If you would like to coordinate carpools, feel free to leave comments on this post.   Please understand that this website is open to the public and I won’t necessarily know everyone who comments.   I’m already in a carpool down and will meet y’all there.

We do plan to hike after the photos.    If you’d like to hike too, please bring water, decent shoes, snack/lunch and your sense of personal responsibility.  This isn’t an organized event, but I’m happy to have new friends and acquaintances share the trail.

Hope to see you Saturday!

(Henry Coe photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkinkade/)

Eagle Rock Hike at Little Basin with Sempervirens Fund

Great 7 mile hike yesterday up to Eagle Rock in Little Basin for Sempervirens

julia-and-emmanuelle in little basin

Thanks to Emmanuelle for leading the way.




rickCheck out Rick’s awesome photos by clicking here.




Here’s a few shots I took along the way:


Joe spotted Venus in daylight.












As you can see from the logo on the signs at the entry, Little Basin used to be Hewlett-Packard’s corporate retreat.   They sold it to Sempervirens and POST, who must foot the bill until California can afford the gift of Little Basin as an extension of Big Basin state park.    Meanwhile, its open to HP, Sempervirens and POST.

The thing I like best about hiking with Sempervirens is all the neat people I meet.   If you would like to join us on a hike, click here.   Please consider joining  in the preservation of these very special redwood forests.

Heavenly Spring Break Skiing

lake_tahoe_morning_mountainHere’s a few photos from my last ski trip of the season. Spring break in Heavenly started out with a huge storm on Sunday Mach 22. It dumped over 18″ of powder. I was too busy skiing to take photos. Not much visibility that day anyway. The good snow did last through the week, but was about skiied off by the time I got around to pulling my camera out. The clear skies made for spectacular views of the lake.

Dipper Line at Heavenly Ski Area

Trying out the new QuickPress feature in WordPress 2.7.1. by uploading some favorite ski pics from the last trip. These two were taken on the Dipper Line run under the Dipper Express chair at Heavenly ski resort in South Lake Tahoe.   The bottom one is a view of the very calm lake from the top of the Nevada side of the resort.




 Updated 04/03/09:  Turns out that leaving the pics unsized wrecked the formating with some browsers.   Should be fixed now.

Views of Lake Tahoe from Heavenly Gondola

I’ve always thought this was one of the prettiest sights.  I try to get even non-skiing friends up the gondola just to see it.  Now, here’s the views coming to you in a few videos from a ride down the Heavenly gondola.

This is the best way home after skiing for me. I’d rather ski all the way down but skiing to the base lodges ends up in a bus ride. As you will see, the last stretch of the gondola is over flat land with little snow to boot, so I don’t ski down this slope either.

Anyway, I get to enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains while I loosen my boots.

Here’s the first part of the ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLk9L3g9uFk

The second part is where the scenery cranks up. Its also where I had the not-so-bright idea to rotate the camera for portrait shots partway down. The car didn’t go spinning like that but its kind of a fun effect.

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2DmnS5d-qU  )

Here’s another, lower down the mountain in the trees:

One more in the trees: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdK0oYc7U6k  

Here’s the flat “home stretch”…well I put my camera way before we sailed over the little motels and into the main plaza. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0HcBjIUGgM  

There you have it. My little collection of Heavenly Gondola videos 🙂

3 Heavenly Ski Lift Rides

Just for fun, take a look at these lift rides at Heavenly ski resort.   If you’re stuck at the computer too much this will give you a good feel for the great outdoors in a mountain setting.

The first is on a snowy day.   Note the boader making a little jump right at the beginning.

Then check out this sunny day – same lift, same runs:

Finally, here’s the expert section of the ski run, further up the mountain:

Portable Drinking Fountains

Stainless steel and BPA-free water bottles are all the rage and I too want to avoid the harmful effects of BPAs.    So I was delighted to receive two new water bottles as gifts: one stainless and the other BPA-free plastic.

The stainless bottle looks very rugged.  Too bad it turned into an unstoppable fountain in the car on the way to Tahoe!   Its really amazing how altitude and hence air pressure change got this little bottle to soak my car interior before being brought under control by my passenger.   I’m curious to know the physics behind it, but don’t have time to find out.  I did however find the time to write a one-star review for the product on Amazon.

The BPA-free plastic bottle was cool-looking too and I like that its nozzle only lets out water when you bite to open it.  So if you’re in the market for a new water bottle, I’d recommend this one:

You can check out all my Amazon reviews here