Monday, October 20, 2014

A delinquint hodge podge

I haven't been posting much to my blog lately.  It isn't that I haven't been doing that much. It is mostly due to the rare times when I have been taking pictures.  So, here is a collection of things that have been going on, all viewed from my iPhone.

We had a very wet August and September, but October has been Rocktober! Gorgeous weather, week after week.  Mostly just blue skies, but when the clouds show up, they have been very interesting.
 The Planning Commission has been very busy.  Nothing quite like the fun of getting 680 pages to review on Friday night and having to have read through it by Wednesday.  Sometimes we get to go on field trips, although the city calls them site visits.  The embarrassing thing is that as city employees or representatives, we have to wear boots, vests and hardhats, even though the site is mostly like your back yard.
The pets are doing well, but the kitty has been hankering for a new box.  We didn't have one for her so she dug around and opened up a tiny old one.  That is one determined cat.
 Julie and I have been playing a fair amount of golf lately.  We know that the end is near for the Park City golf season, so we have been squeezing it in.  The course is prepping for winter, which means pulling out my favorite golf sign. 
 Julie keeps getting better.  I figure next year some time she will start beating me.
 You don't get great shots with an iPhone looking back into the sun, but what a glorious day to be out golfing!
I was going to head up into the Uintah mountains last night to do some serious star photography but it fell through.  Partly me being tired and partly Julie not wanting me out just beyond nowhere, late at night, by myself, without cell phone service.  I suppose that's reasonable.  Weather permitting, I will try again Thursday night.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's just wrong!

Porsches, even the SUVs, are supposed to be colors like red, black, or a nice dark metallic blue. This should never be done to a Porsche.  In fact, this should never be dome to any car.

I would best describe this with the quote from the movie American Graffiti:  "Sorta a cross between piss yellow and puke green."

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Annual fall trek to the Silver Fork

Ron and Carol Lee have organized a fall two-day hike over the mountains for the last 13 years.  We have been lucky to join them the past few trips. Each year we start in Park City, hike over to Big Cottonwood Canyon, and spend the night at the quirky little Silver Fork Lodge.  It is actually more of a restaurant than hotel, but there are seven, very basic rooms upstairs.  Sure beats having to camp and the food at the restaurant is excellent.

We took a different path this year, starting on Rob's Trail, near the Canyons ski area. We had eleven hikers and four others who were meeting us at the other end.  Seems that some people have those job things.
 The weather was sunny and perfect, but there was some snow at the higher elevations from the past few days.  Glad we weren't hiking in the rain and snow!
 Most of the early part of our trek was in thick forest, but the sun found ways to sneak through.
 Here we have Randy with his lovely wife Karen, celebrating the Murdock ski run.  You do have to hike up to ski down, and trust me, it is a lot steeper than it looks.
 The aspens were still pretty and the mountains way off in the distance are snow capped.
 We went from Rob's trail to Ambush and finally up the Crest trail.  Every time we were on the north side of the hill, we were hiking in the snow.
 We went past Desolation Lake.  We debated what gave it that deep color.  Thoughts ranged from the mining minerals to my useless suggestion of agricultural runoff. Somehow I don't see much fertilizer being applied at the top of the mountains.
We made the turn down into Big Cottonwood Canyon on the Bear Trap trail.  It was scenic, but steep as hell.  Quite a bit was still slick with light snow, so my cartilage-less knee was getting a bit pissy.
As always, we spent a good hour in the Silver Fork's hot tub before gathering for a great dinner.  A couple of people stayed up watching the baseball playoffs.  That caused an unfortunate delay.  One of our couples headed to their room, only to discover that they had locked themselves out.  Did I mention that this was a tiny little hotel?  Now all the employees had left and there was no one to let them in. They ended up sleeping on the sofas in the TV room.  Every year we seem to have something interesting happen. 

We lost a few hikers for the trip back to Park City, some because of work and others because of aching body parts.  Nine of us headed back on the less scenic, but quicker path straight over and down to the base of PCMR (now Vail Canyons South?)  A nice hike on another perfect day.

This is a great group of people to do this trip with.  We get in about 20 miles of good mountain hiking and then enjoy an evening away from normal life.

Thanks Carol for getting us all together!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Fall with mom

My mom came out to Park City to visit.  Her timing ended up being a bit unfortunate. We just had the rainiest September in something like 25 years.  However, there were some gaps in the rain and we used the time to venture out and see the fall colors. When it wasn't raining, the clouds managed to make a great background.
 The trick was to find when the light was shining on the right trees. That meant chasing little gaps in the clouds.
 Guardsman Pass is always one of my favorite areas for color. I was hoping the temperatures would drop so the area would get snow instead of rain.  Hard to beat the fall colors with a dusting of snow.
We also drove over to the Sundance ski resort.  The leaves had already changed and dropped off, so I tried shooting some little waterfalls instead. Walking around the base of Sundance is so different than any of Park City's ski resorts.  Instead of a ski base, it feels more like a yoga retreat.  There is a beautiful creek running through the forest, dropping into ponds surrounded by statues.  The place is serene. 
I love how freezing the action shows how much the tiny droplets are going everywhere. Photographing water at different shutter speeds is like art.  By making little changes, it looks like you have an entirely different subject.  Compare these to the long exposures at the bottom of this entry.
On the way home from Sundance, we ran across about a dozen kite surfers out on the Deer Creek Reservoir. The winds were stiff and they were getting huge air when they jumped.  You just never know what you will run across.
 On another day, mom and I went over to Mirror Lake in the Uinta mountains.  The Provo River drops several thousand feet along the way, offering up hundreds of little waterfalls.

There were a lot of aspens showing off their yellow leaves, but one hillside was full of trees that blended from yellow to orange.  The huge hillside was full of this coloration, but we never saw it anywhere else on the 15+ miles of driving through the forest lands.
Mom left on Tuesday, missing even more rain, some sleet and snow showers.

This morning it had snowed lightly up on Jupiter Peak and the colors were gorgeous.  I had such a nice time with mom near Mirror Lake that I decided to go back.
 Jasper was the happiest one to go back.  There was snow everywhere at the higher elevations.  Just before you get to Mirror Lake, you drive over Bald Mountain Pass.  It is at a bit over 10,500 feet.
 It was cold and windy, so there wasn't much "mirror" in Mirror Lake. The trick to getting a nice reflection is to go very early in the morning when the winds are calmest.
 Cloudy days are great for shooting waterfalls with long exposures. On a sunny day, the reflections off the spray make the water so bright, that everything around it photographs almost black.  On a cloudy day there is a lot less difference.

 I think this 30 second exposure was my favorite from the day.

I feel a bit bad.  Mom was here for some of the worst weather we have had in quite a while.  Starting tomorrow, it is supposed to be bright and sunny for the next week.  Still, this area had enough interesting sights that even on a bad visit, it is beautiful.