Thursday, November 12, 2015

Santa Rosas / Rockhouse Canyon 4 Day Backpack

Here are a few pics from our recent backpack trip into Rockhouse Canyon where we spent 3 days base camped near the trail that leads up and over to Martinez Canyon and explored the various fingers that lead to and around the Necklace. It felt good to just relax for a few days and explore with a light day pack instead of lugging around a big heavy pack everyday. We were able to squeeze enough good water out of Stifferino to keep us happy for the whole trip. The repairs we made several years ago to the spring seem to be holding up with minor upkeep and it is also providing a bit better of a watering hole for the wildlife.

With the exception of the close up insects all of the photos are Fuji Velvia 50 film taken with my medium format Fuji GSW645 camera

Hope you enjoy

Total Balloon count this trip - 10+ I have been pretty lame lately not taking pictures and not keeping good count, maybe that can be my new years resolution..haha...


Thursday, October 8, 2015

McCain Valley & The In-Ko-Pah Mountains Misc Summer Trips With Fujia Velvia 50

Tom and I have been going out to McCain Valley the last couple of months for some backpack and car camping trips just exploring around the immense boulder strewn In-Ko-Pah mountain range. Some of our explorations were in ABDSP and some crossed into BLM territories. The weather has been pretty hot this summer and the 4,000+' higher altitude of McCain Valley was tolerable for many weekends. Wildlife was scarce, Pepperwood Spring was dry and the only other people we saw on any of our hikes were OHV users driving around where they shouldn't have been.

I lugged along my Olympus 35mm camera with a roll of Fuji Velvia and struggled to take 29 pictures before I finally decided to roll it up and get it developed..wasting 7 precious frames of Velvia goodness. There really is something magical about Velvia film, it is amazing sharp, colors are warm and beautiful and holding the film in your hands and looking at it thru a loupe reminds me of when I was kid and had all the Disney slides for my View Master....pure joy....

All of the photos on this post are Fuji Velvia 50 35mm from my Olympus OM-1n. Processed at NCP in Carlsbad CA and scanned by me with an Epson V700 scanner. I did no touch up to them other than a small zap of USM.

Here is a really nice early morning view of Canebrake Wash from the Pepperwood trail. Red Top is just out of site on the right side. I have crossed over that pass on the left several times on trips to Potrero
View of Canebrake Wash from the Pepperwood Trail

One place I have been trying to find for several years was Thunder Canyon and Tom and I found it...barely. It is very difficult to find and we almost gave up but decided to look down "one more" crack in the boulders. Here is a view of the boulder pile where we found it, even standing right next to it you will miss it if you are not trying to find it on purpose
Entrance to Thunder Canyon is near the Juniper tree in the middle of the photo

There is an old coral nearby but has no significant clues to it's location
Corral near Thunder Canyon

We did find some nice pictographs and mortars nearby. Here are before and after pictures of DStretch in action with Film photographs. These were scanned on an Epson v700 and Vuescan Pro. I think they are very nice and in some ways better than the digital versions. Large format film I am sure would really make the quality of DStretch images better than any digital cameras

Tom's Cave

Tom's Cave

Pepperwood Trail is a regular corridor for undocumented travelers and they will leave behind all kinds clothing discards and in particular shoe covers that keep their tracks from being seen
Mexican Track Erasers near Pepperwood Spring

Some people may not know about it but there will be a wind turbine farm soon built in McCain Valley and turbines will be along one of the ridges that separate McCain Valley and Thing Valley so Tom and I climbed up the ridge to have a look around and the views were amazing. It will be such a shame to put big turbines there.

Here is the ridge we climbed up, my camera jammed on the shot so it doubled up the exposure but you get the idea
Film bunched up and double exposed the ridgeline where the Thing Vally Wind Turbines will be

Up on the ridge line where the turbines will be placed you can see all of the Carrizo Mtn range, Ocotillo, Canebrake, Fish Creek, just about anywhere east
Sombrero Peak in the distance and McCain Valley Rd

Tom and I surmised this was some kind of wind data collection pole since it had several spinning things at the top and what looked like CDMA communications strapped on the pole
Panorama of Tom at the wind collector tower thingASCII   Kolor stitching | 2 pictures | Size: 3166 x 7284 | Lens: Standard | RMS: 5.83 | FOV: 26.32 x 48.43 ~ 20.89 | Projection: Panini | Color: LDR |

Tom looking out over Thing Valley and towards the Laguna Observatory
Tom taking in the view of Thing Valley and the Laguna Observatory near the Cuyapaipe Reservation

Misc Flora
Pepperwood Trail

And Tom near Lowenbrau Pinnacle
Tom and Lowenbrau Pinnacle in the far distance

UPDATED with a few more photos that I developed from another roll

These old state park signs were originally mounted to redwood posts (sombrero peak background)
Old State Park Sign near Sombrero Peak

This is the headwaters of Bow Willow Creek where it meets the Thing Valley ridge line (home of the new Tule wind turbines).I thought it was an interesting picture, the shadows were just right to bring out the long draw of the dried up creek bottom. Note the lone Cottonwood in the middle of the creek (yellow leaves)
Bow Willow Creek Headwaters in McCain Valley

Here is the Cowboy Crapper...I think I prefer the bushes....
Cowboy Crapper in the desert

In the midst of arguably the driest season known to us there is still some water in the middle of the high desert
SpringSombrero Peak Spring

Tom enjoying great views from the In-Ko-Pah mountains, Carrizo Gorge and the Ocotillo Wind Farm below.

Panorama of the whole desert floor from Sombrero Peak to Ocotillo (yes, you can stitch together film shots!)
Panorama of Sombrero Peak, Carrizo Gorge from McCain Valley

Total Balloons for these trips - 20+ stopped counting


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Overnight Backpack in the In-Ko-Pah Mountains

Just a quick overnight backpack trip around the In-Ko-Pah mountains to explore Fingertail Spring. Temps were in the high 90's during the day and high 70's at night if not low 80's. The spring was dry and we didn't see much wildlife, fairly uneventful but the rugged terrain is always beautiful to see and be a part of. Most of the photos are from my Olympus OM-1n and some expired Ilford FP4 plus film,

Tom, the Mastermind behind our trip, Sombrero Peak in the distance and Whale Peak way off
Tom and Sombrero Peak

Fingertail Spring, located above Rockhouse Canyon in Carrizo Gorge
Fingertail Spring

This is looking down at Rockhouse Canyon and Carrizo Gorge, Carrizo Mtn and the Coyote's are off in the distance
Carrizo Gorge & Rockhouse Canyon View from the In-Ko-Pah Mountains

Tom at the Palms at the spring, I have been here a couple of times and not found any surface water
Fingertail Spring and Tom

If you have ever hiked in the massive boulder area of McCain Valley and the In-Ko-Pah mountains you will have seen many interesting shaped boulders that change with the time of day
Desert Pinnacle

Desert Pyramid

Modern Rock Art
Modern Rock Art

These are a coupe of water troughs nestled in near one of the old and now inaccessible vehicle roads along the ridge line above Rockhouse Canyon. There is an older cement trough broken in half and another newer metal one full of bullet holes near it. I toook this photo with a 4x5 large format view camera
In-Ko-Pah Mountains Wildlife Water Tanks. Old cement tank and a newer steel tank, both non operational. Carrizo Mtn in far distance. Photo taken on 4x5  Arista EDU film and Anba Ikeda Field Camera, f/22 150mm, Red 25A Filter . Developed in 1:100 Rodinal @60minutes

Total Balloons This Trip - 4