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
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
There is an old coral nearby but has no significant clues to it's location
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
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
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
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
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
Tom looking out over Thing Valley and towards the Laguna Observatory
And Tom near Lowenbrau Pinnacle
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)
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)
Here is the Cowboy Crapper...I think I prefer the bushes....
In the midst of arguably the driest season known to us there is still some water in the middle of the high desert
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!)
Total Balloons for these trips - 20+ stopped counting