Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

2008 Log

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


January 1-6, 2008 – Off to a great start… of forgetting to record stuff here. I did a few little early season hikes, though I was also in Seattle for a few days.

January 12, 2008 – Drove up the coast from Santa Cruz to photograph the big winter surf.

January 19, 2008 – After two weeks of The World’s Worst Cold, today I felt like recovery might just be possible – so I managed to get up enough energy for a two-hour urban hike.

January 20, 2008 – Continuing my recovery today, even though I’m not yet at 100% I managed to do a six or seven mile hike out the Skyline To The Sea Trail at Big Basin. Even a bit of rain didn’t stop me.


February 2, 2008 – Nice two hour hike up Deep Gulch to high point on the Castillero Trail and back – Quicksilver park, light rain.

February 3, 2008 – In lieu of the planned Coe Park hike, an urban hike instead.

February 9, 2008 – Photography in Big Sur and Point Lobos, with some hiking at the latter.

February 10, 2008 – Short hike to the top of a favorite hill at Calero Park. The Great Greening has begun!

February 15-16, 2008 – Two days in Yosemite Valley, primarily to photograph Horsetail Fall but also including some cold, snowy slogging around the valley.

February 17-18, 2008 – Not the usual outdoor activity, but spent two days following the first stages of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California.


March 1-2, 2008 – Managed to get to the coast for a bit of photography.

March 8, 2008 – Hike and photography at Calero.

The rest of March – Lazy bum that I am, I neglected to record a few little late March hikes. Ah, well…


April 1-4, 2008 – Began the month with a four day photographic expedition to Death Valley and environs. Camped at Stovepipe Wells and photographed – and hiked some – in areas including salt flats near Badwater, Death Valley Dunes, Rhyolite, Titus Canyon road, Aguereberry Point, Wildrose Canyon and the Charcoal Kilns, Salt Creek, and no doubt a few others.

April 12, 2008 – First real spring hike today at Almaden Quicksilver, where it was quite warm though still quite green and there were many wildflowers.

April 13, 2008 – Went on another “wildflower hunt,” this time at Calero.

April 19, 2008 – Did a morning hike at Castle Rock today. I was looking for wildflowers – there were a few but not as many as I hoped. I was surprised by unusually cold weather for this time of year. At 10:00 a.m. it was only 37 degrees!

April 20, 2008 – Hiked up to Dutch Flat at Grant Ranch this afternoon – still unusually cold weather for this time of year.

April 26, 2008 – Nice little hike at Almaden today – mostly to photograph some of the wildflowers in the small valley on the New Almaden trail, since the seasonal change is now heading toward hot.

April 27, 2008 – First marathon one-day Yosemite Blitz of the season. Up at 4:00 a.m. and on the road. Photographed early at the west end of the Valley. Finally grabbed something to eat at around noon. After the obligatory nap in the car at Curry Village (this would turn out to be a 21 hour trip) I hiked along the north edge of the valley from Yosemite Village to Mirror Lake; hiked back to Lower Pines before catching the shuttle back to the car. Drove down the Valley, stopping to photograph the meadow near the chapel. Headed up to Tunnel View, but instead of joining the crowds hiked the 2.6 mile roundtrip to “Inspiration Point” where I enjoyed the sunset in the Valley completely alone (except for a few neighborhood deer who visited) and in silence. Then the long drive home…


Man, I forgot to record anything this month! What I remember: Two photo trips to Yosemite Valley that involved various kinds of hiking including Inspiration Point and Sentinel Dome and others; managed to start bicycle commuting again; ended the month with a nice hike at Almaden Quicksilver.


June 1, 2008 – June starts with a trip to Point Reyes. Any trip to Point Reyes is likely to be largely a driving trip, but I did get out of the car to do some walking – mainly for photography in various locations around the headlands.

June 7, 2008 – Hadn’t done this hike for a while: Up Deep Gulch and via Castillero to Mine Hill, then descend via Mine Hill and English Camp trails.

June 8, 2008 – Mostly a driving trip today – to Big Sur area to do some photography, but did manage to do a bit of beach hiking.

The rest of June… was when I moved my son from Seattle to the Bay Area, married off my daughter, and finished another school year. Needless to say, no time for hiking…


Finally, summer… :-)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 – Nice little jaunt at Calero – out onto the Javelina Loop.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 – A convoluted hike at Quicksilver from Mockingbird Hill to the top of the ridge at Mine Hill and Castillero.

Thursday, July 3, 2008 – Urban hike

Friday, July 4, 2008 – Nice long climb at Quicksilver from McAbee entrance to intersection of Castillero and Mine Hill and back.

Saturday, July 5, 2008 – Another “invented loop” at Quicksilver: From Mockingbird Hill, out on New Almaden, left on Prospect #3 to reach the ridge and turn left on Mine Hill. At the Castillero/Mine Hill junction turn left to descend to the single-track to Great Eastern Mine site and Day Tunnel, left at Randol, right to pass Buena Vista, right on New Almaden and back to start.

Monday, July 7, 2008 – A couple hours on an urban hike today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 – Up early for the very smoky drive through the Central Valley to Tuolumne. After setting up camp there managed to climb the ridge between Dana Meadow and Gaylor Basin for sunset photos.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 – Hike out the Dog Lake trail to Young Lakes. Plans to camp at the upper lake were thwarted when I arrived at the first lake to find that the mosquitos had just hatched in the whole basin – they were as bad as I’ve ever seen. (Spent about 13 hours in the bivy trying to escape!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008 – Broke camp and shoulder the full pack with thoughts of possibly trying a ridge crossing above the upper Young Lake, followed by a traverse down Ragged Peak ridge into Dingley Creek. Got to almost the ridgeline – no mosquitos!!! – but decided that soloing this cross-country route that I’d never done before might not be so wise. So, headed back down the way I came and – foregoing the option of spending a second night in MosquitoLand headed back to Tuolumne.

Monday, July 14, 2008 – Wow, did I really miss three days? Oops. An evening stroll at Calero today after dinner.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 – Urban walk.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 – Up Deep Gulch, English Camp, and Castillero to high point at Almaden – and back down the same way.

Friday, July 18, 2008 – Photo walk along a good portion of The Embarcadero in SF.

Monday, July 21, 2008 – Really mostly a driving day as I did photography along the Big Sur coast, though a few short hikes were part of the day’s activities.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 – Urban hike.

Friday, July 25, 2008 – Urban hike.

Saturday, July 26, 2008 – Quick “training hike” up Deep Gulch to the Castillero/Mine Hill trail junction.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 – Quick “training hike” up Deep Gulch to the Castillero/Mine Hill trail junction – a.k.a. “ditto.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 – Urban hike.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 – Urban hike.


Friday, August 1, 2008 – The standard “training climb” at Quicksilver, more or less – up Deep Gulch to Castillero/Mine Hill Intersection, down mine Hill to English Camp and then descend via Deep Gulch.

Sunday, August 3, 2008 – This was actually a driving day as we set up car shuttles for the pack trip. I drove over Tioga Pass and down to Whitney Portal, leaving my car there and riding all the way back to Three Rivers.

Monday, August 4, 2008 – Day one of the pack trip went from Crescent Meadow along the High Sierra Trail to Nine Mile Camp.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 – Day two took us past Bearpaw Meadow and on up to Upper Hamilton Lake.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 – Day three climbed from Hamilton over Kaweah gap and continued down Big Arroyo to the old Patrol Cabin a few miles below.

Thursday, August 7, 2008 – Day four continued on to Moraine Lake, just off the High Sierra Trail but a popular and pretty stopping point.

Friday, August 8, 2008 – Day five included the big descent into the Kern River Valley and a short walk up the canyon to Kern Hot Springs. Clean!

Saturday, August 9, 2008 – Realizing that we would have to do a long day at some point in order to complete the trip on schedule, we decided to make this the day. After gently climbing about 1200 feet as we walked 7.5 miles up the canyon to Junction Meadow, we took a break and then confronted the 4.3 mile and 2500 foot climb to Wallace Creek on the JMT.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 – We hiked over to Crabtree Meadow, where we took a break before continuing on to somewhat desolate Guitar Lake, our launching point for the Whitney summit the next day.

Monday, August 11, 2008 – Climbed from Guitar Lake to the junction with the trail coming up from the east near Trail Crest. I dropped most of my gear and “day hiked” to the Whitney summit, though the rest of the group took everything so they could stay there overnight. After leaving them I did the long hike down to Outpost Camp on sore feet and legs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 – I completed the short (3.8 mile) walk down to Whitney Portal early in the morning -early enough to get breakfast at the store and wait hours for the others to arrive from the summit. Then the car shuttle… all the way back to Three Rivers, a motel, and Mexican dinner.

Sunday, August, 17, 2008 – After all that backpacking I’ve been a lazy bum since I returned. Finally got out for an urban hike this evening.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 – Quick walk to the top of the hill at Quicksilver.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 – One of my improvised Quicksilver trail loops.

Sunday, August 24, 2008 – Point Lobos






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