Category Archives: travel planning

Lassen Applegate trail

This write up of the Lassen-Applegate Trail makes me want to make a trip.

From the above website:

Seeking a safer and more direct wagon route to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Jesse Applegate and Levi Scott led an exploring party in 1846 to the California Trail on the Humboldt River near what was later to be known as Lassen Meadows (which is at the north end of present day Rye Patch Reservoir). From there they guided a wagon train across the Black Rock Desert, through High Rock Canyon, to Goose Lake, and then westward to Oregon and its Willamette Valley. This wagon trail became known as the Applegate Trail or South Road to Oregon. During the Gold Rush years, the Applegate Trail was used also to reach mining towns in northern California by way of the Lassen Trail, Nobles Trail, and Yreka Trail. For more information on the opening and development of the Applegate Trail, see Trails West’s A Guide To The Applegate Trail From Lassen Meadows To Goose Lake and A Guide To The Applegate Trail From Goose Lake To Southern Oregon. Enjoy your photo tour of this historic emigrant trail.

Sounds interesting, right?

Expeditions and road trips

It’s quite an interesting thing, how easily we are sold the romantic ideas shown to us in magazines, websites and videos. Well, how easily I’m sold on it, I can’t speak for you all.

Reading or seeing a story that makes me want something or to go somewhere is ok, but it also is not so good as well. I often try and take a look at my “needs” from a different angle in an attempt to keep myself grounded. It’s just too easy to justify the expensive gear and vehicles and whatever else if I don’t. Do I really need a rock buggy for the extreme rock crawling trails? Nope! Do I really need a new 4runner with ARB everything and a roof top tent? Nope. How about a tricked out Baja truck? Not any time soon.

So where am I going with this? I’d like to throw out my opinion for the world to ponder. I think that it’s great to go off and do things, and it’s great to grow as an adventurer. The best advice that I have been given, and that I always pass along is this. Start out with a stock rig. Buy what you like, can afford and what is readily available. Then take it out and DO THINGS in it, go places you enjoy, push the limits. When you know what the limitations are, you know where to modify. Buy as needed, not as wanted.

Buying junk solely on the advertising or the “keeping up with the jones'” is silliness. Learning from experience while gaining experience is where it’s at.

Sure, we all want to call our adventures “expeditions” or “ultimate adventures” but in reality most of us are actually just on road trips and camping trips. Embrace it. It’s ok.

Road trip time

We are heading out this weekend for a road trip up to Montana!

The plan at this time is fairly normal for me. We don’t really have a plan. Glacier National park is the turn around point, but it looks like the road is still closed through the park, so we may need to skirt around the park to see what’s happening.

This should be a nice tour of eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, Idaho and western Montana, which is mostly unexplored country for me. The camera is ready to get some solid use and our camping gear is in prime form.

Does anyone have recommendations in camping spots for us?

Canada is…

A beautiful place.
A little bit different than the US in a lot of ways.
Full of interesting things to see.
On the short list of places I need to visit here soon.
A nice place to sail through
Lucky, they have all kinds of cool cars here. I saw a Toyota Hilux Surf turbo diesel yesterday and fell in love.
And finally, is an outdoor persons playground.

Top 10 places to photograph in Nevada County, CA

Here’s my list of favorite places to photograph in the Nevada City and Grass Valley area.

1) Empire Mine state park
2) Malakof Diggins
3) Weaver Lake waterfall
4) Sawmill Lake
5) Nevada street in the fall
6) Summit Ridge road in Cascade Shores
7) Bridgeport
8) Greenhorn Creek and Red Dog road
9) Victorian Christmas
10) Grass Valley’s Thursday markets

If you’re looking for some new places to photograph, check these ones out. Do you have any others to share? Let me know, leave a comment!

Fires and some more pictures

My Advanced Fire Fighting class is going well. Today we got to put out a couple fires, which I totally loved! It was really incredible to witness and be a part of. It really is amazing how quickly time goes while you are on a self contained breathing apparatus, 15 minutes of air goes VERY quickly. I’m really glad at this point that I chose this school to take this class. Fremont Maritime is top notch, and the “classroom” is really great for training purposes for folks like me that work on ships. When I took the basic fire class it was in a training facility for land based students, and while I did learn the basics, it wasn’t really geared towards the dynamics of working on the ship. This has not been the case here, and I really appreciate that.

After class I went up to Dr Jose Rizal Park on the East side of town to take some pictures. I think that they turned out ok, but it’s really hard to shoot something one time and get it just right. I could probably go back and get a much better picture tomorrow, but unfortunately I won’t be around for it. I did manage to go back up to Kelly Park after my visit to Rizal Park and those pictures were much better than the first go around a couple days ago. I plan to put all my photos from this trip on my flickr page over the next couple days. I’ll let you know when it’s done.

Columbia tower

Tonight I decided to go check out the Columbia Tower in the downtown area. I saw from the net that it was the tallest building in town, and that they have an observation deck on the 73rd floor that looks out over the city. The cost is $12.50, which is almost half what the space needle is, plus it’s higher up, so you are actually looking down on the space needle.

While I was up there, I took some notes on the construction of the building, I thought it was pretty cool. The fun facts that I saw were:

-Construction began in July 1982 on the corner of 5th street and Cherry street.

-The window frames alone required 650,000 pounds of aluminum.

-Originally designed to be 1,005 feet tall the FAA shortened the building for flight paths into SEATAC airport.

-July 1983 steelwork begins on the 1st floor.

-Three interlocking geometric arches lend to the appearance of a three tower design.

-August 1984 the structural steel work was completed.

-The Columbia Tower is twice the height of the space needle.

-Last beam was placed on September 30, 1984.

-The total force of wind on the structure equals approximately 15 million pounds.

-January 12, 1985 the building was completed.

-March 2, 1985 was the grand opening.

-The tower is 76 stories, the tallest structure west of the Mississippi.

-The tower is 932 feet tall at the roof and 902 feet at the observatory.

Now you know everything you ever wanted to know about the observatory. Oh, actually. One more thing. Take a tripod up and take some pictures, it’s really a great view. The only problem I ran into was glare off of the glass, but after a bit I figured out that I could make a cover over the lens with my jacket.

Go visit this place, it’s worth it.

Planning to not plan

It’s a funny thing how easy it is to get caught up in the maybes and what ifs of life. When considering things to do on a vacation, it’s really easy to get caught up in the wealth of information available on the Internet, and then feel the need to plan every second of a trip out. In the end, is your vacation better? I don’t think so.

The trip that I’m about to take with my girlfriend Emily could be planned very easily, but why? Why would I want to do that? In the days before the Internet folks would hop in the car and drive across country, only knowing where point a and point b was, and the rest they left up to a road atlas and something even more archaic. Wait. You had better sit down for this. People actually talked to other people! They asked directions, and for recommendations! Imagine that, right? I know it’s strange to think of, but it’s true.

So what are we going to do on our trip? Drive west. We might take 70 for a while, or not. We might take 50 for a while, or not. We will have to see how it goes, because when you live in the here and now things are way more interesting.

Let the adventure begin.