Category Archives: Landscape

Olomana Trail.

Beginning the Olomana ascent.“K” wanted to hike Olomana while here on vacation. None of us had been there yet. It was tougher than we expected but all of us made it to the first peak and back, without serious injury. Very good times! :-D

In hindsight it might have been better to start our hike earlier. We got to the trailhead just after 09:00. Many were already there and more than a few passed us on their way back down. Aside from Diamond Head Crater and maybe Makapuu Lighthouse, this was the busiest hike i have been on so far. We had to wait in line at the technical parts of the hike. “Feels like we’re at Disneyland or something…”, was the common sentiment.

Patience and courtesy are just as valuable as water and good shoes.

We took our time and got to the summit of the first peak at 11:30 (2.5H). We stopped there for a bit and enjoyed a snack before heading back down. But there are three peaks in all. From what i could see: second peak is relatively easy to get to and is at a lower elevation than first and third. Its actually lower elevation than first peak but third peak looks nuts! (And it is!!) Its a very steep rock climb all the way to it’s summit. Getting up there is one thing; getting back down is another… Continue reading

West side to Kaena.

Rocky beach on the way to Kaena Pt.

Happy 2012! Good grief: its been over a year since i last wrote in my blog! (Lots to catch up on and improve.) During the holiday we took a short hike to Kaena Point. We started from the West side this time. Very different scenery compared to the Mokuleia route but no less beautiful. The shoreline is much more rocky and dramatic (if that is the right word). I wanted to travel light so i left the photo gear at home and only carried my Galaxy Note. It is simply amazing to see what this thing can do in the field! I whole heartedly believe that the “death of the P&S camera” is well under way. The following panorama photos were also captured using the Galaxy Note. Its definitely not the best panorama capture tool i have used but i am impressed, considering its my “phone”!

Another rocky beach and The Arch.

I had no idea that we had these natural arches on Oahu. We used to fish on the West side a lot but i never took the time to survey the shoreline. Shame on me.

From the dunes: the big tide pools at Kaena Point.

There were a lot of people out there. There were two Hawaiian Monk Seals in the middle of the tide pools as well. Thankfully everyone paid their respect and kept their distance. I’m sorry you can’t see them in my photos here: no telephoto lens on me. ;-)

More tide pools, looking North East.

Such an awesome place: I can’t wait to go back again!

Yosemite Weekend: Day 2 (final).

Thumbnail image of Camp Curry, Yosemite Valley.

Our stay in Yosemite was very short. We only spent one night in Camp Curry. We managed to get a “tent cabin” during a very busy and crowded time in the park. It was fun and reminded me of kid time summer camp (360 spherical to follow soon). Next time it is all about renting an RV OR planning far enough in advance to reserve a camp site, where we may pitch our own tent. ;)

We wanted to leave the park before “rush hour” so we did not explore too far. After breakfast we went for a leisurely walk along the Merced River. We made the short loop along Northside Drive to Southside Drive. (Please click on the image above for a brief photo gallery.) Highlight of that morning was soaking our feet in the very cold water of the Merced.

It was a relatively hectic weekend but still nice. It was a very good scouting trip for future visits. I have a ton of 360 spherical panorama’s to share — most in Yosemite but not all. Unless something better comes along, they will constitute my future blog posts for the next week or so. Please come back. :)

Yosemite Weekend: Day 1.

Thumbnail image of Lake Tenaya.

We spent the past weekend in and around Yosemite National Park. I was pretty young the last time my family and I visited. I was again reminded of how awesome that place is! There is a tremendous amount to see. Literally, you can spend a lifetime exploring and still not see everything! (Never mind a weekend…) New to me was the town of Lee Vining and Mono Lake. (The two food shots were eaten there.) Also spectacular! However — “more time” — was my mantra this weekend.

Our drive from Santa Clara is about 5 hours (Google maps says less than 4 but that is baloney). The distance is only about 200 miles; once you hit the twisties on CA Hwy 120/Tioga Pass: traffic and a cautious pace are what slow you down. It is a fantastic drive though, if you enjoy driving. ;)

I have too many words to describe our relatively brief experience. SO, please view my photos instead (click on the image above). I also have a gallery for, “Day 2”, coming soon. Next time we need to stay for at least a week! (Travel Buddies, you feelin me? One word: RV!) :mrgreen:

Lick Observatory.

Thumbnail image of Lick Observatory.

I went the distance today and drove the rest of the way up Mount Hamilton. Well, at least up to the Lick Observatory. The road was very winding: lots of switch backs. According to the curator of the Observatory gift shop, there are more than 600 turns! Not sure if that is one way or two but it was a ‘frikken’ lot!! I saw a bunch of motorcyclists and (believe it or not) more than a few bicyclists — amazing. The Observatory is a little more than 4,000 feet above sea level. The view is quite nice but not spectacular. Apparently, the original dome and 36″ refracting telescope were built as a legacy project for Mr. James Lick. He wanted it to be seen by everyone in town. The unfortunate side effect is sub-prime telescope observing due to light pollution from the Santa Clara Valley, only 4K feet, below. It was a very nice drive and neat learning experience. (Please click on the image above to view a small image gallery.) :)