Yearly Archives: 2017

Christmas in New York City

Darlene and I enjoyed a weeklong trip to New York City over Christmas this year just doing a lot of sightseeing.  It wasn’t a first visit for either of us but there was still plenty to go see and do.  We started off with a midnight visit to the top of the Empire State Building […]

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Geminids over Pinnacles

Darlene and I went down to Pinnacles National Park for dark skies to watch the Geminids meteor shower Wednesday night: That’s a 20-second time-lapse I made looking south towards Orion about midnight, covering about 90 minutes that didn’t include any light trails from passing airplanes.  And here’s a still shot.

Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pre-Movie Gaming Day

   Clay, Roland, Vanessa and Kevin joined Darlene and me for some board gaming ahead of the full crowd we had for last Saturday’s BBQ/movie night.  (I should’ve taken a couple of pics of the full house.)  We got in a long game of Power Grid followed by trying a few rounds of the cute […]

Tagged | Leave a comment

Frie Family Halloween Gathering

It was Darlene’s turn to host her family’s holiday gathering this year in Wisconsin – Halloween-themed this time.  Click through for the full gallery:       

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

October Road Trip

I made a number of additional miscellaneous stops on my October road trip with Pan and Hera in the Traveling Cat Adventure Vehicle, including along a section of historic Route 66 in the Mojave Desert, on the road in northern Arizona and southern Utah, mountain biking outside of Zion National Park, and taking the tour […]

Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vermilion Cliffs / Paria Canyon

The Vermilion Cliffs / Paria Canyon National Monument in northern Arizona and southern Utah includes a huge area of amazing rock and sandstone formations, including what may be the longest slot canyon in the world, Buckskin Gulch (15 miles!).  During my October road trip, I got to experience a little taste of the canyon from […]

Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Continuing my October road trip and coming straight from Bryce Canyon National Park, I was lucky to be able to snag the last remaining campsite on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon without a reservation – otherwise I would have had to drive all the way back out of the national park bounds to […]

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bryce Canyon Visit

As part of my October road trip to Utah and Arizona (with Pan and Hera in the Traveling Cat Adventure Vehicle), I finally visited gorgeous Bryce Canyon National Park.  I stayed a couple of nights at the Sunset Campground and walked or biked to the nearby viewpoints and trailheads to avoid the packed parking lots. […]

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Backpacking in the Enchantments

The Enchantments is a popular backpacking destination in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area of central Washington state.  It’s popular enough that you have to submit an application via a lottery system many months in advance (much like the Mt. Whitney trailhead).  We managed to score a permit for the “Snow Lakes Zone” and I was able […]

Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Backpacking the Silver Divide

I had promised Darlene a substitute backpacking trip when we found out she would no longer be able to go on our upcoming backpacking trip in Washington state.  We were able to take four days over the Labor Day weekend and I picked out a promising area that I hadn’t been to north of Lake […]

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Total Eclipse of the Sun

Darlene and I managed to meet up with Glenn, Michele and Seaerra in Eastern Oregon this past week to experience the total solar eclipse together.  We snagged a nice dispersed camping spot in the Malheur National Forest in an area I had scouted out back in June and we arrived four days early to get […]

Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bridge Out!

Big Sur got hit hard with the heavy rains earlier this year, with several massive land slides and the forced demolition of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.  This severely isolated the community around Big Sur and so a temporary, emergency foot path was created to allow residents to get supplies.  They’ve since opened up a path […]

Tagged , | 1 Comment

Home Theater Upgrade: Dolby Atmos

I’ve just added Dolby Atmos support to my home theater by upgrading my receiver and my Blu-Ray player and by adding a pair of vertically firing speakers.  I decided to go with the Onkyo TX-RZ3100 which provides for 11 audio channels at 140W/channel, giving me 7.2.2 in my new speaker configuration (seven = three front […]

Tagged | Leave a comment

Flying Over Humpbacks

I saw this news article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel this morning talking about how active the humpback whales have been near shore off of Santa Cruz and Aptos these past few weeks.  So Darlene and I grabbed the drone and dashed down to Seacliff State Beach.  I’ve been wanting to try flying the drone […]

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Two More Bobcats

I heard a strange, low moaning/growl from the scrub behind the house.  It definitely got Pan and Hera’s attention.  It sounded like a noise a calf might make – but when I waited around to see if whatever it was would emerge, it turned out to be a pair of juvenile bobcats growling at each […]

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

On the Mendocino Coast

Last week, Darlene and I were able to spend six days following the Mendocino Coast (with the cats in the Traveling Cat Adventure Vehicle, of course), continuing north from where we left off on the Sonoma Coast in December, just north of Fort Ross.  We discovered that all the state park campgrounds were full going […]

Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment