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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Southern California

After Coachella, I took Eve to the airport, and I headed north. I didn't have a direction, but just wanted to explore.

First stop was the Jawbone Recreation Area I had a book with a fun cross country route to take across the desert. The flowers were out and the air was cool, perfect for a drive. At one switchback going up a hill there was a washout I almost got stuck in. It was a deep and narrow and when I tried the first time I almost high centered myself. I got unstuck and decided not to try again since I was alone. I took a still scenic easier way out.

My first stop that night was Kernville. A neat town at the base of the Sierras, just off the Kern River. The river was flowing hard with all the snow from this winter. I camped at the campground and the next day explored the canyon. That night I headed around to the East side of the Seqoia NF intending to backpack into the domeland wilderness.

I took off in the morning, but after hiking in three miles, found the river was to high to cross. So I hiked out and drove around to the legendary Kennedy Meadows. It's a popular spot on the PCT. Since I already had my stuff packed, I hiked in a couple miles and camped next to the river. It was good to get out alone in the woods.

I hiked out the next morning and headed north on 395. The drive out was great with wild flowers all over the hills. I made a random stop for a wildflower picture, and ended up at a BLM Rec site called Fossil Falls where water had sculpted out channels in volcanic rock, but now it's dry.

I stopped off in Lone Pine for a few pictures. It's a one stoplight town, but has been a popular destination for a century. It is the access point to Mt. Whitney, and it was the shooting location for most old Western Movies. Ansel Adams took a famous shot there, Winter Sunrise over the Sierra Nevada. While I was there I heard, English accents, german, dutch and french. Quite eclectic.

I wanted to spend another day in the mountains, but weather was coming in and it looked snowy. So I headed home to clean up before going back to work.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


March was busy with work, visiting every field office to help with data transfers. So when it was all done in April, I took 10 days off. I was going to drive down and spend the weekend at Coachella, then take the rest of the week driving back exploring southern California. Unfortunately, my hard drive died before I backed up the pictures, but at least I got the good ones loaded online first.

On the way down there, I made a quick stop into Nevada City to pick up a tent. Since it was already mid-April, I wasn't expecting much of the weather, but of course it was snowing on me. I took the scenic drive down the west side of the lake and crossed one pass as they were putting up the chains required sign. It was all clear when I got to the valley.

Friday after long lines in traffic, we got into the Coachella camping area. The first night was a big party to explore. The free pinball was the most exciting thing we found. People were getting pumped for it all to begin the next day.

There was tons of music. We started off with Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, a great band from Austin, then Cold War Kids. In the evening we went to The Black Keys and the surprise of the weekend Robyn on a random tip from an Aussie that lived in Reno.

The great thing about camping on the grounds was being able to go back for a mid day break and drinking. It was hot, but we also took showers in the afternoon. It made the evenings much more tolerable.

Saturday we say Trampled by Turtles, Two Door Cinema Club, Broken Social Scene, took a quick break and came back for Mumford and Sons, Empire of the Sun, Arcade Fire and Scissor Sisters. The Scissor Sisters were playing their last show of the tour and really brought the energy.

My friends in San Diego have been telling me to come to Coachella for years, so it was great to see Jeremy, Nicole, Tony and Amanda, but the only picture I really have is Jeremy dancing, but I wouldn't expect less.

Sunday seemed to be the hottest yet. The beer was running low and the sleep was little, but we still saw some great acts. We took refuge in the afternoon in the Heiniken tent which was air conditioned with a DJ. We saw Nas and Damian Marley (apparently any marly can cover One Love), Tinne Tempah who was unfortunately delayed, Ratatat and the closer was Kayne West. I didn't think I was that big of a Kayne fan, but he put on a two hour, 3 act show complete with a dance troupe of his greatest hits. I was singing along with every one.