A couple of years ago, my introvert tendencies led to a certain disdain for the Cedar Creek Falls hike — solely due to its popularity with people of course, not because of the scenery. But after March 2015, when I hiked with my friend Joe on a weekday in the early morning and we had the place to ourselves, I switched it to a challenge: go there, and photograph it without people.
Shiprock Pinnacle, New Mexico
Ever since I saw Mitch Dobrowner’s “Shiprock Storm” photograph, this astonishing landmark in north-western New Mexico’s San Juan County has had a somewhat mythical draw on me. It is an ancient lava plug and lies pretty much in the middle of nowhere – the area is only very sparsely populated. The nearest town, a little less than 20 miles away, is named “Shiprock” as well – to avoid confusion, the rock itself is sometimes also referred to as Shiprock Pinnacle. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1975, and our September 2018 road trip would finally bring us to this place.
Mono Lake Morning
We stopped at the “Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve” one morning while on the way further north. There’s a lot of tufa formations here that are smaller, and generally scattered out a lot. It almost looks like a field of tufa debris.
Evening at Mono Lake
We ended the second day of Eastern Sierra trip at Mono Lake. We began the day with a morning walk to McLeod Lake, but I didn’t feel compelled to make any landscape photos there (Shuwen has some nice photos). We had lunch at the apartment in Mammoth, and then drove to June Lake. Shuwen wanted to explore a trail there. When we arrived, I realized that I had left my camera bag in the apartment. Glorious!
Tree Canopy at Daley Ranch (Vertorama)
Here’s a vertical panorama (vertorama?) of Coast Live Oak tree branches arching over the trail at Daley Ranch. The difficulty with a vertical panorama probably lies in making it – the photo below is pretty close to a 180° field of view (I cropped away the trail at the top and bottom for aesthetic reasons). Needless to say, that’s much easier with a smartphone. ;-)