Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Christmas in California

Hiking in Sam McDonald Park, San Mateo County

Lafayette, CO - In two days, Suwei and I are headed out on another road trip. We are going to California again, this time via Park City, UT and Tahoe. We are hoping to get in a little skiing in along the way and maybe take a few decent photos. I think we are both looking forward to meeting our new niece, Veronika and skiing with our old niece, Victoria (well... not that old).

In the meantime, I have some photos to post from our last trip to California over the Christmas break. This set is mostly a random collection of parks and beaches that we visited between dinners out with friends and family. Sorry for the over processing, I'm still working on learning Photoshop!

Confused Hike, Sam McDonald Park, San Mateo County 

Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz, CA

Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz, CA

Christmas Dinner with the Family (photo by Eng-Shien)

There are a few more photos in the slide show. Just click the link below.

California Christmas Trip

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Red Rocks Road Trip

Lafayette, CO - So, as usual, it's been awhile since my last post. This time I have a pretty good excuse. Besides skiing a ton, I also had trouble with my computer's hard drive. Luckily I had every thing backed up like a good computer geek, so no data lost, but it did take forever to load all the programs back up and get everything working right again. I'm still having some licensing problems with Photoshop and need to figure it out next week.

In any case, I'm back up and running and have some more pictures to share. These photos come from a road trip Suwei and I took over the Thanksgiving holiday back in November. We drove out to Las Vegas and met up with our friend, Jenn T, to do a bit of climbing out at Red Rocks. On the way we stopped in Fruita, CO to do some mountain biking in the Bookcliffs area.

The next day we drove to Moab and rode the Baby Steps trail just north of town. Afterwards, we hiked out to and took a bunch of photos of the sunset at False Kiva in Canyonlands National Park.

Next we went to St. George, UT and I spent a day mountain biking out at Gooseberry Mesa while Suwei was holed up in a hotel trying to get some work done. And finally we went running up at Snow Canyon State Park where Suwei whooped my arse.

We found Jenn at LAS the evening of the 24th and the next day we all headed out to Red Rocks looking for something fairly easy to climb and warm. We picked The Great Red Book (5.8), one of the few trad routes in the Callico Hills area of the park.

Thanksgiving day, Jenn and Suwei ran the Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Turkey Trot, a 12k run near Lake Mead. Feeling not so ambitious after the run, we spent the afternoon cragging out at Panty Wall also in the Callico Hills area. Kelly, a good friend of mine from when I used to live in Las Vegas, came out and climbed with us that afternoon and even joined us for a nice Thanksgiving meal at the Red Rock Casino that evening.

Mountain Biking in Fruita, CO

Baby Steps Trail north of Moab, UT

False Kiva in Canyonlands National Park

Gooseberry Mesa, UT

Picnic Spot in Snow Canyon State Park, UT

The Great Red Book (5.8), Red Rock National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, NV

Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Turkey Trot

Cragging at Panty Wall in the Callico Hills Area of Red Rocks 

Friday we climbed Johnny Vegas (3 pitches, 5.7) with the intent of continuing up another climb on Solar Slab, but changed out minds at the top of JV when we realized how slow we were. The short November days didn't help our plight. Saturday we wandered from one climb to another looking at the crazy long lines at the bottom of everything, and decided to hit the coffee shop instead. It wasn't the most intense climbing trip, but we love Red Rocks and had a bunch of fun in spite of our lameness.

I think Suwei wants to plan another trip out there this spring if anyone is interested. We are hoping to pick a time of year when it gets dark after 5 pm.

Jenn Chilling with the Locals in a Summerlin Coffee Shop

Also, I wanted to write a quick note about these photos. I have officially retired my tried and true Cannon Rebel. When we were hiking down in Buckskin Gulch I noticed the auto focus going a little wonky. The camera still works, but it's become a bit difficult to use.

Anyway, after the Buckskin trip, Suwei's brother, Eng-Shien, lent me his old Nikon D300. This road trip was the first real chance I had to use it. Most of the mountain biking photos in this set were taken with Suwei's point and shoot Cannon 710, but all the other were taken with the new Nikon. It's a sweet camera, much nicer than my Rebel. But, I still have a lot of learning to do. No fear, however, because I'm also teaching myself a bit more about Photoshop. This month I learned about Lightroom presets, which are little tricks that are great for making not so good photos look artistic. I'd love to hear what you think.

Here is the link to the slideshow.

Road Trip to Red Rock NCA, Las Vegas, NV