TRIP REPORTS - 2012
Point Dume Tidepool Outing - Jan. 21, 2012
By Joan Schipper
|Cove at Point Dume - Photo by Joan Schipper
Rainy weather threatened the Point Dume Tidepools Day Trip led by Alison Boyle and Bill Betts but ten stalwarts braved the elements (or out-waited the rain) to join them and enjoyed a beautiful sunny day in the cove. Six of those stayed on for a post-outing dinner at Malibu Seafood.
Alison started the trip with an explanation of the minus low tide phenomena and a nice overview of the sea-life that we might find in the cove. She reminded us to step carefully so as to avoid damaging the habitat and injuring the critters. Finally, she challenged us to find an octopus and warned us that they like to hide. The first person to find an octopus, would win a prize. Then, we were off!
It was a lightly-breezy morning when we stood on the bluffs above the cove. The giant coreopsis was going crazy in a lovely way, but we were too eager to get to the tidepools to stop and photograph wildflowers. With brinier subjects in mind, we scampered down the ancient stairs. Once on the beach, we found just a few people and a receding waterline. Perfect—we had about 90 minutes before the tide reversed direction and came back to shoo us away.
Recent high-surf seems to have stirred up sand and deposited much of it on the floor of the cove, obscuring some of the sea-life we were there to visit, but a walk to the point was very rewarding. We found starfish, anemones in several shades of green, urchins, a variety of little crabs, wavy turbans, at least one sea hare, mussels galore and a sea lion pup. The sea grass made beautiful patterns on the exposed rocks.
The more sure-footed photographers stepped out across the rocky cove and crouched to peer into wide glossy pools. More wary walkers like me used trekking poles or tripods for stability as we picked our way along the more exposed (less slippery) rocks but there were still plenty of pools to investigate. How the little rings of debris (anemones in disguise) made me nervous! I didn’t want to step on a one.
Photographers ebbed and flowed along the beach like waves. There was sporadic contact throughout the afternoon as we shared discoveries and compared techniques. We even took turns hovering over some colorful creatures. Then, we withdrew into personal contemplation of a pool.
Late in the day as the light changed, the beach and rocks became interesting subjects and we looked out to watch surfers waiting for The Wave and catching short rides here and there. A CamCo newcomer, Brian, pointed out some porpoises in the surf.
Brian has an eye for the obscure and earlier found the all-but-hidden octopus under a rock. He won the Prize of the Day! This was extra-notable as it was the first prize ever awarded because no one ever finds Alison’s challenges. I’m hoping that Brian and Norm were patient enough to capture something more than the pale tentacle I glimpsed. That octopus was shy!
TRIP REPORTS - 2011
Rainbow Basin/Owl Canyon Car-camp
December 10-11, 2011
Leaders: Wesley Peck, Peter Mason
|Fossil Canyon - Photo by Joan Schipper
Wesley Peck and Peter Mason led a small band of CamCo members to a new, old haunt early in December. Rainbow Basin Natural Area is an unsung treasure in our “local” deser—lightly visited and less than three hours from my Westside home. Wes has been hiking there for decades, and I never clued in. Now, his old haunt has become one of my favorites—even in the off-season.
We camped in the tidy Owl Canyon Campground (8 miles north of Barstow, off the Fort Irwin Road). Early arrivals (Carole Scurlock, for one) were in a good position to shoot the rising full moon on the flats Friday evening and then meet comfortably on Saturday morning about 8:00 am to strike out into the namesake canyon.
Even in relatively flat light, we could see how the area got its name. The canyon walls and surrounding hills are shades of green, with red rocks and pink layers (Cretaceous quartz monzonite according to the literature) and the colors change dramatically with the shifting light. The trail starts in the broad mouth of the canyon. As the walls close in, they feature chutes, cracks, caves and even a tunnel. Near the top of the canyon, rock scrambling separated the sure-footed from the squeamish. The adventurers were rewarded with views of the upper basin, but opportunities for landscapes and more graphic compositions abound for the rest of us.
Lunch, conversation and naps occupied midday. Jasmine Swope offered a nice diversion, letting us browse (and marvel at) her handmade photo books.
Before long though, thanks to the early sunsets of winter, it was time to explore Fossil Canyon Loop Road. I don’t think anyone encountered fossils, but we had great views in the late afternoon light. Our two locations on the loop road offered easy access to trails. Our group dispersed in every direction so that, every now and then, a figure would pop-up in silhouette on a lofty rock or as a shadow on a far hillside. With the fleeting light, we headed down to the flats for twilight and moonrise amongst Joshua trees.
When it got dark, our camp was minutes away. Happy hour broke out as the campfire was nurtured and we wrapped the day sipping red wine and passing around chocolate cake while we toasted our toes.
Sunday morning saw the group dissipate. Some took historic Route 66 home, one headed up Highway 395 and a couple headed back up the canyon for more. It was a perfect relaxed weekend with views galore and good company.
Bishop Creek Fall Color Photography
Sep. 29 - Oct. 2, 2011
OUTING LEADERS: JUDY MOLLE; WESLEY PECK
|Fallen Aspen Judy Molle 2011
This year, on the camera committee’s Eastern Sierra Fall Colors Photography outing, we visited the Bishop Creek area. This incredible drainage area is located south west of the town of Bishop.
The last time the Camera Committee visited this area was back in 2002. On that trip, an early snow storm forced us to retreat to a lower elevation. This time, the weather seemed more promising.
On day one, near North Lake, we photographed dazzling backlit Aspen leaves shimmering in the morning light. On our hike to Grass Lake, we photographed golden Aspen, laced in a conifer forest. We took our time on this uphill climb, as this scene was a stunner! Within minutes after reaching our destination, the weather took a turn and we were (once again) pelted by hail and rain. Our last stop of the day was the Cardinal Village Aspen grove, beneath Highway 168 in Bishop Creek Canyon.
On the second day, we geared-up and caravanned to the Lake Sabrina trailhead. Immediately, we noted the Aspens were peaking! We spent the morning photographing along the east shore lake trail, where we were rewarded with soft light, interesting compositions and well saturated colors. At this point in time, we thought it just couldn’t get much better than this. At lunch, we encountered another spectacular location: Surveyor’s Meadow on South Fork Road. There we found color streaming down one side of the canyon and up the other. Looking south, the golden-orange-salmon colors of the Aspens appeared ablaze. Certainly, this was the most spectacular location visited.
On day three, we geared-up and gathered at Lake Sabrina outflow, to photograph Bishop Creek in luscious morning light. After breaking camp, our group drove to Big Pine for lunch and later hiked along Big Pine creek to a waterfall, and beyond. On the trail, several locals gave us the once over; a few others stopped to chat and relayed the story of this year’s great snow melt 8’ runoff, which occurred just over a month ago. They told us, that where we were standing, the water from that melt would have been well above our heads.
We enjoyed fantastic scenery, beautiful colors of the season, interesting weather and the best camaraderie.
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