Quake Lake in south west Montana was formed in 1959 after an earthquake dislodged an estimated 80 million tons of rock and debris that blocked the river and formed a lake. 28 people were buried under 300 feet of dirt as the slide took out part of an occupied camp ground. Now the lake has a skeletal forest poking up through the middle of it. The lake felt both awesome and daunting at the same time.
The move to Bozeman took me some 1400 miles from Long Beach through Nevada to Boise and then on to Montana. Nevada is a fantastic place to road trip through with is massive expanse of space and scenery, as well as many remote hot springs to stop at (and free camp!).
Day one was Long Beach to Spencer Hot Springs (39°19’37.7″N 116°51’33.5″W) where I found a spot to pop up a tent and after a soak (had it to myself even though there were a few campers around), had a great sleep. Day two had me up and onward to Boise, ID. So much wide open space and plenty of time to reflect and listen to a great book on tape via audible.
Finally arrived at our last destination of the trip before heading back to the states and we had a weekend to look around. Ive been to Hong Kong a couple times now for work and for personal travel and I always seem to find something new to do there. This time I wanted to head over to Aberdeen to explore this slightly more out of the way, but still touristy destination. Wanting a better vantage of the over all harbor I did the usual tourist thing and loaded up on to a Sampan (boat) that cost me about $20 for approximately an 45 minutes cruising around the harbor. Yes, i probably could have “worked” that price down, but it was just me and the driver aboard the vessel so I thought it was OK.
After the Maokong Gondola and before heading out to the airport to catch our flight to Hong Kong we headed over to the historic Lungshan Temple which is said to have been established around 1740. We were lucky as there was a ceremony going on and it was rather busy with chanting and prayers.
Found a free afternoon and took public transport to then end of the line, which then connects to the Maokong Gondola that will get you up into the hills and away from the hustle and bustle of the city and up where they have historically grown tea. We even got to ride in one of the gondola chairs that had a glass bottom on the way back down!
Spent about 4 days in South Korea recently for work, and on one of the first days we had there we had enough time to explore the older parts of the city, Bukchon Hanok Village. Fantastic, and rather touristy, but good and interesting all the same. I have to say there is some exceptionally effective use of small space, something westerners could learn a thing or two from…
Packed the bike and after work I headed out to explore Death Valley for the long turkey day weekend. The plan was to head to Saline Valley hot springs (on recommendation from the Sweeneys!) for turkey day then head south over Lippincott Pass to The Racetrack, then on to Cerro Gordo, Lone Pine for gas, then Stove Pipe Wells for the second night. After that I headed north out of the park and over Wyman Creek road to the Bristlecones then into Bishop for gas. I called Benton hot springs but they were full up so i decided to head north with the idea that id camp at one of the many hot springs up by Mammoth Lakes. As i neared Mammoth the winds picked up and it was really hard to ride, so i decided to grab a hotel in Mammoth instead. After a good nights sleep and and hour or two looking for open highways (many passes had closed), i decided id take a chance with HWY 50. Turned out ok, but i did get snowed on which is not super fun on a bike (visor kept freezing up and i had very little visibility for most of the high elevation part). All in all a great ride! 1172 miles altogether.
Note on Steele Pass (mainly for Sweeney): Met a GS800 rider in Saline that had ridden Steele and it looks like going south it was hard but doable. He said he would not try it going north and had to unload his bike and rev/push the bike up parts. Also theres a really interesting road that was sign posted “designated passage through a wilderness area” that had an image of a dirt bike and quad at 37°22’60.0″N 117°49’57.9″W. Might be worth checking out next trip…
Second part of some pictures taken while on work travel to China and Korea. These are taken in the brief moments of quiet between, taxis, trains and flights. I rented a Olympus OMD- M1 to check out how this system works. See the previous post for better insight. Seoul is incredibly clean but there is air pollution there which most of the locals noted. We travels pretty much the full length of the country over three days as we visited factories as far south as Daegu and north as far as Pocheon. Had some amazing food (good vege options) and learnt a great deal about fabrics and treatments. All in a all a very good trip, if not short with a hectic time line.
A recent work trip saw me travel to Hong Kong, then Guangdong (China) then Seoul (Korea), then home, all within a week. Bit of a hectic trip and really no decent chance to get out and do some good shooting (after a 11 hour day of factory tours etc, i didnt feel like wandering the streets so much). But, there were a few moments in between hotel transfers or in transit to pull out the camera and at least think about taking pictures. For this trip i rented a Olympus OMD- M1, with a 12-40mm f/2.8 (24-80mm 35mm equiv) to get a better grasp on how these smaller systems work and what the file out put is like. Honestly, if i look really close at the files side by side to others ive shot recently (D4s, D700 etc), i cant expect that they would measure up (they dont- the “grain” of the file is a little squishy for lack of better description) but saying that this system is small, light and puts out supremely adequate images for web use (which in the end is what we all mostly do anyway…). I mostly shot ISO 200-400 and mostly in aperture priority, trying to stop down as much as possible when I could.
Am i buying one of these cameras? No. Would i consider it for the next over seas trip? Most definitely. This would be an epic way to shave a bunch of weight and space from my current kit. Id still take the Hassy for film, but as a walk around “point and shoot” the OMD would be awesome. With the addition of the tilt screen (something i wasnt a fan of to start with), this camera and one lens set up really performs well, especially for over seas travel, where its light compact size and quick easy to use form makes it a no brainer. Tempting… tempting indeed. Need to try the Sony A7r next. Really keen to see what a Full frame compact camera puts out in terms of files.