Southern California and beyond

Photography tours can be grueling yet unbelievable breathtaking. I took a photography tour to southern California and many other destinations while I visited with my in-laws and went on a couple of photographic tours with a group of new friends. Below is a list of destinations I photographed. Because of time constraints I have not finished editing my photographs, but once I do many of them will go on this blog page.
 

I visited the following locations in this order:

Manhattan Beach

Queen Mary

Long Beach

Mission Inn Hotel and Spa

Salton Sea

Joshua Tree National Park

Palm Springs Tram to Mt. San Jacinto

Skid Row

Griffith Park Observatory

Venice Canals

Santa Monica

El Madador Beach

Mammoth Lakes

Yosemite National Park

Breakwater Cove in Monterey

Carmel

17 Mile Drive

McRay Waterfall

Big Sur

Elephant Seal Beach

Union Station

Olvera Street

China Town

Greystone Mansion

Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Rancho Palos Verdes

Wayfarer Glass Chapel

Crystal Church

Huntington Beach

Balboa Beach

Newport Beach

San Diego – La Jolla Beach

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

Point Loma Lighthouse

Coronado Bridge
 

As soon as I landed in California, I rushed to Manhattan Beach to get some sunset shots, then it was off to dinner I went.

 El Capitan in Yosemite National Park  

The Incomparable Yosemite

"The most famous and accessible of these cañon valleys, and also the one that presents their most striking and sublime features on the grandest scale, is the Yosemite, situated in the basin of the Merced River at an elevation of 4000 feet above the level of the sea. It is about seven miles long, half a mile to a mile wide, and nearly a mile deep in the solid granite flank of the range. The walls are made up of rocks, mountains in size, partly separated from each other by side cañons, and they are so sheer in front, and so compactly and harmoniously arranged on a level floor, that the Valley, comprehensively seen, looks like an immense hall or temple lighted from above.

But no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life. Some lean back in majestic repose; others, absolutely sheer or nearly so for thousands of feet, advance beyond their companions in thoughtful attitudes, giving welcome to storms and calms alike, seemingly aware, yet heedless, of everything going on about them. Awful in stern, immovable majesty, how softly these rocks are adorned, and how fine and reassuring the company they keep: their feet among beautiful groves and meadows, their brows in the sky, a thousand flowers leaning confidingly against their feet, bathed in floods of water, floods of light, while the snow and waterfalls, the winds and avalanches and clouds shine and sing and wreathe about them as the years go by, and myriads of small winged creatures birds, bees, butterflies--give glad animation and help to make all the air into music. Down through the middle of the Valley flows the crystal Merced, River of Mercy, peacefully quiet, reflecting lilies and trees and the onlooking rocks; things frail and fleeting and types of endurance meeting here and blending in countless forms, as if into this one mountain mansion Nature had gathered her choicest treasures, to draw her lovers into close and confiding communion with her."

~~ John Muir from the book - The Yosemite.

Half Dome as seen from the valley floor.

 View of one entrance into Yosemite National Park

A section of the Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park

Lembert Dome in Yosemite National Park

Lembert Dome; an easy hike at a total of 9,450 ft. with an elevation gain of 700 ft. Lembert Dome is located near the Tuolumne Meadows campground and is one of the best places to enjoy the views of Tuolumne Meadows - an area is photographed above. To hike Lembert Dome, start at the Dog Lake parking lot on the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Road. Follow the trail for Dog Lake then cross Tioga Road and continue hiking up the trail until you meet the junction for Lembert Dome. At the junction, continue hiking westward until you see Lembert Dome and use caution as you scramble up the mountain in various locations before reaching the top.                    

Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

I'm not exactly certain, but from the research I have conducted (since there are no signs near this lake), I believe this is Johnston Lake. If this is in fact Johnston Lake, then it is  the last lake you will encounter in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Shortly after this lake, the John Muir Trail enters the Devils Postpile National Monument.

After this lake, the John Muir Trail shortly rejoins with the Pacific Crest Trail. These two trails follow the same path until near Crabtree Meadow -- just west of Mt. Whitney.

Ansel Adams Wilderness

Devils Postpile National Monument

The Devils Postpile is a collection of basillic columns that formed from cooling magma. The best way to view the postpile is to view the  sides of the columns or climb to top of the postpile which I actually did - alone. I was not far from the John Muir hiking trail and when I go back (one day), I will hike part of that trail.

One of several decomposing trees I captured near the Devils Postpile National Monument that I found on my hike around the area.

Joshua Tree National Park

My upper body was laying in the road as I captured this image.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

This photograph hangs in my studio/office.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

This photograph hangs in my studio/office.

Jeffrey Tree in Palm Springs in the 13,000 acre Mt. San Jacinto State Park right off the Desert Valley Trail where there firs, oaks and numerous evergreens.

Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness State Park contains 54 miles of hiking trails, five primitive campgrounds and a ranger station. One can rent cross-country skis in winter.

Below are other trails located in the area:

Long Valley Discovery Trail: Follow the nature trail posts around a ¾ mile (1.2 km) loop. This easy level trail provides an excellent introduction to the Park's plants and animals.

Desert View Trail: A 1.5 mile (2 km) loop trail leads to a number of scenic overlooks and forest views. Short climbs, moderately strenuous.

Round Valley: A 2.5 miles of trail leads to picturesque Round Valley. Fairly level trails, short climbs, moderately strenuous.

Wellmans Divide: From Round Valley to Wellmans Divide is a 1-mile hike with a 600 feet elevation gain. The view from here is truly spectacular. Looking west you can see the dome of the Palomar Observatory and to the southwest Tahquitz Peak Lookout. From this point you can continue down to Idyllwild or up to the Mt. San Jacinto Peak. Elevation gain, strenuous.

San Jacinto Peak: This is a 5.5 mile hike one way will take you to the second highest point in southern California. On clear days it is reported that you can see Catalina Island or the glow from Las Vegas at night.

The Salton Sea

The smell in this area is truly unbearable in some locations.

Driving down the Pacific Coast Hwy. is one of the most incredible drives I have ever taken in my entire life.

Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba Speciosa) in downtown Los Angeles, CA

 

La Jolla Beach

La Jolla Beach

 

 

 

More photos coming soon.
 


 

 

 

 

 


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