Monthly Archives

June 2008

Cardiff Morning Glass Redux

Surf

I got out early again this morning and swam out at Cardiff just north of Seaside Reef. For the most part the size had dropped off but it was still warm, glassy, not a speck of wind and sunny at 6:30am. Once again I had a huge stretch of water to myself, only a few guys out at Seaside and the usual crowd at Cardiff Reef. The sets were inconsistent and there was a lot of waiting around. A harbor seal was swimming around near me for a while, and squadrons of pelicans cruised by all morning. It was so still for the first hour that I could hear that soft sound of water ripping along the lip just as each wave would crest before folding over. The extreme low tide at dawn was helping the waves feel the sandbars and kick up. By 8 the tide has risen enough that all the juice was gone and it went flat. Beautiful but flat. I swam around for another hour picking off a few more sporadic set waves. I left at 9 only to watch Italy lose to Spain. I think this swell is done.

Cresting wave, morning light, glassy water, surf, Cardiff by the Sea, California

Cresting wave, morning light, glassy water, surf.
Image ID: 20811
Location: Cardiff by the Sea, California, USA

Cresting wave, morning light, glassy water, surf, Cardiff by the Sea, California

Cresting wave, morning light, glassy water, surf.
Image ID: 20812
Location: Cardiff by the Sea, California, USA

Cresting wave, morning light, glassy water, surf, Cardiff by the Sea, California

Cresting wave, morning light, glassy water, surf.
Image ID: 20815
Location: Cardiff by the Sea, California, USA

For Immediate Release: Summer is Here

Surf

Thank you for your patience. This is your official notification: summer is here. You are now free to dive in, a wetsuit is no longer required. Effective until September: casual Friday is expanded to include Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well. From this morning:

Dawn patrol morning surf, hollow wave, Cardiff by the Sea, California

Dawn patrol morning surf, hollow wave.
Image ID: 20797
Location: Cardiff by the Sea, California, USA

Dawn patrol morning surf, hollow wave, Cardiff by the Sea, California

Dawn patrol morning surf, hollow wave.
Image ID: 20799
Location: Cardiff by the Sea, California, USA

Dawn patrol morning surf, hollow wave, Cardiff by the Sea, California

Dawn patrol morning surf, hollow wave.
Image ID: 20800
Location: Cardiff by the Sea, California, USA

Dawn patrol morning surf, hollow wave, Cardiff by the Sea, California

Dawn patrol morning surf, hollow wave.
Image ID: 20798
Location: Cardiff by the Sea, California, USA

Photo of the Williamsburg Bridge, New York City

New York

From a trip to New York City a few years ago: I took a boat around Manhattan Island and saw all the bridges that cross from various burroughs into Manhattan. This one is the Williamsburg Bridge.

The Williamsburg Bridge viewed from the East River.  The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn on Long Island at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

The Williamsburg Bridge viewed from the East River. The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn on Long Island at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Image ID: 11124
Location: Manhattan, New York City, USA

Keywords: Williamsburg Bridge Photo, New York City.

Photo of Buckskin Gulch

Arizona, Photo of the Day

Last one from Buckskin Gulch: a hiker considering the towering walls and narrow, convoluted passageway of the the Buckskin Gulch narrows. The trail continues behind the hiker, disappearing into the twisting walls so that it is hard to tell that it is even there. The floor of the passage is littered with large cobblestones, deposited there from upstream by powerful floodwaters that fill the slot canyon and carve it deeper into the sandstone with each passing year’s storms.

Hiker in Buckskin Gulch.  A hiker considers the towering walls and narrow passageway of Buckskin Gulch, a dramatic slot canyon forged by centuries of erosion through sandstone.  Buckskin Gulch is the worlds longest accessible slot canyon, running from the Paria River toward the Colorado River.  Flash flooding is a serious danger in the narrows where there is no escape, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

Hiker in Buckskin Gulch. A hiker considers the towering walls and narrow passageway of Buckskin Gulch, a dramatic slot canyon forged by centuries of erosion through sandstone. Buckskin Gulch is the worlds longest accessible slot canyon, running from the Paria River toward the Colorado River. Flash flooding is a serious danger in the narrows where there is no escape.
Image ID: 20716
Location: Buckskin Gulch, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA

Buckskin Gulch Backpacking

Arizona, Photo of the Day

Here are a few backpackers walking through the Buckskin Gulch narrows. They are blurry because it is so dark in the narrows that a tripod and long exposure must be used, which caused the backpackers to smear across the photo as they walked while the stationary walls and ground remain sharp and clear. Check out the big log jammed between the sandstone walls! It was left there by a powerful flash flood some time in the past, and is a testament to the height and strength of those floods.

Suspended log in Buckskin Gulch.  Hikers pass beneath a heavy log suspended between the walls of Buckskin Gulch, placed there by a flash flood some time in the past.  Buckskin Gulch is the world's longest accessible slot canyon, forged by centuries of erosion through sandstone.  Flash flooding is a serious danger in the narrows where there is no escape, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

Suspended log in Buckskin Gulch. Hikers pass beneath a heavy log suspended between the walls of Buckskin Gulch, placed there by a flash flood some time in the past. Buckskin Gulch is the world’s longest accessible slot canyon, forged by centuries of erosion through sandstone. Flash flooding is a serious danger in the narrows where there is no escape.
Image ID: 20723
Location: Buckskin Gulch, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA

Hiking Buckskin Gulch

Arizona, Panoramas

This is a 360-degree panorama showing, in a single image, a hiker in Buckskin Gulch both coming and going. I set my camera on a tripod in the middle of the trail through Buckskin Gulch, leveled it with a bubble level, and spun it in a complete circle taking sixteen photos roughly evenly spaced as I did so. In two of the photographs I set the camera’s self-timer and jumped into the picture myself. Later, the images were then “stitched” together on a the computer with panoramic imaging software, resulting in the single image you see. Click on it to see it larger!

Buckskin Gulch hiker.  A hiker moves through the deep narrow passages of Buckskin Gulch, a slot canyon cut deep into sandstone by years of river-induced erosion.  In some places the Buckskin Gulch narrows are only about 15 feet wide but several hundred feet high, blocking sunlight.  Flash floods are dangerous as there is no escape once into the Buckskin Gulch slot canyons.  This is a panorama made of sixteen individual photos, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

Buckskin Gulch hiker. A hiker moves through the deep narrow passages of Buckskin Gulch, a slot canyon cut deep into sandstone by years of river-induced erosion. In some places the Buckskin Gulch narrows are only about 15 feet wide but several hundred feet high, blocking sunlight. Flash floods are dangerous as there is no escape once into the Buckskin Gulch slot canyons. This is a panorama made of sixteen individual photos.
Image ID: 20699
Location: Buckskin Gulch, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA

Bubble Rings

Photo of the Day

Bubble Ring Day. It was so hot in the desert today all we could do was swim in the pool. Good thing I had my trusty uber-unterwasser-oring-foto-kamera along. We blew off some fine bubble rings and had fun watching them wobble and grow as they floated up through the water. These bubble rings are actually stable toroidal air pockets that usually maintain their delicate shapes all the way to the surface (if left to ascend undisturbed). I was pretty lightheaded after spending 30 minutes repeatedly holding my breath on the bottom of the pool making these bubble rings, so I did it for another 20 minutes and got super lightheaded. It was way more funnerer than hyperventilating into a paper bag. Ah, good times.

A bubble ring. A young girl reaches out to touch a bubble ring as it ascends through the water toward her

A bubble ring. A young girl reaches out to touch a bubble ring as it ascends through the water toward her.
Image ID: 20774

A bubble ring. A child puts her hand through a bubble ring at it ascends through the water toward her

A bubble ring. A child puts her hand through a bubble ring at it ascends through the water toward her.
Image ID: 20775

A bubble ring. A young girl watches as a bubble ring ascends through the water toward her

A bubble ring. A young girl watches as a bubble ring ascends through the water toward her.
Image ID: 20776

A bubble ring.  A toroidal bubble ring rises through the water on its way to the surface

A bubble ring. A toroidal bubble ring rises through the water on its way to the surface.
Image ID: 20777

Trochoidal sunlight patterns on the bottom of a swimming pool

Trochoidal sunlight patterns on the bottom of a swimming pool.
Image ID: 20778

A bubble ring.  A toroidal bubble ring rises through the water on its way to the surface

A bubble ring. A toroidal bubble ring rises through the water on its way to the surface.
Image ID: 20779

Photos of the Wire Pass Narrows

Photo of the Day

After an easy half-hour walk from the Wire Pass Trailhead, one reaches the end of the sandy Wire Pass trail. At this point the trail enters the first of two Wire Pass Narrows, two fine examples of sandstone slot canyons. Formed by years of water erosion these slots are really narrow, in some places only about two feet wide. Here’s a look at a hiker squeezing through the narrowest point:

A hiker walking through the Wire Pass narrows.  This exceedingly narrow slot canyon, in some places only two feet wide, is formed by water erosion which cuts slots deep into the surrounding sandstone plateau, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

A hiker walking through the Wire Pass narrows. This exceedingly narrow slot canyon, in some places only two feet wide, is formed by water erosion which cuts slots deep into the surrounding sandstone plateau.
Image ID: 20715
Location: Wire Pass, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA

After emerging from the first narrows but before reaching the second set of narrows, the hiker finds a brief widening of the trail with some cool striations in the sandstone:

Sandstone formations.  Layers of sandstone are revealed by erosion in the Wire Pass narrows, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

Sandstone formations. Layers of sandstone are revealed by erosion in the Wire Pass narrows.
Image ID: 20731
Location: Wire Pass, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA

More Wire Pass Narrows photos.

Wire Pass Trailhead

Arizona, Photo of the Day, The Wave

If you are going to hike to Buckskin Gulch or the North Coyote Buttes, you will likely start at the Wire Pass trailhead. Here is what it looks like at 6am. The dirt road you see, on which the trailhead parking lot is located, is the House Rock Valley Road. The few times I have driven it, the road has been fine. However, it is an unpaved road and I have heard that, following rain storms, it can be nearly unpassable. Just to be safe I have always used a high clearance vehicle on the House Rock Valley Road. A few cars are in the trailhead parking lot, with hikers readying their stuff for the day’s outing or still snoozing in their campers if they spent the night there.

Wire Pass trailhead.  The parking lot at the Wire Pass trailhead, early morning, as hikers arrive and set out to Buckskin Gulch, the North Coyote Buttes and the Wave, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

Wire Pass trailhead. The parking lot at the Wire Pass trailhead, early morning, as hikers arrive and set out to Buckskin Gulch, the North Coyote Buttes and the Wave.
Image ID: 20745
Location: Wire Pass, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA

Here is a look at the Wire Pass Trail itself, which runs down a sandy wash. It is quite unexceptional, and does not begin to hint at the wonderful sights that it will lead one to in either the Wire Pass Narrows or at the Wave.

Wire Pass trail.  The Wire Pass trail runs along a river wash through sandstone bluffs and scattered trees and scrub brush, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

Wire Pass trail. The Wire Pass trail runs along a river wash through sandstone bluffs and scattered trees and scrub brush.
Image ID: 20746
Location: Wire Pass, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA