evening and the way home

So, last but not least, we went to the beach and hung out in the warm sun with some cheese and crackers and beverages. There, I hiked about 20 minutes to get to the last of the tufa pictures. I know, I should have waited 6 hours, gotten them in golden hour light, but who has time for that?

At that point, I was pretty tired, so we went back to the hotel room for a nap. We may or may not have gotten stuck watching reality TV shows instead of resting. Then, we drove to some hot springs, and I ran around like an idiot getting all the photos with the nice golden light. Neither one of us had remembered to pack a swimsuit, so we were just looking. It looked pretty nice.

We were sort of shuttling back and forth on the same 20 miles of 385 the whole trip. On our way to dinner, I saw the moon over the silhouetted mountains, and got a couple frames off before the scene changed completely. Looking closely at the full-res file, I can tell that I focused on the edge of the hills and not on the moon, but I think it works anyway.

That night, we had one of the weirder dinner experiences of our lives. We went to a restaurant that came recommended, and seemed pretty nice from their menu online. We got there, got seated, and just after our drinks came out, the head (and only) chef quit, and walked out. It took the rest of the staff about half an hour to convince him to come back and finish service for the people that were already seated. The food was actually still pretty good, if memory serves.

The last picture is a ringer; I took it in Yosemite, on the way back. We were going to stop for gummy bears, as the best ones in the world are in Yosemite, but we missed the turn. We did get a nice photo op, though.

Posted by Matt on 2017-01-02 05:11:31 +0000

around the lake day 1

This was the first full day, from the morning. We stopped at the big overlook again, and took more photos from there. Again, I’m a little sad to not have the film from that session, since I seem to remember shooting a lot on it. From there, we went to a spot where you could hike out to the shore, and then along it as well. That proved fairly difficult.

The shore of the lake is a very gradual affair, very flat in places, and with little natural vegetation, so it’s mostly one big mudhole. If you’re careful, you can go pretty far, between hillocks and rocks. I hiked that way for about an hour, making it all the way out to where I took the last two pictures without leaving a footprint. Then, on the way back, just as I was thinking I was back to solid ground, I managed to step into about 6 inches of mud, only one foot, and make a mess of my jeans. The sulphur smell was enough that I left my shoes and jeans outside the hotel room that night.

Posted by Matt on 2017-01-02 03:51:34 +0000

bridgeport in the morning

These are the rest of the pictures from that early morning in Bridgeport; I should have probably spent the first half hour driving out to the lake, but I figured I might as well spend some time in the town, and it ended up being worthwhile. There were no people when I first out at first light, but by the time the sun actually came over the mountains, there were a fair number, and a bakery right on main street had opened, and sold me a ham and cheese pastry.

One last view of the mountains and cows. There’s a feeling of spaciousness in the west, room to spread out. That includes just leaving stuff outside, in the alley. When there’s no limit to the space you have, organization looks different. Sunrise next to the bakery, where I sat and drank my coffee. This bird was awfully friendly; from his roundness, I think he was probably feeding off tourists’ leavings. He didn’t get any of mine, at least. Didn’t notice this place open while we were in town; I don’t think they cater to the 6:30am crowd. The general store where we got champagne and beer and snacks. Full disclosure: this picture has been cropped and perspective-adjusted.

Posted by Matt on 2016-12-31 23:58:03 +0000

mono lake part one

We came into Bridgeport through the pass north of 120, I disremember which road it was. Stopped at an overlook, maybe half way down, that had a good view of the valley we’d been coming down, out of the sierras. Switchbacks the whole way, and I was driving, so didn’t take too many photos (since I’ve nearly killed myself doing that, I only take the risk when I’m alone).

Got into Bridgeport, checked in to the motel there, and then went to see what we could see of the lake. It wasn’t quite golden hour, but the closeness of the mountains meant that the whole lake was in shadow a couple hours before the official sunset. I took a couple pictures with the film camera from a nice overlook, which are still undeveloped, four months later. We proceeded to the visitors’ center for the national monument, which was closed, so I ran around taking photos anyway. Then we lost the light so we went on to dinner and then back to the motel.

The next morning, I woke up early and went for a walk. There’s not much left of Bridgeport. A couple bars, a couple hotels, and cattle ranches all around. And great big beautiful mountains.

There’s a saying, ‘The perfect is the enemy of the done,’ that I’ve been contemplating lately. I have a hard time letting go of stuff that isn’t perfect. Not only that. It’s very hard for me to start something that I can’t see the through line to completion. A friend on facebook brought it up in the context of cleaning, but it applies to blogging all the pictures, too. These are four months old, for crying out loud. They’re pretty good. I think the third image is going to look great printed very large (40x60, for those that care). Anyway, this is me, not trying to get it perfect, but just getting the thing done.

Posted by Matt on 2016-12-31 07:56:29 +0000