4 stars

Toroweap / Tuweep, AZ

Above Cove Canyon

The Colorado River flows west towards Toroweap Overlook…


On my way back to camp after witnessing a sublime sunset from the north rim of the Grand Canyon I heard the distinct slice and crack of a golf ball being hit ahead of me followed by giggling and the murmur of voices. I reached the top of the outcrop I was walking along and in the twilight I could see the shapes of three people, not yet aware of my presence, looking relatively at ease as they hit golf balls into the abyss. They thought this was pretty funny stuff.

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Death Valley November 2013

The Panamints

Overlooking Panamint Valley…


“Don’t think I won’t knock you out right here, skinny boy!”

These angry words broke the predawn stillness as I walked through the Mesquite Dunes near Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley.

“Wait for me and I’ll come over there and knock you out with my tripod!”

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Big Pine Lakes

First Lake, Temple Craig, big pine lakes, ca

The moon rises above Temple Craig and Mount Alice near camp…


If Disney made a “SierraLand” it might look a lot like the Big Pine Lakes Basin, which lies tucked away in the John Muir Wilderness. The Big Pine Lakes present the very best of classic high-sierra scenery: photogenic mountain peaks, mineral-tinged emerald lakes, sweeping pine-studded vistas, glacial access, and alpine meadows – all compressed into a manageable area with straightforward access that can be toured in a lollipop loop. It is perfect for a first-time backpacking trip, or a one-hundredth, and indeed it was one of my first in the high sierra. The opportunities for photography are among the best around and after reaching the first Lake, almost every turn of the trail offers a stunning vista…

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