Somewhere along highway a bit south of San Felipe is some abandoned development of some sort. It looked like it would have been some nice place at some point in it’s history but now it sits abandoned; the old paint fading under the harsh Baja sun and the remaining roads ever more covered by the encroaching dunes. I parked the truck just inside the old rusty gate and cautiously wandered around, not sure if anyone still cared about this place or not. I walked down the ‘main street’ which led towards the sea and came across a couple sets of Mexican fishermen drinking beer out of the back of their old rusty pickup trucks. The beach was thoroughly covered in trash, so it looks like this was a common hang out place which helped fade any thoughts I had of trying to bribe the police as they come to arrest me for trespassing. At the beach was a nice view across the small bay and back towards San Felipe so I decided to come back a few hours later at sunset for a few photo.
Some twenty or so miles across the Little Minch rise the mountains of Harris. I was there once, on some journey years ago. For some reason the Hebridean isles have been on my mind lately. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen any ocean since last July, the longest period in my life, so the idea of wandering along an empty beach with a cold north wind on some wild and rugged island on the edge of the world is like a dream.
Was doing some cruising around the Fränkische Schweiz (franconian Switzerland) the other week and came across this. Not anything super interesting, but for someone who spent the first 24 years of his life in Southern California, it’s kinda cool. Almost stood up too quickly and impaled myself on one of the icicles.
A light dusting of snow fell this afternoon so I decided to head down the road and into the Veldensteiner Forst, of which I’m on the eastern border of. Normally the forests around here don’t interest me much, as they aren’t really ‘wild’ and are often plantations from the last century or so. But when a light snow falls it only reaches the ground in openings in the canopy, creating cool patterns of snow and green.
I remembered a road I had driven down some months back that had some cool looking areas with moss on the forest floor, opposed to blue berry bushes which seem to be more common but not as nice looking in the snow. The road is only about 5 miles away but it doesn’t really go anywhere so I never use it.
Learning how to ski has been my goal for several years now (I’m normally a snowboarder). I gave it a shot over the weekend down in Austria in the Brixen in Thale area. Wasn’t too pretty to watch, but I managed to get down a red run (American blue) by the middle of my second day. Only had one crash where I lost both skis. There’s a couple small hills in the area here where one can ski, so hopefully I’ll get out a few more times before the winter ends.
Only took a couple photos as my skiing wasn’t too safe for the camera.
Wish there was a bit more snow, but what can you do. Hopefully it will stay clear for tomorrow night as well and maybe I’ll think of some place interesting to go…
A couple more photo’s from Tuesday night.
Tilt-Shift panoramic of from above Pottenstein. I don’t often use ’tilt’ – to change the plane of focus – while making panos, but sometimes I think it gives a nice touch, as in this photo.
Burg Pottenstein, with it’s history dating back a 1000 years watches over the meeting of the three valleys: the Püttlach, the Weihersbach and the Haselbrunn.
Arrived at the Walhalla temple on new year’s eve as the sun was getting low on the horizon. Warm light on a cold winter day.
I’ve been getting more interested in caving lately, as I should, since the Franconia area around here is full of them. So when I got an invitation for a night trip to the Windloch Sackdilling cave, I had to go along.
This cave has several entrances into the first section. The easiest way is to just walk in, as seen here.
We figured the sub zero temperatures of the last weeks would create some cool ice features, as this cave in known to have. But these ‘interesting’ shaped ice-stalagmites were all that we saw. I also forgot to remember that an underground cave would stay warmer than the surface (during winter), and indeed it was, once we got back to the surface, it was utterly cold again. This ice was in the first ‘surface’ section, so maybe a bit more will form in the next months.
Rappelling down into the first lower chamber.
A little climbing was involved to get to another area at the back of the lower section.
View looking straight up towards the ceiling in the ‘rear upper’ section.
This little hole led to a 20-25 foot tunnel to crawl/slide through into another fairly small chamber
Heading back through the forest, trying not to get lost in the darkness…
Every year on the 6th of January the hills above Pottenstein are illuminated by fires for the Ewige Anbetung.
Seeing it in person is way more impressive than any of my photos. 17˚f (-8˚c) temperatures meant the hands were quite frozen after an hour or so up on the hillside