California Wildfires

Jenks Lake Fire 2015-06-19

Smoke moving from the San Bernardino Mountains toward the San Jacinto Mountains. Without the fire it would have been a blue-sky kind of day. To the left of the picture you can see the smoke moving south past Palm Springs heading towards the Salton Sea. Smoke also covered Joshua Tree National Park.

When you are in the forest and see a forest fire, it is disheartening. But wildfires are a natural phenomenon and normally healthy for forests. But there are times when wildfires are destructive and cause irreversible damage. Such is the state of affairs in California. For someone on a long distant backpacking trip of several weeks or months, forest fires are often considered by backpackers as a minor inconvenience. One has to re-route their trip, sometimes walking on roads, until they can get back on the trail. However on a short trip, a forest fire often ends the trip, which happened to me last week when I was forced to turn around and bail when a fire that broke out on Wednesday grew out of control and moved into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. Currently the fire, which is near Big Bear, has consumed 27 square miles and is about 20% contained. Already it is the largest fire in this area in over one hundred years. Smoke from this fire has traveled all the way to Arizona and reportedly is visible in the Grand Canyon.

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Sony RX100 M1 Compact Camera

Taking a camera on a backpacking trip can be a heavy burden, as I discussed in Backpacking with a Camera. But nowadays I take a camera on some of my trips so I can share them with my family, since I usually hike alone.

Sony RX100 M1

Sony RX100 M1

In June of 2012 Sony released a compact camera named the RX100. In December of the same year, Joyce bought me one for Christmas.

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Yosemite No Longer Sucks

Not Yosemite National Park


About seven months ago I wrote a post chastising Apple about their new Operating System named Yosemite. I am now running version 10.10.3 of Yosemite. After some upgrades to the original OS X software and many tweaks of my operating system and some programs that created conflicts with OS X, things are back to normal and the computer is lightening fast. Apple, you are vindicated, but it was a painful trip.


Don’t be an early adapter.

Windows updates are worse.

2015 Genesis

A New Car For Joyce

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


noun: the beginning of something


2015 Hyundai Genesis

2015 Hyundai Genesis

Joyce has worked all her adult life. She wanted to reward herself with a luxury car. Our plan is it will be the last car we will own. Since I have been in the car business for over 40 years and Joyce worked at a new car dealership for 13 years, I’d like to share some thoughts on the subject and also provide some tips on how to purchase a new car.

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Backpacking 500 miles the Mojave Desert (part 6)

In November and December of 2000 I backpacked from my house in Palm Springs to Lake Mead and back.

Part 1 can be viewed here.

Part 2 can be viewed here.

Part 3 can be viewed here.

Part 4 can be viewed here.

Part 5 can be viewed here.

Mojave 500 mile map

DAYs 20 & 21

It had been over a week since I had a shower and day off from walking. I had planned on spending a day in Laughlin to rest and eat. Fortunately the last two days of hiking had gone according to plan, so I checked into a hotel. Two nights were only $38 plus tax.

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The Digital Life: David vs. Goliath

Pebble vs. Apple

Tiny start up manufacturer Pebble entered the “smart watch” arena before Apple, although they knew Apple was going to become a player. What were they thinking?

My Pebble Watch

My Pebble Watch

For many years Apple was a computer company. Today Apple is a consumer products company, and to reflect this change, a while back they changed their name from “Apple Computer” to “Apple.” During this metamorphosis Apple became the most valuable company on the planet.

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Bike Security

Kryptonite Series 2 with optional cable

Last year, when I bought our Novara Safari bicycles, a priority purchase was a lock or some other security device.

The fact a security device to protect a bicycle is a requirement to keep it from being stolen pisses me off.

This got me to thinking. Almost every person I know, who has owned bikes, has had one or more stolen. In the past I have had three bikes stolen from me and all were locked to prevent theft. So thus began a new research project.

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