Looking Down on Bear Gulch Reservoir

Pinnacles National Monument
Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I’m not quite up to Scout Peak here. Close though. Look how far I’ve climbed!
We hiked a total of: 7.1 miles
Total ascent: 1600ft.
We finished this hike in: 7.75 hours.

I hiked up Bear Gulch Trail to Bear Gulch Reservoir to
Rim Trail over to High Peaks Trail up to the Overlook
where I looked through Ranger Dan’s telescope to view a nesting male Condor sitting on an egg.
Ranger Dan said the female
and male condor are taking turns sitting on the egg.
From here we continued up High Peaks Trail (Steep and Narrow trail)
to Old Pinnacles Trail and finally
onto Bench Trail which led us back to Bear Gulch where we started.

A bit of information about the park and condors.
An Ancient Volcano

Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California’s Salinas Valley,
are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano.
Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion,
faulting and tectonic plate movement.

California Condors at Pinnacles
Pinnacles National Monument is a release site for the endangered California condor,
and the birds can sometimes be seen from hiking trails throughout the park.
Pinnacles National Monument has been a part of the California Condor Recovery Program since 2003.
The park now manages 22 free-flying condors. Each bird is monitored carefully after its release to
increase its chances of survival. Biologists ensure that they choose safe roosting sites, find feeding areas,
and stay away from hazards such as lead-contaminated food and power poles.
~US National Parks Service

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Bear Gulch Reservoir



Bear Gulch Reservoir, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Pinnacles National Monument
Paicines, CA
San Benito County

This is on the Bear Gulch Cave Trail. I waited for a friend who went through the cave here then we proceeded up Rim Trail to High Peaks Trail. Up at Scout Peak we looked through the Ranger’s telescope at cliff across the valley to view a Condor nest with a male Condor sitting on an egg. The Ranger told us the Female and Male Condors take turns sitting on the egg.
They trade places about every 3 days.

From here we hiked up the High Peaks Trail or the Steep and Narrow trail across the High Peaks and down to Old Pinnacles Trail to Bench Trail to finally arrive back at Bear Gulch parking lot.
Total miles- 7.1
Total ascent 1600 ft.
Time- 7.75hrs

A challenging hike. One I plan to do again.
For the History buffs-

Pinnacles National Monument
The difference is immediately apparent. Rock spires, ramparts, and crags that bear no resemblance to the nearby foothills dominate the landscape. Massive monoliths, sheer-walled canyons, and boulder-covered caves define millions of years of erosion, faulting, and tectonic plate movement.

Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California’s Salinas Valley, are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano. Or part of the remains, for the rest of this
volcano lies 195 miles to the southeast. Does this seem impossible? It is part of the story of the San Andreas Fault Zone, which runs just east of the park, and of the geological forces that have shaped this landscape for millions of years.
It is the story of heat, frost, water, and wind wearing away rock. Fault action and earthquakes also account for the talus caves, another Pinnacles attraction. Deep, narrow gorges were transformed into caves when boulders toppled from above and wedged among the rock walls. These boulders form ceilings and areas of darkness, enticing visitors and many species of bats. The topography of the Pinnacles is not all spires and crags. Elevations range form 824 feet long along Chalone Creek to 3,304 feet atop North Chalone Peak, and much of the park consists of rolling hills. To safeguard these rock formations and caves, Pinnacles was proclaimed a national monument in 1908. Today the park encompasses over 26,000 acres, including some 16,000 acres designated as wilderness. The park protects native plants and animals, historic features, recreational opportunities, and open space in an increasingly urban setting.

Pinnacles is a place for rejuvenation. People come to appreciate the unspoiled wilderness, hike the trails, climb the rock walls, explore quiet caves, stargaze in clear night skies, and picnic or camp in the shade of the ancient oaks.
~National Park Service
US Department of the Interior

“The oak has long been an enduring and mighty tree. It is truly a part of our national heritage and it merits the formal distinction of America’s National Tree.” ~Bob Goodlatte

Photo credit: Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Joseph D. Grant County Park

Santa Clara County

San Jose, CA

Mt. Hamilton

James Lick Observatory Campus- North West View

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

My Camera Club visited James Lick Observatory last Friday. I hadn’t been here in more than ten years. It was a great re-visit.

I was walking up the hill to the Shane Reflector and turned around to look behind me. I’m so glad I did.

The large dome is home to the Great 36 inch Reflector.

More photos of my time at the Observatory are here:

Mt. Hamilton Road

James Lick Observatory



James Lick Observatory, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

James Lick Observatory & Grant Ranch

Lick Observatory is located on 4200′ Mt. Hamilton in the Diablo Range, east of San Jose, California.
Largest among its nine research-grade telescopes is the Shane 3-meter Reflector, active since 1960.
The 3-meter is in operation every clear night of the year, used by many different astronomers from within
the UC system for a variety of projects ranging from observations of our solar system to distant galaxies.
UC astronomers, using the telescopes on Mt. Hamilton have contributed to virtually every area of optical and infrared astronomy.

Home Cookin’



Home Cookin’, originally uploaded by mausgabe.

Photo Credit: Copyright (c) 2010 William Reynolds.

Bill a photographer friend in NYC likes to cook and eat well. His dinner last Friday night sounded and looked so good I asked if I could share his photo and recipe.

This is one I’m going to have to try!

NYC: Home / Dinner
Goat cheese on arugula / three sheep cheeses / garlic-herb flatbread / date shochu (72°)

Grilled Angus beef ribeye slices with shitake mushrooms and walnuts / bed of arugula / poppyseed dressing / Oatmeal stout beer

Nikon D700 | Nikon AF-S 60 | ƒ8 | 1/13s | ISO2500 | Handheld

1) Wash / drain arugula and spread generously on plate
2) Wash / drain / towel dry mushrooms
3) Heat mushrooms in dry pan to burn off moisture
4) Add (truffled) olive oil and sauté mushrooms lightly

5) Place small portion of arugula on a second plate
6) Cut small portion of goat cheese (herbed) and place on arugula
7) Slice small amounts of three (sheep) cheeses
8) Add (garlic-herb) flatbread
9) Pour shochu (wine / sake / etc)
10) Nibble…drink

11) Slice Angus beef ribeye into thick strips
12) Preheat skillet
13) Transfer meat in its original shape to pan and cook
14) Hold meat in shape and turn over to cook further
15) Separate slices while still rare and cook as desired (or remove)

16) Place mushrooms in center of arugula bed
17) Top with walnuts
18) Place grilled steak around mushrooms on arugula bed
19) Drizzle poppyseed (or other) dressing lightly over dish
20) Pour beer
21) Eat, drink, etc.

Uvas Canyon County Park



Uvas Canyon County Park, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I was trying out my new SinghRay 2 stop soft edge ND filter. I think this is just milky enough for my taste.
The colors were so vivid up here from all the rain.
The falls are running fast and full too.
It was worth the hour plus drive out here.