San Vicente Reservoir from Iron Mtn


My first time up Iron Mountain in Poway.  Beautiful weather and great views.  This pic shows San Vicente Reservoir from the top.  5.8 miles total out and back with 1100 ft elevation gain.  Lots of fog/clouds in the distance.

More Fall Color at Lake Hemet


Besides nice “fall color” views of the lake (see previous post), there are also beautiful views with the mountains in the background.  Get out and enjoy fall in California!

Links:      previous related post

Fall Color at Lake Hemet


I found a little fall color at Lake Hemet this past weekend.  Several campers were out enjoying the fabulous fall weather.

Lower Yosemite Falls View


It doesn’t get much better than sitting on a log while viewing Lower Yosemite Falls but it would have been a little chilly and wet on this day!

Volkswagen Trike


It’s not everyday you see a trike with a motorcycle front end and a Volkswagen rear!  As you can see from the background, this one was driving through Julian.  My preference would be for a Baja Bug, which I really wanted as a teenager but never had the guts to do the required surgery on my 1964 Beetle.

Standing Resolute


This interesting tree was found on one of the trails that take off behind the upper terminal station of the Palm Springs Tramway.  It was the week of Christmas and there was snow on the ground but not enough to make hiking difficult.  Nice blue sky that day also.  Nothing like a hike in the crisp winter air at 8,500 feet!

Bear Paw Print in Yosemite NP


Up to 30,000 black bears have been estimated to inhabit California and one of them left this paw print in the snow in Yosemite National Park (that’s my adult daughter’s hand for a size comparison).  I like how you can see some of the impression left by the ends of the toenails.  There are no grizzly bears in California, with the last one being killed in Tulare County in 1922.

Wild Turkeys on the Banner Grade


These wild turkeys were along the roadside of the Banner Grade on Highway 78 heading east out of Julian down into the desert.  According to the CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife, turkeys now inhabit about 18% of California.  Whenever I see a wild turkey I think of Ben Franklin and his preference of the turkey over the bald eagle as our national bird.  It might be hard to enjoy eating your national bird though!

Big Bear Discovery Center


The Big Bear Discovery Center is on the north side of Big Bear Lake and is a great place to stop and view informative displays, get questions answered, buy passes, use the restroom, etc.  And kids love to get their picture taken with the bear statue.

Links:   BBDC     previous related post

Big Bear Solar Observatory


The Big Bear Solar Observatory is operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Their newest solar telescope has a 1.6 meter clear aperture and is the largest aperture solar telescope in the world.  Tours are offered from 2-3pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.  I love the stark whiteness of the building against the blue and green of its surroundings.

Links:      BBSO (tour info, webcams, latest images)