Sunday, May 17, 2020
Over the past week, Los Angeles County has been making some adjustments to their "Safer at Home" guidelines (they call it an "order," but if it's not clearly enforced, it seems more like voluntary suggestions. Particularly when they were rolling it out, it was not clear how far you were allowed to drive for your permitted hiking). Most trails in the greater Los Angeles area officially closed in mid-March, but began reopening the previous weekend, with more opening this week and weekend.
Of course, Seventh Avenue was the starting point for numerous hikes of mine,, going back to nearly the beginning of my blogging days.
Schabarum Park, as well. And, also, I've hiked from Turnbull Canyon Road. But that had been a while, and I was aware of road closures and construction in the area, and didn't want to chance getting lost. I also wanted to avoid possible people congestion from a usually crowded place like Schabarum Park (though no idea how crowded it is, now).
So I pulled out my camera with a long telephoto lens attached, and snapped a few shots from my vantage point, of passing passenger jets, standing power lines, gliding turkey vultures, and so forth, just go make sure I had my exposure set correctly (iso 400, f/8, and about 1/2000th of a second).
More or less on-time, I saw a rapidly approaching "contrail," trailing smoke, moving fast and low. They cut the smoke as the reached the foothills, and zipped quickly through the pass. Then they made a sweeping turn to the west, flying over the warehouses factories of the City of Industry.
End of the spring bloom is still going on. Lots of thistle and sticky monkey flower, evening primrose, wild mustard, and pearly everlasting. Some vetch, and the fruity thing in that one picture.
Annoyingly, the vast majority of hikers I passed were not wearing proper facial covering. I kept what distance I could, and, obviously, the odds of infection from just a walk-by must be pretty low, but this is the critical point: wear face coverings now, reduce transmission, and we can get back to "normal" with fewer fatalities. Be careless now, and the fatalities increase and the restrictions continue for longer. I'm ready for this to be over.
Thursday, May 7, 2020
My initial goal was to try for a post-sunset shot of Orion and the winter Milky Way over the red rocks. I had done this last year, and hoped to try again, this year. However, the moon phase made this a little iffy, and the clouds made it impossible.
Except for the clouds, t weather was perfect for hiking. I think, because of that, the crowds flocked to Red Rock, which led to a road closure of the scenic drive by late afternoon. At least, that was my guess. In any event the entrance to the scenic loop was closed when I got there. So I drove on along NV-159, past the entrance and exit to the scenic drive. Wound up parking at the second trailhead past the scenic loop exit.
Oak Creek Trail has three access points. The first is from the end of a spur dirt road that leaves the scenic loop, just before it returns to NV-159.
The third access point is a bit further along NV-159, and is called "South Oak Creek Trailhead."
There are numerous use trails through the area, so figuring out if I was on the right one or not was not obvious. But I got a chance to enjoy the outdoors, either way.