Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Favorite Places....

There are some places that just draw me back to them over and over again. Yosemite National Park is one of them as well as the Marin Headlands. Inspired by a photo from a fellow photographer I wanted to try out a place I had not yet been, Slacker Hill and surroundings. It's always a hit and miss with this area fog wise, but that particular morning the weather gods were with us:

To be up there before sunrise we hiked up the short but steep hill in complete darkness.
Our efforts got rewarded by spectacular views from Angel Island to the Pacific Ocean.

The sun came up amazingly fast immersing the Golden Gate into a golden morning light

Drunken with morning light we moved on to check out Hawk Hill

To get to the top of Hawk Hill one needs to go through a short tunnel, I guess a left over bunker access. And to our surprise we found some modern day cave paintings..;-)

The view was equally stunning, but probably more for a sunset shot, since the sun was already way too bright.

On our way home we quickly stopped by Baker Beach, always a great spot to see the Golden Gate Bridge.

A few days later the promise of the rising full moon drew us back to Hawk Hill

The fog though had a different idea.... instead of a rising moon we watched the fog rolling in.

We were not the only ones hoping for a break,

but eventually we gave in to mother nature.
Although completely different from what I expected, I nevertheless enjoyed being out there and being able to capture a spectacle of a different kind.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Point Bonita

Ever since I had laid eyes on the Point Bonita lighthouse from the distance, I wanted to visit it close up. First I had to wait though until it reopened. Although in it's current location since 1877, it was closed due to repair work until this spring.

Shortly after it reopened I paid it a visit, envisioning the great views one must have from this most northern tip of the Golden Gate.

But as so often here on the coast, the fog came rolling in and there was no view... But the lighthouse itself is charming enough and a knowledgeable volunteer was more than happy to talk about the lighthouse' history.
The first Point Bonita lighthouse was built further up the cliff in 1855. But due to the mostly low lying fog, it was utterly useless. In the 1870s the lighthouse finally was to be moved to a lower location. Which proved to be rather difficult in that steep and rocky area. First a tunnel had to be dug out of the rock leading to the current location, then the lighthouse could finally taken into operation  in 1877.

Until 1940 the lighthouse was actually connected to the mainland by a small walkway. But this walkway gave way to erosion in 1940 and a suspension bridge, mimicking it's famous big sister, the Golden Gate bridge, was built. It was this bridge that needed repair and led to the two year closure of Point Bonita.

Point Bonita is only open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm. I thought it would make a wonderful sunset place and asked the volunteer if there is the possibility to gain entrance at after hours. And sure enough every month at full moon the Marin Headlands visitor center organizes so called full moon walks. A note of caution: You have to register for that and they book out way in advance.

So I had to wait a few months until I finally secured a spot. Given that it was the end of September I hoped for clear skies....but not so much luck. It was even foggier than the first time.

 Well, I guess that's why the lighthouse is there, right?

Nevertheless, it was a great outing, and I have a valid reason to come back.
This is by the way the original fresnel lens from 1877 and note the detail of the eagle shaped rain spouts! As always click on the photos to get a better look at the images.


National Park Service Point Bonita

Lighthouse Friends

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Conservation Tip


October Unprocessed 2012

 Today starts "October Unprocessed", a clever initiative thought out by Andrew Wilder, author of the "Eating Rules" blog.

What does it mean?

Well, the purpose in general is to eat less processed food. To raise awareness how much processed food we are eating, Andrew came up with the idea to try for one month to not eat any processed food.
That was 2009...
A year later, in October 2010 he tried again, this time trying to get more people to join him by taking the pledge: October Unprocessed. 415 joined him.
In October 2011 over 3000, including my humble self, took the pledge!
As of right now, for this October 4600 and counting have taken the pledge.

Interested? Let's make it 5000...

Just click on the October Unprocessed badge at the top right of my blog and it will take you right to the "pledge page".
If a whole month is too much, just pledge for a week or maybe 10 days...and even if you don't pull it through completely, it will change your awareness of what you are eating.
Check out the October Unprocessed-Eating Rules blog and download the official Guide here.
You also can follow on facebook for daily updates, tips and recipes.