Sunday, March 26, 2017

The New Camping /Photography Adventure Philosophy was a Success least in my Mind....

I am back from my Big Bend adventure, and what a great adventure it was.  I tried to post twice, while at Big Bend,  and somehow the posts disappeared into a computer "Black hole"....Decided to forgo the blog until I returned Home, and here I am.

My last post I was at Seminole Canyon ...The next morning I got up...did a hike around the rim and then left for Big Bend...arriving I was again amazed at the number folks at the park...doing a informal survey of looking at license plates at the visitors center the majority where out of state plates...talking to the Ranger at the visitors Center, he indicated that it had been like this since the New Year. An interesting phenomenon. More on this in my wrap up post.

I decided to stay  at Cottonwood Campground the first night, which is on the West end of the park, close to Santa Elena Canyon. I also booked some dispersed campsites out in the hinterland of Big Bend Heaven...lastly I camped on the East end. Usually Cottonwood has one or two folks at CG...This trip, by 4pm the place was filled up...has about 24 sites.  Again most vehicle's when I was there where from out of State. That afternoon I went to the Canyon to see where a good spot was for an early morning shot...I wanted to try and get a panorama shot if that was possible...with my new shooting philosophy that was going to be my one photo for tomorrow...returning to the CG, I relaxed outside the camper reading a book on Terlinqua. Dinner consisted of a pork steak, coleslaw and German potato salad.

Next morning was  at the Canyon site at about 0545, still dark...found my spot and waited for the sun to sprinkle some magic light on the cliffs....and it did....not a cloud in the sky...I slowed down, set everything up and worked the panorama scene.  Here it is.
Santa Elena Canyon (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

The rest of the day I hiked, relaxed, and hitched up and moved to my dispersed was a mile and a half off the main road, little bumpy, but the end result was fantastic...what do you think.
Campsite (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

Ah, this is when I really feel close to my Maker...solitude,  magnificent views(IMHO), great weather and some of the best creations God molded together. Speaking of weather, one of the things to be cognizant of is that depending on where you are in the park, the temps can be vastly different... due to the elevation gain/loss..anywhere from 1800 or so feet to close to 6000 feet at the Basin.

Dinner the second night consisted of Salmon, spinach salad and Texas Bean salad...sat outside and watched the sun set....and listened to the was a good day!

The next 3 days I picked out some photo ops and went either in the early morning or in the evening...I did cheat a little on my one shot per day and got some photos of the Mules Ears and the  back side of the  Windows.  I changed campsites again and went to Grapevine that has 4 or so boondocking sites...the problem with that is folks drive in  to view  Balanced Rock and a lot of them don't adhere to the speed limit and kick up  limestone dust...not good for the "respiratory concerns" after 3 days I moved on. Found another great spot on the East side. Also had a small hiccup, though at the time it appeared more than a "smart" phone decided not to be smart and thought being a "SMARTass" would be more had a blue screen and said it was downloading, though it wasn't. Long story short I drove to Alpine to a Verizon outlet(200 miles round trip)...and the irony it took the tech no more than 3 seconds to have it running...I ask her what the problem was and that explanation took 15 minutes and I still don't understand. So I ask for the "trick" to fix since I don't want to have another 200 drive...Since I had the digital camera with me, I decided to take some shots on the way back to camp.

Though it was difficult to stick to my one a day shooting and I was only there a couple weeks or so..and it was more crowded than I had anticipated....I can honestly say it is on top of the list as one of my favorite trips.....I relaxed more, read more, cooked more meals, especially breakfasts(which I have always maintained is my favorite camping meal) and enjoyed the area more. I will definably keep "tweaking" this type of photo/camping approach....

I think I have rambled on long enough,  I will do another  couple posts on some of my observations, my thoughts on using the  Mamiya camera and the results,  Big Bend, and other stuff.
All alone in the Fog (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

I only posted a couple photos on purpose....the files are large, especially the panaromas and to reduce the size is a major headache for this NOT so techie if you click below, it will take you to the 2017 Big Bend folder on my website.....I hope. :))

  2017 Big Bend Trip photo's

  Not all are loaded keep returning for the next 10 days or so...

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it and especially enjoy reading your comments and thoughts.  Horst sends

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

First Road trip of 2017...Destination Big Bend

I can't believe I left this morning...but it all came together without any major "hiccups" most of the major stuff done around the house, had the house painted, not to much there as most of it is stone, Super Guys...Father and Son team from the local area....yard mowed, camper washed, yard fertilized and other odds and ends accomplished...this weekend I did most of the shopping and Monday and Tuesday packed the camper and by evening hitched it all up...

Tuesday morning I was in no rush, I decided to walk so I started at 0600, still dark but had a head lamp...walked for 90 minutes..came in cleaned up an by 0830 was on the road, heading West on US 90...Weather was good and the traffic was light.  My destination for the day is Seminole Canyon State Park...I have come to love the place...usually no one else there...though in recent years out of State folks have found the place in greater numbers.  I take the blame for having mentioned it back in 2009/10..  :)).
(c)2016 Horst Kelly Photography

The drive was smooth and to the Canyon about on top of the Hill, but this place is a zoo...about 80 % or more to capacity..usually up on the hill during the week I am the only camper here...sometimes one there are only 3 spots left   and all but 2 are 35-45 ft rigs...I ask the Ranger whats going on and he said its been like this since Christmas...Boy I can only imagine whats awaits me in Big Bend....Oh well, I will enjoy!!!

Going to add water to the  fresh water tank while here..I also have  10 full one gallon jugs, so I think that should last for the duration.

This evenings menu is grilled salmon, cole slaw(I made), spinach salad and some french bread...and a glass of wine...

This will be short as I'm not sure I have enough internet capability to upload this...I don;t have any cell coverage...I will try to send one photo...take care...Happy Trails,,,Horst sends