Monday, November 28, 2011

Post Thanxgiving Snowy Hut Inquisition Trips.

Kimbo & Kai enjoying the sunset from Robb's Peak Lookout.  

For the majority of the last few Thanxgiving holidays, I have made a point to get outside and visit a hut for the long weekend following the American tradition of eating waaaaaaay too much turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes.  Eating leftovers with your friends in the mountain air... now I'm hungry.

James, Courtney, Kimbo, Kai, & I walking back from Robb's Peak Hut with the west side of the Crystal Range behind us.  

Here are the history of our visits:

  1. 2004 - Ludlow Hut (Matty, Don, Rebecca, Mingie)
  2. 2005 - Bradley Hut (Don, Rebecca, Mingie)
  3. 2006 - Peter Grubb Hut with Don, Rebecca, Erin, Susie, Funk, Katarina, Aleitha, Messy
  4. 2007 - Peter Grubb Hut with Marian, Kevin, Erich, Mary Lynn, Julie, Kimbo, and a bunch of doggies (Oscar, Bugsy, Jerry, and Mingus)
  5. 2008 - Peter Grubb Hut with Sara, Rob, Jiselle, Julie, Kate, Win, Alex, Ann, Kimbo, Messy, Funk, Alexis, Mi-suk, and I... and Mingus, Nickel, Sushot?, and Jerry
  6. 2009 - In Lao - ate a pig with Jasper & Funk on that town on the river. 
  7. 2010 - No Hut... Went up to Squaw with Toro for the day. 
  8. 2011 - Robb's Hut with Kai, James & Courtney
2008 - our biggest crew ever?  In the middle of multiple bottles of whiskey, wine, etc... there are games being played... an integral part of any hut trip.

Here's the gallery...

Classic moments in Hut trip history:

2007 - Peter Grubb with Disco Jerry running around.  

2007 - Oscar...

Mingie showing his trust in the ice...

One of my favorite pics of Mingie... from 2006

Lot's of icicle from our second year - 2005

A pic from the first year... at Ludlow.  With scenery like this, it's hard NOT to go back every year.  

2008 - Funk playing nails with a slightly bigger hammer...

We've caught some amazing sunsets over the years at these huts... 


Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Pano: The Expanding Universe @ Timber Cove

Kimbo & Kai at the base of "The Expanding Universe" obelisk at Timber Cove.  Not only a good view, but the only place in the area you can pick up a cell phone signal...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tutorial: Panos using your point and shoot Canon.

Chris hucking a sicky, gnar-licious, spread eagle while Nick looks on...

Since people often ask me how to make these huge's a quick tutorial.

This is for the Canon users...I'm not familiar with other brands... and Canons that has the stitch function.  Some of the older cameras have it, some of the newer ones have it as well... make sure your canon has this stitch function before you buy one.
  1. take pics in "stitch" mode...the pics will be named as STA files on the memory card.
  2. go to and download their program...and donate money if you are in the 1%... or really like them.  
  3. Run the program...and voila! an exquisite pano, ready for you to edit, print... then brag about.  
Here are some good ones...

Some tips...
When taking the pics...
  • make sure to hold the camera steady. One blurry pic is all it takes to ruin the pano.
  • you don't have to line up the pics exactly, just make sure that the pics are take level.  
  • you can organize the pics by date taken, that's the easiest way to get the pics organized.
Using autostitch...
  • I usually go to options, under "edit" and set the scale to 25% for the initial viewing...then if I like the pic, or I think it's ready for printing (8$/ft2 for matte, 10$ for glossy, and 12$ for super glossy at Copy Central on Shattuck Square in Berkeley), I'll set the scale to 100%...the rest of the options, I haven't really played with. 
  • These days I'm a pano dork, so I take a lot of panos.  Some come out ok, some don't.... it's really hard to tell when you are taking the pics to know how it's gonna turn out.  But because I've been taking so many panos, I purchased Autopano Pro, so I can stitch & render all of my images in one click.  It's a lot quicker than doing these panos one at a time... 

Tutorial: Capturing the sunset right between the golden gate bridge.

Kimbo, basking in perfect sunset glory! (from Albany Bulb)

Since I'm either outside, or would like to be outside... I have always enjoyed sunsets/sunrises.  

Anyway, after learning a little about the movements of the sun...the significance of Tropic of Cancer, and the Tropic of Capricorn...(maybe more on this later...but briefly between the two latitudes, your shadow will be directly beneath you at one point in the year...further north or south, this will never happen.)...and many other things at a talk at Costanoa with Kim (

With the curiosity, and the tools (mainly google) to solve the puzzle, I finally figured out when the sun would set exactly in the middle of the golden gate bridge.

This was possible by using National Geo Topo Program, and with the help of the U of O Solar Radiation Monitoring Lab...

Also, check this out too...

Turns out someone has already done this sort of calculations for me...
Golden Gate Sunsets is about as easy as it gets.

View Larger Map

You can calculate the same thing for the moon as well...

And if you wanna see if it's going to be good... here's a good place to look:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekly Pano: Timber Cove

Took a short retreat up the coast to Timber Cove Inn.  Wow, what an amazing coast line we have up there... sure would love to kayak down it... sure would hate to be washed up in the surf.  Gotta get out on the boat some more.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Pano: Echo Lake Kayaking

At the junction of Upper and Lower Echo Lake.  That's Bernard & Kimbo paddling around on Upper Echo Lake.   Present, but not in the pic is Kai Bear... in the ergo baby carrier asleep as I took this pic.