Sea Lions at La Jolla

The evening of our San Diego day was still spent nearby. We drove up the coast to La Jolla Cove to see the famous sea lions. Cute critters with an impressive set of teeth!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sea lion at La Jolla Cove, California.

Sea lions in La Jolla, California.

Fat ones…

Sea lions in La Jolla, California.

…and little ones.

My favourite must have been this guy, who was angry at a sandal.

Seagull is angry at a sandal.

It’s ok seagull, I sometimes get angry at a sandal too. I understand you.

Posted in Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

How’s It Going?

Things that have been going on this month:

-I turned 34. My husband turned 32. Here is an animation I made for him for his birthday.

-Rocky Mountain National Park to see elks bugling. I can’t stop laughing at them. An elk bull is this majestic animals, then during the elk rut it just pulls it head inwards and kinda screams. (Pictures coming)

-We’ve taken everything out from this perfect weather and tried to do as many things as possible. Photo walks in our neighborhood, picnics, driving up to the mountains to see the fall colours.

RiNo art district in Denver, Colorado.

RiNo art district in Denver, Colorado.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Guanella Pass, Colorado.

-A new family member. His name is Prickly Pear Cactus, he is a hedgehog and he is 8 weeks old.

14360074_634795843365195_3960233079846469632_n1

Prickly Pear Cactus, our baby hedgehog.

Posted in Colorado, Denver, Personal, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

San Diego

Let’s continue with the California trip. After an almost good nights sleep in Escondido, we dropped my husbands friend to a border crossing place so he could spend a day in Tijuana. I opted to spend the day in San Diego with my husband who doesn’t have a passport (If he had had, we would’ve gone to Iceland because the flights were so cheap). The day in San Diego ended up being one of my favourites during the trip. I took all the pictures of the ocean and waded in every chance I had.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Silver Strand State Beach, San Diego, California.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

San Diego skyline from Cabrillo National Monument.

The bridge from Coronado Island to San Diego.

The bridge from Coronado Island to San Diego.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The husband, happy.

Our time in San Diego was cut a little bit short. We enjoyed the ocean, had dinner, visited Cabrillo National Monument, had coffee and by that time it was time to pick up my husbands friend from the border and head towards La Jolla and the sea lions (which turned out to be a lot of fun too).

Posted in Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea

Problem: summers being too busy and having too much to post, winters not being busy, meaning there’s nothing to post. I haven’t finished our Memorial Day, 4th of July Utah trip, South Dakota Trip or the California trip and last weekend to celebrate Labor Day, we did some backpacking at Grand Teton National Park. At least I will have a lot of material for the winter months and I’m interested in trying winter backpacking too.

For now I’m going to continue with the California pictures. The third destination, after Mojave Desert National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park was an unusual one for us. We drove down to Salton Sea and up to Slab City and Salvation Mountain.

Salvation Mountain, California.

Salvation Mountain, California.

Salvation Mountain, California.

Salvation Mountain, California.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A reflection of Salvation Mountain.

Donkey Kong welcomes you to Slab City, California.

Donkey Kong welcomes you to Slab City, California.

Slab City, California.

“First Church of the Chocolate Martini”

A trash elephant in Slab City's East Jesus.

A trash elephant in Slab City’s East Jesus.

At this point I had been mostly awake since Denver, allowing the two drivers to sleep and keeping the awake one company. This place is in Southern California. It was a very different place from our typical destinations, when the aim is to spend some time in the nature and relax, wilderness areas being my favourite places and a remote cabin a lifetime goal. Salvation Mountain also marked the hottest point of our trip, the car thermometer showing 116 F/46 C.

My initial fear had been that there’s going to be a lot of people and that I would have to talk with them. Oh what a nightmare for a Finnish introvert! After all, it seemed there were a couple of other tourist groups taking pictures of what seemed to be a scene from the Mad Max series and that’s about it. Maybe the 116F temperature is an enough of a reason for sane people to stay away.

Why did you go see the mountain? Because it was there.

Posted in Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cholla Garden and Making Home

To me the best place in the Joshua Tree National Park were not the Joshua Trees, but the last thing we saw in the park; the Cholla Cactus Garden. The light was still harsh, temperature hot but not the hottest we would experience the same day, that moment would hit us near Salton Sea, but somehow seeing a valley filled with cholla cacti was delightful.

Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, California.

These guys look so soft.

Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, California.

A closer look reveals the truth.

Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, California.

And this is what they look like from the inside!

In the other news, this was the first day in Colorado to feel like autumn. Gray, rainy, cooler, the first time during the summer when I didn’t turn the air conditioner on immediately after walking home. Last year I wrote how the autumn traditions here don’t feel like my own traditions, but today I surprised myself by feeling ready for those new traditions. This is my home now. I’m almost ready for the change of season.

Posted in Personal, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

They Are Not Trees

The second destination of our California trip after Mojave Desert National Preserve was Joshua Tree National Park. At this point we all had been more or less awake for over 24 hours, ever since leaving Denver, drivers taking naps and me trying to stay awake as a companion for the one driving. Towering way above my head, I had to remind myself that these are not actually trees, but a plant in the tribe of Yucca.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Joshua Tree National Park, California.

A view towards Salton Sea.

A view towards Salton Sea.

At this point the temperatures were in the triple digits. Bees were everywhere. I don’t mind bees as long as they are not in the car. Unlike wasps, who are just assholes wearing stripes, bees don’t want to hurt you. They just want your sweat.

Flowers in Joshua Tree National Park.

Flowers in Joshua Tree National Park.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not a skull rock, Joshua Tree National Park.

Newsflash: the above rock is not the Skull Rock. A bit after this we saw the real Skull Rock right next to the road, but I like our Bird Skull Rock better. It looks like a parakeet and it was fun finding it.

 

Posted in Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Desert Creatures

We are back from California. 9 days went by fast and I’m ready for another holiday. The trip started with a long drive through Colorado and Utah, Arizona and Nevada to Mojave Desert National Preserve. Another great desert drive!

Wide open road at Mohave Desert National Preserve.

Wide open road at Mojave Desert National Preserve.

Joshua Trees, Mohave Desert National Preserve.

Joshua Trees, Mojave Desert National Preserve.

The desert and the different varieties of desert still mesmerize me. Even when the day in the desert is way too hot for me, I could stay for days, just for the mornings and the evenings and the starry sky. Maybe because it’s so different from the landscape I grew up with (think about thick spruce or pine forests, lakes, islands, random fields, but a lot of forests) that it still feels new to me. And so many amazing creatures too. Coyotes, beautiful tarantulas which I’ve only seen wild in Big Bend National Park in Texas, scorpions, and the cutest one we were lucky enough to see: the desert tortoise!

Desert tortoise, Mohave Desert National Preserve.

Desert tortoise, Mojave Desert National Preserve.

This young tortoise was close to becoming a roadkill. I was on the front seat, and after seeing the warning sign of the tortoises, keeping close eye on the road. And it was not in vain. This little guy was crossing the road. Since we saw more cars approaching, we moved him (could also be her, who knows about a tortoise) out from the road and made sure he was ok. Safe travels, cute friend! Sometimes I still think what the tortoise is up to. (The picture was taken with a long lens and cropped afterwards, I like to give wild animals the space they deserve.)

Posted in Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On the Road

Traveling. Playing my theme song. My jam. 

Posted in Travel | Tagged , | 1 Comment

About Solitude

I like being alone. If you dropped me, enough supplies, a couple of books and my camera to a small cabin deep in the woods and came to check after a couple of months, I would be perfectly fine, slightly irritated that it’s time for that highly valued solitude to end, but otherwise fine. I rarely seek company. I like being with people, and I have my own people who travel from the other side of the world just so we can hang out, but especially after meeting up with people I don’t know that well, I need a lot of time to recharge. I love being in the remote regions of the country. We couldn’t believe our luck when in Utah we found a campground that was completely ours! Walk-in sites only, so no noisy RVs, no other campers. All ours!

White House Campground, Utah.

White House Campground, Utah.

White House Campground, Utah.

Blistering desert heat.

White House Campground, Utah.

The rock formations.

White House Campground, Utah.

We didn’t even get rained on.

White House Campground, Utah.

Sandstone formations.

Our luck didn’t last and we had to share with a larger and a bit noisy group of people, but the whole place still felt so remote. Waking up in the middle of the night and seeing the milky way above us felt amazing. The best nights are the nights in the tent.

Posted in Camping, Personal, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Achievements

This was a rare summer weekend. We stayed mostly* home, run some errands and relaxed. No camping, no hiking, but after over two years of getting by with a finicky apartment building wifi we finally have an internet connection of our own. Good job, us! What an achievement! I hope this means putting a post together a bit faster and uploading the pictures will be easier which could also mean more regular posts. Although the main reason we stayed home was because I worked for a little bit today and it’s record hot in Denver today, combined with slight smoke from the nearby forest fires. Good enough reason to stay at home and relax.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

After this one relaxing weekend, I’m ready to return to the desert. I’m not done with Utah or New Mexico anytime soon. There is still so much to see and so many places I want to return to. Grosvenor Arch was one of the weirdest locations. It was in the middle of a 50-mile dirt road. After reaching the arc, the actual walkway was paved the whole 1/4 miles (good for people with disabilities, I know). So worth the long drive though. Growing up with forests, the sea, lakes, I’ve found my favourite scenery in the middle of the desert.

Grosvenor Arch, Utah.

Grosvenor Arch, Utah.

*To be honest we tried to do a quick short hike, but slept in and the trailhead parking was full and it was hot so we just went home. I love Colorado being so outdoorsy and at the same time I wish it was a bit less. More for ME…

Posted in Personal, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment