“Tying Up Loose Ends” (Carmel and Big Sur – February 5, 2021 to February 8, 2021)

So I made sure that each of my steps were sure and steady even though my face, legs, and arms were being whipped and scratched by the twigs of the fallen trees as I was scrambling…

“Whimpering Dogs” (Circle X Ranch and The Grotto Falls – January 30, 2021)

…we did notice another party with dogs that were also whimpering. There was something about this place that dogs didn’t seem to like apparently…

“Sin Mascara” (Bonita Falls – January 18, 2021)

Sure enough when we finally got to the familiar entrance for the Eaton Canyon Falls, we saw that the gate to its large parking lot was indeed closed…

“Remote Corners” (Northern California Coast – November 19, 2020 to November 23, 2020)

It was an unfortunate circumstance since the mood had now soured from what should have been a serene and peaceful hike through the forest in pursuit of another one of the waterfalls along the…

“An Out-of-Season Experience” (Paradise Falls – November 11, 2020)

Eventually at about 9:20am, Julie rushed us out of the house just as I was dialing into my meeting. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do any presenting though it would have been good to see…

“Grounded in Summer” (Bonita Falls – June 12, 2020)

It was unnerving to see this many people out here on a Friday, and I’d bet that on the weekends, it would be even worse. Maybe lots of people were already out of school…

“Social Clustering” (Millard Falls – June 9, 2020)

In my mind, I was thinking that all the caution that we were practicing was essentially getting thrown to the wind the moment you start involving people who don’t take this seriously…

“COVID Mixed Signals” (San Antonio Falls – May 8, 2020)

Regardless, by the time we were driving on Mt Baldy Road, we were seeing on multiple occasions flashing signs saying ‘All Baldy Trails Closed’ and ‘Parked Vehicles Will Be Towed Away’…

“Forbidden Social Distancing” (Rubio Canyon Falls – April 14, 2020)

Julie was fearful that they might get reported to police so they stayed behind, but now that planted in my mind that perhaps there was a time limit for my exploration before the cops would show up…

“Cabin Fever” (Dana Point Waterfall – April 10, 2020)

Still, with all the mental stress from being stuck in the house and the uncertainty for how long COVID-19 was going to last in America, we were definitely getting cabin fever. Spring was usually…

“Scratching That College Itch” (Sonoma and Napa Valley – February 21, 2020 to February 23, 2020)

Sure enough, when we got to the Bear Gulch Nature Center, given all the delays that Julie induced on the way here, it turned out that the car in front of us took the very last parking spot…

“Change of Access” (Heart Rock Falls – February 16, 2020)

When they eventually showed up, we ultimately got started on our hike at about 10:20am. Surprisingly, our group actually consisted of about five different families, I think, with lots of kids…

“Hot Sweaty Mess in February” (Trail Canyon Falls – February 8, 2020)

Along the way, I saw quite a few more hikers going up to the falls, including one couple where one woman really looked like she struggled (making me wonder if she had brought enough water…

“Nice But Never Again” (Black Star Canyon Falls – January 4, 2020)

We even had to scramble and skirt by some slippery and eroded ledges or dropoffs (including one rope-assisted part) where Tahia got real nervous and even cried as she was starting to lose confidence..

“Snow Den” (Switzer Falls – December 28, 2019)

Julie and I were hoping big time that it wouldn’t result in a really bad injury to one of them where we’d likely get blamed for bringing them to this hike in the first place should such a calamity…

“Child’s Water Play” (Bass Lake – August 16, 2019 to August 18, 2019)

..I was busy taking pictures before heading out, we noticed that Sophia slipped and fell into a shallow part of Willow Creek. Dad aggressively went into the creek after her when he, too, slipped…

“Date Day” (Sycamore Canyon Falls – June 1, 2019)

Actually, the scrambling up to the top of the falls wasn’t very trivial as I had to grip some sloping hard-rock surfaces that could easily be difficult to get a grip, especially if wet…

“The Gathering” (Sturtevant Falls – May 27, 2019)

It didn’t even matter that some of them had the forest service pass on their dashboards or hanging from their rear-view mirror. The cops also got them for parking over the traffic lines so trying…

“Salvaging Experiences” (Joshua Tree and Tahquitz Falls – May 17, 2019 to May 19, 2019)

…the kids were playing Pharoah or something like that where Joshua buried himself in the sand by camp. Clearly he was oblivious to the fact that he wasn’t going to shower for another night…

“Spring Breaking By The Bay” (The San Francisco Bay Area – April 18, 2019 to April 24, 2019)

…Julie and Tahia made it back to the room as they were returning from their day out. Julie told me about a scary moment when an Uber driver ran the red light and they almost got broadsided…