Northern NM Road Trip: Bisti and Angel Peak

•June 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

A short road trip through Northern New Mexico included a stop at The Black Place (made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe), a hike at Bisti Wilderness, and an overnight camp at Angel Peak Scenic Area.  The two latter places are managed by the BLM.  What we saw was slightly different then the tour books and BLM website photo galleries.

The Black Place seen from a nearby vantage point

The Black Place as seen from a nearby vantage point

Drilling the Black Place

Between the Highway and the Black Place

The Black Place ready for more

Getting ready for more at the Black Place

Approaching Bisti

On the road to Bisti

The Road to Bisti

The Bisti/De-na-Zin Wilderness corridor

Bisti Horizon

The Bisti Horizon

Bisti

Inside the Bisti wilderness area

Bisti

The Bisti wilderness area

Chemical Pit at Angel Peak entrance

On the access road to Angel Peak “scenic” area.  This “Land Farm” is in fact a chemical leaching field for the oil and gas rigs at the park.

Gas Drilling at Angel PeakOne of the many Gas drilling stations at Angel Point.  The sound is 24 hrs/day, and reverberates throughout the canyon.

Angel Peak

More like what the BLM website shows for the Angel Peak Scenic Area… of course, minus the noise.

Photo Shoot for John Dole of “Interlachen”

•February 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Shot at Shidoni Gallery, Tesuque, NM

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Photo Shoot for John Simms of his “Imploding Octahedron”

•December 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

John Simms “Imploding Octahedron” at the Shidoni Gallery, Tesuque, NM

Imploding Octahedron

 

Imploding Octahedron

 

Imploding Octahedron

 

And a short video:

 

A Road Trip in Western Turkey

•November 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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Visiting the Amalfi Coast, Italy

•November 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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Traveling in Andalucia, Spain

•November 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Photos of Granada (mostly The Alhambra), Sevilla, and Cordova

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Bike Polo Santa Fe, Saturday, September 22, 2012

•September 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You can see slideshows of the Bike Polo photos in these next two posts, or you can go HERE where you can view individual shots or purchase a download or print.

[64 images]

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Bike Polo Santa Fe, Sunday, September 23, 2012

•September 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You can see slideshows of the Bike Polo photos in these first two posts, or you can go HERE where you can view individual shots or purchase a download or print.

[57 images]

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Santa Fe Photo Walk, Sept 8, 2012

•September 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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Santa Fe Hill Climb Photos: MAIN CAMERA

•August 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You can see slideshows of the 2012 Santa Fe Hill Climb photos in the first three posts, or you can go HERE where you can view individual shots or purchase a download or print.

MAIN PHOTOS:  CAMERA ONE

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Santa Fe Hill Climb Photos: ALTERNATE CAMERA

•August 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You can see slideshows of the 2012 Santa Fe Hill Climb photos in the first three posts, or you can go HERE where you can view individual shots or purchase a download or print.

ALTERNATE PHOTOS: CAMERA TWO

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Santa Fe Hill Climb: DOWNHILL

•August 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You can see slideshows of the 2012 Santa Fe Hill Climb photos in the first three posts, or you can go HERE where you can view individual shots or purchase a download or print.

DOWNHILL PHOTOS

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Lightroom-4 Training Series

•July 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This series of training modules will provide a strong knowledge base in the fundamentals of Adobe Lightroom4.  There will be four, 2.5-hour sessions that can be taken individually or as a series.   Class size is limited to 6 students to ensure everyone receives the most from the sessions. 

The 4 training sessions are as follows, and will be held every Wednesday after the first Session in my studio. To learn more, go to the Santa Fe Photo Group website.

 

SESSION I)    Getting Started with the Fundamentals   [Aug 8]

  • THE LR OVERVIEW                 
  • IMPORTING
  • EXPORTING

SESSION II)  Making LR Work For You   [Aug 15]        

  • THE LIBRARY MODULE

SESSION III) The Digital Darkroom   [Aug 22]

  • THE DEVELOP MODULE

 SESSION IV) You’re not done until you show your photos   [Aug 29]

  • THE PRINT, SLIDESHOW, AND MAP MODULES

 

Painting with light at Seton Castle on a cloudy (full moon) night

•July 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Fire Light

240 sec at f/8.0 ISO 100

____________________

In the Shadow    

310 sec at f/8.0 ISO 100

__________________

Powers of Observation

310 sec at f/8.0 ISO 100

__________________

Light Perception

240 sec at f/8.0 ISO 100

Flamenco Guitarist in Corsica

•June 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Try to hang with this video for 3 minutes so you can see her hands as she really gets going.  It’s something.

The Italian Alps Ride 4: The Umbrial-Stelvio Loop, or as they call it here, “Stelvio-Stelvio”, 2 passes with 63 miles and 10,413’ of vertical

•June 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The route:  http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/190326076

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The first climb is to the Umbrial Pass, which is basically 90% of Stelvio from the south.  That part was 12 miles and 4200 feet.  I took it real slow, enjoying the ride, and leaving my legs as fresh as possible for the next big one.

Then, after a peaking the Umbrial summit, we had a very quick downhill, a short journey though Switzerland, all while dropping 5000’ in 20 miles.  Then, we then headed up Stelvio’s 49 switchbacks from the north.

That climb is 15.5 miles and has a vertical gain of 6200’, and tops out at 9050’ elevation.  A truly fantastic climb.  Wonderful.  And the downhill drops 4800’ in 13 miles.  It was a real screamer on a perfect road.  I loved every second.

The Italian Alps Ride 3: An easy rest day with only 21 miles and 2650’ of vertical

•June 17, 2012 • 1 Comment

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This was a rest day in preparation for tomorrow, which will be our last and biggest day on the bike.  We ride the Umbrial-Stelvio loop which gives us 90% of Stelvio on from the South, and 100% of Stelvio from the North (all 48 switchbacks!).  It’ll be 64 miles and over 10,000’ of vertical.

I finished the ride with what will probably be my last pizza in Italy.  I savored every bite.

The Italian Alps Ride 2: The Mortirolo, 54 miles with 6152’ of vertical

•June 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The ride detail: http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/189521265

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The ride today was not the most difficult we’ve done; however, the climb was probably the most difficult single climb I’ve ever done.  It’s regarded one of the toughest climbs in all of Europe! [4160′ over 7.5 miles]

The hotel owner lead the ride with 8 guests.  I’m the oldest in the group, but not by much.  Two other guys are just about my age.  Old guys killing themselves going up the most difficult road bike climbs in Europe.  Is that insane or what?

The main road up was tiny, mostly one small-car width, more a bike path really, and the only cars allowed on it are people who live on this insanely steep road, so it was very quiet, twisty and steep.  Parts were 20%!!!!!!

I can understand the word “mort” in the name of the pass.

A drive from Alta Badia to Bormio and a great dinner at the Hotel Funivia

•June 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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We left the Dolomites on a beautiful sunny day for a leisurely drive to Bormio in the Alps.  This was a greatly needed cycling rest day, because tomorrow we’re doing a monster climb.

The Dolomites are amazing to see, and we soaked in the beauty as we wound around our final pass and headed towards Bolzano in the lower valley.

Driving up Passo Stelvio (which we’ll ride up on Monday), we shared the road with dozens and dozens of cyclists, most of which looked to be suffering as they grunted up the 49 switchbacks to the top.  I could feel their pain.

We received a warm and genuine welcome at the Hotel Funivia upon our return:  “Ciao Roberto” with double-European kisses.

Dinner of course was excellent.  The food at our hotel in Badia was very good, usually with 5 elegant courses.  But tonight at the Funivia was quite the treat.  We started with ravioli with ricotta and spinach.  Simple, delicate, and flavorful.  Next was a grilled salmon with chopped sauteed vegetables.  Desert was a delicate apple tart with a small digestif-glass of peach ice cream and fresh berries. Yup, I was full.

The Dolomites Ride 2: The Giau, 56 miles and 8189’

•June 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Route Details:  http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/188875077

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This route has 3 passes; The Giau was the second and it was a tough climb:  3000’ of vertical over 6.3 miles with an average grade of over 9%.  That’s about the same gain as the SF ski basin in half the distance.  Ouch.

The weather today was cloudy, and cold on the descents, but there was no rain, and it was warm on the climbs.  This meant layers were coming off on the up and coming back on for the downs.

This was a fantastic ride with great climbs, blistering fast descents, and a flat-ish section along the high-side of a very deep and steep canyon.  We must have been a thousand feet above the villages that were along the river far below us.

The Dolomites Ride 1: The Sellaronda, 46 miles and 7008’ of vertical (should have been 38 miles & only 5700’ but I took a wrong turn)

•June 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Today’s route:  http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/188581752

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The Dolomites are incredible.  The mountains are vertical granite rock faces jutting into the sky out of a rolling blanket of deep green grass.  It’s quite something.  Particularly given the fact that there are these beautiful roads winding amongst all the peaks.

On the second descent it started raining, then it turned into frozen rain, and then hail, and when I came to a turning option I went the wrong way.  Dave was behind one of the switchbacks, so he didn’t see my error. This resulted in me going downhill around 14 switchbacks only to end up in a small village that I immediately knew was the wrong one.

So, back up I went, in the rain.  But, because I was climbing for an hour, I generated enough body heat to balance out the cold and wet, and it actually didn’t feel all that bad.  The rain cleared, and I was able to enjoy the amazing beauty of this area.

I sure was cold upon my return.

Italian Alps – Ride 1, Cancano+Bormio 2000, 30 miles with 4,878’ of climbing

•June 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Today’s climbs:

Cancano: http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/187921511

Bormio 2000: http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/187976079

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After a generous breakfast spread we got our rental bikes fitted.  The bike garage in the hotel is practically a bike shop.  They rent Pinarello carbon fiber road bikes.  This is an exceedingly high quality bike for a rental.

In the morning there were dozens of cyclists heading off in different directions.  The Belgians decided to tough it out on a 130km route that guaranteed to bring rain, cold, and possibly some snow.  But, they went anyway.

The hotel owner suggested we do two rides that are closer to the hotel and would be great climbs but not with the risk of being stuck several hours away from the hotel in the rain.  He and one of their employees took Dave and I on the Cancano climb, which was about 8 miles up while we gained about 2500 feet.  Lots of switchbacks and spectacular views of the Alps and the deep green valleys below.  The ride topped out by riding through a tunnel that was cut in the side of the rock face.

We found a rainless window for this first ride, and the rain started upon our return.  We hung around for a few hours, then the sun came out again, and we did the second climb.  Then the rain came again an hour or so after we finished.

The second climb was to the ski lifts.  Nice road, another 8 mile or so climb, and another 2400’ up.  It was a super fast downhill.

Then, at the hotel, we were greeted with cakes, cheeses, and a selection of meats and breads.   I can’t wait to see what dinner brings us.

This is by far the most cyclist friendly hotel I’ve ever seen.  It’s one thing to slap a slogan on your website that say’s “bike hotel”, but this place is the real thing.  Everything about it is here to be accommodating and friendly.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Check out their site at:  http://www.hotelfunivia.it

Corsica to Italy

•June 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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We took the overnight ferry from Corsica to Italy and rented a hot little Peugeot which is perfect for sharing the road with the Italians.

But, let’s get to the real story:  The first order of business when driving in Italy is to stop at the first AutoGrill and have a real coffee (French coffee can be good, but let’s face it, they don’t quite get it like the Italians), and a piece of pre-packaged focaccia (something I wouldn’t touch with a 10’ pole in the US) that I knew would be good, and it was.

And then there was lunch, easily the best meal in the last week.  I started with a thinly sliced and partially grilled zucchini appetizer lightly covered with sweet onions and a touch of olive oil, arranged inside a ring of crostini toasts.  I was in heaven.  Then I had freshly made tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and just a hint of olive oil and garlic.  Yum.

We’re staying at a “cycling hotel” in Bormio.  Bormio is a ski town in winter, and pretty damn quiet in June except for some cyclists and hikers.  This a VERY cyclist-friendly hotel. [ http://www.stelviobikehotel.it ] The room includes a welcome water bottle, free breakfast and a four course dinner (more on that later), pre-ride snacks and post ride tea, free overnight laundry for cycling clothes, free wi-fi that reaches the sleeping rooms (!), ride slip details, a group cycling guide, large rooms and nice beds.   All for 70EURO per person per night.

However, the weather is currently questionable.  We drove over one of the passes we want to ride.  It was a killer climb, about the length of the ski basin (16 miles), but almost twice the elevation gain (over 5,000′).  The temperature at the top was 40 degrees which would make for a very cold descent.  Plus, there is a 90% chance of rain every day.   But, I’m not coming here and missing these climbs…even if I get wet, and cold.

Now, back to dinner.  You start with a “salad bar” which is nothing like your average Macaroni Grill offering. I had a small bed of arugula with fava beans and proscuitto.  Then, my first course was small sheets of fresh pasta with a rabbit ragout.  Next, was a plate with two tiny breaded chicken breasts over a just a few perfectly cooked “frittes”.  Then, some cheese, and of course a bit of vino rosso to keep it company.  Thank goodness I’m cycling like a madman or this would definitely put on the extra pounds.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings…

 

June 8: Cycling Corsica, Day 6, the final day with 63 miles and 5564’

•June 8, 2012 • 1 Comment

Route detail is here: http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/186836015

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It’s hard to imaging that our Corsica rides are over.  This will go down as one of the very best road cycling destinations I’ve ever cycled.  I will definitely be back.

In 6 days we rode only 406 miles (ave. 68 miles/day), but we climbed just over 40,000’ (ave 6,682’/day).  Definitely the most climbing I’ve ever done in 6 days.  We only did 10,000’ more than that in Tibet over 18 days!

It’s now time for two days off the bike, then the Italian Alps for 2 days then the Dolomites for 5 days.  The legs need a rest.

Today we cycled once again through some beautiful river canyons.  The roads were narrow, steep, and had plenty of cows and pigs to keep us alert.

The weather has been perfect for cycling (at least my definition of perfect):  sunny and in the high 70’s to low 80’s.  Can’t beat that.

June 7: Cycling Corsica, A killer climb loop from Corte, 63 miles 7600’

•June 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Route detail is here: http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/186499186

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Today’ route slip said 8100’ of climbing but I am NOT disappointed it was “only” 7600.

This loop from Corte took us through the “Defile de l’Inzecca”.  I have no idea what that means, but it was one hell of a deep canyon.  Very remote and wooded.

However, to get to the top, we had to climb 2800’ over 8.5 miles on a road part of which was under construction…we think for another stage of the TDF next year.