21. February 2013
Yesterday was such a gorgeous day, my sister and I did a hike we have wanted to for a long time. It’s called Black Diamond Mines. Located near Antioch, it’s part of the East Bay Regional Park District. From the 1850’s thru the 1900’s, there were several towns there that supported coal mining. Coal was the black diamond. Over 4 million tons of coal were dug out. They also mined underground sand for glass making.
The park was a pretty good ride from San Jose-by-the-sea, but worth it. Most of the facilities don’t open until March 1 – bummer, but we avoided the $5 entrance fee. The visitor center is open and couple rangers provide help. Most of the mines are sealed up but during the summer, they give tours of the big mine.
It was a great Half Dome training site. There were humongous hills on either side of the trails. We logged almost 4 hours and slept well that night. This is a recommended hike for Bay area folks.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “You can lead …
2. February 2013
Back in July, we told you about Google’s roving mobile camera and that they captured the roads in Yosemite.
Now the Mt View, CA has taken the technology one step further. They have released a new program under Google maps that will let you take a virtual hike in the Grand Canyon. They claim to have 75 miles of trails that you can “walk” at home. Their staff strapped on the video capture device shown below.
That looks like a pretty hefty weight to be hauling all the way to the Colorado River down the Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch. And back up. They used images from an October trip.
What do you think? Will people use this to help plan their trip to see “what it’s like?” Or will they sit on their recliner and save the money and sweat and “check off” that they’ve “been there?” Here’s what a snapshot looks like:
I’d guess they will do Yosemite next. I’ve already seen a commercial video of the entire Half Dome hike – done with a hand held videocam. The Google method lets you “turn around” and zoom …
25. December 2012
No word has been released as to progess in the search for a pilot who was enroute to Mammoth Lakes last week. The plane he was flying was a popular model first designed in the 1950’s. It has a low wing and retractable landing gear.
It’s unknown which model of the popular 4-seater Moody M20 series was used. The original design had wooden wings. The plane underwent many modifications over the years (including the use of metal components), indicated by a suffix added to the M20 designation. The M20TN is the latest version, built in 2006. Depending on the model, the aircraft can fly at over 200 mph and over 25,000 feet high.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I owned the world that hour as I rode over it. Free of the earth, free of the mountains, free of the clouds, but how inseparably I was bound to them.” – Charles Lindbergh
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com