Well, today we returned home from our week and a half of travel in California. We were sad to leave my parents, but we had such a fun trip!
FYI, I’ll be filling in my daily posts from the trip over the next few days, so they will be out of chronological order for a week or so as I publish them alongside the current daily posts.
Today’s photos were taken with my iPhone 12 Mini, which I used quite a lot during this trip. The photos that produces look really nice when viewed on the small screen, but when I edit them in Lightroom, you can quickly see the limitations of the small sensor/lens combination. Still, it’s fast and convenient. Definitely usable!
Flight delays! Today we spent many hours sitting in the airport waiting to get out of Austin to fly to San Francisco via LAX. The mechanical problems with the plane meant that we arrived in San Francisco five hours later than planned, but we made it! (And we were all reimbursed nicely by JetBlue for the inconvenience)
This is the first time since the pandemic started that we traveled by air, and apart from the mandatory masks and social distancing, it felt just like normal. We’ve all been vaccinated so we feel comfortable traveling now. (If someone in my family was unable to get the vaccination, I’d probably not be traveling, though.) The reason for our trip to California is to check out a few universities that Koa is interested in attending, and of course to relax, sight-see a bit, and visit family.
During the flight I watched Nomadland, which is one of the movies I am interested in. I’m actually halfway through the book on which the movie is based, so it was really neat to see the big-screen adaptation. The movie was great! And the book (so far) is also excellent. They really give you a lot to think about.
Our Austin-to-LAX flight was delayed about four hours but we didn’t miss our connection at LAX because it was actually the same plane flying the second leg of our journey, so we just had to deplane, wait for the cleaning crew to do their thing, and then re-board. The LAX-to-SFO flight was less than an hour (yay!), then Mariko picked us up from the airport and we all went to our hotel which is very near to Pier 39.
What a long day of travel! After all that effort and stress, I feel like we’ve earned an extra-nice vacation. 😀
This morning I woke up at 5 am and right outside my tent was the Milky Way. It was awesome! I got out my Fujifilm X-E4 with 18-55 mm lens, put it on the Ultrapod and took a few shots. There were only a few clouds in the sky so the shots looked pretty good, and I even captured a few shooting stars. In fact, with the 30-second exposure, almost every shot had at least one shooting star in it. It was so cool!
Soon, the sun made its way into the day, and after a sunrise photo and some coffee, it was time to hit the trail. We hiked Laguna Meadows Trail all the way down to the Chisos Basin, seeing one large bear along the way. It was digging a hole near the trail so we had to scoot past pretty quickly, bear-spray at the ready. Very exciting!
At the end of the hike, I splurged on a Topo Chico and mango ice cream bar before we hit the road. After a couple of hours we arrived at Fort Stockton and had lunch at Pepito’s, where I had a huge burger. It was a good way to satisfy my hiker hunger!
Here are a few more photos and the Strava track from the last day of our Big Bend trip. Enjoy!