Looking at Morro Bay from Cerro Alto

Joe in the Ventana Wilderness

Joe in the Ventana Wilderness
click image for my fine art and photos

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Sierra is doing fine ,
She is now two years old , healthy and living a
dogs life .


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pine Ridge Trail

This Pine Ridge Trail adventure into the Ventana wilderness as always was for Wayne , Sierra ( my dog ) and I  a huge success . The weather was cool and sunny . The nights were cold with temperatures as low as 28 degrees which made for good sleeping and enjoyment of warm bonfires . My Marmot 30 degree bag was perfect .  Day time highs were in the low 70 s . Perfect hiking weather !
 My pack for this 4 day adventure weighed 30 lbs. and my dog Sierra carried a 12 lb. pack ( 5 lbs. of which was my booze , camp stove ) she also carried her water , food , shoes , and jacket . she is now 2 years old and as she matures I give her more chores to do ! Now I wish I had two German Shepard Dogs . By this fall Sierra will carry an additional 2 lbs. of my load .
It was a little early for the spring color and the brilliant Fall colors were all gone . Water was low but plentiful .
Our adventure route was China Camp to Pine Ridge camp , we returned via the ridge trail to Pine valley using the Bear Basin Connector trail , and then day hiked the Hiding Canyon trail . We also spent time in the all  natural amphitheater  behind Jack English cabin .
The highlight of the trip was a surprise dinner prepared by two friends Bill and Dennis . In addition to their standard backpacking gear , they carried while hiking up from the church creek ranch for a total of seven miles , one pound steaks for each of us , three premium bottles of red wine , bread , two large filets of Salmon , and a couple of pounds of shrimp .   These guys are real studs !
I supplied the before dinner booze thanks to Sierra .
Dinner was fantastic !!!!!!!
All and all the adventure was great but I don't recommend hiking the Hiding trail or the Bear Basin Trail unless you enjoy tough grades , lots of dead tree falls , and lack of switch backs .
The only reason we hiked these trails is we lack common sense and enjoy rugged challenges .
Additional note , Sierra , my dog , lost 1.5 lbs. I lost 2.5 lbs and Wayne gained 2 lbs. I suggested to Wayne that maybe he had insufficient bowel movements and he responded that was it for sure as his wife Pam says he is full of it .
Enjoy the photos .
Sierra and I
 sunset from Ridge camp
 sunrise fron ridge camp
westward view from ridge camp

mountain lion track
bear track

Joe unloading Sierra at day end
Sierra sitting on air field at Jack's ccabin
portrait taken by Wayne

Junipero Serra from  Ridge Trail , our lunch spot
Junipero Serra
Salinas Valley From trail
Wayne and I feasting on rib eye steak, wine bottle
in foreground . Pine Valley Dinner .

Wayne loves tree falls
bear scat

Pine Valley from ridge trail west of divide

young hikers we met

 Wayne admires new sign at ridge

Joe and Sierra climbing over fall
Sierra waiting for help in climbing with load
Sure glad she knows command " jump "


 Wayne singing the doggie song  for guests .
Wayne missed his calling . He would have excelled as an entertainer .
For those of you who don't know , Wayne also plays the guitar .
Sierra and young studs rock climbing .

hiding Canyon trail head  bad news
once again Junipero Serra
 I love seeing this mountain in the distance
and have hiked it several times .
This peak is  5700 ft.
The gain is  4300 ft.
Below is a view of this mountain as seen
from a peak I hike daily
Cerro Alto over
fifty miles south of Junipero .