Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apr 30 - Horseshoes and Watchtowers

I never planned on catching the sunrise at any point on this trip. For some reason, though, I was awake at 5am and couldn't sleep. So I decided to get up.

I left Grand Canyon NP through the east entrance. Along the way is the Desert View Watchtower.

It's basically a gift shop that was designed to fit into the natural landscape as much as possible.

Just outside Page, AZ is this wicked 270-degree curve in the Colorado River, aptly named Horseshoe Bend. Since I arrived so early, I did the short hike and scouted the place out. Although I have a 16-35mm lens, my 1.6x crop factor prevents me from getting the entire view in a single frame.

I returned later on to catch a not-so-spectacular sunset. The shot below is a 3-shot panorama - something I pretty much never do. Strangely, I think I prefer the broad daylight shot above.

Apr 29 - Junior Rangers

I was pretty sore from the hike the day before. So I intentionally stuck to touristy things like this geology talk at the Yavapai Geology Museum. I like how attentive these Junior Rangers look.

A cool looking tree I found near Yaki Point.

An artist painting somewhere near Bright Angel Lodge.

There were a handful of elk grazing near the train depot. I just happened to catch a shuttle bus providing a nice backdrop.

The sunsets I witnessed weren't all that spectacular, but this was my last evening at the Grand Canyon, so I needed something to show for it.

Apr 28 - Mule Poop

I don't really celebrate my birthday, but what better way to spend the day than to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon? I decided to do the Bright Angel Trail up to Plateau Point. The elevation drop is about 3,000 feet and the round trip is about 12 miles. It is officially the farthest the National Park Service recommends you go on a day hike.

Along the way, I spotted this bee. I snapped off a few frames and just as I was about to stop, another bee buzzed its way in. Great timing!

One thing about the Bright Angel Trail - there is certainly a lot of mule poop. Whenever a mule convoy comes through, you have to stand aside and let them pass. Luckily, this only happened to me once.

Another thing about the Bright Angel trail - drinking water is available at the 1.5 mile house, the 3 mile house, Indian Garden, and then this spigot near Plateau Point. You definitely need a lot of water on this hike.

The wisdom of this sign is unmatched. I'm not even being facetious when I say that.

Colorado River! I made it to Plateau Point in about 3 hours. I spent about an hour there before heading back on my uphill slog. It took me about 3.5 hours back to the trailhead for a total of a 7.5-hour hiking day. Not bad considering the guide says it takes 8-12 hours. (I essentially did it in less than 7, but I have a long way to go before I feel comfortable doing Half Dome).

Apr 27 - Grand Flare

I had a few days off surrounding my birthday. I figured I was way overdue to see the Grand Canyon for the first time, especially since I currently have an America the Beautiful pass. I had such a lazy start to my trip, I didn't leave Vegas until 1pm. Fortunately, I still got to the south rim with plenty of time to set up my tent and go catch the sunset somewhere.

I usually try to avoid lens flare, but this is one case where I tried to capture it on purpose. It's not quite as dramatic as I had hoped, but quite frankly (and sadly), this is the best photo I've got for this first day of my trip. And being the thorough (read: anal) person that I am, I can't not include at least one photo for each day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Apr 25 - Barstaurant Bowl

I invited my cousins to everyone's favorite neighborhood Korean Barstaurant for an early birthday celebration. Yes, it was my idea. And before I knew it, the ACTS sisters took care of the bill! Thanks cousins.

I can't really explain the photo above. Maybe the Bibimbap was just that good (it was). And guess what? I'm now on Soyo's photo wall twice! (The first time was last week).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Apr 24 - My First Easter

I'm glad I posted my food truck stalking today because Teri saw it and decided to come down. Yay for social networking.

Drake was wearing a bib that says, "My First Easter." Well this was one heck of a first Easter! First Korilla BBQ from New York City, then off to Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese from Boston, and finally our very own local ladies - Snow Ono Shave Ice!

Apr 23 - Dog Tired

Bawoo! He looks so different without all of his shaggy fur. This was taken outside Slidin' Thru HQ. We were out there to check out a couple of the food trucks that are in town for season 2 of the Great Food Truck Race. We got to try The Lime Truck and Seabirds - both from Orange County, CA. We signed waivers in case we end up on TV.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apr 17 - AFAN Taiko

Despite my lack of sleep, I got up on Sunday morning to do the AFAN AIDS walk. I love me some Taiko. So when I saw these performers along the walk, I knew I had to capture them.

Apr 16 - Fan Form

I finally joined Jia at Desert Breeze Park for some Saturday morning Tai Chi. I followed along during a couple of the easier forms. Then things got hardcore. First, they busted out the swords. Then, they finished off with the fan form.

Apr 11 - Hot Babes

"These are not the hot babes you're looking for."

I went on a photo walk with Lisa Bettany and Leo Laporte. Unfortunately, I pretty much hate everything I shot that evening. But I feel like I have to post something to show for it. And so I present this photo for comedic purposes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Apr 9 - Rise Up Japan

Awesome job by everyone involved. The Rise Up Japan bake sale raised around $3500. Fantastic sweet treats, wonderful local performers, and an amazing Vegas community. Great success!

Apr 7 - Test Tube Scotch

This was taken at our "Mad Men Blends" Yelp event. We were each given five test tubes, each filled with a different Scotch. After sniffing each one, we attempted to make our own blend. A master blender I am not. Luckily, we had another glass that was already filled with a masterfully blended Scotch.

Sunday, April 3, 2011