Colin Schindler
Photography, cycling, wandering, wondering...

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Hello Pacific

We've enjoyed our first few days in California venturing through so many grand and beautiful landscapes. Our first stop was the Kelso Sand Dunes in the Mojave Desert. The towering dunes were made visible long before we reached them, appearing at the bottom of a valley contrasted by mountains. The steep hike was rewarded with an amazing 360 degree view of the expanding dunes with diminishing mountain layers as a background.

Michelle starting the hike to the top of the Kelso Sand Dunes.

Michelle starting the hike to the top of the Kelso Sand Dunes.

Michelle with the dunes in the background.

Never forget your fanny.

Foootsteps in the dunes.

Follow the footsteps.

Michelle with dunes in background.

Michelle portrait.

Dune Assault.

Dune Assault.

How do they even get this big?

How do they even get this big?

Dunescape.

Dunescape.

Final ridge.

Final ridge.

Michelle on the top.

Michelle on the top.

Colin on the top.

Colin on the top.

After Kelso, we hurried off to Joshua Tree deciding on the fly to arrive at Ryan Mountain for a sunset hike. Our timing was perfect allowing for us to view the sunset from about halfway up the mountain and finish the hike with the sunset fading to our right and the full moon rising to our left. We met a Chilean climbing instructor, Christian, that was visiting from Jackson Hole and got to talk excitedly about our time in Patagonia, our current trip and California. He gave us our number so maybe we can meet up with him in Jackson Hole at the end of our trip.

Sunset from the Ryan Mountain Trail in Joshua Tree.

Sunset from the Ryan Mountain Trail in Joshua Tree.

White rock of Joshua Tree National Park.

White rock of Joshua Tree National Park.

Sunset

The rocks of Joshua Tree lit by the sunset.

Ryan Mtn Trail with colored sky.

Colorful sky over Ryan Mountain.

Hiking as the light fades.

Hiking as the light fades.

The full moon rising behind a Joshua tree.

The full moon rising behind a Joshua tree.

Venus between some Joshua trees.

Venus between some Joshua trees.

Our last few days have been spent exploring Los Angeles. We nearly skipped it but decided not to and I'm very glad we didn't. I admit, we had a negative view of L.A. but have been entranced with the feeling of energy, endless options, and varying landscapes. We dipped our toes in the Pacific and admired the diverse mix of active people biking, roller-blading, skating, playing instruments, bouncing on slack lines, climbing ropes, swinging through rings, playing volleyball, frisbee, flying drones and kites, swimming in the ocean. We wandered through a pier containing an amusement park before ending the evening at a cafe watching the sunset. A bit overwhelming but, jesus, it's so uplifting/motivating to experience.

At long last, the Pacific Ocean.

At long last, the Pacific Ocean.

Biking along the beaches of Santa Monica.

Biking along the beaches of Santa Monica.

Fish taco cheers.

Fish taco cheers.

Snarf.

Snarf.

Elysian park

Elysian Park drive.

Grafiti along Bryce trail through Elysian Park.

Grafiti along Bryce trail through Elysian Park.

Beautiful landscape aside from the smog.

Beautiful landscape aside from the smog.

The LA cityscape.

The LA cityscape.

Flowers blooming along the trail.

Flowers blooming along the trail.