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Old Aug 5, 2007, 8:45 PM   #1
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...never go on a mountain hike early in the morning.

For about two weeks I've been watching the sky for clouds to catch the sun's rays over a pano of San Luis Obispo. Yesterday I finally saw hints of clouds. However, I never hiked Cerro San Luis, the 1300ft mountain I intended to traverse, before. So rather than risk getting forced to descend in darkness in an attempt to get sunset on the clouds, I decided to try and get the same effect with morning light.

Well I woke up at 5AM and started up the mountain around 5:30. It wasn't until I was about 1/4 into the hike that I realized the top of the mountain was blanketed with clouds. Well, I made it to the top around 6:30, and it was still blanketed. So no sunrise over cloud shot for me.

This whole trip actually was pretty much a disaster. First the clouds wouldn't burn up early enough. Second, near the end of my ascent, my right knee started giving me pains (it's a weird pain where lifting the leg causes pain). Then, after reaching the summit, I took the wrong way down and got lost. What should have been a 2 hour roundtrip turned into 3+ hours thanks to my unintended detour and recurring injury.

This was the best view of the city I could manage. You can see the clouds covering the top of another tall hill, which was the same thing that happened on my mountain, hence the lower altitude shot:


I took this photo about 50 feet from the top. It was pretty misty up there, so I minimized the time I spent with the camera out:


This was taken much lower along a trail I had to take to get back to my start point after getting lost:



All shots taken with the smc-Pentax DA 18-55mm kit lens.

Next time I'll just bring a flashlight and try for a late afternoon shot.

- Jason
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 9:10 PM   #2
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The thorny bud and lady bug is a really nice shot. Sorry to hear about your knee, I hope you have a swift recovery. What do they have locked up on the top of a mountain?

Tim
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 9:24 PM   #3
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Jason - are you getting any smoke up your way? We've been downwind all this weekend, and this morning there was ash over the car (Zaca fire is over 40 miles and severalmajor ridges/terrain features away). I've tried a couple of smokey sunsets but they haven't been particularly successful. I'd much rather have your haze/marine layer!

Your third one is excellent, but I love your black and white lock, my favorite.

Tim - they can have all kinds of things locked on top of a mountain. They have some type of microwave antenna up on Mt. Pinos - the highest point in Los Padres National Forest (and not far from me).
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 9:34 PM   #4
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Tim: I wondered the same thing. I'd like to think (or not think) that they use it to cage mountain lions.

mtngal: I'm not seeing any haze from the fire. We must be too far away, or the mountains protect us from the ash.

- Jason
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 10:17 PM   #5
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Cerro San Luis might have been socked in, but view that you were able to get brought back a lot of memories. I have my BS and MS from CalPoly. I had a house there in SLO town for 20 years, my Uncle ran the water company down in Oceano & Grover City, while his son was County Assessor before he moved up to Shasta quite a few years ago. More or less, I pretty much grew up there. At 11, I got the old jeep stuck in Oso Flaco.

Ever make it down to Port San Luis and Availa Beach for some beach and pier images? See Canyon is great in the spring and fall.....

Good shots!
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 11:15 PM   #6
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The thorn and lady bird shot is terrific, hope that knee does not give you to much trouble.
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