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Not exactly Sierra Mountains, but...

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Not exactly Sierra Mountains, but...

Postby Hikin Mike » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:01 pm

I’ve always loved the rolling hills of California’s Pacheco Pass (highway 152), especially in the springtime. The grass is green and wildflowers are everywhere. I really wanted to photograph this area but it’s a very dangerous highway and I couldn’t drive or walk.

On this particular day I had my camera with me. I had to go to Stanford Hospital and on the way home, I wanted to take some photos of some Tule Elk at the San Luis NWR. We started up the climb to Pacheco Pass and I decided to try to take some photos as I was sitting here on the back seat on the van. The skies were sunny and there weren’t any clouds. Perfect day. I had some obstacles though. I had a great view, the van had a great big window, but the glass was tinted heavily. I had to open it up almost all the way to get enough light and also freeze the landscape…remember we were traveling at 70 mile per hour.

I didn’t get any Elk that day…too far away. I did get a few good shots from the drive though. I really loved this shot. These three trees couldn’t have been more perfect and all at 70 MPH!

Three Trees and 70 MPH ~ Pacheco Pass, California
Canon 300D, 17-40

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Postby hikerduane » Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:29 am

Living up here in the mountains, I always look in awe at the greening up come Spring when I have to travel to lower elevations like Chico. I see the oaks are out in your photo. Up here they aren't budging any and the dogwood isn't doing much yet either. The month I was a Bud man over 20 years ago, I got to travel down the Feather River canyon to Storey to deliver beer and got to soak up the spring colors a happening.

Piece of cake.
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Postby copeg » Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:04 am

Wow Mike, at 70mph! Excellent job!
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Postby Trekker » Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:23 pm

Always loved to ride my motorcycle in the foothills when I lived up in Stockton, especially in the spring. Plus, there's always a buildup of excitement when driving to the Sierra as you transition from the boring flatlands of the Central Valley to the foothill country! :) I remember riding my motorcycle through Pacheco Pass years ago and the wind was blowing so hard, my bike was leaning at a 45 degree angle into the wind even though I was going straight!!! I could swear the wind actually lifted my tires off the road a couple of times! :eek: Fairly scary!

Kind of miss those rides! :(
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Postby SSSdave » Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:00 pm

We always look at those fine valley oaks across from Casa DF too. I asked folks at CDF if they knew which cattle rancher owned those hills since I considered asking for permission to visit and they were uncertain. There is another ranch closer to the pass that I've found reason to drool over and may some spring go up and ask them. My favorite Sierra foothill areas for this kind of oak and grassland, otherwise know as blue oak savana, are in Mariposa and Madera Counties. One needs to pay dues driving the many backroads (often dirt) to appreciate that. Unfortunately like other California blue oak savana area those are almost entirely private property areas. ...David
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