Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for the 'Mountains' Category

Tunkhannock

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Here are some photos from a recent drive Sarah and I took to the rather quaint town of Tunkhannock, PA, and the surrounding area. I don’t have much commentary, except that I managed to get the car temporarily stuck on an ice patch while attempting to turn around. A guy in a pickup truck came by and suggested an alternate route, which worked out very well.

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Tracks by the Susquehanna River

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Looking the other way

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Tunkhannock

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Another part of Tunkhannock

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Weird house

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The house across the street

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Darkness falls

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Door

Exploring the Back Mountain Trail

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

I have hardly ridden so far in 2009. I was sick for some time, and starting a business is proving to be more time-c0nsuming than I imagined. And with no commute, it’s hard to make myself do even short daily rides.

However, I did get out one day last week. I intended to ride to the end of the Back Mountain Trail and back, but I got sidetracked not long after I got on the trail. I saw a side trail that Sarah and I noticed when we hiked there, and decided to see where it went. I wasn’t really expecting much. Here’s a map of my ride.


View Larger Map

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Looking up the side of the mountain

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Waterfall

What I found was, the trail switches back and forth and climbs up the side of the mountain. There are a couple of offshoots that don’t go anywhere along the way, and the climb featured some loose rocks, tight turns, steep climbs, and overgrown sections.

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Trail

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The Trucker, on an overgrown side trail

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Climb

The trail just kept going up. Eventually, I reached a clearing. I saw a couple of fire pits, and excellent views of surrounding mountains and part of Wyoming Valley, below.

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Panoramic view from the top

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My bicycle, on the edge

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Trail heading the other way

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My bicycle, by the power line tower

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Notice the bike at the base of the tower

I also had a nice view of Bunker Hill Road, where I often ride. It’s a hell of a climb, and you can see most of it on the photo below. The road isn’t as straight as the line would have you believe.

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Looking toward Bunker Hill Road

I explored a side trail, looking for other views of Bunker Hill Road. I had some luck, but hit a private property line and turned back.

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Another view of Bunker Hill Road

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Looking back toward the valley
from whence I came

Having exhausted my possibilities in that direction, I headed the other way. I was on a loose trail briefly, and then hit a gravel road. I soon figured out that it was going to meet up with Cliffside Drive, a familiar road that I knew I could easily take to a different part of the Back Mountain Trail. I enjoyed quite an exhilarating gravel road descent.

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Power lines and wildflowers

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Hitting gravel

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Riding downhill on a gravel road

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Looking back

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More descending

I got back on the Back Mountain Trail, and rode to the end of that section. They were working on the steep hill at the end, putting in some stairs. That could make things interesting for those who ride the trail, rather than walking it. To be fair, I have had to walk that hill anyway as it’s steep and hard to get traction in the gravel. Still, stairs will only make it harder. I hope they are going to make some alternate accommodations for bikes.

What started out as a routine ride turned into a fun exploratory ride — and even though I wasn’t out for very long, I found a very cool new area. I will have to see if there are any other side trails that connect to the Back Mountain Trail.

Back Mountain Trail on foot, and some nighttime photography

Monday, December 15th, 2008

On Saturday, we hiked part of the Back Mountain trail. We had contemplated going to a state park for a more challenging hike, but then we fell asleep on the couch and by the time we got moving again, it was too late.

It was a chilly day, in the 20s, and there was a little bit of snow and ice in places. Despite our late start and the cool weather, we managed to hike about 4 miles.

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Back Mountain Trail

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Toby Creek

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Slightly revised fees

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Sarah and Rob

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Icicles

The Back Mountain Trail has some beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, it’s rather noisy, with PA Route 309 running right below it. I found the noise a little more bothersome on foot than it is when I’m on my bicycle. Still, it felt great to be outside.

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Rock face and trail

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Ongoing construction — I need to find out what this structure is. They were doing some welding.

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Waterfall

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A nearly-vertical cloud

It was getting dark quickly, so the photos get pretty dark here, but they depict the moment well, I think. I could mess around with them and try to make them brighter, but the growing vagueness as darkness fell was part of the allure.
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Sarah and Rob again

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Me

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Sarah

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Rob

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Heading back. The glowing dots are street lights for the highway below

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Power lines

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Getting darker

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Glowing trees

A few times I used rocks, trees, or handrails in lieu of a tripod. This worked fairly well. I tend to forget how much I enjoy nighttime photography. After we got home and ate dinner, I set out on foot, camera and tripod in tow. There are a couple of beautiful church buildings in the area that are illuminated at night. I did  some exposure bracketing, and I planned on making some HDR images, but in my view the plain night shots turned out better. So, no HDR shots here.

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Wall

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Saint Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church (and full moon)

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Dome on St. Mary’s

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Mary

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Doors

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Stained glass

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The Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola

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This must be either Mary, or St. Ann (Mary’s mother)

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Statue

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Reflection in a neighboring building

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Abstract

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