Popocatepetl is the active volcano close to Mexico City.
Miguel has been living close to the volcano for many years and has captured the many eruptions as well as the beautiful flora and fauna surrounding the volcano with his camera, rising before dawn in the hut he is guarding and living in, at 3800m/13,000ft altitude.
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Nicole –Colie for friends- Dreon has been working behind the scenes for the sports TV channel ESPN for a long time, but has done quite a bit of sporting herself, still living near Ski and Snowboard resorts in Lake Tahoe.
She is one of the few persons in the world that has skied in Uganda and besides being an overall great person, she is a great photographer as well, posing in front of one of her images.
He shoots great weddings as well as travel, but his speciality is portraits and events and if you hang out with Mitch (he is a well-visited CouchSurfing Host as well), you get to know San Francisco through his eyes!
We had camped in the cold Redwoods & enjoyed the rest of the Avenue of the Giants leisurely. After no more than 35km we ended up in Redway, where we called Johnny, our host for the night for directions to his home and he picked us up and took us far into the curvy hills.
He told us how basically everybody in the entire county was somehow involved in the growing of marijuana, either for ‘medical’ or for business reasons, and that even the local radio had special announcements when ‘the helicopter’ would be on patrol.
This got confirmed by Todd, our host for the next night and was amazing to hear as we thought that with the ‘war on drugs’ and all, easy targets (like very citizen in a 50 mile radius) would be focused on first, but apparently it was just part of life here.
We had been told about Todd by our friend Kristen from Vancouver, who had cycled and met him here a few years ago. But before we could sit down at the fire and listen to his stories we had two encounters.
Soon I saw more and with the sun in my face, I viewed a dark shape halfway up the hill. Even though I was only going about 8km/hr (5mph), it was the first thing I encountered on a hill that was slower than me and soon I caught up with a strange sight: A large wooden horse cart, pulled by 3 horses -with a 4th on the side- was slowly making its way up the hill, completely blocking one of the two lanes.
An old man with was standing proud. he was not too friendly and didn’t say much, but I found out that his name was Dakota and he had been travelling like this for 25 years, all west of the Mississippi…
Our next encounter was with a dreaded place: the Leggett Hill. Actually it was much easier than feared beforehand, steep but constant, narrow, but zero traffic. We did not have to walk and Ivana arrived at the pass as well without much problem.
A Short downhill later we arrived at a level part, called Haley’s Grove, where we spent the night inside a trailer. Read about our chance meeting with Todd here on 1000 Americans.
12-14 Dec: Breaking a knee and viewing a lion between Hales Grove – Jenner, via Mendocino. 74km + 78km + 70km. Plus 3km up and down..
A long downhill through the woods brought us back to the coast, but there was one more surprise, the Rockport Hill. When going up, my knee started hurting and we both pushed up several parts as it was too steep in places.
Back at the California coast, the road kept on oscillating between sea level and a few hundred meters above it for the next days. In 5 days we had climbed more than 5000m, so 1km vertical per day. My knee started hurting more, even on the flatter parts and at the end of the day I could barely walk as my knee would not bend.
Probably the best thing to do would be to rest or see a doctor, but we were on the ‘Lost Coast’, far away from any medical assistance. Besides, we were only a few days from San Francisco, se we decided to continue and seek help there. Also, not only my knee was bad, our multi-charger had broken down and I had no more batteries for my cameras, which made me feel even more handicapped than the fact that I stumbled more than I walked…
We had stayed with Barry in Mendocino, who was about to embark on his own bicycle trip. as happens often with our hosts, he called some friends, Chuck & Maria, to ask them if we could stay with them the next night. Some hours before we arrived, I was waiting on the side of the road for Ivana to catch up so I could point out a large group of deer, when a car pulled over.
It took only a few days of cycling to get down the Oregon Coast from Otis, with an average of 72km (45 Mi) we covered it in 6 days. The area is very impressive, even though it was quite rainy and windy, we enjoyed it a lot. Below is a picture overview of some of the scenery we saw along the way.
We also saw some less pretty things, as explained in my previous ‘trash rant’, but overall it was another highlight.
We camped a few days in the rain but also stayed with some wonderful people: Linda & Gilbert, Terry & Lily, Nicole & ‘Jim-Bob’ Brian on Couchsurfing and Ken Neeley, who celebrated our last night in Oregon with us in the local Pizza Place…
Next stop: California!
(click on the images and a larger version will appear automagically!).
Kowalski! Status report!
After 6300km (almost 4000 miles), our Santos Travelmaster bikes are great as ever. Ivana got another flat tire (her 3rd I think), I am still at one!
My back hurts at times and some of the steeper hills I could feel my knees, but so far, so good…
Next stop: California!
When I found out that Tom Hubbard and his wife Sandy were living on our path, I wanted to meet them.
As a photographer, it is a pleasure to talk to Tom, who has decades of experience as a photographer and has worked with all the other great photographers during his work as Director of the Time-Life Photo and Digital Image Lab. Most recently, he was the Pro Photo Business Development Manager for Hewlett Packard’s new line of professional photographic pigment printers in North America.
Currently he is looking for new challenges. I told him that he should either start writing (e-)books or teach as he is filled with valuable information for beginning as well as professional photographers.
He has a –slightly confusing mix of- very useful websites, which are useful for BikeTravellers and other photographers:
- http://www.hubbardcamera.com/ with great tips for starting photographers,
- http://hubsidarkroom.blogspot.com/ about digital processing,
- more general photography tips in http://hubsphotographytips.blogspot.com/ &
- inspirational interviews at http://www.visionaryphotographers.com/.
And he is not finished, having many more ideas to share the wonderful world of photography.
He also finally got me to start organizing thousands of photos and was kind enough to give me a legal copy of Adobe’s LightRoom, which after some learning curve already is making my photo life much easier and my images much more interesting
Thanks Tom & Sandy, for your hospitality and sharing your knowledge!