Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Photos of Nevada and Southern California

Hey all,

So I'm posting a photo blog, more than a life events blog. Many of these are taken from around my grandmother's house (Agoura Hills, CA) that I live in, or my parents house up in Minden, Nevada (431 miles or about 700 km from Agoura Hills). Also, I'd like to say that my grandmother's house is about 37 miles or 60 km from downtown (central) LA. I do have some pictures of LA, but I'm not there very often so many of my pictures are not from around there. However, I will get some.

Some pictures of Malibu Lake in the Santa Monica Mountains to the North and West of Los Angeles. You can read about the community here. My grandmother's house is on Malibu Lake (well on the hill above the lake) and it was built here in the 1920s (I think) to be a summer house for a prominent judge in LA. My grandparents moved here in 1957 and my mother grew up here.
Taken from our porch overlooking the lake (and telephone and electrical wires are in the way).

The actual house from the gate to enter the yard. The Lake is on the other side. The top portion is a small reading room (3-4 square meters) that my grandpa built about 20-25 years ago. You can only enter the room from the outside by climbing on the roof. You get on the roof either by the bathroom windows (the upstairs windows on the left) or from a window on the other side.

A view further out. The house can be seen behind the trees on the left. The gate to enter the yard can be seen behind my grandmother's car. This large white building is the garage.

If you walk down the hill you can see this gate. We do not have to enter through this gate to get to the house, but if we go to our dock (place to put your boat) we do go through this. Karma (our dog) and I walk along this road regularly. 

An island in the middle of the lake with some morning fog. The lake is manmade (the dam built in 1926). Many of the fog pictures were taken while walking Karma in the morning back in August (see I told you I was planning on posting pictures, I was just slow. I had many ideas and took pictures at certain moments).

Another view with the island on the right, the mainland on the left, and the lake stretching way back in the middle.

This picture is taken while Karma and I are returning to the house. Because of the layout of the roads our walks are always out in one direction and returning the other direction on the same road. There are no loops :/ On the right is a large grassy recreation area that is owned by Malibou Lake Mountain Club (MLMC as seen on the gate a few pictures above - I usually just say "the club" to describe it). We often go there and Karma can run around and be crazy. There are swings for kids and picnic tables and charcoal BBQs. On the other side of it is the lake. At the end of the picture where the road appears to end is actually the Clubhouse. The road turns right and a bridge goes over where a creek enters the lake.

This type of cactus known as "prickly pear," because the fruit it bears is covered with spikes, is found on a hillside along the road I often walk Karma on (the same road in the above picture, but the other direction). It is very common in Southern California (SoCal).

More grass, lake, and people's boats on their docks.

A nice view of the fog covering the mountains in the background.

This is another grassy area that the Club owns (across the street from the one above), but it is connected to the clubhouse. Behind the trees on the left is the community swimming pool and the tennis courts. Many many many weddings happen here at the club, most of them outdoors on this grassy field. Almost every weekend (often both Saturday and Sunday) we hear music from the wedding. On Labor Day (first Monday in September) we also had a community baseball game. I enjoyed playing in it, especially since I have not played baseball in many years.

A view of the grass and the clubhouse.

Another view from our porch of the lake. That is a flagpole running up the middle of the picture. I thought I would share the same view with different lighting from a different day.

Slightly different angle where you can't see lake, but just a nice view.

I don't remember if it was August or September, but there was a fire about 3 miles (5km) from the house. Often when there are fires, even at distances much further away, helicopters collect water from the lake to go dump on the fire. I thought this was a good one and you can see the hose dropping from the helicopter into the lake. I also love the mist that is sprayed up by the blades spinning. I took about 20 photos that day. I have seen it about 4 or 5 times since coming here.

Some things around the LA area.

Ok, so this isn't the downtown LA skyline or anything like that, but when Daria and I went to a concert down in Irvine (Orange County) I thought I'd take a few pictures of the freeways (highways/motorways) and some tall buildings. This spot has 6 lanes for one direction and 6 lanes for the other.

Another view, and a view of some good old LA traffic. Actually this isn't too bad. The other side was though.

At the concert (Pennywise, Bad Religion, A Day to Remember, and the Offspring) some punks were lighting signs on fire. They also lit t-shirts, hats, shoes, and who knows what else. This is a calm picture, but there are some of people twirling enflamed (on fire) items over their heads.

A picture of the Offspring concert.

So those fires I talked about. Yeah, they're illegal. But you have to love punk rockers who don't care and did it anyway. Of course the bands encouraged it too.

At the LA County Fair this picture of a sow (mother pig) and her piglets was too cute not to share. The one standing on the left (not lying down like the rest) was causing a lot of problems pushing his/her brothers and sisters out of the way. They're about 2 months old.

And there was a piglet race where piglets about 4-5 months old ran around this racetrack. It was really cute, and the race was called "Bring Home the Bacon." After the race everyone got a coupon for a free package of bacon at one of the local grocery store chains.

And we watched how they milk cows. There were 2 cows there for the demonstration. Volunteers were called up to help. Daria and I did not do it. :(

But Daria did go milk a goat.

We do not drink Budweiser, but Daria and I (and many other Americans) love the Budweiser commercials (TV advertisements) that have this old-fashioned cart, clydesdale horses, and a dalmatian dog. There are different groups of them and they often come to things like these fairs. We got to meet the local dog here (Chip) and a few of the horses, but sadly my camera batteries died and I didn't get pictures of them. 

Some photos of Minden, Nevada and surrounding areas. This is the area that I grew up and I was up visiting my parents in early October (and going to a conference).
I just liked this picture showing the fall colors of October, my mountains in the background (the Sierra Nevadas), and the type of houses in the neighborhood where my parents live. Lots of 1-story houses with 3 bedrooms, 2 or 3 bathrooms, a living room and a family room, kitchens, and garages (the whole house is usually about 1500-2500 square feet: 139-232 square meters), usually with a front and back yard.

From the end of my street (where my parents' house is), a view of my mountains. On the right is an old lumber company - I honestly do not know what is in there now. Behind me is where my street connects to the main road that runs through town.

About a 3 minute walk from my parents' house I can look over this hay field to my mountains. I call them my mountains because I really do love them a lot. Especially the peaks on the left. It almost looks like 1 peak, but there are really two, and they're called "Job's Peak" and "Job's Sister." Job's Sister is slightly higher in elevation than Job's Peak. For those of you who have seen my tattoo of the Carson Valley (where I grew up) and the mountain range, this is part of what I'm thinking of.

This is no longer the Carson Valley, but is about 100km away near a town called Fallon, Nevada (where the convention/conference was). I wanted to show you all the desolate desert that is part of central Nevada.

Entering Fallon, NV. This is quite similar to what it looks like when entering Minden or Gardnerville, NV, and looks similar to the town I grew up in (except smaller mountains in the background).

Returning from the conference, a view of Job's Peak and his sister from the road. Now you can see how much higher Job's Sister is. Both center peaks are Job's Peak (left) and Job's Sister (right).

My parents' house. 

A smaller road near the house (by smaller I mean less traffic. I think the size is either the same or perhaps a little wider even). My parents do not live on the main road, but our road still has lots of traffic going through it. This road is only driven on by local residents. It does not "go through" to anywhere else. On my parents' road there is a Fire Station, the Library, some offices, and the High School.

The main Casino in town is near my parents's house; about a 5-7 minute walk. This is the Carson Valley Inn (CVI). It is also located across the main road from the church that I grew up in.

And the Church. My dad became the priest here when I was 5 years old. You can see the casino in the background.

Just a really beautiful tree. At the end of this road is the field seen about 8 pictures above. Clouds are covering Job's Peak.

I walked partway down the street to get a closer view. If you look in the picture above toward the end of the road, you might see this red tree as very small and on the left. In the middle of this picture, you can see sprinklers watering the hay field at the end of the road.

On my way up the mountain to Lake Tahoe. Took this picture while driving. Just a nice picture of our mountains.

And coming down the mountain overlooking Lake Tahoe, the beautiful lake where I was born nestled in the heart of the Sierras.

At Lake Tahoe there is a camp for the Diocese of Nevada (Diocese is a geographical and political structure of a Church). I went to this camp a lot growing up (almost every summer and a few times throughout the year). The Lake is on the left, and this is the main church/chapel for the camp. Daria and I were married at this church.

A view overlooking the Lake while at the camp.

And a view from the beach/lakeshore. This is the camp's private beach.

And walking back up from the beach you can see this view of the church nestled away in the forest.

From the back of the church you can see straight through to see the lake.

And from inside the church. I love this view. Just look out over the lake and the mountains in the background. And a tree photobombing the picture. You can see why I wanted to get married here.

And we left Lake Tahoe and went to a place called Hope Valley. I will often go to Hope Valley to cross-country ski in the winter. It is also one of the more beautiful places to go to see the autumn colors.

More of Hope Valley.

We drove up the mountains from Hope Valley to some alpine lakes called Blue Lakes. They are quite low at the moment because we haven't had as much snow the last few years as we normally do. I think they're about 20 ft lower than normal.

As we exited Blue Lakes, I just really liked this view over the valleys. 

Just a nice picture from Hope Valley.

Back to Minden, NV. This is across the street from my parents. The neighbors have sheep and goats.

I am driving from my parents back to SoCal and this is the hillside on the left side of the road as we leave the Carson Valley.

Leaving the Carson Valley we enter what is called the Topaz (Blue) Basin. About 15-20 miles (25-32km) from my parents.

A view of Topaz Lake. Not the best, but hey, I was driving.

A really neat mountain formation seen from my drive.

A small rural town that I drove past.

A nice view of some mountains and a valley.

Mono Lake. This Lake is unique because it is extremely salty (more than the ocean) and the only thing that lives in there is a special species of brine (shrimp). The white formations seen in the middle of the lake are salt formations and salt pillars. That is now snow on land in the water. It is all salt.

Cool view from my drive. The word "Nevada" means "snow-capped (cap=hat)" in Spanish. You can see why they have that name.




And back in Southern California:

Daria and I went to Oktoberfest at the same place the LA County Fair was. Sadly not too many cool pictures. :/

Another foggy morning near Malibou Lake. I thought you'd all like to see the rock formations though.

And autumn (also called "fall" in English - the only season with two names) has hit the lake. This is that large grassy recreation area I mentioned above that is between the road (on the right from this view - other side of the white fence) and the lake (on the left).

And for you all to see Karma got dressed up as a bat for Halloween (for about 10 seconds to take the picture before she took that silly thing off her head).

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