A Personal Geography – Where trails and boundaries are optional.

Recent Posts from Trail Option Basecamp at StoneHeart, NV…

(And a few pages torn from misplaced journals)

Recon to Frog Lake, Carson Pass, CA

The smoke has cleared a bit at StoneHeart so I thought I would see how things were at the altitude of Carson Pass. Access to the Winnemucca Lake trail, traversing below Round Top is very easy. I did not expect a compelling golden-hour sky this morning, but I have been wanting a spot that would provide some scenic backdrops, with relatively quick access from home. A place I could get to know and then hike into quickly when conditions present themselves.

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Sunrise and Smoke: An Early Morning Decision

Landscape photography typically involves planning, at least for me. I usually get some idea of place, story, mood, or composition, and begin by flying around in Google Earth, searching a few maps, checking the weather, and logging into PhotoPills or The Photographer’s Ephemeris. It’s part of the fun, but this morning wasn’t all that…

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Tufa and Smoke at Mono Lake, CA

It was time to take advantage of a break in the work routine. The summer monsoons had recently encroached on the Pine Nut Mountains above StoneHeart, so maybe there would be some dramatic clouds and lightning to chase. Or, the exhausting California fires would continue to pour smoke onto the eastern Sierra, creating another saturated sunset.

I checked my radar apps all afternoon but the bright red blobs of the past few days were absent, and only a few yellow-level squalls bloomed momentarily and then scurried away in the afternoon heat.

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Carson River Morning

Up early for a quick trip out to the Carson River. The river is swollen with early run-off, but the morning hold a winter chill and little promise of photographer’s light. Dez and I wandered the banks where I first tried to capture some images of the setting moon.

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Black Rock Desert Recon

The Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada is the epitome of expansive space as its vast playa, the remnant lakebed of pluvial Lake Lahontan, rolls off the horizon in all directions. I have been wandering and researching this awesome landscape since the 1980s.

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Stillness at Walker Lake, NV

I approached Walker Lake from the south at sunset, good timing after a long day’s drive. I have traversed this highway many times and spent some time on the lake, but I had never seen the glass-like stillness of this large remnant of pluvial Lake Lahontan. Amazed, I decided I needed a break from the windshield and turned off Highway 93 at Sportsmans Beach. I found the boat-ram perched far above the lake, even after the very wet winter. I considered setting up on the roadways of the camp and picnic ground overlooking the lake,

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D. Craig Young

Host of Trail Option, chaser of light and dirt, bound to wander and wonder. Not exceptional at anything, but a solidly mid-pack trail runner, photographer, geographer, musician, and writer — there is a little of all that here.

With my wife Desna, a founding partner of StoneHeart Ranch, our home on an old alluvial fan above Gardnerville, Nevada.

Geoarchaeologist and Principal at Far Western Anthropological Research Group.

Thanks for joining me on the trails of the Great Basin and far beyond. These form my personal geography of art and science. Let’s keep going…