A Personal Geography – Where boundaries are optional.

Recent Posts from Trail Option Basecamp at StoneHeart, NV…

(And a few pages torn from misplaced journals; Banner photo by Nick Page 2018)

Iceland Day 6: Moving to South Coast

For now, we drive through almost perfect golden-hour light—the golden hour that lasts all day here. At first it was a bit frustrating, as back-lit storm clouds danced in the volcanic mountains. But we committed to the goal of the South Coast, the good weather and aurora forecasts pulling us onward.

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Day 5: The Light Begins

The van was stuck. We walked from the hotel in the blue light of pre-dawn mid-morning to find Thor shoveling and sweeping a deep, wind-blown drift from the half-buried van. Even four-wheel drive would not get it out and the wind was howling, the piles getting deeper....

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Iceland Days 3 & 4: A slow build to Snaefellsnes

The storm arrived. Northwest winds of up to 50 m/s (about 110 mph) shut down roads and local gusts pummeled the hotel window. We decided today’s Vogar adventure consisted of a walk to a convenience store and then waiting for the nice folks at Gamla Pósthúsið to open for dinner. I highly recommend this unassuming, excellent dinner house; it is perfectly located across the quiet street fronting Hotel Vogar.

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Iceland Day 2: A coming storm

Boarding a plane on any airline, it’s hard to tell one flight from another. It’s the same rows of seats, banging of carry-on, and hoarding of overhead bins. But when that first intercom announcement hits my ears in a foreign language, I know this plane ride is different. This happens every time; I perk up and relax in the same moment. It’s time travel. I’ll jump out somewhere else, in some other time zone, and things will be slightly beyond my control. In fact, call me strange, I love airports and planes. They are possibilities.

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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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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…