When you are busy with life in the modern world, it’s so nice to find a little getaway on the weekend. It’s only 60°F(16°C) at 1pm 😎
I was going to hike Mt Rubidoux yesterday to get a view of Riverside city and parts of Inland Empire, but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to hike Box Springs Mountain Park instead.
There’s two ways to get to Box Springs Reserve Park. You can drive up Box Springs Mountain Rd (there’s parkings along the side of the park) or hike the Two Tree’s Trail. Once you get to the park, it then branches into two main trails:
- The left one leads to the big M with beautiful panorama of Moreno Valley, Pigeon Pass Valley, Hidden Springs and Riverside.
- The right one leads to the big C with the complete view of UC Riverside and Downtown Riverside. You can also get to the big C by hiking the Big C Trail at Mt Vernon Ave. This trail (starts at Mt Vernon Ave) is very steep. It’s a little over 1 mile with a gain of 997 ft in elevation.
I started off at 430 Two Trees Rd and took the Two Tree’s Trail. This is a steep trail with a gain of 971 ft over 1.3 miles (a little bit easier than the Big C Trail). Bring lots of water if you’re hiking in the afternoon. I started at 10a.m. and didn’t wear any hat or cap, only a t-shirt and short, so today i’m still suffering from sunburns all over my face, my neck and my arms. It sucked, I know 😦
The trail starts off very nice…
Five minutes in and you can enjoy some nice view already:
There’s a warning sign of mountain lion and rattlesnakes on the trail so be a little careful when you hike alone. I didn’t see any wildlife except lizards on my way up but I ran into two very colorful rattlesnakes (they’re poisonous btw) on the way down and almost sprained my right ankle trying to avoid them. The trail was lightly trafficked. I only met two hikers on the way.
Took me almost one hour to finish the trail, including photographing and break times (mostly photographing time cause I love taking pictures). I take pics whenever I see beautiful landscapes, to the point I had fights with my family members on many vacation trips cause I kept taking pictures and wouldn’t go when they wanted to leave for other places. Anyway, the view at the top of the trail was worth it:
Now that was only one third of the way to the top of the mountain. As I said above, there are two main trails from here. I continued on and took the left one. The big M, wait for me!
Wildflowers were still blooming along the road:
About two thirds of the way, you can see Sycamore Highlands on the right corner and part of freeway 60 and 215 South in the middle:
A few minutes later I reached the top:
The big M is at the right corner but I didn’t know at the time. I thought there was nothing behind the tower so after taking some more photos at the top I came down. I MISSED IT!!!! I only became aware of it when I was writing this post today. Poor me!
More view of the 215 South, 60 West and part of Riverside (on the right corner):
Before going down, I saw this guy:
I don’t know about kettlebell much but that must weigh a lot from how big it look. And that was at the top. Serious leg strength here. I better not skipping leg days anymore. Anyhow, one last view of Moreno Valley with clearer sky on the way down:
Next time I’m gonna try the Big C Trail before the summer kicks in. I definitely don’t like the heat 😦
Located about 14 miles north east of Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, the Whitewater Preserve is a perfect getaway from the southern California desert heat. At Coachella Valley, the sun is brutal all the time except for winter. Last summer it got up to 122ºF in Palm Springs.
Take exit 114 off the I-10, head north on Whitewater Canyon Dr and one can enjoy the stunning view of wildflowers blooming along the dusty winding road.
Even though it’s already April but there’s still snow on Mt San Jacinto.
The surrounding area is windy all year round so you can also see a lot of windmills.
Just as the road’s name suggest, the view of the canyons is spectacular:
At the end of the road, roll down your car window to enjoy the refreshing air because there’s a river right there. Yes you heard it right, there is a small river flowing year round in the middle of the desert.
Going into the preserve, the first thing that get my attention after parking my car (there’s a lot of parking spaces in the back even though the sign at the entrance says otherwise) is the pond. Lot of ponds.
They have fishes too. The water in the ponds looks ultra mega clear.
After taking a walk around, this strange hut caught my attention:
There are many areas with plenty of shade in case you got tired and wanna sit down. There’s even a picnic area with tables and chairs for families too.
For those that wanna get adventurous, there are a few trails in the preserve to satisfy your hunger for hiking but be careful. There’s a sign that warns visitors of snakes and mountain lions. And the sun is brutal too.
On my way out I saw a large group of children, probably elementary students, jumping around and playing in one of the shallow ponds. Look like a fun place for families with small kids.
P/s: Just right after entering the freeway, I saw a rest area with stunning view of the San Jacinto.
P/s 2: The preserve opens daily from 8a.m. to 5p.m.
Yesterday I got so excited after receiving the D3300 that I canceled my plan for rest of the day and went out to shoot.
It was in the afternoon.
A little warm, humid and bright at Riverside.
Where to go… hmm… the UCR Botanic Garden again since it’s close by.
Look at him, he’s ready to fight!
(I used Auto mode, need time to get used to the camera and try out the M, A, S, P modes)
This one below was taken two weeks ago with Galaxy S6 Edge:
Got it of Craigslist yesterday!
After a long two weeks’ research, I decided to get this. Still new to DSLR cameras so it’s safe to get an entry-level one to get started.
It comes with the kit lenses 18-55mm VR and external flash.
With a flashlight, an empty glass, and a toy…
Well, as the title said, the sun set today and rises again the next day bringing light to life on Earth.
The Palm Desert Cross Trail is one of my favorite trails because it’s not too long and too steep. It’s only an hour round trip. It’s also near my place. You can work up some sweat and enjoy a panoramic view of the whole Coachella Valley in Southern California. Hiking early in the morning (5-6am) will give you something like this:
It was worth the effort. Well, the air is fresher and you can burn some extra calories. Also, at this time of the year, there are the BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament and Coachella Music and Arts Festival with lots of international tourists and Hollywood stars visiting the area. A perfect weekend getaway in the winter and spring.
The pics is from one of my biweekly hiking trips last summer. During March, the scenery is greener with wildflowers blooming along the trail.
If you want to get a better panorama (elevation 8,516 feet), take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway located only a couple of miles away from downtown Palm Springs.
When people talk about photography, one topic comes up regularly: sunset.
There are some special things to say about sunset, like how it’s golden time for taking photographs, how short it lasts for one to set up and take a picture, how hard it is to find a spot for a perfect view, or how beautiful the sky always is at this time of the day, etc.
Now there is even an app to check the time for sunset. You can check it out at Skyﬁre for TPE.
I had a chance to capture one when I was passing by Fort Bragg (California) along State Route 1 in 2015.
It brings up a warm, cozy feeling to me whenever I look at it.
Sometimes I get bored and don’t know what to capture. In those times, I always try something new that I have never done before.
Sometimes they turn out good, sometimes weird like these two:
Photography is so much funnnn 🙂