My daughter is so cute. This evening we were watching her favourite, Strawberry Shortcake. After the video was over, she says to me, “Dada. How about we go to the store, so I can get candy. And you can get chips! Okay?” How can I resist such cuteness? We walked down to the store, and she was chatting the entire time there and back about this and that. She is so funny. And to top it off, when my wife came home tonight, she told me that Nekoda managed to snaggle some candy from her earlier that day as well! What a little sneaker!
Anyway, I returned to this location along the South Fork American River a few days ago thinking there would be more colors on the hillside. There was. It was pretty much the same location I was at before, but I had more troubles getting a photo this time around. The sun was right in my face and it was reflecting off the river as well. A double whammy. I had to wait until the sun had gone down more but before the trees on the hillside were in shadow. I had just time for one photo. When I got home, my wife asked me how it went. I replied, “Good, but I only took one photo.” “What? You drove all the way up to Ice House and only took one photo?” Yep. Well, it wasn’t by design. I would have certainly liked to take more shots, but I just didn’t have enough time. At least gas is a bit cheaper these days. This is a 25 megapixel stitched image.
I found this spot along the Truckee River in a campground along Hwy 89. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be in there because this part of the campground was all closed off. I walked in there anyway, and I was surprised to see some official type looking guy parked down by the river, his vehicle engine still running. He was just standing down by the river staring at it. He did not see me. I walked on by him further downstream, but didn’t see anything that I wanted to photograph. As I was returning, I saw him driving back to wherever he came from. He still did not see me. I walked back to the spot where he had been standing by the river. Aha. It was a very pretty little spot, so I took a couple photos.
I also have some good news to share regarding my job situation. At least, I think it is good news. I mentioned awhile back that my company was outsourcing its entire I.T. division, and I would be losing my job. That process took quite awhile but is now finally happening. A lot of people in the company and on my team will be losing their jobs. It is a very difficult situation. But however, I am one of the few that was offered a job with the new outsourcing company, doing pretty much the same job that I have been doing (but for a different employer). The pay is also significantly more than what I had been receiving. But on the downside, I will be getting quite a lot less vacation days. I think I would much prefer to have the vacation days than the pay. I don’t think I will be able to take any extended waterfall trips at all next year. That’s a bummer, but at least I will be employed for the for-seeable future. God is good.
I had some time to spare after Donner Lake sunrise, so I toodled into the town of Truckee in search of more Fall color. I really had no idea where in Truckee would be a good spot to search for color. But I had in mind to find something along the Truckee River. So I went south from Truckee along Hwy 89 towards Tahoe. The highway follows the river along there, and I found a few decent locations. The Aspen colors were in peak force along here, with bright orange and yellow showing (no pink, sorry Rob). I found this nice little spot along the river, and shot a long exposure of the water with the Aspens in the background.
“Oh look, dear. Aspens. Let’s stop, shall we? ” Thus went the conversation I had with my camera as I drove back down the hill from my sunrise shoot of Donner Lake. I know, I am strange. But hey, what can I say. There was a lovely little grove of Aspens right beside the road, and they were showing off their bright Fall colors. I was actually hoping to find something like this in the area, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to find it. I wanted to get a shot of Aspens with Donner Lake in the background. And here it was. Perfect.
But it wasn’t a cake walk to get this shot even though the Aspens were right beside the road. That was part of the problem. I didn’t want to get any part of the “road” in my composition. There were two different roads that I found to be in the way. There was also a large construction vehicle. My only good choice was to take a vertical composition and zoom in to isolate out those unwanted elements. I think the shot works pretty well. The other problem was that I had to scramble from the road up through the brush and the Aspen trees in order to get above them, to shoot back down towards the lake. It wasn’t a cake walk. But I did it.
On Saturday, our family plan was to go to Chico for lunch to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. Since we had to drive two vehicles up there anyway, I thought of a good personal plan, that I would get up early and go out for sunrise somewhere, then drive to Chico from there. Donner Lake seemed like a good choice. The problem was, I didn’t know when I needed to be in Chico. I asked my wife on Friday night, what time is lunch on Saturday ? “Umm, I don’t know that yet. Sean and Marci [bro-in-law and wife] are on baby time now. We’re just playing it by ear.” Okay …. well, I need to know what time I need to be in Chico, in order to determine when I need to leave Truckee tomorrow morning. So anyway, on Saturday morning, I got up bright and early (4:30am) and drove out to Donner Lake for sunrise. Afterwards, I toodled around the Truckee area, trying to find some nice locations to shoot some Fall Colors. I called my wife again later on in the morning. What time is lunch ? “I still don’t know that. I haven’t heard anything yet.” Okay, great hunny. You call your mom and find out. Then call me back. I’m gonna go to another photo location. A little later, she called back. “Lunch is at 11:30 at La Hacienda.” 11:30 ?!?!?!?!? In order to be in Chico at 11:30, I would need to leave Truckee at 9AM. It is now 9:30AM. I am going to be 30 minutes late. See you at noon. Love you. Now here’s the funny part. I arrive in Chico at noon, just when I said I would get there (even though traffic was horrible). But I beat my wife there! I thought lunch was at 11:30, dear ? “Umm, yeah. Something like that.”, she says. It would’ve been super funny if I had beat everyone else there as well. Not quite, but Sean and Marci arrived there only barely before me.
As for Donner Lake sunrise, well it was utterly fabulous. It didn’t look that way though at first. Even though the forecast called for partly sunny skies with light cloud cover, it was completely overcast when I left Folsom in the morning. Not good. As my friend Brian would say, it looks like we will be “gray balled” for sunrise. I even thought of turning around and going back to bed! But … I decided to continue on. I wouldn’t be able to fall back to sleep anyway. As I got up to Donner Summit, I could see that maybe it might be a nice sunrise after all. There was already some color starting to show in the sky. I drove up the old Donner Pass highway up to the bridge and turnout area, scrambled down the rocks to a good looking spot, got out my camera, and promptly started taking many photos. It was a beautiful, glorious sunrise indeed.