Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 202 - All-Star Closers

With the Padres and Giants playing extra innings, I got to see both teams' All-Star closers pitch. That's Heath Bell of San Diego on the left and Brian "Fear the Beard" Wilson of the Giants below.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 201 - Left Field Corner

The left field corner of PETCO contains the Western Metal Building, an historic structure from the early 20th century that was incorporated into the construction of the stadium in 2004.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 200 - PETCO Park Panos

PETCO Park by itself doesn't have the charm of other ballparks, but then again, it's reflective of San Diego's very nature: low-key, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyable.

The Gaslamp Quarter just north of the park is a perfect example of the successful urban revitalization that sports franchises always tout when arguing for a new ballpark, and in this case, is a perfect pre- and post-game complement for the Padres. As for the on-field product, well, let's just say the Padres are in a state of perpetual rebuilding.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 199 - San Diego Bay

The Hilton's pool faced San Diego Bay, and, while it had a gorgeous view of Coronado, was way too windy to be completely enjoyable.

Day 198 - PETCO Park

The stadium tour went through the press box, which had one of the best views of the field; I wished I could've been in there during the game the following day to take some panos.

Day 197 - San Diego

Spent a glorious weekend in San Diego, highlighted by a tour of PETCO Park on Saturday and the Padres/Giants game on Sunday. Stayed at the Hilton Bayfront, connected to the stadium by the pedestrian bridge in the foreground.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 196 - Grand Canyon National Park

And so we end the Grand Canyon portion of our trip . . . this was taken at the end of the hike down the Bright Angel Trail into the canyon; I had almost made it back up to the top after four-miles roundtrip, was drenched in sweat, had giant blisters on both my feet, and, unbeknownst to me at the time, was suffering from salt & electrolyte loss. So I was rather elated to be done with this portion of my day.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip, start to finish, and I'm still in awe of the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 195 - Grand Canyon National Park

These are the last of my Grand Canyon panoramas; it's been hard to choose which ones are my favorites.

One of the park rangers said that the canyon changes minute-to-minute because of the way the light and shadows strike the surfaces . . . and I'm inclined to agree.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 194 - Celebration

Sometimes when you can't raise a glass, you just raise the bottle . . .

Day 193 - Grand Canyon National Park

While traversing the eastern side of the South Rim, it became almost a game avoiding all the buses that disgorged tourists like ants at a picnic. It became harder and harder to get pristine panos like this one, without clumps of people in the shot.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 192 - Grand Canyon National Park

After exploring the middle and western portions of the South Rim, the last day was reserved for the eastern side, also known as the Desert View. You can see the Colorado River in the center of the picture winding its way through the canyon it made...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 191 - Grand Canyon National Park

After hiking, we continued walking west along the South Rim of the canyon and saw this Agave utahensis, or Utah agave, with a bloom well over seven feet high. The big bumblebees loved it.

Day 190 - Grand Canyon National Park

When in the canyon itself, there's much more depth and texture than as visible from the rim.

Day 189 - Grand Canyon National Park

The full hike on the Bright Angel Trail from the rim to the canyon bottom is 4.9 miles, but given that it was late June and well over 90 degrees, getting just two miles into the canyon was a remarkable feat. And hiking down was the easy part . . . hiking back up and out, well, that was a little harder.

But with that said, the canyon takes on a completely different perspective, and has a completely different beauty, from the inside looking up and out than it does from the top down.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 188 - Grand Canyon National Park

After arriving at the Grand Canyon in the late afternoon on Sunday, Monday was the "tough" day, hiking down into the canyon as far as stamina, heat, and water would allow. Although in hindsight, walking west 2 ½ miles along the Rim Trail from the Visitors' Center to the trail head may not have been the best thing to do first, despite a view like this from the top.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 187 - Grand Canyon National Park

The last time I had been to the Grand Canyon was in 1981; my family rented a pop-up trailer and we drove all over the West visiting National Parks. So visiting again as an adult 30 years later was like seeing the canyon for the very first time, especially with an appreciation for sunsets like this one.

Day 186 - Arizona Desert

Driving through the Arizona desert on my way to the Grand Canyon, this was the vista on a scenic overlook about an hour east of Hoover Dam.

Day 185 - Fourth of July

The only way to shoot fireworks well is to use a tripod, but it can be such a hassle in crowds . . . so I rested the camera on my stomach. Better, but not great.