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 > Your search for posts made by 'profdant139' found 587 matches.

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RE: Southern Utah in late June?

Whenever we hit extra hot weather during a trip, we turn it into a quest for good swimmin' holes -- but it has to be an isolated creek with nobody around. Even in southern Utah, there are places to swim. (Just watch out for those flash floods.) ;)
profdant139 09/16/19 03:48pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: I-10 in Louisiana

The only good thing about I 10 thru Louisiana is that it passes through Cajun country -- amazing food and music everywhere. So if you're tired of getting pounded by the bad pavement, just hop off the freeway and enjoy!
profdant139 09/16/19 09:35am Roads and Routes
RE: Looking for clear air? Here is a useful smoke map

Pat, I think that the sliders depend on your personal preference. I feel lucky just to get it to display -- I am not very tech savvy. Note that you can zoom in on specific locations to get really detailed info.
profdant139 09/14/19 11:06pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
Looking for clear air? Here is a useful smoke map

In this bark-beetle-infested era of widespread fires, we have often gone a long way in search of clear air and big views, only to get smoked out. I stumbled across this resource -- NOAA publishes this interactive map -- you can check out your favorite areas for smoky air, visibility, and even forecasts of smoke: Smoke Map
profdant139 09/14/19 04:12pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: School me in public parks camping...

Mickey, you are smart to make sure that your camping style is in synch with your wife's needs and preferences! I'd rather be in an RV park with my wife than in the boonies by myself. ;) Years ago, I had a similar situation -- my wife was sure we needed full hookups. But I persuaded her to try boondocking for just a couple of days on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We brought extra water, a small generator in case we needed it (we didn't), and we agreed to take Navy showers every evening -- rinse, water off, soap, rinse. Bingo!! She was hooked. The silence and the privacy and the stars were priceless. Plus, unlike an RV park or a campground, the bathroom is exclusively ours, and we keep it nice and clean. That was 12 years ago, and we now search out boondocking whenever possible. But start slow -- a couple of days at a time. Don't try a week of boondocking (or even dry camping) until you are both comfortable with the idea. Once you have the hang of it, this method of camping will give you a lot more flexibility, and you can camp in some really remote and beautiful places. Good luck!!
profdant139 09/13/19 07:01pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Thunder Storms

Yep -- they say that a vehicle becomes a "Faraday Cage," protecting you from lightning: Vehicles as Faraday Cages
profdant139 09/13/19 04:07pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: The "Milky Way" test of a boondocking site

Even though there may be some light pollution, all is not lost. Check out this link -- they explain the technique of "exposure to the right." If you have a DSLR, or even a good point and shoot with a "histogram," you might be able to use this trick. (I have never tried it, myself, but there may come a time when I need it!) How to get decent star shots despite light pollution
profdant139 09/12/19 10:32am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: First Real Outing of the Year

Where are you headed?
profdant139 09/12/19 09:16am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: The "Milky Way" test of a boondocking site

These were at 20 seconds (with a tripod, of course), an ISO of 3200, with my zoom lens set to the widest setting (about 18 mm). The f stop was, I think, around 2.8. The camera is a cheap Canon DSLR -- several years out of date, but it still works ok. I just read an article that says that boosting the ISO to 6400 may not create more "noise" in the image, so I will give that a try next time. If I had image stacking software, I could greatly improve the sharpness of the image, or so they say. By the way, that shot was taken just east of Sonora Pass, off Highway 108, in the Eastern Sierra of California.
profdant139 09/11/19 10:34pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: The "Milky Way" test of a boondocking site

After I posted that, I went back and looked at the post -- the photo posting software compressed the image, not surprisingly. So if you want to see what the second shot really looks like, click on the "click for full size image" link right under the photo. Quite a difference!
profdant139 09/11/19 04:33pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: The "Milky Way" test of a boondocking site

I have been stuck in town for several months due to family obligations, just wishing I could get away. We're hoping to get into the Eastern Sierra toward the end of the month to take advantage of the dark of the moon, at least for a few days, but who knows if it will happen? So as a poor substitute for travel, I am going back and re-editing some of my favorite Milky Way shots. I'm posting this pair (below) to illustrate the power of editing in the digital age. The first one is the shot that came out of the camera, and the second has been re-edited in Lightroom, which is like Photoshop for Amateurs. (I am still learning how to take full advantage of editing.) You'll notice a meteor trail in the upper right corner of the second shot -- I did not even see it when I first took and edited this photo!! The mountains were faintly illuminated by a sliver of the moon as it was setting on the other side of the canyon -- so that enabled me to increase the exposure of the mountains without washing out the stars. And the key to making the Milky Way "pop" was to wipe the Milky Way with a brush and slightly increase the exposure and the contrast. Using the virtual "brush" means that those changes only affect the area covered by the brush-stroke. Anyway, this is the original shot: "border=0" For Full-Size Image. And this is the latest version of the same shot, edited: "border=0" For Full-Size Image.
profdant139 09/11/19 04:30pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Seeking expert opinion: thinning vs prescribed burns

Forb! I learned a new word -- great for Scrabble, too. Thanks, Dave!
profdant139 09/11/19 09:09am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Seeking expert opinion: thinning vs prescribed burns

Great points -- thanks!!
profdant139 09/09/19 01:32pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Heading to the Rockies for 5 or 6 weeks.

Great trip report, so far! Keep those updates coming! And in my opinion, digital photography is sort of an art form, especially if you can take advantage of the great editing programs that are available. For those of us who remember film, we all remember that sense of disappointment when you get your prints back from the lab -- "that's not how it looked at all!" The editing software allows you to restore the image to how it really looked by compensating for bad lighting, or by cropping out irrelevant stuff, or restoring the contrast, or whatever. It can be very satisfying, as long as you don't go too far and make the image look phony. I save my editing for when we get home -- I don't have time on the road, and then at home it serves as a great way to avoid doing the things I really ought to do. ;)
profdant139 09/09/19 09:11am Roads and Routes
RE: Thunder Storms

Well, someone had the presence of mind to hit "record" -- the big hail arrives at the 43 second mark. Folks are caught out in the open as big hail happens: Siberian summer hailstorm
profdant139 09/09/19 07:43am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Seeking expert opinion: thinning vs prescribed burns

Yes, clear cutting is the norm in the West -- it is, of course, the least expensive way to harvest trees, and it generates the most revenue. Prescribed burns send some of the trees up in smoke. Thinning is more expensive than clear cutting. But now let's assume that we are talking about an area with some scenic value -- such as the various mountain roads in Western Washington, where millions of folks (and their tourist dollars) go to hike, fish, mountain bike, ski, etc. The forest service probably does not want to clear cut in those places. You can see that decision process in action when you climb a little way up Mt. Rainier on the Paradise side and look south -- the areas of the forest near the mountain but outside the park are not clear cut, while the land further in the distance has that distinctive patchwork look of a forest that is periodically subject to logging. Not pretty, but cost effective. So let's narrow the question -- in the areas that are not to be clear-cut, is there a reason to favor prescribed burns or thinning as a fire reduction (not prevention) technique? I do understand that the west side is too wet to burn most of the year -- does that mean that the NFS uses thinning in the areas that are not clear cut? Or do they sometimes use prescribed burns?
profdant139 09/09/19 02:32am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Thunder Storms

Yikes! What do you do if you are out in the open, on foot, and huge ice balls start crashing down? I guess I would cover my head with my backpack?? This must have happened to someone, sometime. Gotta be a video on this, right??
profdant139 09/08/19 10:42pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: smaller pull behind - single axle VS tandem axle ??

I have had single axle trailers for 14 years -- one blowout -- and that is why I wish I had a dual axle! A blowout on a single axle can be very dangerous. But I have no choice. I prefer really small trailers, which are always (I think) single axle. So I watch my tires like a hawk and replace them every few years. (Probably a good idea for dual axle folks, too!)
profdant139 09/08/19 05:41pm Travel Trailers
RE: Seeking expert opinion: thinning vs prescribed burns

ppine, why is there a difference in forest management practices between west and east? That is an interesting fact!
profdant139 09/08/19 05:37pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Thunder Storms

Lwiddis, that's good advice. But when we have just hiked four miles up a canyon in the Eastern Sierra, we don't have a lot of options! Folks in Colorado often start their hikes in the pre-dawn so they can be back at camp before the inevitable afternoon thunderstorm. Unfortunately, in the Sierra, the lightning schedule is pretty chaotic -- some days it hits, some days it's early, sometimes it's late. Sometimes the NWS predicts thunder and nothing happens. Other days are supposed to be clear but they aren't. So our options are (1) just don't go or (2) try to mitigate the risk when we are caught out in the open.
profdant139 09/08/19 05:13pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
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