I was just putting together this article and these photos on New Year’s Eve when I glanced and the clock and noticed I was already four minutes into 2015. Oops!
Here’s the second-parter for my favorite photo from 2014. Also be sure to check out the first part.
Yuka was still here in early July, just in time to see Fourth of July fireworks at Big Bear Lake, California, before she had to go back to Japan.
Life was getting pretty boring, so I started driving out places alone. This was a last-minute trip to Mount Shasta Lavender Farm. Unfortunately because of the extreme drought conditions, the lavenders weren’t as spectacular. Also, I mistimed it and arrived too late. They did have a lavender setup outside of the fields, which the bees were busy at work on.
The highlight of August was undoubtedly my first visit to Hawaii with my mom and dad.
Earlier in the month I took a trip off the beaten path at Shoreline Park in Mountain View (where it’s too busy to be peaceful), where I snapped this. I didn’t see the signs - apparently this was in a restricted area down by the shoreline.
Hawaii! Mom and Dad were kind enough to show me around all the places they’ve enjoyed visiting.
I went out on a solo drive to the Eastern Sierras, and happened to time it perfectly to see what little autumn colors there were out near Lake Sabrina. Previously in 2013, I timed it right to see what was then much more yellow colors, along with a throng of photographers. This time was much more low key - it was a rainy day, and I only saw a few other people.
It started to rain a little heavily towards the end of my shooting, making it extremely difficult. The camera started fogging up as well. Of course when I finally did make it back to the car and started to air out, the rain had to die down.
Mom and Dad came up to visit me in October. We went up north of San Francisco to hike in Muir Woods. Afterwards we got some good sushi at Sushi Ran in Sauasalito.
At the very end of the month, I took a one week vacation to visit Yuka in Japan. Even though she had lived in Osaka all her life, she had never really visited Kyoto and Nara, so we visited both.
When Yuka had to return to work, I spent the rest of my vacation in Japan visiting northern Japan. I think I just missed the peak of the fall leaves, but I still found some good spots.
We had Christmas at Mom and Dad’s Big Bear cabin. After Christmas, we took a long day trip up the 395 up to Bishop, California to pick up some bread and beef jerky. On the way, Mom took an interesting detour to see Fossil Falls, where there was still a bit of evidence of Native Americans. Mom even found the petroglyph that she’d seen there years before.
Just today, on the last day of 2014, I hiked up to the top of Mission Peak in Fremont, California, with my coworker Jessica, and Kevin and his wife. It was really cold, and there were really strong, deafaning winds through the alluvial valley floors.
Here’s a picture of cows grazing on the hills on the hike up. The pond was partially frozen over. Kevin lifted up a huge rock and thrust it in, creating a hole in the ice and a really strange, completely new sound that I’ve never heard before. That’s not something that happens everyday.
Here’s to a new year of new sights, sounds, and experiences. Cheers.