March for Our Lives - San Luis Obispo

On March 24 over 7,000 people gathered in Mitchell Park in support support of common sense gun law reform and school safety. We had the honor to listen to inspiring, tragic, powerful speeches by local students from all around the County. You can read the words of the students who spoke at the rally here. For me, this moment from Rosella Apel, a senior at Nipomo High School, captured the somber but resolute tone of the day:

The gun violence epidemic which has overtaken our country is a product of a culture which is, in part, complicit with violence. It does a disservice to our family members, friends, coworkers and neighbors who have perished at the hands of misused firearms to focus on only one facet of the issue. It is so much easier to ignore the fact that the systems we have in place do little to teach people that no matter how deep the pain they experience, violence is not the solution. The transformation that will be necessary to soften our societal bent towards brutality must come from all sides. We, as activists and people who care deeply about the sanctity of life, must protect it, not only through laws but through behavior and action. Cesar Chavez once said that in some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence. In effect, we must want peace and safety just as much as others want to guard against infringements on their freedoms. If we can show that violence is not OK in our schools because it is not OK in our streets or our prisons, not OK in our international relationships or our personal interactions with one another, we begin to challenge that widespread societal apathy towards something inherently devoid of morality, the act of taking of another human’s life.

Below are some images I took at the rally in Mitchell Park and along the march through downtown San Luis Obispo.

If you've had enough too, consider making a donatation to the March for Our Lives Action Fund, or other deserving groups, such as Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety, or the Brady Campaign.

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Summer Vacation - Dinotopia

I wrote about the first half of our summer vacation - the eclipseapocalypse - in my last post. A total solar eclipse is a tough act to follow, so the obvious choice was to go looking for dinosaurs. First stop: Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite. (In the wider photo a fairly distinct three-toed footprint can be seen about a meter in front of Suzie's feet.)

After many hours of driving across Wyoming, including a stop at Devil's Tower, we arrived in Belle Fourche, South Dakota to go digging for fossils.

This dig site is in the Hell Creek formation, which is a geologic formation that dates back to the end of the Cretaceous period, about 66 million years ago. It's lousy with fossils, including turtles and alligators, fish, and dinosaurs like Triceratops, hadrosaurs, raptors, and even the most recognizable dinosaur of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. We spent two days digging with paleontologist Walter Stein, and excavated a bunch of neat fossils. I'll eventually photograph some of our coolest finds and share them here.

The actual digging is super hard hard, and it turns out all us amateurs strike pretty much the same pose while we're digging:

After two long days at the dig site we were totally beat. Walter, however, has been doing this for years, so he knows all too well that inefficient work can take a toll on the body. Here, he demonstrates the proper relaxed posture for cleaning a fossil.

If a couple days of backbreaking work in the hot sun of South Dakota looks fun (and I can say without hesitation that it is), I recommend checking out Walter's paleontology tourism company PaleoAdventures for yourself.

Summer Vacation - Eclipseapocalypse

This summer Brittany and I, along with two good friends, traveled to Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota to visit Yellowstone, see the total solar eclipse, catch up with an old friend, and dig up some dinosaur bones. These are some images from the first half of that trip, with more to come from the second half eventually. After flying into Idaho Falls, we did a whirlwind tour of Yellowstone, investigating all kinds of geothermal features, and narrowly avoiding being eaten by a bear.

Then we returned to Idaho, making our way to Driggs, to meet up with Greg, a San Luis Obispo expat. The property that Greg lives on is dead-center on the line of totality for the 2017 eclipse.

But Greg had other things in mind of the eclipse - he took us north, to a special spot he'd staked out well in advance.

In the photos above and below, you can see why Greg picked this spot - we were treated to a breathtaking view of the total solar eclipse over the western vista of the Teton range. The image below was the best I could manage, guessing the correct exposure on the Hassy SWC, but you can see a gorgeous version of roughly same perspective on Ben Horton's Instagram.

Vacation - Tuolumne Meadows

Earlier this summer Brittany and I spent a long weekend in Tuolumne Meadows and on the east side of the Sierra. It was Brittany's first time there.

We found a really awesome campsite in Inyo National Forest, south of Mono Lake.

Mono Lake is so salty that the water feels viscous and slippery.

It also doesn't taste as good as you might think.

Tenaya Lake, in Tuolumne Meadows, is much more pleasant to take a dip in (if much, much colder).

These images were made with my Hasselblad SWC, which has quickly become my favorite carry-around camera.

Women's March - San Luis Obispo

On January 21st I went with my wife to the San Luis Obispo Women's March in support of women, racial and religious minorities, the LGBTQ community and others who feel threatened by President Trump's incoming administration. I brought my Hasselblad SuperWide with me, which seemed a good choice to take in the crowds. These are five of the images I took that morning at Mitchell Park and along the one-mile loop through downtown San Luis Obispo.