Omnibus Update, January 2010

(December 31, 1969)


When I made a careful survey of my site last December I discovered that I was about 1900 panoramas behind - panoramas taken and stitched but not finished and not yet put up on the site. So as soon as I completed the big QTVR to Flash conversion I started trying to catch up. As a result almost 400 new panoramas were added to this website the last week of January 2010.

First, some very old pictures, cubic panoramas that I shot in 2003-2004, before I had good software to stitch cubics. Some are of Yosemite and forests (where more of a view upwards is needed), others are of wildflowers (straight down needed). In all just over a hundred were finally finished as cubics. Most of these panos were already on the site in cylindrical form. If you look carefully you may discover you can now see to the tops of the cliffs and look down at the flowers in many places where before you couldn't.

The other new additions are scattered all around the site. I have been trying to finish off guidebooks or states where there were just a few pending images. Next I will start work on the really big blocks of panos that remain.

Oregon Coast
The northernmost redwoods, on the Chetco River near Brookings.
Black Hills and Badlands National Park
Everything I have for South Dakota is now on-line, a total of 77 images. These were added in late 2009, but never announced. It is a major geographic addition, including Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, herds of bison, Badlands National Park, and Wounded Knee.
Mount Shasta
Low water in Shasta Lake in 2008, a great contrast with two years earlier when the lake was full.
Mount Lassen
Burney Falls and Lake Britton on the Pit River.
Sacramento Valley
A reshoot of the Sundial Bridge in Redding, this time using spherical images.
Also riparian forest on the Sacramento River at Woodson Bridge near Corning.
Lake Tahoe and the Northern Sierra
Sutters Mill at Coloma, the original gold discovery site.
Marin County
Three hikes at Point Reyes National Seashore: Bear Valley, the Coast Trail at Miller Point, and Tomales Point.
Plus the hike and beach at Tennessee Valley in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
San Francisco
New spherical images of the San Francisco Civic Center.
San Francisco Bay Area
Winter hikes on Mount Diablo, and a few miles southeast of there at Morgan Territory Regional Park.
El Camino Real
Springtime pictures on the Parkfield Grade Road, at the town of Parkfield on the San Andreas Fault, and south along the San Andreas Rift Zone.
Yosemite
The Roosevelt Grove of giant sugar pines near Crane Flat.
A February snowstorm in Yosemite Valley: Discovery View, El Capitan Meadow, Leidig Meadow, Chapel Meadow, Cooks Meadow, Ahwahnee Meadow, and the Ahwahnee Hotel.
In August we took an overnight hike to the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp near Tuolumne Meadows.
Sequoia
More panoramas on snowshoes in Sequoia National Park: Wuksachi Lodge, the General Sherman Tree, the Congress Trail, Round Meadow and Giant Forest
On the same trip, but no snow (lower elevations) at Ash Mountain and Three Rivers.
East of the Sierra
Returning from the southwest in October 2009 I updated my coverage of the Bridgeport area , and saw some great fall color at Twin Lakes.
In October of 2008 I spent a wonderful day with the ancient bristlecone pines of the White Mountains. I started with the highest part of the Partriach Grove at around 11,000 feet, then the main Patriarch Grove on the flats below.
Also new panoramas along the White Mountain Road between the Patriarch and Schulman Groves, and south down to Westgard Pass.
In March 2009, on my way to Death Valley, I stopped north of Owens Lake to photograph a series of dust storms. But before I could get back to the car the wind shifted and I was completely engulfed in the swirling dust cloud.
I have also added a few additional panoramas of the Manzanar Japanese Relocation Camp.
Death Valley
In 2008 I shot a major series of panoramas covering Saline Valley, the most remote part of Death Valley National Park. There are 34 panoramas presented in six sections: the North Pass Road coming in from Big Pine; the lower main springs officially known as Saline Valley Warm Springs; the middle developed spring known as Palm Spring; the small and natural Upper Spring; the floor of Saline Valley with sand dunes and the salt playa; and the South Pass Road.
Santa Barbara
In March 2007 I took a few new panoramas of Carpinteria, and Ventura, including Mission San Buenaventura.
Los Angeles
Among the really old cubics that I finally finished - a tricky stitching problem finally overcome, and worth it - the Bonaventure Hotel on Bunker Hill.
Southern Deserts
I spent a pleasant morning at Zzyzx in the East Mojave National Preserve, shooting the Soda Springs Desert Studies Center.
On my way back from the conference in Albuquerque I photographed Trona, a vast chemical extraction site and company town located on the shore of Searles Dry Lake.
Northern Nevada
In late fall of 2008 I enjoyed a brief stay at Great Basin National Park, the least visited national park in the 48 states. A cross-section of Prometheus, the world's oldest tree until it was cut down, has been rescued from the casino in Ely, and can now be seen in the Great Basin Visitor Center in Baker.
Southern Nevada
For the World Wide Panorama event "Diversity" I paid a visit to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, home to the world's rarest fish, the Devils Hole pupfish.
The next day I photographed at popular Spring Mountain Ranch and Red Rock Canyon, west of Las Vegas
Canyonlands of Utah
I shot a long series of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, Natural Bridges, and Captol Reef in early summer of 2008, and managed to get most of them up on the website by October. But another series shot on the same trip in the Canyon Rims Recreation Area, got overlooked until now. It consists of Anticline Overlook, the Hatch Point Road, and the Needles Overlook.
Northern Arizona
In October 2008 I revisited the Kaibab Plateau specifically for the fall colors, and also added some spherical views at the North Rim and Bright Angel Point.
Cactus Country, Southern Arizona
In December 2009 I spent a week in Tucson scouting for the International Panoramic Photography Conference. My business there was hotels, so I shot a series of panos of the Hilton Tucson East Hotel (where the conference will be held).
But I also managed to grab a few panos of the Mount Lemmon Highway, the Pima Air and Space Museum, and just a few from the Rincon Mountain unit of Saguaro National Park before a sand storm blew up.
I managed to add two entire new states to the website, Kansas and Missouri, photographed on my epic Oregon Trail trip of July 2008. I could (and should) have added a third, Iowa, but my time in Council Bluffs was too short and the weather too rainy.

Kansas
In Kansas I took just a few along the Oregon Trail and Pony Express route in the northeast corner: Hollenberg Station and Marysville; and Alcove Spring on the Big Blue River. Further south I enjoyed a brief stop at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Missouri
Missouri was my turn-around point on the Oregon Trail trip, as I only wanted to document the starting points for the emigrant trails along the east bank of the Missouri River at Saint Joseph and Independence.

Now that these bits and pieces are cleared away I can start in on some of the huge remaining blocks of panos that have been taken and stitched, but not finally prepared and added to the site. About 1100 panoramas to go!

  • Two springtime trips in 2008 to the San Luis Obispo coast and El Camino Real in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties. (about 120)
  • My long Oregon Trail trip through Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska. (about 280)
  • A summer trip to Portland, Salem and the Oregon coast. (80)
  • Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, and central Nevada on a cold autumn trip in 2008. (60)
  • Two long series completing my coverage of Owens Valley. (about 100)
  • Saratoga Spring at the south end of Death Valley and China Gardens on the Amargosa River. (70)
  • A long backwoods driving and hiking trip in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains of northern California. (about 70)
  • Twice across Nevada: Carson City, Virginia City, Fort Churchill, Berlin-Icthyosaur, Angel Lake, and the California Trail. (70)
  • Across central and northern Arizona on my way to and from a conference in Albuquerque, including the Grand Canyon. (about 80)
  • Some major additions (including replacement of early work) for the Pueblo Country of northern New Mexico, and a few days in southern New Mexico. (100)

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Contact Don Bain: dbain@virtualguidebooks.com