A quick note of thanks to the GSA for hosting such an amazing conference in Seattle this year! The positive response to my Immersive Virtual Field Experience was beyond my wildest dreams. Below I've posted all the materials needed to implement the experience in your class! Enjoy.
I guess there were many lessons from today's attempted presentation of my Immersive Virtual Field Experience. Both classroom lessons and life lessons! It was quite an experience and I greatly appreciate everyone's willingness to make lemonade out of lemons.
Here's the list of resources I promised. Please feel free to shoot me questions via twitter (@phaneritic) or email once you get to use the IVFE over good internet.
Our October 2017 schedule was brimming with school activities and commitments. When we realized that the first weekend of the month was open on our calendar we promptly filled-it by heading to the Eastern Sierra’s to check out the early fall colors. Specifically, we headed to Sagehen Meadow off HWY 120, east of Mono Lake. After seeing a few of my preliminary photos of the area on twitter, my students declared that the hills looked like they were covered in Cheetos dust. I quite agreed. We took some family photos and enjoyed the afternoon before heading into Mammoth for glamping at the Shilo Inn.
On Sunday morning we headed down to Devils Post Pile National Monument for a short 1.5 mile hike with Zephyr to see the amazing columnar basalt that was glacially carved and polished about 15,000 years ago! It was a refreshing quick trip that has our minds cleared and ready to tackle the next month of craziness!
With two weeks of school in the books and an impending heat wave for Turlock we decided to head for the Eastern Sierra to stay cool and try to catch some fish. Since we wanted to maximize fishing and exploration time (as well as time out of the car for Zephyr), we “roughed-it” at the Toiyabe Motel in Walker, CA along HWY 395. The main objective of the trip was to scout the fishing & autumn foliage possibilities at Lobdell Lake in the Sweetwater Mountains. Laura and I had been telling one another “we need to get into those mountains someday” for nearly 15 years. This trip finally made it happen. We also spent some time fishing the West Walker River and finished with lunch at Leavitt Creek.
While Laura was in Upstate NY visiting relatives, I decided to end our summer vacation by camping with Zephyr, Grandma & Grandpa H. Our target was the newly opened Webber Lake campground, a property of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. The lake had been a private ranch and trophy trout lake since the 1870's until it was acquired by the TDLT in 2012 . After much planning and infrastructure improvements, the ranch area near the lake was converted into a campground that opened August 1st of this year. We were some of the first people to camp here!
Long story short, I never got to fish the lake because of massive thunderstorms that were unrelenting until just before dinner. We went to several other lakes in the area hoping to fish, but the storms kept chasing us. We stayed in the truck so we wouldn't get soaked and waited for a dry spell that would allow us to make dinner.
The morning brought beautiful skies (for our tents to dry) and the chance to hike Lacey Meadows. No trout in Lacey Creek, so we packed-up and headed to the Little Truckee River hoping to get a trout for Z. You'll see that he did!
After bringing home a paltry 130lbs of salmon/halibut fillets last season, we didn't quite know what to expect this year. The seas were still warm around Angoon (Chatham Strait) and the fishing report had been mixed. To make sure I wouldn't be too disappointed by the fishing, I rented a 400mm zoom lens for my camera in the hopes of capturing some great wildlife shots. I especially wanted to target humpbacks, so I kept my fingers crossed that there would be enough herring in the area to lure the gigantic mammals into our fishing area.
As you can see, the trip was a bonanza on multiple accounts. We had three separate pods of humpbacks near our boat for parts of each day. I was able to take over 500 photographs capturing their bubble-net feeding from start to finish. We also brought home 230lbs of salmon, halibut and black cod fillets. I love Alaska!
Our family made a point to get outdoors more often this summer after hunkering down on projects in the summer of 2016. The only problem was that many of our favorite spots were buried by record winter snowfall until the middle of July. When the passes opened, we made a bee-line for the eastern Sierra's. Specifically, McGee Canyon near Crowley Lake on HWY 395. The area has everything a family could want: peace & quiet, a fishing stream, amazing geology & killer wildflowers. Not to mention a few stray monsoonal storms to add to the moodiness of the place. Click through the photo journal to learn a bit more about the area!
Photos from our June trip to Yosemite to get a few family photos and to introduce Kingston to "WATERFALLS!"
Laura, Zephyr and I were curious to see what the record snow pack looked like on Sonora Pass this late into June. We had heard there were still areas directly off the highway with more than five feet of snow and that runoff caused by our recent heatwave was causing evening flooding across HWY 108. The drive did not disappoint! Not only did we see more snow that we’d imagined, we saw more cars! Like 10x’s the normal amount, likely due to the fact that Tioga Pass is still closed.
I'll add some descriptions to this vacation in a day or two, but in the meantime here is the link to the photojournal.
Ryan J Hollister - Geoscience & EnviroSci Educator, Avid hiker, Landscape photographer, WildLink Club Advisor, Central Valley Advocate.