Friday, February 26, 2010


One of my longest trips was in July 2008 when I followed the Oregon Trail (backwards) from Salt Lake City to Independence, Missouri. The largest chunk of new territory for me on that trip was Nebraska. My only previous visit there was a truly dismal conference of summer school administrators (which is what I was at the time) held there in midwinter - very grim.

My welcome to the state came immediately, when I stopped at a small town cafe a few miles in from the Wyoming border. The chatty young waitress, the same age as my students at Berkeley but with two kids already, asked me "So if you are from California, what the heck are you doing in Nebraaaska?" drawing out the A with satiric emphasis.

People had told me Nebraska was nothing but a long day's drive through cornfields, dead flat with nothing of interest. Of course I never believe this sort of stereotype, I find interest in every landscape and see what most others miss. But I did not have high expectations, so the reality of Nebraska blew me away.
The Sand Hills

My first stop was Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in the northwest corner of the state, a fabulous fossil site miles from anywhere out in the Sandhills. Gus Yellowhair and his two nieces sang Native American songs at the visitor center, reminding me this was the area of the last stand of the plains Indians. Nearby Fort Robinson played a sinister role in that, but now is a huge state park with one of the largest buffalo herds on the prairies.

At the end of my swing through Nebraska a week later I almost closed the loop, coming up northwest through the Sandhills along the Cowboy Trail, a railroad route converted to a trail. These are the "empty counties" where the towns stand half-empty and there are suggestions of turning it all back into a vast buffalo range.

The Oregon Trail in Western Nebraska

Returning to the main east-west corridor along the North Platte River the first stop was Scotts Bluff National Monument. The bluff's height isn't great compared to almost anything further west, but it impresssed the pioneers lumbering westward in their prairie schooners from the midwest. It actually had the authentic feel of a national park, with great views, CCC-built roads and trails, and an excellent visitor center. Another landmark was close by - Chimney Rock, which I remember from childrens books about the wagon trains. The Oregon Trail along this stretch follows the south bank of the North Platte River (the Mormon Trail was on the other side), with an important stopping point at verdant Ash Hollow.

A shortcut across the uplands towards the South Platte River brought me to California Hill where the best preserved wagon train ruts can be found on a grassy hillside that has somehow escaped the plow. Did I mention that tourists following the Oregon trail are sometimes referred to as "rut nuts"? Yes, I saw lots of ruts on this trip, but there were only two places where I could at all imagine it as it was in the 1840's. Many of the "ruts" are actually vague swales where the wagons wore a trench in the soft ground, and some are in agricultural or even urban areas. But here at California Hill, and earlier at South Pass, the country was still fairly empty and quiet, and the trail marked by a pair of wheel tracks though the grass (within the wider swale). It is one of the stranger sorts of historical artifact, and a distinctively American one.

North Platte, Nebraska, is centered in the western half of the state on the river of the same name. It is home to the Union Pacific Railroad's Bailey Yard, the largest railroad classification yard in the world - 10,000 cars a day on 315 miles of track. They had just opened the Golden Spike Tower with an overview of the yard, built with a notable lack of cooperation from the railroad, which had also torn down the historic depot. I guess it was just conforming to its historic stereotype as a ruthless, heartless corporation. Buffalo Bill's Scout's Rest Ranch outside of town was very interesting.

Cody Park in North Platte has a superb collection of railroad rolling stock and an entire small town depot, transported intact from nearby Hershey. I passed the invisible line from west to east, the Hundredth Meridian, between Gothenburg and Cozad. The landscape by that point had changed to the midwestern pattern of small towns with huge grain elevators and endless cornfields. I wasn't the only one aware of this dividing line, there were no less than four signs and plaques marking its passage through Cozad.
Southeastern Nebraska

Following Interstate 80 for a distance here I began to understand the stereotype of flat and corny. But the site of Fort Kearney, and the Archway Monument grandiosely spanning the highway hint at an interesting past. From there I veered southeast, to Rock Creek Station, site of a small toll bridge and important supply point on the Oregon Trail and the best preserved Pony Express station. It was here that a stable hand later known as "Wild BIll" Hickok shot David McCanles - one shot through the heart with a pistol at 75 yards. I met up with Bill again a few weeks later in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Willa Cather is acclaimed as one of the greatest American writers, famous equally for her stories of the frontier she grew up on, and the Southwest she moved to as an established writer. Her home town of Red Cloud, down near the Kansas border, has lovely red brick streets, stately old buildings, and even a recently restored and protected hilltop prairie. I bought two of her books here and read them for the rest of the trip.

Beyond Red Cloud the country became lusher, with prosperous looking old towns such as Fairbury and Beatrice. Failing to find a decent motel for the night I found out why people who camp in the Midwest in summer stay inside their motorhomes - the bugs, heat and humidity were almost unbearable. But I was entranced by the abundant fireflies, the first I had ever seen. My final stop on the long traverse of Nebraska was little-visited Homestead National Monument (or National Memorial, according to some sources). This was where the very first homestead claim was made and preserves a fine woodland and lush meadows, as well as a historic cabin and collection of 19th century farm equipment.
Omaha and Florence

After a few days spent in Kansas and Missouri I found myself in Omaha on a Sunday morning. After my dismal experience here years before I didn't expect much, but was surprised at what I found. I started with the Riverfront and Old Market district, recently reclaimed from the railroad, rusty industry and obsolete commerce. This was the supply center for a huge westwards swathe of frontier and later rich farmland. The old buildings were interesting and the neighborhood quickly became very lively. The only sour note was when I sought out the "Jobbers Canyon" Historic District, only to find that it had been demolished and replaced with the corporate headquarters of Con Agra Foods. Shame!

Downtown Omaha was an unexpected delight, buildings old and new surrounding a green park with pools and waterfalls, wildlife and pioneer history sculptures adding interest. I had the definite feeling of a city on the rebound, recovering from the closing of the stockyards and a troubled past of ethnic strife. On the north edge of town I visited Florence, originally known as Winter Quarters, where the first big group of Mormon emigrants waited out the winter of 1846-47.
The Cowboy Trail and Niobara

From Omaha I wandered through pleasant small towns and lush agricultural land, roughly paralleling the Elkhorn River. Then I continued along the former route of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, now converted into the Cowboy Trail, a 320 mile hiking, biking, and horseback rail-to-trail conversion through the area known as the Nebraska Outback.

My final stop in Nebraska was a very pleasant one, an amazing biologic crossroads - the Niobrara River national Preserve. The uplands above the river include some remnant prairie courtesy of the benign neglect of the cavalry at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, complete with elk and a sizeable herd of buffalo. The river canyon has steep limsetone walls with a few small waterfalls and a lovely clear river. The east-west orientation results in vegetation from further north on the south wall (facing north) and from further south on the north wall. Plus it is right on the 100th meridian and has species from both east and west, including excellent opportunities for birdwatching. Truly one of the hidden gems of Nebraska.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Trip to Albuquerque

In October 2009 I attended the joint meeting of the IAPP and the IVRPA (International Association of Panoramic Photographers and International VR Photography Association) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was great fun and I enjoyed meeting people with obsessions similar to my own. I gave a talk entitled "Why 360-degree VR?"

Since Albuquerque is only a thousand or so miles from home, I decided to drive both ways and do a little photography on the way. I plotted a zig-zag course connecting up places I felt I needed panos of, either to fill in gaps in my coverage, or to replace ones that were old and/or not so good. I ended up taking 259 panoramas on the trip, and all but the last 50 or so are now finished and published on my website.

Southern Deserts and Cactus Country

My first day took me to Needles, where I frequently camp at Moapa Regional Park on the Colorado River. From there I crossed into Arizona and followed the river down through Lake Havasu City (home of London Bridge), the Parker Strip and the Colorado River Indian Reservation where I added another of the WWII Japanese Relocation camps to my list. I spent the night in another of my favorite camp areas, the "long term visitor area" for snowbirds at Quartzsite. I intended to laze around there for a day or two, but the wind picked up and made it impossible - everything from my hat to my flip-flops started blowing away!

Central Arizona

I relocated to a motel in Verde Valley, which has grown remarkably since I was last there, and the next day shot panos around the historic town of Prescott, formerly the territorial capital, and home to the excellent Smoki Museum. From there it was over the mountains to the old mining town of Jerome. The old Jerome High School has been converted to artists studios and galleries, a excellent idea and a most pleasant place. The picture I took of artist Mark Hemleben in his studio was the one I ended up using for my Best of 2009 on the World Wide Panorama site. Also in the Verde Valley I re-shot Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle National Monuments.

Northern Arizona

After a surprisingly cold night camping near Flagstaff (down to 17 degrees), I revisited Sunset Crater National Monument, with its colorful volcanic cones and black lava flows. Heading east on Route 66 (now Interstate 40) I documented a stretch of the old road at Winona (scroll to the bottom of the Flagstaff page). Remember that line in the song - "Flagstaff Arizona, don't forget Winona"? It must have been for the rhyme, there has never been anything very memorable there. My last stop before the state line was Barringer Meteor Crater, truly one of the wonders of the world. It deserves to be a national monument, but remains in private hands, and I must say they do an excellent job of both preserving and protecting it. The next day was a straight shot into Albuquerque for the conference.

Pueblo Country

The conference was held during the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. We had prime seats at the Gondola Club to view the sunset spectacle of the special shapes balloons, followed by the "Glowdeo" of balloons illuminated by the propane flames that provide their hot air. Unfortunately a traffic accident trapped me on the freeway the next morning and I missed the mass ascencion. Another activity at the conference was a trip on the aerial tram to the Sandia Crest.

I came down with a cold, or maybe flu, the last day of the conference, and spent most of the next four days in a cheap motel in Belen, New Mexico, staring at the ceiling. When I recovered I headed southeast to rephotograph the Salinas Pueblos National Monument, also known as "the cities that died of fear". First was Abo, thick walls of a ruined church with a pueblo around it and a kiva inside the cloister walls. Then Quarai, massive red sandstone ruins on a verdant hillside. Finally, a long drive east onto the plains, where Gran Quivira (also known as Las Humanas, crowns a low ridge with ash grey stone ruins, a Spanish pueblo village built on top of a radial prehistoric structure.

Southern New Mexico

Next I spent a day exploring east of the Rio Grande Valley to the Very Large Array radio-telescope complex on the Plains of San Augustin, then the old mining town of Magdalena. The railroad was built to here because of mines such as the Kelly Mine, and was the destination for massive cattle drives from the interior plains of New Mexico as recently as 1948. I explored historic Socorro, which was founded in 1598 by Don Juan de Onate, and that night I camped at Water Canyon in the Socorro Mountains, The next day I drove around Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge then headed back to Albuquerque Pueblo Country Again

There is a genuinely historic and interesting district known simply as Old Town surrounding the plaza in Albuquerque. My attempt to panograph other parts of the town was frustrated by a Sunday morning charity run event that had all the streets blocked. Instead I took a hike in the Rinconada Canyon section of Petroglyph National Monument, notable mostly for the extreme proximity of new development and a lot more joggers and dog walkers than petroglyphs. Next time I will go to the Boca Negra section, apparently much more impressive.

The rest of the day was spent at Bandelier National Monument, an amazing prehistoric site with traditional pueblos on the floor of Frijoles Cayon plus unique dwellings built into the soft volcanic rock of the canyon wall. The weather was perfect and it was swarming with people hiking the short trail and climbing up and down the ladders and in and out of the caves. On the way back I stopped at the Rio Grande viewpoint in White Rock near Los Alamos .

Starting home the next day I spent most of the day at El Malpais National Monument, where pale sandstone ciffs edge a huge black lava field. That night I enjoyed a bit of history by staying at the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup on old Route 66.

Northern Arizona Again

Just at the New Mexico-Arizona state line I headed north to Window Rock, the Navajo nation capital. Nearby is Hubbell Trading Post National Monument, managed by the National Park Service as a combination historic site and active trading post. From Hubbell I drove north to Chinle and shot a quick series of panos along the south rim of Canyon de Chelly, then spent the night in the lovely (free) campground located in a stand of cottonwood trees.

From Williams I went north to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I have never been fond of the South Rim, too much development and too many people. It wasn't as bad as in mid-summer, but was still not, in my opinion, the optimal way to enjoy this wonder of the word (I recommend Toroweap if you want to really experience the Grand Canyon.)

I worked my way along the busiest stretch of the canyon rim, from Mather Point to Yavapai Point, the canyon rim lodges, Lookout House and Kolb's Studio, and Grand Canyon Village. Despite the grandeur and beauty of the views, it felt more like work than pleasure to me.

Southern Deserts Again

Back in California I headed northwest to the mining town of Trona on Searles Lake, then north up Owens Valley and home over Sonora Pass. There were some good fall colors along the east side of the Sierra, but I have not put them up yet.

Omnibus Update

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.
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.
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.

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 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)

Conversion from QuickTime to Flash

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Kauai - the Garden Isle

In May this year I was given a wonderful opportunity. My friends Bob and Evelyn Apte invited me to stay with them in their house at Princeville on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i. Bob is an accomplished photographer and world traveler: you can enjoy the amazing collection of photographs on his site: Robert Apte's Eye Vue the World. Bob has been encouraging me in my photographic projects for several years now, and inspiring me by his example, both as a photographic artist, and as a person who knows how to live well. Bob is a bit camera-shy, but can be seen in the first of the panoramas at Queen's Bath.

I would like to dedicate the updated guidebook Kaua'i - the Garden Isle to Robert and Evelyn Apte, in gratitude for their friendship and support, and especially their generous hospitality at Princeville, which made this new edition possible. I spent an idyllic two weeks with them, shooting the glorious landscapes of Kaua'i each day, returning "home" each night to their companionhip (and Evelyn's home cooking).

By the way, if you are interested in visiting Kauai, the Apte's house is available for rent. It is located on the clifftops at Ali'i Kai in Princeville, on the beautiful north coast, and can be seen in three of my panoramas on the Princeville page. It is a very private single-story two bedroom unit, right on the clifftop, at the end of the road so there is no traffic. It has high speed internet, there is a swimming pool adjacent, and Princeville has everything you might need - library, post office, groceries, shopping and restaurants. Full details about renting are on this website.

I first visited Kauai in 1988, a ten day trip spent camping and hiking, including three memorable days on the Na Pali coast trail to Kalalau. I was shooting Kodachrome slides then (VR panoramas had not been invented) and got some great shots - I should digitize some and get them on the web. I returned to Kauai in March 1999 with my wife Nora and shot about 70 panoramas on negative film. Unfortunately, the time needed to scan all those negatives was more than I could manage, and only a dozen ever made it to my site.

This second edition of the Virtual Guidebook to Kauai - the Garden Isle consists entirely of new work, shot the first two weeks of May, 2009. I have replicated almost all the panos from my earlier trip and filled in most of the gaps in my geographic coverage. The weather was not ideal, many days were hazy or cloudy, but Hawaii is stunning in any light and I am very pleased with the 210 panoramas I obtained.

I have organized the panos in a clockwise series, starting at the end of the road at Ke'e on the north coast and wrapping around the east coast, south coast, west coast, and ending in the Alaka'i Swamp near the center of the island. There is a gap between the ends - the roadless Na Pali coast, which I did not have time to hike.

A few locations and subjects eluded me - I'll get them next time. The big one of course is the spectacular Kalalau Trail along the Na Pali coast cliffs, including the valleys at Hankapi'ai, Hanakoa, and Kalalau. I had planned to hike out onto the knife-edge ridges above the dry end of Na Pali, at Miloli'i and Awa'awapuhi, but after my nine-mile hike in Alaka'i Swamp the day before I just didn't have the energy. I also hoped to hike the east side and bottom of Waimea Canyon, but didn't have the time (or 4-wheel drive). If I could be reasonably sure of a clear day I would like to hike all the way across the Alaka'i Swamp to Kilohana, which overlooks the northeast coast.

Kapa'a has some nice narrow beaches and fine hotels I would like to document. I never got around to shooting the Kilohana Plantation house (Gaylord's Restaurant) or the Grove Farm Homestead historic site (which requires special permission). The St Regis Hotel in Princeville was closed during remodeling.

There are more beautiful beaches, coves, and coastal cliffs than I could cover on one trip, but I tried to get a reasonable selection. The ones I would like to add are Tunnels Beach (the premier snorkeling spot on the north coast), Secret Beach and Larsen's Beach in the north, the rest of the Maha'alepu beaches near Poipu, and Barking Sands between Kekaha and Polihale (which now requires security clearance because you must cross military land).

There are a few subjects I feel I did not do justice to. Wailua Falls is hard to see from behind the wall, so I should have hiked to the bottom (despite all the warning signs). I took a few panos in shallow water on various beaches, but next time I would like to get further out, perhaps in a kayak, and also try some underwater panos. There was almost no rain during this trip (very unusual for Kaua'i) so I missed the dramatic clouds, mist, and rainbows that are so much a part of the Hawai'ian scene.

Next - the Big Island. I don't know when, or how I can afford it, but I would love to re-photograph the Big Island of Hawai'i. My wife and I spent two full weeks there in January, 2000, making a strenuous effort to obtain comprehensive coverage - 164 panoramas. It was the last big project I shot on film, and very little of it ever got scanned (just 32 panos). I would go a little slower now, probably take three weeks, and replicate every single pano - but this time digital and spherical.