Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cowles 3-Way

Team Geezer went out for a 10 mile hike 3 ways over Cowles Mountain this morning in preparation of our Grand Canyon hike that's fast approaching in 35 days. I've been working with my new Flip Mino HD video camera. I normally bring a digital camera along for hiking and riding, but that just seems so old fashioned these days. Video is where it's at! I've put a protective silicon skin on the Mino in case I should drop it. I have run into a few challenges though.

One thing I've noticed with the camera is that if I delete the video files using my computer, the camera won't reset how much recording time is available. I use Ubuntu as my OS of choice and the Mino shows up as USB drive. The installed software on the Mino that would automatically run when inserted into a computer running Windows won't work under Ubuntu.

The other thing I've noticed is that uploading videos through this blog causes YouTube to issue an error message part way through the conversion process. If I upload the videos straight into YouTube, the conversion process doesn't emit any error messages. I just have to copy the URLS to each video. Not a big deal.

We started the hike at 7 AM from Mesa Road in Santee under very heavy marine layer conditions, which made the hike have some really cool video opportunities. Keeping up with my bionic partner can be challenging! Before we knew it we're at 1592 feet above sea level, the highest point within the City of San Diego.

On our way to the Beckhelm Lookout, AKA Pyles Peak, we passed this interesting formation Herb and I dubbed the Albino Rainbow. It's probably some kind of fresnel lens made by the mist in the air with the sunlight coming from behind us refracting into that shape. But I digress, I'm not a physicist...

With all the mist in the air from the marine layer, several spider webs had caught some of the mist. This guy meant business with his web!

As we made our way back to the summit of Cowles, the marine layer was just starting to dissipate.

The surrounding peaks were poking through the top of the shallow marine layer.

Another 360 degree view from the summit of Cowles.

Departing the summit, we hike the most popular trail on Cowles Mountain. Lots of people and dogs make it very crowded, it's by far the most popular and the shortest route to the summit. Once at the top, I took another 360 degree video showing how the marine layer had dissipated out into the Pacific Ocean.

All in all, I'm really liking the Mino. It's easy to use and works a tad faster than a regular digital camera. I think it takes better video than some digital cameras take photos. I can always grab a still out of the video if I needed. Two hours of video can be recorded.

The hike went very well. 10 miles with about 4800 feet of climbing in 3 hours and 47 minutes. Our next adventure is the Palomar 12 Miler in two weeks! This will be our final prep hike before our Grand Canyon trip October 22nd.

Until next time...


Rick said...

Great scenery and cool camera. Too bad it doesn't record people or the smart-alec commentary that goes along with hikes like that.

Herb said...

Thanks for the beating, sir. I'm looking forward to more at Mt. Palomar in 2 weeks.