Mountain Monkey

There’s nothing quite like a sacred mountain by the sea to get the monkey’s juices flowing. Yesterday he spent the day hiking around Mt. Daisen in the southwestern part of the island of Honshu. Soaring about 5,400 feet above the Sea of Japan this is another volcanic mountain created over hundreds of thousands of years by several eruptions. Since about 70% of Japan is mountainous, it’s inevitable that you’re going to spend some time with them and every town seems to have its own sacred mountain. At one time there were at least 30 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines scattered…

Malibu Canyon

Last November a monster fire called Woolsey started in the Santa Susanna mountains north of Simi Valley and churned its way all the way to the Pacific Ocean.  Along the way it burned nearly 100,000 acres, destroyed more than 1,500 structures, and killed three people.  300,000 people (including your favorite monkey) were evacuated. On its way to the ocean the fire raced through Malibu Canyon, a rugged wilderness in the Santa Monica mountains burning much of what was in its path. A few days after the fire was over the rains started.  Within a week or so there was new…

Old Mission Dam Revisited

After a week of 12-14 hour days poring over spreadsheets, building PowerPoint presentations, and going through innumerable “What If” drills, the poor little monkey had had enough!  So, after a Saturday afternoon nap while waiting for the sun to move closer to the horizon, Kongo grabbed his camera, slapped on the 70-200 lens, and headed for one of his favorite spots close to home:  The Old Mission Dam in Mission Trails Park.

Mountain Monkey

After getting up early to bid the blue moon goodbye, Kongo heads out to climb nearby Cowles Mountain, which is part of the San Diego Mission Trails Regional Park.  Cowles Mountain is a little more than 1500 feet above sea level and although the guides say it’s an easy hike, the climb up in 90 F heat was a bit tiring for this monkey although there were lots of younger people actually running up the mountain and down again.