I did what I set out to do and hiked the last, and most difficult, trail at the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve. I started at 9:10 this morning and finished at 2:40 in the afternoon. I hiked a total of 8.67 miles with 1920 feet of elevation gain. I saw a bobcat at the start of the hike, crossed a slippery wooden bridge, saw a tree with a nice moss covered ass, sat on a log and drew for a few minutes, saw another bobcat at the end of the trail as well as cows chillin under a tree, kicked off my socks and boots and relaxed my feet and laid out and rested on a couple picnic tables. It was one hell of a challenge, and great way to end the year. And although I’ve hiked all the trails here I can see myself doing it again someday.
Wednesday morning I'm setting out to hike the last last, and longest, trail at Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve. I've hiked every other trail there but none are as difficult as the Lower Calaveras Fault. My alarm is set and I'm scheduled to arrive and start hiking at 9:00 AM. I don't know how long it's going to take, probably 5-6 hours, but I'm gonna give myself time to stop and rest and make it back before the preserve closes at 4:00 PM. I'll be wearing my newly acquired sock liners, underneath my regular socks, for the first time. They're supposed to prevent blisters so we'll see how that goes. I'm excited to finally check this trail off the list. In November I set out to hike every trail at Alum Rock Park before the end of the year and finished earlier than expected. I sure as hell didn't think I'd hike all of Sierra Vista before 2021 as well. Next on my hit list is Joseph D. Grant County Park since my buddy and I already carved out a 5.5 mile hike there a couple weeks ago.
I went on a 4.6 mile hike today and finished the last bit of the Upper Calaveras Fault Trail at the Sierra Vista Preserve. I also saw a bobcat on the trail. All I gotta do now is hike the Lower Calaveras Fault Trail and I’ll have done all the trails at Sierra Vista. My goal is to finish it before the end of the year, which is in three days.
I finished editing the Hail Santa video tonight. I ran into some issues and learned a few things while working on it. First off, the DSLR camera (overhead) stopped recording and I had to start it up again. There was a notice on the display saying it stopped recording. Luckily I caught it after a few seconds. After Googling it, I learned that I need a faster SD card. My current card is too slow and can't keep up with the camera as it records video. The other option was to record at a lower resolution but I ordered a new card instead. After importing the DSLR and iPhone footage (side angle) into iMovie I learned the two videos didn't sync up. It took me a while to figure out that one video was slightly faster than the other. That shouldn't happen. My guess is that the slow SD card is the culprit. After doing my best to sync the two videos and cutting the hell out of it, I sped up the video from 18 minutes down to 40 seconds. I want to keep my videos short since most people on social media have little or no attention spans. But after speeding it up I realized the quick cuts don't look good at such high speed. I might export a version that's a little longer so the edits aren't as jarring. Either way, next time I edit, I need to mindful of the original video length and how much I need to speed it up.
It was today. Saturday. I went on an early morning hike with my buddies and I was running on 3 hours of sleep so I when I came home I ate lunch and took a nap for a few hours. At night I started editing the videos I took of my Hail Santa drawing and realized I should have started earlier because it's going to take me hours to finish and it's almost 2:00 AM. The video will have to wait. I'm going to bed and watching some TV before going nigh-nigh.
My family has always celebrated Xmas by staying up till midnight on Christmas Eve so on Christmas Day there’s not a whole lot going on. Usually I’m out of town at a relatives house, just lounging around and hanging out with my cousins. This year, because of COVID, there was no get-together. Today I just hung out at home and didn’t do much besides watch tv and movies again. I didn’t want to end the day without doing something fartsy so I did a quick drawing called “Hail Santa,” cause it’s Christmas.
For as long as I’ve been around, and before I was born, my dad’s side of the family always got together to celebrate on Christmas Eve. It’s always been a big deal for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces & nephews. It’s a long running tradition that had to be canceled this year because of Covid. Yes, it’s a bummer but today wasn’t a bad day. I hiked a couple more trails at the Sierra Vista Preserve this afternoon and got a little bit closer to completing the whole space. I just need to do the Upper Calaveras Fault Trail, east of the Cutoff Trail, and the Lower Calaveras Fault Trail, which is a doozy. Just the Lower Calaveras Fault alone is almost 10 miles round trip and a 5-6 hour trek. I’m thinking of doing one hike to finish the Upper portion and coming back another day, nice & early, to knock out the Lower part. Depending on the weather the next few days, and how much it rains, I might be able to 100% complete the preserve before the new year.
I didn’t really do shit today besides lay in bed and watch tv & movies. My body is sore AF after a 3 mile hike on Monday at the Sierra Vista Reserve and over 6 and a half miles at Alum Rock Park on Tuesday. Wednesday was a rest day. On Thursday, which is Christmas Eve, I’m going back to Sierra Vista to clock some more miles and hike trails I’ve never been on before.
I drew the Thank You card pictured below a few weeks ago for a cool gal named Lulu. She bought herself one of my t-shirts, and her mom really liked it, so she bought second one today. I drew her a second Thank You card (not pictured) and it's this dude's twin brother. I recorded myself drawing it using two cameras. I'd stay up and edit the footage but it's already 4:00 AM so it'll have to wait.
Before printing this out I brought the artwork into Illustrator and went through every eye, mouth & nose to clean them up. I also a brought in the vectorized Layla-Mae, instead of the rasterized graphic I'd been using in it's place, so now the name looks way sharper. Tomorrow I'll print smaller versions to see how they look.
I think it’s gonna need one more pass to clean up any of those pesky leftover slivers. Then Layla-Mae will be ready to print!
These remind of when you’d get your assignment back from the teacher and they marked all the mistakes you made. The best was when you had the opportunity to fix the mistakes and turn it back in for a better grade. That’s basically what I’m doing here. I’m going for that A++++
I’ve been making edits to the EMN Layla-Mae & Phoenix artwork based on the notes I scribbled after printing them out a couple times now. Some details were too small or busy and had to be made bigger and more defined. I’ve also been going around erasing a bunch of thin slivers which are partially erased brush strokes. They’re so thin they’re practically invisible on screen but on paper they print out as black marks and they’re all over the artwork. Going forward, I gotta be better about drawing & erasing so I don’t have to comb thru the whole image at the highest zoom setting looking for tiny blemishes that can ruin a print.
I went in my first hike at Joseph D. Grant park today. I wasn’t planning on going out but my buddy, Jon, had the day off from work and asked if I wanted to go hiking. My feet felt good enough after getting blisters hiking Boccardo Trail last week. I did take some extra precautions today by putting moleskin bandages on my healing blisters and covering my feet Gold Bond foot powder before putting on socks. We started at Grant Lake and went up Los Huecos Trail then took the Cañada de Pala Trail to Halls Valley Trail and came back down. We knocked out 5.59 miles with 1,100 feet of elevation gain in a little over 2 and a half hours and I didn’t get any new blisters. I’m now tempted to hike all the trails at Grant Park as long as they’re not too gnarly. The website says there are 51 miles of trails. That’s almost 4 times more than Alum Rock Park’s 13 miles. It’d be a fun challenge for 2021.
No artsy fartsiness of any kind. Just coffee, food, laundry, and movies. I watched Karate Kid 3 (I’m rewatching all the movies before the new season of Cobra Kai drops) and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. I think I liked KK3 better.
I started experimenting with multiple camera angles tonight. I used my DSLR, iPhone and a GoPro to record myself drawing. The first thing I realized after finishing was that I forgot to turn on my fill light. After importing the footage from all 3 cameras to my laptop I soon learned that iMovie only lets you work with two video tracks. I scrapped the GoPro footage and went with the iPhone and DSLR recordings. After messing around with the iMovie I put together the video below.
I recently bought prints from local artist homie, Eddie Ramirez, and the package arrived today. My drawing desk was the only available space that wasn’t cluttered so I opened it there and took advantage of the mounted camera & lights by filming an unboxing video. I think unboxing videos are lame in general but I thought, “what the heck?” I need to get more use out of my rig and was planning on sharing pictures of Eddie’s prints on Instagram anyways. Two birds, one stone. The three prints are of local San Jose retail store signs that have been around for as long as I remember.
Check out Eddie’s work at eddieramirezart.com and on Instagram @eddieramirezish
Another low-key day. My Fred Flintstone feet are still healing from hiking the Boccardo Loop a few days ago but I still went out to Alum Rock Park today for a walk along on the Penitencia Creek Trail for some active recovery. I bought all sorts of stuff to protect the blisters I already got, and hopefully prevent future ones from forming, so I bandaged up before heading out. While on the trail I realized that the hill/mountain (pictured below) is the one I climbed via the Boccardo Trail.
Aside from washing & putting away laundry, shopping for groceries, washing dishes and resting my sore legs and blistered feet, I didn’t do much today. I did start plotting my next hike for when I’m all healed. I’ll be driving up Sierra Road to the parking lot and hiking the Aquila Loop, Krestal & Sierra Vista Trails. I can’t wait to get out there!
Monday afternoon I went back to Alum Rock Park and hiked up to the Boccardo Loop Trail, which is actually part of the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve that is managed by Santa Clara Open Space Authority. I managed to hike the whole Boccardo Loop and the Spur Trails and make it out of the park just in time when they closed. I saw a little snake on the Loop Trail and got some amazing views from the very top of the Spur Trail. There are two other trails connected to the Loop, one is closed, and the other, Sierra Vista Trail, is open. That’s the one I’ve decided to hike next but I’m gonna need a few days to let the blisters on my feet heal after today’s 6 mile hike with 1300 foot elevation gain.
I finished another round of tweaks. I’m going to print it again tomorrow to see how it looks before moving on.