Monthly Archives: January 2015

Grand Bixby by T.M. Schultze

January 2015 Photo of the Month: Grand Bixby

My January 2015 Photo of the Month is Grand Bixby, an image made of the world-famous Bixby Canyon Bridge in Big Sur. Continue reading

T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.

Garrett's Arch by T.M. Schultze

Garrett’s Arch

Garrett's Arch by T.M. Schultze

Garrett’s Arch by T.M. Schultze

I recently trekked to Garrett’s Arch in Joshua Tree National Park.  Garrett’s Arch is likely the largest arch in Joshua Tree, although another unpublicized arch could give it competition.

Garrett’s Arch is located in the Wonderland of Rocks backcountry.  The trailhead begins at the Wall Street Mill parking lot, proceeding briefly before veering left towards the Wonderland Ranch/Wiley’s Market ruins.  Proceeding behind it, you will pick up the Wonderland Wash and follow it.

At about 0.72 miles, you should reach Jaguar Rock.  This is your first major landmark along the way.  After Jaguar Rock, the wash will enter a valley.  Proceed north.  Keep in mind that the Wonderland Wash will veer North but to the left.  This will take away from your destination.

Find the wash just to the right of Wonderland Wash, and you will pick it up through another canyon.  Keep going until you reach Three Freak Brothers to your right.  This is an easy-to-spot rock formation, and will alert you to the proper time to turn right.  The immediate right requires bouldering.  Keep North to the next turn and you will pick up the side canyon and save some energy.

Immediately, you should spot the Red Obelisk, another beautiful formation in the middle of the canyon.  Once again, the canyon will open up to another valley.  Keep going East, but veer North of the rock formations in the middle of the valley.  After you pass, you will pick up your last canyon.  Keep looking left in that canyon, and you will easily locate the arch.

Keep in the mind that the arch is in a difficult location.  A moderate but dangerous and slippery rock scramble will get you to a ledge below the arch.  There is another high wall that prevents entry to the arch itself.  The arch is also covered in the back by a large growing tree, so seeing “through” the arch is obscured.

A wide-angle lens is needed from this location.  You can also stand on the rocks in the canyon to get a larger image.

The mileage came out to 2.1 to 2.4 miles and is mostly easy, with some very minor rock scrambling.

T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.

Make Goals, Not Resolutions, In 2015

Resolutions are the worst.  They are made to be broken.  They imply impending failure rather than achievement.  They focus solely on the result, ignoring the planning and thought process that is most important.

Goals are what your resolutions should be, especially if they are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

A common resolution is to lose weight, often to a specific number.  The scale becomes an instrument of dreadfulness.  When you find yourself not on track to meet that number, you allow guilt and failure to rule your mind.  If you set a goal correctly, you can allow for failure as a normal process.  Failure shouldn’t mean the end of what you do, it should be noted as something that happens.

Failure allows you to reassess and modify your goal moving forward.  It allows you to examine your diet and exercise.  You may find you are consuming more calories daily than you expected, or you may look at your exercise routine and realize you need more to meet your goal.  When you make a resolution, failure is the end of the road.  If you make the right kinds of goals, you take failure as a momentary plateau on the way to success.

This was relevant to me this morning when I stood on the scale like many people and wasn’t quite happy with what I saw.  I made a lot of progress in my health in 2014, and I feel I am halfway to where I want to be.  I spent part of the morning looking at what I can do to tighten up my routine.  I have a set of adjustments that I think will help, and with a plan to stick to it, I think I can get over the plateau I am stuck at.

That’s the beauty of making goals, not resolutions.

T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.