My August 2023 Photo of the Month is LM522, taken from Laguna Crest as Tropical Storm Hilary cleared from San Diego County.
I toured San Diego County with friend and colleague, Alexander S. Kunz, who is much quicker at editing than I am. Thus, I have a backlog of images to edit that I will get to at some point.
Until then, this is my favorite image so far from the drive. The Sunday that Tropical Storm Hilary arrived was wet and the cloud cover prevented any interesting images. I took that Monday off, knowing the storm would be clearing the County, and that is where the fun would begin.
LM522 is taken from Laguna Crest, near Kwaaymii Point, just off the Pacific Crest Trail. In this area, from Garnet Peak north, the granitic outcroppings of the crest are always interesting. The view also cuts down canyon to the desert floor, 3,500 feet below. The cloud cover had no problem overcoming the rain shadow effect, creating a series of storms and floods moving northeast. Surprisingly, for being one of the windier areas of San Diego County, the breeze wasn’t too intense.
By this point, there was little real precipitation left for San Diego County. But the cloud cover created a moody backdrop for this image.
This rock did have some graffiti that I removed for this finished image. Many of the rocks in this are defaced by people, who leave Pacific Crest Trail markers on the rocks, and memorials for people. It appears that the US Forest Service largely tolerates this activity, perhaps to concentrate the impact as opposed to seeing it up and down the PCT. As for me, I’d rather see it all gone.
Thank you for viewing, and I hope you enjoy the image.
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.