Strolling Gold Mint Trail

With golden leaves falling rapidly we decided to take a hike in Hatcher Pass on the wide, well-groomed Gold Mint trail.  It was a perfect place for Princess, many people and dogs were enjoying the sunshine and she was excited to see each and every one!  The sun was shining, air was crisp and warm, […]

Artist Explores the Base of the Kennicott Glacier, Alaska

Glacier terrain is always changing and the Kennicott is no exception.  This giant glacial moraine made up of both the Kennicott and the Root glaciers, deep in the heart of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska, is receding.   100 years ago it towered approximately 300 feet higher than it is today.  The glacier terminates […]

Hiking the Matanuska Glacier

During this period of extraordinary, warm spell in Alaska we took advantage of the great weather and brought our guests to the Matanuska Glacier for a guided hike on the ice.  Pictured are myself, Kyle from Hollister California, and Kyle’s grandpa from San Jose, California.  This is the kind of thing I love to do […]

Niebrugge’s; Artist and Photographer Hike Palm Canyon

Photographer, son Ron Niebrugge, and artist, mom Gail Niebrugge, spent a blustery, cool day in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park hiking up Palm Canyon together.  A big rain/snow storm was scheduled to arrive later in the evening and during the next day, the normally 80 degree plus temperatures were quite moderate for the canyon […]

Artist Niebrugge Walks Pismo Beach, California

Pismo Beach, California, is one of the last beaches that can still be driven on with vehicles.  The long, vast scenic shoreline extends south into a area of sand dunes where ATV’s and dune buggies play.  Campsites sit nestled next to the dunes with views of the sea.  It is a great walking beach, where […]

Snowy Lane

A scene along my daily walk, the only tracks down this lane were made by a small critter.  Temperatures were around 10 degrees this afternoon with clear sunny skies. Gail Niebrugge, Alaska artist

Freeloaders Scavenge For Food

I never know what I’m going to see on my afternoon walk.  Last week before the snow I was startled to see these two guys right next to the road greedily lapping up fallen berries from the Mountain Ash tree.  They were so intent on scavenging fermented fruit they barely gave me pause.  Later the […]

Cactus and Sheep

Our last few days in the high California desert have been windy and cold, this morning it is raining and snowing again in the surrounding mountains.  Nevertheless, the early wildflower bloom has been very nice.  I’m sorry I have to leave before the full bloom but happy to have found so many pockets of truly […]

Flowering Barrel Cactus

Soon the tops of the barrel cactus will be crowned by a circle of yellow/green flowers in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  This plant is blooming early, most cactus just have the beginnings of tiny buds forming among the prickly thorns.  Within a few weeks the desert will be festooned with a riot of […]

New Creek on Palm Canyon Trail

Runoff from recent snow in the mountains last weekend created some beautiful fresh water creeks in the high desert of Anza Borrego.   A trail marker pointing the way for the Palm canyon trail stands in running water instead of the usual a dry wash.  The rains have brought the landscape alive, the soil and […]

Desert Lily Early Bloomer

We found a treasure trove of the beautiful wildflower Desert Lily while on a hike up a sandy wash along the foothills of of the Santa Rosa mountains in Borrego Springs.  Sometimes we can hike all day without seeing anything unusual and suddenly a little pocket of flowers will appear out of nowhere, that is […]

Fonts Point Desert Badlands View

After a night of heavy rain the sandy desert ground was solid and packed allowing us to easily travel the jeep trail to Fonts Point in 2 wheel drive.  With snow on the nearby Santa Rosa mountains the air was crisp and clear, a great day to explore the canyons, washes, and arroyos of the […]

Friday Market in the Desert!

Boy do I miss fresh vegetables in Alaska at this time of year, the Friday market at Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs is awesome!  We loaded up on vine ripened strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, fresh lettuce, and many more wonderful home made or home baked goodies.  Love it to find this in February 🙂 Gail Niebrugge, […]

Downpours Soak Desert

It has been wonderful to hike around the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park during a rainy period!  The rain intensifies color in the landscape and everything smells and looks fresh and clean.  Huge puddles appear out of nowhere and disappear in a day, the ground is soaking up the water and the desert plants are thriving.  […]

Rain in the Desert!

Woo Hoo, it rained today in Borrego Springs, the wildflower bloom should be outrageous!  The big Alaska cold front has arrived, I’m glad I’m here with a tiny bit of rain and 60º, a cold front in Alaska would be -40º.  People are such weather wusses down here.  This photo was taken during our hike […]

Finding the Elusive Bighorn Sheep

We spent another day in Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, watching for the elusive Bighorn sheep.  Suddenly, out of nowhere people on the trail below us all stopped and pointed, we scanned the hillside and saw this single young ram.  Then we looked up the canyon on the opposite side just in time to […]

Hiking South Palm Wash

We found a sweet three mile hike just off Mile 38.8 on S22 in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California, the South Palm Wash.  Three trails begin at the same point; the Calcite Mine, Palm Wash Loop, and South Palm Wash.  We chose the latter because it was labeled “moderate” the other two were […]

Palm Canyon Trail

The Palm Canyon Trail in the San Ysidro Mountains is one of my favorite hikes in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, the crystal clear flowing springs at the end of the boulder strewn path are a delight to reach especially on a hot day!  The 2.6 mile loop is promoted as a moderate level […]

Hiking Nisene Marks Forest, Aptos, CA

After a lovely stay at Seascape Beach Resort in Aptos, California, our hosts, Ned and Cookie Hales enlisted the services of their son, Gregg, as a travel guide.  An outdoor exercise enthusiast, Gregg led us to a series of gorgeous trails and turned us loose in the Nisene Marks Forest State Park an area of […]

Art Students Hike/Sketch the Butte

A gorgeous sunny day marked a hike with the art students at the Palmer Arts Council Summer Arts Program for a day of sketching in the field.  An energetic group of budding artists followed me up the steep trail to the top of the Palmer Butte.  Clutching sketch books, back packs, and cameras we hiked, […]

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