Lowest Glow on Earth

I suspect there aren’t many photographers who wouldn’t enjoy trying to capture the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta if they had the time and resources to do so. Smaller scale alternatives can be found.

Yesterday, SeaFest, a group organized to promote California’s Salton Sea, organized its first-ever early morning hot air balloon race and an evening hot air balloon “glow” event. The name, Lowest Glow on Earth, comes from the fact that the Salton Sea is 226.4 feet below sea level.

Sadly, winds got the better of the event, forcing the morning race to be cancelled and the evening glow to be reduced to three participating balloons. Still, it was an interesting event and I hope they try again next year. And next year, I’ll arrive early to be able to get closer to the balloons.

Balloons preparing for evening glow event.
Evening glow


Eastern Sierra and Lake Tahoe

The first week of October 2017, I took a long-awaited photographic excursion from San Diego up the eastern Sierra to Lake Tahoe. Visited places included the Alabama Hills, Manzanar National Historic Site, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, June Lake, and Bodie State Historical Park on my way to Lake Tahoe.

You can read about the full trip and see more photos on my other website, Travelin’ Dan, but here are a selection of some of the photos along the way. Enjoy!

San Diego Scenes

Here are a few scenes from in and around my adopted hometown of San Diego, California. I love its diversity—beach, mountains, and desert all within a two-hour drive.

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument at the end of Point Loma is one of the first places I’ll take out-of-town guests, with its commanding views of San Diego harbor and the Pacific Ocean, and its history dating back to the arrival of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo on 28 September 1542.


Joshua Tree NP & Mojave National Preserve, 2013

The Joshua trees in 2013 were supposed to be in a “once-in-a-century” bloom, so I hopped in my car and drove up from San Diego to check them out. My timing may have been off a tad, but there were still plenty of blossoms to be seen.

Coastal Maine

I’ve always loved coastal Maine and this was a great trip back to the region—that is until an approaching hurricane forced me to cut my trip a few days short. Good thing I did. There was significant damage to some of the places I had stayed at just before.

San Francisco & Yosemite, 2009

I joined my sister and her husband to a trip to two of my favorite places in North America: San Francisco and Yosemite National Park. I don’t think I could tire of returning to either.

France 2009

I had to travel to France for work for the first time ever, and I convinced my manager to let me take an additional twelve days of vacation once I was through with my assignment. It was great—especially the food!





Germany, Austria, & Switzerland 2007


Ever since I chickened out on a trip to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland during my freshman year in high school, I had been dreaming of making the trip. It took decades to make it happen, but I finally made it there and even connected with some of our relatives in Germany.