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Your Photo Credit and Rotating Banner Questions Answered

I’ve had several people ask me about the rotating images that appear in the header here. The questions usually fall into either the web technology or photography category. I’ll answer them both.

First, the photos themselves. All but one of these photos I took myself, including the following:

This is Thousand Island Lake with Banner Peak in the background. I created this panorama from  a series of photos that I took at sunrise while on a backpacking trip with my sons around 2000. This area is just west of Mammoth, and it’s one of my favorite areas to backpack in the Sierras. Back in 1979, I climbed to the very top of Banner Peak and sat with my feet dangling over the edge. That was a rush!

I moved to San Clemente in May 2009, and quickly learned that there’s a terrific network of trails that run along the unbuildable ridges bordering San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. The “roller coaster” hills provide a great conditioning workout, and even better views up and down the coast. This panorama of the San Clemente coastline was stitched together from photos I took on one of my hikes. I love San Clemente!

I took this panoramic photo from the summit of San Gorgonio in 2009. Although I’ve been up Mt. San Jacinto more times than I can remember, this was my first time up San Gorgonio — 19.4 miles from the Fish Creek trailhead. The funny story that goes with this was when I coincidentally bumped into a couple other hikers I knew from San Clemente — at the summit!

I shot this panoramic vista from the Fish Creek trail earlier in the day of my first hike up San Gorgonio. I included it just to share the variety of mountain and wilderness you’ll find right here in Southern California.

Crystal Cove State Park extends from the beach to Bommer Ridge Road (nearly to the 73 toll road). It’s a great place for conditioning hikes, beautiful views, and some great hill climbs. There’s a trail up Moro Ridge that’s aptly (and officially) named “BFI” (or Big Fucking Incline). Best kept secret? The Beachcomber restaurant is literally on the beach. You have to walk about 1/4 mile from the parking lot to get there, but it’s a wonderful place for breakfast or a sunset dinner. Again, this is one of my photos.

Usually once or twice each winter, we get a cold winter rainstorm and the snow levels drop to unusually low elevations. This was one such occasion. Yes, these are the Santa Ana mountains found right here in Orange County, though this photo is the eastern slope and was taken from south Corona. This is also the only photo that I did not take. Credit goes to Tom Harkins.

I’ll probably add other images over time, but six is a pretty good start. If you’ve got suggestions, or a photo that you’d like to share with me for the header, I’m particularly interested in views of great hikes here in So Cal. Just leave a comment.

Technical Details

Now for the webheads out there, here’s how I rotate them.  I used some simple php code that randomly grabs one of the images from a specific directory. This random image script was originally written by Matt Mullenweg, who you might recognize as the founder of WordPress. You can read the details and download the script from his site.

As for the rest of the site, I’m using the StudioPress Genesis framework. I started with the Lifestyle child theme, and customized it to give it the look I wanted. If you’ve got suggestions or feedback, please leave me a comment.


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