Travelling Photographer

Photos and commentary from my travels around the globe

Crystal Lake & Lewis Falls Trail

A Friday morning trip high up into the San Gabriel Mountains (5500+) confirmed we are nearing draught conditions again. Crystal Lake was almost non-existent and  the surrounding mountains were snow-less. There is an effortless 1.33 mile trail to and around the lake which provides excellent views of the surrounding mountains and forest which has bounced back after the 2002 Curve Fire. The trailhead is 24 miles of winding road from Azusa along rt. 39. Leaving the lake I headed to the Lewis Falls trailhead about five miles back down the mountain about 2 miles before the Rincon ranger station. The trailhead is unmarked but its on a bend with a wide shoulder and one car parking areas just before and after.

The trail to Lewis Falls along Soldier Creek is a very short trail – one mile round trip – but this is no stroll through the woods. The last tenth of a mile is a completely unmaintained scramble and boulder-hop along the creek bed, and takes about as much time to traverse as the first 0.4 miles.

Looking SE to San Bernardino Mts.
Crystal Lake
Snow-less mountains
Cascade along Lewis Trail
Lewis Falls
Lewis Falls
Lewis Falls
Start of Boulder hopping
San Gabriel Dam

Devils Punchbowl and Inspiration Point – January 15, 2018

The Devil’s Punchbowl is a unique 1,310 acre geological wonder where you hike  a 1 mile loop trail through a deep canyon formed by the runoff of  water from the higher San Gabriel Mountains. The trail takes you to the bottom of the bowl and through the up tilted rock formations created by layers of sedimentary rocks forced up by the local earthquake faults. After completing the loop hike I headed to the South Fork campground to hike the 6 mile out and back trail to the backside of the punchbowl and to the Devil’s Chair a huge white rock mass at the turnaround point. While hiking the trail I had many views of the snow-covered San Gabriel’s and decided to get a upclose look by driving to Inspiration Point along the Highway 2 where it crosses the Pacific Coast Trail.



2018 Pasadena Rose Parade – New Years Day

After many years of watching the parade by standing on Colorado Blvd. or from my office building on Lake Ave. we “roughed it”. Well not really we rented a table at a local restaurant along the parade route – enjoyed brunch, watched and photographed.

Members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club first staged the parade in 1890. Since then the parade has been held in Pasadena every New Year’s Day, except when January 1 falls on a Sunday. In that case, it is held on the subsequent Monday, January 2. This exception was instituted in 1893, as organizers did not wish to disturb horses hitched outside Sunday church services.

For more info on the Parade see

Starting Fresh in 2018

After too long of a hiatus my 2018 resolution is to revive this blog and my website:  (PeterSKucmaPhotography. com). To do so I will look back and post on events of 2017 as well as staying current in 2018. Please share this blog with your family and friends – the more feedback I get the better the blog will become. For my Pasadena friends I will continue to add Framed Photography to my Pasadena Assistance League Craft Fair Inventory – you can view them and all the fine work of other crafters @  820 East California Blvd. Pasadena, California 91106.

New Years Eve

Walking Orange Grove Avenue as the parade floats begin to cue. At the stroke of midnight all you could here is the sound of fireworks led by Los Angles and followed by most of the surrounding communities (or lit up revellers). A lot calmer walking Colorado Blvd. no couches, fires, grills this year – also void of street vendors – security very tight. Home to bed for a little sleep and an early morning to see the parade.

River Cruise – Vienna


Vienna, the capital of Austria, lies in the country’s east on the Danube River. Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. Continue reading “River Cruise – Vienna”

River Cruise – Salzburg

Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is dominated by churches, castles and palaces. Its picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue reading “River Cruise – Salzburg”

River Cruise – Melk

Melk Abbey  is a Benedictine abbey above the town of MelkLower AustriaAustria, on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river, adjoining the Wachau valley. The abbey contains the tomb of Saint Coloman of Stockerau and the remains of several members of the House of Babenberg, Austria’s first ruling dynasty. Continue reading “River Cruise – Melk”

River Cruise – Regensburg

Regensburg, a Bavarian city on the Danube River in southeast Germany, is known for its well-preserved medieval core. The 12th-century Stone Bridge, a 310m-long icon with 16 arches, crosses the river to the old town (too bad because of construction I couldn’t get a good photo – try for it online). The 13th-century Regensburg Cathedral, a twin-spired Gothic landmark, is home to the Regensburger Domspatzen choir.  Continue reading “River Cruise – Regensburg”

River Cruise – Passau

Passau, a German city on the Austrian border, lies at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers. Known as the Three Rivers City, it is overlooked by the Veste Oberhaus, a 13th-century hilltop fortress housing a city museum and observation tower. The old town below is known for its baroque architecture, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, featuring distinctive onion-domed towers and an organ with 17,974 pipes. Continue reading “River Cruise – Passau”

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