Heart Rock Trail – Hiking to Escape

Heart Rock
Heart Rock

Located in the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California is a short and easy hike to a beautiful overlook called “Heart Rock”.  To reach Heart Rock/Seely Creek Trail take CA-18 to CA-138 W in Crestline. The trail starts about ¼ mile south of the entrance to Camp Seely where you can find parking either before Camp Seeley or along the road past the entrance. No Adventure Pass is required for this part of the National Forest but it is recommended to always check if a pass is required before parking. The approximately one-mile round trip hike takes you along Seely Creek the majority of the distance with gorgeous views of the mountain forest. The leaves were changing colors and falling from the trees and it was not too cold yet, so November was a perfect time to visit here. Walking along the creek you will reach a fork in the trail. Steer to the right until reaching the rock landing area marking the trail’s end. There are markers along the trail to lead you in the right direction. Right below the landing is the famous heart-shaped hole in the cliff next to a waterfall. Even though there are ways to climb down into the heart, it is not recommended because the slippery rocks can cause easy falling. I highly recommend Heart Rock Trail for anyone in the area to take because it’s a quick and easy trail to explore the beauty of nature outdoor!

 

Learning to Get Off Auto

Forest Falls
Getting off “Auto”

I have always used cameras that are set to “Auto” or those without the ability to make setting adjustments. Although some of my “Auto” pictures look great to me, I decided it was time I learned to get the most from my digital camera and use the numerous available settings on a dSLR. So this weekend I drove to a beautiful little waterfall at Forest Falls in the San Bernardino Mountains to try out some different settings on my camera. It was the first time I had tried making changes to the shutter speed and aperture settings. After taking over one hundred shots, I downloaded the pictures and saw how difficult it really is to capture a beautiful image. I knew that if I really wanted to get off “Auto” I was going to need some help. I decided to sign up for the online photography course offered by Nomadic Matt on his website. The price is very reasonable and I think it will be a good start for me. I also found a great step-by-step book titled “The Beginner’s Photography Guide” written by Chris Gatcum. I am currently using a Nikon D3300 that came with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses but have ordered a Tamron 16-300mm lens that will replace these making it easier by not requiring lens changes. My goal someday is to be able to capture star trails using techniques in night photography. I will continue to use my GoPro and IPhone for taking pictures, but am excited to learn a new way to bring life to the joy of my outdoor escapes!