Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Change in the Weather

We've had a break the last couple days from the hot temperatures that enveloped the area recently. A storm blew in from the north bringing rain and cooler temperatures.

I drove out to Ft. Bragg for work but had a sudden cancellation. I had my sweatshirt, rain jacket, camera, some time, and the willingness to walk, so I headed out to the bluffs.

It was an exceptional hike. As many wildflowers are transforming into seeds or whatever they turn into, several other wildflowers are coming into being and taking center stage.

Having the proper layers allowed for maximum enjoyment despite the drizzle and rain.

Half way through the hike, I arrived at a state park restroom. When I opened the door to the restroom, I had an instant PCT flashback.

While hiking through Washington, Indie and I spent one particular cold and rainy day hiking into Mt. Rainer National Park. The trail went through a small part of the park, and crossed a road where there was a parking lot and your typical unisex, pit toilet restrooms.

There, inside this nasty public restroom, was a moment of nirvana. I'd never been so happy to be out of the elements for a few minutes, to have a seat, to enjoy a couple of degrees of extra warmth.

After using the facilities, I told Indie these were the moments and stories we were most likely to tell our friends, girlfriends, wives, family members, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and to you the blog readers in the months and years after the hike. We most likely would tell these stories and receive the rolling of eyes, or blank stares, or quick dismissal and change of subject. The grandkids would say, "Oh no, not another PCT story!"

So, I apologize to you, my one or two readers, for boring you with these stories, that simply have to be told for no reason whatsoever, other than they were moments imprinted on my brain for better or worse.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sierra Water

With all of the talk about the Sierra Nevada snow levels and the ongoing snow melt in the news recently, a memory came to mind today. I remember standing in awe one morning on the PCT, in one of the upper valleys in the High Sierra.

Water was everywhere. It was trapped in the snow amongst the upper peaks. It was cascading down the granite walls wherever it could find a route. It was being stored in the ice cold ponds and lakes. It was literally oozing out of cracks in the rock (See video below).

Where we happened to be standing, it looked like one giant water factory. The sound of pouring water was everywhere.

It seemed as though the Sierra were created for that very purpose. To store and collect water. Everything else seemed secondary at that particular moment. It seemed as though all of the animals, plants, trees, and flowers where allowed a part in the performance only because water permitted it to be so.

Water was cascading down from above, from springs and snow melt, stored in the lakes, and in natures perfect timing, released down waterfalls and streams into larger rivers down below. The water seemed to be endless, and knowing how important water is to the body, it was exhilarating to know how this life force was being carried into distant areas of California and beyond.

It was a machine that my simple mind could not possibly begin to understand where it was all going and whom and what it would ultimately effect.

I was overwhelmed by the beauty and magnificence of nature and the planet upon which we live.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Snow Bridges

Northern Yosemite (July 2010)

Near Muir Pass (July 2010)

Also near Muir Pass (July 2010)

An interesting and scary article about snow bridges in the LA Times yesterday. As the warm temperatures continue, I'd imagine that conditions could be dangerous in the Sierra this week with melting snow and swift river crossings. Be careful out there!

(Indie and Answerman cross a small snowbridge below Forester Pass 2010)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Elk, CA

This is the town of Elk, CA. It's a tiny town on the Mendocino Coast, a place I drive past on my way to work on Friday. It was a fantastic sunny day by the shore yesterday, still at least 20 degrees cooler than the towns inland. There were several bicyclists on Highway 1 yesterday. How far are they going? That's anyone's guess. There were a few nice vista points outside of town, overlooking the enormous, blue Pacific.

Elk, CA

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Weekend

Driving up Orr Springs road (above, below).

Spring (or summer) temperatures have finally arrived in these parts and it was a great weekend to be outside. With the warm temperatures, mosquitoes have arrived in the Redwood groves and cicadas in the hills around town. Various wildflowers are still making appearances...