Friday, October 30, 2009

Travelogue: Part Ten, Hiking out.

Day six and the weather looks iffy.

Rain showers and snow flakes! I'm thinking I'm getting out of here just in time.

By the time I get down to the Fish Creek trail the clouds clear out and sunshine and confidence return.

I have been very pleased with my Pacer Poles and Miniposa backpack.

Looking back down the switchbacks on the west side of McGee Pass.

Here's the switchbacks on my GPS!

Goodbye to another wonderful visit to the High Sierra.

And now, the switchbacks down to Big McGee Lake.

Camp set up near Big McGee Lake.

Morning of Day Seven! It was a cold night!!

25 degrees F. Frost on the tent.

Soon I am down into warmer climes.

Afternoon of day seven having a cup of tea and looking at my map.

This is when my friend Eddie would say, "What's next?"

I have decided to climb Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Travelogue: Part nine, the "Drama" continues!

The "storm" passed so I went for a walk around the lake. A single coyote started singing.

I stopped and looked trying to see where he was. Finally I spotted him. It seemed he was telling all his friends where I was. The earlier singing, while I was in the tent, was the whole group. This time it was a solo performance, none of the others made a peep!

I have always been impressed by "God's Dog" and very pleased to have had this experience.
I glanced away and he was gone.

The local birds were not nearly as cooperative posing for photos!

I had no trouble with flowers!

Evening sunlight appears.

Time to fire up "Bubble Butt".
What's not to like about a backpacking stove you douse with gas then toss a match!!

Yes, "Bubble Butt". My friend Pete bought a new one after this one almost turned itself inside out during a mishap. Evidently Pete didn't get the filler cap screwed on quite tight enough and it turned into a blazing fireball! The internal pressure got so great it pushed the bottom into a convex shape, hence, "Bubble Butt". It could no longer sit flat but instead had a roly poly condition. I mentioned to Pete I thought I could fix "Bubble Butt"; at least give it a try. He gave him to me, I got him home, made a wooden vice to hold him inverted and then patiently tapped, tapped, tapped with a wooden mallet and returned his bottom from convex to concave. The perimeter seam held, no leaks developed and "Bubble Butt" sat flat once again.

He is a joy to have and that roaring Seva "purr" means hot water is on the way.

Tomorrow. Back to the Mothership

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Travelogue: Part Eight, Moving On.

After a lazy morning I have camp packed and I'm on the move.

There are many small un-named lakes along the way.

Down on the main trail heading towards Tully Hole.

A stop to refill my water containers

from the base of a musical waterfall.

During the steep climb towards my destination the weather suddenly changes with the sounds of thunder echoing between the mountains.

Arriving at my destination I quickly set up my tent and climb in as

rain starts to fall...,

and then hail!!

Oh boy! I'm at a remote lake high in the Sierra that doesn't have a trail to it. Could this be the start of winter? Am I a Donner Party of one?

Huddled in my tent I hear a group of coyotes start singing!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Travelogue: Part Seven. A couple days at Cotton.

Spending a couple of days at Cotton Lake I whip out my Moleskin logbook/sketchbook and focus in on some of the sights. Nothing like sitting in one place for a while and really looking!

The Bristlecone Pine are great subjects.

Filling my waterbottles from Cotton Lake.

Along the shoreline I spot these tracks. Yellow-bellied Marmont?

All day long, morning to night, Clark's Nutcrackers! are hanging around acting like Ravens but then, why not, they are in the same corvid family!!

Better than television and a lot less aggravating!

The breakfast kitchen. "BearVault Solo" bear canister seat and stuff sack pad. "Bubble Butt" with aluminum foil windshield. "Snow Peak" titanium cook pot with "spork". Aluminum measuring cup for tea. Waterbottle and MSR white gas container. Ziploc bags containing oatmeal/powdered milk, brown sugar and raisins. Matches and lighter.

Inventory of bear canister before heading off for the next leg of my journey.

Over there near Red Slate Mountain.


I received this update on the Blue Whale

Dear Friends of the Blue Whale etal,
It's the impossible dream, against all odds, flying by the
seat of our pants and winging it on a shoestring budget - but guess
what, we're doing it!!! A group of crazy & mostly volunteer
optimists have successfully moved the 70 ton behemoth Blue Whale
about 75'. She now lays on the rocky and dry part of the cove where
it is possible to work on stable ground. The unpleasant but necessary
necropsy has begun. After trying this and that and securing larger
and larger heavy equipment on a moment's notice, the big D8 with
winch was able to get the job done to loud cheers and tears of joy.
We will be dividing the remains into more manageable pieces to haul
up the 40' cliff with an assortment of heavy equipment. We assume
that this process will take at least 2 days. We're fighting the
weather, the rapid decomposition and a host of other factors. A
secret location for the temporary burial of the skeleton has been
selected. The film crew will be escorted to the site blindfolded to
protect her until the unveiling. She will be covered with manure and
sand to help the decomposition which will last a year or more. We
have secured a permit from the Federal Government to keep her
reassembled skeleton on permanent exhibit in Fort Bragg at a location
still to be determined. By the way, I love this town. We have a small
population in a relatively remote area with limited resources in the
worst economy since the Great Depression. Where else could you ask
people to walk away from their busy lives, drop everything and
immediately volunteer for a project that has a microscopic chance of
success. Let me tell you that NO ONE has said no. The universal
response has been just tell me what you need and you'll have it. We
truly live in Braggadoon. Thankyou all. I'm proud to be part of this
wonderful and so unique community.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Travelogue: Part Six, Cotton Lake

Looking back it is hard to believe I was up there just one day ago.

Skirting around the south end of Tully Lake on my way to Cotton Lake.

I'm always fascinated by the long straight quartz filled cracks in the granite.

Another of the many small unnamed lakes along the way.

Camp near Cotton Lake. Clothes washing completed and hung to dry.

Amazing weathered trees near my campsite.

Izaak Walton lake to the west of me.

Another cold morning. You can just see my mustache between my stocking cap and down sleeping bag! I'm using a stuff sack and the Tyvek coveralls for a pillow!

It is worth getting up early to see first light on the Silver Divide.

Just Beautiful!

Tomorrow. Camping at Cotton Lake.