Scouting Trip

Well since nobody showed for the hike up Tahquitz, the trip turned in to a scouting mission for Keesh's upcoming Tahquitz plans. I have to say, the trail is very well designed for the amount of elevation climb. Granted, it isn't called "devil's slide" for nothing. It WILL get you huffing and puffing for the first 3 miles. It is all uphill, with some minor rock garden sections, and lots of step-ups. On Sunday there were a crap load of people on the trail. I passed at least 30-40 people on the way up. I was only passed by 1 guy RUNNING up. (I found out he runs it every day.. CRAZY)

There were also volunqueers.. err I mean volunteers who will stop you to ask for permits. The permits can be filled out at any ranger station. I did not get a permit, and when they asked for mine, I told them they could go pound sand. They can't stop you from going anywhere, they can only strongly suggest you hike back down. Anyway, bottom line is if you want to be legal, get a permit. If you want to be an ass because you are holding on to that whole land of the free thing, then go without. Oh and you also need an adventure pass to park.. which I didn't get, and already have 30 or so unenforceable citations.

This is Sierra after reaching saddle junction (the top of devils slide).

I had to keep pace in front of the pack train of horses and mules. They move at a good clip so I had to really keep chugging along. Would have been easier to take my time, but it was great conditioning. They were packing gear in for some scientists doing a 100 year study on the animals in the area. All time materials and mileage is tax deductible.

The scientists were staying at a camp maintained and hidden by the Forest Service. They have the coolest commode ever!! This is Sierra inspecting the building code :P She doesn't look impressed.

And this is the view from the crapper. So cool!

Later on we stopped at a running spring in Tahquitz valley. The water was very sweet and cold.

The meadow was so beautiful!

And of course all of the views are spectacular! Sierra tends to be a camera whore.


This is on the hike out.


Sunday Stroll

Well, went on a brisk 8 mile hike on Sunday with 2000 ft vertical change. Got a great shot of Sierra in the flowers, and a Red Diamondback Rattlesnake (crotalus exsul). Was a first for me. I am used to seing the standard western d-backs. Pretty snake. Scary shit, as I thought it was a redshank branch.

Anyhow, pictures.


First hike

Took Sierra on her first hike, over 10 miles! What a trooper!

Also, the wildflowers are just beginning to bloom in the area I hiked. Very pretty!


Sierra update

5 months old now. I really need to get shots with the canon or the nikon.. I keep taking pictures with the little Olympus because it is usually in my pocket :D


There will be blood..

One of the most brutal hikes/free climbs I have been on. I just LOVE bushwacking and trailblazing. Screw established paths. Blood was spilled on this one. I look like I raped a mountain lion while I was out there with all the wonderful scabs I have now. Oh, and I got an arm-full of cactus! Still some embedded in there. It was on a rock ledge that was unavoidable, unless I wanted to fall a few hundred vertical feet. wheeeee.


Forest Service Cabin

Interesting weekend. Headed up Santa Rosa to a little-known forest service cabin. Met a couple of biologists that work for the forest service, and they had all the keys. Really rare to get to stay at these cabins, so it was an great experience.

The people were really cool too! Knew every latin name, for every plant on that damn mountain. Lots of information. Went up with the two biologists, my room mate, and Pat, my buddy from work.

Anyway, pics.

The vehicle of choice.. Actually, we lost 3rd gear coming up the mountain. Wasn't sure we would make it back down. Needs some work I guess.

The amazing view off the deck of this cool little cabin. Picture does it NO justice. Could see all the way to the windmills.

Much drinking was had by all. Did I mention it was butt-ass freezing? Yes. Yes it was.

My room-mates dog "big red". Sweet heart.

Pat basking in the waning warmpth of the sun. This was just before we were really hammered.

The lifesource.. fire.. oh my god, would have been much harder to sleep without it. It got COLD!

Moving and such..

Okay, so I moved. What a pain in the ass. A buddy of mine was moving to Japan, and I have had my eye on his place for a few years now. The house is pretty old, and doesn't have any modern goodies (like insulation :P), but the property and view are what really make the place awesome.

The house is at 4500ft elevation, right at the base of Mt. Santa Rosa. 16.5 acres, and an amazing view down "horse theif canyon" and "deep canyon". It borders National Forest, and bighorn wilderness preserves I.E. will never have neighbors fucking up the view.

It added 15-20 minutes to the commute, but being out of the city is well worth it. The drive is actually enjoyable on the motorcycle. Dangerous, but enjoyable.

The house.

The view.

The drive.

A friend from work helped me move, and Kish came by to help for the major part of it. Couldn't have done it without them, considering I don't have a truck.