Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Something's wrong?

Well, obviously, if you're going to go all the way up there, you'll want to get some snow in the photo:

That's Better!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Crystal Lake

Now that Hwy 39 is open all the way to Crystal Lake, it's easy to explore the trails up there. While I don't normally like driving to a trailhead, I'm glad we did. With the thin air at 6,000ft, and the fact that I am horribly out of shape, fresh legs were the only thing I had going for me...

First, I must admit that this post has a misleading title. I have no pictures of Crystal Lake. Mostly because I have yet to see the thing. In my defense, would you know where I was talking about if I said South Mt Hawkins? Also, our trip did begin in the parking lot of Crystal Lake Campground.

We headed up, north, and in the direction of Windy Gap, until we saw the start of 3N07.

The trail we took up

It was amazing how much hotter it was when we entered the area ravaged by bark beetles...

Where's the greenery up above?

The road could use a little work. It was pretty easy to get over the half-dozen or so downed trees. But there were also two wash-outs.

We had a little of this...
...because there was a little of this.

The thing I liked most about the trip was the view. I saw a few things I've never seen before. Like most of Glendora Ridge Road right in front of my face to look at. Unfortunately, the air was not clear enough for good pictures. But here's a picture that did come out.

What mountains are these? I can't tell...
Ooops, I didn't recognize Mt Baldy from this angle!

For me, it was extraordinary to look to my left and see Mt Baldy, then turn to my right and see Mt Wilson. Unfortunately, Mt Wilson, being further and lower, did not photograph. You can take my word, or better yet, go look for yourself!

I also saw a flower that you don't often see. According to a Forest Service web-site, "Snow plant is difficult to confuse with other plants, and indeed stands a better chance of being confused with a misplaced piece of meat." That is a sentence I did not expect to read!

If you follow the link above, you can read all about how snow plant is a parasite living off of a fungus that lives symbiotically on the roots of conifers. Kewl!

Is that a steak?
But perhaps the wildest thing we saw was the fire lookout on South Mt Hawkins...

Guess what happened...