Posted in Hiking, Mother nature, Photography

Big Bear Lake

Still crossing snow glaciers to get to these places, building my endurance and strengths. But just look at that place. A slice of heaven, isn’t it?

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Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

Frozen Salmon Lake

Already we have reached (almost) the midpoint of our year, and the sixth month, June is several days old.

Here in my neighborhood we received record snow amounts and moisture this winter, which is said to be the effects of an El Niño year. I heard that about 150 lakes in the Sierra are still frozen and I believe it. This was the first picture of Salmon Lake this year, and much snow still surrounds the area. Waterfalls are popping up all over the place from snow run off, also building little streams and ponds of flooding.

I think hiking the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) will be nearly impossible and extremely dangerous, if attempted this year. Waters will rise at raging levels, making any safe crossing extremely difficult. Also much of the trail through the high Sierra could well be buried under the heavy snow pack, which could hinder navigation and the overall progress.

While some roads in national parks such as Lassen Volcanic Park might not open until later in July due to snow, others such as the slopes of Mammoth Lakes plan to stay open until August. Wow, that’s almost unheard of and the hiking season is off to a late start when it comes to accessing some of my favorite areas.

Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

Horsetails Falls

Ah the snow is finally stopping, although there is still plenty of it in higher elevations. Some roads like Lassen Volcanic Park are said not to open until July, while the ski resort in Mammoth Lakes plans to stay open until August due to the snowpack.

This was finally a beautiful day in the Sierra, hiking amongst boulders and glacial erratics, dodging some snow run off that resulted in a little flooding, and finally finding a rock to nap on with similar view like this only higher up and closer. Ah, bliss.

Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

Sardine Lake

It’s a late start of the season here at lower Sardine Lake and the Sierra Buttes, due to all the snow this year. But better late than never and I would have not been able health wise to go earlier anyways, so it all worked out. Have you noticed that things always have a way to somehow work out, perhaps even get easier when not resisting and going with the flow. At least in my life it has and I try to practice this way of being as often as I can.

Sardine Lake is a beautiful get away, away from the busy crowds found at Lake Tahoe and always a favorite. There is also a upper Sardine Lake you can hike to, and of course I have a favorite spot there as well 😉. What’s not to love….

Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

Sierra Nevada Splendor

The granite Sierra Nevada mountains, and the limestone Buttermilk’s make this an area of extreme beauty and a favorite place to explore. But beware, this place gets hot and crowded in the summer month with people bouldering and climbing. However, if you can tolerate the heat, then there is plenty of space to get away and find your own little corner of bliss. We found an awesome place a few weeks ago as all the monarch butterflies passed by with a little seasonal waterhole to cool off in. Surely it will evaporate in the summer heat which will bring another blessing and make way to an awesome camp spot under the full moon.

Yolo….🦋

Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

Monarch migration

A few weeks ago I got to hike in one of my favorite areas, “The Buttermilk’s” near Bishop, CA. These days I have to work for my step goal more than ever and too often every step is painful and I have to push through the pains. Sometimes I don’t know if I am making things better or worse, but I have to keep going.

Sitting at the edge of a little seasonal waterhole on top of the ridge, the sights were pretty spectacular already. But then it happened and we got to witness something truly unique and amazing. Right in front of us an endless number of Monarch Butterflies passed, all following the same direction. Dancing in a wide band across the sky before disappearing behind a giant boulder. I have never seen so many butterflies and it was a magical moment.

It was a few days later that I found out that the Monarchs was currently migrating from Mexico and were passing through the area. How very neat and what perfect timing to be in the right place at the right time to witness this. 🦋❤️

Posted in Adventure, Hiking

Chasing Waterfalls

What a refreshing difference. With this being the toughest winter in years, it was a welcomed change to escape the feet-high snow pack’s of the Sierra to head for a warmer, greener destination.

I managed my highest step goal yet, since Germany and got to walk barefoot in the sand on the banks of the Yuba River.

Ahh – Bliss

Posted in Hiking, Photography

Sitting on the dock of the bay…

…wasting time.

Oh but it was hardly a waste. The pier at Sugar Pine Point State Park was in the sun and there was a gentle breeze coming from the north. The majority of the wooden planks were still covered with snow, only leaving a narrow strip on the right side where the snow was already melted. I couldn’t help but see the warning signs at the beach and the beginning of the pier, cautioning people about the extreme cold waters. Still I opted to walk the narrow strip vs. slipping on the wider section that was covered with snow and ice. I managed, but was glad once the snow ended, exposing a wider, more stable path. I noted to myself that I’m getting worse as I am getting older. Vertigo, as well as looking down to where I’m stepping in forward motion, but seeing things pass me in the opposite motion are really becoming something I don’t deal with that well anymore. It makes me dizzy and lightheaded, and I’m always happy once I made it through. Most likely because I don’t trust myself as I used to, knowing that the RA can easily make me roll my ankle and lose balance. Thank goodness for my new, trusty hiking stick which I found the week before and took on it’s maiden voyage and first official outing. It did great, and I’m planning to personalize it in some sort of warrior theme. I think it’s fitting for the journey I have been on and continue to embark upon.

Just before the end of the dock, a L-shaped section (picture) branched off to the right, with steps leading down and luckily no snow. This would be the spot to spend some time, knowing that even though it was perfect, chances were we wouldn’t have it to ourselves. It was too good to pass up and quickly we spread our towels. It was perfect to soak up the rays, to be shielded from the light breeze that can turn chilly when sitting still, and we had found our spot to slow time. The warm sun felt wonderful and warm enough to take off my jacket, and the sound of melting snow trickling into the lake, was enough to relax and put you to sleep.

Several groups came and went, while we had a picnic and took pictures, just enjoying our time on this mild day at the end of January. Few can sit still or stay for long times, and I often think that we are the minority when it comes to that. There is no rush for anything, and the only goal is to be in the moment, to soak it all in, to surrender and forget the hectic of life. To leave your problems for a moment and concentrate on breathing deeply. To ground with Mother Nature and feel the calm replace the stress. It would be too boring for most, but not here with us, and the appreciation of being able to experience a place like this is always something we try to hold on to. Once you have felt it, you know that it is an addictive feelings, making you come back over and over. It’s a way of balancing things, a way to recharge your batteries and making room to deal with more curveballs that might be heading your way already. Maybe things would be different having a different job, but the hectic of retail makes you seek a place of solitude filled with peace and quiet. Who knows….I haven’t worked in almost a year, and such place of tranquility and harmony has never let go of my heart and has me coming back time after time.

In the meantime another huge storm is whipping through the lands, lasting several days, and packing tons of new snow. Luckily no polar freeze here, but you will definitely need to bundle up. It might be awhile until that pier is free of snow. This picture was taken last week, prior to the storms.