Friday, June 16, 2017

The Cross

For many years I have been looking at a simple white cross high above Intake II near Aspendell, and trying to figure out what it was for.  Finally, we just decided to walk up there and have a look.

The first surprise was a pipe that carries water from the South Lake drainage into Intake II.  Who knew.

The second surprise was what the cross was commemorating.  I thought it would be a death during construction.  Instead it is a tribute a young man.  Apparently, he liked to catch fish at Intake II and had friends and family who loved him.

The view from the cross is hard to beat.  RIP.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Breakfast with a Botanist

Friends of the Inyo sponsored a morning's walk with botany expert and all around fun guy Dr. Steve.  When we read that we signed up.

Our fearless leader Steve.  Photo courtesy of Cathy Cannon
Our group. Photo courtesy of Cathy Cannon

We started with breakfast at the Eastside Bakeshop near McGee Creek and then headed out to see some flowers.  Steve McLaughlin spent many years as a botany professor and he knows his stuff.  His lectures are also much more entertaining than anything in the engineering field.

Now you get to see some of the flowers we had.  I've labeled them.  Hopefully I'll get a passing grade.

Painbrush, Castilleja angustifolia

Hawksbeard, Crepis acuminata, intermedia, occidentalis

Chocolate drops, Caulanthus pilosus

Pale Dandelion, Agoseris glauca

Desert peach, Prunus andersonii

Western sweet-cicely, Osmorhiza occidentalis
Timberline phacelia, Phacelia hastata
Tobacco brush, Ceanothus velutinus
Wax current, Ribes cereum

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Birthday Adventure

We went hiking to celebrate Bob's birthday.  Go figure.  We were looking for the Pinewoods fritillary, Fritillaria pinetorum.  There is a record on the east side of the Sierra and up along a ridge where we have never been.  And we could bag Morris Peak again along the way.

The wind had been blowing the last couple days and was fierce when we started out.  The forecast was for much improved conditions by 11AM.  It did get better, but it never got nice.  And we couldn't find the flower.  Big sigh.  And we remembered we had a 3 o'clock appointment when we were seven miles from the car and it was noon.

Bob ran down the hill for over three miles, and then ran up Highway 178 to our car.  The three plus road miles, thousand foot elevation gain, and headwind gave him a good work out.  Susan meandered down the wash to the highway being totally enchanted by the birds and Joshua tree rings.  We knew creosote bushes make rings that are estimated to be thousands of years old.  Who knows how long these Joshua tress have been growing and spreading out from the center.  In the life of a Joshua tree a few minutes is insignificant.  Not so in the world of investment advisers.  Bob ran fast and we made our appointment.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Coyote Plateau

Map track link (there are a few bad data points in this track that mess things up a little. But overall it's legible. Ignore the long straight line from Funnel Lake to Baker Lake)

As the raven flies, the Coyote Plateau is but a short jaunt from Bishop Creek.  Most folks access it via a series of dirt roads.  We aren't most folks, so we decided to check out the lakes in the area before the snow melted out and vehicles came in.  We weren't expecting much, and were pleasantly surprised by the beauty of some of the lakes.  We also really enjoyed having an area all to ourselves.  Yes, we didn't see another soul until the final mile on our way out.

Our friend Terri dropped us off at Habeggers (South Fork) and we headed up towards Lookout Mountain and then via a series of dirt roads and cross county hiking visited Coyote, Rocky Bottom, Funnel, Baker and Hidden Lakes.  Then out to Glacier Lodge (Big Pine Creek) where our friend Bill picked us up and took us home.  Thanks Terry and Bill!!

Day 2

Day 3