Thursday, January 18, 2018

Local Culture

Bill and Liz, Bob's uncle and aunt from Maryland came to visit us.  We took them out to see some of the sights.  First up was the Bristlecone Pine Forest.  Yes, there is was no snow in January and it was sunny and rather pleasant.

Sierra View Pano

Details from the interpretative signs

A close up of a tree that burned

Next our plan was to head to Manzanar and the Lone Pine Film Museum, but a Common Redpoll showed up at our feeder!  This derailed us for half a day.  Good thing Liz and Bill both enjoyed the bird.

The crowd waiting for the bird to show up
Eventually we managed to get to Manzanar National Historic Site.   Manzanar is one of ten War Relocation Camps where people of Japanese ancestory, including US citizens, were confined during WWII.

Link to the National Park page is here: Manzanar.

It is well worth a visit with a movie, displays, and recreated buildings.  I have been three times and always find something new.

We also visited the Lone Pine Film Museum.  Link to the film museum here:  Lone Pine Film Museum.  This museum explores the history of all movies and TV shows filmed in the area.  There is a heavy emphasis on Westerns starting with the silent films.

After the museum we headed to the Alabama Hills to look at the movie scenery close up.  It wasn't a beautiful warm day, so we spent most of it in the car.  We did though get out and search for Movie Road Arch.  Reportedly a 5' arch, that can even be seen from the road.  Even with the four of us looking we were unable to find it.

Alabama Hills in the rain

We finished up our local cultural tour with the Trona Old Guest House Museum and the Trona Pinnacles.  We had never been to the museum before and to the pinnacles only once.  Both turned out to be enjoyable.

First stop was Fish Rocks

Mural on the museum
The Trona Pinnacles

A mine entrance in one of the pinnacles

Monday, January 15, 2018

New areas in familiar canyons

Bob and I did a couple of short hikes in canyons where we regularly hike.  Both canyons, Freeman and Indian Wells, are long and fairly wide canyons.  We have favorite hikes in both, but every once in a while feel the need to head to someplace a little different.

Indian Wells Canyon actually has two named sub-canyons.  I just figured that out, yes I have been going there for over 30 years, thank you very much.  We decided to explore Gold Canyon.  It has what was once a road and is now a trail heading up to a mining prospect.  A nice no planning hike, just find the road and follow it, which is exactly what we did.  When we got to where the prospect was marked on the map, we couldn't find it.  At least not at first.  We climbed up a steep trailless canyon looking for it.  Nothing.  Ate our lunch with a nice view, the most important part of any day, and started back down when I saw what might have been it.  Bob climbed up a steep side hill and confirmed it.  We were shocked at how much work can go into roads and trails and so little work into the actual prospect.  Oh well.  It made a nice loop for us.

"eyes" rock

In Freeman Canyon we headed up to Peak 5698.  Of all the little peaklets in the area why this one?  Cuz it had an interesting looking granite face and wouldn't be an all day death march.  As expected it was very pleasant and not too taxing.

Peak 5698

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Mount Ta Ta

Mount Ta Ta - at least that is what Paul calls it.  The USGS marker says Tit.  Any Day Hikers were heading up on a day we were unavailable, so Paul sent us the info and we did scouting for the group.  Our big finding was no trail register on top.  Other than that it is easy to meander over to the few pictographs, see the semi-modern graffiti as well, admire the grinding holes, visit a mining prospect, and then ascend the peak.  We did all this, ate our lunch from the top admiring the views, and were back home by 1PM.  Not bad with an 8:30AM start.

Our destination for the day.  What would you name it?

This was created in 1961. Let's hope today's Boy Scouts (or at least the leaders) would know better.

Aardvark???  Ok, so maybe deer is more likely.

Mining prospect tunnel

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Pinyon Peak

Hike track link

Pinyon Peak eBird list

We don't get out much.  Or some days it just feels like we don't know a thing about where we live.  Yes, Pinyon Peak is another place close to home that we had never been to.  It even turns out that there is an old trail to the top, and a trailhead hidden in plain sight off of Highway 178.  We really should get out more often.

Pinyon Peak our destination for the day

A bit closer to Pinyon Peak

The South Fork Christmas Bird Count was the inspiration for this hike.  No one was covering any part of the Scodie Mountains, which is in the count circle, but hard to get to, so we decided to add a bit of bird data to the count.  We were hoping for Mountain Chickadees, but couldn't find any in the mostly dead pinyon pines.  We did though have a White-headed Woodpecker, which was very fun.

A forest of dead pinyons

This must be a really old sign

This hike starts on the Pinyon Jack trail, follows an obvious trail or road system all the way to the top.  There are a couple of turns you have to make, but we did the trail the day after others had been up, and it was easy to follow their tracks and trail markers.  We also had a gps track, so no chance of wandering off.

We made it to the top

Ten years ago this was probably a lovely walk through a fragrant pinyon forest.  Now most of the pinyons are dead from drought stress and beetles, so not quite so attractive.  The views from the actual peak are limited due to oaks, but just before the peak vistas are fine making for an enjoyable lunch spot.

Owen's Peak

The view to Walker's Pass

Panorama of the Sierra from Domeland Wilderness to Owens Peak and Mt. Jenkins (L-R)