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Friday, July 24, 2015

Monache Meadows, INF - "lightning crackled between the clouds"

 We drove to the beginning of the Monache Meadows Jeep Road.
 A short while later Clark, Jo Ann and the goats arrived.
The weather was good as we began our drive to the meadows but soon everything began to change.
 About two miles from the meadows lightning crackled between the clouds and rain began to fall.
 We pulled into one of our favorite campsites and quickly made camp.
 Later in the evening the rain stopped and we wandered down to the Kern River.
 Sunrise over the Kern River.
 Looking back at our camp amongst the trees.
 A few minutes later shadowy shapes began to move in the mist past our camp.
 Relaxing in camp after breakfast.
 Later in the day we walked down to the river for some goat training. It seems that goats are uncomfortable crossing water and the more experience they have doing it the better. Bosco seemed to be relatively relaxed about the whole river crossing thing.
 After much encouragement the remaining goats crossed to the other side.
 Soon it was a goat, dog, human extravaganza.
 Bosco napping in the warm sun after a romp in the river.
 Olancha Peak across the broad expanse of Monache Meadows.
 Later in the afternoon a rowdy goat was sentenced to a timeout.
 Bosco lamenting that his owner won't let him play with the cattle, "gee-sh, I'm half Australian Cattle Dog and Bill makes me stay here in camp with cows just 200 yards away."
 Dawn at a bend of the Kern.
 Another misty dawn photograph.
 One more misty dawn photograph looking north with Jo Ann and the goats center right.
 After lunch Clark, Jo Ann and the goats headed for home.
 Jan and I stayed another night and were rewarded with a fine sunset.
 The early light of sunrise warming the summit of Monache Mountain. About ten years ago I finally answered the call of that peak and hiked to the top. Not much up there but if you enjoy a grind up a moderate incline this mountain will punch your ticket.
 Dawn pushing through the trees into our camp.
 Later in the morning we once again walked down to the river.
 So Bosco could pose for a photo.
 And have one last splash in the Kern.
 Leaving Monache Meadows.
 Crossing the bridge over Snake Creek.
 We stopped at Powell Meadow to walk through the wild flowers .
After a quick refreshing wash at the tank we began our drive home.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Around Lockwood Creek, LPNF - "hunger is the best sauce"

Chase and I drove west through Lockwood Valley and then south toward Lockwood Creek.
We were surprised to see so much water flowing in Lockwood Creek.
Years ago the 4x4 road followed the creek south to the Miller Jeep Trail but now it climbs up a mountainside and takes a roller-coaster route over several ridges to the junction.
This large boulder is the first obstacle on the route but looks to be easier that it was when the route was new. I remember sitting in my Unimog watching and waiting as a Jeep spent 20 minutes attempting to climb past this spot.
Those of us in a Tacoma with a Four Wheel Camper drove to another road to look for a campsite for the night.
We set up camp high on a ridge just off of the Frazier Mountain Tie Road.
In the distance Mount Pinos was silhouetted by the sunset.
After a late breakfast we left our camp and hiked to a mine that was marked on the map about a mile away.
Not much of an opening left at this old mine. No structures remained.
Soon we were driving back down to Lockwood Creek.
We began our hike down Lockwood Creek to revisit a place I would camp when the road was open.
A lot of bear sign in this section of Lockwood Creek. Twenty years ago I hiked Piru Creek from Halfmoon Campground to Pyramid Lake. On that trip I found massive amounts of bear sign near Gleason Flat.
 After about 45 minutes of hiking through muddy, brushy thickets we arrived at the abandoned Lockwood Campground.
At the far end of the camp we found what looked like the remains of an old grow camp.
We filtered a couple of liters of water at one of the old campsites. Site number 2 if I remember correctly.
Chase enjoyed his lunch of cold chili with beans. I quoted Cervantes and said, "hunger is the best sauce."
After lunch we hiked back to the truck and began our drive home.