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Sunday, February 12, 2017

North and South of CA 166 - "things were going to deteriorate"

 A mudslide closed the right lane of the northbound Interstate 5.
 After the lane closure it was a clear drive down the Grapevine and into the San Joaquin Valley.
We drove West on CA 166 and found the road closed. I checked the Caltrans website and it had not shown this closure.
 Several sections of the highway were single track through the mud and there was one short section with about 12 inches of water but many locals were driving the road.
 A pastoral scene a few miles East of Maricopa.
 Looking East down Grocer Grade toward Maricopa.
 We turned North on Soda Lake Road and drove onto the Carrizo Plain.
 After the pavement ended road conditions became sloppy and a rain squall in the distance meant things were going to deteriorate.
 Wanting to avoid the quagmire that this road can become when wet we set up camp at the old Morris homestead.
 Sunset arrived an hour later.
 At 10:06 a rabbit visited our camp.
 Dawn was misty and damp.
 Less than a mile to the West of our camp was a small cemetery.
 Bosco and I strolled over to the site.
Another homestead in the southern end of the Plains was established in those years by the family of Edmund and Mary Morris. Mary died in 1896 and lies in a grave plot near the homestead. -
The Mary and Edmund Morris family homesteaded four 1/4 sections of land (160 acres each), totaling to 640 acres of land on the SE end of the Carrizo Plain in 1889. They also purchased an additional 800 acres of land. The Morris' had three children: Tom, Joe, and Emma. -

 The first time I visited this cemetery was in 1988, 29 years ago. I was a young man then. Now I am the same age as Mary when she died. It was wet and muddy that spring as well.
 Bosco and I hiked farther into the hills.
 After an hour we turned around and headed back to camp. This spring may bring a super-bloom after such great rain totals.
 Bosco found an old horse hoof to chew while I read.
 More rain moved into the area and I made the decision to break camp.
 Every time we drive past cattle Bosco whines and wants out of the truck because his instinct is to get out there and take charge.
 Decided to drive up and over the mountains instead of returning home via the 166.
 After 25 miles or so we reached snow.
 We drove up Mount Pinos until we could drive no farther.
 This was Bosco's second time in deep snow and he did not like it any more than the first.
 We would have stayed the night but I had neither skis or snowshoes so as night fell we made for home.

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