One last visit was made by Trail Guy; I was in Visalia at a backyard boutique. He had some final things to finalize, finally.
Here are his best photos from a very clear and sunny morning.
This will be a long post with lots of photos, and then I might run out of things to post about Mineral King for awhile.It didn’t have to be the final Mineral King weekend, because the Park gates stay unlocked until October 25. But, life down the hill beckons, fall is very full of events for us, and we need to close things up when the weather is still good during a season of unpredictable weather.
We have taken on the responsibility of closing the Honeymoon Cabin for the past several years. This is a little cabin left after Disney destroyed the resort in advance of building their ski resort, which never happened. The cabin is now a mini museum of Mineral King history, open all summer to anyone who wanders in. It is at the beginning of the Eagle/Mosquito/White Chief trail.
This is the interior. It is about 10×10′.
After our chores, we had time for a final walk.
And then we made time for one final pass down the Nature Trail. It goes through so many changes in such a short season. . . in July it was packed with all variety of wildflowers. Now, just look at this:
This was an unusual summer in Mineral King for several reasons. Perhaps I’ll make a list for you next Friday.
Today, October 12, is the real Columbus Day. In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Ferdinand and Isabella paid for the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. It’s a fine holiday, but it has fallen out of favor.
Fake Columbus Day has also fallen into obscurity. It changes every year, just chasing the 3 day weekend. Only federal and bank employees are aware of it. Postal employees, too.
Careen, Nicole, Kim and I. Happy birthday to us.
Extra birthday wishes to Sylvia, Pam, (oh no – is yours the first or the second of Sept.?) and Ron T.! Happy birthday, friends!
Today’s post is for Marilyn, AKA The Captain. Just some photos of new flowers, and a get-well wish along with a birthday greeting.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARILYN! GET WELL SO WE CAN HIKE TOGETHER AND DISCOVER NEW FLOWERS TOGETHER AGAIN.
(Remember when we found Western Eupatorium??)
White Chief might be the most beautiful place accessible by foot from Mineral King. Short hike, steep, lots of variety. Any time Trail Guy encounters someone along the trail below the Eagle Lake/White Chief junction, he tells them they will be happier if they choose White Chief.
Here are more photos from our Eclipse Day White Chief walk/hike.
There are more photos, but they were on Trail Guy’s camera because I overworked my battery. Aiming at the sun may not have been such a good idea. . .
More tomorrow? Stay tuned. . .
The eclipse. Big deal. Lots of chatter. Lots of ideas. Lots of rah-rah. What to do about it in Mineral King?
Easy! Poke a hole in a piece of cardboard with an ice pick, get a piece of white paper, and walk to White Chief.
I say “walk” because I elected to not carry a pack or food. My camera was in my pocket, and a water bottle was in my hand. Let’s go!
Since the steepest part of the hike was behind us, we decided to just keep on trucking up the trail into White Chief. The day became very crystal clear.
To be continued. . . tune in tomorrow.
Remember that I said the last time I saw Eagle Lake it was empty because some stupid hon-yock opened the dam? I didn’t want that to be my last view of the place, so I told Trail Guy I wanted to go there, and I hoped he would join me.
He consented. I asked why he dislikes that hike so much; his reply is that the trail bed is horrible.
As usual, he was right.
This is the prettiest area of the trail – flat, usually full of wildflowers, running water alongside the trail, shade, and TONS OF MOSQUITOES! So unfair. . .
Was it just 2 weeks ago that this meadow was completely full of Jeffrey Shooting Star? Now it is full of knotweed, but it is white so makes no impression in a photo.
We climbed through an area I had completely forgotten about. I knew the rocks were coming, and forgot about this buffer zone.
After I navigated over/around this big boy, I caught up to Trail Guy standing by this:
I said, “WESTERN EUPATORIUM! I haven’t seen this in years, and the last time was on the Franklin Lake trail!”
Trail Guy probably thought I was a little delirious.
To be continued. . .
Sometimes I have to be down the hill, feeding Samson, watering the yard, blogging, drawing, taking care of business, fulfilling promises. Meanwhile, Trail Guy the Retiree is in Mineral King, hiking and taking photos for me to put on my blog.
His favorite place to go is White Chief. Mine too, unless it is the junction of the Franklin/Farewell Gap trails, or Farewell Gap itself. The lakes might could be, but we don’t go there much so I can’t remember. (I might could go there, but I’ll prolly be down the hill at the liberry instead.)
And sometimes Trail Guy comes home, especially if the Giants are on teevee.
Not the Giants; Samson wants to know why the Giants’ games are blocked out in our zip code.
Happy Birthday, Carol! These flowers are for you today.
Two days after Trail Guy went to Farewell Gap via a loop, we returned together with our new best hiking buddy Jessica. The point of the hike was to see Sky Pilot, an elusive high-elevation flower that we’ve never seen anywhere except Farewell Gap (not that we go anywhere outside of Mineral King. . .)
Here are my photos of that trip.
I felt sort of tired, and thought, “How disappointing, I’m out of shape”. It later occurred to me that middle-aged people who are truly out of shape don’t hike 13+ miles in one day at high altitudes (or low ones either).