Monday, May 7, 2012

A Big Moon

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We had heard about the “Super Moon” just the week before. It was said to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter, a full moon that occurs when the moon is at its closest point to earth, this year on Saturday May 5th. Ah, but many times these more important items get brushed aside in our busy schedules. Could we fit it in?

The Lady wanted to get away for the night and watch the moonrise. She suggested Monitor Pass, one of her favorite places. It is high and open and we know it’s dispersed camping spots well. We packed up the truck and camper Saturday morning, stopped to fill the propane tank, and we were on our way by 11:00 am.

We took advantage of the relaxing drive and explored areas we had previously just driven by. Still, we were settled with camp set up by 4:00 pm.

We wandered on foot, exploring the details around us as the afternoon light prevailed.

As the sun continued to drop we noticed the familiar profiles of Pyramid Peak, Agassiz, and Mount Price on the southern end of Desolation Wilderness’s Crystal Range, favorite ski summits of ours.

The Monitor Pass area is a broad plateau of volcanic rock.

As the day came to a close the sun dropped behind the Sierra Crest…………………

………………….and gave a final kiss to Pyramid’s north ridge.

We waited with growing anticipation for the moon to rise in the east.

In was a bright and cold night. In the predawn Sunday morning we watched the moon set in the west from our warm bunk in the camper. It was 20° outside.

We got up with the sun and with our mugs of coffee we walked as the morning sun warmed us.

Our plans for Sunday were to check out the Wolf Creek and East Fork of the Carson River trailheads into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness. We have made a couple of trips into the Carson Iceberg and are planning another. Wolf Creek Road follows the East Fork of the Carson from its turn off from Highway 4 and then climbs and enters Wolf Creek Meadows.

The Wolf Creek trailhead is at the upper end of the meadow. Camping is allowed above the creek in a undeveloped campground area.

We backtracked down to the lower end of the meadow and drove into the Carson River trailhead. The upper headwaters of the East Fork of the Carson are a refuge for the native Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and its tributary stream, Silver King Creek is home to the rarest trout in North America, the Paiute Cutthroat, a subspecies of the Lahontan.

We enjoy seeing that a bear has marked its territory, as with this scratched up sign.

We hiked to Grays Crossing on the East Fork and enjoyed the solitude................

.........................and watched a Merganser work the river.

We relaxed, alone along the river.

We hiked out in the afternoon and made our way home marveling at how lucky we are to have so many wonderful spots close to home.

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