Sunday, May 18, 2014

Close to Home - May 2014

please remember you can click on a photo to see a larger version

The Lady's school year usually ends in a whirlwind. Last week was the County Middle Schools Track Trials followed by the Finals on Friday afternoon. I drive down and help in the booth by giving out metals to the winning young athletes. The Lady is the voice announcing. A big crew of teachers and coaches help run the field events and races. It is a long, tiring, and rewarding afternoon lasting to around 8:00 with the clean up and organizing the results.

Past our bedtime found us with the group celebrating the end of track season with dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. We sat across from Bill, a teacher at another school.
"Did you do Skyscraper this year?" the Lady asked.
Bill replied, "A month ago. I'd guess the flow is getting too low to run now."
Bill is an expert and avid whitewater kayaker.
"If we get our around the house chores done by early afternoon, we are taking a  quick hike up tomorrow to get out of the house." I explained.

We live in an area chalked full of destination outdoor attractions. People come here for their trip of the year or trip of a lifetime. The popular places during the busy times, we stay clear of. But like so many areas, there are secret special places, treasures, that for us, are only a few minutes away.

Our friend Jim was here a bit after one Saturday afternoon. We piled into the Lady's Subaru and headed out to visit a small creek that cascades down a granite gorge in such a way the best in the world come to test their skill every spring with the snow melt.  

An unmarked use trail works its way up the canyon.

It doesn't look much different than so many other Sierra streams.

The Lady and Jim watched an American Dipper on its rock above the final drop of a run called "Plastic Surgery."

It is indeed spring time in the mountains.

The creek's gradient is steep with drop after drop after drop.

In places it is necessary to climb high through the brush on steep granite.

The Lady led the way up to the overlook for Skyscraper. We found two kayakers from the Reno area.

Skyscraper is a crushing series of falls.

At this low flow the current on the last drop can pull a boater into a alcove cave on river right. Because of this the two boaters decided to not take the risk and portaged skyscraper.

They scouted the runs below.

There are several videos up on YouTube illustrating boaters taking on the challenge.

Except in the spring, it is usually lonely here, a wonderful place just to hang out, hear the song of the creek below, and watch bald eagles soar above.

We pulled out snacks and water and enjoyed the dripping spring on the opposite canyon wall..................
 we were surrounded by the cascading creek.

Delicate flowers caught our eye as we worked our way back down to the car.

Far below us the Lady spotted this smooth hole bored through granite.

You probably have figured out her next action............................

What you can't tell from the photo is that the rock slab overhangs another cascade. It was not easy to get to or back out from. The Lady managed.

One of our heralds of spring is the Snow Flower.

We took our time wandering back down the creek.

This was the best way to relax after a productive day of chores and a very busy work week.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a great afternoon. I can almost hear the creek!