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Monday, September 21, 2015

Armageddon to Genesis in one...

Backpack trip. 

When Brad and I set out to do our weeklong 60 mile, three pass circuit on the John Muir Trail, experiencing damp, drizzly and windy weather was not what we expected. After all, we were hiking in potato chip dry and parched California. A state where rain and snow had gone missing for multiple years. 

We entered Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park via Bishop Pass. The sky had a post nuclear holocaust look about it. Apparently forest fires were consuming acres west of us in the big tree groves of Sequoia. Yet a chill rain was hitting us square in the face. It wasn't pleasant. The sub-summer weather prevailed the next morning as we hunkered below John Muir Pass. It was a long dreary day of sitting in a cave waiting for conditions to improve. (See photo). Snow (White Death) was reported by the shivering masses who descended off the 11,955 pass. 

The following morning, we woke to an ashen gray atmosphere. At least it wasn't raining so we headed uphill. The higher we got the bluer the big sky became. By the time we reached the pass, only designer clouds were prevalent. The front was passing us by. 

Our Genesis was on! We had nothing but aquamarine above us and occasional frost below us. 

It was great!

Some hikes are worth repeating.

From Dana Point, California
Cheers and Happy Jewish New Year,
Jeff

"I only went for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."
John Muir





Sunday, September 13, 2015

Reunited with my...

Brother from another Mother. 


Brad and I are about to go into Great Smoky National Park for a 6 night backpack trip. Well, it's not the really Great Smoky NP, but Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. However, with all the Rhode Island sized forest fires nearby,  it's very smoky. Somewhere to the west of Bishop, California through the obscure haze is the High Sierra Range. We believe they are out there somewhere. 
Tomorrow we hope to make contact with them. 

Brad likes me (sort of) despite his serious game face at Mountain Rambler Brewery. 
He needs to take a "how to smile" lesson from Little Dylan Sambur.
She's got the "don't be serious, be delirious" grin down. 

Keep the blogging fires burning while I'm gone.
Cheers!
Jeff

PS. Happy 5776 Jewish New Year. We've been around for awhile.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"It ain't over till it's over."

Yogi Berra

From my last post, http://jeffsambur.blogspot.com/2015/09/life-and-nature-simplified-at.html one would guess that I'm back to running solo again. Wrong! Jenny read and enjoyed that post. (She said it was beautiful). We schmoozed (talked) a bit and decided this Hebrew pair warranted a second chance. 

After kissing and making up, we climbed 13,069" Mount Chiquita in RMNP. 

Why name a peak after a banana? I have no idea. It was too frigid and blustery to grow winter wheat let alone a tropical fruit. The U.S. Geological Survey named it in 1932. Maybe the dude was wishful thinking while he was on the summit getting whiplashed by the cold breeze. 

Yesterday, a wonderful time was had by all. Here are the photos to prove it. I believe  my last post was the best blog I ever wrote. At least, I know it impressed one fan! Ahh, the power of the pen or in my case the Mini I-Pad. 

Speaking of which, The Wandering, Wondering Jew blog has now quietly surpassed 20,000 pageviews. I'm still not sure what that means, but it sounds like a lot. 

Thanks for looking in and supporting my musings. As usual feel free to pass http://jeffsambur.blogspot.com/ along to your billions of Facebook friends, family members and your favorite foreign hackers. 
Cheers!
Jeff



Sunday, September 6, 2015

Life and Nature Simplified at...

Great Sand Dunes National Park.

It's thirty square miles of slippery sand, 750' dunes and a landscape that is in constant flux. If you arrive early enough like Jenny and I did, the canvas is devoid of footprints. Late arriving fellow travelers appear as mere dots in its vastness. 

The park lies in a corner of the San Luis Valley, where you can wrestle an alligator on a nearby ranch or view UFO's from a specially designed platform. They grow a tasty red potato there too. Far away from the glitzy mountain towns of Colorado, it's off the must-see lists of most intrastate and out of state visitors. The area is sparsely populated with a few drive by in less than a minute burgs. Even though half of Colorado's ten poorest counties can be found in the Valley, I love the place. It keeps drawing me back. 

Last photo, just me and my shadow.

Sadly, Jenny and I have parted ways. 

Thank you Jenny for being my Colorado highlight in this too short summer season. It brought me great joy to see this state's wild wonders through a new set of eyes. I hope you keep on exploring. You are good at it.