Monday, July 21, 2008

Do We Still Love the Sierra? Oh Yes We Do.

One of the great things about California is that if you get tired of the scenery all you have to do is get in your conveyance and drive for an hour – the scenery changes that fast.

So yesterday, Sunday, I went up to the Sierra Nevada once more with my cousin’s spouse, Frank. We stopped in Three Rivers for breakfast, a steamy chorizo and egg burrito with a cold glass of opaque apple cider, and then proceeded on into Sequoia National Park.

Now Sequoia National Park is not my favorite. I am a Yosemite man through and through. But Yosemite lies farther off and it is absolutely jammed with holiday goers at this time of year. And Sequoia has all of these day hikes for old codgers like me who don’t get to go outside very much any more.

So my hike up to Tokopah Falls was made for me.

The hike starts at Lodgepole campground which is situated on the south bank of Horse Creek.

It is an easy ascent. The trail is simply cut through talus slopes that define the north bank of the creek.

And then there are the cool ferny respites that make all hikes in the Sierra the pleasant strolls that they are – from time to time. We kept crossing the path of a young African-American girl in braids who was a first-time visitor to the park, and who, maybe as a result, made some some wrong turns from time to time.

She was “from Philly”. Frank claimed that she was stalking us, but I didn't think so.

The falls are really glorified rapids. No sheer drop offs, but nothing you would want to take your kayak over, either.

But then getting up close, and beyond the safety signs posted at the end of the trail, you appreciate the rapid descent of the cool clear mountain water.

Frank, ever the rock-hopping jackrabbit, was all over this outcrop. I, however preferred to stay put in my perch and receive occasional blasts of mist from the falls.

And then, finally, just before returning to civilization, one last look down-canyon and its U-shape that betrays its origin as a canyon gouged out by glaciers.

The Sierra has a restoring force, just as a spring or a bungee cord does. It regrounds you into a sense of place and size.

And when comparing this place to where I live right now on the Gulf Coastal Plain, it gives you a sense of “non-flatness.”

1 comment:

TexasSusan said...

Ah, the new camera gets broken in.

Nice camera - great shots.

Okay, you've had your fun, now come home and get to work!