Here it is almost the middle of January and I'm still talking about Christmas. It was a fantastic year for two reasons.
1)We were able to spend quality time with my family and Denver's family
2)Denver was able to drink some coffee out of his Christmas mug.
I've been wanting to hike White Mountain for ages and Denver has been wanting to check out the Bristlecone Pine trees for just as long. The Bristlecone Pines just happen to be right below the White Mountain summit/trailhead. We made a deal, he'll hike with me and I'll look at pine trees with him.
The ancient Bristlecone Pines are thought to be the oldest known single living organism. This one is apparently not living but they have dated some of the living trees to over 4000 years of age.
View of the Sierras from across the Owen's Valley
A hummingbird's nest?
Our plan was to sleep at the trailhead and wake up with the morning light to make our jaunt to the summit. Instead of sleeping, we spent an ungodly amount of time burrowed in our sleeping bags in the back of the truck, listening to the wind howl and the gusts shake the canopy.
I had read earlier in the guide book that "since the trail was basically a road to the top a moonlight hike was a pleasant option". We certainly weren't sleeping so with the promise of a pleasant moonlight hike and some other faulty reasoning we laced our boots and headed up the hill. It was dark and cold and miserable, can you tell from the above photograph? Maybe someday we'll do it again and actually see a view from the summit.
First light of dawn on our way back to the truck. Our only thought was of a steaming cup of coffee and a donut at the local bakery down the hill.
There's a high pressure ridge that's been sitting on the whole west coast in general and our piece of the Sierras in particular, since Thanksgiving-ish. I've never been big on griping about the weather, but everybody has a breaking point. Get ready to hear me gripe.
I never knew that weather could cause so much angst and frustration and general misery. It can. Not in the grand scheme of things, but in a small inconvenient sort of fashion. This high pressure apparently has the tenacity of a starfish clinging to a piling at low tide and is refusing to to let go, even for a tasty mollusk. The weather and snow forecasters are predicting the same clear cold weather for another 2-3 weeks. No storms, no snow, just endless suns.
We've settled into a little routine for our weekends during this unusually long shoulder season. We go for a ride one day, a trail run another day and up to Squaw Valley on the third day. Kind of different to have all of those options open at the same time. Last weekend was our fourth in a row being faithful to the routine and we have become intimately familiar with the two runs that are open at Squaw Valley.
One of the best things about going home for the holidays is spending time chatting it up with my sisters and my Mama. There's always too much to say and too little time. The conversations are even more fun these days with little Miss Kayce involved. We wonder what we ever did without her quirky antidotes and perspective on life. Her favorite topics are still earrings and baby dolls but the older she gets the more she can listen and converse on any subject of general interest. And boy does she love joining into the mix. She nestles her tiny frame in the thick of things tosses her hair over her shoulder and gets down to business.