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I usually count it a good year if there are waterfalls and mushrooms at the same time the bigleaf maples are turning yellow. Some years there isn't enough rain before all the leaves have fallen and turned brown.
Looking back at some shots from November 2013, I saw that High Marsh was completely dry. My wife and I hiked past there yesterday and found it full and croaky with Pacific treefrogs.
We hiked from Rock Spring to Barth's Retreat via the Simmons Trail, then made the short connection east to Potrero Meadow to pick up the Kent Trail down to High Marsh. Dodging newts along the High Marsh Trail we eventually reached Bare Knoll where we took in the spectacular view and stopped for a snack before continuing to Cataract Falls (down considerably since my last visit), then looping back up to Rock Spring.
As we hiked past the bigleaf maples above Cataract Falls yesterday I knew I wanted to return to poke around with my camera today. I was lucky to find the West Ridgecrest gate open when I arrived at Rock Spring a little past 7 a.m., so I drove out to the parking area above Laurel Dell to save myself some hiking time.
Little or no rain in the forecast, so I figured I'd better not try to wait a week.
I don't usually go out of the city twice on a weekend, but this was a rough week. Two doses of Mt. Tam seemed like a minimum treatment to prepare me for the coming workweek, to getting back to the so-called real world, where the majority does not rule and where the most surreal politician in my life just got handed the keys to the Oval Office which I'm sure he's eager to take for a joy ride.
It's going to be an interesting cycle in the life of our country.
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