Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bear Valley

In a fit of "I cannot hike around here any more, it's too hot and dry, and there's dust and foxtails and poison oak everywhere" I booked us a cabin in Bear Valley for the weekend. After last fall's Stormageddon canceled most of our High Sierra hiking plans, I was still itching to to walk in "Beautiful Sierra Scenery (TM)".

We arrived Friday afternoon, unpacked, and went for a short fishing trip to Lake Alpine. Fishing was had. Catching was not had. Pizza for dinner.

On Saturday, we set out for a hike to Kinney Lakes near Ebbetts Pass. Book said 5 miles and not much climbing. We ended up doing just under 4 (only went to the first lake) and the climbing really was minimal, by Sierra standards. I was pretty excited about this hike, since the route follows the Pacific Crest Trail.

Map and profile:

Some selected photos from the hike.

Kostadis hauled Nick the whole way there and back

Wheee! OMG hiking! Wheee!

After about and hour, Nick got tired of sitting in
the backpack and decided to hike by himself.
He requested a hiking pole and used it quite

Lower Kinney Lake. Polly is doing what she does any time a body of water
is present: fetching sticks.

Yes, Nick is, in fact, doing what you think
he is doing. He thought peeing in the lake
was the best game ever.

Kostadis and Tony enjoying the break.

Beautiful Sierra Scenery (TM) on the way back

On the way back from the lakes, we met some Pacific Crest Trail through hikers. We shared our strawberries with them which they were very grateful for. PCT hikers pretty much eat power bars for six months, so any fresh food is a treat. Polly and Tony tried to beg them for some treats, and were very disappointed that they didn't get any. As I said "Dogs, these people are more hungry than you are, give it a rest."

Kostadis fished some more in the evening. We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

Next day we went for a short walk around Lake Alpine and some more fishing (for Kostadis), playing in the water (for Nick and Polly) and peeing on things (for Tony).
Trains got to come play at the lake too.

Nick is fishing.

Kostadis is also fishing. They both caught the same number of fish.

Hiking is exhausting.

All in all, a nice weekend trip. And it didn't rain. Or snow. Or hail. Maybe Nick's curse of causing "weather events" any time he goes into the mountains is over. One can hope!

Full set of photos from the weekend is here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Strawberry...erm olallieberry...Fields Forever!

Let's just start at the end: this is what 23 lbs of olallieberries looks like:
Greed is not a good thing.

An olalliberry is a heavily modified blackberry-raspberry cross, which is deep purple and extremely sweet when ripe:

A friend joined me on a You-Pick trip to Gizditch Ranch in Watsonville to obtain some of the tasty fruit.

You get assigned a row of bushes:

And get to work:
This is fun, honest!

After about two hours, we ended up with 35 lbs between the two of us. And we only stopped because we ran out of containers, the berries were plentiful.
Looking a little dazed with our haul. Or maybe it was the two
hours in the sun.

Being the sane person, Cat took home 12 lbs, leaving me with 23 lbs of berries which were so ripe, their shelf life is measured in minutes. Being lazy and all, I just threw them into plastic bags portioned for pie filling and put them in the freezer.


Soon, each of these bags will become a tasty olallieberry pie!