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Where not all roads less traveled are roads...

Header Photo: Table Mountain, Golden, Colorado, with views of downtown Denver.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Absent No More…


The "Alabama Hills" camp was a sight for sore eyes, especially after the glaring sun, angularity, and austerity of Anza Borrego, Mohave Preserve, and, to some extent, Death Valley, back to back to back. Connecting those "dots" had taken weeks, and presented unexpected challenges in the form of soaring temperatures and loss of contact with the world. But now, Goldie is ensconced amid a maze of softly curved boulders with a snowcapped Sierra backdrop. Relief is at hand. The "internet," however, not so much. 


Eggs. We are surrounded by brown-shelled farm eggs. They are sized small to extra colossal, sculptured by eons of wind and water and the wear of movement. "Eons." It's difficult to wrap one's mind around eons. "Short of infinity, but longer than the appearance of life on earth?" Most of us need images to understand such concepts. Imagine, if you will, draining all seven seas through a straw. That's eons. 


The "Mark of Zorro" under Mount Whitney, 14,495 feet
This is the view out Goldie's Imax Windows, a framed print of Mount Whitney and her Court of pinnacles, and a snowcapped barrier to would-be millions of left coast day trippers looking to escape their urban stockades. 



We greeted each day with contemplation, gazing out as each sunrise cast a rouge glow upon clouds and mountains top to bottom, incrementally revealing the secrets held deep in shadowed canyons. 


Unfortunately, my hiking partner had been struck down with a virulent flu… one of those nasty hybrid mutations that incubates to drug resistant perfection in school and daycare petri dishes all across America, and spreads via Walmart shopping carts with child seats. 



Beyond sympathy and running to town to fetch bagfuls of Oreo McFlurrys, the only thing that soothed Bobbie's raw throat and dull appetite, there was little I could offer. So I point out the "Mark of Zorro" scar yonder on the mountainside and give my droopy soulmate notice that I'm going to attempt to bike to the intersection where Zig meets Zag. "Get some rest," I say, and peddle off on what looks to be a grinding uphill adventure… a favorite way to clear my head, better than any drug I've found. 

Scenes from some six days of camping in the friendly Hills of Alabama above Lone Pine, California… 


























19 comments:

  1. We sure loved those Alabama Hills & the surrounding Lone Pine area as well when we were there back in March of 2011. One of those places on our list we hope to return to some day. And how nice it was for us to have snow capped mountains to boot. Maybe one day we'll get up your way in Colorado:))

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  2. It is good to see the BCB is back! Goldie looks like she is feeling better. Hope Bobbie is soon as well!

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  3. We knew you would love the Alabama Hills. You were lucky to have had such great weather there in February. Sorry Bobbie wasn't able to enjoy it. Hope she's recovered and you don't catch it!

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  4. A beautiful view to have out your window! Hope Bobbie is feeling better and didn't share with you. The last month has been nasty in our house also with respiratory flu bugs. Just when you think you have made it through the winter without getting sick.........

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  5. Love the scenery there and glad you are back.
    Hope Bobby is feeling much better.

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  6. Hi Mark & Bobbie, we have been worried because we finally have joined the BCB and then there was nothing, we feared the worst....we can handle the "flu" Bobbie although sometimes we think it would be better to be laid up with a broken leg than have a flu bug. We have both been lucky it's been many years since experiencing a real flu. (However we don't shop at Walmart, we have not known a Billionaire we like ,oops, with exception of Steve J & Bill G)
    Last Wed an hour after rising we heard about the Super Bloom in Death Valley and have had that on our bucket list for some time so we were out the door and in Lone Pine that night at 6pm (Feb 24) then into Death Valley on Thurs so we came awfully close to running into you. We had a feeling that you might be in the area what with all the news of the spectacular wallflower blooms in So Calif.
    We were blown away by the Tehachapi Mts between Bakersfield & Tehachapi. We also drove up to Sequoia on Fri and saw wildflowers everywhere going up from Three Rivers.
    Al will be sending an email later today. We are getting ready for 10 days of rain here so imagine you will have snow flurries on the Eastern side of the Sierras.
    Stay Thirsty My Friend.......and get Bobbie some oranges.
    Sonoma Co Guys

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  7. I think I would enjoy the Alabama Hill, photo's look great. Hope Bobbie is all better by now.

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  8. Hey Mark, is the "Mark of Zorro" the road up to Horseshoe Meadows? Sure looks like it. Quite the road for sure. Views are amazing. How far up did you go? Hope Bobbie is feeling better.

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  9. Hope Bobbie is better soon!
    It's beautiful there!

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  10. Our first visit to the Alabama Hills was in the fall and we fell in love with the place. The snowy mountains are beautiful:) We only had snow tipped mountains when we were there. Sure hope Bobbie is on the mend:)

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  11. Did you make it to the Zig of the Zag?

    Hope Bobby is better.

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  12. Ahhhhh, one of my favorite places on earth!

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  13. What a beautiful looking site! The Sierras in the background are fantastic. Looks like you "mountain folk" are in your element. Hope the flu bug has run its course and Bobbie is back in the saddle.

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  14. Nice photo, but those mountains sure look cold.

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  15. As you said recently, there are deserts, and then there are "deserts". Alabama Hills are the true dessert for desert lovers I would say, what we in California called the "high desert". Best boondock site around, except for those pesky gnats that thought Mo's hair was especially enticing. Hopefully Bobbie is much better now and enjoying. Curious to see where you are heading next...

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  16. Now you were in our neck of the woods. Would have loved to have entertained you here in Apple Valley. Plenty of room for Goldie as well. Returning the favor, so to speak. The offer still stands if you're in the area or may be. We absolutely LOVE the Alabama Hills. Actually climbed up to the 12,500 ft. base of Whitney in another life. Snow prevented the final ascent.

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  17. Stunned to stone - I feel when gazing at your pictures. What a beauty to be surrounded by.

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  18. Some stunning shots you captured! I feel Bobbie's pain, I'm on the downside of the flu myself, 2 weeks today I had to get Prednisone a few days ago to calm down the mucus and lung rattling coughing. Back on my feet today and exploring Kentucky which doesn't look nearly as nice as where Bobbie got to recuperate!

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  19. On my list now. Thanks for the enticement!

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