Field Trip 12.16.13

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I live in the California central valley now. Once I lived in the east bay. I grew up with the Coast Range on one side and the Pacific Ocean (well, San Francisco Bay) on the other. Now I can see both the Coast and the Sierra Nevada ranges. Today I ventured out of the valley in my little blue Fiesta sedan and into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I thought perhaps I would drive to Yosemite; only made it as far as Coultersville. It was a pretty drive, though, past orchards and nut farms, through La Grange and Roberts Ferry. At the junction I chose Highway 49 towards Mariposa rather than Sonoma. That choice led me farther up the mountain. I navigated some hairpin turns and pulled into a turnabout to stop and enjoy the view. After I had taken a few pictures, I returned to the car and kept heading upward. To my delight, I noticed patches of snow on the roadside, and on the side of the mountain “where the sun don’t shine”. I have not seen snow on a mountain for about forty years. I kept driving, making mental note of a patch of ice on the road. I made another mental note of the two snow plows heading back down the mountain. The lane I am driving to climb the hill is the outside lane. A few more hairpin turns – could it have been a devil’s backbone? Not sure – I decided the next turnabout was when I would reverse the journey and head back down. It did not take long and I confess I felt more secure in the “inside” lane as I navigated the hairpin turns again. Back through Roberts Ferry and on toward home. I saw patchy snow, a couple of deer, gorgeous scenery, quaint old towns. Not bad for a four-hour field trip.

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