Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring in Northern California Remains Underrated

Just out on the last few miles of the Western States Trail near the confluence in Auburn on a fantastic spring day.

Compare - above, April and below, October.

English Moonbat Rides Bike Around the World

Seriously. These numbskulls are just coming in the windows these days aren't they (more here.) And he ALSO likes Black Sabbath, so you know there's a problem. Tim Millikin rode from Reading, England to Reading, Pennsylvania using the path you see below. The journalist didn't ask some of the obvious questions, such as 1) Is he on drugs and 2) What drugs is he on. And to end at Reading, PA...well I guess he wanted to make sure he wouldn't be sad to go back home! (Just kidding Tim and Reading, PA.)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Euchre Bar, North Fork American River, Tahoe National Forest

The trail down to the river is not long - only about 1.5 miles - but in that distance you lose almost 2000'. You notice this, to put it mildly, going both directions. At the bottom there's an old suspension bridge and the remnants of old mining operations in the form of twisted rusted scrap metal and the odd stone platform. At ten in the morning the sun was just starting to make it over the canyon rim into the river. There was dew on the bridge and I couldn't understand why there would be so much down there or why moisture loving plants would enjoy the spot (they're high enough above the water not to receive any spray.) Not long ago I had gone up there to check it out but it was muddy enough that I thought a super steep trail would not be the best thing to do that day. It sure did look different a month ago!

As an aside: From the top of the canyon I could see a snowy peak looking upriver that looked suspiciously like Granite Chief from the back. Looking at Google Earth later, it absolutely could be (26.5 air miles away.) This also led me to actally look at numbers for something I'd long wondered about - the average ratio between air miles, road miles and trail miles. Looks like straight-line air miles distance is usually about half the trail distance, with the road miles being in between but significantly closer to the straight line distance. I guess in cases where you're going through just as much mountains as the trail - ie along the Western States - the road distance relative to trail is the highest.

Trail% Air% Drive% Trail
Western States 5075(100)
Pacific Crest 4457(100)
Appalachian 5162(100)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Chilnualna Falls, Yosemite

I was at Tenaya Lodge for a conference and realized I had never been to this part of the park before. Just inside the Route 41 entrance in the Wawona area is this trailhead. A spring pineapple express had come through which was a bit of a dud relative to the forecasts but was enough to close Yosemite Valley further north, and get the falls really roaring. In 20 years of going to Yosemite I had never even heard of these falls, much less been to them. The Sierras continue to be full of surprises. The trail is a "short and sweet" 8.4 miles RT with 2400' gain, which works out to about an 11% average grade. Oddly only right at the start of the trails next to the lower falls is there any kind of exposure. Only downside, I didn't see much wildlife except of course swallows in the mistiest part of the falls (who eat the bugs that stay around all the humidity) and the night before, either a fox or ringtail run across the road when I was out for a walk.

Above, looking across the chasm, the mist from the falls is visible. Below, looking down into it from near the dropoff; deep enough that you can't see the fall itself.

Above, where the water goes off the edge; below, there's yet another fall right above it. And it turns out in some kind of MC Escher or fractal thing, another one behind that, but this was enough for me.

Above, streams cascading over the Sierra granite where they probably are usually not. Although the sky was perfect blue the trail was noticeably muddier on the descent as all that rain from the day before got to the lower elevations. Below, it's not a real hike unless you get to the snow line (or 10,000'.)

And then of course some more from the top.

Videos from the falls right at the start of the trail:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Clouds and Bridges During Spring Storm

Above and below: original (with slightly off-kilter horizon) and updated, with of course worse image quality after rotating it a degree with an online image service. If one bothers you more than the other, choose accordingly.

Conclusion: the Guy West bridge is SOOOOOOOOOO much better than the STUPID Tower Bridge.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

"The Million Mile Ultra Run - With 1000, 10,000, and 100,000 Mile Fun Runs"

Why: Nobody has ever run 1,000,000 miles. The record as of 1997 was held by Douglas Alistair Gordon Pirie of Great Britain (b. 1931), who ran 216,000 miles from 1941 to 1981 [Guiness Book of Records, 1992]. Herb Fred (b. 1929) ran 252,922 miles as of Aug. 31, 2016.

Rules: Cutoff for all races is 100 years [from start of competition], on Dec. 31, 2096.
And here I thought my running projects were goofy. I think it was the always-curious Francis Crick who said "What's the deal with this guy?"* Ultra runner and interesting AI researcher Matt Mahoney maintains a page for this "project." It is stupid, hilarious, and pointless, and part of why it's interesting is I bet some people on the list (who have actually submitted their mileage!) will take it seriously and be mad if they see this post.

*While he may actually have said that, I don't know if he really did and I just made it up right now.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Iron Point, Euchre Bar Trailhead, North Fork American River Canyon

The trailhead was right on the snowline, by the (quite accurate) U.S. Forest Service Sierra snow map. And the roads were muddy, and I was not in a 4WD, and the very steep trail to the river (2200' descent) would also have been unpleasantly muddy. And I was on call and there was no phone service. And someone was shooting a rifle quite close by. So I decided today wasn't the day - but at least it was a day that was quite photogenic.