A lovely consolation (for me, at least) was that I was invited to join a local women's hiking club. My only walk with them so far was on March 31-- a short, but vigorous (at least for the last bit as we scrambled over boulders) hike up a local landmark called Table Mountain. It's not really a mountain, but the volcanic evidence of lava that had flowed about ten million years ago down ancient river courses and hardened. These are called inverted (or upside-down) rivers and the far end of this particular one is is less than five miles from Frogpond. Here is a geology professor's blog post with more detail on the geology of this area: http://geotripper.blogspot.com/2015/04/where-rivers-are-upside-down-hike-to.html
|Oaks just budding out|
I'll admit that I was a bit apprehensive joining this group of women for even this rather mild hike. True to my nature, I found myself worrying about all sorts of immensities such as what to wear (long pants or short pants?), how to pack my lunch (paper bag or zipper bag?, the correct shoes (light weight or heavy weight?), the weather (bring a light sweater or a jacket? Both?), my hat (baseball cap or floppy hat?). I amaze myself by what I allow to threaten my peace of mind. And then there was the larger-looming worry that I might not be able to keep up with the other ladies or that the final bit, where we had to navigate over the rocks, would be too much for me. I didn't think that they would send me back down to wait by the car, but still...
|Indian Paintbrush along lower part of trail|
Naturally, it turned out that I needn't have worried about any of the above. The ladies were kind and welcoming, my fitness was adequate and I puffed no harder than several of the others, and hat, shoes, lunch, etc were fine.
All of these flowers were all growing among the oaks and meadows along the lower part of trail.
The rest of these pictures show the views from up top.
|Tra-la! : Hat, lunch, shoes and I made it up in one piece!|
|Distant Sierras to the east|
|View towards Jamestown|
|New Melones Reservoir|
As you might have guessed, lunch was delightful.