Local PCT

10:14 a.m. on August 19, 2017 (EDT)
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Yesterday I hiked a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail with my dog for a mental health day.  It was impressive to see the understory still greened up and blooming in the second half of August.  It looked much more like the Cascades or the Rockies than the typical dusty and cripsy conditions. 

I  was mostly in lodgepole pine with some aspen in the wet spots, but after awhile ran into some old western white pine and Utah junipers. It was obvious from the stands of white fir and mountain hemlock coming up under the canopy that it had not burned in a very long time.  There were a few Shasta red firs around.  Plenty of big mature trees over 200 years old suggests that the area has never been logged either. 

Shrubs like currants, gooseberry, green leaf manzanita, kinnick-kinnick, bitterbrush, ninebark, snowberry, and a few others were still green. Fall asters in white and purple, yarrow, fireweed, goldenrod, and a few other perennial were in bloom. In the riparian areas there lupine and paintbrush still blooming. Even the mule's ears were still green with some yellow flowers. 

It was like a garden and a refreshing change from the dusty conditions we have had in the recent droughts. The creeks were clear and beautiful. This is going to be one of the great falls for hiking in the Sierra. 

12:45 a.m. on August 20, 2017 (EDT)
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ppine said:

".. This is going to be one of the great falls for hiking in the Sierra..."

Well I'll have to get right in that!

Ed

1:06 p.m. on August 20, 2017 (EDT)
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Glad you get it Ed. Spent last night listening to Mike Beck on a friend's deck. Spent the night with a friend who collects native seed for a living. He is finding plants he has not seen in 40 years. 

12:08 a.m. on August 22, 2017 (EDT)
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I have a trip to Lammark Col and beyond planned for mid September.  I agree about the current conditions of the Sierra, I remarked in a recent TR that I also have not seen the region doing so well since the 1980s (close enough to forty years).  I also saw plants going to seed I don't recall observing in a long time.  I am hoping the status quo is sustained as I intend to do a fair amount of snow trips next spring.

Ed

January 20, 2020
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