Father’s Day usually brings out the outdoor lovers in our families. Leaving the world of pavement to get a little time with the mountains is just their thing! Or maybe we just drag them out, who knows.
This year Ryan’s dad wanted to go to the Sierra Buttes lookout. This would be our second time going and we remembered that last time was extremely hot on the trail, so for some reason it was in our minds to dress for warmer weather even though it is hardly Summer right now. What a difference a couple months make on the temperature! We encountered snow fairly quickly and not the fun kind, the slippery, caving in kind. So we elected to walk from the road to the “parking lot”.
Penny did her usual thing when she saw snow which was run around like a crazy mutt and bite and fling snow in the air. It was nice to see her using up some energy!
Once we made to the trail head we assessed the situation. The situation was that Bruce was plowing ahead with great gusto and we were huffing and puffing 100 feet behind. It’s time to get back into shape! The cool weather was on our side though, and the steep climb was not so bad.
As we neared the 2/3 mark, a family with several sobbing children was making their way down. Each child looked as if they had been betrayed into thinking that snow actually felt warm on their little red hands. Penny was only concerned with their dog, another black beast having the time of its life! They shared a moment of butt sniffing and were satisfied with what they found out about each other. Maybe they were upset about the giant snow drifts that were twice as tall as them, looming over the path.
We took the sobbing children to be a sign that what was to come would be cold and just the right amount of awesome. By the time Ryan and I got to the stairs leading up to the lookout, Bruce had already gone up and was on his way down. Penny scampered up two flights of stairs with enthusiasm but stopped at the third flight and barked at Ryan as if to say “you’re dumb, what are you doing!” because she could see the rocks far below more plainly through the steps on this one. I stayed at the bottom until Bruce was done so that Penny would have someone to run to and tell all about how scary the stairs were. She never did make it all the way up and got passed by a braver (or dumber) dog.
Once we were both up and walking around the platform, we noticed one of the names carved into a rock said “1888” next to it. We snapped a picture just because you never know, it could really be that old. The fog lifted up and we got to see way out over the peaks of the mountains and down to the lakes. A few white birds were floating on the wind, perhaps cruising around and enjoying what to them is everyday life.
Up here the insignificance of man was plain. Yes a lookout tower was somehow erected and fed with gas and water but for how long and at what cost? It served it’s purpose and man has decided on easier ways of doing the job. Ways that nature has less say in the operations. This was just a small piece of man, standing not against but reasonably supported in spite wind and snow that never softly falls but actually pelts the sides of the of the metal and wood building.
Penny was so happy to see back on the ground that she pranced up to us with a stick in her mouth, snorting and walking in circles around us with her butt wiggling widely. Occasionally on the trek down she would stop, drop the stick and bark at us to make us go faster.
We passed several groups of people who had started from a section of the Pacific Crest Trail that was farther away than our car. They looked at our faces rather wistfully as if to see an indication that they were near the top. “You’re almost, almost there!”
One man stopped us to ask a couple strange questions.
One was “can you hold my stick for me” Ryan took the walking stick. “Can I hold your camera?” He said.
“That’s kinda wierd…” I mused.
“Well I’d like to show you something. ”
“No I think we are good.”
“But I can take a really good picture of you guys.”
Mmm that’s how cameras get stolen. I don’t think he would have but I didn’t like the way he started the conversation and wasn’t feeling it.
We parted ways and booked it back down the hill. All in all a good trip and interesting people!