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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 21, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
Goat-heads stuck on the go-aheads.
Goat-heads stuck on the go-aheads.
Credit: mouse from merced
"For me, travelling back roads like I do, goat-heads are the number one roadside non-attraction, fox-tails and cockle-burrs are next.

Rock outcrops and boulders and lone rocks stand out as the number one roadside attraction. Trees and weird human leavings are next.

Mariposa's back roads have plenty of all of these. In addition, there is poison oak in abundance and heat aplenty. I always carry plenty of water in plastic ready-to-drink, recyclable bottles. Bottled water is out from now on and I will tell you why. I'll also be adding a shovel to the stuff I haul along on these jaunts into the mappage of Mariposa and other places surrounding Yosemite.

But first the travelogue.

To get started, a fire needs fuel, oxygen, and a heat source.
Credit: mouse from merced
Now we have the science lecture out of the way.
The white rocks--looking toward the Sierra Nevada.
The white rocks--looking toward the Sierra Nevada.
Credit: mouse from merced
On Thursday evening I rode out to the country and toured the remainder of the road on which I found the white rocks.
Here's your rock in the eye back.  And some mud, as well.  Sorry for t...
Here's your rock in the eye back. And some mud, as well. Sorry for the inconvenience, Injun spirits.
Credit: mouse from merced
I made peace with the spirits on Friday and drove on through Conehead Country, which Iíll get to later, but Iíd started late and it was dark-thirty way before I got through the last cattle gate and it was nearly eleven when I got home. The road I had explored is called Indian Gulch Extension. It meets Indian Gulch Road which leads to Highway 140 at the Catheys Valley Forest Fire Station.
Highway 140 and Indian Belch Road.
Highway 140 and Indian Belch Road.
Credit: mouse from merced
You've all been by it a number of times travelling to the Park if you come via Merced.

//Note the fire station.
A prime location to stop
incineration//

I down-loaded my pictures and went to bed with Tylenol PM. Next day I went through the pictures, liked what I had, and went out to continue touring Mariposa back roads, scouting for outcrops and boulders.

I was looking for nothing in particular but like good views giving the lay of the land since I'm a poet guy. I took one dirt road, very steep, labeled Carson Creek View Road. It wasnít much of a view, but the driving up and down that road in Far Niente--AKA the Red Roadent, my Chevy HHR--was a thrill. This road, CCVR, isnít on my DeLorme Atlas's map.
This map is good, but won't enlarge, so sorry.  I rely more on place m...
This map is good, but won't enlarge, so sorry. I rely more on place memory. It's more fun and leads one to unexpected things.
Credit: mouse from merced
Interest aroused!  What's to see up there?
Interest aroused! What's to see up there?
Credit: mouse from merced
CCR is on the playlist, however.

There IS too much commotion in the world of men. Give me rocks and trees who don't argue and take life as it comes, and who don't give a damn if you've mis-identified their type or species. PC doesn't mean diddly out in the boonies; we need the discipline in the modern age, though, just to stay on the correct page, doh! Life is a personal novel, right?

I'm never lost out there. My sense of place, once I've been, is like a bookmark. Also, I always have plenty of gas and water, and a charged battery in the camera. What's to worry? Every road can be re-traced. I needed to do this on Wilburs Way, a turning-off just out of Bridgeport, before I began looking for Guadalupe Fire Road. I thought it might get me near the top of the ridge.

I went up Wilburs Way, but this was a blind alley. Sometimes a blind hawg finds an acorn. I found instead Billy Petersonís place at the end of one of three roads I could have chosenó-it looked as if it went somewhere, and it did, but it is a far-from-normal holding, one that might fit into Middle Earth, were it not just a studio. These mountain folk are free-spirited, silly and friendly, not to mention happy to live where they do, and I wouldnít be at all surprised to find a statue of a Pony or a Transformer placed somewhere on their spreads. Billy's family has been here a while, no doubt.
Credit: mouse from merced
The three-way end of Wilburs Way.  I chose the road on the right, unab...
The three-way end of Wilburs Way. I chose the road on the right, unable to see what was behind the trees.
Credit: mouse from merced
The Hawg's "farm."
The Hawg's "farm."
Credit: mouse from merced
The Snells are in-laws living in Merced, according to Billy Peterson. ...
The Snells are in-laws living in Merced, according to Billy Peterson. Don't recall meeting them.
Credit: mouse from merced
Crazy wonderful place.
Crazy wonderful place.
Credit: mouse from merced
Billy's neighbor's gate, one of many US flags flown out in the boondoc...
Billy's neighbor's gate, one of many US flags flown out in the boondocks. The militia have all vacated and gone to Idaho, one hopes.
Credit: mouse from merced
Back down the way I came on Wilburs Way and instead of going back to Yaqui Gulch Road, which led me in here, I took a right and headed down Old Highway, expecting to find the fire road, but all I saw was Knobcone Pines!

Slowly I turned....

It is the silliest thing. I realized that I had goofed big-time with my earlier musings about junipers and foxtail pines. (Sorry about the commotion, Nita.) It is the knobcone which I had learned was seeded via the heat from fires, not the foxtail, which may or not germinate by fires, I donít care now. I found the Knobbies!
Knobcone hillside and culvert, Old Highway, Bridgeport.
Knobcone hillside and culvert, Old Highway, Bridgeport.
Credit: mouse from merced
See how slim these are: the skanks of the pine family. And they arenít the most beautiful of pines, but are among the most adaptable to bad soil and aridity. Perfickly good tree for Mariposa, by the way. Or in a yard, even, if you don't care to have Sunset Magazine come photograph your place.
Knob cone pine.   Pinus attenuata, &#40;also called Pinus tuberculata&#41;.
Knob cone pine. Pinus attenuata, (also called Pinus tuberculata).
Credit: mouse from merced
Cone and parasite.
Cone and parasite.
Credit: mouse from merced
Dwarf mistletoe, a common parasite on knobbies and some other pine spe...
Dwarf mistletoe, a common parasite on knobbies and some other pine species on occasion.
Credit: mouse from merced
A small grove of knobcones on the roadside held me in thrall and I even did some fun climbing (not of the treesóthey seem unpleasant to climbóbut of the roadside cut. It offered better photographic potential than the roadway. Off the road I would never have attempted climbing with no else one around. I am not crazy, just me is not enough to effect a rescue, LOL. There was only so much traffic, but there had been two or three cars passing by when I stopped to shoot pix, so I climbed up there and was very glad that I did.
I named this problem Idiot's Delight.
I named this problem Idiot's Delight.
Credit: mouse from merced
View east from Old Highway near Bridgeport.
View east from Old Highway near Bridgeport.
Credit: mouse from merced
P.O.  Another world-class climber, to be sure, but not found in El Dor...
P.O. Another world-class climber, to be sure, but not found in El Dorado Canyon, I believe.
Credit: mouse from merced
Roadside granite, Old Highway, Mariposa.
Roadside granite, Old Highway, Mariposa.
Credit: mouse from merced
Jug.
Jug.
Credit: mouse from merced
Besides the photographic results I got, I wasted just enough time to be in the right place at the right time. One short stop at an outpost of humanity yielded these shots, taken just up the road.
View east from the highest point on Old Highway.
View east from the highest point on Old Highway.
Credit: mouse from merced
Looking west.
Looking west.
Credit: mouse from merced
This took up even more time. I had yet to see any sign of a fire road. I did see a turning, though, and I believe the sign read Guadalupe Mountain something-or-other. There were several mailboxes. I thought it looked private. It might have been the gates.

I passed by, not really caring at this point, as I was starving and pointed Far Niente downhill, planning on a quick trip into Merced.

Didnít happen. I got side-tracked.

Flames on the side of the road? So whatís new?
Mouse has an emergency Flames meeting.  He's the only one who can vote...
Mouse has an emergency Flames meeting. He's the only one who can vote. He's the only one there.
Credit: mouse from merced
Old Highway, just west of the Guadalupe Mountain fire road, I copy tha...
Old Highway, just west of the Guadalupe Mountain fire road, I copy that location, we are ten minutes downhill.
Credit: mouse from merced
These werenít hitch-hiking, though. I did stop, thinking to put them out. It wasnít going too quickly yet, there was a chance to do something on my own before I reported this runty-looking spark-fest. But as soon as I began unscrewing the top of one of the bottles of Glacier Water, the fire leaped at me like it wanted to devour my soul and I tossed the sack of bottles back in the back seat and drove through the smoke into the clear.

I thought, kind of hyper, ďHead back to the last place you stopped. They have a phone." Then I thought, "Iím not set up to turn around, thereís probably a place up ahead."

Four miles later, FINALLY, a ranch. The roadís too steep and the hillsideís too uneven on this stretch of Old Highway for home sites. It cost maybe seven or eight minutes to get there, but the lady called it in immediately.

I sat and thought and saw a tractor to shoot. I wanted badly to shoot the individual who started the fire, in truth. Bad juju to think that way, though. I am not one to talk when it comes to fire-starting and trouble. We all err, sometimes egregiously. I have. But a cigaret out the window, that's just as negigently criminal as it gets, and that's who I suspect, a give-a-shit smoker. Toss the keys away on those fire-birds.
Massie Ferguson Mariposa.  MFM.
Massie Ferguson Mariposa. MFM.
Credit: mouse from merced
Truck number three responding.  No shot of the second one.
Truck number three responding. No shot of the second one.
Credit: mouse from merced
We have a culprit in hand.  He admits to playing with steel next to th...
We have a culprit in hand. He admits to playing with steel next to the roadside.
Credit: mouse from merced

I drove down Old Highway, stopped along the way at a very beautiful granite declivity, and toked and shot pix a while, then drove on out to 140 and the fire station not a half-mile up from the intersection. The Old Highway is a fine drive anytime.
Mariposa Creek runs along the Old Highway.  This area is posted, damn!
Mariposa Creek runs along the Old Highway. This area is posted, damn!
Credit: mouse from merced
Roadside bouldering here is not a good idea.  Too much traffic, believ...
Roadside bouldering here is not a good idea. Too much traffic, believa you me! Otherwise, I'd have been on it.
Credit: mouse from merced
Breakin' rocks in the hot sun.  You can't fight the laws of Ma Nature.
Breakin' rocks in the hot sun. You can't fight the laws of Ma Nature.
Credit: mouse from merced
California buckeye.
California buckeye.
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
I stopped at the fire station, nobody there, heard no news on the yard...
I stopped at the fire station, nobody there, heard no news on the yard radio. Old Highway is just behind the screen of oaks, the intersection on the right beyond the car.
Credit: mouse from merced
The view from the fire station at Catheys Valley.  Mariposa Creek runs...
The view from the fire station at Catheys Valley. Mariposa Creek runs beyond the oaks, at the base of the hump in the center. The fire was way to the left, upstream.
Credit: mouse from merced
I felt pawn-like. The timing of my stops had set me up to report this fire. My not being sure of where I had to turn, my fascination with the knobbies and my NOT being in a hurry, these all contributed. This is much the feeling Iíd always rather have, either as a rock climber or as well as a self-guided tourist: out for adventure, not taking a topo, relying on happenstance and my inner cool to meet any challenges, and being OK afterwards, but not totally satisfied and realizing this is a good thing. It helps keep one eager for more of the same.

About the changes Iím making in my travelling circus, the addition of a five-gallon container of water, weighing around forty pounds, less than the amount of blubber Iíve lost recently, will greatly increase my chances of being able to deal with a fiery emergency. And a sharp-edged flat-nosed shovel, if used only to bury my feces, will be along for the rides.

Iíve seen no reports for fires in the vicinity, so I must have been on time.

What a long, strange trip it all is.


















mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 21, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
Wheels afire.

Fire in the boiler.

Fire in our hearts.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 22, 2013 - 11:02am PT
5:59 a.m.
5:59 a.m.
Credit: mouse from merced
Six a.m.
Six a.m.
Credit: mouse from merced
Esta maŮana.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Jul 22, 2013 - 12:31pm PT
MFM-sorry to be such a species nazi but the trees you are calling knobcone appear to be the more common gray / grey / foothill pine. Cone size and shape, canopy shape and needle color and location indicate grey pine.

Signed,

Mr knowitall

PS glorious sunrise from the Tioga. Looks like it's gonna be a gully washin' thunderstorm day in the high country.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 22, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
How many trees have you incinerated?

I used to sell firewood with Tim and it's all gonna burn.

Of course we never sold "mixed" cords of wood.

Even though the namesake and tree-finder of the business, my dog Frank, was a blend of G.Shorthair pointer (here's a tree, guys; there's another one) and Black Labrador, miscegenation among the wood piles was and is not allowed. They don't burn at the same temps and it's just not practical for the buyer. Unless he's a cheap charlie like some just are. "High pockets," they are best avoided. They always want a free stacking job! Frank says, 'Dump it and run.'

No, I've realized there's a whole lot more to IDing trees than I've had time to learn. I respect your knowledge, thank you for your contributions here.

It was a splendid afternoon until that fire, then it just got a bit frantic. I am just glad I was able to help.

Frank Burns.
I fought the Nazis and we're lucky we won.

Franks burn.
Credit: mouse from merced
What do his buns look like?

Frank burns.
Ballpark Franks, they plump when you cook 'em. They burn when you look away.

How did that happen?

OLD FLAME BROILER

See the way I am: B. Burningham.
Put him out! He thinks he's on fiyah!
Then maybe he should retire:
He can't get no hiyah!
Maybe he'll expire:
Won't find no buyer
For that brain of Brian.
It's been too long fryin'.


Rotisserie cooking was my Nana's favorite way to entertain. Spit the meat and let it go while you and the kids play Pinochle and the grandkids swim. She's the person who taught me ways to cheat at Pinochle, my Nana ORA BELLE LARSON.
It's how they cook meat in Mexican kitchens, on a vertical spit. It is a style known as al pastor. J&R Tacos on Main Street, Merced, uses the method, among others. Most wagons will have it on the menu. The meat is shaved off in smallish slices. Succulent!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotisserie

Put another log on the fire, someone.

"Meat the family dog!"--Jimmy Carl Black, the Indian of the group
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 22, 2013 - 05:21pm PT
This is one of those bizzare things that come back on us and we wonder WTF?

Dennis Farina, the actor who played Ray in Get Shorty, and whose violent scene with Gene Hackman I presented on the page just prior to this one, has passed away this morning as a result of a lung clot. It's a horrible way to go, I'm sure, flopping like a fish out of water.

I sure hope he was drugged and under sedation before.

I never watched Law & Order. They say he was in the cast. I'll have to check some episodes out.

RIP, Dennis.

Here's LOOKING AT YOU!

I told you NOT to look at me!
I told you NOT to look at me!
Credit: Google images
Scene from That Old Feeling with Bette Midler.

zBrown

Ice climber
Brujo de La Playa
Jul 22, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Credit: zBrown
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 22, 2013 - 08:03pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 22, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 22, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
Road trips are not much fun without a travelling companion.

Melanie Melonsugar, the hippie chick/diva from Skyline Drive, came along on the trip to SoCal in early June.

I believe the camera loves her. I certainly do.
Credit: mouse from merced
The pleasures of sightseeing.
Credit: mouse from merced
Sharing the front seat.
Credit: mouse from merced
Hanging on a one-arm jam watching SoCal go up in flames from I-5.
Credit: mouse from merced
Scanning Lily Rock for climbing parties.
Credit: mouse from merced
Contemplating Suicide Rock.
Credit: mouse from merced
Modeling for the catalog. Her favorite color is green. Go figure.
zBrown

Ice climber
Brujo de La Playa
Jul 23, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
My little brother would probably not like this going out on the internet, but he's gone. Actually, so are older sis and bro.

Golden Arrow was a San Diego Dairy and sponsored ex Our Gang guy, Johnny Downs who would dance on a pogo stick on top of Golden Arrow milk bottles in the 1950's (show was basically a cartoon show). Sadly his agility on glass does not seem to have been preserved.

Golden Arrow has trucks showing up as far away as Washington and Wisconsin, though I'm not sure it's the same outfit. Apparently they had traveling photo salesmen, just like the guy we bought our set of Encyclopedia Britannica from.

Credit: zBrown



Heeere's Johnny. If that pogo stick dance exists, I'll find it.

Credit: zBrown


Credit: zBrown
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Jul 23, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
I posted this pic last night on the dead head thread but not sure if anyone catches the significance. Looks better under zbrown's pic anyway.
Bobby, Wendy and John
Bobby, Wendy and John
Credit: Timid TopRope
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 23, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
Mouse you appear to have conflated knobcone and gray pine trees.

Knobcones:


They tend to stay on the tree, for years, till fire consumes the trees (or merely heats the cones) whence they open like flowers and their seeds are dispersed on the heat winds of the fire that kilt their momma.

Also I believe the knobcones only grow from the central stem, not out on the branches. I may be mistaken on that.

Lastly the range for knobcones

My experience is knobcones are more 'pinely' than gray pines.



Gray pines (the vulgar name is 'digger' pine, but it IS vulgar) often appear to be on acid. They also 'surf the slope' of steep chaparral hillsides, showing definite evidence of having slid from their original position. I've seen some that managed to stay upright and alive after moving downslope a considerable distance.

Pines on acid



The config of the cones is different, innit?

Here's a gray pine cone example


Well? What do you have to say for yourself???

:-)

DMT
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Jul 23, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
Jezuz DMT I already ran mouse through the ringer on the grey pine vs knobcone thing.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 23, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
Looks like a lesson here.
Some folks are like the knobcone cone: dense, or 2.Having the constituent parts crowded closely together.

Let's just be glad it's not some type of ROCK I'm wondering about. THAT would be fun!

But trees are a big part of mountains and are the first things we learn to climb (most of us, that is; Cosmic, for example, started out on quartz monzonite but soon switched to harder stuff.)

Bridwell started out on volcanic breccia but switched to beer.

Boingy started out learning to skip and became a world-class bouncer.
The one you've all been waiting for.  Boingy Baxter.
The one you've all been waiting for. Boingy Baxter.
Credit: mouse from merced
The Gray moves downhill. So it must be gravity, right, DMT?

Good way to remember the difference, though, the relative position on the tree of each type's cones.

I have the cone display ready, BTW.

Big trip out to the Gulch of the Indian last week, looking for bouldering on the mesas and cones out by the county line.

Upcoming.

Just want to say, rSin has left our building. It's not the first time. Good luck, but you don't need that.





Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Jul 23, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
Just to play it safe; in the future when you post a photo of a tree just say, "And here's a fine specimen of a large, woody object that caught my eye".
zBrown

Ice climber
Brujo de La Playa
Jul 23, 2013 - 05:58pm PT
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a large woody object.

A large woody object whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A large woody object that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A large woody object that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a large woody object.

goddamnittohell - I'm sure glad a pinecone and/or a milk bottle didn't fall on my head, Fred.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jul 23, 2013 - 06:29pm PT
I woke up this mornin with a large woody object in my lap.
Sorry, I couldn't resist,
Flame on!
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Jul 23, 2013 - 06:46pm PT
He's a misstra know it all (Can't resist).



Katie and son.
Katie and son.
Credit: Tobia
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 23, 2013 - 07:00pm PT
A handy link for a Merced-Man

http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/cone-bearing_trees/digger_pine.html

Lol.

I'm telling you these trees ride gravity's rainbow, sometimes all the way to the canyon bottom



DMT
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