Trip Report
Real-Time TR: Eastern Sierras
Wednesday June 18, 2014 4:20pm
This is an experiment in iPhone reportage.

Left SF Bay yesterday @ 1pm, barely made Tenaya Lake in time for some freezage:

Tenaya
Tenaya
Credit: NutAgain!

Yeehaw!
Yeehaw!
Credit: NutAgain!

Up and over the pass, checking. Out some future adventures:

Above Ellery Lake
Above Ellery Lake
Credit: NutAgain!

Future fun on Tioga Pass
Future fun on Tioga Pass
Credit: NutAgain!

We splurge on dinner at Whoa Nellie Deli... My kids have expensive taste (baby back ribs and lobster taquitos).

I've been curious about the cinder cones south of Panum Crater, south of Mono Lake. So we pick a dirt road, head into the boonies, and push the Prius as far as can be reasonably asked and a little beyond. I trust my intuition do when it's time to stop, we pitch a tent and enjoy an isolated glade. This morning while we made pancakes, a dude in high clearance truck and 4x4 comes down, says it's not much different ahead. He says he slept up on top of Crater Mountain, so I think the road goes a ways. I try after packing up from breakfast, and get stuck about 50 feet past where we camped :)

So we head out on foot, and have to stop every few feet to enjoy the pumice and obsidian:
Exploring
Exploring
Credit: NutAgain!

Pumice and obsidian
Pumice and obsidian
Credit: NutAgain!

Cool
Cool
Credit: NutAgain!

Then I up the ante on adventure for the kids
Choss scrambling
Choss scrambling
Credit: NutAgain!

At some point, my son accidentally trundled a boulder almost as big as a compact European car. We watched it shatter as it tumbled down. That was the first moment I really enjoyed a trundle, and I recalled my former stance against it on a supertopo thread a few years ago. So I found a monster perched precariously, and cut it loose while my daughter made a video. Won't have access to upload from that camera for a few weeks.

But we made it up through the glassy rocky crenellations, and explored the crater/caldera/what have you:
Credit: NutAgain!

Sulphur oxides? And obsidian
Sulphur oxides? And obsidian
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Through a combination of bribery, blackmail, and guilt-trips, I trick the youngsters into a stroll to the top of a pumice cone that is the highest point in the vicinity. It also will make for a less sketchy descent:
Mono Lake behind the pumice cone we climbed, somewhere south of Panum ...
Mono Lake behind the pumice cone we climbed, somewhere south of Panum Crater.
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

I guess my summit pano pics are too big to upload. Another time.

So we choss ski down the cone, and make it back to our camp without major injury. This pic was a few minutes ago and shows most of our route and descent:
Chicken apple sausages after a big morning adventure.
Chicken apple sausages after a big morning adventure.
Credit: NutAgain!

If we get reception, I'll post up some pics of Ot-Hay eek-Cray (trying not to get tagged in search engines!) or Hot Tub or Crab Cooker or one of those hot springs where we'll be in about an hour or two. Had a nice little chill in the shade here for a while, time to move on.

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NutAgain!
About the Author
NutAgain! is a trad climber from South Pasadena, CA.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Jun 18, 2014 - 04:25pm PT
Cool stuff.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 18, 2014 - 04:38pm PT
Geology booty from the hike. I was restrained on the hike up, but the stuff near the summit was too much to resist:
Geology booty
Geology booty
Credit: NutAgain!

Ready for anything:
We are equipped for all adventure options.
We are equipped for all adventure options.
Credit: NutAgain!
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Jun 18, 2014 - 04:37pm PT
Dat geology booty tho!

Cool stuff man, headed to the meadows next weekend I believe, so I'm thoroughly stoked. Enjoy it!!!! Thanks for posting!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Jun 18, 2014 - 04:56pm PT
How cool is this?
With the exception of no ono-May urger-Bays, it's stellar!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 18, 2014 - 05:03pm PT
Selfie
Selfie
Credit: NutAgain!
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Jun 18, 2014 - 05:09pm PT
Hey that's super!

And great sunny weather ahead! Enjoy yourselves!!!
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Jun 18, 2014 - 05:17pm PT
Yeah BABY!!!

Go Man Go!!!!!!!
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
  Jun 18, 2014 - 05:47pm PT
Very nice, keep us posted.

The fins are a nice touch!
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Jun 18, 2014 - 05:53pm PT
Boom!

Keep 'em coming!
eKat

Trad climber
  Jun 18, 2014 - 06:02pm PT
BITCHEN!

Dood. . . your little girl sure is a cutie!

:-)

TFPU!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 18, 2014 - 07:18pm PT
That werks!
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
  Jun 18, 2014 - 07:31pm PT
Excellent!

Real time trip report, very nice!

Andrzej
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 18, 2014 - 09:44pm PT
Wrapping up in crater country:
So here's what we climbed
So here's what we climbed
Credit: NutAgain!

Just a couple out of a million bumps you see off of highway 395:
Just another coupla bumps off hwy 395
Just another coupla bumps off hwy 395
Credit: NutAgain!

What is this thing called? I really need to climb it. Right up that proud buttress.
Yet another thing I need to climb.
Yet another thing I need to climb.
Credit: NutAgain!

We swing by Hot Tub off Whitmore area, seems like a circus out there. So we go to the spot which really is my favorite anywhere, a nice counterpoint to a dusty midday:
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

You've been warned:
Credit: NutAgain!

We proceed.
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

After a few hours of soaking, thirst and hunger drive us out, in search of out evening campsite...

Credit: NutAgain!

Found it- home!
Looks like home for tonight!
Looks like home for tonight!
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Can't find the graham crackers right now, so wheat bread and Nutella and marshmallows will have to do...
Credit: NutAgain!

Not a bad day :). Good night all!

Coyotes just started hollering. Send out a search crew if I don't post up tomorrow.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 18, 2014 - 10:32pm PT
have fun out there tomorrow!
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Jun 19, 2014 - 12:25am PT
Your iPhone experiment is a success. Keep on truckin. TFPU
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jun 19, 2014 - 12:45am PT
You guys are killin it NutAgain!! TFPU
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 19, 2014 - 03:54am PT
Cool, kids will cherish this !!!!
Randisi

climber
  Jun 19, 2014 - 04:11am PT
That "thing" you've got to climb, if I'm not mistaken, is Mt. Morrison.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 19, 2014 - 06:29am PT
Rise and shine! The cows along the Owens River were in full heat at sunset, and first light they started going at it again. Who can sleep with all that racket?

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

I think today is going to be Bristlecone Pine Forest and White Mountain day. Wanted to go up there during a trip in Feb, but I recall 80 mph winds and brutal cold changed my mind. But I think today is the day. Might need bigger bribes for the kids.

P.s. Thanks for all the words of encouragement :D
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 20, 2014 - 09:02pm PT
Just passed Manzanar.... Alabama Hills or busty.

Backlog of pics to post, too muh doing and not enough sitting around in reception range.
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Jun 20, 2014 - 09:07pm PT
Awesome, wish we were there.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Jun 20, 2014 - 09:12pm PT
Nice! TFPU
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
  Jun 21, 2014 - 03:41pm PT
Loving it!

I've eyed those cones everytime I head down 395, but always figured they'd be a lot finer scree than that. Now I'm excited to give them a go and check out some of that geology.

What is this thing called? I really need to climb it. Right up that proud buttress.

Mt. Morrison. I fell in love with it first time I saw it, but my research says that it has a bit of a notoriously unstable reputation.
Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
  Jun 21, 2014 - 07:40pm PT
cool family TR, thanks for the eastside stoke. Mt Morrison, or as it is sometimes referred to:

The Eiger of the Sierra...chossalujah!
Brock

Trad climber
RENO, NV
  Jun 21, 2014 - 09:24pm PT
Way to raise them!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Jun 22, 2014 - 04:03am PT
Really nice adventure Scott, you're kids at growing like beautiful weeds!
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Jun 22, 2014 - 05:25am PT
Such a great real-time TR, Nutagain! Loving the adventure with the kids, the geology side trip, and the spontaneous camping location decisions. I love that whole area, so thanks for bringing us along!

And yeah...it looks like Morrison to me. I've got a friend with relatively little climbing experience who was taken up that buttress by a Bishop guide (bivied half-way up), and had the time of his life.
RP3

Big Wall climber
Twain Harte
  Jun 22, 2014 - 09:15am PT
This is the coolest TR I have seen in a while. Keep it comin!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 22, 2014 - 11:05am PT
OK, I've clearly blown the real-time nature of this TR, more time doing, less time posting (no reception at night when I have time). Just a teaser for how the next few days went:
 White Mountain hike (just a short bit of it),and Patriarch Grove of Bristlecone Pine Forest
 Swimmin' with the locals at Owens River in Big Pine
 Evening at Buttermilks
 Wading at Owens River east of Bishop
 quick doctor visit for a swollen shut eye
 Lake Sabrina with Em, kids getting some FA's of routes normally underwater?
 Keough Hot Springs til sunset
 Lead belay practice for the kids at Alabama Hills
 Fossil Falls... amazing!!!
 Red Rock Canyon State Park
 Stoney Point bouldering session
 Homemade pizza for wifey's birthday yesterday
 Will be swimming in Lake Arrowhead this afternoon with cousins.
 Maybe Sequoia Kings Canyon in a few days
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
  Jun 22, 2014 - 11:59am PT
Awesome...
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 22, 2014 - 11:50pm PT
Catch-up time! So there we were, driving to White Mountain... Not sure how the kids will handle altitude, so I strategically delay breakfast until we're at 10,000 feet, hang out a bit and after 90 minutes everyone is in good spirits:
Breakfast of the champions at 10k feet, Schulman Grove Visitors Center...
Breakfast of the champions at 10k feet, Schulman Grove Visitors Center parking lot.
Credit: NutAgain!

The road is sort of like a backpacking trip in fast motion, but more washboardy. After passing lots of alien altiplano terrain, we reach the end of the road we have access to:
White Mountain trailhead
White Mountain trailhead
Credit: NutAgain!

My daughter was feeling a bit funky before breakfast, but she's cruising just fine now, scrambling around at almost 12k feet. My son got a persistent headache that lots of snacks, water, and rest wouldn't resolve. So we turned back after about a mile. A big part of me wanted to push on to tag the objective, but I remained grounded in the reality check that they'd never been over 10k and their brains are still developing and this was more demanding than anything they had experienced before. Frankly I was impressed at their increasing ability compared to prior adventures. And I'm a bit wiser now to not push it when they're not diggin' it. Trying to keep the big picture love for nature going, not a traumatic experience that pushes them away.
Scrambling near White Mountain trailhead
Scrambling near White Mountain trailhead
Credit: NutAgain!

Chillin' on White Mountain
Chillin' on White Mountain
Credit: NutAgain!

Snow fight on the way back (actually used some of this to replenish the ice chest):
Snow fight on White Mountain
Snow fight on White Mountain
Credit: NutAgain!

Scenery:
Cool plateau at 11k feet
Cool plateau at 11k feet
Credit: NutAgain!

So we stopped at Patriarch Grove of the Bristlecone Pine forest on the way back, and hike the short loop there. Easy to go crazy with the picture taking there. I did.

Patriarch Grove - Bristlecone Pines
Patriarch Grove - Bristlecone Pines
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

It's been a long day, and we enjoy the rest of the scenery from the car on the drive back down. The kids had a lot of fun with the dips in the road near where Hwy 168 meets 395.

Well, after so much washboard dust and general dryness, it was time for a swim. I spied some cars pulled off where Hwy 168 crosses the Owens River. We pull over to get cleaned up and float around the bends and have fun:
Swimming in Owens River at Big Pine
Swimming in Owens River at Big Pine
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

It was cool hangin' out with our new buddy Al and his family, long time Big Pine residents and daily connoisseurs of the bend in the river we stumbled upon. He gave a good pitch for moving to Big Pine, and notwithstanding what a good guy Al is, I think I'm more of a Bishop kind of guy- I'm a little too organic gluten-free soy munching almond milk drinking new age hippy. But there's some Big Pine in me too.

It's getting toward dusk, time to figure out where to lay our heads. We had plans to hook up with Em down in Alabama Hills, and a quick conversation shifted us to Buttermilks. So I aim the vehicle northward and soon find ourselves an exceptional campsite:

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

The kids got a kick out of sharing our dinner with a dragonfly:
Credit: NutAgain!

Ok, a long fun day done. But there's trouble on the horizon... My daughter's right eyelid is swollen mostly shut. Will have to watch this closely.... She devours books faster than a pack of jackals can clean a carcass, and being an eye down doesn't stop her.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  Jun 22, 2014 - 11:55pm PT
.
Thanks for taking us along on your vacation...Totally enjoying your trip report and pictures.
Hope your daughters eye is better tomorrow......Cheers

ps..Love all the cool rocks.

micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jun 23, 2014 - 03:34am PT
This type of family behavior could lead to sun tanned skin, healthy lungs and a thirst for adventure. The poor children will be outcasts from their friend groups when they return to civilization.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 23, 2014 - 08:51am PT
Good choice not to push Them too hard at altitude,

Looks like a great vacation dad!!!!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 23, 2014 - 09:03am PT
Great Great Awesome! Keep it up Dad!


Watch it on those mid-size boulder fields, Danger Will Robinson.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jun 23, 2014 - 02:17pm PT
Really awesome stuff! I like this real time format! Seems like you just missed me in Toulumne :)
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
  Jun 23, 2014 - 02:21pm PT
East side is a blast, glad you guys are having a great time!!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 23, 2014 - 03:51pm PT
Yyyyyyeah cousin!!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 25, 2014 - 12:49am PT
Friday morning dawns beautifully, and Neha's eye is still swollen shut. We get an 11am appointment with a pediatrician, Dr Collins in Bishop. Friendly and accommodating office and doctor, and she's a climber too! We get some antibiotics just in case it turns more serious given the proximity to eye and brain and given we're still going to be dirty for another week. And some antihistamines for the swelling. But we had time to explore a bit in the morning (and try to get cleaned up and presentable) before the dr appointment:
Owens River west of Bishop
Owens River west of Bishop
Credit: NutAgain!

After the doc visit, it was too hot in Buttermilks so we went to Lake Sabrina with Em. No pics of most of that adventure, but kids did some top-roping of routes that are normally underwater. Em is very patient and a great teacher! The funniest part of the day was her pantomime of ice climbing technique for the kids:
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

We part ways in the early evening and head for Keough Hot Springs. I'm getting spoiled by warm water! This was my first time to Keough, great little spot with a series of pools and we claimed two for ourselves:
Keough Hot Springs
Keough Hot Springs
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Eventually I got cold and it was late so we hit the road southbound. I tried out an especially rocky dirt road toward an awesome looking canyon some ways south of Big Pine. I felt a funky vibe and didn't want to stay for the night, so we got some good sunset pics before moving on:
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

We closed out the evening in familiar Alabama Hills territory, staying at the same campsite we used with Mungeclimber and Spyork and gang back in Feb. I forgot to call my lady before losing reception, and spent a half hour on top of a rock after transferring sleeping kids from car to tent, trying to send out a text message. The stars were gorgeous, the Milky Way visible, and I saw the second best shooting star of my life, a big slow moving sparkler.

It was a pleasantly warm night, and I enjoyed communing with nature before joining the kids in slumber. Hard to believe this is just the 4th night after an afternoon departure from SF Bay. Very rewarding vacation so far :)

p.s. Meds do the trick, swollen eye much better
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jun 25, 2014 - 05:47am PT
Rock on Nutagain! Reminds me of a TR I once posted to the Taco :)

Oh... here, dunno if you're still out there with your kids but if you are and have a good signal, let them check out this little video my daughter made.



Its the same slope you idented above.

DMT
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Jun 25, 2014 - 05:57am PT
i just put myself up for adoption.

you might want dibs, nutagain.

i can do mad chores,
i am a beginner pianist.

i go to bed early and arise even earlier.

i don't smoke, and currently don't drink.

a dream had me.

i come with a trad rack.

i already changed the world, and i'm not finished yet.

i'm 1.5 lingual.

i pleasantly align with celestial vectors,
thus i'm always / never lost.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 25, 2014 - 01:04pm PT
Yep Dingus, swap out faces and that video looks pretty familiar, including the huffing and puffing during a rest break part way down! Ours might feature my daughter tumbling when her feet couldn't keep up with her head velocity :)

Micronut, we're coming to your neck of the woods, driving through Mojave desert, after coming down back side of Big Bear / Lake Arrowhead area. Tonight will end up somewhere in forest service land adjacent to Sequioa/Kings. Going to hit Crystal Cabe in the morning, and we'll see from there.

Still have some days of photos I catch up on later.

Norwegian, if you get the rope up there for me on Fat Merchant Crack I'll adopt you. Dirt is fine, but ya gotta stay clean.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 25, 2014 - 01:18pm PT
As real-time as it gets
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 25, 2014 - 05:31pm PT
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 25, 2014 - 05:47pm PT
Too hot! Need a water break at Kaweah Lake
Kaweah Lake
Kaweah Lake
Credit: NutAgain!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jun 25, 2014 - 06:09pm PT
This is one rockin family road trip, thanks for takin us with ya.
Well done Nut/Dad, yer kids will remember this trip all their lives, good on you.
TFPU,
Tad
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 28, 2014 - 01:36pm PT
Edit: spent an hour uploading pics and writing about 6/21, and it was all blown away when iPhone cleared memory cache to save space for me. Grrr. Luckily I have to wait for a load of laundry to dry before I drive from SF Bay down to LA, so I have time to do it all again. And luckily, the pics are still uploaded, just need to piece them together again.

NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 7, 2014 - 12:09am PT
Ok, here we go.

Summer solstice, Alabama Hills, rise and shine!
Good morning in Alabama Hills
Good morning in Alabama Hills
Credit: NutAgain!

Instead of food for breakfast, let's have climbing for breakfast:
That's my girl!
That's my girl!
Credit: NutAgain!

My son's first lead belay without backup. I gotta teach my daughter to tilt the camera the right way to maximize dramatic effect and hero footage:
First time lead belaying with no backup
First time lead belaying with no backup
Credit: NutAgain!

Da Brim is on my helmet a lot, and sometimes on my head without the helmet. It's shady in this pic, but this day Da Brim was an essential weapon in the war to resist nature's interference in my personal comfort:
Credit: NutAgain!

That's better tilt:
Somewhere in Alabama Hills, near Paul's Paradise?
Somewhere in Alabama Hills, near Paul's Paradise?
Credit: NutAgain!

Given that our 8mm rope isn't really supposed to be used with a Gri Gri, and my son has never used an ATC, and never caught a lead fall, and notwithstanding the lack of cell phone coverage or the kids inability to drive (well they've done it on dirt roads in the middle of nowhere but not with the emotional pressure of doing it to get to a specific destination to save their dying daddy assuming they could get me into the car- then again it might be my daughter trying to get both of us into the car),- in short, this confluence of circumstances along with more than a remote chance that I would take a mini whipper while clipping the third bolt, guided me to the conclusion that bailing would be best. I left 2 biners for my son to lower me, the cost of a real life belay lesson.

No tilt here. All 100% daddy beefcake after turning the roof on the little problem facing the car parking area:
Who's your daddy. I am.
Who's your daddy. I am.
Credit: NutAgain!

It's getting hot, bellies getting grumbly, time to pass the graham crackers and Nutella and marshmallows to the kids in the back seat and hit the road:
The landmarks of our adventures.
The landmarks of our adventures.
Credit: NutAgain!

What do you make of this photo?
Credit: NutAgain!

Somewhere underground in Nebraska two dudes in uniforms are talking:
"Sir! The Chinese have crossed the line!"
"Send in the tactical nukes."
"Wait, that was a direcTV satellite falling out of orbit."
"Belay the last."

Haha, see what I've done there with the climbing double entendre?

Yep. Lots of driving, and musings such as these help pass the time. Whoa, hold everything, that sign for Fossil Falls makes me remember I wanted to check it out....
This place is hot, dry, super-washboardy, and except for that interest...
This place is hot, dry, super-washboardy, and except for that interesting red hill it kinda sucks.
Credit: NutAgain!

After 5 miles of tooling around on major washboards, we backtrack and see where I went wrong almost at the start. Here we go:
Fossil Falls
Fossil Falls
Credit: NutAgain!

I don't quite know what to expect, but the hike in is interesting:
Fossil Falls approach trail, scrambling detour
Fossil Falls approach trail, scrambling detour
Credit: NutAgain!

Fossil Falls approach play
Fossil Falls approach play
Credit: NutAgain!

Fossil Falls is rad. If it was in LA it might be covered in trash and broken bottles and graffiti and stink like a sewer, but it would still be my favorite local climbing destination. Luckily, no normal people have a reason to go anywhere near there, and the folks who do drive by it are probably on a mission for something of more epic proportions. I'm glad it's just a cool spot in the middle of nowhere with few visitors.
Fossil Falls is cool.
Fossil Falls is cool.
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Fossil Falls is good clean family fun.
Fossil Falls is good clean family fun.
Credit: NutAgain!

My daughter found this whilst exploring some pocket. It's all like a giant thing of Swiss cheese, the kind with the big air bubbles:
Ancient graffiti at Fossil Falls
Ancient graffiti at Fossil Falls
Credit: NutAgain!

That beam is about 10 feet long or more.
That beam is about 10 feet long or more.
Credit: NutAgain!

Look closely, two people at top right of the notch for scale. Facing i...
Look closely, two people at top right of the notch for scale. Facing in opposite direction is a 40 foot drop-off and bigger canyon visible from Highway 395.
Credit: NutAgain!

Ok, onward and southward. Lots of miles, interesting scenery, and we're ready for a proper meal. Red Rock Canyon State Park is a great place to stop:
Red Rock Canyon State Park (California!)
Red Rock Canyon State Park (California!)
Credit: NutAgain!

It's 99 degrees at midday on the longest a day of the year, summer solstice, and there's pretty much no shade. But we find the little bit there is:
Yes, there is shade at Red Rock Canyon State Park at mid-day on summer...
Yes, there is shade at Red Rock Canyon State Park at mid-day on summer solstice.
Credit: NutAgain!

Note that Da Brim has reappeared. Quite a handy hat:
There's that Da Brim in action again
There's that Da Brim in action again
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Now I had given up on cantaloupes for years, tired of getting my hopes up and suffering a bland crunchy store bought thing optimized for delivery rather than flavor. But this melon. This Tuscan melon. How my mouth waters in memory of the musky delicacy, bold and pleasing yet not overpowering in the way of a melon past it's prime. My tool scooped through the succulent flesh, smooth and resistant at first but giving way to my insistent pressure, filling me with deepest pleasure.

What am I doing? Have I forgotten this is a family friendly trip report? Well, I am looking forward to being home with my wife tonight. Moving along.... It was a really good cantaloupe.
I had given up on Cantaloupes for years, bland tasteless store bought ...
I had given up on Cantaloupes for years, bland tasteless store bought things. But this one renewed my hope. A mighty fine one.
Credit: NutAgain!

Where was I? Oh yeah. Hot, sweaty, keep moving. I go down into LA basin, and at I-5 near Hwy 118, I decide the kids should visit Stoney Point. How many kids have bouldered at Indian Rock and Stoney Point? Wifey's at work in the lab, the afternoon is sort of young, so we have time:
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

I had to rescue my daughter off this last one as she exclaimed the quote of the day:
"Agggh daddy, get me off this thing. There are too many animals on this route" after she dodged ants and then had a lizard jump out of a crack at her, and all this after she found a snake at the base of the boulder on the shady side:
Stoney Point
Stoney Point
Credit: NutAgain!

So we eventually make it home. And phew! Good thing my wife's birthday is summer solstice because we needed every bit of sunlight to make the most of this great day. We wrapped it up with homemade pizza and a wheat free one for me, and some improvised candles (wax dipped firewood shavings) in sorbetto (that's what wifey wanted instead of a cake). A well-earned and better appreciated sunset from my home balcony, the farthest north I will see the sun touch the horizon for the year, on this solstice evening:
Home sweet home
Home sweet home
Credit: NutAgain!

This is only a pit stop as our epic figure-8 across California continues :)

NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 28, 2014 - 06:25pm PT
Next few days, lots of great visiting with cousins, and squeezing in some outdoor adventures in San Bernardino mountains, Deep Creek, and Lake Arrowhead. We even got invited out on a new friend's ski boat:
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Hanging out in the misleadingly named Apple Valley, high desert windy place northeast of San Bernardino mountains:
Credit: NutAgain!

Well, that wraps up the family chapter. Onward to more adventures!

(See "as real-time as it gets" pictures above for transit from high desert across Mojave to Sequoia and Kings Canyon for the next chapters of our continuing adventures)
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 28, 2014 - 07:35pm PT
What's cooler than bringing your kids to Moro Rock for the first time?
Moro Rock selfie
Moro Rock selfie
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!


Making Carbonara on top at sunset!
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

What's cooler than that? A night under the stars, seeing Scorpio jump above the horizon to the right of Castle Rock and The Fin, chasing Libra across the sky in a big U-shaped plunge to the sea of light above the valley cities down below out west. And watching meteorites, the Milky Way, and being at one with nature:
Credit: NutAgain!


Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

It reminded me of an unplanned bivy, sleeping directly on the slab of rock and with my feet propped up on another pile like a lazy boy chair. I did have a light sleeping bag which made it cozy. Kids had a moving blanket/pad and a decent sleeping bag to share. But the problem is my daughter spent most of the night in her bathing suit top covered in the moving blanket (or nothing) and no sleeping bag when her bro rolled over. She is a trooper with a big heart, spent the night freezing but didn't want to wake us up. she had given her bro the jacket earlier because he forgot to bring his. For the record, I told her to wake me up any time something like that happens. She suffered, but not in an overly traumatic way, joking about it in the morning with a mix of anger and smile as she tried to strangle me. A few days later it still registered as the worst part of the trip for her, but she did like the stars a lot. I think it will settle into a Type II fun memory.

Credit: NutAgain!

KEY BETA: there is a tiny species of ant on top, carbo-loving, and they will find their way into any unsealed food you bring. So unless you're an anteater, don't plan to store leftovers overnight.
Polar Bear

Mountain climber
Moraga, California
  Jul 6, 2014 - 10:13pm PT
The SIERRA (Not sierras)is ONE mountain range! The Sierra Nevada is Spanish for snowy range! The California Miwok named it "Kayopha the sky and the peaks that touch". John Muir called it "The Range of Light".
Steve Thaw, Moraga, CA
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
  Jul 6, 2014 - 11:08pm PT
Huge huger hugest stoke on this TR. U DA Boss daddy-o
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 7, 2014 - 12:11am PT
That reminds me... I never finished what happens next. A trip to Lodgepole and the construction traffic stop to get tickets for Crystal Cave, hasty pancake and bacon breakfast cooked in the parking lot while kids made videos of the dear and her baby, and a trip back down to the cave.

Patagonia camouflage.
Patagonia camouflage.
Credit: NutAgain!

Checking if baby wiped well enough?
Checking if baby wiped well enough?
Credit: NutAgain!

Our tour group heading into Crystal Cave
Our tour group heading into Crystal Cave
Credit: NutAgain!

Cool cave stuff:
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Water chute over marble, adjacent to limestone.
Water chute over marble, adjacent to limestone.
Credit: NutAgain!

All done in Crystal Cave.
All done in Crystal Cave.
Credit: NutAgain!

Cool flowers on the side of the road driving away from Crystal Cave (it's hard to control the focal depth on iphone cameras):
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

And onward to the largest volume tree in the world: General Sherman Tree:

General Sherman Tree
General Sherman Tree
Credit: NutAgain!

We shifted from afternoon to evening with a barbecue by the Big Stump entrance. I have a picture of my brothers and I climbing this same stump when I was about my son's age. Kinda cool to share this whole western Sierra trip with them, and explaining to my kids how this place started the magic of the mountains for me, how much I appreciated that gift from my dad, and how special it was for me to share that magic with them.
Credit: NutAgain!

Credit: NutAgain!

Grazing lettuce from our cousins' garden
Grazing lettuce from our cousins' garden
Credit: NutAgain!

A week's worth of adventures starting to catch up- this is why I mostl...
A week's worth of adventures starting to catch up- this is why I mostly wear jeans.
Credit: NutAgain!

Ok, time to find a sleeping spot. I was searching for the Harden Flat or Evergreen Road of Sequioa/Kings. Turned out to be the biggest epic of the trip... Will save that story for when I have more time to tell it properly. For now, I'll just say I have the raddest stock Toyota Prius on the planet.
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