A Nice Way to Start the New Year

posted Jan 1, 2013, 7:54 AM by Paul Wagner
In one of the less publicized developments in Washington over the past week, the Senate unanimously (!) passed legislation to make the Pinnacles a National Park.  The bill only needs the signature of President Obama, which should be a formality, to go into effect. 
Since P grew up quite near the Pinnacles, this spot holds a special place in his heart---and he heartily recommends that you visit it.  An amazing place with wonderful hikes.  P particularly remembers one hike during his college years when he reached the top of the crest to see the clouds all beneath him--and a clear shot to the Sierra towering over the far side of the Central Valley.  And then the wind began to blow...and the clouds below began to send tiny snowflakes up the cliff and into his face.  Yes, it was snowing uphill.
That was also the trip he hiked the caves trail without a flashlight.  Pitch black, with a swiftly running creek, deep crevices, and low overhangs.  Quite the adventure. Not recommended!
The trails here do involve a little more exposure and effort than in most parks
Which is pretty steep! This is the peaks trail across the top of the ridge.©http://backpackthesierra.com
What a great way to start the New Year!
The photos here capture only a part of the charm of this area.  And while the summer can be brutally hot, the spring brings lush growth to the canyons and stunning wildflowers. 
At the bottom of the canyon, the scenery was quite lush. I didn't hike the caves trail, since I didn't have a light, and didn't want to get wet this time!©http://backpackthesierra.com