Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Notes from Tuolumne Meadows July 2014

1.  Monday - Thunder growls and the barks with a voice that shakes the skies!  ...Not once but repeatedly much of the afternoon.  I love it!   I almost wish that I could believe that it was dragons roaring or Norse gods at play.   The scientific explanation seems to lack pizzazz. We got enough rain to moisten some of the dry soil.  By evening the sun was back.

2.  Tuesday -Judy reading a book, I set off for Dog Lake -it's about an hour and a half walk uphill.  Once there I walked around its perimeter.  It was mixed forests, sedge bogs, and alpine grasses.  Meadows were adrift with clouds of dragonflies - their transparent wings reflecting the sunlight as they circle and dive above the meadow flowers. Birds here are quite fearless of humans and study us with interest as we pass through their world.

3.  "May you sleep like a stone -and wake like fresh bread". This Russian folk-saying describes us here.  We sleep with the gentle river song in our ears and wake to the songs of birds.  Most days, after long hours of 'adventure' we are ready for sleep soon after the sun goes down and are up making coffee by 6:30 when the sun returns. We are such softies - we each have a comfortable air mattress and a big yellow REI tent-that claims to be a four person tent...but fits the two of us nicely (and we are not big people).

4.  I love the fact that I am away from all electronic "noise" news, no music, no internet is a treat.  It take a few days for me to disconnect from " things that need to be done" and to give myself permission to "lean and loaf at my ease and observe a blade of summer grass" (in the words of Walt Whitman).    Every day I get better at it

5.  After lunch -I am writing this sitting beside our flowing river, lupines blooming around my chair. But what's this? It's starting to rain...and hardTime to beat a hasty retreat to the tent- where Judy is taking a nap.   I quickly gathered up items in danger from the rain and threw them in the car.   In the tent, it rained hard, then harder, then a torrent... The wind shook the tent as if to blow us high away into a tree!  Overhead there were wild thunder crashes and lightning to light up the dark sky...then it started with the hail thundering on our tent roof! Judy and I through the whole thing was a wonderful display of nature - bur hoping that nature wouldn't come flowing into the tent!  I had built an advance drainage channel to deflect water from the tent -and that worked quite well. Just as quickly as its arrival, the rain is gone-us with a soggy campsite and all of Judy's clothes hanging on a line completely soaked ...but no real damage...    It was about 2 inches of rain in a one-hour period.

6.  Wednesday came to Lee Vining to dry stuff out in the Laundromat.  After a nice meal we started back to our tent to be turned back another rock slide they said and it would be 3 or 4 hours before they could open it.  So we have returned to Lee Vining as refugees.

7.  The weather report for the week is not encouraging - so much for "the great drought" - not here...