Monday, May 28, 2007

My secret place

Penguins can be antisocial. I'd had enough of people for a while. I spent the weekend out of town, in a secret place. This is not the secret place:

That narrow trail going up behind my campsite is what I drove in on in my Jeep. Yes, my Jeep has some new pinstriping. The trail is on the OHV map as an "official" Jeep trail but not on the regular Forest Service map as a road. Even though I have the stock Goodyear GSA ("Get Stuck Anywhere") tires on my Jeep still, I had no problems with traction. Four-wheel drive with an automatic locker in the front (an "Aussie Locker", worked great) and a limited-slip in the back tends to keep all four wheels pulling the Jeep along, which works a lot better than the one-wheel-drive in my old pickup truck.

Here is my Jeep: This is just uphill a bit from this: From there I went to my "secret place", which actually is not too secret -- trout fishermen know all about it. But none were there.

The next day I went up a marked and on-the-map Forest Service road to a marked and on the map trailhead. The road was aweful. There were erosion gullies in parts of it that could have swallowed one side of my Jeep, or any Jeep for that matter even the Jeeps with the big knobby tires. Only the fact that my Jeep is so narrow allowed me to get up it, I doubt a full sized truck could have done so. I reassured myself that this road looked well travelled and was a major route on the Forest Service map so it surely had to be open all the way to the trailhead at the end. Then I got near the end: The tire track you see on the left is from my Jeep, because I backed up a little to get the Jeep's fender into the shot of the snowbank. I can't straddle this snow bank in my narrow Jeep, nor bypass it on the left or right. And there are no tire tracks up here besides mine anyhow.

Yes, I was the first person this season to make it this far up. I guess nobody else bothered because usually this is all under several feet of snow this time of year. But this has been a very dry and warm year. It was around 60F outside, so this snow is going to melt. But I walked out to a meadow nearby and there was still snow lurking under the trees around the meadow too.

All in all a very beautiful and peaceful place. Peace, alas, was not to be found here. As my other posting this day should make clear.

-- Badtux the Unpeaceful Penguin


  1. Beautiful. Maybe if the powers that be could just take the time to appreciate a scene like that once in a while, they wouldn't be so quick to start wars, act unethically, etc.?

    Yeah, right.


  2. Exquisite!
    Thank You, Penguin, for reminding me.


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