Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Record Snow Still Evident at Powerline Pass

We quickly learned when we moved up here 35 years ago from LA, that if you were going to wait for sunshine, you'd never get out for a hike.  The summers gradually got warmer and longer, but last summer and this summer it seems like we've gone back to the old days.  So despite the heavy cloud cover on the hillside, I set out for an evening hike.  Well, it was 9:30 pm when I left.  (At least the light and dark patterns remain constant, even if the weather doesn't.)

But Glen Alps was not socked in when we got there.  While summer is a little delayed there, the wild flowers were out.

The lupine.

The dogwood.

Humor me.  I'm constantly experimenting with photoshop.  I know this looks like a birthday card for an elderly grandmother.  The yellow is a paintbrush, the blue a wild geranium, and I don't know the white [is Valeriana officinalis, Valerian. (thanks Anon in comments)]

Powerline Pass
This landscape never ceases to awe me.  The sweep of greens surrounded by snowy peaks is always breathtaking and just a 20 minute ride from home.

I played with curves in Aperture (and distorted the colors wildly) to highlight the snow chute you have to negotiate to get to the Ballpark.   That's a lot more snow than I've seen there in recent summers, reflecting our record snow fall this past winter and the record cold for the first half July. 

And my walking companion last night reminds me all the time that the powerlines are the most interesting part of the walk.

I guess the clouds and drizzle kept people away last night.  Even in the drizzle it was magnificent.  Here's the parking lot when we got back, almost 11pm.  A stark contrast to the nights when cars are parked down the road because the lot's full.  For those relatively few times in a year, I think it would be cheaper and better to just have a shuttle bus come up from Hillside instead of bulldozing out more parking lots.  After all, the parking lot looks like this, probably 90% of the time.  (I know, there would have to be a parking lot down below.  Just throwing it out there as something to chew on.) 


  1. The white is Valeriana officinalis, Valerian. Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing!

  2. I was up at Hatcher Pass the other day out past Archangel and there were FIDDLEHEADS! There is still snow. One of my daredevil teens decided to take along his snowboard just so he could pose in the snow with it in July. I love this weather. I miss it. I dislike anything over 70 or below 45, so it's been great! :)

  3. Steve,

    You are a brave soul! And you returned with some terrific photographs. I think your flower composition via Photoshop is great!

    I found it interesting what you said about Summers getting better over the 35 years you've been here. We've only been here 23 years but I've noticed the same thing... it seemed like Summers were getting warmer, less wet, and less overcast... like you said, until recently. I hope this isn't a trend. :)


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