Friday, May 17, 2013

Help Me! I'm trapped in a Chinese fortune cookie factory!



Is it strange that I have always wanted to find the title of this post written on a fortune cookie?

Oh yes, ramblings, adventures and whatnot...I digress.  The best I can figure, I have broken into the illustrious world of the politician.  Lots of peacocking and empty promises and generally keeping my faithful followers dangling at the end of my silver tongue.  Well, I got news for ya JACK! (and Boris and Natasha, my faithful Russian Readers!)  the wait is OVER!  From now on...a few weeks from now.... I will once again rise to that most glorious masthead of a bonafide blogger! (Now if you're not already there, take on a boisterous voice, kind of a cross between a black southern gospel preacher and Captain America...That's it!)
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where was I going with this....
oh yeah.
I'm gonna try my best to post more. ( and now I bet you are laughing at yourself, because you did the whole voice thing)
Alright, so yeah, I've been behind.  After facing such utter disappointment with the last attempted post, I gave up.  I quit.

Morning came all too soon.  2 a.m. and I'm wide awake, staring that imaginary marauding bear down the throat!
"I'll just sleep on my tarp," I says.  "Sleep under the open starlit sky," I says.  It all sounded all well and good when I was half dead from exhaustion....you like how there was absolutely NO transition? :)  well, sit down and keep reading!

So there I was.  10 foot grizzly snarling in my face, and I put my cigar butt out on the sumbitch's nose...I was literally on the verge of pissing my pants when I heard old Mainerd start snoring, and from then on anything so loud as a squirrel fart woke me up in a near panic.  The good news is, the snoring let me know I wasn't the only one who was beat to hell and back from a hard day of travel. One species down, two to go.  And then I began to find peace with it all, settled back into the dirt and accepted everything for what it was...good.
4 hours later, the sun's cracking, and so is the ice on my sleeping bag; if there was any moisture up there.  Place was like a powder box. But man, that warm oatmeal went down and sat like a champ, and I was ready for a new day.  We milled around camp for a bit, had some coffee, filled the water bottles, pulled our straps and strings as tight as we could get 'em  and pushed on.
The valley leading from the Little Kern to the Kern is magnificent.  It's not quite deep enough to be a valley,  more like a pass, but the 700-800 ft. high rock slides on the north side are a mighty sight.  When you hear loud cracks in this boulder field that slopes upwards at a 60 degree angle, and you are at the base weaving on the grass paths between house sized boulders, you start to wonder, "Will this boulder be big enough to hide behind?"  Perhaps it wasn't as wild feeling at the time, but I sure would have liked to witness one of those boulders careening down, from a distance of course.
So we get past the minefield, sloping steadily down, and we come upon a vast canyon.  All we could see, in any direction, was valley.  The Kern River valley, though not more that 1000-1500 feet deep , nor more than a few miles wide, offers spectacular views in a 360 degree panorama of pure wilderness.   One could easily see how the river shaped this valley.  Each spur rolled in upon the other in a flowing, swaying, dramatic dance from east to west elegantly weaving its way down behind the other.  Scattered conifers dotted the rocky slopes that were the least bit inviting for a tree to take hold.  It was a breathtaking view, made all the more awe inspiring by the fact that at the bottom lay a trout stream.  And in it, the 2nd third of my purpose on God's green earth that day.

Onward we marched into the valley, skirting our way down the ledges to the valley floor, all the while cursing the elevation we will have to regain on the return trip. It was a steady grade, probably no more than 20 degrees in grade for most of it, edging your way down and north along the wall for a mile or so.  You could see the giddy-up in Mainerd's step, as the faintest rushes of water started to disturb the dust on our ear hairs.  It's time to fish.



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