The Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

1-DSC_6358The weeks photo was taken at the Pinnacle National Park in California.  These crazy looking rock formations are visible all over the park.  I took this shot from the High Peaks Trail on the way to Hawkins Peak.

From the Pinnacles National Park site page:

Pinnacles National Park, located near the San Andreas Fault along the boundary of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, is an excellent example of tectonic plate movement. The Pinnacles Rocks are believed to be part of the Neenach Volcano that occurred 23 million years ago near present-day Lancaster, California, some 195 miles (314 km) southeast. The giant San Andreas Fault split the volcano and the Pacific Plate crept north, carrying the Pinnacles. The work of water and wind on these erodible volcanic rocks has formed the unusual rock structures seen today.

A great place to hike, with several challenging trails.  The forces of nature are evident from most of the high trails in the park.  If you are traveling in California, I would strongly encourage you to make a stop at the Pinnacles National Park.

Both of these pictures are taken from the picturesque, but challenging, High Peaks Trail:


Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

Forces of Nature

The Thursday Picture – National Wildflower Week!


It’s National Wildflower Week!


You can check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on the internet for more information.


To find out what these type of wildflowers these are that I discovered at Pinnacles National Park, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower site.


Where are you hiking to enjoy some wildflowers this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

Earth Day – California Condors at Pinnacles National Park


On this Earth Day, I would like to salute the National Park Service and the the Pinnacles National Park “Condor Crew” of volunteers for helping to re-introduce the California Condor to the wild…and, fight off extinction of this bird.


From the web site, “Pinnacles National Park joined the California Condor Recovery Program (Run by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) as a release and management site in 2003. The park currently manages 33 free-flying condors. For more information on individual condors, visit our profiles page. Park biologists use a variety of techniques to manage and monitor the population.”


While the fight to save the California Condor from extinction is not over, the story of the fight to save the largest bird in North America is a fitting tribute on Earth Day.  People can make a difference by taking action.


There’s more pictures to post from my awesome hike at the Pinnacles National Park!

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

“Speak softly and carry a big stick”

It happened in 1972.  My Boy Scout Troop, “Troop of the Eagle”, was camping at Pinnacles National Monument.  Yes, the same Pinnacles National Monument that was founded back in 1908 by this famous American:


It was late afternoon, and had been raining steadily since we arrived around lunch time. My patrol was getting hungry…to tell the truth, we were 11 and 12 year old boys that were always hungry. We had planned to cook something easy for dinner…our world famous aluminum spaghetti. We found that if we lined our cooking pot with aluminum foil, it helped us clean up faster! Of course, the spaghetti had a bit of a metallic taste…but, we were 11 and 12 year olds who were often ruled by our stomachs. Anyway, we were getting hungry but were unable to get a good fire started to boil water for the pasta. The rain was coming down like buckets, we were cold and wet, and there was mud everywhere.  Some of us had started to break into our pack of Oreos.  Desperate times…

Thankfully, some of the Dad’s who were chaperoning the trip came over and showed us how to start a fire in these very wet conditions. I flashed back to our wet camping trip and the miracle of fire when I saw this “how-to” on one of my favorite outdoor blogs, “Hiking the Trail.”  It looks like this was re-blogged from another great web site,

This is a fantastic graphic on how to start a fire (and get your aluminum spaghetti cooked up real quick!):


So, where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.