Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Still trying to get in a bit of fall in the local mountains, this time a day trip to Chantry Flats and the Adams Pack Station in the Angeles National Forest. It is easy to get to, though be forewarned--VERY popular place and late arrivals will have to park along the road as the day progresses. We parked at the pack station for $10, which I didn't mind paying as it supports them and their business.

One of the pack mules. He was a real friendly fellow.

The Adams Pack Station has been in operation since 1936:

"Adams' Pack Station, and what makes us unique, is deliver supplies year-round to a permanent community that is only accessible by footpath. We are the life-blood of 80 antique recreational cabins plus 113-year-old Sturtevant's Camp. The pack string and the old-fashioned crank phone system are their only link to the modern world."


This mule just wanted me to come down for a chat. They are so friendly and curious. There were also a few resident dogs, cats, and chickens.

California Gray Squirrel (sorry it's blurry). Note the magnificent bushy tail! There were dozens of them collection acorns from the surrounding trees.

A nice little portal to the sky. The clouds grew thicker, a breeze sprang up, and by 1 pm it was quite cool.

A lush canopy of oaks over the picnic area.

The picnic area was recently redone and it was developed quite nicely. Each spot has a poured slab of concrete, a picnic table, and a fire grill. They are far enough apart to give a little privacy, too.
It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours. My friend brought along a young inner-city girl she mentors and she had a great time walking the trail and petting the mules and goats at the pack station.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I have been hoping to get up to the mountains again soon before we start getting snow, but I needn't have worried about the last storm--it dropped very little rain in the flats and wasn't cold enough to snow in the mountains. It did drop 1" - 2" in the foothills above La Canada Flintridge, though, causing a wall of mud to inundate some homes.

There is nothing like getting up to around 7500' or more, into the tall pines. This photo is from one of my favorite places, Grassy Hollow, in the Angeles National Forest, which was fortunately spared from the ravages of the last fire. Unfortunately, because of continued road closures from the valley side, one must trek up the loooong way: up the 5 to the 14, out to the Antelope Valley, past Pearblossom, then up to mountains from the back side. It adds more than an hour extra to the drive. It actually takes less time to go to Mt. Pinos or the San Bernardino Mountains now.

But it's calling me, and I may have to give in to it soon!

Monday, November 9, 2009



Monday, November 2, 2009

Garbage floating in Pacific exacts deadly toll on Albatrosses

Dead Lysan Albatross chicks on Midway Atoll--guts filled with plastic trash fed to it by adult birds who cannot tell the difference between trash and food. (photo by Chris Jordan)

As if the whole idea of a 'garbage patch' the size of a small state is floating in the Pacific Ocean isn't alarming and sickening enough, now it appears that there are TWO of them. Birder's World Magazine had this article about it:


Anyone who thinks it's okay to just toss down their bottle caps, plastic disposable lighters, and other small pieces of plastic should think again. Here is where much of it ends up:


This is a TRAGEDY. So many human beings are thoughtless when it comes to trash. They never think to dispose of it properly. I recently witnessed someone throwing out their fast food bag from a passing car and could not believe my eyes. I felt like following and confronting them about it. I wanted to hand them the bag and say, "How would you like it if someone threw their trash in your house? Because of thoughtless people like you, our wildlife has to live with your shit every day."

Perhaps next time I WILL do it.