Monday, April 23, 2007

Going North

Traversing the desert at dawn

Snow on the Eastern Sierras

Susanville, California…

…a town of coffee-shop philosophy.

Entering the high country of the extreme Northern Sierras—far more winter like than during my February trip south

Mt. Lassen dominating its volcanic wilderness. I intend to hike this peak during the summer.

Lava flows now crowned with pine and manzanita

Mt. Shasta as seen from 30 miles (48 km) south

The Black Butte cinder cone, abutting Interstate 5 on the southwestern flank of Shasta

Mt. Shasta, as seen from due east. The mountain’s glaciers are obscured by seasonal snow, but will be distinctly visible after the spring runoff.

Descending into Oregon's very green Rouge River Valley.

Entering the Columbia River Gorge

Hiking the Gorge

Returning South

Starting south in Hood River.

Under the Volcano: At the foot of Mt. Hood, the most striking of Cascade’s soaring fire mountains, rests a winding valley filled with world-famous pear orchards.

The mountain continues with her coyness. Veiled in clouds, she offered only glimpses of her pale flanks and stunning north face.

Racing through the mountain canyons of the Cascades...

...and descending into the steep ravines of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, on the dry, desert leeward side of the Cascades.

Sadly, because of the gray skies and snow, the stratovolcanoes of the Eastern Cascades were hidden from sight. The magnificent Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Bachelor were all shrouded.


The mountain range in the photo below, stretching all the way from the left to the right of this picture, is a volcano. The Newbury shield volcano is the largest fire mountain of the west, 20 miles (30 km) in diameter with a volume of 80 cubic miles (330 km³). One of its most recent eruptions in AD 400s created a massive obsidian-infused dome within its central caldera, altering the economy of the local Indians by introducing a fresh resource deposit into the Northwest’s already complicated trade network.

Ironically the wettest and grayest part of the trip came in the deserts north of Reno.

Friday, April 20, 2007

And Again

At least we are making up for our weak winter in the Sierras, building up that all-important alpine snow pack.

I’m heading up to the Northwest for the weekend. Hopefully I’ll get some good volcano and wildflower photos.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

April Showers Bring—WTF!?

Cold and snowy up in the mountains right now, wet and clammy down here. Apparently chains and snow tires are required to get over Donner Pass at the moment. Now I’m not feeling so bad about waiting until the end of April to take my studded snows off. They might even be useful for going up north to retrieve my summers.

Success, again.

LBM has produced a very smooth and drinkable German dark with lots of flavor. It is one of the finest homebrewed beers I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

I almost like it better than my own heffeweizen, which means it’s time to get to work on improving the recipe.

The biggest difference this time around will be the use of a proper yeast (Heffeweizen=YeastWheat), which they have for sale here in Reno. While my current bier has a decent wheat taste, it still lacks that good, almost bread-like, front end flavor that comes from the right strain of yeast. Also less hops this time around. The hops in German heffeweizens are subtler, while American brewers have a hard time resisting the urge to flaunt the wonderful hop varieties of the Northwest. Good, but not what I am looking for.