Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Mt. Hough Adventure

 Last Friday, my son Greg and I decided to head for the top of Mt. Hough.  Even though he has a 4WD pickup with good snow tires, we weren't sure we could make it.  After all, it's January, and there's supposed to be around 10 to 15 feet of snow up there.  Quite a surprise to find the road was clear almost all the way to the top.  Even the shady forested area on the way down to Crystal Lake had only a few inches of snow.  Kind of scary, actually, when we contemplated the coming summer fire season.  We parked the truck on the road just above and west of Crystal Lake and hiked toward Arlington Rock, the prominent outcropping that looks like the Matterhorn from the valley below.  Greg took the above photo of me with his iPhone.  The cameras in those things are getting more impressive every year.  Click on this photo for an enlargement and maybe you'll recognize some homes in Genessee Valley in the distance above and to the left of my head.  The Mt. Hough lookout building is out of the picture to the right behind that rocky prominence.
 Just below and south of Arlington Rock we came across the stump of a huge Red Fir.  Whoever cut it down apparently was too tired to take it as firewood, or only used a small portion of it as the main trunk of the tree was still on the ground and looked like it was at least a couple of years old.
 The amazing panorama feature of Greg's cell phone camera caught this scene.  I was photographing something on the ground below me, and you can see frozen-over Crystal Lake in the foreground and North Arm and the mountains overlooking Susanville in the distance.  These photos are out of order.  The ones overlooking Crystal Lake were actually taken first.
 Here's my photo of Greg overlooking the frozen lake.  Note in these last two, Indian Valley is completely filled with fog.
 It took us nearly an hour to get to the top of Arlington Rock.  If you click on this photo you can see Greg on the top of the rock, just below a branch of the fir tree on the left.
When I got to the top of the rock, I was startled to find the fog had almost entirely lifted.  This view is aimed due North, and I think I was able to identify my friend Joan's house on North Valley Road.
We took enough photos on this outing for several more topics and blog posts.  Coming soon will be photos of vegetation and scenic views of Lassen Peak, Lake Almanor, Crescent Mills, and Rhinehart Meadow.  Tomorrow is the first day of Spring Semester at the college, so I could get sidetracked.  The rest of the photos will appear at least by Tuesday.

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