A Short Spring Outing – Part 2

More Coastal Views1318_windCave Our final hike in the coastal part of our trip, we chose the “Wind Cave” hike in Gaviota State Park. Like most hikes near the coast, it goes up, then it goes down. Not an exciting hike, but we thought there might be some nice views.
1323_windCave We reached the caves after a series of steep inclines and were a bit dismayed when a hiker coming down told us to beware the rattler in the first set of caves.
1330_windCaveThis of course made up hyper aware of it, and of course it was nowhere to be seen, or heard, when we got there. The formations, while not extensive, did offer some interesting compositions, but nothing too exciting.1332_windCave 1333_windCave Faria County Beach
1335-FariaBeach We moved a bit further south to Faria County Beach, to set ourselves up to cut over to Highway 395 and the eastern Sierras. The wind and surf were up here, as in most of the state this week. 1346-FariaBeach Our campsite butted up against a rock water break, so we had a front row seat for dramatic surf. The high winds made being outside kind of difficult. Salt spray and spume was covering everything outside with a crust that made me sorry I’d parked here, but of course the views were worth it.1348-FariaBeach Alabama Hills1358-TuttleCreek A couple of days later, we met up with friends Jim & Gayle of Life’s Little Adventures at the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine. We also got to meet another full-timer, Jeanne, who was staying there. 1359-TuttleCreek After setting up, Jim and Gayle, Mary and I, headed out on an afternoon hike up a thousand feet or so over 2.5 miles to an abandoned Ashram. It was a breathless but lovely hike up. The building is quite an impressive structure – especially considering the difficulty of navigating the steep trail.1365-tuttle 1366-tuttle Not sure who is using it, or for what, but it did looks as if it is being cared for.
1375-tuttle The walk down was just as enjoyable. It was much easier to look around when one’s lungs weren’t bursting.1376-tuttle 1381-tuttle Mary and I took a morning walk out to the arch that is nearby our campground. It is just a short hike from the trailhead and easy walking.1397-Alabama The clouds were hanging down over much of the mountain range that usually is used for the background here, so I turned it around and pictured the formations through the arch, then started looking around for a different view.1402-Alabama 1406-Alabama 1409-Alabama 1420-Alabama Our campground amongst the rocks (below)1422-Alabama1426-Alabama 1435-Alabama Afternoons during our stay here followed a pattern. Clouds increase during the day, creating spectacular combinations of sky, clouds, verga, and mountain terrain.1443-Alabama 1448-Alabama Manzanar
1460-ManzanarOn another day, we drove out to Manzanar, the WWII Japanese Internment camp and memorial. The exhibits and artifacts are a fascinating look back to an especially black period of American history. 1512-Alabama1461-Manzanar We wandered the grounds for a good part of the day, spending time at the memorial photographing the origami crane strings that are ever present on the posts around the monument.1467-Manzanar 1471-Manzanar 1474-Manzanar As has happened every day, as the afternoon progressed, clouds gathered and began shedding moisture.1496-Manzanar 1507-Manzanar 1508-Manzanar We sat in the car mesmerized, as the scene before us constantly changed. Huge masses of clouds and rain would collect, then dump on the mountains and desert before us. It rarely reached us where we sat.1521-Manzanar 1523-Manzanar 1525-ManzanarIt was quite inspiring and we sat for a long while, jumping out of the car for images, then being driven back inside by wind and icy rain.1530-AlabamaBack in camp later, we were treated to a rainbow.

Part 3 to continue soon.

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