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A Pacific Crest Trail Hike to Old Baldy

  Howard Prairie Lake is west (left) about 20 minutes
Click to see What's New at RVeCafe On a Sunday afternoon in July, 2005, Gwen and I chose to do a short hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. The distance was only 2 miles each way with about a 600 foot elevation increase (then decrease, of course). From the name of the mountain, Old Baldy, I was expecting a clear top with 360 degree views but as it turns out, Old Baldy was not bald. Pacific Crest Trail Marker
  Pacific Crest Trail, good shade cover The views were still well worth the hike. The trail starts at 5,700 feet so the air was just the right temperature on a warm summer day. The top of Old Baldy is 6,322 feet but the climb is very gentle all two miles. It begins in the shade with the tree so close together that they seem to "talk" when the wind blows. Very low whispers in a Grampa's voice.
  I'm watching my camera settings but Gwen is watching for unusual flowers and other items of interest along the ground. She spots a Lilly and later looked it up in our identification book. Can you believe it, it's called Cascade Lilly for the Cascade mountain that we are hiking. Cascade Lilly
  Mt. Shasta in the distance Mt. Shasta is to our south, probably 100 miles, in Northern California but it looks much closer. The valley between our Old Baldy and Mt. Shasta is full of creeks, dirt roads and old timber stands.
  Gwen saved something special for this hike. She first checks her cell phone reception on top of Old Baldy. "Can you hear me now" she's thinking? Checking for a cell signal on top of Old Baldy
  Happy Birthday David

Happy Birthday, David. Guess where I'm calling from? David is Gwen's son who lives in Boise, Idaho and today is his birthday. This was a special day and special talk with David and the two Grandkids.

There is something special about this mountain for the Espy family. This plaque was cemented to a rock at the top of the mountain. It was obvious that a structure had been at the top at one time but nothing was here now.

  Here Lie the Espy's on top of Old Baldy
A peak at Mt. McLoughlin
  Quick hike back to the truck Our views included our friend Mt. McLoughlin that Morgan and I see on our mountain bike riding. This is the south side of Mr. McLoughlin so all the snow is gone. I happen to know that there is still a small amount of snow on the north side. Morgan didn't have much to say but I know she enjoyed the hike too.
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