28 September 2009

summer's end

The weather has finally decided to change from summer to autumn here in the NW USA. What an amazing year we've had, a winter with as much snow as I've seen in my 50 years here (including Christmas, at last) followed by a record number of days at or above 90°. We could still reach 80° into October, but for now it's rain showers and perhaps snow above 5000' in the mountains. A change is in order, and I've always enjoyed the weak sun of October.. not to mention the great colors coming soon!

11 September 2009

a full summer wanes..

This summer's vacations were packed together tightly - a little too much so for my tastes.

Four camp trips in a month, each with decidedly different styles, gear and weather. First off was a family camp with the tent-trailer, a reasonably normal event even though I had to set up then return to work for ½ day! We returned home to pack for the big 2-in-1 trip after that, taking a full-size tent for the next weekend and backpack gear for the following week. This trip started with record heat and thunderstorms, but in Yosemite NP devolved into snow-pellets and driving winds that cut our hike short and sent us out by another path (Buckeye Creek, image above). Returning home through the amazing Crater Lake park, we then geared up yet again for the Oregon Star Party, taking the tent-trailer and as much astronomy gear as could fit into our car. It was an exhausting five days of hot weather (again) and clear nights, meaning up all night and poor daytime naps. By week's end we were back into cooler weather but our exhaustion from the combined trips had caught up to us. Next year we'll plan things a bit differently.. I think!