drift smoke from fire above the Crags
After the second of the TWO rainy periods that might constitute what passes for a winter this year, I took another hike up along Sulphur Creek. When you're this close to the rocks they tend to block your view of approaching storm clouds from the north, so I had to cut this trip short after being surprised by a light but persistent rain later in the day.
Coming back a few days later I experienced some rather exciting moments trying to hop across the usually placid creek, as it now had two to three times as much water in it as it did the last time I was here. A large fallen tree made the second crossing less eventful, but scrambling up steep rocks covered in wet moss kept me focussed to a high degree.
waterfall on Dump Creek
The unfortunately-named Dump Creek Is one of my favorite spots to hike, as it usually has water in it all year, as well as lots of moss-covered rocks, fern gardens, and a waterfall every few feet. It drains the area just east of Sulphur Creek and has reasonable bushwacking potential although it's in the transition between pine-covered hillsides and the oak/manzanita zone, so many detours are needed to steer clear of thickets. Climbing up steep hillsides on wet oak leaves and ball bearing-like acorns can be discouraging, too.