March 07, 2004
THE WEDDING WAS YESTERDAY, and today, instead of going to the office as I usually do on Sundays, I took advantage of near-70-degree sunny weather to go to the mountains. I drove around in the RX-8, which hasn't gotten enough exercise through the winter, and hiked the Laurel Falls trail. (It was a good thing I did, too, as the weather went to hell later this afternoon, just as I was on my way home). The picture above is from Laurel Falls, with the Toshiba, at the 1/1600 sec. shutter speed, which freezes things rather nicely. (Larger version here. As you can see, even consumer-grade digicams have gotten pretty good.)
Here's another picture that shows one of the advantages of hiking during the off-season: this view will be completely obscured once the trees leaf out. It's rather pretty.
The downside of hiking this time of year is slickness. There was a woman at the Falls looking pretty unhappy, as she had sprained her ankle badly slipping on some rocks. (A bystander said it was on ice, though I didn't see any -- it was 60 degrees there, but it's still somewhat plausible as it may well have been below freezing there last night). The only ice I saw was the icepack on her ankle as she waited for rangers to haul her out. They use a rather clever stretcher that has a single mountain-bike-like wheel on it so as to navigate the trails without giving rangers hernias. I'm glad that they have it, and I hope that I never need it. . . .