I love the forested mountains. I love the ocean. There is something magical about these places. No matter what is going on or how I am feeling, either of these places, here or there, near or far away, can calm me – allow me to just breathe.
Recently, as in earlier this week, I got to work in the Sierra Mountains east of Fresno, California. I got to stay in a little mountain town of a little over 1,000 people in a hotel with 8 rooms each of which has a theme. I had the duck room. I, the lucky one, got to go to sleep with stuffed ducks mounted over my oak bed. I got to wake up and see the ass of a duck. Scary as that sounds, it’s better than the fish room. That one just gives me the creeps.
Me and a co-worker, I’ll call him Bubba Joe Forsythe (because I can) surveyed around a historic dam and a wooden distribution line (wood pole utility line). We got to drive around on the back roads (limited access) and look at dilapidated corrugated metal sheds and walk down a mountain. And we got a peek at a working hydroelectric powerhouse (with the help of our escort). Sometimes human engineering just boggles my mind.
Now I mentioned walking down a mountain, and I meant it. We dropped 2,000 feet in a distance of maybe 500 feet. That’s STEEP! It took Bubba Joe Forsythe and I 3 hours to get down. Normally we could have just written it off as too steep to survey, but I knew we could do it safely and construction crews back in the 1910’s and later in the 1930’s built a railroad up this mountain and installed the utility line. So if they can build a railroad on this mountainside, then by golly, we can walk down it in 2010. We hung onto the poles, slid down a wash, and decided the mangle of manzanita was better to trapes through rather than the slippery loose gravel of the wash. I never felt like we shouldn’t have done it. And I’m glad we did. We saw some cool engineering and what 70 years of just brush clearing does to a railroad.
I hope these pictures can give you all an idea. And just so you know, I am walking like a 90 year old now because I am so sore!!
The very beginning
What happens to a railroad on a mountainside
Our ending point is that town
looking back up