Let the fun begin. Solar install is underway. Broke ground yesterday.  I’ll provide more thoughts and details in future posts.

holes for patio cover which will have 14 Solar panels installed on its roof


boxed mini split HAC system, 22.3 SEER. old service panel will be replaced.


Steps to complete:

Utility application – Complete

Engineering – Complete 

Permit issued – Complete

Holes for solar rack completed. Hole size 2′ x 2′ x 3′ – pending inspection

Received Mini-split (added to project)

Electrical service panel install underway

Install mini-split – future

Finalize Solar System material list. Send to advisors for review. Underway.

Order solar system material – future

Schedule solar installers – future

Install solar system – future

Recieived permission to operate from utility – future


Packsaddle Cave Trail, Fairview, CA.

May 14, 2016

Rocket gives perpective to size of cave. It was surprisingly large.

Many beautiful flowers along the way. Trail has minimum switch backs so it is steep in places.

Watch your head!

looking out from cave entrance.

Synopsis

– This was a fair weather fun hike with great views of the north fork of the kern river, the greenhorn mountains, and the granite peaks of the dome wilderness area, and at the turn-around point, a cave to explore. This is the perfect time to hike this trail – flowers in bloom, water in the creek, moderate temperature, and blue sky.
– Physically, the trail challenges as desired – the hike can be done leisurely or you can run it, and the trail continues beyond the cave for those looking for more miles.

– This is a good hike to test your endurance and get a sense for what the Southern Sierra’s are about.

– As with any hike, be weather wise and be prepared.

– This area is beautiful and has recovered nicely from one of the largest forest fire in California, the McNally fire. Expect 3 to 4 hours of trail time (R/T) including frequent breaks to enjoy the vastness of the surrounding mountains, the golden chaparral, all the flowers and bush, and the ever present scent from the pine forests in the distance.

 

The Trail

– The trailhead is located 25km north of Kernville on mountain hwy. 99 just past McNally’s on the east side of the road. A large parking lot is located across the road from the trailhead. The trailhead is marked with a USFS brown painted wood sign.

– The trail begins as a service road before veering right (two rocks mark the trails path). If you miss the trail, you’ll end at a water tank where you can scramble up a short trail behind the tank up to join the trail above.

– The trail is well marked, maintained, and easy to follow. As are most trails in the Sierras, this trail is made of a mix of DG, small rocks, and mud at the water crossings. The trail has minimum switch-backs making the hike moderately steep in a few places.

– The trail ascends 270 meters in 1.5km, traverses a saddle and then drops 200 meters in 1km to the first creek crossing. The creek is shaded with trees and tall bush. There’s water in the creek and the first crossing is the perfect place to rest. The creek is easily crossed without getting wet. The trail continues up along the creek for another 1km to an obvious campsite. Looking north and up on side of the mountain, you can spot the cave entrance. Continue 0.5km on the steep trail from the campsite to the cave entrance. Please note trail distances and altitude numbers are rough estimates.

Packsaddle Cave

To begin, caves creep me out. OK, the cave has a large entrance and is walkable for first 50 meters, then requires the spelunker to crawl. Not sure of cave length (never made it to end). It’s a perfect 15c inside. The cave has many stacked conical calcium carbonate seeps. The cave looks like a good place for natives to sleep, or for a visiting Sadhu to contemplate life. At minimum, the cave is the perfect place to rest before returning.

Environment

– Flora. Flowers are in full bloom including lumpines, mustard, fiddle neck, cresol, poppy’s, and many others. Flower colors include yellows, reds, purples, whites.

– Fauna. Few birds and fewer squirrels. No snakes spotted but they’re certainly in the area (diamond back rattler, garter, gofers). No fish – the creek typically is dry by summer. Bugs – not many – a few nat’s and mosquitos. For the few bugs I encountered, repellent would have been overkill.

Other things to Consider

– Hike specific Hazards – Loose rocks under foot, bush sticking out into the trail. Bashing head on cave ceilings, getting lost in cave (if your light goes out, your screwed).

– Dogs. I brought mine. Rocket, a blue Queensland, loved the hike too! Dog has been given rattlesnake serum. I brought water for the dog, however, with the water in the creek, the water was not needed.

– Trekking Poles. I recommend using Trekking Poles on this hike. Because this trail is 99% up or down and rocky, the poles are very helpful. The poles transfer some of the load to the arms from the legs when climbing uphill and help keep the toes from getting crunched inside your shoes on the decent. I particularly enjoyed using the polls to steady myself to avoid slipping, tripping, and falling as I walked freely, and my eyes wondered the county side.

– Pack. I used a large black diamond fanny pack. I like keeping the pack weight on my hips if possible. I didn’t bring much – One liter of water, 2 bananas, 1 grapefruit. Oh yes, also brought moleskin and toilet paper in a Baggie.

– Other people – I saw 6 other hikers in 2 groups.

– Things that go on your feet. Sandals, Running Shoes or Hiking Boots? For this hike, boots are clearly the best choice. Boots are a much better for stability and comfort on the rocky, moderately steep in places, trail. That’s said, I hiked in running shoes (New Balance 997). With the assist from the trekking poles, the running shoes worked OK. Next time I would bring boots. Of course you’ll need excellent socks (so importanta!) and mole skin just in case of blisters. And sandals? Bad idea to hike in, however, excellent to have to change into after the hike.

– What else to wear in fair weather

Hat/visor – protection from sun.

Sweat Band – keeps the salty sweat out of my eyes

Sunglasses – it’s California!

Sunscreen – yep.

Light weight long or short sleeve shirt and shorts or pants. If you don’t mind a few nature scratches, there wasn’t much bush on the trail so shorts worked well for me.

– Places to spend money. Few. Nearby, there’s a small c-store and burgers spot (really good!) McNally’s restaurant is one of the best steak places in the county – a must try. And of course there’s one of the best breweries on the planet in Kernville 30km away.

– Other. Closest cell service is on the main road south 20km. Gas is 25km south.

 

All n all, we had a fine invigorating hike with plenty to see and the bonus of a real creepy cave to explore.

 

Have fun!

Trekking Poles

Posted: May 17, 2016 in Backpacking

I recommend using Trekking Poles when hiking in the Sierras.

The poles transfer some of the load to the arms from the legs when climbing uphill and help keep the toes from getting crunched inside your shoes on the decent. 

I particularly enjoy using the polls to steady myself to avoid slipping, tripping, and falling as I walk freely on the trail, and my eyes wonder the county side.

No man is an Iland

Posted: May 13, 2016 in Poems
Tags:

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed aw
ay by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.— John Donne

The Utopia Myth India

Posted: May 13, 2016 in Book

Opulent and ornamentalist royal chic and utopian construction projects of future smart cities, point to the fundamentally aesthetic nature of utopias (Schulte-Sasse and Schulte-Sasse 1991). Aesthetics pro- vides the seductive form to mythical narratives, a concrete and yet fairy tale vision of the future. Such myths are not only able to move the affects of the members of the body politic, but also to push these affects in a desired direction (Citton 2010). It is no coincidence that the media was speaking of the ‘Modi
-wave’ of hope and joy; the slogan acche din aane wale hain spread like a contagion and, for a moment, even those who in reality are excluded from ‘brand India’ felt they could be a part of it, if only they cast the right vote. The mobilization of hope and joy is the most powerful tool available to populist politics and aesthetics plays an indispensable role here. This is how the elite manage to align the desire of the masses with their master-desire (Lordon 2014), and convince them to vote against their own interests, for a strong authoritarian leader and the extension of corporate interest. The problem with populist myths and the cultivation of certain illusions is not that they are myths; after all, we derive a great deal of pleasure and a sense of orientation from these myths. Revealing myths as simplistic or unrealistic does not help, since it does not rob them of their effectivity. Myths, ideologies and illusions are resistant to knowledge. We cultivate them even when we know better. The important question is here: towards what kind of future is this myth pushing us? The problem with the Indian utopian myth centred on the magical rate of growth, Hindu spirit and benevolent billionaires, is not that it is a myth, but that it is a bad myth (Citton 2010). It leads not only to environmental destruction but also, and more importantly, to the expulsion of millions of undesirables into further poverty, beyond the internal border of (good) ‘society’ itself, thus transforming them from citizens into an internal security threat. 

You’ve been approved!

Posted: March 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

You’re approved of, appreciated, forgiven, and adored, just exactly as you are.

Current work status: Sisyphus 

Posted: February 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Sisyphus, the son of Aeolus, punished in Hades for his misdeeds in life by being condemned to the eternal task of rolling a large stone to the top of a hill, from which it always rolled down again