Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dancing on the Devils Postpile!

"The top of the post pile looks like a dance floor", Alan told us and he was so right! So of course we had to dance. We posed for pictures and it really was amazing, the smooth surface of the tops of the post piles, polished and striated by a long ago glacier.
It was so like Devil's Tower and yet so different. The post pile itself was a lot smaller, with the columns being the diameter of my Stetson. The post pile screamed to me to climb on, but the signs banning climbing stopped me. Obvious route after route still called. The top of Devils Tower is quite different, but I know you don't want me to describe that, and take away your surprise when you climb it.
We were at Devils Postpile National Monument, a small site on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas. Sharon and Alan wanted to share it with us and we were glad that they had! We drove about thiry miles south and west from Lee Vinning, through the town of Mammoth Lakes and on to the Postpile.
Stopping at the visitor center we looked at the aerial images transcribed with the epicenters of earthquake swarms, which usually precede volcanic eruptions. From there we drove down a steep, narrow, and acrophobic seven mile road where the trailhead started, for the Devils Postpile and Rainbow Falls.
The hike itself was pleasant and our bodies told us that we were at over 7000 feet, but it felt so good to be hiking after the days of driving! I wanted to run, the spirit is so willing, but settled for the nice pleasant walk. Sharon and Alan were the perfect tour guides, telling us about their past visits and sharing their stories of family trips and camping and kids.
Too soon we returned to the trailhead, but the joy of discovery wasn't over. Renita spotted a stellars jay and we watched as it begged food from some picnickers. Stellars are a large jay and have a deep blue color and black topnotch. We had seen them before in Wyoming but the more common camp robbers there are the grey jay.
We drove back up the steep road, (did I say there were no guard rails?), but uphill vehicles have the right of way and most of the other cars pulled over. Returning home, Molly greeted us with kisses and her warm puppy greeting. It was a day spent with friends at a beautiful place in the Sierra Nevadas. What could be better? Clear skies,

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