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Great start to 2013

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Great start to 2013

Postby balzaccom » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:02 am

In one of the less publicized developments in Washington over the past week, the Senate unanimously (!) passed legislation to make the Pinnacles a National Park. The bill only needs the signature of President Obama, which should be a formality, to go into effect.

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Since I grew up quite near the Pinnacles, this spot holds a special place in my heart---and I heartily recommend that you visit it. An amazing place with wonderful hikes. I particularly remember one hike during my college years when I reached the top of the crest to see the clouds all beneath me--and a clear shot to the Sierra towering over the far side of the Central Valley. And then the wind began to blow...and the clouds below began to send tiny snowflakes up the cliff and into my face. Yes, it was snowing uphill.

That was also the trip I hiked the caves trail without a flashlight. Pitch black, with a swiftly running creek, deep crevices, and low overhangs. Quite the adventure. Not recommended!

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The trails here do involve a little more exposure and effort than in most parks

What a great way to start the New Year!

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The photos here capture only a part of the charm of this area. And while the summer can be brutally hot, the spring brings lush growth to the canyons and stunning wildflowers.
Balzaccom

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Re: Great start to 2013

Postby RooPhillip » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:23 am

Thanks for the pics! I'm ashamed to admit that, even though Pinnacles is less than an hour drive from here, I've never been there. I guess I'd better check it out before the NP crowds show up! :) I hear there are lots of condors released there too.
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Re: Great start to 2013

Postby LMBSGV » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:42 am

This is great news. My wife and I only camped there once so far, but it was quite memorable. It was in the spring during the wildflower bloom (the best time to go there) and a full moon. We took a magical full moon hike, which was technically illegal since the trails were closed after dark. The two rangers checking the trail missed us since we were sitting on a large rock above the trail looking at the rock formations in the moonlight. We keep saying we're going to go back, but haven't gotten around to it except for one dayhike.
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Re: Great start to 2013

Postby freestone » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:13 pm

I hate to be the odd man out, but with all due respect, I think Pinnacles is a pretty mediocre place by National Park standards, and in a time of fiscal crisis, this can only add to the national debt. A galvanized hand rail system and stair steps to the top of the mountain, really? The NPS has got it's work cut out for them. Hopefully it will be a boon to the local economy to offset the cost to the tax payers.
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Re: Great start to 2013

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:00 pm

freestone wrote:I hate to be the odd man out, but with all due respect, I think Pinnacles is a pretty mediocre place by National Park standards, and in a time of fiscal crisis, this can only add to the national debt. A galvanized hand rail system and stair steps to the top of the mountain, really? The NPS has got it's work cut out for them. Hopefully it will be a boon to the local economy to offset the cost to the tax payers.

I don't want to turn this into a political thread, but...National Parks have a huge economic impact relative to cost, and overall more than pay for themselves. So to the extent one is concerned about fiscal matters, NPS spending isn't really anything to worry about.
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Re: Great start to 2013

Postby Timberline » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:18 pm

Happy New Year, balzaccom!
Good news, I agree. I got to visit Pinnacles when I was a kid in high school, and the experience greatly fueled my desire to keep visiting and exploring the wilderness. Never have regretted giving in to that urge, and you could say it was all the Pinnacles' fault! Hope others find that pleasure, too.
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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Re: Great start to 2013

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:26 pm

Thanks for passing that along. I went to the Pinnacles over 30 years ago with my Boy Scout Troop and I really liked it. I've been meaning to go back sometime, but I just haven't made it back there again. Maybe this might finally motivate me to do it.

I like the fact that this park might be a little funky, quirky and low tech. Too many places, once they are turned into National Parks, get too developed, sanitized and "easy" for the average person. As a result I think that something is lost from the whole experience.
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Great start to 2013

Postby bheiser1 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:54 pm

freestone wrote:A galvanized hand rail system and stair steps to the top of the mountain, really?


Hmmm that reminds me of a certain "dome" which which we're all acquainted :).
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Re: Great start to 2013

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:38 am

bheiser1 wrote:
freestone wrote:A galvanized hand rail system and stair steps to the top of the mountain, really?


Hmmm that reminds me of a certain "dome" which which we're all acquainted :).

It's really just a couple of very short (~30-foot) stretches along the High Peaks Trail--much less hardware than 50% Knob has.
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