Mt. Rainier

It's unusual to get a good view of Mt. Rainier in Washington.  Usually clouds and rain obscure the mountain.  We got lucky twice...  flying into Seattle, I flew over a perfectly visible Mt. Rainier.  Even more lucky was a beautiful Seattle day and this view from SeaTac, an iPhone shot by Lacey:


Swell in the Swell

We just held the latest (52nd?) edition of our Cinco de Mayo celebration in the San Rafael desert.  For the most part, the weather was great, but there was a lot of dust.  However, a nice shower on Saturday night tamped down the dust and left us with a fine and mellow evening.

One goal this year was to spend some time on Saturday trying to locate the head of the Black Box.  The San Rafael river spends most of its time near the surface, but at certain points in its wanderings, the river creates deep and narrow canyons, the Black Box and the Little Black Box.  After hiking down some dubious roads to overlooks, we found one that gave us sight of the beginnings of the Black Box.  Here is the river curving towards the Black Box:

And then the river begins to carve into the canyon.  One can see the beginnings of the canyon walls.

There was a wide wash at the bottom of the cliff leading into this area.  But from Mexican Mountain road, we have yet found a good entrance into this wash.  I estimate about a mile hike from the road to the river and the beginning of the Black Box if we can find an entrance without a steep dropoff.  Next year...  We headed back to camp as a storm came up.

On the way back, we found yet more evidence of an ancient alien presence:

The aftermath of Saturday's brief storm left us with a fine sunset around the old campfire:

On Sunday we held services for our old friend Tom Zeidler.  He died a couple years ago, rather suddenly, and we lost our favorite bartender, amateur anthropologist, literary critic, and friend.  Tom was also a fixture of the early Cinco years.  His family contributed some of his ashes for us to release into the river...

Finally, a better shot of Saturday's sunset from Rod Daynes.  More of his photos can be seen at his website:  Swell Photographs.