Pinnacles National Park, Part 2

Does a 2-day camping trip warrant 2 blog posts? For me it does because we don’t do this very often. And I took lots of photos.

We discovered that we did sleep relatively all right in the truck, although I was told that I had more than my share of the “mattress”. Huh!

The next morning we checked the map and chose the hike for the day.DSC_1127 This was the first leg of a 5.5 mile hike. Notice the word Condor. I took my binoculars on this hike, determined to identify a condor this day. Pinnacles is one of the few remaining areas where the endangered California Condors live and nest.DSC_1130

This trail winds up the mountain and behind those peaks in the distance.DSC_1134Getting closer to the peaks. At this point we talked to a wildlife biologist who was using an antennae to try and pick up a signal of the condors who are banded with transponders. She said that they do nest in these cliffs but today she hadn’t found any. They don’t always stay in the park area. We saw plenty of soaring birds but they kept turning out to be buzzards.DSC_1131  More of the trail.  DSC_1173 This is coming around the west side of those peaks. The vegetation was somewhat different than that of yesterday’s hike except for one plant.DSC_1164There was plenty of poison oak, although these trails are wider than those on our Stebbins Cold Canyon hike so it’s easier to avoid. I was struck by the beautiful shades of green in the poison oak.DSC_1190 Color abounds.

DSC_1193 This was an interesting trail. Notice that railing under the overhanging rock.DSC_1200The Park Service (or maybe it was the CCC years ago) thoughtfully provided steps (and, thankfully, railings) so that hikers could get over these rocks.DSC_1215 The views are worth the climb.CA GiliaWhat would a hike for me be without a few flower photos? Believe me, I took many more than this even though, due to the dry conditions in Northern California, there was not the abundance of wildflowers that I think there would normally be at this time of year. I think I have identified this as a patch of California Gilia (Gilia achilleifolia).DSC_1243 CA GDSC_1272 I think that this plant is Wild Cucumber or California Manroot (Marah macrocarpa). What we noticed on this hike is that the spiralling tendrils that look like a telephone cord (yes, that dates me) start out straight. When the straight tendril touches something it coils and hangs on. Amazing. 

As usual I tried my hand at wildlife photography. Those bee photos are the only ones I’ll show. The bunny, the crow, and the lizard weren’t all that great. The condor look-alike perched on a branch turned out to be a buzzard when I looked at the photo close-up. DSC_1296

This looks like condor country to me…DSC_1748…but this was the closest I got to a condor.  Good trip anyway.



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