Sunday: (12/10) This morning I was joined by two fellow hikers hiking out the South Wilderness Trail to the end plus a half mile or so. I was doing a reconnoiter of the bottom of the South Chalone Peak. This is where our Friday hike will pass after coming down from the peak. Last year we had to wade through a couple of sections of the road. This year there is little road left, most having been washed out. There are much bigger flooded sections of the road and now the bottom isn't road but loose 8" rocks. Unlike last year though, it is possible to bushwhack through with no wading and just some scratches. Because the road is impassable for vehicles, it's mostly disappeared. I always feel better leading my hike knowing how this section is. By this time on our Friday hike, having to find our way would be more difficult. This is part of the two miles on non trail for this coming Friday's hike. Weather is nice but with cold mornings as usual. 25 degrees this morning, 75 to 80 this afternoon. Usual sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Hikers lunch of tuna salad and crackers. BBQ ribs with baked potatoes and asparagus. Just before dinner, all the AC power went off. No breakers seemed to be tripped.I spent way too long looking, testing, bypassing, and etc. Eventually found a breaker behind the inverter. I do have too finish the project by labeling, and documenting the wiring.
Monday: (12/11) The usual sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich to start the day. I met my fellow hikers at the Visitor Center. 17 of the18 signed up arrived. We hiked up Condit Gulch Trail to High Peaks Trail. We took the Rim Trail to the reservoir the returned through the Bear Gulch Trail. Nice 5.7 mile hike. No condors were seen. The usual tuna salad and crackers hikers lunch. Always a pleasure to get an ice cream at the camp store post-hike. We took a walk around camp and talked with a woman i, a truck camper that has been watching the condors on the fridge ab0ve our camp. She pointed out three condors in a tree on the ridge. Colin, one of my fellow hikers that is camped here came out to talk and we went to his camper for wine and Chips until they ran us off so the could have dinner.
Tuesday: (12/12) I made breakfast sandwiches for all. At 0930 I joined my fellow hikers at the Visitor Center. 15 of us hiked up the High Peaks Trail then down the Tunnel and Juniper Trails and back on the Balconies Trail. Another nice clear day. On our way through the caves, we sighted some bats. It was a nice 8.3 mile hike. Of course, I enjoyed a post-hike ice cream at the store. Lou made a sweet corn salsa bean noodle casserole for dinner.
Wednesday: (12/13) I made The usual breakfast sandwiches for all. Met 5 hikers for this North Wilderness Loop hike. Good weather. We were back to camp by 3pm. After relaxing, a snack, a shower, and having washed my clothes, I dumped our tanks and filled our water tank. Lou and Dawn were in Hollister all day and returned about 6pm. Lou had cooked a roast in the crockpot for dinner.
Thursday: (12/14) Lou made chorizo hash with eggs for breakfast. We drove up to Hollister for the day. I got a chance to catch up on email and Facebook with some tea st McDonald’s. Lou and Dawn checked a couple of more thrift stores. We had lunch at Chilin and Grillin Ale House. Home before dark.
Friday: (12/15) More breakfast sandwiches to start. Tara and Alex met me for my South Wilderness Loop hike. We started an hour earlier at 0830. We hiked up Bear Gulch, through the caves to the reservoir. From there we hiked up to the top of North Chalone Peak. We had lunch there. The view is the best on this, the highest peak in the park. On a rock near our lunch spot by the old fire tower, a young condor war sitting and allowed all of us to get a good view. We then h I'm 3rd on over to South Chalone Peak. This is where the trail ended and our tortuous trek down the mountain beside the pig fence. A very steep path for about 2 miles. We finished by hiking back on the South Wilderness Trail. We were back to our car by 1650. We made it to the store in time to get my post-hike ice cream. I managed to put a link in my back after I slipped on the way down the mountain. Lou and Dawn relaxed at home all day. Lou made chili and Dawn grilled asparagus for dinner.