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2014 Olympics

Are you ready for the Olympics this year? I've always enjoyed watching the progress of all the teams, seeing the opening ceremony, and knitting something while taking it all in. I've never really had an "official" olympic project or competed in a ravelry related event; however I've been knitting through the Olympics ever since I learned how to knit. I had a project planned out to be my olympic knitting this year; however, I won't be able to take it on.

About two weeks ago I hurt my hand in a freak accident, and managed to tear the flesh (muscle?) holding the ligament of my right pinky in place while reading on my smartphone. Sadly I can't use my right hand for much until it heals properly. The orthopedic doctor I saw told me to wait four weeks (five weeks from when I hurt it) for it to heal, which, unfortunately, covers the time frame of the Olympics and rules out knitting.

Ever since I started knitting, I've found it hard to sit still through tv or movies without a project. I definitely need to find one; however, I'm not sure what one-handed projects are condusive to watching the Olympics.

So non-knitters, what do you do while watching the Olympics?

my hand in buddy tape
Feeling Olympic with my buddy tape

Adam's Peak

Adams Peak
Intersection for Adams Peak

In the morning we awoke to cold temperatures and made our way towards Adam's Peak. Along the way, we found ourselves at an open four way intersection, but had no clue which way to go. (The sign for our direction fell down.) After some legwork, we figured out that it was, in fact, the intersection at which we would turn to the right to head towards Adam's Peak. We continued on the new road for a little ways until we found a large, deep puddle which covered the roadway. At this point we decided to turn the car around (requiring a 10+ point turn), park it near a meadow we had recently passed, and continue on foot.

Aspens along the way to Adams Peak
Aspens along the way to Adams Peak

The aspens along the road/trail were all in their golden glory; however, some of the leaves had already fallen and lined the trail. We enjoyed the leaves as we climbed to the crest of the saddle at the head of the valley. We then changed from our open road to the overgrown road "24N51XB" which we followed until we couldn't see it anymore and followed the deer paths towards Adam's Peak. Once we got closer to the saddle near the summit, we rejoined with a road and followed it to a path up to the saddle.

hiking Adams Peak
hiking Adams Peak

Bryan and I assembled our lunch (Southwest Chicken & Corn Wraps) well before we reached the saddle and lunched in the saddle (shown in the pano below) before climbing the rock pile that is the summit of Adam's Peak. The winds were quite forceful, and I switched from my wide brimmed hat to my homemade one at lunch time to avoid losing my hat to the wild winds.

the saddle below Adams Peak

The scramble to the top of Adam's peak is a little awkward since you're climbing your way under, over, aroud, and through the small trees that cover that large pile of boulders. There were definitely a few times we went forward only retrace our steps as we decided a different path was better.

Summit of Adams Peak
view at Adams Peak
view at Adams Peak

At the summit the winds were even stronger than in the saddle and even Bryan had to hold on to his hat (which is technically already insured against losing it by the manufacturer). We did not stay up there long. In just a few minutes we snapped a few photos, signed the register, barely enjoyed the view, and then headed back down before we froze and or flew off the mountain because of the wind.

Nora hiking Adams Peak

We made our way back down following pretty much the exact same paths as on our way up and then began the long car ride home.

Plumas National Forest Sign

Stats:

Distance: 9.05 mi
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2713 ft
Starting Elevation: 6124 ft
Maximum Elevation: 8189 ft
Elevation Profile Adam's Peak

2013 Fall Peak Grab: Overview, English Mountain, Adam's Peak

English Mountain

Bowman Lake
Bowman Lake

We began our hike up English Mountain after a long car drive on "roads" that don't deserve that title. They were bumpy, to say the least. The "roads" were at their worst while passing along Bowman Lake. The path we followed there was treacherous. At one point the three of us (Bryan, Klaus, and I) had to leave the car to guide Ethan (our driver) out of a tricky spot on the edge of the cliff along the lake. Luckily we were sucessful in stopping an approaching car behind us during the endeavor and passing the sketchy spot. As I mentioned in the overview, approach the trailhead for English Mountain from the north. It takes a long time to drive around Bowman Lake in the current "road" conditions. (Google recognizes Meadow Lake Road as a road; however, it really isn't particularly driveable by most cars.) It took us an hour and a half to go the two miles around the lake. I don't recommend driving along Bowman Lake unless you have a car with extra high clearance and four wheel drive. Ethan talked about naming his car "Survivor" because of the "road" conditions.

Bowman Lake and the 'trailhead'

After finding the trailhead, marked by a plus sign on a tree, we began by following a fire road. The road was in good condition; however, the large boulders that periodically blocked the trail make it not fit to drive up. Despite this, we did see a few people enjoying the mountain with ATVs. On our way up we split from the fire road about half the way up and began bushwhacking; however, on the way down we joined up with the fire road faster.

English Mountain
English Mountain

After some bushwhacking, we found the summit, an enormous boulder field. We started up on the boulders almost as soon as we saw them; however I would recommend continuing further on before climbing the boulders as what first appears to be a summit is actually a false one.

English Mountain
English Mountain

After much boulder hopping, we found ourselves at the summit with clear skies and a wonderful view in all directions. In the panorama above (from the crest of the false summit), you can just barely make out Ethan and Klaus at the actual summit of English Mountain.

English Mountain
English Mountain
English Mountain
English Mountain
Bowman Lake from English Mountain
Bowman Lake from English Mountain

After descending, we continued toward Frenchman, but found that the campground was closed, as it was too late in the season for it to be open. Instead we decided to disperse camp in the Plumas National Forest along the road to Adam's Peak.

Bowman Lake and the 'trailhead'

Stats:

Distance: 7.46 mi
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2370 ft
Starting Elevation: 5989 ft
Maximum Elevation: 8359 ft
Elevation Profile English Mountain

2013 Fall Peak Grab: Overview, English Mountain, Adam's Peak

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