Crossing the Sierras, May 27

drawing of white flower in forest
Some kind of white flower  You can click on the pictures to see enlargements.

The first drops of rain were falling as we rolled up to our campsite late in the afternoon.  We were at about 4000 ft. about 30 miles west of the entrance to Yosemite on Hwy 120.

Oola, always one for adventure, urged me to pitch the tent.  Somewhere close by there was a small herd of cows, complete with bells.  Oola thought them very musical.  There was a group of Korean families close by.  It sounded is if they were playing some kind of game that ended in uproarious laughter about every 3 to 5 minutes.  Well, in today’s world, who can begrudge laughter.

The rain was prompting a regalement of wildflowers.  There were these white bell-like flowers, and poison oak, and there was bear clover, and poison oak, and little yellow flowers, and poison oak, and something that looked like wild strawberry, and poison oak — to which my body has a hearty and unambiguous response.

There was poison oak everywhere (I should have remembered that this is not uncommon in this part of the Sierra.)

I tried to warn one of the Korean moms.  She and her small son were picking up twigs  for kindling.  I saw him back into a bush of the stuff.  So I pointed to it and said she needed to be careful.  She replied something like “ooooaa…k?”   I pantomimed scratching.  I thought of telling her about Queen Lily soap.  But didn’t know how to translate.

We lay in the tent, eating a dinner of fruit-and-nut bars without tea because I forgot the matches, listening to the tip, tip, tip of rain on our roof and the calling of cows with their bells, and the laughter of the Koreans.  It was quite relaxing — once we figured that the tent was as advertized and it would not leak.  During breaks in the rain we went out looking at the wildflowers and making iPad drawings.

Perfect days come in many varieties.

I will send these posts out as I get access to Wi-Fi.  It seems that I have not been touched by the dreaded poison oak.  Hope the Koreans are as lucky.

By jandove



  1. Working backwards on your trip. Another wonderful drawing, but we must remember that poison oak is just another of Mother Nature’s Children. it deserves a drawing too! Now that you are out of the mountains or at least the tall ones, don’t think there will be any more snow. When you get to the Grand Canyon how will you deal with the trillions of other visitors? When last there it was too much and I left, as I had been there as early as 1959 on my first hick-hiking trip across the US, and the South Rim had no more than 50 others. Guess that was before ecotourism. Looking forward to your next post.



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