Hiking the high places in a drought

I try not to worry about the weather.

Like gravity, cranky people, taxes, death, it’s just something that happens, just part of the context in which we live.

But I couldn’t help feel a pang of anxiety when I saw this side-by-side photographic comparison of  the California/Nevada snowpack on Jan. 13 2013 and Jan. 13. 2014: http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/MediaDetail2.php?MediaID=1483&MediaTypeID=1#.UuLAJlZ4Xj4.facebook

My wife and I backpack, and made extensive visits to locations along the Sierra crest in 2012, as well as one trip up there last summer. It was already unusually dry in the summer of 2012. There were places where creeks normally run that were dry by July that year. Last summer was also very dry, although the particular place I walked (Grouse Lake) still had plenty of water and springs were still running on the volcanic ridge above the lake in early July.

But the lack of snowpack has me wondering whether I will want to walk in the high places in July 2014, and whether eternal plumes of smoke will stain the skies and make breathing painful.



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