Sunday, May 10, 2009

Margin Notes: Mountains, Flowers, Shoe Tree

Mount Shasta loomed above Weed, California on 7-May-2009

KENNEWICK, WASHINGTON - For people not from a mountainous region, the volcanic mountains along the Pacific Coast of the North America are an almost inconceivable attraction. To me, they are markers of a native region. So far on this trip, I have seen Mount Lassen, Mount Shasta, Mount McLaughlin, Mount Bachelor, Mount Washington, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood, and Mount Adams. Tomorrow I will probably see Mount Rainier. While not particularly tall at 14,179 feet, Mount Shasta stands as my sentimental favorite, likely because of its proximity to Interstate 5 and the fact that it is the first tall mountain encountered in California.

* * * * * *

California poppies lined the side of Interstate 5 near Redding, California on 7-May-2009

Noted in close proximity to several freeways in California (take note those in the northeast--these actually are "free"ways) including Interstate 5 were California's state flower, the California Poppy. This part of spring does seem to be the best time to find these orange flowers blooming.

* * * * * *

Shoes grow on trees! A shoe tree was noted outside Moro, Oregon on 8-May-2009

In fact, spring is such a great time to see plant life that even shoe trees can be found in bloom. What, you've never heard of a shoe tree? You mean that humans made up the above tree along US 97 in north-central Oregon? I thought I had found a new source for shoes!

* * * * * *

A typical thorough sign greeted hikers at the beginning of the Quail Run Trail in Reno, Nevada on 4-May-2009

Spring is generally a great time to go hiking, as long as the snow has melted. Nowhere in my previous experience, though, is so much information provided to hikers than in Reno, Nevada. Signs like the one seen above at the the head of the Quail Run Trail provide a wealth of information on the everything from the length of the trail to the hardness and stability of the surface. It would be great if all trails could have this kind of information.

* * * * * *

One of three Southwest Airlines planes painted as an orca whale for a Sea World advertisement took off from Reno, Nevada on 4-May-2009

With an airport in the middle of the valley, Reno is a place where watching airplanes is possible from a surprising number of locations. While hiking last week, I happened to catch one of three "Shamu" planes of Southwest Airlines that are pained up like an orca whale. Who says whales can't fly?

No comments: