The weather finally turned colder, wetter, and snowier. Which, considering our drought status, is a very good thing. The Big V is, on the other hand, still out there, wrecking havoc. That is a very bad thing. So, what with the weather, the virus, and a little work (volunteer and paid), we’ve been inside a lot. Then the weather service threw us the promise of a little sun and no rain. So we went outside to hike another local classic.

The Upper and Lower Table Rocks are a pair of very popular, locally classic hikes. Upper is our favorite because it offers a longer and more varied hike. But we try to visit Lower at least once or twice in the Spring for its vernal pools and wildflowers. But not last Spring. So it’s been almost exactly a year since we were up on Lower. The hike this morning was good exercise (5 miles (8 km), with 780 feet (238 m) of gain), even if all of it took place inside the cloud perched atop the mesa. But no complaints, none at all. We got to go outside, had an interesting walk, passed only six other hikers, were touched (briefly on our way back) by a ray of sunshine, 😎 took some spectral monkeys in the mist photos, and were home for lunch. So all good. 😀 More snow is in the forecast so maybe we’ll be on snowshoes by the end of the month? Maybe. 🙄

Up the main (only) trail
Winter oak leaves
Through a cathedral of madrones
Welcome to Lower Table – enjoy the view!
Water has arrived to fill the vernal pools
A tiny yellow lichen tuft among vast swaths of white lichen
It was an eerie, viewless morning
A lichen among fresh sprouts
The LovedOne in the mist
Vernal pool
Vernal pool
The grasses of summer past
And so we go back, as the clouds lift
A cloud sits over Upper Table Rock (as it did over us)