Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Bold Retreat In The Mountains

This weekend I participated in my second ever Christian men's conference (the first one being at the former Camp Emmanuel a few years ago). This time I traveled to Tulare County's Sierra Foothills for a weekend at Hartland Christian Camp inside the boundary of the Sequoia National Forest near Badger, CA. I carpooled with friends to this Band of Brothers get-together in a brother's car last Friday and returned this afternoon.

Since 2006 I have always participated in the Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show this weekend. My New Year's Resolution two years running is to try new things to expand my horizons and stretch myself by getting out of my comfort zone. I've also taken to saying "yes" to things I've previously been saying "no" to and saying "no" to things I've previously been saying "yes" to and I took up several of my friends' suggestion I join them for this annual gathering.

Some of you know of my love of thunderstorms. I entered the Badger area last Friday hearing thunder and awoke this morning the day I left also hearing thunder. I also got to see vivid lightning overhead last Friday night. It is a bit late to be getting such non-wintery thunderstorms in these mountains this late in October which were caused by a passing cutoff low. Fortunately, the days are short, the sun's angle is lower, and enough precipitation has fallen that all this lightning did not start forest fires.
The forests in this area will burn in the fire next time.
This storm cell generated nearly constant thunder the entire time our group was stopped here at Sister's Mountain House in Badger, CA.
View north on Eshom Valley Drive in Hartland, CA.
The drought is obvious even inside the camp.
I love this foot bridge (view looking west back towards the road).
View looking south from the foot bridge.
View looking north from the foot bridge.
View of the foot bridge looking back towards the east.
There are other obvious signs of the drought inside the camp.
Camp sanctuary
My favorite foot bridge from the main bridge over the dam further south.
A closer view of aforementioned foot bridge from same location.
On Saturday during our four-hour free time I went on a 4X4 adventure with some of the brothers out into the adjacent national forest on forest roads and was astonished at the tree mortality I observed.
This was the worst example of tree mortality I came into close contact with all day.
Another shot from the same location on a forest road down the ridge from Highway 198.
This view was closer to Badger and Hartland on the ridge just to the north looking out to the west into the Central Valley. This is not autumn color but rather drought mortality color.
This was taken in the same area as the previous image but looking east.
When fire gets into this forest it will explode be it next year or later.
This is the charming dining hall and kitchen building. This morning I awoke to the sound of rolling thunder which was an awesome way to awaken if one must do so before or around 6 a.m.
This is the main structure in conference center featuring the office, cafe, and some lodging rooms.
I love the curves of my favorite foot bridge.
This was one of my other options Saturday. I'm glad I went sightseeing.
It rained a little overnight into this morning but not enough to put a dent in the water deficit.
One last shot of my favorite foot bridge.
We adjourned before taking communion and heading home.
The aforementioned dining hall interior. All images by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

No comments:

Post a Comment