Skies cleared at sunset. The day was cold. All day I wondered at the strong vertical development in the clouds; they made a pretty picture, especially down by Auburn. I suspected sun-warming to be responsible. At the least, in support of the above, I can refer to the clearing of the skies at sunset.
This typewriter is decrepit. I'm constantly having to compensate for its foibles; a cluster of keys stick together, or the shift double-shifts, or this or that; and only my acute coordination prevents the text from disintegrating into a hopeless shambles. Sort of like leaping down, boulder to boulder, leaping down a talus slope in the high mountains, making instantaneous changes and compensations small or large for the exigencies of the movement. It's sort of like that.”
[Russell Towle's journal]
“Moss, Close Up”
March 19, 2001
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 15:44:12 -0800
From: Russell Towle
Subject: Visit to Giant Gap
On Tuesday I met Tom McGuire and Catherine O'Riley for a visit to Canyon Creek and the lower reaches of Giant Gap. The storms of previous days had cleared at last, and a pure blue sky and bright sun blessed us all day long.
At the Terraces we watched a pair of Golden Eagles circle slowly above the Diving Board Ridge, and snacked. Then we advanced to the High Old Upriver Trail, at essentially the same elevation as the Terraces--no coincidence?--and began winding along the cliffy slopes east, into Giant Gap. A few more early flowers have appeared, and some of the earliest have already finished blooming. The yellow Biscuit Root was much in evidence, and we saw it visited by a Tiger Swallowtail.
Reaching the river, we took another of many breaks, and joked about swimming. The North Fork is running high and cold after the recent storms. Then it was on to the next segment of the upriver trail. I left my pack at the old camping terrace, where some garbage needed picking up, and we walked the last few yards to the lovely little cliff-top view spot, from which you can see directly into one of the narrowest gorges of Giant Gap. Another prolonged break had a unique reward: two eagles appeared over Eagle Puke Point, high on the Pinnacle Ridge, almost directly above us, and with Tom's binoculars it was possible to identify one as a smaller, probably male, Golden Eagle, while the larger bird was a Bald Eagle, likely a female. We watched them for five minutes or so, circling, climbing effortlessly, and then the Bald took a plunge back down to the Pinnacles and skimmed the crags northward into the depths of Giant Gap, and out of view.
So, due to pollution, and the all-around tendency of things to go to hell in a handbasket, we feel certain that some unnatural spawn of these creatures is now to follow, a Golden Bald Eagle, or some such thing.
Packing up the garbage took a while, as the plastic bottles and whatnot were scattered over the poison-oak-infested slopes below the terrace, and there were two five-gallon buckets, and some kind of tent or tarp, soggy and smelly, and really, all kinds of junk. We took it all on our backs and made the long slow march out and up and up and up, and that was one more super-fine day in Canyon Creek and Giant Gap.