Pinnacles National Monument Hike
Paicines, California

Photos of Hike & Haikus
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: "Less than two hours away but 23 million years back in volcanic history, Pinnacles National Monument offers a spectacular trek through time", Lisa M. Krieger begins her picturesque article "The Pinnacles: A world away close to home" in the April 29, 2010 issue of San Jose Mercury News. In late March 2010, the first condor chick hatches at Pinnacles National Monument in over 100 years (Press Release). A hidden camera takes still photos of the 26 free-flying condors at the Pinnacles. Since the Bear Gulch Caves will be closed on May 15 for two months to protect the colony of Townsend's big-eared bats as they raise their young, it was time to make a visit. On Wednesday, May 12, 2010, Hendrik, Connie, and I went to the Pinnacles National Monument, Paicines, CA on a four-hour hike. We came here last year on June 14, 2009 for a six-hour hike on the Condor Gulch Trail, High Peaks Trail, Bench Trail and Bear Gulch Trail. (Photos of 2009 Pinnacles Hike). Today we got here an hour early at noon and began on the Moses Spring and Bear Gulch Cave Trail. Going inside the Bear Gulch Cave was an adventure, crawling at places without a flashlight. There were tiny waterfalls inside the cave and one section had streams which I tiptoed to avoid getting water in my shoes. Ascending the stairs outside the cave, we came to a breathtaking view of Bear Gulch Reservoir. Hendrick wanted to get home early, so we just did the Rim Trail and part of High Peaks Trail. Going around the loop around the Condor Gulch Trail would have taken more hours. We left the Pinnacles around 4 pm, and got back to Mountain View at 6:30 pm. I rushed to Stanford Cubberley Auditorium and made the 7:30 pm event— "Stanford Pioneers in Science: Roger Kornberg". (Map)

Click on Photos for Enlarged Images (Hike Photos Quilt)

Wednesday, May 12, 11:48 am
Pinnacles National Monument
Paicines, California
East Entrance from Route 146

We arrived at the
Pinnacles entrance an hour
earlier than last year.
Wednesday, May 12, 11:52 am
Pinnacles National Monument
Paicines, California
East Entrance from Route 146

Here's the entrance gate
to the Pinnacles—
an adventure awaits us.

Wednesday, May 12, 12:08 pm
Pinnacles: Bear Gulch Nature Center
Psi-Tree at Pinnacles Parking Lot

Greek letter ψ—
quantum mechanics wave function
appears in this tree!
Wednesday, May 12, 12:14 pm
Pinnacles: Moses Spring Trail—
Tree near first wooden bridge

First bridge crossing
today at the Pinnacles—
this tree limb points upward.

Wednesday, May 12, 12:45 pm
Pinnacles: Bear Gulch Cave Trail
Scenic view of trail ahead
and trees in the valley

Here is the pathway
to the Bear Gulch Cave—
prepare for darkness descent.
Wednesday, May 12, 12:49 pm
Pinnacles: Bear Gulch Cave Trail
Trees and rocks outside the cave

After the brief dark
tunnel passage— light awaits
with sky, trees and rocks.

Wednesday, May 12, 12:52 pm
Pinnacles: Bear Gulch Cave Trail
Two streaks of clouds like rays
of light embracing tree on rock

Tree on top of rocks
zapped by two rays of light
resembling Platonic Lambda.

— Peter Y. Chou, Mountain View, June 14, 2009

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (5-16-2010)