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Topic: S. California Wildflowers 2013 Prognosis, Primary Destination Death Valley< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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JMT_Hiker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 4:51 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't know what are in the cards for me, but I'm going to plan an inspirational trip just the same.  

I'm at 33% lung function now on most days.  I've changed my lung doctor once and tried new drugs to no avail.  To date, no one understands.  My lung X-rays look perfectly normal and tests come up negative for asthma and COPD, as well as, everything else they can think to test for.  It makes zero sense to everyone involved.  I thought having my bronchial tube cooked by agreeing to 3 courses of bronchial thermoplasty might reverse things as advertised.

It's been a slow ride.  In 2003 when I completed the 200 plus mile Sierra High Route I had about 50% lung function.  I joked I was keeping up with half a lung.  Not so funny now that I de-saturate to 84% going up the stairs at home.

So if you haven't tuned out to a woeful me lament, you might be wondering why asking about this year's chance of wildflowers?  The answer is there still might be hope.  I've been asked to volunteer in a phase II study where I fed an IV laced with designer antibodies developed from a rat, or rabbit, or some other little who has DNA similar to humans. For those who remember Phil, he would be proud of me, bless his lovable soul.  

So next Thursday, if I can blow hard enough in a spirometer, I will be taken to a lab where I will be administer the drug I.V.  If I don't go into anaphylactic shock, I plan to have my dear wife drive me in my RV to DV.  

Till then, I've got to make plans.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 6:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just have to have a laugh on myself.

It just occurred that I should have taken a different tact, a bit lighter in mood.

Let's start over.
Here goes,

Q.  Where do old backpackers go to die.

A.  Death Valley.  

That is a way funnier for sure?  Please join in and cheer me up.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 7:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, I certainly hope the antibodies help.  It sounds to me like you're taking advantage of everything you can and still looking forward to some good times.

A friend was in Death Valley not too long ago (the geographical one).  He came back with some beautiful images, not to mention memories.

I'll look forward to your trip report.   :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 10:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One of the best contributors on this board, Dave Senesac, has posted some incredible California wildflower photography. If he doesn't weigh in here I'd message him, he's quite knowledgeable.

I never met Phil, but Bearmagnet was kind to me in my earlier days here however much we disagreed on some things. His battles put the ones of mine I dwelled on for far too long in the proper, far more trivial perspective they deserved.

I could get verbose here but let me just say that I wish you great success and millions of magnificent memories to come JMT.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 10:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JMT_Hiker @ Feb. 03 2013, 4:51 am)
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For those who remember Phil, he would be proud of me, bless his lovable soul.  

So next Thursday, if I can blow hard enough...

and off to ooc you go...  :p


Enjoy! DV is on my short list of places to go.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 12:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE



Hello Steve.  All we older folks now see the lowering sunset.  Our lives are but fleeting moments within the infinite of eternity so savour your days and be thankful.  

Outside sagebrush high desert areas of central and southern Nevada and southern Arizona Border areas which includes Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, desert areas of the Southwest have been droughty yet another year.  Coastal areas north of Monterey Bay to central Oregon are the only other areas a bit above average.  So this is looking like a back to back drought year for many areas which bodes poorly for spring wildflowers.  

Some thunderstorms hit southern parts of Death Valley last September but dry since.  Still an opportunity for large storms to occur during the remaining half of our rainy season.  Visit this site for reports.

http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/wildupdates.html

May is a good month to visit Utah areas between Capitol Reef NP, the San Rafael Desert, Arches NP, and Canyonlands NP and there are many dirt side roads in free BLM areas one can park roadsides and primitive camp. Good places of vast emptiness to contemplate existence and the Universe.   It is a fine thing indeed in mid May to drive out on the empty dirt road near Factory Butte and amid wildflowers watch the unblocked to the east sun rise on its fluted badlands.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/Gallery_B/05-L19-3.jpg

If things don't change, I am personally likely to visit the dense glowing green lush coastal and redwood areas north of Eureka mid to late May like I did last year.    Quietly sitting back mind clensed of thought, during mornings in its dark black sun warmed sands next to fragrant beach wildflowers, facing the immensity of the Pacifc Ocean speaking soothing endless waves is indeed time well spent.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 1:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dave covered most of what I was going to say.

When there are no flowers (too early to say this year, but rain definitely needed soon if it's to happen) we shoot for geography.  Some parts of DVNP are well worth it even in a "bad" year.  Hit those canyons on the east side at first light.  Camp at the Eureka Dunes and sit out on the sand in the dark and watch for shooting stars.  Even if you can't climb the dunes, that's a darned cool spot.  

Or go on over to JTree and just stare at the rocks and Joshua trees until you see space aliens in every formation.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 2:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The backside of the San Bernardino Mountains will probably be good this year - they've gotten more winter precip than usual.  Desert Mariposa Lilies are an even brighter orange than CA poppies and are gorgeous!

Looks like Mojave NP and Valley of Fire SP may be good this year, too :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 3:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DV is one of my favorite destinations in the country. A solid destination during any part of the "cold half" of the year for the rest of the country. All the best.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 5:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Enjoy your visit to Death Valley. I'm sure the photos I've seen of the area can't begin to do it justice. While you are there maybe you might think about heading to Duke University Hospital. I'm a big fan of their Lung Transplant Program and maybe someone here can help you. Good luck!
http://www.dukehealth.org/service....ferrals
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 5:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(tarol @ Feb. 03 2013, 11:02 am)
QUOTE
The backside of the San Bernardino Mountains will probably be good this year - they've gotten more winter precip than usual.  Desert Mariposa Lilies are an even brighter orange than CA poppies and are gorgeous!

Looks like Mojave NP and Valley of Fire SP may be good this year, too :)

Maybe I'll bring the boys down there at spring break.  Wanna join us?  The spouse and the boys can't coordinate their break this year, and I can't plan on hiking much.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 6:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RebeccaD @ Feb. 03 2013, 5:53 pm)
QUOTE

(tarol @ Feb. 03 2013, 11:02 am)
QUOTE
The backside of the San Bernardino Mountains will probably be good this year - they've gotten more winter precip than usual.  Desert Mariposa Lilies are an even brighter orange than CA poppies and are gorgeous!

Looks like Mojave NP and Valley of Fire SP may be good this year, too :)

Maybe I'll bring the boys down there at spring break.  Wanna join us?  The spouse and the boys can't coordinate their break this year, and I can't plan on hiking much.

Sure :) I have Mon-Wed off and may be able to take a day or two longer.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 11:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the feedback.  As always, Dave is a true engineer after my own heart.  I feel like Dave is an encyclopedia with heart and soul mixed in. I so wish I could have hiked with him a time or two.  So much he could have taught me about planning for the light, and photography and such.

Tarol, if you read this, I feel I wronged you once or twice in the distant past, and for that I had to live with my conscience.  Please accept my humble apology.  I ask not for forgiveness as that need come from a higher power.  You provided help and advice whenever I asked.  You certainly didn't deserve the verbal shenanigans at a difficult time for you, from me.   Preacher chastised me strongly at the time and so has bothered me ever since.

I got my first infusion today.  I haven't thrown up but I'm extremely tired.  Nothing like purposely lowering my immune system.  I now fear being exposed to some bug my body's defenses would have previously attacked and destroyed  I stand on the precipice and wait.

So many kind and caring folks here.  If there is a heaven, I do so hope they have backpacking -- not that I'm quite ready to sign on yet.  Just wondering. Grizzly James would know.  G.J. is the present day Mark Twain.  Oh my, that man make me laugh so hard I almost wet myself.  I asked to write one of my adventures once.  I just hope he outlives me so he can write my epitaph.

I dawdle.  Let tomorrow be a new start.  Damn, I love backpacking more than anything.  Well, almost anything.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 1:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh, I almost forgot, a storm is rolling so we must wait it out before heading south.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 1:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hope your next round of treatment brings some improvement.  I can't imagine how tough it would be to get by on that amount of lung function.  

Anyway,  some AZ folks are cautiously predicting a fairly good spring bloom.  I don't really care how good it is, I have to find a way to see whatever there is to see.  I hope you beat me to it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 7:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi big_load,

Ah, so far it's sort of like that last 1500 ft elevation climb on Mt Whitney when you are not acclimated.  Now days I don't have to drive to get to the trailhead.  It's right here at the foot of my steps at home.
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