The Backyard Tour: Blackwood Ridge

One of the nicer things I have is a huge backyard.  My little wimpy cabin sits on the boundary for the National Forest, and Blackwood Ridge begins - quite literally - out my kitchen window.

My old house-mate and friend Greg just got home from Antarctica last week, and he called on Wednesday to ask if we'd mind a visit from him, his wife Amy, and their 11-month old son Max.  Patsy and I had made plans to go ice climbing in Lee Vining - oh no!!  A quick telephone conference with Patsy was all it took to change plans and agree that Max needed to be re-united with Uncle Chris and Aunt Patsy.

We met at Alpine Meadows on Saturday, and while Aunt Patsy helped watch the Maxster I took Greg and Amy out on laps of the mountain.  No real hiking or sidecountry, just a chance for Greg and Amy to get their sea legs back under them.  This is all relative - both of them quite cheerfully skied Palisades and Counter-weight.  The 15+ inches we got on Friday were demolished by the Saturday crowd, a huge difference from the dump we had a week ago Wednesday.

On Sunday we ran into town to have breakfast at the Firesign, then headed back to the cabin for the backyard tour.  Aunt Patsy watched Max while I took his parents on a quick 1.5 tour.  An hour up the ridge leads to a fanastic view point looking north over the lake, and thanks to a sledhead and a slowshoer we made quick time through the woods to the view.  Then we had an adventurous ski down through woods that have been forested and cut multiple times, leaving short open glades, tight trees, and lots of obstacles.  Still, we made a great time of it and finally ended the tour just a block away from the cabin! Then it was time to say good-bye for now, and send Greg, Amy, and Max on their way home.  Thanks for coming to visit kids!!