Saturday, October 17, 2015
Saturday Tandy Hill Hiking Thinking About Real Cascade Hiking Litter & Flat Tires
Today the weather was very permitting, so it was to the Tandy Hills I ventured for some salubrious high speed hill hiking.
No, that is not a picture of me laying down on one of the Tandy Hills you are looking at here.
The picture you are looking at here was taken some time late in the previous century. I am taking a rest atop the peak upon which the Hidden Lake lookout looks out on the North Cascades. That patch of blue is Hidden Lake. We are looking east at what is part of what is known as the Sea of Peaks. When you hike high enough in the North Cascades, you see the ridge of peaks extending north and south, as far as the eye can see, looking like big crashing ocean waves. Hence Sea of Peaks.
To go mountain hiking in the North Cascades I drove a few miles east from my home in Mount Vernon. To go hill hiking in Texas I drive a few miles west from my home in East Fort Worth. Somehow the scenery I see when I hike the Tandy Hills does not quite reach the spectacular scenery level seen when hiking the North Cascades.
In the above photo we are looking west up a semi-steep trail which leads to the new Tandy Hills Outdoor Classroom. I do not know what it was about today that got me thinking how pitiful my current hiking venues are, compared to what I now think of as my Glory Days of Hiking in the Cascades, Olympic and Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Maybe it was seeing the un-scenic scene below what got me thinking about how pitiful my current hiking venues are.
This pile of litter was located at the original Tandy Hills Outdoor Classroom. Why would someone haul all this junk to this location and leave it there? Prior to seeing this mess I came upon an abandoned raincoat and what looked like a DVR.
There was no Town Talk visit today. Even if I had planned to go to Town Talk, a post-hike trouble would have thwarted a Town Talk visit.
At the end of today's hike, when my vehicle came into view on the summit of Mount Tandy I instantly saw something was wrong, due to the vehicle tilting.
Another flat tire.
Earlier in the week it was the left front tire. Today it was the right front tire.
I had not yet replaced the spare that I used to get out of the previous flat tire mess. Today required some ingenuity to alleviate the flat dilemma. An hour later I was on my way to the tire doctor where something called a plug fixed the problem.
Previous to the past seven days I believe my last flat tire incident occurred in October of 1994, in Death Valley, about 5 miles from Stovepipe Wells.
How could I go over 20 years without a flat tire and now have two flat tires within one week?
The tire doctor said today's flat was caused by driving over something very sharp which sliced the tire, which is why it was rendered flat within an hour, and not fixable with a plug or patch. I have been driving to the summit of Mount Tandy for years, without a flat tire. I won't be returning to that location, due to me thinking it has become a flat hazard.
I have to say, flat tires do seem to turn into a bit of an adventure. The Death Valley flat tire was particularly adventurous....