Goat Mtn. from Red Rock
There are a basically a few ways to deal with frustration and crisis. React and effectively fizzle under the weight of petty emotions or roll with the dice, take a deep breath and left something greater step in to the equation. Like discrimative intelligence, higher guidance etc.. I usually do some of both and those options have been given ample opportunity to play themselves out recently.
Last week it was 3 trips down out of the mountains in one day to Walmart with computer problems and returns. The comedy of errors culminated in 20 minutes spent on the phone with some geek in the Punjab I could barely understand finally telling me he could fix the big computer stopping virus that lead me to his aid. "Don't worry sir I am with Microsoft" by charging me only 99$ to repair the problem on the brand new laptop I had just unloaded from the box.
I have been seeing Goat Mountain for months on hikes around Clear Lake and wanted to drive up to it at some point. Then I had postponed a trip to the peak (6,121') up in the Mendocino National Forest because of weather. A few days later I was packed and ready to roll on a beautiful day only to walk out to a flat tire. Parked on a hillside my little jack didn't cut it. Trip scuddled.
Finally Thursday all ready again on a nice day. Directions and all. It's about a 3 hour drive down to Clear Lake from the Cobb Mtn. area, around the northwest side of the lake then up into the National Forest on dirt roads to the peak. I get to the Ranger Station in Upper Lake and find out the route I googled didn't take a creek crossing into account. Trip scuddled!
But I'm at the north end of Clear Lake at the foot of the mountains. I decide to drive up to High Glade and see about doing Sky Rock (4,067"). This is an outcrop down the hill from the road a few other SPers had scrambled.
Should have read their reports better because the brush defending this nice little class 3 romp was a problem for me. After a few attempts to get though I gave up. "Those guys must have wanted it really bad! Damn brush, ticks, they were nuts!"
That was my reaction.
Slip Sliding Away
I had decided to take the high loop by the French Ridge and on around to Elk Mtn. Road then back down to Upper Lake at that point.
Back into the van and crank the engine, gas, what!
Van's spinning, spinning out. Just a minute here! How could this be? It's totally dry. no wet ground in sight except for the little 2 foot patch of run-off coming down across the road right where my back wheels rest. The mud was just deep enough and the shoulder steep enough. I tried again and slid deeper down the hill. "This is totally f^&ked! I can't believe this shit! What the hell is up!? How could this be?"
Playing the victim of an unfair god.
Sky Rock from the south
Ok, so this is the deal.
10 miles out at 4,200' on a dirt road in the depths of the Mendocino National forest with a vehicle sliding down a mountainside.
I'm looking at a tasty afternoon, maybe evening. A heeping helping of boredom and doubt.
I can just now say this. The John Muir thing of sacred oneness with the mountains went out the window. No amount of beautiful scenery was gonna dislodge me from uncomfortable feeling I was going to be severely behind schedule.
Called the Forest Service. They couldn't help. Couldn't get hold of friends who could help. Found a towing service in Lakeport who would get me out for about 600 bucks.
After all it's 4 to 5 hours just for the round trip drive.
There I sat. To the right across a rugged canyon beyond Twin Valley rose Goat Mountain with nothing to say.
Less than pleased I decided to try again. If the situation can be trancended I'm gonna find out how. There is enough dry ground around the mire with tire rim deep. After a few more desperate attempts behind the wheel I managed to rock the van back and forth until I got it beyond the mud. With enough partly level ground behind I back up, make a run for it and come tearing, bouncing and smokin' up onto the road like a bad stunt driver!
Drive to Red Rock
No Goat Mountain, no Sky Rock but there's a consolation prize called Red Rock (4,302') a short distance down the road. It's an orange chunk of geological cheese that juts' out of a hillside by a dirt road. I walked up and back in 15 minutes. Although it had little to offer it was a potential drive up! I could have gotten a fine head start gunned the van from the road then shot up and out into the canyon like Thelma and Louise!
"Thank you Ram"
Clear Lake from Red Rock area
Papa Ram Dass
There was a famous Indian saint last century named Papa Ram Dass. He saw everything as a gift from the Divine Deity Ram. If someone gave him food he would say "Thank you Ram". If some one beat him up and stole his blanket he would say "Thank you Ram".
The rest of the trip was uneventful. Just a nice drive at high elevation with a controlled burn along the way.
Got back at a timely hour. Happy to be home to find the desktop and laptop have new problems and I couldn't work on this trip report.
Got a ways to go in developing the broad sense of humor required to sit at the table with the likes of old Ram Dass. But hey, everybody gets to boost a few chuckles.