Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Malakoff Diggins: Photographs

Malakoff Diggins is a state historic park where gold miners used huge water cannons to carve away massive sections of the cliffs in hopes of extracting deeply buried gold. The bare dirt you can see on the sides of the cliffs in my photographs is where the land was carved away. The plants still haven't grown back, because all the topsoil that plants grow best in was removed.

I wasn't expecting snow here, and Susan wasn't particularly expecting it either, but we were very pleasantly surprised to find snow as we started driving toward it. (We Californians rarely see any snow unless we go driving somewhere to find it. Unless you count seeing it from a vast distance, on the mountaintops far off along the horizon.)

Susan and her dogs wandered ahead of me, down a snowy trail lined with manzanitas on both sides.

Susan threw snowballs for Boston.

The trail led to a muddy pond.

I was happy about the pond until I discovered that the trail went right through an area that was basically just a shallow portion of the pond, under about a foot or two of water. There were some rickety boards thrown into the water at this point, nailed together intermittently in the manner of railroad ties, but falling apart badly in various places and sinking underwater when we stepped on them in other places. In some places the boards were entirely absent, so all we could do was try to step on the tufts of grass that were growing up through the shallower water. Susan tried running through it, in the futile hope that the water wouldn't have time to get her as wet that way. I probably wouldn't have tried to cross it at all if she hadn't gone first, but I picked my way through it slowly and got soaked up to my knees, which was still slightly less soaked than she had gotten.

On the other side were more cliffs that had been carved up by gold miners with water cannons.

And some dry land to walk on, for a change.

And then more snow. Boston had never seen snow before. She loved it immediately.

I loved it too.

The dogs found a place where the intermittent ponds had frozen solid.

They promptly fell through the ice.

Both of them. In the very same place.

They got very muddy indeed.

That didn't stop them from being thrilled with the whole thing, though.

Boston says, "Come out here and play with us on the ice! (Or at least throw me a snowball.)"

Susan and I did not join them on the ice.

Here's a zoomed-in version of the same picture above.

We did have a great time in the snow, though.

Even Taco had a great time in the snow - despite the fact that he has very thin fur and therefore gets cold easily. Susan has dog booties for him to wear in the snow to keep his feet warm, but she didn't bring them because we didn't know there would be snow here.

Here I am in front of one of the old water cannons that destroyed the hillsides.

And here I am at not more than two years old, in front of the same water cannon, being held my my mother. My mother emailed me this picture when I told her that Susan and I had gone to Malakoff Diggins last Sunday.

But I'm better looking now.

And Malakoff Diggins is more fun with snow on the ground.

And with a girlfriend to smile at.

See how pretty everything was with snow on it?

We went back to Susan's truck to eat dinner before we went home. Susan cooked hot dogs with her camping stove, and we stood looking at this view together. Susan suggested that I should photograph the moon over the cliff, so I did.

Tags: photographs, susan
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