Eastern Mojave Vegetation Field Notes (Continued)  

Tom Schweich  

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Topics in this Article:
2008 Tour de Swertia albomarginata
Mono Lake, August 2008
Literature Cited
   When I first read the field notes of Annie Alexander and Louise Kellogg, I was fascinated by the descriptions they wrote about the places they went and the plants and animals they found there. By publishing my field notes on the Internet I hope to follow a little bit in their tradition.







Full Size ImageLydia, Matt and Tom in May 1970  
  Paul and Lydia visit Tom and Cheryl in Eugene

Full Size ImageMatt and Danielle in th yard at Great Grammy's
Full Size ImageVisiting Great Grammy  
  Matt and Cheryl at Great Grammy's with Suzanne and Danielle.

Other articles:
• Sunshine Acres Drive:   at 137˝ Sunshine Acres Dr.;
Full Size Image"Karum-bee!" … Matt flopping down in the garden.
Full Size ImageWorking in the garden.  


Matt in our garden.

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Matt on the campus of the University of Oregon.
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"Karum-bee!" … Matt flopping down in the garden.

Other articles:
• Sunshine Acres Drive:   at 137˝ Sunshine Acres Dr.;
Full Size ImageMatt in the window.
Full Size ImageMatt in the soon-to-be garden.  

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Mat feeding the ducks.

Other articles:
• Oregon Route 58:   at Blk Cyn CG;
• Sunshine Acres Drive:   at 137˝ Sunshine Acres Dr.;
Full Size ImageGetting ready to go camping.
Full Size ImageReady to go camping  


Camping along the Willamette River. I think this might have been Black Canyon Campground

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Cheryl and Matt at dinner.
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Matt watches the lead engine go by.
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Matt watches a train go by.

Other articles:
• Sunshine Acres Drive:   at 137˝ Sunshine Acres Dr.;
Full Size ImageMatt in the garden.  








Full Size ImageSP5160 works the hump at Eugene.
Full Size ImageEFCX1165, last car in a hump cut.  

Full Size ImageSP 8860 at Eugene locomotive service track
Full Size ImageThe Bowl at Eugene, Oregon
Full Size ImageThe One-Spot (car repair facility) at Eugene, Oregon.  
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The Receiving Yard at Eugene.
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The hump lead at Eugene, Oregon.
Scenes from around the Eugene railroad yard.

Full Size ImageMemento received on Jul 20, 1871.  
  Memento from my railroad days.

In July 1971, my last days at the Eugene, Oregon, railroad yard we had a national railroad strike. On the local level, it was mostly friendly, because most of the action was far away in Washington, DC. The railroads promulgated a new set of railroad labor contracts, which came over the teletpyes in the next room. The teletypes went on for hours. The local chairman issued his response, shown at left. The chairman is instructing the brothers to keep good records for claims to be submitted when "… this is over." I think that was the view of the local management as well.

I was assigned to operate the VR-2, the hump control computer at Eugene. Kurt Nygaard was the PICL clerk. We worked together to keep the Eugene Yard inventory correct. I'm not sure how well we did. We ran a few trains, but there was no one to walk the trains to check the consist, so perhaps there were a few missing cars and a few sleepers in the consists. Charlie Babers and Howard Mayberry ran the dispatcher's office. I don't remember who ran the hump, or who was cutting cars out on the hump lead. Generally, things were well. Only once did a car of methanol get stuck in the retarders, and the hump dropped another car of methanol on top of it. We tried to release the retarder and just barely got the first car unstuck when the second car hit it. There was a big bang, and both cars' exteriors were soaked in methanol, but fortunately there was no fire.

Another of my assignments was to go to the Eugene Hotel to collect the food. We were supposed to eat before we arrived in the morning. Then the railroad would supply a late lunch - early dinner. The food was excellent, and we looked forward to it each day.

The strike ended the morning that the movers were packing our house for the move back to the San Francisco Bay Area. As soon as the end of strike was announced, the management released me. I drove home, picked up Cheryl and Matt, and we drove as far as Dunsmuir for that night.

Full Size ImageFamily a the Arleta house.
Full Size ImageFamily gathering at Arleta  

Full Size ImageTom and Matt run the train.
Full Size ImageLydia tries to get Matt to sing Christmas carols.
Full Size ImageLydia, Matt, and Paul sing Christmas carols.  
  Singing Christmas carols and playing with the train.






Full Size ImageSan Luis Obispo, March or April, 1972  

Full Size ImageTiny Tots father/child campout on Mount Diablo.
Full Size ImageTiny Tots father/child campout on Mount Diablo.
Full Size ImageTiny Tots father/child campout on Mount Diablo.  

Tiny Tots father and child campout on Mount Diablo.

Full Size ImageMatt on a tortoise.  

Visit to the Oakland Zoo.

Full Size ImageApril 1973, unknown gathering  


April 1973

Some unknown gathering at Lydia & Paul's house in Granada Hills(?)



Other articles:
• Lyon Avenue:   at 3551 Lyon;
Full Size ImageBlimp in the backyard.
Full Size ImageFront of house.  


May 1973

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Jacob in the back yard.

Full Size ImageMatt and Jacob in middle bedroom of Lyon Avenue.  

Full Size ImageDanielle, Jacob, Matt, and Michelle  
  Danielle, Jacob, Matt, and Michelle.






Full Size ImageMatt's School Photo, 1975  





Golden Transcript has been searched for "North Table Mountain."

Other articles:
• North Table Loop:   near top;

Locations: North Table Mountain.  


North Table accident

An earth mover carrying 30 tons of gravel slid off a steep gravel road into the west side of North Table Mountain Tuesday to avoid hitting another track stalled on the narrow road. No one was injured in the accident and the earth mover was soon backed away from the side of the mountain and driven down the slope, though it had a damaged steering tie rod. The truck belongs to Western Paving and Construction of Denver, which started hauling gravel Monday from a quarry on top of the mountain foreman Ralph Cummins said. The access road angles steeply up the west side of the mountain from Hwy. 93. (Photo by John Holmberg)

Golden Transcript, Volume 110, Number 134, June 25, 1976, p. 1.

Other articles:
• North Table Loop:   near top;

Locations: North Table Mountain.  


Fire hits North Table Mountain

Fire hits North Table Mountain

Gravel operation sparks question of conveyor belt

Gravel operation sparks question of conveyor belt

By JOHN HOLMBERG Transcript Staff Writer

Two Golden residents living immediately west of North Table Mountain have complained to the Transcript and city officials about noise and dust caused by Western Paving and Construction’s gravel crushing and hauling operation on North Table Mountain.

Bill Henderson of the Jeffco Board of Adjustment said there is some question about the legality of the operation due to the vagueness of the 1972 resolution by the board that granted the Denver company its zoning variance and permit for mining.

The question involves the method of hauling the gravel off the mountain. The company is using a steep (approximately 18 per cent grade) gravel service road that cuts diagonally up the west side of the mountain instead of a conveyor belt the company has shown plans for during hearings prior to the issuing of their permit.

Large earth movers are hauling 30 ton loads down the road. There was an accident Tuesday, June 8 when a mover had to run into the side of the mountain to stop and avoid hitting a truck that had been stalled on the way up the road.

The residents complained the noise and dust is largely caused by the movers climbing the hill at high r.p.m.s and coming down with the heavy loads.

Bob Wolfe, head of the North Table operation for Western Paving, said the present operation (supplying gravel from the mountain for Lakewood’s road resurfacing program) will be completed Friday. The company will then consider the economic feasability of starting a full scale gravel quarrying operation on the mountain. The contract with Lakewood has involved operations over the past three weeks.

The company has done no quarrying or hauling on the mountain before this contract, though the permit was issued November 1973.

Wolfe said he wasn’t certain whether the service road would still be used if the company goes into full scale operation on the mountain, or whether a conveyor belt will be constructed. He said the conveyor belt would be very expensive. and would take some time to build. Chuck Hearn, Golden city planner, recalled that during the permit hearings, the mining variance was contingent on Western Paving building a conveyor.

"Their plans included drawings of the conveyor. There was to be no hauling through Golden on the west side of the mountain,” he said. “If they go into full scale operation using that service road, there are going to be problems. ”

Golden Transcript, Volume 110, Number 134, June 25, 1976, p. 1.

Locations: North Table Mountain.  


window on the world


Colorado School of Mines

This place is a natural place for a school of mines. Here are all the ingredients of the master chef, the recipes, fixed in eternity and yet not fixed. Even now the great Rocky Mountains push upward, growing as fast as they wash away. Even now engineers debate not the inevitability of the next climatic age, only its extremes. Mud and ice, swamp and desert, all lived and died here, all exist here still, clothed in centuries.

Three days ago we landed Viking 1 spacecraft on Mars. The enormity of this achievement is difficult to grasp. We look at the pictures, transmitted over 213 million miles, and wonder and anticipate. However, we too live in the midst of an area which was likewise viewed with the pulse of wonder and anticipation when, almost one hundred years ago, a handful of students and their professors climbed North Table Mountain. With them we share the excitement of discovery. In their terrestial adventure on this planet certainly their eyes were as wide with wonder, the rewards of their journey as unknown, as we now experience in our exploration of Mars. Let us go, therefore, you and I, back in time through \ the yellowed pages of the old “Golden Weekly Globe” to that fine October day in 1878.

“We have often heard people…remark as they came in from the plains between our Table Mountains, ‘What an extraordinary wall that is on top of these hills, what can be the cause of it, and what is it made of?’ A wall rising from 100 to 200 feet, straight as the palisades of a fortification, yet split up into thousands of pointed columns looking from the valley of Clear Creek below like so many bamboo canes pressed closely together. We propose to answer this question and clear up this mystery by the. results of a day's excursion of the School of Mines.

"The Ascension. On reaching the foot of North Table Mountain, the party began to ascend at a point (located just beyond the current railroad track on tenth street). The slopes of the hill were profusely covered with large blocks of lava, basalt and … volcanic ashes that had rolled down from the Palisades, showing how rapidly those beautiful fortresses of nature are fading away … through the agencies of rain, snow and frost … This we saw exemplified also in the fading autumnal leaves of the aspen and Virginia Creeper clothing the sides of the ravine.

“At the bottom of the slope we found specimens of nearly every kind of rock that was in place above us. There were big solid boulders of basalt which when broken displayed a dark colored rock, not unlike granite, composed of a variety of minerals … Another kind resembled pumice or cinder, the little cavities in many instances being filled with crystal shaped like almonds, from which this volcanic ash .. is called almond rock … Other large boulders seemed composed of a number of little nodules as if Dame Nature in making up her volcanic ash had been rather hasty and had mixed it very badly … Hammers were busy chipping open these specimens and collecting minerals, so the toil ‘up Zion Hill’ was not unrewarded.

“A Buried Primeval Forest. On reaching the base of the great wall an exposure of horizontal sandstone was discovered full of petrified impressions of leaves. Here, as leaf after leaf was brought to light the professor explained that the party were exhuming the foliage of a primeval tropical forest of palms, magnolias, and other trees that grow near some fresh water swamp or lake by whose mud they had been entombed and covered over. Time and pressure had turned the mud into sandstone and the leaf impressions into fossils.

“There was a shout from one of the party, who claimed that he had found a fossil animal in the strata, and more miraculous, still a live one. It proved to be a centipede which had crept in between the shale for winter quarters.”

In the next article we ascend the basaltic cap and discover the chimney of an old crater.

Golden Transcript, Volume 110, Number 134, June 25, 1976, p. 1.

Full Size ImageSP 4449 in Jack London Village
Full Size ImageSP 4449 in Jack London Village
Full Size ImageSP 4449 in Jack London Village  

Locations: North Table Mountain.  


window on the world


Colorado School of Mines

Because the lava came when the mountains were new, this valley exists. Water, rushing through mountain canyons onto the ancient plains, poured over and around immense lava beds at the edge of the front range. Some of the lava held, giving ground so slowly that eventually the water lowered itself into the hollows it created, and was forced to be content with but a single track across the massive rock basin to the east. At last the lava yielded; the water cut through; but too late the victory. The great flow of water lessened. The track became a canyon but only that. The earth, its dark-brown tasaltic caps firmly in place, rose safe above the broad river—that became a lake—that became, finally, but a remnant of a complex sage, a sequel that modem man has channeled and rechanneled to suit his convenience.

They remain today, this lava-saved earth, these pieces of plain become mountains, virtually as they were a 100 years agoo when the following report appeared in the “Golden Weekly Globe.” This is the second half of the report on the ascent of the east face of North Table Mountain by Mines Professors and Moss and a handful of students.

October 1878: “As we discussed certain fruit and other remains of a strictly recent period near a brook issuing from the top of the mountain, the party had opportunity to consider the lofty pillared wall above them ... lt looked like the ragged outlines of an ancient castle. There were two rows or terraces of pillars separated by a rough mass of mud looking as if it had been melted and poured over. The pillars stood from fifty to sixty feet high and still retained a very rough outline of a five-sided prism, cracked and jointed and seamed as if they had passed through Vulcan’s furnace and been badly moulded. (Here the report details the cooling process in lava, and notes “the exquisite little goedes and fairy-like caverns” found in the rocks).

“The two sets of pillars with the terrace between them seem to imply that there were two separate flows of lava, one succeeding the other after the first had cooled.

“And now let us climb the wall and go to the crater, the main source of all this outflow. (The party found themselves on top of the mountain, with dark patches of a slag-like substance cropping out in bare places among the green

“After the sandstones (containing the buried primeval forest at the base of the lava) were deposited, there appeared to have been a period of calm and quiet, but it was disturbed by great cracks in the earth opening and belching forth floods of lava...

“The wall...is nothing more than a vast sheet...of lava. One of its immediate sources is a crater...on top of this very mountain ... Toward the northwest corner ... a high rock begins to loom up something like a half section of a brick kiln chimney ... (We) found a large area covering several acres, composed of lava rocks arranged in horizontal layers and jointed into sections so much resembling masonry that it was difficult not to suppose some ancient tribe had here built their cliff dwellings... The structures assumed the shape of a honey-comb; above these rose the half section of the chimney to a height of about 30 feet. It was composed of a series of layers ... 70 in number, each one marking a separate flow of lava. From the top of this cone we noticed a similar structure at a little distance...

“...the professor offered the following explanation: ‘We are sitting on the top of a portion of the chimney of an old crater. What its height was is impossible to tell, because vast floods of water have rushed over the top of this mountain and have probably removed hundreds of feet of lava from its area. We may form some idea from the honey-comb around us which covers some 20 acres. We can draw a limited idea of the material it ejected from the sheet of lava 200 feet thick which caps these two table mountains and slopes off toward the south.’”

The report concludes with a slim sketch right out of a 6-million-year-old Disney “Fantasia,” complete with craters, dykes, fissures, and monstrous quantities of smoke and firey lava.

Golden Transcript, Volume 110, Number 134, June 25, 1976, p. 1.

Locations: North Table Mountain.  


Fire hits North Table Mountain

Fire hits North Table Mountain

A grass fire burned 60 acres of grassland on the southeast corner of North Table Mountain Friday. The Fairmount volunteer fire department responded to the blaze and called the Golden firemen for assistance at 3:30 p.m. when wind caused rapid spreading of the fire, making it hard to bring under control. Thirty to forty men from the two departments finally stopped the blaze after about two hours of efforts. The fire started behind houses on the side on the mountain off of Easley Road. (Photo by John Holmberg)

Golden Transcript, Volume 110, Number 180, August 30, 1976.

Full Size ImageMatt with a chicken on top of the chicken house.
Full Size ImageOur rooster.
Full Size ImageOur rooster.  
  Matt with one of our chickens.





Colorado Transcript has been searched for "North Table Mountain"

Full Size ImageDerailment at Roseville.
Full Size ImageDerailment at Roseville.  

Derailment at Roseville.

Other articles:
• 1st Street:   at Tucker Gulch;  


Peery subdivision gets a bridge

Peery subdivision gets a bridge

By JOHN HOLMBERG Transcript Staff Writer

A planned subdivision of about 95 lots with $50,000 to $60,000 houses on the lower slopes of North Table Mountain is one step closer to reality. City council decided last week to build a bridge over Tucker Gulch at 1st Street to provide better access to the Peery subdivision and other homes in the area east of Tucker Gulch next to North Table Mountain.

The only access now to the area is over the 7th Place bridge and Boyd Street off of Colo. 58. If 7th Place was blocked, an emergency situation would develop using only Boyd Street to reach a fire, according to Chuck Hearn, Golden city planner.

Council also decided to improve the supply of water into the area to improve fire protection for existing homes and handle the additional demands of the proposed subdivision. There will be two supply systems to serve the area. One will come from a water lank on the west slope of North Table Mountain to serve the higher homes. The other will come from the city resevoir (sic) next to Hwy. 93 to serve homes in the valley near Tucker Gulch.

Hearn says the new two-source system will improve existing water lines by eliminating many dead-end lines. These lines will be replaced with continuous loop lines, which are easier to maintain and will increase water pressure throughout the system, important for fire protection. The normal requirement of a park within a subdivision was waived by council because Peery had previously donated the Norman D. Park on Tucker Gulch near the proposed subdivision. Peery also plans to design some open space into the subdivision.

The Planning Commission will have a final review of the preliminary plat for the subdivision at their next meeting, Feb. 2. They will make any recommendations for improvements at that time before sending the plat to city council.

Golden Transcript, Volume 111, Number 26, January 26, 1977.
    February 16, 1977: Birth of Rachel Elisabeth Schweich.

Full Size ImageGrandmother and Grandaddy at the Oakland Airport.
Full Size ImageLydia and Jacob, 1977  

Full Size ImagePortia and Jacob before field trip, June 1977
Full Size ImageGoing to Milena's birthday party, June 1977.
Full Size ImageThree friends at the zoo -- Johnny, Jacob and Portia, June 1977  

Full Size ImageLydia, Rachel and Jacob.  

Full Size ImageAll dressed up for the Renaissance Faire, Sept. '77
Full Size ImageRachel standing, Sept 1977
Full Size ImageRachel standing up.  

Full Size ImageRachel "Bat-Girl"
Full Size ImageCarving the pumpkin
Full Size ImageHalloween Party 1977  
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Halloween Sack Races

Full Size ImageJacob and Heather  
  Jacob and Heather






Full Size ImageMatt's 10th Birthday  
  Matt's 10th Birthday

Full Size ImageCharlene and Heather, 1978  

Full Size ImageJacob and Cheryl at picnic table
Full Size ImageRachel and Jacob
Full Size ImageRachel liked to try this way between the trees.  
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Matt trying to sneak into camp.
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Jacob feeds a squirrel
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Rachel unhappy about something.
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Matt's tent collapsed.
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Roasting marshmallows at Hendy Woods
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Rachel and Jacob enjoy marshmallows
Camping at Hendy Woods State Park, Mendocino County, California, in August, 1978.

Full Size ImageRachel, Jacob and Matt at the Merry-Go-Round.
Full Size ImageAt the Tilden Merry-Go-Round.  

Full Size Image"Tom and his chickens" in grandmother's handwriting.
Full Size Image"Tom and his chickens, Lyon Avenue, Oakland, 11/78" in grandmother's handwriting.
Full Size Image"Lydia & Tom & checkens" in Lydia's handwriting.  


November 1978


Full Size ImageRachel at 22 months.  

Full Size ImageChristmas, 1978
Full Size ImageChristmas, 1978
Full Size Image"Lydia at Tom's house, Christmas, 1978"  


Christmas 1978







Full Size ImageLydia and Rachel do dishes.
Full Size ImageChicken in the barkyard.
Full Size ImageRedwood Heights Park.  
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Rooster in the chicken pen.
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Chickens in their pen.

Full Size Image"Paul & Matt drinking coffee or tea in the Cripple Creek Hotel" in Lydia's handwriting.  


July, 1979

Lydia & Paul take Matt to Alaska.

Other articles:
• Bear Valley Trail:   at Bear Vy TH;   at Divide Meadow;
• Coast Trail:   near Millers Point;   at Wildcat Camp;   near Double Pt.;   near Pelican Lk;

Locations: Alamere Falls. Divide Meadow. Double Point. Millers Point. Pelican Lake. Wildcat Beach. Wildcat Camp.
Full Size ImageWildcat Camp.  


October, 1979

Backpacking at Point Reyes.

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Hiking along Wildcat Loop above Glen Camp.
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Marine terrace at Millers Point with 6 foot deep tension crack.
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Looking north from Millers Point; Coast Trail and marine terraces.
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Leaving Millers Point.
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Coast Trail, Millers Point, and Point Resistance from above; looking north.
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Bear Valley Trailhead.
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Divide Meadow.
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Millers Point and Double Point in the distance.
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Clastic dike on Wildcat beach.
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Mud and rock washed onto the beach by rain.
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Eating lunch behind a pressure ridge at North Double Point.
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Pelican Lake.
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Alamere Falls.
I think there might have been three trips to Point Reyes in Fall 1979, because some of the slides are marked in each of the three months.


Other articles:
• Mesa Road:   at Palomarin Bch;
• Coast Trail:   at Alamere Creek;   near Pelican Lk;   near Crystal Lk;   at Bass Lake;   at Lake Ranch;

Locations: Alamere Creek. Bass Lake. Crystal Lake. Lake Ranch. Palomarin Beach. Pelican Lake.
Full Size ImagePressure ridges between Pelican and Crystal Lakes.  


December 1979

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Cheryl and Matt at Pelican Lake.
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Head scarp near (above) Lake Ranch.
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Head scarp above Crystal Lake.
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Crystal Lake.
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Headscarp at Crystal Lake.
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Crystal Lake.
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Crystal Lake.
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Headscarp where the Coast Trail crosses Alamere Cree.
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Trail Junction at Lake Ranch.
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Palomarin Beach, looking south towards Bolinas.
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Cheryl and Matt at Lake Ranch.
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Bass Lake.
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Palomarin Beach.
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Cheryl and Matt at the Palomarin Slide, provides access to the beach.

Full Size ImageJacob and Rachel at Christmas.
Full Size ImageHeather, Jacob, Rachel, and Matt.
Full Size ImageRachel Schweich, Christmas 1979  


Christmas, 1979

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If you have a question or a comment you may write to me at: tomas@schweich.com I sometimes post interesting questions in my FAQ, but I never disclose your full name or address.  

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Date and time this article was prepared: 7/13/2024 8:06:56 AM