Thursday, April 16, 2015

M is for Mountains

           


   I felt more at home in these mountains than I had anywhere in my life, and I didn’t want to leave ~Jennifer Hanson



Ah, the mountains. Camping. Hiking. Hunting. Majestic trees. Beautiful foliage.  Majestic wildlife. Each year, families pack up their RVs or tents and go camping in mountain ranges across the country. We live in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.          


Living in the mountains is so natural to us now that it doesn’t seem strange to live far and away from major cities, to make due with what we have, to raise rabbits and chickens for food. It once would have seemed strange to me to practice self reliance but now it is a normal part of our daily lives.
          


Unfortunately, when things become part of the daily routine, they don’t seem so awe-inspiring. I try to take time to appreciate the sun rising up over the mountains, to enjoy the beautiful colors and foliage on the hillsides.
          


The Sierra Nevada runs 400 miles, north to south and about 70 miles west to east. There are three national parks, we live nearest the Sequoia National Forest. There are countless trails and hills to hike, or ride over by quad or dirt bike.

           

After we moved up here, we still took trips down to Bakersfield. It took me a while to figure out that the thing that looked so different was that there were no mountains surrounding us. They’re visible, far in the distance. But where we live, we are in a giant bowl.
       


As beautiful and majestic as the mountains around the Kern Valley are, there is also an ever present threat of fire. Sometimes the hills and mountains catch on fire. Some of them burn for days, in huge wildfires.
          










  Have you ever seen California wildfires on the news? Do you live in a fire danger zone?