Been a while, Undergrounders. But don’t mistake the lack of activity here for a lack of activity on the home front, as if I’m watching I Love Lucy reruns all day long.

In fact, for much of the past month, I’ve been watching I Love Lucy reruns while coughing and hacking like a three-pack a smoker. All courtesy the Respiratory Virus of Doom.

And it hasn’t been just me.

The wife and kids have all suffered the RVoD, so at times the Underground/Man Cave World Headquarters have sounded a lot like a Victorian-era tuberculosis ward.

It’s been unpretty.

But we’re getting better. Just this last week I was able to hold a phone conversation without once apologizing for blowing the listener’s eardrum out.

Baby steps.

Drought-Flavored Lemonade

When the universe hands you drought, you’re basically left to make drought-flavored lemonade.

So Older Bro and I — aware that California’s record drought has only been dented by the recent rains — are making plans for opening day that involve maps of remote, alpine destinations.

If there’s no snow, there won’t be much water in a lot of small streams in late summer and fall.

That’s bad news.

The good news is some of those remote, inaccessible-due-to-snow streams are suddenly within reach very early in the year.

Last year, the reality of drought meant we hiked the last mile into a small stream that’s normally not accessible until June.

This year — given the even-more-dismal state of California’s snowpack (snowpack in my neck of the woods is 18% of normal) — we may roll the dice on an even less-accessible stream.

See? Lemonade.

More to come on our plans. And maybe more on California’s drought, the extent of which is pretty unhappily summed up in this NASA animated GIF.

See you looking towards the snow-free mountain streams, Tom Chandler.


Hedge Creek Falls, Dunsmuir

M1 and M2 prove there’s some water up here (Hedge Creek Falls in Dunsmuir).