Pinnacles National Monument

November 20, 2005

This is an idea of the overall scenery at Pinnacles National Monument (where I get in free with my national parks pass that I purchased at Yosemite). Pinnacales is about 30 minutes away from where I currently live, so this is just a day hike adventure.


Here is a rock climber at Pinnacles--a very common site. There are marked climbing sites all over the park, and lots of people wandering around with rock climbing gear.


Here's another thing you might find wandering around the park--Tarantulas! It happened to be mating season for them when I visited, so that increased the chance of them being out.


A fellow hiker passing by took my picture with the furry friend; however, she didn't want me to return the favor.


One last look. The tarantulas live in these holes in the ground. When they feel the vibrations of prey passing by, they come out and eat them. So there weren't any big webs to see, just lots of holes in the ground.


An interesting (at least to me) hole in the rock as I approached one of the caves.


The entrance to the cave on the west side of the park. There are two sets of caves, east side and west side. I decided to only go on the west side this time, since I entered the park from the west entrance. This picture is a little deceiving, in that it looks like dusk, it was actually mid-day, on a sunny day, I was just in shadow from the looming rock above.


Here's the cave pathway once you go through several boulder caves. Adam and I went to the East side of the park in January, and went through those caves, which are much the same. Unfortunately, my batteries stopped working in my camera that day, and I didn't have back-ups with me, so no pics from that trip.


Although a lot of the cave was actually walking on rock, the trickier parts were laid out like this. I had to crawl through this little opening here. It's a good thing I had my flash light, this was pitch black, even though it was the middle of a sunny day. Other people passing through the caves are courteous, in that they shine lights to help you see your footing, especially if you are going down/up slippery stone steps (say that three times fast).


Here, I'm looking back at the passageway that I had just traveled through.


When I was heading back to my car, I heard this heavy breathing behind me, horse-like. I turned to see a beautiful stag with large antlers. He looked at me, breathed a couple more times, then ran across the open space I was in to the woods on the other side. I tried to get his picture, but he was fast--so he's a little blurry.