Afternoon at Snowy Berry Summit

Northcoast Misc. AU13-825

Savage cold has this week assaulted the U.S. mainland. Much of the nation is sunk in the misery of bitter freezing cold, with below zero temperatures and biting winds. In California, however, the fierce cold simply means below normal temperatures (in the 20s to 40s, which would be consider “nice” during winter in many other locales in the U.S.) and snow at lower elevations. Getting a little snow at lower elevations is great fun for low elevation dwelling Californians. It rarely snows in the low elevation coastal plains and valleys of California were most people live. But to get a little snow in the foothills and modest mountains surrounding some of these plains and valleys means access to snow is a quick half hour or so drive. For those of us in Eureka, a cold winter storm means snow at Berry Summit, about thirty miles from Eureka in the coastal mountains. At an elevation of 2,803, Berry Summit received about six to eight inches of snow on this last Friday night. These coastal ranges are simply gorgeous when covered by a freshly fallen eight inch snow mantle. So this last Saturday, as soon as the snow and ice had melted on Highway 299, I ventured up there to spend a couple of hours capturing the magic on digital pixels.

Driving up Highway 299, I began to see a bit of snow at around 500 feet in elevation:

Northcoast Misc. AU13-695

Northcoast Misc. AU13-691

Berry Summit features a parking area overlooking several broad troughs in the mountains:

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 6.30.45 PM

The views that afternoon were magnificent:

Northcoast Misc. AU13-713

Northcoast Misc. AU13-820

Northcoast Misc. AU13-785

Northcoast Misc. AU13-763

Northcoast Misc. AU13-756

Northcoast Misc. AU13-839

Northcoast Misc. AU13-741

Northcoast Misc. AU13-739

Northcoast Misc. AU13-737

My favorite subject that afternoon was an old tree on a ridge above the mountain valley below:

Northcoast Misc. AU13-830

Northcoast Misc. AU13-826

Northcoast Misc. AU13-794

Northcoast Misc. AU13-724

Northcoast Misc. AU13-723

Northcoast Misc. AU13-790

Someone made a mini snowman and stuck the poor fellow on fence post:

Northcoast Misc. AU13-851

I stayed for the inevitable sunset:

Northcoast Misc. AU13-858