On New Years Eve, we drove up a narrow, twisting road into the mountains of Northern California to an elevation of about 3,800 feet. The road continued, but the increasing amount of ice and rocks and drop-offs, helped us decide to not try and get any higher. With full backpacks and a sense of excitement, we began the 1,500 foot climb (over 4.5 miles) to our home for the night: a small cabin on the top of Bear Basin Butte.
It was mid afternoon by the time we climbed above the trees to a windswept summit with a cozy little cabin and old fire tower on top. The 360 degree view was absolutely tremendous! To the east was a line of rugged mountains: The Siskiyou's and distant Marble Mountains. To the west was an undulating set of coastal mountains and the far off glistening ocean.
We quickly got a fire going in the wood stove and sat back for the glorious conclusion to 2011 and dramatic start to 2012. The sunset set the western sky on fire and the sunrise painted the whole sky pink and orange.