Making Music is one thing, but making music with great players who are also great people in a beautiful setting, well that just about says it all. To some of us, the hiking is the thing at the Bear Valley Music Festival. OK, we get up and rehearse every morning, but a quick lunch is followed by the hike of the day. And we do have to rehearse again in the evening, or perhaps a concert, but that is followed by a friendly get together at someone's cabin where the food is everyone's specialty dishes and favorite wines. Maybe a midnight stroll to check out the mountain sky. If we have a day or night, or even better both off, we plan a longer expedition. These are some pictures from the great Carson-Iceberg Wilderness area of California.

The picture above is of Highland Lakes as we came down from Hyram Peak. A storm had just blown by. The hike is only a mile- straight up.

Good thing the storm had passed. I'm not a big lightning person. We actually saw a lightning strike fire on the drive in before the hike.

Most of the peaks around Bear Valley top out between 9 and 10 thousand feet. Hyram Peak, just shy of 10,000 feet, has a view of the whole area.

Nothing like a little snack at the Top.

Later in the week we take a more leisurely hike to Kinney Reservoir

Another trip puts us on a long ridge at 9000 feet leading to Reynolds Peak. This turned out to be a very long hike of nearly 12 hours. We ran out of water, were off the trail the whole time and had a great time. Thank God one of us had a portable water filter. And you know, Advils are not a bad idea either when your knees get sore.

An Alpine meadow in California in August. On the way to Peepsight Peak, near where I saw my first bear in Bear Valley. The first time I took this hike I got slightly off-track and wandered into a bear's turf in rather heavily wooded terrain. When I saw the bear go across my path, I suddenly felt very alone. Since I was by myself, carrying food and the bear was bigger than me, I decided to go back.

This is the life.

A natural arch, one of the largest in North America lies on the way to Peepsight Peak. We missed it on the way up but found it on the way back and had a snack.

So its not the Himalayas, but its some great views.

Looking back along the ridge from Reynolds Peak toward Kinney Reservoir.

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