American nature

[flickr id=“6020476085″ thumbnail=“small“ overlay=“true“ size=“medium“ group=““ align=“right“] American nature is a bit different than in Europe. Hiking through the alps, in Bavaria, in Franconia or whereever usually means that on many of the landmarking hills and mountains you spot a medieval castle. I have not yet fully adjusted to the fact that obviously here in the US there are no medieval castles at all. Aside from that, in the Angeles National Forest, where I took the following pictures during a hike with the Caltech hiking club, it feels a lot like in Sicily. Ground is sandy, sun is strong, the vegetation is adapted to this. And from time to time you see the remainings of a large bush fire which devastated parts of the even  larger forest just a year ago.

Nevertheless it is an interesting area and a nice place to hike. The route which we made starts about one and a half hour away from Pasadena. We went there by car, but on the way there I admiringly viewed more than five curageous cyclists who made their way into these mountains. Our aim was to hike up Mt. Baden-Powell, named after the founder of the scouts here, which actually is one of the largest mountains in the area. And guess what, when we nearly reached the summit, we spotted thunderstorm clouds approaching, accompanied by real thunder and lightning. The first clouds at all which I have seen during my first week here in Pasadena. Finally I ended up catching not more than 10 little drops of water during the descent from the summit. Let’s see how long this droplet record will hold.

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