Last week we went up to Mt. Charleston again for a picnic. It’s a lot cooler there, two patches of snow were still high up in the shade. We weren’t that high, but did have a nice picnic next to a small stream and walked along the nature trail. It’s still a mountain desert, with very little water besides the winter snows, so the vegetation is not very lush. The trees are scrawny and the weeds very low, but there were some flowers scattered here and there.
It is pretty remote down from the road, with no traffic and hikers that wander through every few years or so. There are some streams, and it looks like some Californians have moved in. Last week a police helicopter searching for a lost hiker found something else: several acres of marijuana plants growing. The TV news yesterday showed scenes of an assortment of workers hiking down to the location, finding a complex drip watering system fed by some springs and evidence that the growers had been there for several years. The estimate is of several million dollars street value of plants, which will be cut down, hauled out by helicopter and burned. I don’t know why they go through all that trouble, people had planned on burning the plants anyway, just in smaller quantities wrapped in paper.